Almost 40 years ago, the song "Junk-Food Junkie" told it like it is: "When that clock strikes midnight/And I'm all by myself/ ... I pull out some Fritos corn chips, Dr Pepper and an ol' Moon Pie/Then I sit back in glorious expectation/Of a genuine junk-food high."
Decades later, North Americans still are addicted to high-fat, sugar-loaded treats - and we're passing the craving from generation to generation. Pregnant moms who eat junk food give birth to kids with a built-in tolerance to these unhealthy, processed foods. That makes the little ones crave more and more fat and sugar to get the feel-good sensation these foods trigger. The result: kids who are overweight, pre-diabetic and depressed.
What do you do if you and your children are JFJs? Try our three steps to family freedom from junk-food follies.
1. Face it. Admit you have a problem and decide together that you want to solve it. Without resolve and mutual support, you'll all have a much harder time getting unhealthful food out of your diet.
2. Give up one indulgence a week: Do you regularly go for an un-happy meal? Cut it out: Eat home-cooked lean protein (salmon and trout), 100 percent whole grains and veggies in its place. Are you apt to buy yourself a candy bar on the weekends? Opt for a piece of fruit instead.
3. Increase your physical activity: Walking for 30-60 minutes a day will stimulate your feel-good brain chemicals and help make up for junk food's addictive buzz that you're giving up.