Wellness

6 Ways Fast Food Impacts the Brain

fast food options

Americans spend more than 50 percent of their food budgets eating out. About 1 in 4 report eating a fast-food meal every day. Convenience foods may make it easier for people to juggle busy schedules. But they also can have a negative impact on our minds and moods. Review this list of six effects:

  1. Increases anxiety – Canadian researchers discovered people who think about eating fast food feel more rushed and impatient, and this mood influences decisions and behaviors in other areas of life.
  2. Influences buying behaviors – Researchers at the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity discovered fast food restaurants spend over $4.6 million on advertising. Every day, children under age 6 see at least three ads promoting fast food, and teens reported viewing five ads. Studies show that kids’ brains easily are influenced and tempted by food advertising messages.
  3. Stimulates spending – Studies at the University of Toronto Rotman School of Management revealed that households in neighborhoods saturated with fast food restaurants have lower savings compared to those with fewer fast food businesses. Researchers believe fast food causes people to spend money for instant gratification vs. saving for the future.
  4. Encourages faster eating – Researchers discovered fast food restaurants are designed to encourage people to eat quickly and consume more calories.
  5. Amplifies sugar consumption – Many fast food restaurants promote healthy selections, but these choices may be higher in sugar. Since sugar can be addictive, people often crave sweet snacks and foods throughout the day.
  6. Creates depression – Eating fast food meals may increase the risk of depression by causing poor health, reports researchers at Yale University’s Prevention Research Center. According to the journal of Public Health Nutrition, people who eat fast food are 51 percent more likely to experience depression.

Avoid the urge to pick up fast food meals by keeping a stash of healthy snacks at work or in the car. Review these blogs to learn more:
Healthy Foods for Munchy Emergencies
Don’t be Fooled by “Healthy” Foods

 

Sources:
The Effects of Fast Food on the Body
11 Facts About American Eating Habits
6 Weird Effects Fast Food Has on Your Brain

 

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