Most of you probably did not know this, but yesterday was National Junk Food Day. I’m not sure why we need a National Junk Food Day, but it exists. In a society that is as unhealthy as we currently are it looks like to me every day is National Junk Food Day. Why don’t we just have a National Smoking Day or a National Eat ‘Til You Can’t Buckle Your Pants Day?
Ok, so maybe we shouldn’t have those days but I think you get the picture. Having a day to ‘celebrate’ junk food is ridiculous in my opinion because judging by health care costs and our waistlines, people are already celebrating it too much! Check out the statistics below on junk food consumption in this country.
- The average American eats about 24.5 pounds of candy per year, with 11.6 pounds being chocolate candy
- There are 3,961 confectionery and nut stores in the U.S.
- The top five ice cream flavors are vanilla, chocolate, butter pecan, strawberry and chocolate chip mint
- More than 90% of households in the U.S. consume ice cream
- Not into candy or desserts? The U.S. has 12,804 McDonald’s restaurants
- Children aged 6 to 11 are more likely to eat cookies than apples (or any other type of fruit)
- 12- to 17-year-olds are as likely to eat potato chips as salad
- On average 82 percent of people eat no cruciferous vegetables in a given day
- On average 41 percent of people eat no fruits at all in a given day
- Each day, 1 in 4 Americans visits a fast food restaurant
- McDonald’s feeds more than 46 million people a day. (That’s more than the entire population of Spain.)
- French fries are the most eaten “vegetable” in America
- There’s one soda vending machine for every 97 Americans
- In 1972, we spent $3 billion a year on fast food — today we spend more than $110 billion.
- Sodas alone contribute 7.1 percent of total calories eaten
- Salty snacks and fruit-flavored drinks add another five percent
- Children and youth aged 11 to 18 years visit fast food outlets an average of twice a week
- Household income spent on away-from-home foods rose from 25 percent of total food spending in 1970 to nearly one-half in 1999
- By 14 years of age, 32 percent of adolescent girls and 52 percent of boys in the United States are consuming three or more eight-ounce servings of sweetened soft drinks daily
I got a little carried away with the statistics but they are incredibly easy to find and they are fascinating. Some of them are unbelievable! This is part of the problem in the US in terms of health. These companies specifically market to children so they can get them hooked and in the habit of consuming their food. They know that habits are hard to change even if they’re bad for your health. If they can get a child hooked they’ve got a costumer for life.
I hope these statistics have enlightened you a little and I hope it makes you think about just how much junk we put into our mouths as Americans. A National Junk Food Day is not necessary and hopefully in the next few years it can pass us by and no one will notice.