Childhood Obesity – Could It Be Addiction?


Warning:  This product can be highly addictive and may lead to childhood obesity, hardening of the arteries, juvenile diabetes, heart attack, stroke or possibly death.

Can you imagine if this label, similar to the labels that tobacco companies were legislated to put on their products 20 years ago, were on most products at fast food outlets?  Ridiculous? Far fetched?  Not based in science?  Think again.  Check out 

A recently released brain scan study from Yale University clearly indicates that when adolescent compulsive eaters are shown pictures of the foods they crave, ie: high fat, sugar drenched, sodium laden foods (yep – that’s what they sell us at fast food places) their brains light up similarly to those of drug addicts shown pictures of their drugs of choice.

For those who find a way to fit activity into their lives and make good food choices, all in the name of good healthy and hopefully longevity, it is easy to say to those who are already overweight, “Just move more and eat less.”  That may very well be the math and science that is the foundation of health and wellness, but it excludes the psychological side of addiction.  And that is exactly what we are asking children who are obese to deal with.  If your child became addicted to drugs or alcohol and they wanted help you would get them professional help.  Addiction is addiction is addiction – no matter how you say it.

The food marketing gurus are no dopes.  They know that once they get a customer onto the  product they are promoting they just might have a customer for life.  And that customer will tell their friends and family and so on.  It’s like the principle of compound interest – a no brainer if you play your cards right.

I’ve been addicted to tobacco and I have an “addictive personality”, meaning that it is really easy for me to become addicted.  I got off it, with help.  I can understand the addiction to sugar.  If it’s around, I eat it.  Marketing and sales people say “Find out who your customer is, what they want, and then give it to them.” And so they do.  They fill our lives with loud and brightly lit ads designed to make our mouths water, to make us crave the very product we are seeing, just as the brain scan study at Yale University indicated.  Soooo –  who introduced your kids to fast food?

It’s like the ultimate back-end sale – you get hooked with a couple of $5 meals and then you pay forever.


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