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Study: Junk Food more Deadly than War, Famine, Genocide

Study: Junk Food more Deadly than War, Famine, Genocide

Food in the end, in our tradition, is something holy. It’s not about nutrients and calories. It’s about sharing. It’s about honesty. It’s about identity. ~ Louise Fresco

You may already know that junk food is bad for your health, but you may not realize how bad it can be. A new study from the School of Medical Sciences at Australia’s University of New South Wales points to profound brain changes that junk food causes, making a junk food habit “more deadly than war, famine, and genocide”.

Say what? Yep, the food war is real, and though the UNSW study was conducted on rats, the brain changes observed matter to us humans. As mammals we share similar brain functioning in the orbitofrontal cortex, the part of our gray matter responsible for sensing and evaluating the pleasurable aspects of food.

Makers of junk food know it is highly addictive, but the UNSW study proves unequivocally that junk food alters behavior by causing near-permanent changes in the brain’s reward circuiting, an alteration that can trigger obesity.

The study abstract concluded:

“We observed that rats fed a cafeteria diet for 2 weeks showed impaired sensory-specific satiety following consumption of a high calorie solution. The deficit in expression of sensory-specific satiety was also present 1 week following the withdrawal of cafeteria foods. Thus, exposure to obesogenic diets may impact upon neurocircuitry involved in motivated control of behavior.”

While mammals developed a natural trigger over our evolutionary history which prevents us from over-eating, a phenomenon termed “sensory-specific satiety,” the consumption of junk food overrides this natural ‘kill’ switch that allows us to regulate the calories we consume.

Junk food consumption also causes mitochondrial dysfunction and tissue inflammation, which leads to a host of other diseases. Perhaps most troubling, though, is that these fake foods also mess with our internal motivation and reward system – which causes us to seek more nutrition-less junk. It’s like programming a time bomb and just waiting for it to blow.

Here is What Happened in the Study
In the UNSW study, rats were fed a standard junk food diet, complete with cookies, cakes, biscuits, and other junk foods for two weeks. Another group of rats were fed a ‘standard lab chow’ diet. They were then observed under Pavlovian conditions, when a sound cue informed the rats it was time for their next serving. You can guess what happened.

The ‘junk-food rats’ ate until they were glutinously full, obese, and ill, and the ‘healthy –diet rats’ stopped eating naturally – when they were full, and not over-stuffed.

What’s most interesting though is what happened to the ‘junk food rats’ once they were returned to a normal diet. They still had the tendency to overeat. Their brains were literally trained to eat too much, and held that habit even after environmental factors were changed.

Dr. Amy Reichelt, lead author of the UNSW study says:

“As the global obesity epidemic intensifies, advertisements may have a greater effect on people who are overweight and make snacks like chocolate bars harder to resist.”

Professor Margaret Morris, another UNSW team member added:

“It’s like you’ve just had ice cream for lunch, yet you still go and eat more when you hear the ice cream van come by.”

It is no wonder we are facing a global obesity epidemic. The United States is the epicenter of this troubling phenomenon, with 2 our of 3 Americans being clinically overweight or obese.

If we check the numbers against the Historical Atlas of the 20th Century, 203 million people died in the last century from war and oppression – including military and collateral civilian casualties from conflicts, genocide, politicide (i.e., the extermination of people who share a political belief), mass murders, and famines. This equates to an average of 2. million deaths a year – but the junk food habit kills more.

Even at the humble and likely modest estimation of the World Health Organization, at least 2.8 million people die annually from diseases linked to obesity including heart disease, diabetes, and brain stroke.

The junk food habit is killing 40% more people than wars, famine, dictators, murderers, and politicians put-together. Still think there’s no reason to fight for food freedom so that Americans and people everywhere can enjoy healthful, non-processed, nutrient-dense, organic food? The toxic food manufactured by corporations like McDonald’s, Kentucky Fired Chicken, Pepsi-Co, and Kraft is simply killing us -slowly.

Rodale points to 31 completely pointless foods you can find in your grocery store, but we all know that there are thousands of toxic, genetically modified, high-fructose-corn syrup-containing, MSG-laden foods. The problem is that some of these foods are not so easily recognized.

Concerningly, most Americans have been tricked through brain-piercing marketing ploys into thinking these junk foods are healthful. For example, companies use terms like “healthy” or “natural” as a means to convince us it’s a good buy – this is one of many food tricks.

You know the modern food system is broken too, when even vegetables are now cause for concern – the GMO, pesticide-laden kind, that is.

So what can one do to counter-balance this literal food war? Start by eating unprocessed foods in organic form. It is really that simple. That, and growing your own food is essential. Eating better is the best weapon against the corporate coup which has us eating toxic junk straight into the hospital.
Bad Heart Health Starts Shockingly Young — Like, Childhood Young

When most of us are born, we come out of the womb in pretty OK shape. We haven’t yet developed any not-so-great habits that would be a detriment to our health. Instead, bad lifestyle choices — that could then affect our hearts — are generally developed over time, and are influenced by factors like environment, family and financial circumstances, and the like. But according to a new study, that slippery slope into bad heart health can start pretty darn young.

Researchers at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine examined data from a survey of 8,961 kids ages 2 to 11 (part of the National Health and Nutrition Surveys conducted between 2003 and 2010). They looked specifically at four indicators of heart health: body mass index (BMI, a ratio of height to weight that also provides an indicator of overweight and obesity), diet, total cholesterol, and blood pressure.

While all the kids had at least one ideal measure of one of these indicators, not a single child had an ideal measure for all four, the researchers found.

The indicator that the most children had an ideal measure of was blood pressure, but the indicator the most children scored poorly on was diet. The researchers looked specifically at adherence to five components of a healthy diet: high intake of whole grains, produce, and fish, and low intake of sodium and sugar-sweetened drinks.

"Our findings indicate that, in general, children start with pretty good blood pressure," senior study author Donald M. Lloyd-Jones, MD, ScM, professor and chair of preventive medicine at Northwestern, said in a statement. “But if they have a horrible diet, it will drive a worsening body mass index (BMI) and cholesterol levels.” The new findings are published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

Less than 1 percent of the kids in the survey had four out of five components of a healthy diet. Looking specifically at each component, fewer than 10 percent of the kids consumed the daily recommended levels of produce and fish (more than four-and-half cups of produce a day, and two or more 3.5-ounce servings a week of fish). And less than 3 percent of boys and 2.4 percent of girls consumed more than three 1-ounce servings of whole grains a day.

Nearly all the kids surveyed — 90 percent — consumed more than the daily recommended levels of sodium by American Heart Association (less than 1,500 milligrams a day), and more than half of the kids consumed more than the AHA-recommended calories for sugar-sweetened drinks a week (no more than 450 calories a week from the beverages).

The researchers also found that nearly half of kids — 40 percent — had poor or intermediate total cholesterol levels, and nearly one in three kids — 30 percent — were overweight or obese.

Ensuring optimal heart health in childhood is important for health later on in life. Research shows that kids with high blood pressure, for instance, have an increased risk of also having high blood pressure in adulthood. Ditto with overweight and obesity.

Fortunately, there are things kids can do to turn things around. Eating more healthfully — cutting out sugary drinks, avoiding processed, sodium-heavy foods, eating more plant-based foods, and maybe even nixing the pizza — is a good start. And so is exercise: A 2012 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that kids who spend more than half an hour a day vigorously exercising have a lower risk of heart disease.

8 Foods That Make Your Skin Age Faster

Nutritional Therapist Petronella Ravenshear tells Get The Gloss how and why these top eight foods will wreak havoc on young, saintly skin…

If you thought sun exposure, stress and smoking were the only things to worry about when it comes to speeding up the ageing process - think again. Recent studies have also shown that there a number of foods that also contain the nasties that have the potential to boost the rate at which we wrinkle.

Here, Nutritional Therapist Petronella Ravenshear tells us which are the top eight perpetrators to avoid (or at least limit) if we want to keep our skin sensational and spritely for as long as possible.


Sugar is the number one food to avoid if you’re looking to slow down the ageing process. It not only makes us fat but also makes us wrinkly, as it cross-links with collagen, making our skin less flexible and dehydrating it too. 


Both potatoes and grains ultimately break down into sugar in our bodies and also use up valuable minerals when they are metabolised, such as zinc, which is crucial for skin health. Not to mention they give us almost nothing in return - except calories!


The ultimate dehydrator - alcohol also robs our bodies of B vitamins and vitamins A and C, which are vital for skin and overall health. Excessive alcohol depletes minerals including magnesium and zinc, as well as essential fatty acids, all of which are needed to slow down the onset of premature ageing.


These are the kind of damaged fats you find in foods with a long shelf life, such as biscuits, and in fast foods and deep fried foods. They reduce the fluidity of our cells, burden the liver and add to inflammation, i.e. ageing.


Their high salt content adds to puffiness, and the preservatives they contain trigger inflammation. To add, they also use up vitamin C, which is central to collagen formation.


These are liver-toxic, and we need our liver in the best possible order to slow down the ageing process.


Most of us love a good cup of coffee - to a certain extent anything (in moderation) that gives us pleasure is good for us. Just remember to drink an extra glass of water for each cup of coffee you have to counteract caffeine’s dehydrating effects on the body.


Many of us are sensitive to casein, the milk protein, which can clog up the body and cause constipation – as well as acne and eczema. Casein also triggers inflammation – mucus and/or pain are both signs of inflammation.

Officials Label ‘Healthy Eating’ As Newest ‘Eating Disorder’
Do you 'suffer' from it?


Do you consider healthy, clean eating to be a priority in your life? According to the ‘psychiatric officials’ who want to add healthy eating to the extensive list of mental disorders, you have an eating disorder. ‘Orthorexia nervosa’ to be SPECIFIC.

We first told you about this back in February of this year, when major news outlets began pushing the term ‘orthorexia nervos’ non-stop in declaring healthy eating a mental disorder. The story, written by Jeffrey Jaxen for Natural Society, received over 57,000 shares on Facebook and several million viewers who could not believe the reality of the piece. Unfortunately for sane eaters who do place a priority on eating right, the story was entirely CORRECT.

And now, we are seeing the emergence of orthorexia nervos in the news once more. This time, we are being told it’s the newest ‘eating disorder’ that we could all be ‘suffering from’. Because if you don’t want to eat things like Monsanto’s cancer-linked chemicals, artificial additives, and high-fructose corn syrup, you must be crazy.

The Daily Mail reports breaks down the latest declaration from ‘psychiatric officials’ who are heavily pushing the orthorexia nervos eating disorder:

   “Some clinicians argue orthorexia nervosa should be recognised as a separate eating disorder and have proposed clinical DSM diagnostic criteria. They note distinct pathological behaviours with orthorexia nervosa, including a motivation for feelings of perfection or purity rather than WEIGHT LOSS, as they see with anorexia and bulimia.

   Why healthy eating may be the new eating disorder: Raw food and paleo dieters at risk of a dangerous obsession with NUTRITION”

Did you catch that last part? Those who eat ‘raw food’ and ‘paleo’ diets are at risk of ‘dangerous obsession’ with nutrition. In other words, if you actually refuse to eat the standard American diet due to the realization that you’re eating your way to the grave, then you’re experiencing an eating disorder.

I wonder what the ‘psychiatric officials’ who created this eating order are consuming on a daily basis? If diet statistics tell us anything, they are most likely loading their plate with cancer-causing junk on a daily basis, and shoveling it down without regard.

At least they don’t have an ‘eating disorder’ because they never question the corporations that COMPLETELY run our food supply with the cheapest and most toxic food ingredients you can imagine.

Do you have the ‘healthy eating disorder’?

This Is What Happens To Your Body When You Eat Fatty Foods For Five Days Straight

We’ve all indulged in a holiday-weekend binge, or had a vacation where we threw well-rounded dietary habits to the wind. No big deal, right? Actually, according to a new study from Virginia Tech, just five days of consuming fatty foods can alter the way the body’s muscle processes nutrients.

Researchers fed 12 college-aged men high-fat diets, including sausage biscuits, mac and cheese, and butter-loaded foods. They measured the metabolic responses in the subjects’ skeletal muscles at the beginning of the study coming out of a fasting state, and after five days of eating fatty foods.

What they found? The guys’ overall caloric intake stayed the same, and they didn’t gain weight. However, after just five days on those fatty foods, the muscles’ ability to oxidize glucose was disrupted.

Here’s why that’s an issue: When we eat a meal, the body’s glucose levels rise. Muscle is a key “clearinghouse” for glucose, breaking it down for a burst of energy or storing it to be used at a later time. Since body weight is 30 percent muscle, and that muscle is a major player in glucose metabolism, alterations to normal metabolism may lead to health conditions like diabetes down the road.

Related: The 9 Best Flat-Belly Superfoods

According to lead study author Matt Hulver, an associate professor of human nutrition, foods, and exercise in the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the findings here are consistent with past research. However, this study is the first to show that these changes in the body happen in such a short time period.

A garden-variety American diet typically consists of 30 percent fat, and study participants were noshing on diets with a whopping 55 percent fat with 25 percent saturated fat — what Hulver calls “a sledgehammer effect” for the purpose of the study’s binge effect. However, he says the average person should still note the body’s ultra-quick response to bad dietary decisions.

“I think we all know weight gain is about consuming more calories than you burn,” he tells Yahoo Health. “But our study highlights that macronutrient consumption affects how your body responds to nutrients.”Just another reason to eat a balanced diet, and stick to roughly 25 to 30 percent fat in your diet.

Why does this metabolic shift happen in the body after just a few days? Hulver isn’t sure — and it’s one of the questions he plans to look into next. “We want to know what the mechanisms are that contribute to this, and how long does it last?”he says. “Will they respond to a meal normally again after five days?”

We’ll have to wait to see how long it takes to turn back the hands of time on a vacation from healthy eating — but for now, this study is good motivation to avoid junk food binges and stay the course. Even if you don’t see the effects of fat on the outside, you’ll know what’s happening on the inside.
Junk Food Can Hurt Your Brain, Too, Study Finds

Crossword, sudoku, and Jeopardy! enthusiasts beware: Every french fry and candy bar you consume might be throwing off your game.

A study conducted by researchers at Oregon State University and published in the journal Neuroscience suggests that high-fat, high-sugar diets have a detrimental effect on what they refer to as “cognitive flexibility,” or the power to adapt and adjust to changing situations.

The research was performed using laboratory mice that consumed different diets with varying levels of fat and sugar before facing a gamut of tests—primarily mazes and basic puzzles — to monitor changes in their mental and physical function. The researchers paid specific attention to the types of gut bacteria present in each control group.

RELATED: 10 Junk Foods and How Much Exercise You Need to Burn Them Off

“Bacteria can release compounds that act as neurotransmitters, stimulate sensory nerves or the immune system, and affect a wide range of biological functions,” Kathy Magnusson, a professor in the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine and principal investigator with the Linus Pauling Institute, said in a statement. “We’re not sure just what messages are being sent, but we are tracking down the pathways and the effects.”

In about four weeks, the mental and physical performances of the rats fed on a high-fat, high-sugar diet started to drop significantly, especially when one or more variables in the test changed. One of the most disparate physiological factors within the groups of mice, and the suspected reason for the decreased brain function, was gut bacteria.

People have been paying more attention to their guts than ever. Yogurt companies are using the term “probiotic” to peddle their sugary treats to would-be health junkies, and celebrities like sportscaster Erin Andrews are now digestive health spokespeople for hire, trying to finally make gut bacteria the hip and cool subject it deserved to be all along. But the scientific community has also started paying keener attention to those trillions of stomach-dwelling microflora as well.

RELATED: 10 Pro Athletes Hawking Terrible, Horrible, No-Good Junk Food

One of the first studies to ever link gut bacteria to brain function was performed by researchers at the Gail and Gerald Oppenheimer Family Center for Neurobiology and Stress, and appeared in the peer-reviewed journal Gastroenterology. They took three groups of women and had one group eat yogurt loaded with supplemental probiotics daily for four weeks, another group eat a substance that looked and tasted like yogurt but had no probiotics, and the third group was given nothing specific to eat. Not only did the sans-probiotic group suffer in cognitive tests, just like the mice did in the recent Oregon State study, but they also faltered in emotion based tests, linking poor gut health to stress.

“This work suggests that fat and sugar are altering your healthy bacterial systems, and that’s one of the reasons those foods aren’t good for you.” Magnusson said. “It’s not just the food that could be influencing your brain, but an interaction between the food and microbial changes.”

Slowly but surely, people are finally starting to go with their gut. Forum Index -> HEALTH and Medical NEWS
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