JUNKAHOLICS ANONYMOUS: HOOKED ON OREOS, FRENCH FRIES AND EVERYTHING FAT

In Arts & Life /

BY DANIELA  GYSLER

You’ve tried it a couple of times, OK maybe a couple hundred times, but the urge is just too strong and you constantly find yourself forking out cash to satisfy your insatiable cravings. You black out and wake up to find yourself in an Oreo crumb-filled bed surrounded by candy wrappers.

It’s time to come clean and admit defeat. Junk food and fatty foods are addictive.

“It’s not exactly the fat in the fatty foods, but the high levels of salt and sugar. The more we have of the two, the more our bodies crave it,” said Emily Sparrow, a nutritionist and personal trainer. “Unbeknownst to most people, they’re addicted to sugar and salt.”

Restaurants are infamous for loading their meals with salt and sugar to up the yum factor. “[At] McDonald’s, you wouldn’t think it, but the buns are loaded with sugar,” said Sparrow.

Even the classic comfort foods can get you. “Good ol’ Kraft Dinner,” said Caroline Pocklington, a second-year psychology student. “It’s been in my top five favourite foods as far back as I can remember. I’ll never give it up.”

Pocklington also admits her ideal emotional snacks are anything starch and carb-filled and she has an undying obsession with salt. “Add a little salt and fat and you’re sure to enjoy it,” she said.

Michelle Atherton, a second-year business management student who likes apple pastries, agrees that students aren’t likely to give up their comfort foods anytime soon. “It’s always good to be bad sometimes,” she said.

“With sugar you get a short high. Like a drug when you come off your high, your mood drops often leaving you guilty or blah, and soon enough craving that same sugar high,” Sparrow said. In other words, it’s like Fat Bastard’s dilemma which he so perfectly describes as, “I can’t stop eating. I eat because I’m unhappy, and I’m unhappy because I eat. It’s a vicious cycle.”

The more drugs you take, the higher your resistance is and the more you have to take to get high. Fatty food addiction works the same way which can be a problem for your waistline.

“Like any other drug addiction, the only way to not crave it is to wean yourself off,” Sparrow said. She recommends having a “cheat day” system to help kick the habit to the curb. If you pick one day of the week where you can eat whatever you want within reason, the cravings will eventually dissipate. “But the ultimate goal is to eliminate those junk foods,” said Sparrow.

But what happens with holidays, like Thanksgiving? Is there such a thing as a “cheat” long-weekend? It is undeniably a salty, fatty, sugary-filled weekend of gravy-smothered turkey, stuffing and buttery mashed potatoes and numerous sugary desserts. From a fat addiction standpoint, it’s a weekend to OD.

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