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Despite Being At Home More Often, Junk Food Consumption Is On The Rise

Studies show that junk food intake among Canadians is on the rise. The culprit? The global pandemic. A survey conducted by Statistics Canada in the spring of this year found that nearly 1 in 3 Canadians admitted to eating more junk food or sweets. When surveyed again in the summer, that number was even higher. 

 

We’re Making Unhealthy Choices

 

Studies show that external factors have a lot more to do with our intake choices than we think. Experts say that the urge to consume fast food and sweets can be a response to stressors in our environment – with many people turning to junk food to manage uncomfortable emotions like anxiety and sadness. 

 

We Need a Distraction 

 

Studies link the urge to consume fast food and sweets with stress, but why? Research indicates that junk food is inherently more distracting when consumed than are more nutritional alternatives. In fact, fast food and sweets are found to be twice as distracting as healthy foods according to a study conducted at Johns Hopkins University. 

 

How to Manage Stress Eating

 

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Shop Smart

 

You’re more likely to opt for a healthy snack if junk food isn’t an option. Keep this in mind when doing your weekly grocery list. Here, experts say the key is to be reasonable. It’s easy to be optimistic about eating healthy while at the grocery store, but when you feel the urge to snack, ordering takeout will seem easier than steaming the broccoli in your fridge. Finding middle ground is key; stock your shelves with healthy snacks that you’ll actually want to eat. 

 

Create Routine

 

If remote working is making it all too easy to dip into the chip bowl, it’s time to implement some routine. Instead of grabbing a snack every time you pass by the kitchen, try creating a meal schedule and sticking to it. 

 

Make Room

 

While eating in front of the TV can be relaxing, studies directly link this bad habit with overeating. Experts say that it’s important to create separate spaces for eating and entertainment.

 

Partner Up

 

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If you find it hard to not to snack in front of the screen, try asking family members to join you in eating on schedule. If you’re not able to eat in person with loved ones or friends, agree to meet on FaceTime or Zoom. This helps you focus on the food you’re eating, meaning you’re more likely to eat a healthy portion and won’t crave a sweet snack afterwards.

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