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Children Turn To Junk Food To Ease Stress, Boredom, Depression, Etc.

June 21, 2011: 04:50 AM EST
Many children and teens, especially females, overeat to ease stress, boredom and depression, according to a ten-year U.S. study. And they often become addicted to these unhealthy foods, making it difficult to lose weight or keep from gaining weight. The study involved 29,406 young people who ranged in age from eight to 21 years (ninety-four percent were females). Information was collected on a Web site through bulletin board posts, etc. Thirty-two percent of the participants said they chose sugar-sweetened beverages, junk food, and fast food when sad, depressed, stressed, nervous, lonely, tired or bored. The solution to the problem? “Taxation of sugar-sweetened beverages, and possibly junk food and fast food, and restriction of such outlets to children, would seem warranted and even embraced by some children.”
Robert A. Pretlow, "Addiction to Highly Pleasurable Food as a Cause of the Childhood Obesity Epidemic: A Qualitative Internet Study", Eating Disorders, June 21, 2011, © Informa plc
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