Each year on July 21st we observe National Junk Food Day. This day is dedicated to the foods that everyone loves to snack on. Junk foods by definition are usually high in fats, sugars, salt, and calories and contain very little nutritional value.
With the advent of packaged foods during the late 1800s, junk food made its way into American life. Still, home-cooked meals remained the standard for several more decades. It wasn’t until after World War II that industry took off and began producing products at an increased rate. From the frozen food aisle to fast food chains, there became a myriad of choices for consumers to choose from. Potato chips, baked goods and so much more became available, prepackaged and ready to go.
By the 1970s, junk foods were given a name and a bad one, too. Michael Jacobson, a microbiologist, is credited with coining the phrase and set out to curb our appetite for the high sugar, high salt, high preservative foods Americans were consuming at an alarming rate.
While Burgers and fries, tacos and ice cream cones, are known to be detrimental to our waistlines, cholesterol, and blood sugar numbers, an occasional indulgence shouldn’t have much of an impact to a healthy, diverse diet and lifestyle. Also, there are healthy versions of our favorite junk foods!
HOW TO OBSERVE
Celebrate by consuming your favorite junk food. Post on social media using #NationalJunkFoodDay. You can also celebrate by taking a walk or doing some yard work to burn off those extra calories.