The Allure of Junk Foods: 7 Reasons Why We Struggle to Resist Them

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We all know how difficult it is to resist chips, cookies, ice cream, doughnuts, and other junk foods! It’s incredibly common to crave high-fat and high-sugar junk foods regularly. But why is that?

Here are 7 reasons why you just can’t ditch junk foods:

1. They’re designed to be addictive

Junk foods are produced to be irresistible and hyperpalatable. How? Usually by exploiting the addictive properties of fat and sugar, making us want to buy and eat more.

2. They’re easy to obtain and quick to eat

Let’s face it, junk foods are easily accessible. They’re just about everywhere! And sometimes, no matter how much willpower you have, just being in the presence of these foods is enough to make us want to tuck into them.

3. They’re marketed in clever and devious ways

Junk foods are often packaged in bright colours and some are advertised by cartoon characters or celebrities. Clever wordplay and misleading statistics may also lead you to believe you’re eating something a little healthier than you really are.

4. They usually come in big portions, for less money

Have you ever noticed that junk food portion sizes are normally really big? The large portions create the illusion that you’re getting a good deal for your meal, but due to the cheap, mass-produced ingredients found within these foods, you’re usually not! Plus, bigger portions mean more calories.

5. There’s a junk food for every occasion

When it comes to junk foods, the options seem endless. Junk foods can be main meals, drinks, snacks or desserts. And even different celebrations! Think Halloween, 4th July, Christmas... The ubiquity of these foods means that there’s always one lurking nearby, tempting you in…

6. People around you are always eating them

Whether you’re hungry or not, seeing others eat can give you an urge to eat as well. Not to mention, many of these junk foods will send tempting aromas wafting on the breeze, as someone walks by eating them.

7. They can make you feel good… BUT only for a short time!

Feeling sad or depressed can drive you to eat junk foods. They can provide a short term ‘fix’, but you’ll often end up feeling even worse later on.

These are just some of the reasons why we can’t stop eating junk foods. Identifying these key ‘danger areas’ is the first step to create strategies to dump the junk!

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What If You Don’t Go To University

It’s August, which means it’s that time of the year again: A Level Results Day.

And whether it’s your friends or your grandma, there’s one question on everyone’s lips…

Are you going to university?

You might be heading back from college to the tune of ‘Did you get the grades?’

Or maybe you never wanted to go to uni in the first place.

Whichever boat you’re in; what happens when your friends are prepping for freshers’ week, but you’re not?

No fear – we’re here to help! The first thing you need to consider is:

Are you sure about your decision?

It’s difficult to aim for your goals if you don’t know what they are, or how to reach them. This means that if you have a particular career in mind, you might want to see a careers advisor or thoroughly research alternative routes into the field you’re passionate about before making a final decision.

But then what? Well, first, it’s important to know…

There are a ton of careers that don’t require a university degree

It’s true! You may have considered some of these options: hairdressing, beauty, personal training.

But those aren’t the only choices – many careers have a variety of pathways into them, from accountancy, to journalism, to nutritional therapy.

Read on to see what you can do instead of going to university:

Take a Gap Year

Fondly known as the ‘gap yah’ among millennials, many teens take a year out to decide what they want to do before continuing their education. This often takes the form of travelling, learning a language, and gaining lots of experience of different cultures – but it can also involve volunteering in a mix of industries to help you make a more informed decision about your future. While this kind of break provides a temporary solution, it’s common for people to head back to school once they complete their gap year, but many teens also open doors to careers they never knew existed!

(Pssst… Looking for the latest work experience opportunities? GoThinkBig is a good place to start).

Find an Apprenticeship

Becoming an apprentice is a great way to get straight into work AND gain a qualification while you earn. From farming, to hospitality, to law, you can choose your apprenticeship from a huge selection of fields and levels, from Level 2 (GCSE equivalent) right through to Level 6/7 (degree equivalent). Depending on the level, an apprenticeship can take between 1 and 5 years to complete, but you’ll be learning loads of job-specific skills along the way.

If you’re in the UK, you can click here to find an apprenticeship.

Get an Entry-Level Job

While a large number of entry-level jobs will attract applications from students and recent graduates, many employers offer roles aimed at school-leavers – including training schemes. The obvious benefit of heading straight into work is that you’ll be earning right away.

A great way to find entry-level jobs is to keep an eye on websites that advertise vacancies in specific fields. Mediargh is a great example for media-related careers (publishing, science – whatever).

Become an Entrepreneur

Ever wanted to start your own business? Now might be your chance! This can be an exciting option for those not looking to go to university, but it’s wise to first consider the funding, support, and advice you’ll need along the way. If you’re in the UK, check out these government guidelines for new businesses.

For an extra boost when it comes to marketing your business effectively, check out Google’s Digital Garage for free digital marketing training.

Study for an Online Diploma

A huge barrier for many prospective students is the possibility of getting in over £50,000 of debt for a qualification in an area they’re not entirely sure about, or wasn’t necessary for their preferred career.

Whether you’re looking to boost your entrepreneurial endeavours, or you want to get a feel for a subject before jumping into a degree, an online diploma can be a great way to go! Loads of platforms offer you the chance to study via the web and many don’t require specialist technology, so you can get going with just a laptop and a cup of tea.

If it’s nutrition you’re into, we at The Health Sciences Academy® have a whole host of certifications and short courses for you to explore.

Nutrition not your thing? Not to worry – there are loads of other great providers out there. Check out Coursera and Lynda for an array of online courses on a variety of subjects.

They’re called options for a reason…

It’s important to remember that choosing to not go to university isn’t something that sets your career in a permanent direction. You may try one of the above and decide you want to go to uni after all! Perhaps you want some work experience, maybe you’re looking to boost your know-how before embarking on a degree, or you might even decide to do both an online course and an apprenticeship – the point is: the sky’s the limit.

What you’re doing this September doesn’t necessarily define the rest of your life, but it CAN boost it. Do what’s best for you and remember: it’s quite natural to need a little bit of extra time to work out where you want your career to go.

The Health Sciences Academy® is the UK’s largest online educator in nutrition science.

We are home to a variety of Level 5 online diplomas, in addition to a range of accredited short courses in nutrition topics – ready to help you ignite your career.

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