Junk Food by the Numbers

alex atkins bookshelf cultureWhile American have recently been mindlessly chasing Pokemon (Pokemon is a portmanteau of POCKet MONsters) around their neighborhoods, they have been chasing hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries, soda, ice cream, cookies, and candy a lot longer, and a lot harder. According to the 2011-12 Center for Disease Control health survey, 35% of adults (78 million) and 18% of children (13 million) in the United States suffer from obesity that have a serious adverse effect on an individual’s physical, metabolic, and psychological health. Beyond the costs to the individual, the problem of obesity costs impacts the entire nation — it is estimated that direct and indirect health care costs related to obesity costs between $147 billion and $210 billion annually. What better way to highlight this troubling national malady than celebrating National Junk Food Day each year on July 21. Here is a look at junk food by the numbers:

One of the junk foods with the highest calories is the Burger King Triple Whopper Large Meal. The three-patty burger, large fries, and large soda contain 2,100 calories, 104 grams of fat, and 2,270 milligrams of sodium. Since the average adult burns between 1,600 to 3,000 calories per day, the Burger King Triple Whopper Large Meal provides enough calories for an entire day.

80% of ads aired on Saturday morning, when most kids are watching, feature junk food commercials. Specifically, they watch an average of 8 ads for junk food for every 10 minutes of cartoons.

Americans spend more than $2 billion worth of candy on Halloween each year.

Americans spend more than $2 billion worth of Easter candy each year: 90 million chocolate Easter bunnies, 700 million Peeps, and 16 billion jellybeans.

Hostess sells more than 500 Twinkies each year. Each cake contains 135 calories.

Mars, Inc. sells $2 billion of Snickers candy bars each year.

7-Eleven sells more than 144 million Slurpees, 100 million hot dogs, 60 million donuts and pastries, and 33 million gallons of fountain drinks each year. A 16-ounce Slurpee contains about 130 calories, 17 grams of sugar, and 20 milligrams of caffeine. In order to burn the calories from a 16-ounce Slurpee, you would have to walk for 18 minutes, cycle for 10 minutes, jog for 7 minutes, or swim for 5 minutes.

The New England Confectionery Company (NECCO) sells more than 8 billion Sweethearts each year.

American eat more than 70 million tator tots each year. A serving of 10 tator tots contains 160 calories.

Researchers at Purdue University found that it takes about 252 licks (if licking only one side) to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop. Proving that tongue licking strength is relative, a group of junior high students at Swathmore School reached the center of a Tootsie Pop with only 144 licks. A Tootsie Pop contains 60 calories.

Diets high in sugar can lead to metabolic problems, like diabetes 2. More than 250 million around the globe suffer from  type-2 diabetes.

Read related posts: Dieting by the Numbers
Halloween by the Numbers
LEGO by the Numbers
Wikipedia by the Numbers
Famous Epic Novels by the Numbers
Supermarkets by the Numbers
Health Care by the Numbers

For further reading: http://www.endocrineweb.com/conditions/obesity/obesity-america-growing-concern
http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/WeightManagement/Obesity/Understanding-the-American-Obesity-Epidemic_UCM_461650_Article.jsp#.V5FWAFcSBGI
http://facts.randomhistory.com/interesting-facts-about-junk-food.html
http://www.tootsie.com/howmanylick-experiments
http://www.ibtimes.com/how-many-calories-slurpee-297577
http://magazine.foxnews.com/food-wellness/most-fattening-menu-items-at-10-fast-food-chains

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