By Hayley Janssen in The Conversation.
People in the UK are hooked on takeaways and microwave meals, or so we are constantly told by TV chefs and the media. This apparent addiction to fast food is leading to an obesity epidemic.
But what exactly is “junk food”? And why is the consumer always at fault for failing to resist these hyper-palatable foods?
According to a recent YouGov survey, we eat too much “junk food” and new research by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) says we can no longer say we do so because it’s cheaper. But how can we substantiate these claims unless we agree what classifies as junk food?
With companies such as Deliveroo making it possible to order takeaway food from virtually any type of restaurant, consumers asked the question “How many times a week do you have a takeaway?” may inadvertently tell the world they regularly consume junk food. But in fact they may have ordered a takeaway salmon and vegetable dish. And a so-called “ready meal” containing natural ingredients and little added salt, fat or sugar may face the same judgement.
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