The Foodbank of Southern California

Whole foods provide more benefits, most notably better nutrition and lower costs, when compared to junk foods.

Junk Food Nation

Junk Food Nation

When any nation switches from a healthy unrefined diet to one of junk food and fast food, obesity rates increase dramatically and continue to increase as the national diet worsens. Why does this happen? Ultimately, weight management is about the classic equation of calories in, versus calories out. 

When you start consuming processed foods, calorie intake goes up. This is because processed foods tend to lack fiber and be higher in fat, both of which make them denser in calories. They are also deficient in many nutrients, so the body continually craves the real nutrition it’s not getting. 

The calorie-out part of the equation also suffers because with low nutrient levels, it’s difficult to have the energy to be active and burn calories.

Watch this fun video, with your children, to learn the difference between healthy foods and junk foods. Click here to view. 

My Plate

MyPlate is a reminder to find your healthy eating style and build it throughout your lifetime. Everything you eat and drink matters. The right mix can help you be healthier now and in the future. This means:

  • Focus on variety, amount, and nutrition.
  • Choose foods and beverages with less saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars.
  • Start with small changes to build healthier eating styles.
  • Support healthy eating for everyone.

Eating healthy is a journey shaped by many factors, including our stage of life, situations, preferences, access to food, culture, traditions, and the personal decisions we make over time. All your food and beverage choices count.

Visit for more information.

My Plate

Apples vs. Donuts

What makes an apple healthier than a donut?  What really is the difference between a food that builds health, and one that doesn’t?

It’s an important distinction, since many children today consume over half their diet from highly processed, empty calorie foods; not just at home, but even from junk food at school.

Watch this fun video, with your children, to learn the difference between healthy foods and junk foods. Click here to view.


The Impact of Junk Food on Children

Significantly high percentages of poor children suffer from deficient dietary needs and have intakes below 70 percent of the Recommended Daily Allowances for 14 out of 16 vital nutrients.

This type of undernutrition triggers an array of health problem in children, many of which can become chronic. It can lead to weight loss, stunted growth, weakened resistance to infection and in the worst cases, early death. The effects can be particularly devastating in the first few years of life, when the body is growing rapidly and the need for calories and nutrients is greatest.

Malnutrition and undernutrition in early life can also limit long-term intellectual development. Several of these problems can lead to irreparable damage to young children, yet increases in wholesome nutritious food, may reserve many of the damages.

Malnutrition hinders cognitive abilities through several interacting routes, as demonstrated in the adjacent flow chart. (Understanding Child Development, Scientific American, February 1996.)

Without help these children will be unable to perform in school and reach their full potential, lowering their likelihood of being productive adults in the workforce.

Hunger robs children of getting an education, often their only chance to get out of these conditions.

The Impact of Junk Food on Children

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