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Trash the Junk

If you're like most people, you take great care of your car: You have it serviced routinely, wash and wax it every weekend, and maybe even fuel it using only premium gasoline. After all, you want to get the most out of your investment.

Yet, despite how much people care for their cars and other possessions, they continue to neglect their own bodies by fueling on empty foods that do nothing to enhance performance.

A recent study published in the June issue of the Journal of Food Chemistry and Analysis evaluated the diets of approximately 5,000 adults; researchers found that almost one-third of the average U.S. diet consists of junk food. Topping the list were sweets, hamburgers, pizza and potato chips.

According to lead researcher Gladys Block*, "Such healthy foods as vegetables and fruit make up only 10 percent of the caloric intake in the U.S. diet. A large proportion of Americans are undernourished in terms of vitamins and minerals." Block further emphasized that unhealthy foods add calories, but no nutritional value, which has further contributed to the obesity epidemic in the U.S.

Is it time to maximize the performance of your body - by far, your most valued investment? You can start by replacing sugary sweets, calorie-laden sodas, salty snacks and other junk food with smarter food choices, including whole grains, fruit, lean meat and vegetables. And don't be surprised when your "engine" starts running much more smoothly.


Block G, et al. Foods contributing to energy intake in the US: data from NHANES III and NHANES 1999-2000. Journal of Food Chemistry and Analysis June 2004;17:439-447.

*"Junk food one-third of U.S. diet, study finds." Reuters Health. June 2, 2004.

Additional information on the benefits of proper nutrition can be found at