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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Junk Food (08/30/12)

TITLE: To Eat or Not Eat Junk Food
By Edmond Ng


    And he would have gladly filled his stomach with the pods that the swine were eating, and no one was giving anything to him. (Luke 15:16 NAS)
What is considered as junk food may differ with different people, depending on who we ask. In an article at Dietitian.com, junk food is regarded as foods that are high in salt, sugar, fat or calories and low nutrient content. Such foods include salted snack, candy, gum, most sweet desserts, fried fast food and carbonated beverages.

Whether it is for better or for worse (mostly worse), junk food is now available all over the world, wrote Elaine Magee, MPH, RD, in an article about junk food facts at WebMD.com. It is found everywhere—in grocery and convenience stores, fast-food restaurants, on television—usually looking very appealing.

According to Magee, a problem with junk food is it is low in satiation value—people do not tend to feel as full when they eat it—which can lead to overeating. Another problem is junk food tends to replace other more nutritious foods.

In a news story at CBSNews.com, it is reported that nearly one-third of U.S. children aged 4 to 19 eat fast food every day, which is estimated to pack on about six extra pounds per child per year. The findings suggest that fast-food consumption has increased fivefold among children since 1970. Fortunately, there are signs policy-makers are taking action to protect children from the fast-food trend. These include efforts to limit soft drink and snack food sales in schools, and the curbing of food advertising aimed at children.

All of us know that junk food is not good for our health, and in the parable of our Lord, the prodigal son knew that as well. After he had spent everything, the prodigal son got himself hired and was sent into the fields to feed swine. He would have gladly filled his stomach with the pods the swine were eating, but no one was giving anything to him. When he finally came to his senses, the prodigal son decided he would go back to his father to become one of the hired men, for he said to himself, “How many of my father’s hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger!” (Luke 15:14-19).

Like the prodigal son who came to his senses and the policy-makers who are taking action to reduce the fast-food trend among children, are we also making efforts and taking measures to cut down on our unhealthy living? Remember, eating junk food is harmful for our physical bodies, and so it is with our souls if we choose to indulge in ways contrary to the teachings of God’s word. Squandering our wealth, for example, while we know of people around us who are in need is not right and can build up hardened hearts in bringing harm to ourselves.

Just as we can choose to reject junk food to keep ourselves healthy, similarly, we can also choose to reject whatever brings harm to our spiritual health. Whether it be indulgences or things that make us feel gratified or keep us occupied, if any of these leads us away from spending more time with God, then let us be prepared to dump it to gain Christ (Philippians 3:8). Never ever let the enticements of this world cloud our minds for such tend to replace our first love for Christ. Put our trust in the Lord completely and always acknowledge Him in all we do, and He will make our paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Dear Lord thank You for showing us what we should free ourselves from and what we should keep and hold on. Help us be sensitive Lord in knowing what is harmful for us that we may with one heart and mind willingly let it go to gain You. In our efforts and measures to cut down on unhealthy living Lord, grant us the strength to remain steadfast in overcoming our weaknesses, especially in the things we indulge in or feel reluctant to let go. We put our complete trust in You O Lord, for You will make our paths straight.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 09/06/12
This is such an informative piece. Childhood obesity is totally out of control. Somewhere along the line, parents thought, "Gee, I love my kids so much, I'll give them everything they want." Because of this attitude, we have a generation of self-indulgent instant gratifying brats. If we are allowing this to happen to their bodies, what are we allowing into their hearts and minds. As a wise person once said, One person can't change the world, but we can change the world of one person. That is where we must begin.

On a side note, I've struggled with eating disorders since I was in junior high. I never dreamed when I was a mere 90-something pounds that years later I would struggle with obesity. I've gotten into the mindset of safe foods. I tend to go through phases, changing what is considered safe every few weeks. But this year, my world is changing rapidly around me and I've been on a rice cake and honey kick since winter. Many may think the pounds should be flying off, but the opposite is true. My body is in a starvation mode and converting those carbs into storage lockers of fat.

Your words made me stop and wonder what I'm doing to my soul. God and I are going to have a nice long chat here in a few minutes, but thank you for your faithfulness and obedience. You never know how the Holy Spirit will use your words. Scratch that--someday you will be in awe of how the Holy Spirit used your words to save the souls of many.
Brenda Shipman 09/07/12
This would make a good article in a Christian magazine dealing with health issues. I like the double message you presented re: both physical and spiritual health, as well as the use of the prodigal son to illustrate transformation in both areas. This works great as an article, but also as a devotional. Good job.
Genia Gilbert09/10/12
This is both informative and devotional. How we need to return to the basics of God's design of our bodies and His provisions to care for them--including myself here. Good writing.