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)
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.
What is considered as junk food, however, 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.
The 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, according to Magee.
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.