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ENDO 2023 Preview: Junk Food

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Food has changed in recent years. Whether it’s climate change altering the nutrients in crops, the ever-growing availability and consumption of ultra-processed foods like sodas and potato chips, or even the presence of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in fast food, what we eat now is vastly different from the food on the dinner tables of previous generations.

A special symposium at ENDO 2023 in Chicago, titled, “Impact of the Changes in Food Environment in the Development of Obesity,” will focus on how these changes are contributing to the obesity epidemic and aims to raise awareness of the impact of food changes on weight – specifically, how the current food environment is an obesogenic factor.

One of the moderators of the session is Maria T. Balhara, a high school senior from South Florida with a strong interest in understanding diet and health disparities, whose research focuses on the intersections of processed food consumption, socio-economic factors, and the increased risk of chronic health conditions. (Balhara’s study, which found that teenagers consumed less ultra-processed food during the COVID-19 pandemic, reversing a 30-year trend, was presented at ENDO 2022 in Atlanta.)


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