Why We Should Let Kids Eat More Junk Food Than You Would Think

For years, candy, cookies, and other sweet treats have been given a bad reputation. And, to be honest, it's one they deserve. Loaded with calories, fat, and sugar, these junk foods contribute to childhood obesity and diabetes. But is banning these items from our fridges and cabinets the solution to a nationwide health problem? Some experts say no. Charlotte Markey, an author and health psychology professor at Rutgers University, says depriving your children of these forbidden foods could do more harm in the long run.

"If we try to restrict too heavily we end up with kids really craving all that junk food," Markey tells The Huffington Post. As a result, they tend to eat more of it when parents aren't around, like at a friend's house or when they leave for college, making them more likely to become overweight. One of Markey's solutions to the problem involves relabeling items as "most of the time" and "sometimes" foods rather than "good" and "bad." In doing so, children will build a healthier relationship with food and be less likely to overindulge in the not-so-healthy options.

"Although I certainly don't want my kids to eat junk food [and] I don't think it's a great thing, I do think that making it forbidden fruit is bound to cause more problems in the long run," Markey says.

For more of Markey's healthy eating tips, read the full story on The Huffington Post.