How Processed Foods Drain Our Finances
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How Processed Foods Drain Our Finances

Issue No. 40 | Brought to you by the Addiction Reset Community – ARC
Unlocking the secrets of processed food addiction and guiding you to find freedom from food and weight obsession.

Processed foods have a devastating effect on us in various ways including:

  • Physically
  • Emotionally
  • Mentally
  • Behaviours
  • Relationships
  • Socially
  • Financially

Many of us don’t realise the full impact that processed foods can have on our brains and our ability to manage our finances. On the one hand, we need full brain power to be effective, yet research shows that processed foods impair cognitive function. Processed foods are also highly addictive and lead to increased usage over time, which in turn leads to increased expenditure and even stress-inducing debt. The burden of debt aggravates the addiction and the vicious cycle continues.


Ways that Processed foods can affect our finances:

The Food

  • Supermarkets are deliberately set up to cue impulse buying. 
  • Research shows that 60% of purchases are made impulsively after entering the store.
  • Aggressive marketing, convenience and easy availability make it difficult to avoid.
  • Eating out at restaurants is costly. 
  • Consumption of processed foods causes an increased desire for more and consequently spending more. 


Getting help to deal with the consequences of overeating

  • Weightloss programs
  • Weightloss products
  • Meal Plans
  • More clothing purchases


Medical care

  • Research shows that processed foods are associated with over 100 illnesses  and diseases
  • Costs of medical plans, co-payments or over-the-counter medications increase.


Loss of Income

  • Earning capacity is reduced as a consequence of impairment to physical or mental health, mobility, or cognitive potential.
  • Passing over training opportunities and promotions due to lack of motivation or fear of failure. 


Life consequences

  • Increased credit card debt and interest charges as a result of mounting expenses.
  • Relationships are impacted and break down
  • The desire to reduce anxiety may drive co-addictions such as excessive shopping or gambling.


Does this story sound familiar?

  • You eat processed food because it's cheap.
  • It makes you feel too tired to cook so you do it again and again.
  • A few more times and now you’re not only tired but also craving more processed foods.
  • You can no longer pull up the thought that it may be easier and cheaper to go home and cook some real food.
  • Soon you’re paying for take-out meals plus your grocery bill is rising with added processed food snacks and meals in the cart.
  • You’re stopping at the fast food drive-through on your way home and buying processed food at the gas station.
  • You’re too tired to take on that extra part-time work, promotion or project that would bring in extra income.
  • In your desperation to curb weight gain, you spend money on weightloss programs, gym membership, coaching and diet products
  • Then, you find that you’re allergic, in pain, or developing chronic expensive diseases. Healthcare becomes a burden on your finances.
  • You’re taking extra days off work and losing more income.
  • Now you’re running up credit card debt to finance the processed food purchases, the loss of income and the health care expenses.  
  • To reduce anxiety, you develop the urge to shop randomly, adding to your expenses.

… and so it goes.

If all or part of this story is familiar… You are not alone!


Getting things under control is possible with the right support to recover from addiction to processed food. Addiction recovery helps you to regain the brain capacity needed to find solutions, rectify your finances and manage life more calmly and joyfully.


Within the Addiction Reset Community (ARC) our members and their journeys are important to us. We find their stories inspiring and hopeful for everybody in health recovery.

“I have been struggling to get my food under control for over 40 years! I’ve tried weight loss programs, doctors, dieticians and even a 12-step program. Nothing has made me feel more in control than learning the science of addiction and getting support that is based on actual research on this topic. I’m learning skills that I have never been taught before. I have only been in the ARC for 3 months and, though it has not been easy, I am so hopeful. For this first time, I feel confident that I can do this!”


Many people reach out to Joan asking for advice and assistance on how they can begin their recovery journey.

Dear Joan:

I resisted spending money on recovery, believing that it was expensive and unaffordable, So actually saving money was an unexpected surprise of coming into recovery and eating a clean food plan. The money I saved in one year on not eating out or bingeing was over $1,500! That is not counting the money I have saved on over-the-counter medications and sick days from my job. Thank you!


Joan responds: 

Congratulations to you on investing in your recovery. I’m so glad to hear of the financial benefits you are experiencing.


Yes, the marketing tactics of big food companies include producing cheap food-like substances, making them easily available and advertising them as affordable. By contrast, the addiction persuades us that recovery is expensive. The fact is, that processed food addiction is very expensive to maintain for a lot of reasons. 


The foods cost, and over time, we need to eat more and more. Then we lose income because we're too sick to work, and as you have mentioned, we spend more on medical treatments and pharmaceuticals. We also spend aimlessly on unnecessary shopping, looking for relief from pain. Recovery from processed foods addiction is not only cost-saving but life-saving too.


Dr Joan Ifland (PhD) is a global expert on the subject of processed food addiction and is not a medical doctor. Information and response shared in this Newsletter are not intended for, and should not be construed as medical advice.

Do you have a question? Reach out to us with your questions about food addiction and recovery at

 Are you showing signs of Processed Food Addiction? Take this self-quiz to find out now!

Recent copies of Dr Joan Ifland's Blog:

Issue 01 | Issue 02 Issue 03 | Issue 04 | Issue 05 | Issue 06 | Issue 07 | Issue 08 | Issue 09 | Issue 10 | Issue 11 | Issue 12 | Issue 13 | Issue 14 | Issue 15 | Issue 16 | Issue 17 | Issue 18 | Issue 19 | Issue 20 | Issue 21 | Issue 22 | Issue 23 | Issue 24 | Issue 25 | Issue 26 | Issue 27 | Issue 28 | Issue 29 | Issue 30 | Issue 31 | Issue 32 | Issue 33 | Issue 34 | Issue 35 | Issue 36 | Issue 37 | Issue 38 | Issue 39


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