Dear Doctors: Why is ditching junk food so hard? I know I should have an apple instead of a doughnut, but when I crave a snack, I don’t reach for the fruit bowl. Making and then breaking the promise to eat healthy makes me feel like a failure. How can a junk food addict like me get back on track?

Dear Reader: In framing your question, you used two revealing words — “crave” and “addict.” And based on what is now known about ultraprocessed foods, that’s no accident.

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Eve Glazier, M.D., MBA, is an internist and associate professor of medicine at UCLA Health.

Elizabeth Ko, M.D., is an internist and assistant professor of medicine at UCLA Health.

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