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The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food

The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

Inside the hyperengineered, savagely marketed, addiction-creating battle for American "stomach share."

 

[Adapted from “Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us,” by Michael Moss, an investigative reporter for The Times.]

 

The public and the food companies have known for decades now that sugary, salty, fatty foods are not good for us in the quantities that we consume them. So why are the diabetes and obesity and hypertension numbers still spiraling out of control? It’s not just a matter of poor willpower on the part of the consumer and a give-the-people-what-they-want attitude on the part of the food manufacturers. What I found, over four years of research and reporting, was a conscious effort — taking place in labs and marketing meetings and grocery-store aisles — to get people hooked on foods that are convenient and inexpensive.

 

I talked to more than 300 people in or formerly employed by the processed-food industry, from scientists to marketers to C.E.O.’s. Some were willing whistle-blowers, while others spoke reluctantly when presented with some of the thousands of pages of secret memos that I obtained from inside the food industry’s operations.

 

What follows is a series of small case studies of a handful of characters whose work then, and perspective now, sheds light on how the foods are created and sold to people who, while not powerless, are extremely vulnerable to the intensity of these companies’ industrial formulations and selling campaigns.


Via Pamir Kiciman, The DoctorsPlace
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Pamir Kiciman's curator insight, February 24, 2013 9:47 AM

This is a long and thorough excerpt from the book on newyorktimes.com and is a MUST-READ.

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What caused the obesity crisis in the West?

What caused the obesity crisis in the West? | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

When and why did food became an addiction? And is fat consumption or sugar consumption the greater culprit? Jacques Peretti (pictured above) investigates.

 

"Genetically, human beings haven't changed, but our environment, our access to cheap food has," says Professor Jimmy Bell, obesity specialist at Imperial College, London.

 

"We're being bombarded every day by the food industry to consume more and more food."

 

One of the biggest changes in our modern diet stems back to the 1970s when US agriculture embarked on the mass-production of corn and of high-fructose corn syrup, commonly used as a sweetener in processed foods. . . .

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Children's self-control may help keep them thin as adults

Children's self-control may help keep them thin as adults | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
The ability to delay gratification as a child may lower a person's chances of being overweight later in life, according to new research.

 

Researchers found that people who were better able to put off receiving a reward at age 4 had lower body mass indexes (BMIs) three decades later, when the researchers followed up with them. For every minute that children resisted the temptation to eat a marshmallow placed in front of them, their BMIs decreased by . . .

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