The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food

February 21, 2013

You know that feeling of eating something pleasurable, and it’s all good at first, and suddenly you realize you just can’t stop eating?  Odds are that feeling is not just about your will power.  It’s about your biology (and health) being hijacked for profit.

This weekend, the NYTimes Magazine will reveal the nasty truth of how the sausage gets made, literally.  Your taste buds are no match for the fleets of PhDs getting paid to manipulate your palate, brain, and hunger cues.  Here is an excerpt from the article:

I brought him two shopping bags filled with a variety of chips to taste. He zeroed right in on the Cheetos. “This,” Witherly said, “is one of the most marvelously constructed foods on the planet, in terms of pure pleasure.” He ticked off a dozen attributes of the Cheetos that make the brain say more. But the one he focused on most was the puff’s uncanny ability to melt in the mouth. “It’s called vanishing caloric density,” Witherly said. “If something melts down quickly, your brain thinks that there’s no calories in it . . . you can just keep eating it forever.”

Terrifying.  You can read the full article here.


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