Deakin Communicating Science 2016

EES 200/101

Fast food –Are they engineered to be addictive?

Have you ever wondered why you don’t crave for a salad or a fresh bawl of fruit the way you crave for burgers and fries?   We all know that there are particular drugs called designer drugs which are designed to be highly addictive, but what about in the food industry? Are fast food and junk food actually designed to be addictive to keep you hungry and cause you to over eat?

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The answer is scary. There are a few main methods that food marketers are having you eat a lot more than you think. The refining or processing of the food is one of them.

What is refining?

Refining is the process of taking a complex substance and stripping away parts of it until you have an intensified pure substance. The refining process is used to make super intense substances like alcohol and drugs and also to make our food. When food is refined many of the substances like fibers vitamins and minerals are taken away leaving us with only one substance which is sugar.

According to Dr. Louis J. Aronne, refined carbohydrates cause “fullness resistance”. This means they raise your blood sugar levels very quickly increasing the insulin level and makes them quickly go down again. As a result your blood sugar levels go down, again making you hungry. This is why you feel like eating again in a short while after having a Big Mac.

Trigger substances

Sugar salt and fat are known as trigger substances which mean that when all three are combined into a food it keeps you coming back for more. Fast food often contain these three substances in very high concentrations.18iw0mtc7ojc4jpg.jpg

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a form of concentrated salt. According to researcher John Erb, MSG is added to food for the addictive effect  it has on the human body. MSG interferes with appetite suppression and therefore keeps you hungry even when you have had a large amount of food. According to research performed on mice MSG was found to triple the amount of insulin created by the pancreases .This causes the animals to become obese without any additional food intake.

It is clear that profit oriented fast food companies make their food addictive on purpose causing you to crave for more. Fast food has become one of the major causes of obesity among individuals. So the next time crave for a nutella doughnut or a succulent cheese burger think wisely on what you are actually putting into your body and try to stay away.

References

“How Big Business Makes Food As Addictive As Cocaine: The Secret Science Behind Food Addiction And How To Beat It”. Modern Health Monk. N.p., 2016. Web. 8 May 2016.

“Addictive Ingredients In Fast Food And Their Effect On Your Body”. One Green Planet. N.p., 2016. Web. 8 May 2016.

Junk Food Addiction As Real As Drug Addiction But Less Cool. 2016. Web. 8 May 2016.

Katherine Kam,. “Sugar Health Effects: Is Refined Sugar Bad For You?”. WebMD. N.p., 2016. Web. 8 May 2016.

“Addictive Ingredients In Fast Food And Their Effect On Your Body”. One Green Planet. N.p., 2016. Web. 8 May 2016.

“Scientific Research | Food Addiction Institute”. Foodaddictioninstitute.org. N.p., 2016. Web. 8 May 2016.

Addictive Ingredients In Fast Food And Their Effect On Your Body. 2016. Web. 8 May 2016.

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2 comments on “Fast food –Are they engineered to be addictive?

  1. eacarter94
    May 8, 2016

    Hey,

    I did my blog posts on the addictive properties of sugar so I found your blog posts really relevant to what I had just investigated.

    When you talk about refinement as a way on intensifying the purity of a substance I found I could relate that to refined sugar. The effects of refined substances are almost the same as alcohol or drugs.

    I investigated to see if there was a link between MSG and diabetes and below is a link to an article I found really interesting on the idea. People with diabetes show a higher risk of high blood pressure when they consume foods with MSG in them. Maintaining a low sodium intake is important in regulating ones blood pressure. *Article linked below.
    http://www.healthline.com/health/diabetes/msg-what-you-need-to-know

    Overall, I thought it was really interesting to see your take on food addiction and why we eat what we do. I didn’t investigate MSG so I found that really intriguing.

    Like

  2. pasindi
    May 8, 2016

    Hey. This was a great read. I did my blog posts on exercise and eating healthy so i found this article very interesting!. It captures the dangers of fast food addiction.

    Fast food is such a ‘normal’ thing to eat in many of our diets.
    However I don’t think many of us know what we actually put into our bodies when consuming fast food.
    Reading this article would educate anyone on what fast food contains and how addictive they could become.

    I also found that our brain has a ‘rewarding system’. It was designed to ‘reward’ us when we do things that encourage our survival. For example : eating.
    When we eat , the brain knows that we are doing something right so it releases feel good chemicals like dopamine.

    Fast food can cause a reward way more powerful than anything we were exposed to in nature, which adds to addictive effects of fast food.
    Article link: https://authoritynutrition.com/how-food-addiction-works/

    i think this was a well written, easy to understand post. Great stuff!

    Like

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