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The Science Of Junk Food - Part 1

17.02.2015

Welcome to part 1 of the science of junk food. Your second instalment will be with you this time next week, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled!

At times, it may feel as though we have little control when it comes to overeating. Overeating only tends to apply to all of the wrong foods. Processed foods have a lot to answer for when it comes to the fight against obesity and our seemingly never ending struggle to resist such temptations. But perhaps it isn’t all down to will power – maybe science is playing a key role.

All processed foods are designed to be moreish, and we are yet to discover one that actually fills you up. In fact, they do the opposite – leaving you hungry and craving more.

Large processed food companies are all too aware of our love for sugar, fat and salt. This has been taken advantage of – but let’s face it, that makes good business sense. But what price are we then paying for the effects these foods have on our health?

Take Müller for example. A company that have taken unsweetened natural yoghurt, and transformed it into a sugar-laden dessert. With names such as ‘Apple Pie’ or ‘Strawberry Cheesecake’, and containing upwards of 17g of sugar per yoghurt – it is hardly surprising that our addiction to sugar is spiralling out of control.

Research has found that our will power is fighting a seemingly losing battle. Scientists are solely dedicating their time and energy into making these products as irresistible as possible. Not only that, but ordinary people are paid to test these products for their likeability. This is how each company gains knowledge of what people like – and therefore what they won’t be able to resist.

The biggest product successes, such as Coca Cola or Doritos, have put their popularity down to their complex formulas that enliven the taste buds, but not enough that the person eating or drinking them will soon have enough. These products don’t have a single overriding flavour, and therefore the consumer will seldom get bored. This means that their brain doesn’t tell them to stop eating...

Be sure to check back next week for your final instalment! 

 

Should you eat healthily and give up processed food?

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