Why do we love junk food? (Thinkstock)
Why do we love junk food?
Lexile

You asked us, "Why do we love junk food?"
 
A lot of money and strategy goes into designing junk food. A lot of effort also goes into designing junk food too. 
 
The goal is to make it cheap and handy. And despite the fact that it has little to no nutritional value, the goal is to keep you wanting more.
 
It's typically high in things like salt, sugar and fat. They trigger pleasure centers in our brains, making us feel oh-so-yummy-good and making us want to keep eating.
 
See, our brains are relatively big. They require a lot of energy to do their thing. So we evolved to love high-energy food.
 
Beyond the super high calorie count, junk food makers have a million tricks up their sleeves when it comes to making their products tempting.
 
Like the melt-in-your-mouth quality that tricks us. We think the calories have magically floated away.
 
Or boosting flavor just short of what's called, "sensory specific satiety."  It is flavor that's so big, it overwhelms your brain. And you end up not wanting anymore.
 
So despite knowing it's not good for us -- eating it is linked with things like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer -- junk food can be really hard to resist.
 
Food for thought, for sure.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why does it take a lot of time and money to design fast food, when the food itself is fast and cheap?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (416)
  • ryan0420-yyca
    10/14/2015 - 06:06 p.m.

    I still like junk food because it tastes good. But since I know that when you eat junk food it makes you want to eat more. I also think that eat junk can make you a lot more fat.Junk food does take a a lot of money and work to do.But some comapny's like Mcdonald or Carls junior did a really good job make the burgers look so tasty. I should reelly stop eating junk food.

  • colek-1-bar
    10/14/2015 - 07:31 p.m.

    It takes a lot of time and money developing fast food when the food itself is fast and cheap because the people who make it know that people will always want more of it. Since junk food is so addicting because of its high levels of sugar, salt and fat, people want more of it after eating it once. I found this article interesting. It did not surprise me though that we are addicted to junk food because of its high sugar, salt and fat concentration.

  • taylorh-4-bar
    10/14/2015 - 08:17 p.m.

    A lot of time and money is put into making fast food because the creators need to make their food to make people wanting more. I found this very interesting because I always ask myself why do I want more chocolate?, and now I know why. I did not know that it was from the brain.

  • ryanr-ver
    10/14/2015 - 09:24 p.m.

    I didn't know how much effort is put into fast food creation. The food has many ingredients that actually use science to keep you wanting more and more. It is a brain function that keeps your body hungry for more French fries and potato chips.

    • reagans-ter
      11/19/2015 - 02:52 p.m.

      good job :) I agree with everything you said :D

  • Eugene0808-YYCA
    10/14/2015 - 09:24 p.m.

    I think this is good for kids to know because they need to control themselves when they eat junk food. Despite the fact that junk food looks good, it is not healthy at all just like McDonald burgers. This is so that people can control themselves.
    Why does it take a lot of time and money to design fast food, when the food itself is fast and cheap?
    Answer: It takes a lot of time and money to design fast food because you need to make it look good and

  • Eric0221-YYCA
    10/14/2015 - 09:31 p.m.

    I think that this could really happen when we eat or drink something that we hadn't eaten in our lives, then the brain will think about eating more of it which will lead us to become fat and chubby. The eating habit of eating junk food is that a lot of kids would like to eat their vegetables and fruits but they would most likely prefer to eat the junk food instead even though that they would like to eat the fruits and vegetables.
    Critical Thinking Question: Why does it take a lot of time and money to design fast food, when the food itself is fast and cheap?
    Answer: The money to get the ingredient for the fast food is expensive but the money to buy the fast food at a fast food restaurant is cheap for people to buy.

  • Jason0421-YYCA
    10/14/2015 - 09:58 p.m.

    I think that the producers of junk food are geniuses. I say this because they are using mind tricks on your brain into thinking that junk food is really tasty. I think that junk food is very unhealthy but tasty because I myself have gone through this process.

  • John0724-YYCA
    10/14/2015 - 10:18 p.m.

    I think that the guy is right and I have the same reason just like him. It;s because they sell it in most of the store and they food attracts people because it is so unhealthy but taste good.

  • nicolettem-2-bar
    10/15/2015 - 04:35 a.m.

    It takes a lot of time and money to design fast food when the actual food product is then sold cheap because when people are designing junk food their goal is to have people wanting it more and more and the product to be cheap and handy. So, what they have done is they include ingredients in the product that will trigger our brain to think that what we are eating is " oh-so-yummy-good".
    Some of these ingredients are salt, sugar, and fat. Despite the fact that we indeed know that junk food is bad for us, we continue to eat it and but it, maybe without even knowing some the effects it has on us. A few very serious effects it had on us is obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and heart cancer.

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