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, strategy and effort goes into designing junk food.
 
The goal is to make it cheap, convenient and -- despite having little to no nutritional value -- to keep you wanting more.
 
It's typically high in things like salt, sugar and fat, which trigger pleasure centers in our brains, making us feel oh-so-yummy-good and encouraging us to keep eating.
 
See, our brains are relatively big and 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 irresistible.
 
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.

Filed Under:  
Assigned 178 times
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 (105)
  • annabel1226-yyca
    10/14/2015 - 07:31 p.m.

    That is why I always want to eat all the junk food. I shouldn't have fallen in for that. What do I do to make me stop eating it? I can't help it. What should I do? I wish anyone could help me stop eating junk foods. Still, I want to eat junk food. They are delicious. For example, the Hot Cheetos. My mouth s getting watery.

  • alexanderc-6-bar
    10/14/2015 - 08:11 p.m.

    It takes a lot of time to design fast food because the goal is to make it cheap and convenient, but the food is fast and cheap because so many people buy fast food and eat it so quickly, that people can't keep up. Fast food will NEVER DIE!

  • tylers21-mcc
    10/14/2015 - 08:13 p.m.

    It takes a lot of time to develop junk food because you need something that will taste great, but not overfilled with flavor that is cheap to make. It also shouldn't make you full quickly so you will eat large numbers of it.

  • tiffanyf-1-bar
    10/14/2015 - 10:23 p.m.

    It takes a lot of time and money despite the actual food being fast and cheap because, the companies have to come up with a markable and easy title for the customers to enjoy and remember. The companies also have to put just the right amount of sodium, and fat, in the food so the customer can enjoy it. As mentioned in the article these tastes send positive messages to the brain causing us to want more. I was not surprised by this article because many people eat junk food, and it is no surprise that the companies have to put special things in the food to make the customer wanting more. I found this article interesting because I do eat junkfood myself and it is fascinating to find out what the companies put in the junk food to make it taste good.

  • Brandon1231-YYCA
    10/14/2015 - 10:26 p.m.

    I think that it is really bad to have these kids eat junk food because they just want to . If their parents are that lazy, then they are just really bad parents. I think that when they give their child junk food, they should think about all the bad things that are going into their child. I hope that parents out there can be able to learn how to read the labels and learn how to read so that they will be able to make their kids nice and healthy instead of being fat and unhealthy.

  • connors2-mcc
    10/15/2015 - 11:28 a.m.

    Because they want to make it the best they can for us to keep wanting more and buy it frequently.

  • lukeh-orv
    10/15/2015 - 03:20 p.m.

    I have a theory, junk food companies put some type of addictive substance in their food. that is why the brain acts that way you can't just eat one.

  • jahir-orv
    10/15/2015 - 06:35 p.m.

    This explains so much because I love these things called RITZ bits and I just always want more.
    I guess this is because of the trigger of pleasure to some of My brain centers.
    I should probably lay off for a little while or i`ll end up getting obese. Diabetes runs in my family so I`d better watch out.

  • audreyv-4-bar
    10/15/2015 - 07:44 p.m.

    It takes a lot of time to create fast food, because it needs to trick your mind into wanting more. "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."

    I found this article very interesting, because I originally thought that junk food tasted good it was full of sugar. After reading this article, I found out that there's is more than sugar to make a food addicting. It needs to trick your mind into thinking that the food is healthy.

  • nicolea-6-bar
    10/15/2015 - 08:11 p.m.

    It takes a lot of money to design fast food because they make it so that people want to keep eating it. They make it with salts, sugars and fats which triggers pleasure centers on our brains.

Take the Quiz Leave a comment
ADVERTISEMENT