Why do we love junk food?
October 14, 2015
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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.
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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