One might think that given the amount of information available on the negative aspects of junk food or fast food , as well as the obesity rate in countries like the United States and Mexico, people would think twice about consuming frozen or cooked food. fast food chains .

However, these chains have gone ahead and have science on their side: using advanced nutritional engineering they create products that generate addiction in the body through a complex but understandable process.

Products that make fast food addictive

In ” Junk Food Jargon, ” Paul McFedries discusses the language the junk food industry uses to shape products that keep consumers in a state of physiological addiction thanks to the science behind their preparation.

1. Pillar ingredients

The magic behind fast food is due to a delicate balance between three ingredients that, together, create that feeling of “food that makes you feel good”: salt, sugar and fat, as in hamburgers, wings and waffles with fruit.

2. “Bliss Point” (“sweet spot”)

The desire that we develop for the pillar ingredients in particular is enhanced when they are mixed in something called “bliss point”, which could be translated as the optimal mixture of these three ingredients so that they hook us without any of the three predominate.

3. “Mouthfeel” (“sensation in the mouth”)

Food engineers describe the mouthfeel literally as the way food feels inside a person’s mouth; By adjusting variables such as texture, moisture, crunchiness or melting ability, it is possible to produce food that behaves just the way the consumer wants it.

4. Flavor punch

Food engineering is also capable of manipulating the size and shape of salt crystals in fast food , creating a flavor hit that takes taste buds by storm to saturation in an instant.

5. Heat density dispersion

The mother of all the science behind fast food is caloric density dispersion , which is nothing more than the process by which food melts in the mouth so quickly that the brain thinks it is consuming fewer calories than it is. that actually enter the body.

The dispersion of caloric density also allows the brain to believe that it is not satisfied yet, so the person continues to eat even though they do not need as many calories to eat, since their brain is unable to make the person stop eating. This generates in response the danger of eating automatically, that is, continuing to eat without thinking about what you are eating, and even without being hungry: eating because food tells you to keep eating it.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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