How unhealthy food is engineered to get us ‘hooked’

Michael Moss, bestselling author of “Hooked: Food, Free Will, and How the Food Giants Exploit Our Addictions,” discusses how the food industry exploits our instincts around food and addiction.
6:21 | 05/11/21

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Transcript for How unhealthy food is engineered to get us ‘hooked’
Now to something that many people have been doing more of during a pandemic eating. Some people are joked about the Covert fifteen relative to weight gain during this time as some have turned to food is a comfort but. What is it about food that can make it so addictive. Here to help us break it all down his Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist mr. Michael moss is New York Times best seller salt sugar fat. Illuminated the world as to how the food industry use these three ingredients to hook a nation guilty is charge rate here and now does newest folk hooked. Food free will and how the food giants exploit our addictions he explores how the process food industry exploits. Evolutionary instincts and the relationship that we have with food. Michael thank you so much for joining us first I have to tell you I'm not yet recovering. Sugar addict so I'm trying to work on that hopefully you can kind of walk me through here. But look in your book you talk about how addiction falls on the spectrum what is it that some people are only mildly affected by their addiction and others succumb entirely to it. You know I think it's so many things but one of the factors and one of the heart you know the hallmarks of prediction is that. You didn't cigarettes alcohol and narcotics aspect is people differently there are casual smokers. Moderate drinkers casual users even though herald. All its of food affects people differently to at different times in their lives. At different times of the day it right there at 3 PM grieving for cookies that hits as isn't around in the morning for some sorts depends on. Various factors that are affecting us stress. A motion. Memory used lots of things. Must admit I had a little chocolate right before coming down and talk to you brick. Talked about potato chips and why those are particularly problematic by design. Yes so insults without a talked about the kind of the read the trinity ingredient is salt sugar and you know the potato chip being one might fit it hurts right off salt the industry calls the lever burst because it's typically on the outside. Are processed food especially snacks. The first thing against the teams but. Sends that signal right to the reward center of the brain. Which sends a signal back to thank you. What's more back but the government continue to chips or didn't know until. Talking to nutritionist is its arch than. Pretty loaded which sugar. In the form of simple continue to starch. That gets converted and sugar into her audience so you have this kind of trifecta. Of these attitudes but here's what the news research says. Asked troubled. Ask Mindy you know us or sugar as a trigger per creed things. It's actually good combination of sugar and fat that you find in so many process groups. That affects as you've been more. And you also discussed the importance of a goal vs stop rain when it comes or eating habits explain our brain tumbles back and forth which can go in south and why this concept is so important. When it comes to food and free will. Just some scientists looked to deploy to bring it to those two parts the go green is kind of primitive part of the agreement gets us to do things like. Will run from danger and it needs to put fuel under orders to stop part of the print typically kind of thought it was being. In the front or executive function is where will colorized artists. Is what gets us to say hey wait a minute Michael I'm not so sure you are candidates for certain what are really good thing to do it and overdue brand or selling your. These products were talking about which populate a large part of the grocery store. And the good number of restaurants is virtually the prosecutor industry are designed in the way that it. Activates. Excites the coup grain so much depressed operating. He doesn't have a chance to activated. Get going and put the brakes on stock like over unit. And I would argue that sort of in some ways that. You know this notion are slacking wield power on this just not right it's not on us we gain and obesity. This is coming from these products that are designing in that we. That destroys or free will because of the way bigger look at their program. How do you think that the relationship to food has been impacted as a result of the pandemic. Yes so. We thought that pandemic that at least we get it where you from the bending machine at work every arguably the most treacherous parts of the processed food industry red under the stress in the strain of the pandemic. When we begin bonds who is if we hadn't had since we were kids. The companies were deleted by the sales are still going on and what's going on there is this phenomenon. Welcome memory we're trying to argue makes food products of these products kind of even more problematic than cigarettes alcohol and drugs. Because we start forming memories for food. Had an incredibly early age possibly even still in the womb depending on what our mothers' eating and we hold those memories for life. All things associating them with like a joyous moment lastly just in our final minute here what do you think if people actually need to understand about addiction. I think there are lessons to be learned from addiction right so if you're kind of person gets a free him craving for cookies one of the things we learned from looking at the drug war is that. Cream things happen so fast and are so strong and destroy our free will also effectively. That no matter what your strategy here is whether it's to get up and structure called render a critical airport nuts. You pretty much need to be executing that like 255. To get ahead of the 3 PM craving I think other listen here to is that. Can turn the tables on these companies and Reid claimed things beat cook for us. Including convenience the more cooking we can do Purcell the more mindful we will be about prudent doesn't have to be complicated I've got to spaghetti sauce recipe don't denying these 32 routes. Granted the more consumers have more up my family is too heated but still all home cooked foods don't have to be inconvenient. Michael las we thank you so much you can find hoped food free will and how the food giants exploit our addictions wherever books are sold.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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