Healthy Lifestyle · Nutrition Information · Obesity

Why Is Junk Food So Addictive?

Why is Junk Food so AddictiveIt has been proven time and again that junk foods are not healthy. This is a fact and people are basically aware of it but unfortunately, more and more people are still eating and addicted to junk foods. Tens of millions of people eat junk foods daily despite knowing the health dangers they offer. But why is junk food so addictive? Basically, junk foods contain empty calories and there are too much substances and chemicals in junk foods that are harmful to the body. Here are some of the reasons.

The details of all junk foods are well planned from the very start. Junk food manufacturers spend huge amount of money in planning all the details of every junk food they produce. Even the shapes of any chip that you find in the market are pre-planned. Frito-Lay for example, has an expensive tool that can imitate the act of chewing just to make sure that the chips will crunch perfectly in your mouth. As it turned out, it would take about 4 pounds of pressure per square inch to make a perfect crunch.

We were lured at a very young age.  If you notice, most of the processed foods like sugary cereals and cheesy chips use cartoons in their packages. Food marketers are actually targeting the kids because they know that they are indirectly marketing to the parents when they appeal to children. The sad truth is that these children don’t realize that at a very young age, they are decoying their taste buds to high-fat foods which can lead to a lifetime of addiction to pleasurable but unhealthy foods.

The strategy is to make life easy. In today’s modern world, most parents are too busy with just about anything, which makes it hard for them to prep meals for their kids. This also applies to individuals who have busy schedules whether at work or in school. Junk food manufacturers are aware of this so they prey on them, coming up with foods that are easy to prepare and are ready to eat. Sadly, most of these foods are not healthy.

Junk foods are so flavored that the brain gets programmed into craving the foods. Food companies make it a point that the products they produce are just rightfully flavored to keep them addictive. They don’t want to create flavors that will lead to taste bud fatigue that may result to sensory overload in the brain. The consumers’ brains are programmed in such a way that they crave for the food and eat them over and over.

Food companies hire and work with food engineers to develop food characteristics such as texture and flavors. Volunteers are also hired for the tasting, smelling and feeling of the products. The collected data are then reviewed so that they can get the most preferred flavors to the consumers. They gather the best combination of ingredients that can create flavors that will send pleasure signals to the brain and eventually make the products addictive.

If you notice most junk foods have strong flavors. The purpose is to extremely stimulate the taste buds of the consumers. Once you get accustomed to this taste, other foods with lesser flavor will no longer be appealing. Unsuspectingly you become addicted to the junk food.

Several points were raised as to why hunk food is so addictive. But this one final reason is definitely the main player – junk foods are loaded with additives. These additives are the reason junk foods are extremely flavorful luring the consumers to eat and crave for them again and again. Food manufacturers see to it that they come up with different flavors every now and then to avoid flavor overload because this will diminish the sensations of pleasure. Food companies continuously create complex flavors and sensory profiles.