Foods giants have your number - Tue, Apr 9, 2013
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Foods giants have your number
If you want to know why one in five kids, one in three adults, is considered clinically obese, while 24 million Americans are afflicted by type 2 diabetes, and and additional 79 million have pre-diabetes, it’s partly because the food manufacturers have your number. They’re succeeded in getting you hooked on foods that are readily accessible and inexpensive. So argues Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Moss in a new book called Salt, Sugar, Fat. Moss calls those key ingredients the “pillars of processed foods,” and tells that the “most perfect version” of a food in many palates is of often a combination of the three.
It’s not that the food giants are nefarious. It’s that they’re gotten to adroit in what they do. The food thy’re making is hard to resist, at a time when too many are increasingly sedentary. Consider that, in 2012, Taco Bell sold 375 million Doritos Locos Taco Nacho. Not only does this processed food taste good; it has a long shelf life and is inexpensively produced, creating $1 trillion per year in grocery sales in the United Sates.
Moss told me a fascinating story about Frito-Lay. Its marketers had initially assumed that, as baby boomers aged, their snack consumption would be decline. Instead, they figured out in the 1980s that we started eating fewer meals and began snacking more. They know us better than we know ourselves. And it’s making an already difficult task harder.