Argument on fast food
Many American’s are complaining about the weight they are gaining due to the fast food industry. They put their blame towards the industry for their current health issues, when they were the ones to make that choice to eat there. Everyone has their own choice on what they eat, but what if your brain is actually making you make that choice for you? They say that you need to take personal responsibility for the food you chose to eat. David Zinczenko states in “Don’t Blame the Eater” that “Shouldn’t we know better than to eat two meals a day in fast-food restaurants?”(392).
The parents drive their children there knowing eating many meals there can cause obesity. They argue that there aren’t many other alternatives. They have the transportation to drive to a grocery store and get healthier options instead of going to the fast-food restaurant. They know what they are doing but why don’t they do anything about it? The people have choices on where they eat but yet, they still keep coming to places like McDonalds. These kinds of questions make Americans wonder what their bodies really want.
They feel that the right thing to do is make healthier choices like eat salads and fruits, but your brain is actually making you crave the ingredients in the foods at the fast food industry. I say that the fast food industry makes their food addictive making you want to come back for more. In the article“7 things McDonald’s knows about your brain” your brain craves foods high in sugars, salts and fats. When your body eats foods with those ingredients, your brain releases dopamine2 which is the same pleasure chemical in drug use. This is the start of food addiction. The same thing happens when you upsize the meal when you order.
Your brain makes you feel good that you are getting more for your dollar but you are actually making the industry draw you in more. The brain likes branding and making predictions based on how you experience certain situations. Your reward system will kick on when it knows something good is about to happen such as receiving your meal. This will trigger the dopamine to be released as if saying thank you and causing you to want to keep coming back. Your brain can tell the difference between foods that are healthy and foods high in calories because of the salts, sugars, and fats your brain craves.
James Clear’s article “What happens to your brain when you eat junk food (and why we crave it)” states the scientific reasons on how the brain craves the food. Clear begins by discussing the two factors on why we crave junk food. The first factor is how are are senses feel about the food. This makes an image in the brain on how we will think about the food next time we eat it again. The second factor is the blending of ingredients of proteins , fats, carbohydrates, salts, and sugars. The more of these blended together, the bigger craving your brain will have.
Clear later on discussed the 5 scientific factors behind the cravings. The first one stated was dynamic contrast. Dynamic contrast is when you eat a food, how your senses combine while eating. This can cause you to like the food or make you never want to eat it again. The second factor was salivary response. With salivary response, the more salivation you have while chewing up the food, the more ability the food has covering your taste buds. This is why most fast food industries make their food where it causes you to take longer to chew.
The next scientific factor is rapid food meltdown, also known as vanishing calorie density. This factor tricks the brain to think that you’re eating less than what you actually did. Your body will then never have that full feeling which will then make you overeat and you won’t realize it. Another factor discussed was sensory specific response meaning your brain likes different tastes. The food you eat has to have different amount of tastes in it or your brain will stop releasing dopamine 2. This is why we can eat whole packages of food in one sitting.
The last scientific factor Clear stated were memories on past experiences saying that your brain creates memories with food. If you have a good memory from a time you were eating that food then your body will make you crave to eat that same food again. The food industry understands the science behind their food and this is why they are always on the move to create their next big thing. The book “Salt Sugar Fat” by Michael Moss talks about the realizations of the industry. He proves his point that “It’s not like there’s a smoking gun. The gun is right there. It is not hidden.
” This meaning everyone already knows the dangers of the industry but yet act like they were blind sighted from the start. Moss stated how the industry markets toward “heavy users” meaning repeating customers who can’t get enough. The industry will use their money towards marketing these users instead of neew ones because they have found this to be more effective. An interesting fact from the book would be how the fast food industry has an 80% rule. This means that they food that they are advertising has to be eighty percent familiar to the customer or the customer could question what they were buying.
Moss tells his readers that we have 10,000 taste buds and we can taste the sugar all the way down to our pancreas. Moss quotes in the book that he met a name man Jean Mayor who provided interesting information” His name was Jean Mayer, a Harvard professor of nutrition… was hugely influential in matters of diet, starting with poverty and hunger… which led to the introduction of food stamps and expanded school lunch programs… endeared him to the food industry… But what made Mayer an industry threat was his pioneering research on obesity, which he called a “disease of civilization.
” He is credited with discovering how the desire to eat is controlled by the amount of glucose in the blood and by the brain’s hypothalamus, both of which in turn are greatly influenced by sugar. ” (p. 74). This shows how addictive sugar can really be. The next section in the book was fat. “As I spoke with scientists about the way fat behaves, I couldn’t resist drawing an analogy to the realm of narcotics. If sugar is the methamphetamine of processed food ingredients, with its high-speed, blunt assault on our brains, then fat is the opiate, a smooth operator whose effects are less obvious but no less powerful. “(p. 148).
Fat is a powerful factor on the strong rise of food addiction. In a key—but commonly overlooked—aspect of obesity, weight gain can be caused by the slightest increases in consumption, if it continues day in and day out… When they couldn’t see the fat in their foods, they ate nearly 10 percent more or about 100 extra calories. ” (p. 181). This falls back to the scientific factors on why we crave food, we will continue to eat til we accomplish our reward system. The final section in the book was salt. Moss views the use of salt to improve food acceptability as another instance of unscrupulous practices by the food industry.
Moss quotes “Salt was not the only culprit that was identified as contributing to high blood pressure (obesity, smoking, and diabetes were all found to be connected to the condition as well). Nevertheless, salt did receive its fair share of attention—especially when doctors found that ‘Americans were eating so much salt they were getting ten times—even twenty times—the amount of sodium the body needed. ’ ” This book shows you the realistic view on what sugar,salt and fat really due to the body. What can we do about the problem from here? Both sides of this issue agree that there is a health problem.
You can simply stay away from the industry. The brain will crave the food less the more you stay away from them. The individual needs to break their own cycle and teach their mind when enough is enough. If the individual feels that they can’t beat this problem on their own, many rehab facilities treat food addiction. The person will have many psychiatrists and nutritionists helping them during treatment. The person will begin to understand how their brain was making them crave the foods and how they will begin to step away from the industry.
You will have full support along the way and with time, you will be able to stay away from the taunting of the fast food industry. In conclusion, many argue that it is time to be responsible for the choices you make when it comes to the food you eat. Others, as well as myself, argue that the industry is indeed at fault. Your brain craves the many ingrediants the industry puts in their food. Psychological your body makes you go to the fast food restraunt. Now it is your turn to know when it is time to put down the burger and stand up to the industry to let them know you’ve had enough of the mind control.