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The No.1 New York Times Bestseller
In China, for the first time, the people who weigh too much now outnumber those who weigh too little. In Mexico, the obesity rate has tripled in the past three decades. In the UK over 60 per cent of adults and 30 per cent of children are overweight, while the United States remains the most obese country in the world.
We are hooked on salt, sugar and fat. These three simple ingredients are used by the major food companies to achieve the greatest allure for the lowest possible cost. Here, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Michael Moss exposes the practices of some of the most recognisable (and profitable) companies and brands of the last half century. He takes us inside the labs where food scientists use cutting-edge technology to calculate the ‘bliss point’ of sugary drinks. He unearths marketing campaigns designed – in a technique adapted from the tobacco industry – to redirect concerns about the health risks of their products, and reveals how the makers of processed foods have chosen, time and again, to increase consumption and profits, while gambling with our health.
Are you ready for the truth about what’s in your shopping basket?
American cuisine is just a delivery system for an addictive trinity of unhealthy ingredients, according to this eye-popping expos of the processed food industry. Pulitzer-winning New York Times reporter Moss (Palace Coup) explains the two-faced science of salt, sugar, and fat, which impart tantalizing tastes and luscious mouthfeel that light up the same neural circuits that narcotics do Coca-Cola, he notes, calls favorite customers heavy users while causing epidemic obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. But he also crafts an absorbing insiders view of the food industry, where these ingredients are the main weapons in a brutally competitive war for stomach-share. He takes readers into the laboratories, marketing tests, and boardrooms where the sweet, salty, cheesy bliss point of cereals, snacks, sodas, and frozen dinners is obsessively pursued; the scientists and executives he talks to feel torn between health concerns almost to a person, he observes, they avoid eating the food they sell and the market-driven imperative to stoke consumer cravings. Moss s vivid reportage remains alive to the pleasures of junk the heated fat swims over the tongue to send signals of joy to the brain while shrewdly analyzing the manipulative profiteering behind them. The result is a mouth-watering, gut-wrenching look at the food we hate to love.