As Moss explains, the exact formulations of addictive junk foods and drinks are not accidental but calculated and perfected by scientists "who know very well what they are doing". Their job is to establish the necessary "bliss point", the precise amount of sugar, fat or salt guaranteed to "send consumers over the moon".
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Sugar, with its "high-speed, blunt assault on our brains", is the "methamphetamine of processed food ingredients", he believes, while fat is the opiate, "a smooth operator whose effects are less obvious, but no less powerful". Without salt, he observes, "processed food companies cease to exist". There's nothing earth-shatteringly new in Moss's assertion that sugar, salt and fat are the unholy trinity of bad food.
Food campaigners on both sides of the Atlantic have been saying as much for decades. But the nutrition debate is evolving, and this book is behind the curve. In both the US and UK, the characterisation of saturated fat as a dietary antichrist is being challenged, not by the junk food industry, which makes a mint from spewing out supposedly healthy low-fat products, but by nutritionists and scientists.
For instance, a recent review of scientific studies on fat, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition , concluded that "there is no convincing evidence that saturated fat causes heart disease". The problem here is that Moss doesn't even reference this discussion, merely damning fat in a generic way. So it sounds as if he believes that natural foods that contain it, such as cheese, cream and red meat, are devils incarnate.
Indeed, this failure to draw a distinction between processed junk and natural food is the flaw that runs through this book and weakens its otherwise worthwhile attack. On sugar, however, Moss is on strong ground. Only sugar processors have the brass neck to present it as anything other than an ingredient we would do well to eat as little of as possible, so shining a light on it is most welcome.
In recent years, the presence of wanton quantities of sugar in popular processed foods, such as breakfast cereals, has largely been overshadowed, even hidden, by the public health establishment's obsession with fat. Currently, sugar is the dietary baddie that we can all agree to hate. But in the case of salt, which Moss appears to condemn as an unalloyed dietary disaster, he shoots himself in the foot by pointing out that more than three-quarters of the salt Americans eat comes from processed food.
Where is the evidence to show that this ingredient, which we have had in our diets for millennia, is a problem when consumed in small quantities in homemade food? Ultimately, the reader is left wondering whether Moss actually enjoys eating, or whether, after years of listening to food industry personnel, he has simply come to view it as a minefield of threatening, and less threatening, substances.
The book relies heavily and at times tediously on interviews with, and little pen portraits of, industry insiders, many of whom go out of their way to avoid their own company's products. He uses these people and their anecdotes to tell the story, but this slows the book down, and gets in the way of analysis. It is no wonder that twenty-six million Americans have diabetes.
The processed food industry in the U. In this book the author explores his theory that the food industry has used these three essential ingredients to control much of the world's diet. He traces the rise of the processed food industry and how addictive salt, sugar, and fat have enabled its dominance in the past half century, revealing deliberate corporate practices behind current trends in obesity, diabetes, and other health challenges.
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Salt Sugar Fat
Diet -- adverse effects. Dietary Fats -- adverse effects. Dietary Sucrose -- adverse effects. Feeding Behavior.
Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us - Youth Today
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Table of Contents. Prologue : "The company jewels". Sugar : "Exploiting the biology of the child" ; "How do you get people to crave? Fat : "That gooey, sticky mouthfeel" ; "Liquid gold" ; "Lunchtime is all yours" ; "The message the government conveys" ; "No sugar, no fat, no sales".
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Salt : "People love salt" ; "The same great salty taste your customers crave" ; "I feel so sorry for the public". Fat : "That gooey, sticky mouthfeel" ; "Liquid gold" ; "Lunchtime is all yours" ; "The message the government conveys" ; "No sugar, no fat, no sales" Salt : "People love salt" ; "The same great salty taste your customers crave" ; "I feel so sorry for the public"