The Psychology of Processed Food

The Psychology of Processed Food
Food companies spend millions of dollars every year researching exactly how to get consumers to eat more junk food.

We’ve all been there before: you’re sitting on the sofa watching a movie, when suddenly you’ve just noticed there are no more chips in the bag. “Did I just eat the WHOLE bag?!” is your first thought, and you’re kind of horrified. Actually, it’s not entirely your fault. That bag of processed potatoes is specially formulated to get you to eat more. Food companies spend millions of dollars every year researching exactly how to get consumers to eat more junk food. So, the next time you think you need some chips or a bottle of cola, remember that what your brain wants and what your body needs are two very different things.

Ingredients Aimed to Please

Processed food manufacturers justify their actions by claiming that they’re just giving consumers the great-tasting food that they want. Everyone wants the food they eat to be satisfying, but much like looks, this satisfaction can be deceiving. All the company has to do is include an excess of either salt or sugar (or both!) and consumers will grab it all up because that is what their brains crave. In reality, anything that’s actually going to satisfy your body has been processed out into oblivion. Salt and sugar can be just as addictive as caffeine and nicotine.

“Bliss Point”

There is a whole branch of science that is devoted to engineering flavors in foods in just the right way to find what is referred to as the “bliss point”. This means that the foods are literally being processed into what is basically drugs, and then fed to consumers. Things like flavor, color, texture, and smell are all factored into creating a recipe for addiction- to the processed foods, that is.

Texture

The other major factor processed food manufacturers consider is the texture, or “mouth feel”, of the foods and beverages. They have figured out that the better something feels in your mouth, they more likely you are to consumer more of it. For example, the tingly bubbles in soda or that snack food that melts in your mouth. Those things have all been thoroughly researched and processed to make you think that they’re the greatest. The melting things are especially disingenuous. They fool you with what is referred to as the “evaporating calorie effect”. When the food melts in your mouth, it tricks your brain into thinking it doesn’t contain calories.

Weight Loss with Pria Wellness Center

For a weight loss solution with real, long-lasting results, contact Pria Wellness Center. We will comprehensively assess your current physical condition and make recommendations based on your body’s unique needs. Dr. Fernandez is board certified in obesity medicine and weight management, so you can trust that you are being taken care of by a qualified specialist. And we take a holistic approach to weight loss, working with dieticians, psychologists, personal trainers, and physicians to ensure that all of your needs are met and you keep the weight off for good. What do you have to lose except extra weight? Schedule a consultation online by clicking here, or contact the office at (410) 565-6552.

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