Why is junk food so good?
Hamburgers, pizzas, fries, sodas, sweets … These foods and dishes loaded with fats and additives seduce our taste buds. But why do we love junk food so much? When some people are perfectly successful in meeting their diet commitments – almost never yielding to the appeal of sugar, salt and fat – others, on the contrary, have a hard time resisting some of the iconic food junk food ( especially source of obesity, diabetes or diseases such as NASH when consumed too often).
A more or less voluntary weakness that can perfectly explain.
Junk food, a real drug?
Sweets, cheeseburgers, kebabs, chips … These foods and dishes, properly speaking, salivate.
Once you’ve taste it, it’s hard not to succumb to it again. One of the main causes? A hormone that plays on the brain, as explain by Olivier Coudron, doctor-nutritionist, in 2017 at RTBF.
The fat and sugar will “create motivation of dopamine, an important neurotransmitter that causes pleasure,” explained the professional before continuing: “Once we have tasted this pleasure, we need to return. (…) A bit like the cigarette “.
This is also the theory carried by CNRS / Paris Diderot researchers. The latter assured in 2014 that “triglycerides, nutritional fats, (could) act in our brain, directly on the reward circuit, the very one who is involve in drug addiction”.
From junk food to comfort food
In addition to a need (or a bad habit of feeding, as the case may be), junk food can liken to a type of diet that some people describe as “cuddly toy”.
This is the case for many researchers and psychologists like Alexandra Balikdjian, a specialist in consumer behavior. These products “have an emotional meaning (…) Our mother took us to eat fast food on Wednesday afternoon. Probably at a time when we feel a little less well, where we want to to be comforting, this fast-food, it will not just eat a hamburger, it will be a product ‘cuddly’ “, she developed with the RTBF in 2017.
Indeed, in times of stress, depress Passing, eat fat and sweets can be an outlet. Hence the English term of “comfort food” is a kitchen that positive on morale.
The temptation of appearance and taste
Beyond the pleasure of taste buds and the psychological positivism it provides, junk food makes you want to even taste. This is the work of industrialists who, in addition to working to find the right middle, the “point of happiness”. According to Michael Moss (author of the book “Sugar, salt and fat: How manufacturers make us addict “(2014)), in terms of taste, try by all means to attract the eye of the consumer.
“We are going to work on the marketing aspects, how we are going to position the product, how we are going to present it, we will also bring sensory marketing touches, we will work on the color, the physical relationship with the product,” Alexandra adds.
On the taste side, for scientist Steven Witherly, author of a report titled. “Why humans love junk food,” manufacturers rely on factors such as “dynamic contrasts”. The same product offers different feelings in the mouth. They also play on the “salivary response” which can awaken and excite the taste buds. This is enough to make consumers happy, even though consumers are aware of their long-term negative health effects.