Addictive Additives in Food

Maryee Health Guide
  • We have a tremendous obesity problem in our country today, with one in every three adults being either overweight or obese. It seems odd to me that no other generation in our lifetime faced this in such incredible numbers. There has to be something to this that has come about in recent decades. It makes me think that with the introduction of processed foods into our diet, something must have triggered our bodies to maintain more fat than we did before.


    In earlier generations, people ate a lot “healthier;” although, they may not have realized they were doing so at the time. Most meals contained a significant amount of fresh vegetables. Even if they were potatoes, they were still fresh as opposed to much of the frozen, processed foods we eat today. It leads me to believe that the additives being put into our food – to allow the food to have a longer shelf life, have some kind of addictive ingredient that keeps us coming back for more and, therefore, end up overeating.

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    As crazy as it may seem, I truly believe there is something to that. Why else would there be so many people who are just unable to control the amount of food they eat to the point of not only being overweight, but being obese and even morbidly obese? We have never seen anything like this in sheer numbers before in our lifetime. What is happening now that didn’t occur then?  Some of it has to do with the shift to a more sedentary lifestyle (driving cars instead of walking, using machines to do chores, desk jobs, etc), but it can’t be all that because those inventions also freed us up to have more time to join teams, yoga classes and gyms, or just go for a jog around the neighborhood.


    So I look at the food we eat: could it be that they contain addictive additives?


    I don’t think it’s such a far-fetched idea. After all, the tobacco companies used that approach years ago unbeknownst to the general public to keep people smoking. The one little component they added called nicotine not only tuned on the “feeling good” switch in the brain, but was actually the addicting factor that kept people coming back for more, regardless of whether or not they actually wanted to. The same could be true about today’s processed foods.


    Think about it: Clearly there are the chips like Doritos, Fritos, Cheetos and even potato chips. When was the last time you just ate one, two or even three? Instead you either find yourself eating them all until the bag is empty or until you feel sick to your stomach after eating more than you wanted. Do you remember the slogan of Lays potato chips --- you can't eat just one! Did they know something when they wrote that? Did they know they contained an addictive ingredient that would keep people coming back for more and more and more? I wouldn’t put it past them – if it helps sell more products it drives up profits.


    So if they can do that to foods like chips and cookies, why can’t they do it to any food that is processed like french fries, frozen sandwiches, pizza, etc. And then let’s take it to the next level – fast food. Is it in the hamburgers and fries we order? Is that why we keep ordering the humongous, gigantic supersize items that we surely don’t need, but we finish to the last bite? Could we be addicted to getting fat?

Published On: July 28, 2014