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Science of Addictive Junk Food

Junk food intake is a significant risk factor in the United States, and it is directly related to the increase in cases of dietary health problems such as obesity and diabetes among the population. Junk foods are any foods that are high in calories but low in nutrients, making them unfit for healthy living. Unlike traditionally manufactured foods, junk food processing requires a number of steps that may alter the nutritional content of the product, impacting human health. Importantly, many food companies are concerned about the profitability of their business as opposed to enhancing the nutritional components of their products that maintain proper body health through balanced diets.

In the article “The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food,” the author ‘Michael Moss’ addresses the problem of junk food, its causes and effects, and some of the countermeasures that junk companies may undertake to reduce the problem in the United States. Understandably, Moss text addresses executives from junk food companies with the aim of notifying them of their possible contribution to the current health crisis in America, while attempting to provide some insights on the need to not only focus on profit maximization but also produce high-nutrients foods. Moss’s article is thus effective in the sense that the author looks into the main health concerns that include the problem of obesity, its cause, and possible remedies to reduce the health problem in the society.

Firstly, obesity and diet-related health problems in the society are directly attributed to the consumption of junk foods. Ideally, the production of such foods involves a series of processes, which may induce considerable alteration to their nutritional components while increasing the volume of calories. Notably, weight gain in the United States is a major concern given that approximately fifty percent of all adults are obese, while the population of obese children is on the rise, (Moss). Therefore, this condition places more people at a higher risk of becoming victims of such illnesses like diabetes, certain types of cancers, and hypertension among the consumers.

As Moss says, “He deeply admired Pillsbury but in recent years had grown troubled by pictures of obese children who have diabetes and the earliest signs of hypertension and heart disease” (Moss). Moss is implying that the consumption of junk and other processed foods for a long period has been a major cause of obesity that has, in turn, led to the occurrence of many health problems that affect both the adults and the children. As well, Pillsbury is a junk food processor, and therefore, his assertion reveals that food companies have been directly responsible for the health problems that arise as result of consuming these foods. Thus, the text is effective in informing the executives about the current weight gain situation and its direct health effects that have recently affected the American people, and which might cause more problems in the future if the trend of consumption goes on unchanged or uncontrolled.

Indisputably, weight gain is primarily caused by the junk food companies that focus on maximizing their profitability as opposed to providing a nutritional balance that guarantees good health for the consumers (Berger). Whenever food is processed, it is highly likely that it will lose some nutrient components, and also, the processor might add more chemicals so as to refine the brands that will, in turn, attract many consumers. Throughout the text, Moss asserts that the junk food companies are to blame for their role in influencing the overeating habits among the American people. He notes that packaged foods and drinks are more likely to cause overconsumption, especially among the children. As well, most of the food industries have invested in scientific research with the aim of developing different formulations, and as a result, they have led to the increase in the use of salt, sugar, and fat in their food products. This increase has an aim of attracting more demand since many people are more concerned about the tastes and brands as opposed to the nutrient composition of the products they consume (Berger).

Besides, different food companies invest huge capital in marketing and advertising their products with the aim of increasing their sales. For instance, using the example of Coca-Cola Moss says, “In an effort to control as much market share as possible, Coke extended its aggressive marketing to especially poor or vulnerable areas…where people were drinking twice as much” (Moss). Given that most of Coke’s beverages have a high sugar and salt composition, the company carries out advertising and marketing to attract many people to consume its products, which are the main causes of many diet-related health problems in the society. Therefore, this text is effective in the sense that it reveals the food industry as the primary cause of the weight gain and other health problems in the American society.

Additionally, this article attempts to persuade the executives into embracing policy changes so as to produce foods and beverages that are less risky with the endeavor to reduce America’s current problem of weight gain. In Moss’s text, one of the speakers says, “We are saying that the industry should make a sincere effort to be part of the solution” (Moss). Indisputably, the speaker tries to convince his audience of company executives that they can collectively choose to improve the society’s dietary issues by ensuring that their products are healthy for human consumption in the sense that the salt, sugar and fat contents are controlled. As well, with his return to Atlanta, Dunn wanted to introduce changes that would ensure that Coke took part in healthful feeding styles by reducing advertising and marketing activities (Moss). In addition to reducing sugars, salts and fats levels in the foods, junk food companies can also control their advertising and marketing activities as a method of reducing consumption and in turn reduce excessive weight gain and general poor health among the consumers.

In conclusion, junk foods have high volumes of calories as opposed to the nutrient components that are necessary for maintaining good health, and this explains the main reason for the current excessive weight gain conditions among most Americans. As well, overweight people are more susceptible to illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension and certain types of cancers. Besides, the junk food companies are the primary cause for most of these problems in the sense that they package their foods and drinks in a way that promotes overconsumption.

Additionally, these companies rarely control salts, sugars, and fats, and as well, they employ rigorous marketing and advertising techniques that ensure a large grip in the market. However, the eating problem can be controlled if the food companies could take part in the solution process. Therefore, this article is effective in the sense that it looks into obesity as a major health concern in the United States, enlightens the junk companies of their role in developing the problem. Also, the article appeals to the junk companies to take part in the solution process that can help in reducing the overall problem among the people.

Works Cited

Berger, Brooke. "Wait, We're Eating What?". US News 2013: n.p. Web. 24 May 2017.

Moss, Michael. "The Extraordinary Science Of Addictive Junk Food". The New York Times Magazine 2013: n.p. Web. 24 May 2017.

August 09, 2021

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