I listened to the audiobook version of Salt Sugar Fat: How the Foot Giants Hooked Us recently, and it’s quite a depressing listen. The author very nicely describes how the processed food industry managed to hook most of the US population on a diet of unhealthy, albeit delicious, foods.
Ultimately, it seems to reside in biology: humans are really bad at living in the modern world. I learned that while there’s a “bliss point” where additional sugar causes actual less enjoyment, no such point exists for fat. That’s a terrifying thought, and one that I have encountered in my own home cooking. The existence of a theoretical maxima for sugar is not a place to anchor one’s hope either; sugar is far less filling and can be incredibly addictive to the point where symptoms of withdrawal can arise.
Another culprit it seems is just greed. The goal to capture more market share results in the manufacturers inventing new ways of capturing the American eye, nose and mouth. The easiest way to do that is the infusion of salt, sugar and fat onto the preservative-laden food, without any regard for the well-being of the consumer. The author constantly makes comparisons with the beleaguered tobacco industry, and it does give the reader glimmers of hope that maybe legal action can help alleviate some of the obesity crisis.
All-in-all, the book was a bit repetitive in some of its material, but still quite interesting.