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We're Hardwired For Sugar—And The Food Giants Know It: Michael Moss
Health | June 24, 2013

We're Hardwired For Sugar—And The Food Giants Know It: Michael Moss

Michael Moss says that "we're hardwired for sugar in every one of our 10,000 taste buds." When we consume the sweet ingredient, a signal is sent to the pleasure center of the brain. Even as children, our taste receptors are engineered to crave sugar, says the author of Salt Sugar Fat. The food companies are well aware of the effect sugar has on us. As Moss tells Lavin in an interview, engineers concoct dozens of variations of the same product. They experiement with different levels of sugar and compare the results in taste tests. They do this to determine what is known as a "bliss point:" the exact amount of sugar that will send us over the moon without being too sweet to consume.

It's not just ice cream and cookies that have been engineered with a bliss point in mind, either. As the health speaker explains, products like bread, yogurt, and pasta sauce can also be loaded with sugar. What this does, he explains, is train us to expect a sweet taste from almost all the foods we eat. This process guarantees that the products are going to be a hit with consumers. Food companies know how to manipulate our taste buds—and we've become addicted to their products in the process. Moss stresses that the intent of this food engineering is to make companies money, not to make people sick. However, rising profits have been coupled with a rapidly rising health care bill. Moss believes that empowering people to make healthier choices is the best way to fight back. In his bestselling book and eye-opening keynotes, he educates audiences on the foods they eat. And, he shows them how to make smarter food choices that will ensure a healthier future.
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