Many of us lose the battle and find ourselves yet again at the same drive through that we have vowed to stop coming to. We all know fast food is not good for us – but did you know that the reason you are so hooked on your favorite fast food place is no coincidence?
Fast food business use tactics specifically proven to get their consumer dependent on their product. Joshua Gowin, Ph.D., who currently works at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism as a postdoctoral fellow illuminates 7 different reasons we cannot shake the craving of fast food.
- Sugar is addictive: Dr. Gowin explains “Just as you can develop a physiological and psychological dependence on cocaine, you can become dependent on sugar”.
- The push of convenience: there is a fast food restaurant nearly on every corner – if you lose your control for even a split second you may fall prey to the next fast food place coming up.
- The Value Meal taps the brain’s economy: If it’s cheap, it’s easier for you to justify getting it.
- Our brains prefer high-calorie foods: Dr. Gowin states that “Our brains can tell the difference between high [caloric] foods and diet foods even if they taste the same”.
- Speed has addictive properties: If you feel hungry you want to satisfy that craving as fast as you can – and what better way to quickly fill your belly then a drive thru?
- Brains like branding: When we like something or it was pleasant our brain makes us seek it out again, you can basically anticipate the pleasure you will get from fast food and it gives all the more push to go.
- McNuggets stoke your memory: ”Eating a McNugget not only sates your appetite for chicken (and the glue that holds the McNugget together), it also reminds you of your childhood, the cool Transformers toy you got in your Happy Meal, and the first time you were big enough to order the 10-piece instead of the 4-piece” explained Gowin
Self-control can be pretty hard if you take all the 7 reasons in account for our poor decision to get fast food. However, education is power – now that you know all the tricks being used against you, you are more aware and hopefully this awareness will help you steer away from fast food more often in the future.
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