Are You Hooked On Food? | Interview with Michael Moss

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From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Salt Sugar Fat, a powerful exposé exploring the science of food addiction and how the processed food industry exploits our evolutionary instincts and legal loopholes in the name of profit over public health comes HOOKED –
Food, Free Will, and How the Food Giants Exploit Our Addictions by Michael Moss.

Because what we eat has never mattered more.

In 2013, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative report Michael Moss
shocked the world with his #1 New York Times bestseller Salt Sugar Fat,
which has sold over 260,000 copies, by illuminating how the giants in the
food industry deployed those three essential ingredients to addict a
nation. Now, Moss explores the latest research on addiction in
HOOKED: Food, Free Will, and How the Food Giants Exploit Our
Addictions (Random House; On Sale: March 2, 2021) to uncover what
the scientific and medical communities—as well as food manufacturers—
already know: food can, in some cases, be even more addictive than
alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs.

Everyone knows how hard it can be to maintain a healthy diet. After all, many of the decisions we make about what to eat are beyond our control, especially given how our bodies and brains have
evolved over millennia. Our bodies are hard-wired for sweets, so food manufacturers have deployed fifty-six types of sugar to add to their products, creating in us the expectation that everything should be cloying. We’ve evolved to prefer convenient meals, so three-fourths of the calories we get from groceries come from ready-to-eat foods.

Moss goes on to show how the processed food industry—including major companies like Kraft Heinz, Nestlé, and PepsiCo—has not only tried to evade this troubling discovery about the addictiveness of food, but to exploit it. For instance, in a response to recent dieting trends, food manufacturers have simply turned junk food into junk diets, filling grocery stores with “diet” foods that are hardly distinguishable from the products that got us into trouble in the first place. Obesity and diabetes rates continue to rise despite the fact that we are told repeatedly that fast food is bad for us. So why hasn’t that knowledge about nutrition resulted in a healthier population? With more people unable to make dieting work for them, manufacturers are now claiming to add ingredients that can effortlessly cure our compulsive eating habits. Where Salt Sugar Fat exposed the marketing trickery that food corporations use to ensnare us, HOOKED reveals the physiology and brain chemistry that leads us to become addicted to processed foods.

A gripping account of the legal battles and cutting-edge food science that have brought us to our current public health crisis, HOOKED lays out all the ways that the food industry exploits and deepens our troubling eating habits. But like a true David-and-Goliath story, Moss also shows us what we can do to retrain our brains to change what we value in food and seize control of our health.

Michael Moss is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter formerly with The New York Times, a keynote speaker, and an occasional guest on shows like CBS This Morning, Dr. Oz, CNN’s The Lead, All Things Considered, and The Daily Show.