Why do People Continue to Eat Processed, Manufactured, Sugary, and Fatty Foods? (by Kahlene King)

Research Question

processedfoodEven though people know how horrible processed, manufactured, sugary and fatty foods can be for their health, and lives; Why do they still continue to consume or purchase it? Is it an addiction?

This is a crucial question every living person should ask thenselves. Majority of people I have talked to about the subject could not care less what is in their food. As long as it tastes good and doesn’t kill them they are happy. This is a dangerous state of living and then people wonder why so many are dropping dead from unknown causes and why obesity is such a huge epidemic in America.

It is up to the consumer to question the health advantages and disadvantages in the ingredients of their food. One should never expect the truth from the manufacturing food companies.



Academic Sources:

This first source I used is an authoritative source, I believe because of where I found it, Gale Power Search Engine. This is also a scientific project/research and it is proved not only by the first professor at Princeton but also reassured by two other researchers. According to the study that was done with lab rats, sugar can be addictive. Princeton Professor Bartley Hoebel researched this for years and his research was proved correct in this source by Kenny and Johnson. For forty days the rats were divided into three groups; the first was fed only a diet of regular lab “rat chow,” the second was fed basic diet along with restricted access, “1 hour a day of cafeteria-style food,” and the third was fed basic diet, but had access to “cafeteria-style diet of energy-dense (high fat and/or high carbohydrate) foods” for more than 19 hours a day. All three groups weighed the same upon starting the trial; there were no significant or irregular weight changes in the first two groups after the 40 days. However, the third group gained nearly two times as much weight. Not only did their weight change, but their everyday functions were altered as well. They called it the “brain- stimulation-reward.” (BSR) Basically they stated that the addiction to this cafeteria-style food was just as addictive, if not more than, actual drug abuse. This article illuminates aspects of my research journey based on the research question, because even though the rats did not and could not realize why they were drawn to this food; they were in fact drawn to it with a mighty force. Humans have the knowledge and the choice to see the harmful effects and they still choose to keep consuming it. Just like the rats, when weaning off “the cafeteria-style food” it does take days, if not weeks to break free completely from the urges; I know this from experience. I search for answers of why processed foods are so addictive, not just for others but for myself. I used to find myself indulging in my addiction on a habitual level; constantly struggling to ween myself from its deadly grip.

Work Cited

Epstein, David H., and Yavin Shaham.””Cheesecake-eating Rats and the Question of Food

Addiction.”Nature Neuroscience. Academic Onefile, n.d. Web. 25 May 2014.



The next source here that I collected is also an authoritative source. It is a document found on Ebsco research data bass. This article discussed the same experiment with the lab rat results from the previous source I chose. To summarize, sugary foods are truly an addiction like drugs and alcohol. The definition of addiction was given along with the “legal implications” of addictive additives in food. This comes heavily into play with my research. I made a speech and presented it to peers in my community; the definition of food and edible; how Americans today abuse their diets and do not think of the consequences. Along with that, I gave plenty of alternative organic, non-processed foods, and the lies that big brand name companies feed to the public to keep them coming back for more. And I quote, “food sustains life and reflects culture values, while sugar is ubiquitous in the American food supply and is in many respects a cultural icon.” (Gearhardt)

The key piece in this writing, that triggered my choosing this articles was, “addictive substances rarely occurs in nature; they are typically crested through processing.”(Gearhardt) Since most of my research this term has been about food processing and the companies behind them; I felt like this sentence right here was there most important. Fresh foods, in their natural state, are not addictive; it is only once processes are done and ingredients such as salt, fat and sugar are added to the food, when commercials and advertisements are played over and over, that food becomes addicting. Nevertheless, addicting or not, human self-control should trump any foods addictive traits.


Work cited:


Gearhardt, Ashley. “If Sugar Is Addictive…What Does It Mean for the Law?.” Ebsco. Wiley-Blackwell, 01 Mar.

1993. Web. 24 May 2014. <http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/&gt;.“


Popular Source:


My third and final source is from a very well known and highly reviewed magazine. The New York Times Magazine. A brief summary of the article: it started with a meeting between all of the manufacturing food compamies. Their focus in this gathering ways to address the “obesity epidemic and how [ways] to deal with it.” (Moss) They each spoke of many different ways to easy the customers concerns. Lowering the high levels of sodium in snacks, reducing amounts of sugar in breakfast yogurts and cereals. Food and its addictive traits were addressed but most were looking for ways to cover up or hide the truth about what the active ingredients are. This right here is what makes this article such a supportive source for my research; if the truth were out there for people to see than the chances of they may choose healthier fresh ingredients. Since my incident with McDonald’s chicken nugget and the shards of bones; I have been completely skeptical about all food that I put in my mouth. Articles like this only reassure me skepticism

An explanation of why this an authoritative source is because it is the New York Times Magazine. It is an extremely famous magazine, well reviewed by most people who can read. Substantial explanation of how this article illuminates some aspect of my research journey based on the research question is, junk food seems to be the most habitually eaten food around me; everywhere I go there is an ad or commercial for some kind of junk. Whether it is kids or adults, chips or candy, all types of snacks (unhealthy) are floating around and it is so easy to get your hands on nowadays it is scary. People are being brainwashed and it is going on all around them, all the time.


Work cited

Moss, Michael. “The New York Times.”The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food. Random House, n.d. Web. 30 May 2013. <http://mobile.nytimes.com/2013/02/24/magazine/the-extraordinary-science-of-junk-food.html?pagewanted=all&gt;.

This writing process has been one of the most difficult so far. The research is not so bad; it is the putting it all together and summing it up that frustrates me. I thought I was having difficulties with being clear, but Karen my peer reviewer gave my a confidence boost. Karen let me know I was on the right track. Starting the blog was extremely difficult. I have never written a blog, nor have I even been on one. It is going to an interesting next couple of days. I would like for my writing to be persuasive. I want to call people to action. I want to plant a healthy seed in their hearts and minds.

The Public Writing

Here is my blog that I created from scratch, it is still a work in progress: http://thesweetestaddictions.blogspot.com.


One comment

  1. I was convinced that processed food had an abundant amount of additives that were not good for us and went against our natural food intake. I was stunned to read the research on the rats and the addictive tenancies found outside of advertising and commercials. That is scary. Knowing our history with tobacco, I wouldn’t put it past big companies to find ways to make food more addicting.

    I’m not convinced yet to invest in organic foods. It just doesn’t seem like the price lives up to the benefits. Because you can find sugar in most processed foods, is it simply sugar that we are addicted to? It would be interesting to see a comparison of a specific food we eat; non-processed foods versus processed foods. For me, it’s not enough for me to hear that I should avoid it because it’s bad for me. It’s amazing how often we hear things are bad for us every day. The research you have found is an impressive start and your enthusiasm for the subject is inspiring. The blog is an excellent idea. I look forward to reading more research and inspiration of how to change our habits for good.

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