Fast Food and Addiction

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By Jackie Sand – 18.07.2017 – Photo by: waferboard


Fast Food and Addiction


We, the team at 7minutesonline have always wondered what it is in fast food that makes people want to eat more and also more importantly why some of us would always come back to ‘indulge’ in the highly processed food aside from the affordable version of eating out.

As it is, it is the combination of fat, salt and sugar which is said to be making people addicted to fast food. We have come across several articles which highlight another possible factor in wanting to eat more of the ‘delicious’ French Fries in this case from McDonald’s and it is the ingredients list which is of interest here. Aside from: canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, dextrose (form of sugar), sodium acid pyrophosphate, and salt they mix in ‘natural beef flavour’.

It is said that McDonald’s is stating that the ‘natural beef flavour’ is mostly made up of hydrolyzed wheat and hydrolyzed milk.

In general wheat and milk are ‘healthy’ ingredients unless one has a wheat and or milk allergy. Hydrolyzing wheat and milk means that the protein contents of the food are split into tiny particles. They are subject to a process where heat and chemicals break down the wheat and milk which apparently produces MSG in this case.

MSG is a very well-known and widely used ‘flavour enhancer’ also called Monosodium Glutamate (E620/621) which is for some people not a healthy choice since it can cause allergies. MSG also contributes to weight gain due to increased appetite by inhibiting the brain from registering that one had enough food already. One study found that giving laboratory rats MSG increased their food intake by an extra 40 percent!

So ever wondered why some of us cannot resist fast food and the fries from McDonald’s in particular? The highly processed ingredients which alter and influence our perception of taste and the reward system in our brains are at work and so it is up to us to decide if we want to be manipulated or not. Next time when some of us think of fast food why not try a healthy alternative instead 🙂

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