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Sweetener, sweetener, fat, salt, sweeteners. The fact is the American diet is sweetest diet in the world and it is the sweetness in the diet that drives wanting…

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Former F.D.A. commissioner, David Kessler describing the ingredients in McDonald’s Caramel Dip served with apple sticks in their “healthier” Happy Meals.

Kessler talks to Here and Now’s Robin Young about how the fast food industry has rewired our brain circuitry with cues (caramel sauce, whipped cream, all those extra unnecessary add-ons) which stimulate the WANT for those foods regardless of hunger-level. These cues create anticipation for the flavor and experience of eating those high-fat, high-sugar foods. Eating said foods reinforces the desire to eat more, regardless of satiety, perpetuating a vicious feedback loop.

By taking a perfectly good apple, and introducing a caramel dipping sauce, McDonalds has in effect changed our relationship with fruit. The apple is now a delivery system for the highly addictive, excessively sweet caramel sauce.

“In essence what we’ve done is to take good food, apples, and make them super-stimulants.”

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