Not surprisingly, what Moss finds is that processed food giants such as Kraft, General Mills, and Coca-Cola are motivated by money. The more sugar, salt, and fat-laden junk foods they get us to shove down our pie holes, the more money they make. It really is just that simple.
In so many respects, especially in their marketing to children, the processed food industry has taken a page from Big Tobacco's playbook. These companies are frighteningly good at what they do. Moss writes about the armies of food scientists and engineers finding the "sensory-specific satiety" or "bliss point" that prompts consumers to eat an entire bag of potato chips.
Moss writes: "The biggest hits—be they Coca-Cola or Doritos—owe their success to complex formulas that pique the taste buds enough to be alluring but don't have a distinct, overriding single flavor that tells the brain to stop eating."
To find the "bliss point" of vanilla- and cherry-flavored versions of Dr. Pepper, for example, Moss wrote that Cadbury Schweppes created 61 distinct formulas and conducted 3,904 tastings in Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago, and Philadelphia. The final 135-page report talked about things like "mouth feel" and other sensations that would determine the success or failure of the soda.
If you're an advocate for wellness, this is what you are up against.
In this corner, we have overworked physicians, nutritionists, and other providers who might consult with patients a handful of times each year and scrawl out diet plans or exercise regimens as part of some vaguely defined wellness initiative.
In the far corner, we have a processed food industry which spends millions of dollars to bombard us every hour of every day with advertising urging us into supermarkets to buy their foods of dubious nutritional value.