03/02/2013 11:16 am ET

The Science Behind Junk Food Marketing (VIDEO)

Everyone has a go-to snack food. Potato chips, cookies, crackers, candy bars ... drooling yet? However, some recent revelations about the industry that creates these mouth-watering treats may not be so appetizing.

Poor restraint may not be to blame for our inability to turn down a tempting snack. The New York Times recently published an excerpt from Pulitzer-winning journalist Michael Moss' new book Sugar, Salt, Fat: How The Food Giants Hooked Us, which suggests the food industry spends millions to attract customers through various scientific methods that include marketing and the very design of the chip itself. Things like crunch, feel and aroma are taken into account to make the most addicting, perfect potato chip.

Did you know that Frito Lays created a 40-thousand dollar machine to simulate the process of chewing and concluded that customers prefer a chip that snaps with "four pounds of pressure per square inch?"

Even though such detail isn't what most people would take into account when they grab a bag of Doritos, the food companies explore every way to make sure you consume their products, even at the expense of health, alleges Moss.

With obesity affecting more than one third of American adults -- and the epidemic costing us 190 million in annual medical costs -- it's time to create a dialogue about not only what we're eating, but why.

Want more on junk food and our health? Check out Dr. David Katz on Moss' work and an excerpt from his book.



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