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Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us Hardcover – 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Random House (2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400069807
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400069804
  • Product Dimensions: 16.4 x 3.2 x 24.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 726 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #54,293 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A. D. Thibeault TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 8 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
*A full executive summary of this book is available at newbooksinbrief dot com.

You open a bag of chips intending to eat only a few handfuls. You find the chips tasting quite good, and a few handfuls turns into a few more. Just one more… o.k., last one… definitely the last one. A few minutes later you find yourself staring down at an empty bag. Then your stomach starts to hurt—then your heart. The guilt isn’t far behind. Who among us hasn’t experienced this at one time or another? This is junk food in a nutshell: it tastes great (practically irresistible) and is very convenient, but if you indulge too much (which sometimes seems all too easy), it’s not very good for you. All of this has an easy explanation, it’s right there on the label: impressive portions of salt, sugar and fat, the junk food trifecta. Each has its own appeal, and each is very inexpensive (which explains why it’s in our food), but over the years each has also been implicated in some of our most common and serious conditions and diseases, including obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

Unfortunately, the junk food trifecta is not only popping up in our junk food, it is increasingly being featured in virtually all of the processed foods that we eat—from chips and soda, to canned food and prepared meals, to cake and ice-cream. And as salt, sugar and fat have become more common in the foods that we eat, the conditions and illnesses associated with their abuse have reached epidemic proportions. In his new book Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us journalist Michael Moss takes us behind the labels and explores the history and practices of the processed food industry–a story that features the rise of salt, sugar and fat, and the deterioration of our health.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Girl38 on April 4 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book has done for me what no fad diet or exercise regime ever could: It has changed the way I think about what I eat and why I eat it. It is also a fun, informative read for anyone who likes to read about business, marketing, government policy and popular culture.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rob Slaven TOP 50 REVIEWER on Dec 30 2013
Format: Hardcover
To begin with my by-now rote preamble, I received this book from a GoodReads drawing. Despite that kind and generous and typical consideration I give my candid opinions below.

The premise of this book can be summed up very simply. Food companies are creating products that while not intended to kills us, nevertheless are doing so. By using science and marketing (in some cases derived from research done by that purest of evils, cigarette companies) big foods can manipulate us into eating more and more of their products until we drop dead. While we think the government is trying to protect us from such evils, in fact most of the time the feds are helping and subsidizing the efforts of food companies to shove more and unhealthier food down our throats to line their pockets. I'd say that about covers it.

Michael Moss's definitive tome on food marketing is exhaustive, at times daunting and the best book on this topic I've read since "Fast Food Nation" so many years ago. Moss has covered the basics with a wealth of detail and reasoning that should be abundantly terrifying to those who find themselves putting frozen pizzas and Hot Pockets into their cart at the grocery store. He paints a picture that is stark and, sadly, a bit hopeless. While our author does spend a tiny bit of time on the efforts of food companies to stop killing us softly with salt, sugar and fat, he doesn't really seem to hold out much hope. He closes with a chunk on liquid foods designed for people after they have bariatric surgery. The image of people tube-feeding themselves from a plastic container is pretty haunting but that seems to be what we're coming to.

This book is wonderfully researched, eruditely and well written and I hope against hope that it's somehow unbalanced.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Parisian Penny on April 8 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I heard Michael Moss on CBC one morning and just had to buy this book. I am in the process of reading it but I'd need to read it again to fully appreciate and understand it. I'd recommend it to all those seriously interested in changing their eating habits in order to lead a healthy lifestyle.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Reader Writer Runner TOP 50 REVIEWER on April 16 2013
Format: Hardcover
In his shocking, galvanizing and meticulously researched manifesto, Michael Moss shows how the world's biggest food manufacturers ignore health risks and use advertising to keep consumers craving ingredients that ensure big profit.

"Salt Sugar Fat" uses case studies and interviews with executives from massive conglomerates to expose the virtually non-existent regulation of designing and selling processed foods. As the average North American claims to have less and less time, the demand for easy, tasty meals continues to skyrocket. In response, food giants provide options which require obscene amounts of salt, fat and sugar to cover the taste of poor-quality ingredients. The result? A huge increase in diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure. Even the recent trend of "healthy" items serves as a catalyst for food manufacturers to produce spin-offs bragging "low-salt" or "sugar-free," when those products require an increase in one of the other triad of flavours to remain palatable.

Moss fascinatingly dissects the chemical science behind the molecular appeal of these foods and reveals the successful strategies used to attract consumers not only to the "healthier" versions of popular foods, but to the originals, as well. Only a social revolution of empowered consumers can reverse this trend...and empowered you may well feel after reading this book.
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