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Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us [Hardcover]

4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

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Most helpful customer reviews
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Brief Summary and Review March 8 2013
By A. D. Thibeault TOP 100 REVIEWER
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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read April 4 2013
By Girl38
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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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Necessary Read March 10 2013
By DarkKnight TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
We've all seen those advertisements online telling you they have secrets your dermatologist doesn't want you to know...Well, Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us is exactly that: the book the processed food industry doesn't want you to know about. In his expose, Michael Moss takes you behind the friendly and healthy wash of food giants and into the labs that pioneered processed food and the minds of those who helped do it. Moss goes into great detail about specific companies, such as Kraft and Coke, and how they've developed their highly addictive, highly unhealthy foods, from the laboratories of food scientists, to false marketing to consumers.

You'll read about how the tobacco industry became involved in marketing processed foods to consumers, how advanced medical devices like the MRI have opened up a whole new realm of food science, how manufacturers have advertised directly to your children, and the 'dirty little secrets' companies use to warp our perceptions. For example, when you pick up a product advertised to have concentrated fruit juice, you think you're getting something with the benefits of an actual fruit, but it's nothing more than a highly processed juice rendered down to its sugars.

Knowledge is power and being an informed consumer is key to looking out for your health. I highly recommend reading this book to learn more about the processed food industry. You'll likely never visit a grocery store and think the same again.
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33 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I'd like to buy the world a book Feb. 26 2013
By David Wineberg TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
For decades, I have been referring to the title of this book as America's three basic food groups. Salt, sugar and fat are the most abundant additives in food, and their effects are cumulative - the more we eat them, the more we can eat them, and the more want to eat them, so the more we eat them. The result is pandemic obesity and its further unintended consequences - miserable chronic diseases in an age just when we thought we were overcoming them forever. This irony goes unexplored, but the book is packed with evidence of it.

The convenience of processed foods fits with our hurried society. It exacerbates the death of family meals, and encourages eating anywhere, anytime, and basically all day long. That by itself is enough to damn the industry, if traditional family values mean anything. Far more damaging than gay marriage, or abortion, or sexting, processed foods are destroying us, literally, physically. For hundreds of millions of Americans (and soon the world), this is normal. It is the way of life. There are no viable alternatives. This too, however, goes unexplored.

Moss divides the book into the three sections of its title. It contains the usual litany of incredible statistics - like how much of these ingredients the average American ingests annually, and how many billions of pounds the processors produce, but also some interesting developments on the way to perdition:

-Food processors call their customers users, like the drug addicts they want them to become.
-The "bliss point" is used by all of them to scientifically maximize the sugar effect along a bell curve. It allows food engineers to calculate how much sugar a child blisses out on compared to an adult, for example.
-Cereal makers spend twice as much on advertising as on ingredients.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Salt Sugar Fat
Everyone should read this book. Change your life & health just by being informed. My brother has lost 19 pounds.
Published 1 month ago by Beverley
5.0 out of 5 stars Salt Sugar Fat
Very readable and full of interesting facts. I enjoyed it from beginning to end and found it useful in daily life.
Published 3 months ago by Marilyn Oliver
4.0 out of 5 stars The definitive treatise on how food companies are killing us all...
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. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Rob Slaven
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye opening read
This is an excellent read and overview of why people should buy more whole foods and skip the processed foods.
Published 3 months ago by Mary Nielsen
4.0 out of 5 stars Food Coma
Moss is a Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative reporter at The New York Times. Here he examines the rise of the processed food industry and its link to obesity. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Jeffrey Swystun
5.0 out of 5 stars The China syndrome story exposing the tricks of food industry
Doctor John

Michael Moss takes on the food industry armed only with indisputable scientific facts. Read more
Published 4 months ago by DoctorJohn
3.0 out of 5 stars Audiobook is disappointing
Scott Brick's voice is probably more suited for reading fiction. I find his pronunciation, tone, and speed very odd most of the time, and I find it difficult to listen without... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Sean
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read
An amazing insight into the Food Industry and how society has been duped by Food Manufacturers in becoming addicts to their "food like" products.
Published 6 months ago by Vincent Proteau
5.0 out of 5 stars Read before you buy...
One of the books one HAS to read before one goes shopping again..it would be wonderful if the knowledge about Salt, Fat and Sugar would we taught in classroom, before addiction... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Angelika Reitze
5.0 out of 5 stars EYE OPENING
Yes......A GREAT BOOK....very eye opening !!!
These big corporations DO control the way we eat
Because we TRUST the NAMES
No more will I trust blindly these Multi... Read more
Published 6 months ago by bleubells
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