A study that appeared late last month in Nature suggested that some common food additives affected some of the body’s natural processes, causing inflammation and higher rates of obesity. Food science has been big business for years; companies invest hundreds of millions of dollars each year on research and development, in an attempt to create food that people crave.
And therein lies the problem for many trying to lose weight, says Stacey Cahn, PhD, associate professor of psychology at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. “That science leads to the development of processed foods that trick our tastebuds and silence our satiety cues,” she says. “Whatever good intentions we may have, our willpower is often no match for that. The game is rigged.”
She cites artificial sweeteners in diet soda as one example of how foods may “trick” natural signals in the body, and how some snack foods are engineered to have “vanishing caloric density.” That is, one's body doesn't register those calories as they're being consumed, and as a result, he or she will overeat.
Dr. Cahn, a clinical psychologist who specializes in issues related to weight and body image, can offer other examples of the types of foods that can “trick” our bodies into wanting more, and how we can make informed food choices for weight control.
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