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Diet & Nutrition

This Is How Fast Food Restaurants Are Tricking You

Binish Ahmed

The journey of thousand pounds begins with a single burger.

You are getting duped every time you walk into a fast-food restaurant. That’s right! The place that you go to eat finger-lickin’ good food is also the place that’s making you sick and increasing weight. These chains spend millions in marketing tactics to trick you into eating their food. Here are 5 alarming secrets about your favourite fast food place that’ll make you think twice the next time when you crave burgers and fries:

Trick you into feeling hungry & overeating

Eye-catching menus and tempting food pictures can lure hungry people to stop at fast-food restaurants. These food cues stimulate brain activity that increases cravings causing people to overeat. Scientists say that such enticing strategy although makes people crave more food, but they don’t derive pleasure from eating the food.

Healthy fast food is a sham

Since people have become more health-conscious, fast food restaurants have started to roll-out their healthy options so that the demand is more. They’re reducing serving sizes, fats and offering more veggies and whole grains. If truth be told, these ‘nutritious options’ are still packed with more calories, salt and sugar than you might think. However, there’s a good chance that some people might not order these healthy items. Why? As you enter the door, you’re more likely to order burgers and fries thinking that you’ll opt for the healthy item the next time. But you’ll never actually do.

Most fast foods taste the same

You might have noticed that most of the fast foods have the same taste. This is because they are designed to appeal our taste buds so that we are encouraged to keep on eating. Hypothalamus is a part of our brain that responds to taste. It is also responsible to crave different kinds of sweet, salty and bitter food tastes. Junk food takes advantage of this by satisfying all these tastes desires so that you don’t crave healthy food options such as an apples or vegetable salads.

The décor & packaging lures you

There’s no accident why popular fast-food chains have the same yellow and red colours in their logos. Science says these colours grab people’s attention, induce appetite and make us crave food. Moreover, the bright ambiance at fast-food restaurants is designed to give us a sense of comfort which is why we’re more likely to eat more and return for more. Drive-thru aficionados and takeaway people are not spared too! The packaging used by these companies has the same colourful triggers.

Menus have become unhealthy, calories have increased

A recent study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggested that the calorie content in fast foods has increased over the past 30 years. Moreover, the fat content, portion sizes, and salt content have increased over time, despite the introduction of healthier alternatives. Since fast-food restaurants have become immensely popular, it has also become one of the reasons for the increase in obesity and related chronic illnesses over the years.

It can be difficult to avoid fast food in our current environment, but you can try some strategies to minimize their exposure by:

  • Eating more protein
  • Drinking more water
  • Control your craving by distracting yourself
  • Avoid long periods of hunger to avoid cravings
  • Skipping fast-food ads on TV or smartphone
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