The seemingly innocuous Cheeto, in the words of food scientist Steven Witherly, “is one of the most marvelously constructed foods on the planet … in terms of pure pleasure.”
Many processed foods like Cheetos blend an unholy trinity of salt, fat and sugar to become what food scientists call “hyperpalatable,” meaning they’re engineered to maximize the release of pleasurable brain chemicals. Unsurprisingly, researchers also found that hyperpalatable foods trigger many of the same neural pathways as addictive drugs. Too many Kit Kats can cause compulsion, addiction and withdrawal.
I myself enjoy the occasional Reese’s, but truer happiness comes from good health.
Enjoy more happiness science in Chris’ new book.