Do you ever catch yourself or your child munching away on an entire bag of chips? Is your kid able to consume a whole box of cookies or down a great deal of soda without even thinking twice? You may be wondering if your child has an issue, but the issue may not be with your kid. The truth is, the issue is with the food that he’s eating.
What if I were to tell you that the food industry has been manufacturing foods that are made to be over-consumed? Well, they’ve done just that!
In fact, they created the “bliss point” which is the right amount of fat, sugar and salt that the body craves and finds tasty (1).
Junk Food Facts: What Is The “Bliss Point?”
The “Bliss Point” is that perfect medium between being really tasty and not too filling; your body will crave more without registering that you’ve already had enough (2). We have over 10,000 taste buds and these foods are manufactured to be really tasty and hit those tastebuds just right.
These foods are made to have the maximum amount of sugar, fat and salt that makes you and your child’s mouth water and makes you and your child keep wanting more. The food has just the right taste that makes you crave more of it (2).
Many companies have utilized this method, which is more of a science than cooking.
“The biggest hits — be they Coca-Cola or Doritos — owe their success to complex formulas that pique the taste buds enough to be alluring but don’t have a distinct, overriding single flavor that tells the brain to stop eating,” colomnist Michael Moss says in his New York Times piece.
You see, the “bliss point” is reached by extensive study. Researchers test many components of a product. For example, when Dr. Pepper was trying to come up with a new product to outsell and beat other competitors, they worked with 61 different formulas and had about 4,000 different taste testing events to try and perfect the flavor (2). What came out of it was Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper, which was very successful (3).
It takes a lot of research, computing and analyzing to make a product reach the optimal point to where it will taste good and be over-consumed.
It’s not only soda that is made to be optimal. Yogurt, such as Go-gurt and Yoplait are manufactured to reach that perfect bliss point (3). Cereals and other products are made that way as well.
Basically, any product that can be manufactured has the potential of being overly processed and saturated with sugars, fats and salts.
How is all of this processed food affecting our children?
One-third of all the children in the United States are either overweight or obese. This is directly related to the food industry and the foods that they have created by utilizing social media, and marketing strategies to directly target our kids using the “bliss point” to make food enjoyable, but unsatisfying.
There’s no mistaking the fact that these companies have added too much sugar into already sweet foods, creating the weight and health epidemic we have today.
So what can be done about all of this? The first step starts at home. Whatever happened to real cooking without formulas? The answer is right in your kitchen!
What Can We Do?
From having a conversation with your child about their weight, to setting up a healthier lifestyle for you and your child, there are plenty of ways to start anew and get away from highly processed foods that are not good for you.
- Be sure to read food labels: Make sure that there isn’t too much sugar in the product. If you see in the ingredients, high fructose corn syrup, it means there’s added sugar.
- Go shopping with your kids: Going shopping with your kids is important. You can read labels with them, talk to them about what they want and steer them in the right direction of the foods that are suitable for the both of you.
- Prepackage meals for snack time: To prevent over snacking and consuming too many foods before meals, be sure to prepare snacks for your kids in advance. Stock them in the fridge or in the pantry. Carrot sticks or apple wedges are always a favorite quick fix!
- Have mealtime at home: The first place to start eating healthier is right at the dinner table. Kids eat by example, so be sure to try and eat right with them. Mealtime is the perfect place to begin any health journey.
These are just some methods to start a healthier lifestyle and keep away from “bliss point” foods. You’ll soon see that you and your child are living healthier and happier without needing these cravings!
Do you have any methods that you’d list in combating this? Please share your comments below!
Check out our other articles in our Childhood Nutrition Series:
- Why You Shouldn’t Put Your Child on a Diet. Do These 9 Things Instead.
- Why Food’s Marketed to Kids Causes Weight Gain
- How Juice Went From A Health Food to Junk Food
- How to Improve Academic Performance with Superfoods
- How to Best Talk to Your Kids About Their Weight!