When it comes to eating junk food, you may think it’s just your lack of will power that makes you fall off the junk food wagon. What if I were to tell you, that it may not be entirely your fault that the pizzeria at the end of the mall keeps calling your name. Read on to find the sneaky tactics fast food companies use to keep you coming back for more.
1. They make it cheaper to buy “menus” than individual items.
Studies have shown that people eat a lot more when their meals are “varied” than when they consist of a single dish. So a customer consumes more calories when their fried chicken has mashed potatoes at the side than when it simply comes with more chicken.
They use artificial smells to make you think you’re hungry when you’re not.
That smell of cinnamon as you walk in the mall, or freshly- roasted peanuts as you go for your morning paper are no coincidences. Often owners of fast food chains will pump out certain mouth watering to get you to patron their fast food joints. As Marge Klein, owner of the Peanut Shoppe, states;
“smell is better than any advertising I can buy could buy
Consider that next time you’re hit with a hankering of some extra jammy and sugary donuts.
3. Change the meaning of basic words such as “big”.
4. They know that seeing a meal “can stimulate unplanned consumption,” even when you are not hungry.
Max Planck researchers demonstrated something scientifically for the first time that most people (and certainly those on diets) have always known: just looking at delicious food stimulates the appetite. A study on healthy young men documented that the protein hormone ghrelin in the blood increases as a result of stimulation through images of food. As a regulator, ghrelin controls both the eating behaviour as well as food metabolism.
So it may well be that in the future Dieticians could be making recommendations along the lines of; Warning: “Avoid looking at pictures of appetising food as it will make you hungry!”
5. They keep adding cheese.
Collaborations between the fast-food and dairy industries make more cheese available around. As Dairy Management director Tom Gallagher wrote in a 2009 trade publication: “If every pizza had one ounce more cheese, we would sell an extra 250 million pounds of cheese each year.”
6. Transform the cup holders into food carriers.
And the car is the new dining room.
7. Their restaurants are designed to make us eat too much and too fast.
Everything in a fast food restaurant makes us clean our trays faster than we normally would. The red color, the strong light, the bustle and the permanent smell make us believe that we are more hungry and in a hurry than we really are. (And as we all know, eating too fast, means eating too much).
8. They put salt, sugar, and fat in the foods they sell as healthy.
Did you think your chicken, apple and nut salad was a responsible decision? With 27 g of fat, 1350 mg of sodium and 37 g of sugar, Wendy’s lowest calorie salad is anything but healthy. It has more fat than its Double Stack hamburger (25g), more sodium than its 10 pieces of chicken nuggets (870mg) and more sugar than its vanilla ice cream cone (34g).
9.Eliminate the walk from the eating experience.
There is something to be said about the effort made to get your food. When food is easily accessible, te chances of ordering that second burger or fries goes up. Not to mention that walking to get your food means that there at least some exercise before you chow down. And while self-service for cars means you no longer have to get out of the car to buy a hamburger, home delivery means you do not even have to leave the house.
10. They believe that buying a HAPPY BOX is just like helping sick children.
As detailed in a recent report, ” Paying for Charity,” McDonald’s has made a lot of money by convincing its customers that by buying a hamburger they are donating for charities. In 2010, for example, the chain stated that it would donate the “winnings” of all Happy Cashboxes sold to the Ronald Mcdonald Foundation. But it turns out that “profits” meant “a penny”.
11. Transformed the soda into accompaniment.
Before Coca-Cola was included in the menus, many fast-food customers did not buy it. But when they began to include it with hamburgers and chips, soda sales soared. According to Jeffrey Dunn, Director of Coca Cola long ago, “From 1980 until at least 2000, that was Coca Cola’s predominant marketing strategy to increase consumption in fast food stores.”
12. They get us when we’re young.
Because our eating habits begin to form before we take our first steps, what we eat as children, can determine what we will consume as adults. So when fast food companies attract kids with toys, playgrounds, cartoons and very famous clowns, they are not just selling Happy Boxes: They are creating customers for life.
What do you feel about the issue of junk food, have you noticed you eat more junk at certain places? Comment below.