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Why Humans Like Junk Food: The Inside Story on Why You Like Your Favorite Foods, the Cuisine Secrets of Top Chefs, and How to Improve Your Own Cooking Without a Recipe! Paperback – June 11, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 310 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse, Inc. (June 11, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 059541429X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595414291
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,057,398 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Steven Witherly received his BS in dietetics and his MS in foodscience from the University of California, Davis, and his PhD inhuman nutrition from Michigan State University. He has worked forNestlé Foods, Nutrilite, and Herbalife and is currently a food andnutraceutical consultant in Valencia, California.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Assaf on December 16, 2010
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So as a person who likes to cook and eat, and is forever battling his weight, this book became a page-turner in explaining just what is it in specific foods that was alluring.

In other words: Just why was it that I can have a craving for Ice Cream, French Fries and Doritos but not Celery or Turnip?

Steven Witherly, PhD. did an awesome job collecting and interpreting current research in food hedonics and metabolism uncovering the many hidden relationships between the brain, taste and olfactory senses, mouthfeel and (to me very new) stomach that make up the feelings of desire for food and just how do food memories that drive these desires get formed (in the Amygdala, of all places, yup - all emotion!).

For me, the results were depressing: my body sent signals that had me craving for foods I knew from previous experience were high with calories. Fooling it with low calorie substitues might satiate my olfactory system, but would not fool my stomach which would analyze the food for calories. Yup, my memory of Greasy French Fries, crispy and salty on the outside, with fatty acid hedonics and associated calorie were forever keeping me looking for the big-M that promised to deliver satiety (and consequential weight gain).

So in a sense, reading this book is like taking the "red pill" (from the Matrix) into understanding what hedonic components are used by our brain as memory triggers that form the desires that drives our most basic function - finding the energy required to sustain life. Avoiding calorie intake is about avoiding the memories that drive the "want/need" reaction (stay away from the burger joint) and/or eliminating the first exposure to it (indeed - is it possible to keep our kids away from Burgers and Fries?).
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Taglebot on May 16, 2008
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I've always instinctively known why we like junk food but this book really breaks it down to a science. There is absolutely no other resource like it. I've admittedly used the principles in his book right away, and tried some of the foods he "disects". For example, Krispy Kreme doughnuts are preferably smaller and more dense and have a higher icing to cake ratio than other doughnuts, The Big Mac has 13 layers and two thin patties are preferable to one thick one, different ways of preparing french fries and what makes the best fries, Doritos chips are all fresh so you don't create an aversion to the occasional "burned" chip, and much, much more. Gosh I'm actually getting hungry as I type this. Highly recommended!
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