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NeurogastronomyHow the Brain Creates Flavor and Why It Matters$
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Gordon Shepherd

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231159111

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231159111.001.0001

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Flavor and Obesity

Flavor and Obesity

Chapter:
(p.184) Chapter Twenty-One Flavor and Obesity
Source:
Neurogastronomy
Author(s):

Gordon M. Shepherd

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231159111.003.0022

This chapter explains how fast foods capture the human brain flavor system with excessive activation, and how this leads to poor nutrition and obesity. The popularity of McDonald's French fries, for instance, is due to its smell, the strong meat flavor produced by organic chemical compounds, as well as the artificially enhanced the mouth-sense (texture). Ketchup along with other foods and drinks consumed with fries, such as a cheeseburger and carbonated drink, further enhances their flavor. The sensory overload, combined with the activation of stretch receptors in our stomachs, leaves us satisfied. However, this flavor overload is also accompanied by an overload of calories, which increases the risk of obesity, diabetes, and even cancer. The human brain flavor system therefore not only gives us pleasure; it can be hazardous to our health. It is an underappreciated factor in determining the balance between health and disease.

Keywords:   human brain flavor system, fast foods, food cravings, poor nutrition obesity, French fries, overeating, human health

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