BOOK REVIEW –
March 12, 2021 – Obviously, it is preposterous to consider potato chips less fattening than walnuts — because potato chips are among the most addictive foods on the planet, along with French fries, pizza, cheeseburgers and Oreos. Too many of us can’t help eating too much of this stuff. And that’s the chief motivation for “Hooked,” which is in many ways a sequel to the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist’s 2013 tour de force, “Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us.” That book exposed how multinational food companies churn out processed foods that are both cheap and alluring. “Hooked” asks how food manufacturers manipulate these foods to addict us, helping along a national crisis in which 40 percent of Americans are obese.
No one questions that the nutritional quality of foods has health consequences, but “Hooked” redirects our attention to the arguably more important question of quantity. To do so, Moss first focuses necessarily on the brain, the true fountainhead of addiction, which he defines (using the words of a Philip Morris C.E.O.) as “a repetitive behavior that some people find difficult to quit.”