Why we can't stop eating unhealthy foods

so when you get up in the morning you probably feel pretty free to choose what you're going to do my guess is the first thing you do is reach for one of these my cell phone it gives me continuous access to an online all-you-can-eat buffet I can enter a virtual gambling casino get hooked on a little app or a game a shop till I drop I got to be honest with you I am one I cannot not look at this thing when it pings with a new text message and I am one of the 78% of Americans who can't get up out of bed in the morning without checking this thing first sometimes I don't even notice I'm reaching for it I just do it now here's a product you probably don't have in your pocket this is powdered alcohol I'm not kidding palcohol it's going to be out on the market this year so I can just carry around this convenient little package and mix myself up a cocktail whenever wherever I want maybe I should add it to my morning coffee at work it might jazz things up a bit so here's my point at no time in human history has our species been so bombarded by stuff designed to get us hooked companies compete on the very basis of creating evermore habit-forming products and it's no different with our food food corporations hire scientists to engineer the most irresistible habit-forming foods sugar is currently their go-to ingredient these guys have flipped the script on they are using the very brain imaging technologies that we use to try to find cures for addiction only they put people in the MRI machine and feed them Dorito chips to figure out ways to tweak the recipe to make it even more habit-forming than it already is so here's my question to you when you live in a world that is surrounding you on a 24/7 basis with food products scientifically engineered to be habit-forming do you really have freedom of choice now most addictive substances are actually quite safe in their natural form heroin comes from poppy seeds cocaine from the coca plant alcohol from fruits and grains for centuries farmers high up in the Andes Mountains have chewed coca leaves it's a tradition it's a mild stimulant like drinking a cup of coffee it helps them work longer hours and cope with the high altitudes probably the worst thing that can happen to you after a lifetime of – and coca leaves maybe you'll get bad teeth things do get really bad when we industrialize the coca production process when we learned how to refine the coca plant down into its most concentrated form a little rock of white powder that's when the humble coca leaf becomes the lethally addictive drug we know as crack now what's interesting is that up until the 20th century cocaine was actually an innocent domesticated white powder just like sugar is today people put it in everything you could go to your drugstore and and buy it in a soothing tonic people put it in cough syrup and gave it to their kids coca-cola is one of the most successful products in in modern history it was formulated in the 1880s and the company's founders were so proud of their special recipe that they vowed never to change it but at one time in history the coca-cola corporation was forced to change its recipe that was in 1903 when the political current the tide was shifting away from cocaine eventually to make it an illegal drug that's when coca-cola took the cocaine out of the coke of course they just replaced it with a different addictive substance namely caffeine so here you have it a concentrated dose of sugar combined with a concentrated dose of caffeine double the pleasure double the chances we'll get hooked the fact is as long as food corporations aren't breaking narcotics laws they can do pretty much whatever they want to formulate their products to make them even more habit-forming my work takes me into San Francisco's Tenderloin district every big city has a place like this right it's a few square blocks of extreme poverty and urban blight there's a liquor store on every corner usually with a bunch of drug dealers hanging out in front we have a name for places like this we call them alcohol and drug saturated environments now the Tenderloin has a program called safe passage volunteers go to the school bus and pick up children to safely walk them to their homes they have to travel circuitous routes through the city streets to avoid all the drug dealers and liquor stores it's like living in an obstacle course when it comes to food to process food and sugar we're all living in an obstacle course our own tenderloin it's on every corner in every store in every workplace 74% of the Foods in your grocery store have sugar added to them stuff that doesn't even taste sweet so why do I care about this so much it's actually not the rising rates of obesity worldwide that keeps me up at night it's two other very disturbing trends and the first is the appearance of adult diseases in children type-2 diabetes is linked to heavy sugar consumption in especially sugary drinks it's called adult onset diabetes because in my parents generation we only saw it in adults today one out of four American teenagers is pre-diabetic or diabetic next is the appearance of whole new diseases that seem to come out of nowhere the diagnosis non-alcoholic fatty liver disease didn't even exist until 1980 again a condition linked to heavy sugar consumption by 2020 in five years it's going to be the leading cause of liver transplantation this is the global warming of human health these trends are warning signs like melting icebergs and rising sea levels they're telling us that there's something very wrong with our food environment our food supply is making some of us very sick here's the good news there is some good news the solutions to this situation are easily within our reach now everybody always says educate the public in healthy choices but we know that doesn't work if it worked then why would 48% of Americans still be drinking a sugary drink or more a day the fact is I could say until I'm blue in the face don't drink that stuff it's unhealthy you already know that but when you live in a sugar saturated environment more often than not you'll probably just reach for what's been put in front of you and if it's a concentrated source of pleasure a product carefully engineered with white powders to get you hooked that puts a huge burden on you all the time to say no and many of us don't so what do we do about this problem how do we fix it the solutions are actually remarkably simple and here's how it works food companies have gotten very good at seducing us towards their products in ways that we barely even notice all of the most effective public health strategies just do the opposite they gently nudge us away from the unhealthy stuff it's simple we just flip the script back so for example soda companies they intentionally keep their prices down so that we'll buy more if we put a tax on this soda that raises the price a little and gently nudges us away if food corporations are barage in our children with advertisements for Captain Crunch and Cocoa Puffs we can just take those ads off the air if they pay grocery stores to put candy at eye level for our little children we can put it a little higher on the shelf and if they pay famous sports figures to promote Gatorade we can pay them to say I drink water small changes can add up to big shifts in the environment we know this from decades of research on addictive substances I understand we really would all like to believe that we're in charge that we have complete freedom over what we eat but how free can we be living in a saturated environment one that continuously surrounds us with food products carefully engineered to get us hooked and keep us coming back for more those kids in the Tenderloin they apparently live in what's called a food desert they don't even have access to a grocery store oh really what's a grocery store when it's stuffed with junk food seventy-four percent of it loaded with added sugar all the health experts will tell you shop around the perimeter of this grocery store that way you can steer your way around all the junk that's in the middle but how different is that from a strategy that steers children around drug dealers in the Tenderloin we can do so much better than this we don't have to live in an environment that is read to get us fat and then blames us for the health consequences in the medical bills we don't have to sit by and watch our children suffer from diseases of adulthood we can rerigged this environment to make it safe it's not about personal choice anymore it's about our public choice thank you


  1. I mean we still can…

  2. How is she going to change policy? This is just a rant with no realistic way to change in a positive direction

  3. Schmidttttt

  4. How about don’t eat unhealthy ever. Just make a rule that you don’t eat bad and don’t give yourself an option to eat bad

  5. Laura Schmidt’s a baddy

  6. I believe this! I was finally doing so so good and eating vegan and no carbs sugar cheese etc. I allowed myself to have a pasta pizza dish one night. I felt like it affected me so negatively for days.

  7. I looked up powdered alcohol and it's banned in 35 jurisdictions(states)

  8. Just educate ppl… u cant sacrifice freedom…diet is a choice…I gave up sugar on my own…foh u communist

  9. I got forced to eat unhealthy foods for a week and I literally got my stomach hurt because of that , i hated fast food after that🤮

  10. “I’m addicted to school!”

    -Said no one ever.

  11. I like her content and her voice. It’s soothing and gets a point across.

  12. Well i cant stop eating unhealthy and healthy i just cant stop

  13. We will change it is evolutionairy we will spiral up.

  14. sounds like she's on the long path to realising that significant regulation is impossible within capitalism, due to the nature of power , capital, the production of information, ideology and how capitalists triumph over the public every damn time. It's frustrating to watch but we'll all eventually realise it, but by then the planet will be wrecked.

  15. lmao im watching this while eating a big mac xD

  16. Because they taste good. This didn’t need to be a 13 minute video.

  17. I didn’t eat processed food, sodas and any sugar for a year, everyone thinks that I am crazy. When I don’t have time to eat lunch at home I go to the store and it is really hard to find healthy food, whole my neighborhood is full of bakery and pastry shops…

  18. Good Job :3

  19. Was 100% with her until she got to her solutions………Taxing the crap out of something you don't like isn't a good method to alter behavior. I also didn't care for the "we are all victims" narrative. At this point everyone knows eating highly processed fats and sugars is bad for you. We have to take some person responsibility as to what we put in our bodies.

  20. The government should stop subsidizing corn. It's used to make High Fructose Corn Syrup and is the main sugar in most of our foods. It's even in foods that aren't supposed to be sweet, like Big Macs. This is because corn is grown in the Heartland and sugar cane is grown in Mexico. We should stop subsidizing corn and subsidize other vegetables like lettuce and broccoli, incentivizing the market to simply find a way to make that more appealing to consumers rather than using corn syrup.

  21. I've been vegan for a year and lately use Dr. Greger's cookbook and my question is….if I make a healthy food taste better, am I making it so I crave to eat more food, too much food, extra caloric intake from eatting dates, miso, & nutritional yeast for flavorings?

  22. in 5:30 she said that political reason took out the coca out of ligality.
    but it was adictive always so how its related to politics? tnx

  23. Worth watching a few times👍👍

  24. Fantastic presentation. I am all for a "junk food tax," putting the money towards bike/walking trails and perhaps making healthy food even more affordable.
    Honestly I don't let my kids watch anything that has commercials on it it including YouTube because I hate the influence on a consumeristic culture on them.
    My daughters is 3 and her favorite food is frozen peas, she doesn't know that that is weird yet. Going to try and keep it that way as long as possible.

  25. Heroin comes from poppy latex, not the seeds.

  26. Lady ! U r amazing !!

  27. i agree but also you can rip diet dr pepper out of my cold dead hands

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