Thursday, March 1, 2012

vitacost posts

I am republishing the Vitacost blog postings to the GNU-Darwin spectrum.


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From: Michael L Love <>
Date: Thu, Mar 31, 2011 at 4:04 PM
Subject: vitacost posts

Michael L. Love: proclus molecules blog
Welcome to Michael L. Love on Vitacost!

Probably my most recognizable feature is that I don't own a car, and I bicycle for exercise twice most days.

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Hunger manipulation for profit

An important fact which may be elluding us may be that excessive hunger results directly from a market-driven manipulation of appetites.  The equation is simple; drive hunger and sell more food to make more money, even if it makes people fat and unhealthy.  There are conclusive examples that demonstrate that this is actually happening in isolated anecdotal cases, of which MacDonalds, Burger King, and CocaCola are prominent examples.  These examples are important, because they demonstrate that this manipulation of hunger and thirst for profit is INTENTIONAL.  A common example is the use of excessive salt in foods, such as movie popcorn, to promote thirst and sell soft drinks, drinks that do not adequately quench thirst either, and may in fact promote thirst.  Sell more, buy more, eat more, get fat and unhealthy, while someone else gets rich.  By our over-indulgence, we are being fed upon.

This manipulation may not always be intentional, and some may be only following a market formulation, which appears to be successful in the sense of immediate profitability.  For example, many soda makers may not be aware that their recipies were designed ultimately not to quench thirst, but rather to promote it.  They stay in business, due to their successful market exploitation model, which was stumbled on or discovered.

These incidental examples are not the key point.  Further investigation into the systematic manipulation of appetites is indicated, in order to determine the extent and societal cost of these practices.  I suspect it is a wide spread problem with profound effects which are often highly adverse.  Our understanding of the biochemical basis of hunger and thirst adds a new level of threat in a regimen where businesses may manipulate our appetites at the molecular level.  They simply have too much to gain from such pursuits, and in the profit-driven model, it is irresistable for them.  It is likely that appetite manipulation research is already underway.

Some criticism of this thesis takes the following form.  How could anyone stay in business by selling food or drink that does not satisfy?  This is a ham-handed attempt to hide the obvious fact, that a more profitable business model is a situation where people will only be satisfied with more than they need, even if it is contrary to their well-being.  Appetites are particularly amenable to such exploitation because people derive satisfaction directly from eating and drinking.  Only a careful approach is needed to balance satiety and appetite in order to maximize profit.  Simply put, you may be satisfied temporarily, but if you get hungry sooner, you will buy more.  You will eat more initially in order to avoid it, and you will likely eat more than is healthful.  You will be more hungry than you should be later, but that does not matter to the seller, and if fact, that is what he is counting on.  It is a simple fallacy to say that market forces will drive such businesses out, and meanwhile people are suffering now.

It is clearly possible to obtain profits through the manipulation of appetites, and craven business interests have demonstrated repeatedly that they are willing to do something profitable, even if it is detrimental to people in general.  There are countless examples of this, tobacco, alcohol, and polluting industries to name just a few.  You may be convinced that their insidious products are harmless by their advertising campaigns and PR.  Hostile business practices work, and some business people even consider this as the normative goal in a regimen where only profits matter.  Let's get these crocodiles under control before they eat us up.


Published Thursday, March 31, 2011 11:12 AM by proclus [Edit Post]
Filed Under: General Health and Wellness, Weight Gain Muscle Mass, Weight Loss, Specific Health Concern
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proclus said:
The more I think about this article, the more I think I am on to something, and the implications multiply. We can have a discussion about how do avoid these dangers right here, if you like. For example, it is implied to avoid eating at establishments that server alcohol, because they are likely to spike the food with too much salt in order to sell more drinks, twice the problem! This has gotten me interested in the relationship of fatty and high carb foods to thirst, so hopefully we will be learning more about that soon.

If you can think of more suggestions, please post them.

One of the things that prompted me to write this article is that I was unable to find any germane links in Google. If you know of others who have written helpfully about this topic, please feel free to post some links here.

Increased knowledge of hunger manipulation and appetite manipulation in general could be very helpful to people engaged in the following activities; weight reduction and loss, bodybuilding, diet programs, and health in general. If you know anyone who would be interested in this, be sure and give them a link to the article. The more people that we have thinking about this subject, the better.

BTW, I am thinking of getting a Bowflex tension rod apparatus in order to improve my strength training regimen. If you have any better solution, please let me know.


March 31, 2011 12:44 PM EST [Remove this Comment]
proclus said:
Would you drink radioactive KoolAid? This is no rhetorical question, as the disaster in Japan so easily demonstrates. I wonder how many people believe the government reports that there is no risk to human health. I have to say that I laughed, unfortunately, when I heard the government reports on the radio, because I knew that they were obviously lying.

What about the X-ray scanners? The BP oil spill? on and on? US practices of torture? No risk to human health? Do you suppose that such thugs would shrink from feeding you toxic food and calling it healthful and refreshing? Are you drinking the radioactive KoolAid?

Michael L. Love