Let me guess; you’re here because you love fast food. The bad news is it’s incredibly likely that just by reading the words “fast food,” you’re probably already craving it. If that doesn’t do the trick, there are a couple of images below that should seal the deal. Most people love fast food, and this is no accident. Almost everything about fast food from ingredients to marketing is designed to make us crave it over and over again. If you’ve always wondered why you love fast food so much outside of the obvious “it tastes amazing” logic, here are five more reasons why we all love fast food.
Your Brain Prefers High-Calorie Foods
Consider this a small lesson in human evolution. It’s believed that our brains evolved substantially during a time when food was scarce, so human beings who lived during those eras became adept at choosing foods that had a lot of calories. Scientists have also discovered that the brain prefers caloric food due to the need for energy storage. On a more positive note, a recent study showed two genetic variants that interact to alter the brain responses to high-calorie foods, a tie that could aid in the development of targeted treatments for obesity and overweight.
Our Minds Respond Positively to Branding
Fast food companies followed the path of Pavlov when it came to branding. Fast food marketing and branding are merely more advanced forms of getting a dog to drool from the sound of a bell with catchy songs, mascots, and logos. These types of branding and marketing can cause our brains releasing dopamine. You know, the stuff we crave even more than the colonel’s secret recipe of 11 herbs and spices. It’s finger-licking not fair.
You’re Seeing Red
Color psychology will never be an exact science, but there’s a reason why most fast food companies use the color red. The color red has been known to raise blood pressure, increase our heart rate and most notably, our appetites. Warm colors like yellow also have the same effect on us. Does the fashion of one Mr. Ronald McDonald make McSense yet?
Fast Food Stokes Our Memory
You know how you like to watch the same movie or your favorite TV show over and over again? Well, the same rule applies to fast food. Neuroscience studies have shown that a huge part of the pleasure of eating food is tied to memory, just as much as flavor or taste. Fast food is designed to give us the same food experience each time we eat it, which is why it’s such a comfort food. Humans are creatures of habit, and fast food provided them with the perfect food source for their food “happy place.”
Humans Love Sugar
Sugar is arguably one of the most addictive substances on the planet, and there isn’t one fast food item that doesn’t contain a ton of it. Ingesting sugar can increase dopamine levels, which also happens when someone ingests cocaine or other addictive drugs. Continually eating or craving sugar can cause a binge and withdrawal cycle and lead to a dependence on what seems to be a rather harmless substance.