October 4, 2012 | volume 116, issue 24

We’re eating our way into trouble

Lots of us have observed that foods that are good for us – broccoli and bean sprouts – don’t trigger intense cravings. In the late afternoon, when my energy is low, I want a cookie or a piece of chocolate, not a green pepper. Similarly, when I walk around the grocery store, I go through the meats and produce section without feeling deep cravings for the food I see. But when I get to the bakery, all bets are off, even if I’m not hungry.

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These patterns of cravings are significant because what we eat affects our health so much. Obesity and diabetes are more and more problematic in the...

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