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Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss

Salt, Sugar, Fat should be read by anyone wanting to try to understand the current obesity and health crises all over the world.

You don’t need to read this book to realise that salt, sugar and fat are ‘bad’ for us.  Everyone knows that, it is just how much notice we take of that knowledge that varies.

And far more than that, the author suggests that the big food companies are including increasingly more of these three components into our food and drink, to maximise our cravings to repeatedly buy their products.  There is even an acknowledged ‘bliss point’ which is used in the soft drinks industry to describe the optimal quantity of sugar at which the drink is most enjoyed by the customer, and therefore most likely to lead them to buy it again, and again.

For anyone who has ever eaten any processed food, and I challenge anyone to deny that, this book will shock and revolt.  Unfortunately it is quite a heavy read (both literally and figuratively), it is more depressing than entertaining, and rather too full of data and endless text.  I would also take some of the book’s more scientific assertions with a pinch of salt, no pun intended.

However, if you manage to read this without at least thinking twice when you next reach for a carton of Pringles, then you have a stronger mind than I! I’m off to munch on a carrot stick…

Rating: 6/10

Review by Dr Natalie Smith, GP Registrar (ST3) at The Manor Surgery in Headington, Oxford