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  • A man walks into a famous fast-food place in an airport, not because he's a big fan

  • of this particular type of food, but because he has little time before boarding his flight

  • and there aren't too many other food options.

  • His resolve not to eat a lot crumbles no sooner than he's dazzled by all the familiar bright

  • colors around him.

  • He was sure he was going to be sensible, but 15-minutes after entering the place he's

  • consumed 2,000 calories and doesn't feel too great about it.

  • What he doesn't know is exactly what he has consumed.

  • He's also blissfully unaware of how his brain has been manipulated on several occasions.

  • He's been prey to a business predator that doesn't always tell you how exactly it goes

  • about its work.

  • Today, all will be revealed.

  • 8.

  • This is your brain on a Large Oreo Shake You'll all probably agree that sugar is

  • nice.

  • What you might not know is that researchers have pointed to its addictive qualities, something

  • fast-food restaurants are very aware of.

  • A hit of sugar, like many drugs in the world, releases feel-good chemicals in your brain.

  • When you eat sugar you get a small blast of opioids and dopamine and you feel ever so

  • slightly high.

  • That's why sugar is loaded into many fast-food products.

  • You're not just eating junk food because you like it, there's also an element of

  • you needing it.

  • But it goes further than this.

  • You see, we humans evolved in a time when food was scarce.

  • We had to hunt for food, which was often hard, dangerous work.

  • Therefore, we hunted for food items that had a lot of calories and gave us the most energy.

  • These days, you don't have to fight off a pride of hungry lions to get your hands

  • on a piece of beef.

  • In fact, fast-food restaurants are everywhere, and they are usually cheap.

  • The food items are packed with calories and so that's one reason we go to those places.

  • Not only that, the food comes to you fast and so your brain's reward system triggers

  • fast.

  • Convenience is also addictive, and that's why you see so many fast-food restaurants

  • and why they offer the drive-thru option at certain places.

  • It's all about getting a quick fix.

  • Lastly, there's the Pavlovian thing.

  • You might have heard of Pavlov's dog, which relates to experiments undertaken by the Russian

  • physiologist, Ivan Pavlov.

  • In short, he figured out that when a dog heard the sound of its dinner bell, the sound itself

  • made the dog salivate.

  • So, why do you think every time you go to a fast-food restaurant you see and hear all

  • the same things?

  • It's because your brain associates all the familiar colors and symbols and sounds with

  • a rewarding experience.

  • You only have to look at a fast-food joint to start salivating.

  • The reason for that is the place's consistency.

  • 7.

  • They know how our minds work Studies have shown that when less energy is

  • put into ordering food we will make worse choices.

  • Basically, it is less likely you'd go for a large fries if the server didn't ask you

  • if you'd like to boost the size of your meal.

  • In fact, you might not go for the fries at all if someone didn't ask you, “Do you

  • want fries with that?”

  • Scientists believe that we feel less guilty when someone asks us to order a bit more since

  • there is less responsibility on the buyer.

  • They're not asking you out of curiosity.

  • They're manipulating you.

  • When we say 'you' we mean of course the company, not the server.

  • It works, too.

  • Some sources say in one year McDonald's made an extra $28 million in revenue just

  • from upsizing its products for people.

  • As a consumer, you might go into a place with the best intentions of not eating too much,

  • but as soon as you are asked if you want more, you will get more.

  • As the New York Times once wrote, when McDonald's asks you if you want fries with that it already

  • knows the answer.

  • It's not just the spoken word, either.

  • Lately, some fast-food restaurants have invested in technology that shows customers many other

  • options on a bright screen stationed in front of where they are standing.

  • If you are visiting a drive-through restaurant, new technology can now recognize your license

  • plate and quickly understand what you ordered in the past.

  • That way, the company can know what options to flash up in front of you.

  • It will know if you are partial to super-sizing meals or buying a milkshake.

  • As one person told the New York Times, “These sorts of technologies are making it hard for

  • people to just find some reasonable moderation.”

  • It's the same with Value meals.

  • The restaurants know very well that you'll more often than not go for them even though

  • you went in with the best intentions of getting one solitary burger.

  • You see, when you look at prices a place in your brain called the orbitofrontal cortex

  • starts to fire up.

  • Scientists have found that when a person buys something knowing there was a better deal,

  • brain activity shows some amount of pain.

  • That's the reason there's always a good offer only if you spend more and eat more.

  • In a nutshell, as soon as you walk through the door there's a lot of manipulation going

  • on, but as you'll soon see, maybe that's the least of your worries.

  • 6.

  • The portions keep getting bigger Since the 1950s the USA and a slew of other

  • countries have reported an obesity crisis, and in some part, you can blame fast-food.

  • You can find lots of restaurants that have sandwiches that contain just under or just

  • over 1,000 calories.

  • And that's before you start counting the calories in the drinks and the fries.

  • Burger King's “The Rodeo King Sandwichweighs in at 1,250 calories.

  • Dairy Queen's six-piece basket ofHoney Hot Glazed Chicken Stripscontains 1,600

  • calories.

  • A 12-inch Classic Italian Sub at Quiznos has 1,400 calories in it.

  • That's a lot of calories to be consuming.

  • Try burning those items off at the gym and you'll find yourself having to walk home

  • with the elliptical machine on your back.

  • Back in the day, there was no such thing as these giant meals.

  • We are living in an era of the mega-burger.

  • The thing is, we are suckers for punishment.

  • If restaurant A offers a bigger burger than restaurant B and they cost the same, we generally

  • go for the value option.

  • Remember it's painful to not feel we have gotten a good deal.

  • The drinks are much bigger, too.

  • In the 50s, a soda was just 7 ounces.

  • These days a small soda is 16 ounces and a large, 32 ounces.

  • Some restaurants have been known to offer 64-ounce drinks, which might contain 800 calories.

  • Add to that a large fries, with around 460 calories in many places, as well as a burger,

  • and you've got yourself a meal containing almost as many calories than an average person

  • should consume in an entire day.

  • There's also the fact that restaurants have over time re-named their drinks.

  • For some places, what used to be large is now medium.

  • What used to be medium is now small.

  • Customers think they are getting a great bargain, but you have to remember that food costs are

  • less than operating costs for the restaurants.

  • Giving you more doesn't hurt them so much.

  • They just want you to keep coming back.

  • 5.

  • Tattooed food When you order something that's supposedly

  • been flame-grilled, it likely hasn't gone through this process.

  • It will still have the black grill marks on it, but those have been added to the meat

  • during processing.

  • The marks are actually branded on by the supplier.

  • As for the smokey taste, that comes from the processing period, too.

  • It's called addingsolutionto the patties, with some patties being made up of

  • around 20 percent solution.

  • This solution might consist of a bunch of preservatives, salt, animal fats, and flavorings.

  • According to the experts, it works, people love seeing those grill marks even though

  • they should know they are not real.

  • It's good for the companies since paying for branded grill marks is a lot cheaper than

  • installing grills in restaurants.

  • Instead, the meat is blasted with hot air when it's first cooked, and then it might

  • have a date with a machine that makes the grill mark, such as theCM-40 II Charmarker”.

  • Now for something a little more frightening.

  • 4.

  • What's in a chicken nugget?

  • McDonald's has taken a lot of flak over the years for its famous chicken McNuggets

  • and their lack of chicken, but if you go to the company's website now you'll read

  • that they contain “100 percent white meat chicken.”

  • Still, you can find a study published by The American Journal of Medicine in 2013 that

  • talked about many chicken nuggets that were tested by scientists.

  • The study didn't mention which restaurants' nuggets were featured, but said after testing

  • it found at most places the nugget consisted of around 50 percent meat.

  • So, what was in the rest of the nuggets, you might wonder with some degree of consternation?

  • The scientists wrote they found, “ground-up bone, blood vessels, nerve, and connective

  • tissue.”

  • Even worse, scientists at the University of Mississippi Medical Center said what can often

  • be found is a similar mash-up as what you might find in dog food.

  • This is the sludge-type meat you've all likely seen, sometimes calledmeat slurry

  • orliquefied meat.”

  • There is something calledmechanically separated meat.”

  • This is basically a process in which all the meat left on the animal carcass is blasted

  • off and then put through a sieve.

  • The entire animal is not ground down and turned into mush, but all the edible tissue comes

  • off.

  • You might still find this kind of meat in things such as hot dogs and chicken nuggets,

  • or even some patties, but if what you're eating contains mechanically separated meat

  • by law the packaging should state as such.

  • This kind of process doesn't involve any beef since people were concerned about mad

  • cow disease.

  • When it comes to pork, only 20 percent of your hotdog if bought in the US can contain

  • the sludge.

  • With chicken, it seems the product could contain 100 percent of mechanically separated meat.

  • As for it being a public health risk, most experts say if the product has been made in

  • a safe environment then it should be as safe as any other meat.

  • It's also usually treated with something called ammonium hydroxide.

  • This is to get rid of dangerous bacteria.

  • Still, the European Food Safety Authority said, “High-pressure production processes

  • increase the risk of microbial growth.”

  • 3.

  • Would you like a finger with that?

  • You might not be surprised to hear that sometimes strange and even dangerous things are found

  • in the products at fast-food restaurants.

  • It was said in 2019, Mcdonald's sold 2.36 billion burgers worldwide.

  • That worked out at around 75 burgers a second.

  • Burger King sells a similar number of burgers, so if you add up all sales from fast-food

  • restaurants, well, the numbers are mind boggling.

  • That's one reason why sometimes things go wrong, and when they do, you can be sure you'll

  • hear about it.

  • In 2011, it was reported that a man in the US was suing Burger King after eating a Triple

  • Stacker burger and finding a needle from a syringe had pierced his tongue.

  • During his 6-day stay in the hospital, another needle was retrieved from the man's small

  • intestine.

  • In 2010, the media reported that a man had settled out of court after he bit into a Burger

  • King burger and discovered it contained a condom.

  • According to the guy's lawyer, hesustained pain and suffering, vomiting, nightmares,

  • mental and emotional distress.”

  • Sure he did.

  • In 2008, a guy in the UK had just opened his sweet chili chicken sandwich from Subway only

  • to find a four-inch knife baked into it.

  • His wife said later, “Something small like a hair you could understand - accidents happen

  • - but not a knife.”

  • The same year, at a Subway restaurant in New York City, a man said he found a 7-inch blade

  • in his sandwich.

  • He apparently only got as far as biting into the handle.

  • Other things found in fast-food meals have been band-aids, feathers, lungs, a human tooth,

  • chicken heads, a mouse, bullets, painkillers, household nails, human skin, and even a finger.

  • Quite a few bits of fingers have been found in fact, notably one at Arby's.

  • A woman once tried to claim compensation from Wendy's on another occasion, after saying

  • she'd found a finger.

  • The truth was, she'd placed it there herself.

  • She'd been given it by her husband who'd bought it from a co-worker who'd had an

  • accident at work.

  • 2.

  • Healthy might not be healthier Ok, so you're the type of person that only

  • eats all the healthy stuff when you go to a fast-food restaurant.

  • You know, items like a Taco salad.

  • Well, when you look at all the things those salads contain, they aren't a healthy option

  • at all.

  • The average fast-food taco salad may contain 900 calories and 55 grams of fat.

  • That's as much as the average burger and fries.

  • Then there are items such as McDonald's “Fruit & Maple Oatmeal.”

  • This kind of thing was created to attract more health-conscious people to the restaurant.

  • It's not actually that healthy, though, just because it contains a lot of sugar.

  • You'll get some health benefits from such a meal, but it's also like eating a full

  • candy bar.

  • The wordblandis usually not in a fast-food chain's vocabulary.

  • Maybe you like to go for the salad option, but the problem with fast-food salads is they

  • so often come with those tasty creamy sauces, bits of bacon, fried chicken, or tacos.

  • That's the conclusion that was come to byThe Physicians Committee for Responsible

  • Medicinewhen they went in search of fast-food salads.

  • McDonald's “Crispy Bacon Ranch Saladfor instance, had more fat and calories than

  • a Big Mac.

  • Cheesecake Factory's BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad contains 1,250 calories.

  • The same goes for some smoothies.

  • They can contain a lot of sugar, sometimes having as much as 900 calories.

  • The truth is, fast-food restaurants are just likely not the best places to go if you want

  • to eat healthily and are counting calories.

  • As for pizza, that most wonderful invention bestowed on humankind, doesn't it sometimes

  • come with olives, onions, and other veggies that we can feel proud of eating?

  • Well, you should know that Americanized fast-food pizza is different from your traditional Italian

  • pizza, especially if it was actually made in Italy.

  • American fast-food pizzas usually contain much more bread, way more fat, way more salt,

  • lower quality ingredients and are generally just much more calorific.

  • Remember, this is all about you coming back for more and feeling you've got a good deal.