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Is Our Junk Food Addiction Killing Us?

January 30 @ 5:00 pm

 |  FREE


January 30
5:00 pm
Event Category:


Cambridge Forum
3 Church St.
Cambridge, MA 02138 United States


Cambridge Forum
(617) 495-2727


An astounding 60% of a typical American diet is made up of ultra-processed foods – like cereals, breads, yoghurts and frozen dinners plus sweets and soda.  Now there’s mounting scientific evidence that UPFs are not just potentially addictive but also linked to our rocketing rates of obesity, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer.  We know that food can be either medicine or toxin; so how do we recognize “junk” food and make better eating choices?

We examine the links between diet and disease, zoning in on the addictive alchemy of certain combinations that make up HPF (hyper-palatable foods) which are irresistible to our taste buds.  We ask three experts in the field for their advice.

L to R:  Jerry Mande, Tera Fazzino and Larissa Zimberoff.

Jerry Mande is CEO of Nourish Science and Adjunct Professor of Nutrition, at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health.  Mande has a wealth of experience in national public health and food policy. He served in senior policymaking positions for three presidents at USDA, FDA, and OSHA helping lead landmark public health initiatives. In 2009, he was appointed by President Obama as USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety, In 2011, he moved to USDA’s Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services, where he spent six years working to improve the health outcomes of the nation’s $100 billion investment in 15 nutrition programs. During the Clinton administration, Mande was Senior Advisor to the FDA commissioner where he helped shape national policy on nutrition, food safety, and tobacco.

Tera Fazzino is Assistant Professor of Psychology and Associate Director of the Cofrin Logan Center for Addiction Research and Treatment at the University of Kansas. She is an experimental psychologist who studies processes involved in addiction, obesity, and eating disorders.

Larissa Zimberoff is a freelance journalist who covers the intersection of food, technology, and business; also the author of Technically Food: Inside Silicon Valley’s Mission to Change What We Eat.

Join the discussion about who is responsible for the food environment we find ourselves in and whether the FDA should do more to regulate the labelling of highly addictive foodstuffs with health warnings.


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