• Hooked

  • Food, Free Will, and How the Food Giants Exploit Our Addictions
  • By: Michael Moss
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 9 hrs
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (443 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best seller

From the author of Salt Sugar Fat comes a “gripping” (The Wall Street Journal) exposé of how the processed food industry exploits our evolutionary instincts, the emotions we associate with food, and legal loopholes in their pursuit of profit over public health. 

“The processed food industry has managed to avoid being lumped in with Big Tobacco - which is why Michael Moss’s new book is so important.” (Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit)

Everyone knows how hard it can be to maintain a healthy diet. But what if some of the decisions we make about what to eat are beyond our control? Is it possible that food is addictive, like drugs or alcohol? And to what extent does the food industry know, or care, about these vulnerabilities? In Hooked, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Michael Moss sets out to answer these questions - and to find the true peril in our food.

Moss uses the latest research on addiction to uncover what the scientific and medical communities - as well as food manufacturers - already know: that food, in some cases, is even more addictive than alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs. Our bodies are hardwired for sweets, so food giants have developed fifty-six types of sugar to add to their products, creating in us the expectation that everything should be cloying; we’ve evolved to prefer fast, convenient meals, hence our modern-day preference for ready-to-eat foods. Moss goes on to show how the processed food industry - including major companies like Nestlé, Mars, and Kellogg’s - has tried not only to evade this troubling discovery about the addictiveness of food but to actually exploit it. For instance, in response to recent dieting trends, food manufacturers have simply turned junk food into junk diets, filling grocery stores with “diet” foods that are hardly distinguishable from the products that got us into trouble in the first place. As obesity rates continue to climb, manufacturers are now claiming to add ingredients that can effortlessly cure our compulsive eating habits. 

A gripping account of the legal battles, insidious marketing campaigns, and cutting-edge food science that have brought us to our current public health crisis, Hooked lays out all that the food industry is doing to exploit and deepen our addictions, and shows us why what we eat has never mattered more.

©2021 Michael Moss (P)2021 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"With Hooked, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Michael Moss dives back into the processed food industry, continuing an inquiry that began in 2014’s Salt Sugar Fat.... Moss brings the same keen-eyed, lucid reporting to Hooked, illuminating the science of addiction to show that processed food is a drug.... If knowledge is power, then Hooked provides the facts we need to free ourselves from remaining unwitting conspirators in Big Food’s ruse.” (San Francisco Chronicle)

“Excellent...Hooked blends investigative reporting, science and foodie writing to argue that the processed food industry is no different from tobacco companies.... Moss’s attention to food addiction should open eyes and convert some free market advocates.” (The New York Times

Hooked is smoothly written, with just the right amount of fascinating scientific detail.” (NPR) 

What listeners say about Hooked

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Empowering Read

What I like about this book: this is information that confirms what I have suspected for awhile (as someone who has battled a lifelong sugar addiction). I feel empowered to keep up the battle, knowing that it’s not just “weakness” or “lack of willpower” on my part. (I did quit smoking 20 years ago! So, I must be doing something right!) The research done by the author seems careful and fairly objective.
What I don’t like: the reader for this audio version is too dramatic in his reading. The tone gives the information a tabloid-ish presentation, and takes away from the objective intention. A paper version might be better.

11 people found this helpful

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Narrator?

Bizarre, hucksterish, overly dramatic narration makes it difficult to take the content seriously. Not sure what was intended, I don’t need to sold.

6 people found this helpful

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bravo Moss!

As I have come to expect nothing short of extraordinary research and balanced insight from Michael Moss I was delighted with this book. I was also frightened by the unwitting damage many have done to their bodies. I will make food choices far differently now!

6 people found this helpful

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Awesome Work!

Thank You Michael Moss for your unique work. I'm an avid nutrition researcher and I love the book.

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well researched and clearly presented

This is a must read for everyone. We simply MUST understand what is in our food and how it affects us. Take responsibility for your health and life, read thus book and don't forget what you learn.

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Informative, but interesting

The author gives us a look at addiction and its mechanisms, with an emphasis on food and its addictive properties and additives.

3 people found this helpful

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The narrator is all wrong

He would be great for a kids adventure series, but his dramatic, theateical delivery is a little much for this content.

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informative

this is information that should be mandatory in grade school!!! we should grow up knowing this.

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Great information

I really enjoyed listening to this book and every day, after listening to a segment, I scrambled to my computer to find the studies and authors of the topics he mentions.

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I thought I was food savvy ...

I learned so much from this book. Absolutely life altering. The narrator was one of the best I’ve come across. A must read for anyone who eats food.

3 people found this helpful