Pulitzer Prize winning reporter meets with students

Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Michael Moss met with students early this week to discuss his book Salt, Sugar Fat. Freshmen students were required to read the book for the University College's summer reading program.  Photo courtesy of MichaelMossBooks.com
Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Michael Moss met with students early this week to discuss his book Salt, Sugar Fat. Freshmen students were required to read the book for the University College’s summer reading program.
Photo courtesy of MichaelMossBooks.com

Cyrus Nuval
Staff Writer

Students met this week with Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter, Michael Moss, author of, “Salt Sugar Fat,” continuing a tradition of the University College’s summer reading program.

Freshmen students discussed the summer reading book with Moss, who also worked for the New York Times. The book focuses on how the food industry through advertising and key ingredients has knowingly contributed to the obesity epidemic in America.

Primarily fatty foods entice adolescents and young adults more than salt or sugar, according to Moss.

“Sugar has been more of a children problem and salt or sodium has been more of an adults and elderly kind of problem,” said Moss. “Fat, saturated fat and that kind of stuff, I found out, is primarily a young adult and college student kind of dilemma.”

Numerous students found the book informative and interesting, especially in the chapters that focused on the similarities between drug addiction and addiction to the chemicals found in our modern foods
“It was interesting how studies show that sugar can affect the human brain in a similar way that cocaine does,” said Erika Holshoe, a student at the event. “To think that we can get addicted to these preservatives, flavor enhancers and artificial sweeteners, it’s quite scary and interesting at the same time.”

Freshman Michael Oppenheimer said he was worried by the science that is used to manufacture some foods.

“From what I read so far, the chemical engineering and science going into these foods to make them more addictive and making sure that we … buy another meal, eat another chip … drink another bottle and come back for more, that stuff really scares me,” Oppenheimer said. “The terms used to describe the processes, such as the Bliss Point, means that these manufacturers have really made a science on how to get us addicted to their product.”

Moss said that a combination of advertising and economic factors has also played a large part in encouraging young adults and college students to practice unhealthy diets and habits.

“A lot of these foods are really really cheap compared to healthier options,” Moss said. “When you go to the grocery store and check the price tags, a college student on a budget would most likely buy the cheaper microwavables or the easy to cook ramen and macaroni and cheese.”

“The advertising guys for large food corporations really know what they’re doing,” he said.

Moss also spoke Tuesday at the Siegel Center during convocation for incoming students.

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