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Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us

Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us [Kindle Edition]

Michael Moss
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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"Michael Moss has brilliantly exposed the systematic venality of Big Food. This book will confirm all your worst suspicions about the lengths big food companies go to to keep us hooked on junk." (Joanna Blythman, bestselling author of Shopped and Bad Food Britain)

"What happens when one of the country's great investigative reporters infiltrates the most disastrous cartel of modern times: a processed food industry that's making a fortune by slowly poisoning an unwitting population? You get this terrific, powerfully written book, jammed with startling disclosures, jaw-dropping confessions and, importantly, the charting of a path to a better, healthier future. This book should be read by anyone who tears a shiny wrapper and opens wide. That's all of us." (Ron Suskind, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, and the Education of a President)

"A mouth-watering, gut-wrenching look at the food we hate to love" (Publishers Weekly)

"A shocking, galvanising manifesto against the corporations manipulating nutrition to fatten their bottom line-one of the most important books of the year" (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)

"In this meticulously researched book, Michael Moss tells the chilling story of how the food giants have seduced everyone in this country. He understands a vital and terrifying truth: that we are not just eating fast food when we succumb to the siren song of sugar, fat, and salt. We are fundamentally changing our lives-and the world around us." (Alice Waters)

Book Description

Think horse meat is bad? You should try pink slime

An eye-opening and explosive journey into the secretive world of the processed food giants

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Brief Summary and Review 12 Mar 2013
*A full executive summary of this book is available at newbooksinbrief dot com.

You open a bag of chips intending to eat only a few handfuls. You find the chips tasting quite good, and a few handfuls turns into a few more. Just one more... o.k., last one... definitely the last one. A few minutes later you find yourself staring down at an empty bag. Then your stomach starts to hurt--then your heart. The guilt isn't far behind. Who among us hasn't experienced this at one time or another? This is junk food in a nutshell: it tastes great (practically irresistible) and is very convenient, but if you indulge too much (which sometimes seems all too easy), it's not very good for you. All of this has an easy explanation, it's right there on the label: impressive portions of salt, sugar and fat, the junk food trifecta. Each has its own appeal, and each is very inexpensive (which explains why it's in our food), but over the years each has also been implicated in some of our most common and serious conditions and diseases, including obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

Unfortunately, the junk food trifecta is not only popping up in our junk food, it is increasingly being featured in virtually all of the processed foods that we eat--from chips and soda, to canned food and prepared meals, to cake and ice-cream. And as salt, sugar and fat have become more common in the foods that we eat, the conditions and illnesses associated with their abuse have reached epidemic proportions. In his new book Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us journalist Michael Moss takes us behind the labels and explores the history and practices of the processed food industry-a story that features the rise of salt, sugar and fat, and the deterioration of our health.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable 6 Mar 2013
By I. Darren TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Society is slowing understanding that there is a downside to the convenience of ready-made, processed food that supermarkets typically sell, just as we now understand the pitfalls with fast food. What is less known is the various "tricks" used to make many of us de facto addicts.

This book, written by a New York Times investigative reporter, details the rapid growth of the (American) processed foods industry and takes a look at the various methods being used to make us want to consumer more and more. It is no accident, it is design. Design of a big business worth over a trillion US dollars a year in just America alone.

Some of the statistics cited are alarming. The average American (note that word - average) will eat over 33 pounds (15 kg) of a fat-laden cheese each year, equivalent to the weight of a small child. Not alarmed yet? How about 70 pounds (31.7kg) of sugar? Or double the amount of salt that we should ingest... and all of this is only from processed food! Of course, a bit of everything can be good for you, but when this means that one in three adults is clinically obese and the problem is still growing you really need to sit up and pay attention.

The author takes a thoughtful look at the problem which is a worldwide issue and examines the role, or possibly collusion, that the processed food industry has been involved in. This is no conspiracy theory-style drama but a matter-of-fact, an articulated consideration of the problem. The role of product development and various food scientists, marketeers and ad men and even industry lobbying efforts are brought together to get us eating more, more, more.

The reader is free to draw their own conclusions and inferences.
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54 of 59 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I'd like to buy the world a book 26 Feb 2013
By David Wineberg TOP 1000 REVIEWER
For decades, I have been referring to the title of this book as America's three basic food groups. Salt, sugar and fat are the most abundant additives in food, and their effects are cumulative - the more we eat them, the more we can eat them, and the more want to eat them, so the more we eat them. The result is pandemic obesity and its further unintended consequences - miserable chronic diseases in an age just when we thought we were overcoming them forever. This irony goes unexplored, but the book is packed with evidence of it.

The convenience of processed foods fits with our hurried society. It exacerbates the death of family meals, and encourages eating anywhere, anytime, and basically all day long. That by itself is enough to damn the industry, if traditional family values mean anything. Far more damaging than gay marriage, or abortion, or sexting, processed foods are destroying us, literally, physically. For hundreds of millions of Americans (and soon the world), this is normal. It is the way of life. There are no viable alternatives. This too, however, goes unexplored.

Moss divides the book into the three sections of its title. It contains the usual litany of incredible statistics - like how much of these ingredients the average American ingests annually, and how many billions of pounds the processors produce, but also some interesting developments on the way to perdition:

-Food processors call their customers users, like the drug addicts they want them to become.
-The "bliss point" is used by all of them to scientifically maximize the sugar effect along a bell curve. It allows food engineers to calculate how much sugar a child blisses out on compared to an adult, for example.
-Cereal makers spend twice as much on advertising as on ingredients.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
This is a book worth reading to learn the truth about the processed food industry. Let's face it, they only exist to make money. Some of them were born out of good intentions. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Fernando
5.0 out of 5 stars Required Reading for the Conscientious Grocery Shopper
Full marks to Michael Moss for undertaking this comprehensive research - it is not just a history of how food became a full scale industrialised commodity but a wider 'genealogy'... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Chorismos
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read for food industry skeptics
I ordered this book right away after reading Michael Moss' article in The New York Times on the same topic, and I was not disappointed. Read more
Published 9 months ago by og505
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read wake up call
Although written for the American market, it has never been more accurate that where America leads (and especially where obesity is concerned), Britain closely follows. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Jeremy Fenton
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
I think this is one of the most interesting and educational books I have ever read. The detail of research is extraordinary and I can genuinely say I believe it has changed the way... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Ms R A Alexander
4.0 out of 5 stars Desperately depressing and scary book - compulsive reading for all...
If this book doesn't get you scanning the nutritional information on just about every foodstuff you buy then nothing will. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Anon
5.0 out of 5 stars Appallingly honest, shocklinly truthful
This book provides a peek into the raging abyss which is the processed food industry of America.
Everyone should read this book, its shockingly stark in and brazenly honest,... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Jesper Rosenkjr
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant presentation of facts which the food industry would prefer...
I like to know what I put into my body. It is not the case that I am Ms perfect who eats only what is good and nothing else -but I want to decide. Read more
Published 11 months ago by martina motz
5.0 out of 5 stars A real eyeopener - prepare to get very angry...
An absolute must read for anyone interested in what goes in their mouths and through their bodies. Fascinating information about the links between the food industry and the tobacco... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Margherita
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
This has changed completely how I view food in the supermarket and has changed what I buy and from whom. Read more
Published 12 months ago by F. A. Perry
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