Men's Health


So you’re sitting in a booth at a fast-food chicken joint. Maybe you’re there because of a funny commercial you saw on TV, or a nostalgia-induced craving, or it’s convenient and you’re starving. You unwrap the crinkly paper to unveil a squishy bun hugging a warm breast of fried chicken. Sizzling from the kitchen punctures the Top 40 music playing above. The aroma of crisped fat intensifies. You take a bite.

Hmmm. It tastes, well, kind of sucky. It’s not nearly as juicy as the ad made it look or as delicious as the ones you remember. Yet you eat, and maybe eat more of it than you should, as if compelled by outside forces.

The truth is, those forces—from the texture of the wrapping to the lightness of the bun to the too-loud pop music—are intentional. Scientists have long known that much of

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