But this is not the worst of it.
The sugars, salts and fats that are slowly killing us are at the same time essential for our survival. Our brains reward us when we eat them, filling us with feelings of pleasure. But modern abundance has pushed this too far - in this Guardian Short, James Erlichman lays out a frank argument in which we have become addicted to food. Full of diverse research and exploring the science of obesity and the social history of what we eat for our meals (and snacks), 'Addicted to Food' is a powerful call for us to understand the terrible catch-22 that is driving our ever-expanding waistlines. Written with humour and passion, it will not just make you look at that custard cream in a different fashion, but enable you to understand why it tastes so delicious in the first place.
James Erlichman is a visiting fellow at the University of Sussex, where he recently completed a PhD in public health science policy. Previously he has worked as a journalist and author, broadcaster, and for two years as a senior scientific researcher at the International Obesity TaskForce, a London-based charity.