We often find ourselves driven to consume unhealthy or damaging foods without fully understanding what motivates these cravings. In contrast with the predominantly physiological research in his field, the work of David Kessler contends that the fat, sugar, and salt in our foods are also capable of altering our brain’s chemistry in ways that drive these powerful compulsions. In this audio lecture he investigates the marketing strategies of multinational food companies and the ways in which they can exploit these habits.

Former FDA Commissioner and author of the 2009 book The End of Overeating, David Kessler raises important questions about how we define the cultural norm for food consumption, what role our government should play in regulating food companies, and what ultimately is at stake for the United States. He stresses the difficulty in breaking our bad nutritional habits and still finding successful business alternatives. David Kessler was speaking as part of the Global Health Speaker Series organized by the Stanford Center on Global Health in partnership with the Stanford Graduate School of Business.