How are salt, sugar, coffee, chocolate, alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, opioids, and cocaine alike?
We know they offer little or no nutritional benefit, can be addictive, and may cause health problems. They also provide pleasure to the brain. But another similarity is often overlooked: these substances-which author John L. Graham refers to collectively as spices-are all pushed upon us by companies and producers that relentlessly market them.
Given the potential dangers of these and other psychoactive substances, consumers may believe that their governments and public health policies would protect them. But as Graham reveals, regulations often do little to curb consumption; instead, interested businesses actively encourage overuse of their products and may pay off the politicians.
While other authors have also addressed the history and health effects of spices, Graham is the first to examine the marketing and advertising techniques used to hook consumers.
Through Spiced, Graham hopes to expose marketing's role in sustaining our addiction to sugar, tobacco, and other psychoactive substances and to then inspire a discussion of strategies for reining in that marketing. To get the conversation going, he offers seven cogent "prescriptions for change" that he believes could fix our broken health policy.