Does Dr. Evil Work for the Food Industry?

Fully Loaded Fries

Dr. Janet Hull holds a Doctorate in Nutrition and a Master’s Degree in Environmental Science, and is a Licensed Certified Nutritionist. She is one of the leading opponents of the artificial sweetener aspartame, and is also against the presence of caffeine in processed foods and soft drinks. And what’s wrong with that? Dr. Hull says,

Caffeine promotes stomach-acid secretion (possibly increasing the symptoms of peptic ulcers), temporarily raises blood pressure, and dilates some blood vessels while constricting others. Excessive caffeine intake results in “caffeinism,” with symptoms ranging from nervousness to insomnia…

As if that weren’t sufficiently worrying, caffeine is a stimulant drug and an addictive drug, so you might think it would not be permitted in foods and beverages available to children — yet it is. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) is another problematic substance, and a large number of nutrition-conscious people would like to see it banished entirely. Whether establishment science agrees or not, these mavericks link MSG to a list of more than 30 ailments, of which obesity is one. Here’s an interesting thing. When researchers need fat rats for their experiments, where do you suppose the fat rats come from?

MSG is injected into laboratory rats to induce obesity. It also has been shown to increase appetite in male rats and to induce obesity in female rats and chickens. Scientists in Spain have recently concluded that MSG when given to mice increase appetite by as much as 40%.

Way back in 2005, news arrived from Spain about MSG, known in the laboratory environment as E-621.

A team of scientists in the Faculty of Medicine at the Complutense University of Madrid has discovered that when given to rats, E-621 produces a massive 40 percent increase in appetite. The scientists think the additive affects the arcuate nucleus area of the brain and so prevents proper functioning of the body’s appetite control mechanisms. According to this hypothesis, people (and children) who consume foods with large quantities of E-621 just feel more and more hungry the more they eat.

Now does that sound like addiction, or what? The development of tolerance to the substance, so there is no such thing as “enough”… By the way, here is what the MSG Truth site says about MSG and addiction:

Glutamate is intimately linked to addictive behaviors… brain neurotransmitters like Glutamate and Gamma Amino Butyric Acid (GABA) are affected by alcohol and other drugs linked to substance abuse… Not everyone can easily get rid of excess Glutamate from MSG and these folks may be at risk of addictive behaviors due to a GABA deficiency.

MSG is an excitotoxin that may be found in food disguised under many names, including “natural flavoring.” Apparently, it works in not one but two ways to make us fat: First, because its presence in food enhances taste, it encourages us to eat more, often to the point of actual dependence on and addiction to virtually worthless pseudo-foods. Second, the chemical activity of the MSG itself acts on the organs and processes of the body in ways that increase body weight. Here is Dr. Royce Bailey of Park Ridge Cardiology in Henderson, North Carolina, on the subject of MSG and obesity:

Monosodium glutamate is a neurotransmitter. Glutamate is a highly regulated chemical of the nervous system, and a proper balance is necessary for healthy brain and organ function. In fact, every major human organ is now known to contain glutamate receptors. Overstimulation of these receptors — in the brain or elsewhere — can lead to numerous health problems… The MSG manufacturers themselves admit that it addicts people to their products. It is like nicotine in our food. It makes people chose their product over another and eat more of their product than if it didn’t have MSG in it. Thus, MSG causes obesity and it is addictive!

Does the obesity epidemic result from a plot concocted by Dr. Evil to achieve world domination through addiction? Is Dr. Evil, in fact, employed by the food industry? The answer is no. He can’t be a captain of the food industry or anything else, because he doesn’t exist. Dr. Evil is a fictitious character portrayed by actor Mike Myers in the Austin Powers movies. And besides, the idea that food corporations, with the complicity of the government, would deliberately add addictive substances to our food is simply preposterous and absurd. Right?

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “Food Additives to Avoid,”
Source: “MSG and Obesity,” MSG Truth
Source: “Scientists in Spain link Additive to Obesity,”
Source: “MSG and Obesity,” Park Ridge Cardiology
Image by cliff1066 (cliff), used under its Creative Commons license.
Image by jasonlam (Jason Lam), used under its Creative Commons license.

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About Dr. Robert A. Pretlow

Dr. Robert A. Pretlow is a pediatrician and childhood obesity specialist. He has been researching and spreading awareness on the childhood obesity epidemic in the US for more than a decade.
You can contact Dr. Pretlow at:


Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the American Society of Animal Science 2020 Conference
What’s Causing Obesity in Companion Animals and What Can We Do About It

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the World Obesity Federation 2019 Conference:
Food/Eating Addiction and the Displacement Mechanism

Dr. Pretlow’s Multi-Center Clinical Trial Kick-off Speech 2018:
Obesity: Tackling the Root Cause

Dr. Pretlow’s 2017 Workshop on
Treatment of Obesity Using the Addiction Model

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation for
TEC and UNC 2016

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the 2015 Obesity Summit in London, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s invited keynote at the 2014 European Childhood Obesity Group Congress in Salzburg, Austria.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2013 European Congress on Obesity in Liverpool, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2011 International Conference on Childhood Obesity in Lisbon, Portugal.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2010 Uniting Against Childhood Obesity Conference in Houston, TX.

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