“Happy Eating” and Food Addiction in American Advertising

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This book explores the addictive techniques used in advertisements for ultra-processed foods, which promise consequence-free eating to consumers while at the same time encouraging over-consumption of unhealthy food. Debbie Danowski presents an analysis of promotional techniques in the context of food addiction characteristics and behaviors through an exploration of the themes used in this type of advertising. These thematic messages include using food to rebel, to play, to relax, to achieve happiness, to replace exercise, to achieve good health, to increase intelligence, to show love, to bond with others, and to create environmental change. Ultimately, Danowski argues that these competing and contradictory messages have had long-term negative ramifications for American habits of consumption, both literally and figuratively. Scholars of communication, advertising, media studies, and food studies will find this book particularly useful.


ISBN 9781666939262 (hardcover); ISBN 9781666939279.