The In-N-Out cheeseburger you just had for lunch is one example of the forbidden fruit of modern times.
In Genesis 2:16-17, God said, “You are free to eat of any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”
Adam and Eve were commanded not to eat of the forbidden tree, but seeing something that was restricted seduced mankind to temptation.
Today’s temptations are everywhere. Simply by walking past Starbucks, one may fall to indulgence by just smelling the aroma. When going out to eat, the dessert menu can cause consumers to give in to the sweet tendencies. However, eating these foods regularly can produce unhealthy eating habits.
California Baptist University Associate Professor of Kinesiology Jan Kodat stated, “Having too much sugar all the time gives you a rollercoaster of high and low blood sugar which can create cravings to make you want more of the same sugary food.\”
It is shown by western culture that unhealthy food should be forbidden, leaving us with guilty feelings when we succumb to these sugary cravings.
But what if these western guidelines were eliminated? Instead, people lived in a world where junk food became nutritious and healthy food was deemed fattening, and therefore restricted.
In this scenario, grains and soybeans would be the new takeout. Apples and oranges would be considered dessert. Pizza would boost weight-loss and cheeseburgers would reduce cholesterol. People would be able to eat as much sugary food as they wanted without any feelings of guilt.
This new reality would seem appealing to most avid junk food eaters. Feeling free to eat four donuts in the morning and as earlier referenced, an In-N-Out hamburger for lunch would be a dream come true. Until the moment one gets a craving for fresh strawberries. Since junk food is no longer a temptation, one might wonder if people would still even be attracted to junk food. In fact, studies have shown that people tend to crave foods that are forbidden temptations.
According to an article published in the United Kingdom’s The Sunday Times, Professor Peter Rogers of Bristol University suggested the foods people crave “‘are those we usually attempt to resist because they induce guilty feelings when we eat them. If we try to resist something, though, the urge actually becomes amplified.’”
Evidence is found in a 2008 study conducted by Appetite, a journal on intake research. Researchers found that “women who tried to suppress thoughts about their favorite fattening food ended up eating 50 percent more.”
Once people are discouraged from eating certain foods, temptation becomes inevitable. Since healthy food would be considered forbidden, it would become more desirable than junk food. An experiment proves how even healthy food can be tempting once it is restricted.
An experiment published in the book The Truth about Food by Jill Fullerton-Smith, discovered that when restricting snacks, it actually increases a higher desirability.
In the experiment, a class of 18 four and five-year-olds were allowed to eat from a bowl of dried mangos for 15 minutes. But they were not allowed to eat from a bowl of raisins. Only after 10 minutes were the children allowed to eat the raisins. After two weeks, 11 out of 18 students preferred the raisins.
Studies have concluded that foods become more attractive once they are forbidden. Whether it be junk food or healthy food, people want what they cannot have. Like Adam and Eve, people choose to eat what they should not.
“Because it’s wrong, we want to do it more. Rebellion is sin; rebellion is in our nature, so [eating junk food] would look attractive, fun,” Bailee Sawyer, a CBU kinesiology major, said.