Why Cheetos Are Perfect

On the evening of April 8, 1999, a long line of Town Cars and taxis pulled up to the Minneapolis headquarters of Pillsbury and discharged 11 men who controlled America’s largest food companies. Nestlé was in attendance, as were Kraft and Nabisco, General Mills and Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola and Mars. Rivals any other day, the C.E.O.’s and company presidents had come together for a rare, private meeting. On the agenda was one item: the emerging obesity epidemic and how to deal with it. While the atmosphere was cordial, the men assembled were hardly friends.

So begins the [14-page] feature in this weekend’s New York Times Magazine on “The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food,” which is also an excerpt from author Michael Moss’s book Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us, out February 26 (Amazon | Indiebound).

If it then makes you curious about what’s new in the world of Lunchables (discussed in the piece at length), they now make varieties with smoothies, pizza, and flatbread, and they have a minorly amusing copy error on their home page: “Whichever you pack, it’s sure to be fun your kids.” But then is that actually a mistake? I want someone to befun me. Anyway, there’s also Brunchables.