The Scientific Truth Behind The Crisp Slogan 'Once You Pop You Can't Stop'

The famous crisp slogan ‘once you pop, you can’t stop’ has long been used in certain TV commercials to advertise how delicious and seemingly addictive crisps are, but it turns out there is a condition which causes this behaviour rendering people unable to have ‘just the one’.

The condition is called ‘hedonic hyperphagia’ and is the scientific term for eating to excess for pleasure rather than hunger. This kind of recreational over-eating is very common and occurs in the majority of people at some time in their life. The chronic form of this condition is a substantial player in the obesity epidemic.

Among the reasons why people are highly attracted to crisps even on a full stomach are partially explained by the high ratio of fats and carbohydrates which send pleasing signals to the brain. However, there are further reasons which trigger this addictive eating behaviour that are currently being researched.

It is not all bad news though, individual taste preferences and will power can still help you avoid giving into the temptation of crisps…but the best way to avoid devouring an entire family size bag of crisps is not to open the bag in the first place. Leave it on the supermarket shelf and walk away.


Hoch T, Revealing the scientific secrets of why people can’t stop after eating one potato chip, American Chemical Society, 2013.

About the Author

Job Role Sports Nutritionist and Social Media Coordinator Qualifications Bsc Sport and Exercise Science Steph has a competitive athletic background which spans 19 years. As a child she performed with the English Youth Ballet and had performed on the West End stage by the age of 10. Her enthusiasm for sport and fitness continued to grow as she did, encouraging her to learn more about nutrition and training. She began using her knowledge and personal experience to help others when she began coaching at the age of 16. From here, she went on to study Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Essex during which time she also received the Most Promising Newcomer Award from her University to mark her outstanding contribution to sport. During her first year of study she was introduced to partner stunt acrobatics and artistic gymnastics. After one year of dedicating herself to a lifestyle revolving around her sport, she was training with the best team in the UK who are currently ranked fifth in the world. Steph has worked in both the private and public sector coaching children and adults from grassroot to elite level as well as providing them with cutting edge advice on how to reach their goals. Steph has received awards for her choreography and has competed nationally and internationally meaning that she can back up her scientific knowledge with a wealth of experience. As our resident Sports Nutritionist, Steph is here to provide the most current and evidence based fitness, health and nutrition information to help you reach your health and fitness goals.
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