>>4726>Does the reward of the pleasure of eating junk food really exceed the cost of the risk of getting diabetes and premature death from cardiovascular disease?
Probably, yeah. Taking risks for disproportionate benefit is a common behavior. Even encouraged much of the time. Whenever something is a risk rather than a known result you can write it off as probably not going to happen. And in these cases in particular, things are very unlikley to happen.
Take diabetes as an example. A bit less than 10% of Americans have diabetes, and some portion of that is due to genetics, or other risk factors largely out of your control. What's more, a lot of people with diabetes just keep living good lives. In 2015, 30million people were estimated to have diabetes, but only 80k were reported as dying from it. Less than 1% of cases were fatal. Even if the entire 10% could be mitigated with proper diet and exercise, I'd wager a majority of people wouldn't be concerned with such a small risk of a controllable disease.
Similarly, cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death, but if we took the risk of dying in 2017 at all
it's again roughly 1% of the population that died, 2.8 million people. About 600k died from heart disease, meaning less than a quarter of a percent died from it. To look at it a positive way, you have a 99% chance of surviving regardless of your eating habits.
In both cases, the chances of dying are almost negligible, and the reduction of your chances by changing your eating habits are even less than that.>does hyperbolic discounting play a role in addiction more generally?
I'd say it plays a role, notably in that hyperbolic discounting is the primary problem with an addiction, rather than what causes the addiction, or even that there's a risk associated with the activity itself. Take gambling for example. Going into it, you're spending very minute amounts of money with the expectation that you're not getting it back. The "risk" is the chance that you might earn loads of cash. Any amount of gambling could be "safe" if you understand your financial situation and know how much you can spend, such that even if you were physically addicted to the experience it might cause no harm to you or your family.
When the addiction becomes unsafe is when you don't have a firm grasp of your finances and start gambling more money than you have available. This is almost certainly because of a disconnect between the rewards of your current actions and the consequences of your spending.