Dr. David Kessler, the dynamic former FDA commissioner who reinvented the food label and tackled the tobacco industry, now reveals how the food industry has hijacked the brains of millions of Americans. The result? America's number-one public health issue.
Dr. Kessler cracks the code of overeating by explaining how our bodies and minds are changed when we consume foods that contain sugar, fat, and salt. Food manufacturers create products by manipulating these ingredients to stimulate our appetites, setting in motion a cycle of desire and consumption that ends with a nation of overeaters. The End of Overeating explains for the first time why it is exceptionally difficult to resist certain foods and why it's so easy to overindulge. Dr. Kessler met with top scientists, physicians, and food industry insiders.
The End of Overeatinguncovers the shocking facts about how we lost control over our eating habits - and how we can get it back. Dr. Kessler presents groundbreaking research, along with what is sure to be a controversial view inside the industry that continues to feed a nation of overeaters - from popular brand manufacturers to advertisers, chain restaurants, and fast-food franchises. For the millions of people struggling with weight as well as for those of us who simply don't understand why we can't seem to stop eating our favorite foods, Dr. Kessler's cutting-edge investigation offers new insights and helpful tools to help us find a solution. There has never been a more thorough, compelling, or in-depth analysis of why we eat the way we do.
©2009 David A. Kessler, M.D.; (P)2009 Simon & Schuster, Inc.
I've read many similar books including mindless eating, good calories bad calories, in defense of food, jungle effect, fat chance, and rethinking thin. I put this book at the bottom for usefulness and also at the bottom for insight. I think most obese and formerly obese people already suspected that fat, sugar, and salt taste good. This book spends a lot of time demonizing the food industry for creating delicious food. Similar yet much better book is Mindless Eating. That book looks into how habits, not just the taste of food, lead to overeating. It gives suggestions such as the size of your plate mattering, keeping the candies 6 feet away from your desk vs next to it, waiting 20 minutes between refills, and using taller glasses rather than wide short ones. The studies for these recommendations are entertaining, clever, and scientifically sound. I've lost 20 percent of my body weight following many of the principles of Mindless Eating and now have the same BMI as Bob Harper (biggest loser trainer), and kept it for almost two years now. I was formerly obese for 15 years. I still eat fat and salt, but not much sugar. I have my life again, and have become the health guru at work. Good luck to all dieters.
The author really could do a lot to make it more relevant to everyone. Instead of putting application at the end, he should have a bit of it at the end of each chapter.
Thought it would be a boring repeat of Omnivores Dilemma, but there is even more to our food industry that we must face. This is much better documented by a very knowledgeable scientist. (I'm glad the FDA just took a stand on regular antibiotics in feedlots, but the compromise taken is expected to initially raise antibiotic use based on European experience.)
Due to the title of this book, my expectation was that I would get a better solution to the problem than what was offered in this book. I gave it two stars rather than one because a small portion of the book had some interesting info. But, if you are looking for a difinitive solution, look elsewhere!!
This book is worth the read, or listen as the case may be. The information is enlightening and makes sense once you hear it. The challenge is to make the appropriate changes once you have the information. Five stars is probably over rating this, but just slightly. I want people to know it is worthwhile.
....but I have to admit, helpful if you like a cerebral/technical reason for your food habits. For me, intellectual explanations behind why I do things helps me to make changes. The author explains that "conditioned hyper-eating" and "highly palatable foods" are the foundation for our collective current obesity problems, and along about chapter 40, gives suggestions to modify behavior to regain self-control in the face of foods that are designed to be the object of obsession. Worth reading if you struggle to lose weight and are seduced into over-eating certain favorite foods.
The book begins with an intriguing premise and it can be summed up in his basic thoughts and so on fat and sugar and salt on Sat but after you hear that a few times you want him to say something else and he doesn't after about the first two hours you've earned the entire book and you do not need to listen to the rest
Very interesting look at how culture, society, and business shape our eating habits. Contained a lot of clinical study detail. That might get boring for some, but the author tried to keep it in layman's terms. I followed it all well. Not so much a book about "what you need to do" but more about "why we do what we do" and practical suggestions about how we can help to re-teach ourselves successful eating behaviors.
I am disgusted by the way the author portrays the people he describes in his narrative "scenarios." This bulk of this book describes the ways the food industry has engineered its offerings to addict consumers and make them the victims of these devious practices. However, when the victims themselves are described, they are not described as relatable, sympathetic characters. Instead, they are referred to as loathsome creatures to be ridiculed and eschewed. How can the author write page after page describing how the American public is being taken advantage of and then turn around and describe this same public as nasty, pathetic creatures? Note to author: these people are your readers/customers. You should be trying to help them change the situation instead of condemning them for falling victim to it.
Cut the negative descriptions of people.
I listened to the audio version while driving to and from work, and now use the print edition for reference, so I'm not sure that one is necessarily better than the other - they each serve a separate purpose for me.
I really appreciated all of the advice on how to change eating behavior. I think there were some useful tools presented, and that is definitely a section of the book that I will listen to again.
I looked forward to sitting in traffic so I could learn more, so yes, I would say that is true.
Don't listen to the book when you're hungry, especially in the chapters where he is describing restaurant food. I had to stop listening a few times when it was making me want sugar on fat on sugar on fat on salt on fat. Generally speaking though, the material was fascinating, and while some of it was obvious, I didn't realize that there was such a focused effort on manufacturing foods that would make me want more of them. I was a little naive about that - I actually thought most of the manufacturing and processing of foods was driven by cost (ingredients are cheaper) or improvements in technology. Or maybe it's really about ALL of that. At any rate, it was thought-provoking and has given me a better understanding of what ingredients may be doing for the flavor of food, and what they might be doing to my children and me.
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