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Publisher's Summary

Most of us know what it feels like to fall under the spell of food - when one slice of pizza turns into half a pie, or a handful of chips leads to an empty bag. But it's harder to understand why we can't seem to stop eating - even when we know better. When we want so badly to say "no," why do we continue to reach for food?

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.

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  • Overall

This book is looooong....

....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.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Misleading Title!

This book is not a guide to "the end of overeating." The first 40 chapters are devoted to the fact that the food industry has developed foods that contain unhealthy levels of fat, sugar and salt. There are many, many restaurant chains and their foods named and there are many, many conversations with industry experts retold. In the last few chapters the author presents some very broad guidelines for restructuring eating habits. I was extremely disappointed. If you're determined to listen to the book try the abridged version.

7 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Laurie
  • Florence, KY, United States
  • 07-03-09

No thanks, I'm not hungry

I had to laugh at some of the reviews - readers said this book made them hungry! While the first 2 hours or so focus on endorphin studies in animals (zzzzz), it does become more interesting if you keep listening. There are some disturbing facts about the restaurant industry; but I really think this is one of those rare books that is actually better read, as opposed to listened to. It was just OK for me.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


Very disappointed with this book. He went into great depth and explanation on why we overeat and how the food industry has manipulated us, but I found very little help as far as how to overcome the cravings and manipulation, which is why I purchased the book.

7 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Sugar-Fat-Salt-So what's new?

15 minutes of good information in 7h25m.

7 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A little too descriptive

In the first half of this book, the writer extensively describes how the food industry markets and designs food to tempt us. The unfortunate side effect for me (which goes to prove his point) was that I became obsessed with food while listening to the first part of this book, and I overate compulsively as a result! Eventually I stopped the book for a week or two, let myself break away and stop overeating, and finally came back and finished listening to it. Overall the book does not provide any great new breakthrough of how to eat well or manage overeating, but it suggests reliable and perhaps under-utilized methods.

4 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Careful Listening to This One if You Are Dieting

I listened to just the beginning of this book, then deleted it from my computer because while listening to it I seemed to go into one of the states that the author describes and ended up binge eating. Analyzing that binge behavior the next day made me think that it was because it caused me to think about all the high sugar and high fat foods over and over and made me vulnerable to craving them. Normally I focus on the healthy foods that are on my food plan for the day and don't think about things I don't eat anymore, such as french fries.

The crazy thing is that I was listening to the book because I've been doing great dieting (have lost over 100 pounds in the past two years and have only binged 4 times in the past 200 days, including the binge after listening to the start of this book). I was looking for some motivating material to listen to while I work on losing the last 20-25 pounds I have to go. Ugh... Be careful with this book if you are dieting!

7 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Author should be the one to feel shame

What was most disappointing about David A. Kessler’s story?

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.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The End of Overeating?

Cut the negative descriptions of people.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful