The End of Overeating

Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite
Narrated by: Blair Hardman
Length: 7 hrs and 20 mins
4 out of 5 stars (889 ratings)

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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
    5 out of 5 stars

The best 'NON-DIET" diet book out there...

This is an excellent book. This isn't your typical diet book. You will not get list of foods to eat or avoid. You will not get recipes or meal plans. You will not get the exercise lecture, weight charts or BMI calculations. What you will get is straight honest talk about how the food industry uses clever marketing to make us fat. Dr. Kessler gets very technical in explaining why you just can't say no to some foods... and no, it's not because you are week or have no willpower. It's not because you had a bad childhood or your mother was the clean plate club president. This book will make you angry at the food industry and will fire you up to fight back. Dr. Kessler gives logical, effective pointers for reevaluating how you eat that will ultimately result in a healthier and better looking you. Download this book, listen, take notes and make you own game plan for your future. It may be the best credit worthy book at Audible. The readers did a good job in presenting this book. Without a doubt this is the best 'NON-DIET" diet book out there.

65 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

You will question what you eat and why forever

A great book that will change the way you approach food and think about food, how it is made, how the industry makes money off of you, and why you eat what you eat.

I have referred multiple friends to this book and it has changed my relationship with food and the industry as a whole.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Great Science, Little Implementation

The book is a fountain of great science and information on why we, as a country are fat, and getting fatter. It is not too hard to follow, and based on what (to a layman) seems like solid analysis of real scientific research. It is long, and goes on for many chapters, somewhat hitting you again and again with facts that are by the mid point, understood. The shortfall is that there is very little provided to cope with the problems the book presents. Perhaps there will be a follow on book, or perhaps others will provide solutions and coping techniques based on the research in Dr. Kesslers book. Overall though I HIGHLY recommend for anyone who has struggled, or struggles with weight, poor diet habits, or both.

24 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Not very insightful

Any additional comments?

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.

21 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

For those that are SICK of dieting

Given his academic background, I was worried this might be too "dense" a read. Not so, it was a nice blend of science and anecdote, very entertaining and thought provoking. A must read for those that have struggled with weight and weight related health issues. His solutions for ending the cycle are not exactly revalatory. He does present compelling information to explain the explosion of weight gain in the US. I knew it was high fructose corn syrup!!

20 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Intelligent and Compelling

The first book of this type I have ever listened to, but on hearing the sample, it captured my attention.

I found it to be fascinating. The knowledge about food, the food industry and most importantly about the way your brain works in regards to food stimulus is amazing. You can hardly listen to this book and not gain an 'awareness' concerning what and how much you eat. I like to call it "Food Mindfulness". Knowledge is power, so if you are a little short on personal power over food listen to this book and get it back!

The food industry wants to make money and really doesn't give a damn about you, just how much you eat of their food and how often you keep coming back for more. They have few restrictions on their advertising. It is our responsibility to gain the knowledge in a free society, and the author has gone to great lengths to assist us.

The narration was excellent for this type of book. Scientific studies pointing to the real truth is always a pleasure.

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

A Serious Subject

David Kessler's "The End of Overeating" is an informative and disturbing book. Since encounting this work, I cannot enter a restaurant with my old attitudes at all. Specifically, Kessler (a former FDA commissioner under Bush and Clinton) shows how salt, sugars, and fat are being integrated into processed food. Then he details how these three in concert can become addictive and stimulate pleasure centers in the brain. He argues that food processors take advantage of this situtation to keep customers coming back for more.

As one who struggles with my weight, this is one book that has given me a new way to look at what I am eating and (more importantly) a new motivation to further change my eating patterns. His discussion of the psychological and sensory stimuli that lead to what he labels "conditioned hypereating" can be avoided and he reveals just how that might be accomplished. This book is important to all Americans who want to live a healthier life.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

An important, honest, fascinating book

I can't recommend this book enough. It is the most thought-provoking book on eating that I have ever read. It is also a very interesting look at the food industry. While not a diet book per se, I would strongly recommend reading it before you choose a diet. It will open your eyes in ways I doubt you will expect. Really, give it a shot.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • MG
  • 07-03-09

Tough love ideas at the end

For those wanting good advice on what to do about overeating, hold out to the end of the book. The last chapters offer help on how to stop overeating. Most of the book is about why eating fat, sugar, and salt keep us eating fat, sugar and salt.

22 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The End of Overeating

This book really opened my eyes and helped me to thoroughly understand how we got into the mess we are in today with obesity. From the treatment of food to the way our brains work, this book doesn't leave a rock unturned. I feel it changed me forever and am eternally grateful I bought it.

12 people found this helpful