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Publisher's Summary

The New York Times best-selling author of Fat Chance reveals the corporate scheme to sell pleasure, driving the international epidemic of addiction, depression, and chronic disease.

While researching the toxic and addictive properties of sugar for his New York Times best seller Fat Chance, Robert Lustig made an alarming discovery - our pursuit of happiness is being subverted by a culture of addiction and depression from which we may never recover.

Dopamine is the "reward" neurotransmitter that tells our brains we want more; yet every substance or behavior that releases dopamine in the extreme leads to addiction. Serotonin is the "contentment" neurotransmitter that tells our brains we don't need any more; yet its deficiency leads to depression. Ideally, both are in optimal supply. Yet dopamine evolved to overwhelm serotonin - because our ancestors were more likely to survive if they were constantly motivated - with the result that constant desire can chemically destroy our ability to feel happiness, while sending us down the slippery slope to addiction. In the last 40 years, government legislation and subsidies have promoted ever-available temptation (sugar, drugs, social media, porn) combined with constant stress (work, home, money, Internet), with the end result of an unprecedented epidemic of addiction, anxiety, depression, and chronic disease. And with the advent of neuromarketing, corporate America has successfully imprisoned us in an endless loop of desire and consumption from which there is no obvious escape.

With his customary wit and incisiveness, Lustig not only reveals the science that drives these states of mind, he points his finger directly at the corporations that helped create this mess and the government actors who facilitated it, and he offers solutions we can all use in the pursuit of happiness, even in the face of overwhelming opposition. Always fearless and provocative, Lustig marshals a call to action, with seminal implications for our health, our well-being, and our culture.

©2017 Robert H. Lustig (P)2017 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Explores how industry has manipulated our most deep-seated survival instincts." (David Perlmutter, MD, author, number one New York Times best seller Grain Brain and Brain Maker)

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Exceptional

In both, depth of information and breadth of bigger picture.
Wish this was taught in schools and to parents too, maybe a documentary?

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

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6 stars

I'd like to give this book 6 stars. Not because of the writing or performance (which were both well done) but because of the quality and quantity of information presented.

I am one of the chronically unhappy people mentioned by the author. With the information presented, I have already taken steps (big and small) to make my life and health better. In only a couple weeks of drastically cutting sugar and internet usage (two of the several problematic issues mentioned), I have better moods overall. I sleep more, and my waistline has gotten smaller. Am I happier... not yet, BUT I am LOT LESS unhappy. So still a great step in the right direction.

The book can be a bit heady at some points, but just stick with it through the couple of confusing chapters and it'll help make the rest of the information make much more sense. Don't stop because of those chapters.

This book has been incredibly useful for me who has been chronically overstimulated by technology, food, caffeine, and other things. And the author isn't all like .... you watch too much TV, BAD!!! And he's also not like ..... oh it's OK ... you have had such a hard life, you deserve a reward. Nope... neither too hard nor too soft. He calls out the problem and has a good solution.

22 of 23 people found this review helpful

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This book blew my mind!

Robert H Lustig is a warrior for correcting the havoc that the major food companies are doing to humanity, and reveals the tricks that they do to make money and take our health and happiness away. He proves that being happy is not as simple as how food companies frame it, that it’s “just a decision” how much to consume. They intentionally scheme us to think we are making our own decisions, but we are not. We are just doing what they trick us to do- consume high sugary foods with very low nutritional value to our body and mental health.
In my eyes, Dr. Robert Lustig deserves a medal, or should even be up on the nobel prize candidate list for his loud clear message and the way he is outspoken about the true poison in our society and gives detailed breakdown with actionable advice how to change one’s course of life’s
He will forever be someone I will look up to when seeking advice about how to live life.
Chapeau.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Every Human Needs to read this Book!

Dr Lustig covers all the bases about the evils of sugar in a well written, well spoken easy to understand deep examination of pleasure and happiness. This book will be my Christmas gift to family and friends.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Important information to navigate life in our times

Dr. Lustig covers a lot of ground in this book and includes topics that I didn't expect yet are related. He covers the biology of brain triggers and then presents a lot of instances where companies or governments use those triggers to manipulate us and sell us things that ultimately hurt us. He was very entertaining to listen to and I think this is important information for everyone to be aware of. If You don't get this book, at least be aware that sugar is hurting you and must be limited greatly.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Great book

Very interesting read. Everything put forward in very understandable language and quite fun at times. I think everybody should read it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Good read but not quite what I was expecting

There is no doubting Dr. Lustig's expertise and he is a good narrator but I was expecting material along the lines of social manipulation. However, I learned a lot about the biology of pleasure and reward. I will certainly look at my plate and cup differently from now on and a trip to the grocery store will not be the same.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A book needed for these trying times

It's long it's detailed but so is human history. This book is quite a revelation. I knew much of the conceptual ideas in this book but the author here has made the effort to detail the science as well as the concepts. Indeed I can't think of a better way to present such Obfuscation of the truth from the public .So one can say "the truth will set you free" to which I would respond understanding it is only the 1st part of changing but it's a big part. So now the truth is out , who will read it, who will change. It would be naive to think that corporations, the food industry , and the government will voluntarily change , for they have caused this problem and are locked in a mindset that will only change from the coming collapse.
5 stars to the author, who has planted a seed to change this world.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Good book,

Lustig articulates in both technical and every day language how we're being hacked! Read it!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Great Book

Great book it explains in great detail how corporate America has created a massive sugar addition.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful