- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Rodale Books; Reprint edition (September 14, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1605294578
- ISBN-13: 978-1605294575
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 658 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,421 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite Paperback – September 14, 2010
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“Dr. David Kessler has written a fascinating account of the science of human appetite, as well as its exploitation by the food industry. The End of Overeating is an invaluable contribution to the national conversation about the catastrophe that is the modern American diet.” —Michael Pollan, author of In Defense of Food
“David A. Kessler, who led the battle against the tobacco industry, now joins the fight against obesity. His message is important: The problem is not only the behavior of profit-driven food companies, but also the daily choices that each one of us makes.” —Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation
“David Kessler's fascinating book is essential for anyone interested in learning more about how corporate greed and human psychology have created a national health crisis. ” —Alice Waters, chef and owner of Chez Panisse
“Disturbing, thought-provoking, and important.” —Anthony Bourdain, author of Kitchen Confidential
“A compelling book about overeating and the obesity pandemic. Dr. Kessler thoroughly examines the nature of our relationship with food and why it is critical to understand and modify our behavior to reverse this global threat to health and well-being.” —David Satcher, former Surgeon General and director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
“A fascinating, unique book by a brilliant public health leader.” —Donna Shalala, former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
About the Author
DAVID A. KESSLER, MD, served as commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration under presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton. He is a pediatrician and has been the dean of the medical schools at Yale and the University of California, San Francisco. A graduate of Amherst College, the University of Chicago Law School, and Harvard Medical School, Dr. Kessler is the father of two and lives with his wife in California.
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This book answered "what the heck" for me and also provided me a way out. Showing how the food industry has *deliberately* increased unhealthy and addicting sugar, fats, and salt in processed and restaurant foods, disguising them, mislabeling or underlabeling, Kessler demonstrates how the food industry (some of the big six food companies are owned by big tobacco companies, and if you're not sure about exactly how devious and nefarious big tobacco is, read Kessler's book "A Question of Intent") continually works to intentionally increase our addiction and desire for unhealthy foods. The way out for me is pretty simple: I don't like being manipulated. So for me, in many ways, problem solved. Kessler provides a food rehab plan about how to break your cycle of addiction and free yourself from what has been deliberately done to you; to reclaim your ability to make positive choices; and to recognize processed and restaurant foods for what they are: fat on sugar on salt on fat, or some variation of same.
My take-away from this book is consumers need to be MORE aware what goes into foods we eat at restaurants in addition to what we eat out of the box (more so then foods we prepare at home). Most of us already know that but the re-enforcement Kessler gives in his book is an excellent reminder. That broccoli or spinach quiche at your favorite restaurant may appear good for you (after all, it is made of vegetables that's heart-healthy) but, as Kessler points out, good probability that fillers and added ingredients in that quiche cancel out any benefits you may THINK you will get. Even if you were to order steamed chicken at a Chinese restaurant, there may be an accompanying sauce that minimizes the chicken's health benefit. Kessler tells you to be mind-aware of not only what you eat but how it was prepared (added salt, sugar, fats, etc).
The much smaller, prescriptive part at the end is ad hoc. A problem with overeating (as is so well documented in the more science-backed section) is that self-control is too easily overwhelmed. There's a lot of evidence that we have only so much self-control, that it's a scarce resource. Kessler suggests that you set eating rules for yourself. According to him, that will keep you out of overeating without as much reliance on self-control.
Really? Any evidence?
To my mind, this is an intriguing suggestion. It's a hypothesis worthy of study. Does it really work? It might for some. Who knows? No one does. He cites no studies. And one buys a book like this based on the scientific pedigree of its author.
This is an odd book, then, consisting of a precise dissection of the Cinnabon followed by purely speculative self-help advice.