- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Rodale Books; 1 edition (April 28, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1605297852
- ISBN-13: 978-1605297859
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 236.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (636 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,936 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite Hardcover – April 28, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Conditioned hypereating is a biological challenge, not a character flaw, says Kessler, former FDA commissioner under presidents Bush and Clinton). Here Kessler (A Question of Intent) describes how, since the 1980s, the food industry, in collusion with the advertising industry, and lifestyle changes have short-circuited the body's self-regulating mechanisms, leaving many at the mercy of reward-driven eating. Through the evidence of research, personal stories (including candid accounts of his own struggles) and examinations of specific foods produced by giant food corporations and restaurant chains, Kessler explains how the desire to eat—as distinct from eating itself—is stimulated in the brain by an almost infinite variety of diabolical combinations of salt, fat and sugar. Although not everyone succumbs, more people of all ages are being set up for a lifetime of food obsession due to the ever-present availability of foods laden with salt, fat and sugar. A gentle though urgent plea for reform, Kessler's book provides a simple food rehab program to fight back against the industry's relentless quest for profits while an entire country of people gain weight and get sick. According to Kessler, persistence is all that is needed to make the perceptual shifts and find new sources of rewards to regain control. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kessler surveys the world of modern industrial food production and distribution as reflected in both restaurants and grocery stores. To his chagrin, he finds that the system foists on the American public foods overloaded with fats, sugars, and salt. Each of these elements, consumed in excess, has been linked to serious long-term health problems. Kessler examines iconic foods such as Cinnabon and Big Macs, all of which have skilled marketing machines promoting consumption. Such nutritionally unbalanced foods propel people who already tend to eat more than mere physical need might otherwise warrant into uncontrolled behavior patterns of irrational eating. These persistent psychological and sensory stimuli lead to what Kessler terms “conditioned hypereating,” which he believes is a disease rather than a failure of willpower. There is hope, however. Kessler identifies the cues that lead to overeating and offers some simple, practical tools to help control one’s impulses. --Mark Knoblauch
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Top Customer Reviews
Well, I had just started a Detoxing program (via Juice Fasting to give the organs a rest from all the junk they've had to deal with. It worked!! But, what works for me may or may not work for others). So, based on things I've researched, it's obvious that a lifestyle change is needed in order for a permanent transformation to take place. From poor eating habits to newer, much-better-for-you eating habits. This book was not too technical for the average person to understand. In fact, except for a few chapters, the rest of the book made my jaw drop due to the studies performed and the things that the interviewer pulled out of the Food Industries top representatives (re: Food Scientists ...? impact boosting...? and "Hedonic experiences" to make you want more and more - was their words ...? ... Food Addictions? WOW!!) They gave great examples of how to change our programming, and how to override old habits/patterns that have taken over a persons responses to [certain] stimuli ... which are what causes overeating and the 'I have to eat it all' action/reaction. This book, coupled with what I've learned based on my own experience on detoxing the body and starting a better lifestyle change, is that it can be done. One can break the negative patterns and relearn new, better habits regarding overeating and appetite. Yes, it can be done. The book showed me the "Why's and Where it comes from (the constant mental bombardment and re-programming from many sources, even before you have eaten a single thing). The bottom line is that one has to want the changes .... and cut the familiar associations for "comfort food" and the big 3 - Sugar, Fat, and Salt. I'd recommend this book to anyone wanting to better understand Why they are overeating. How you do it may vary, depending on "you" and where you are mentally and physically. For some, overeating is similar to the monkey that is given a choice between pushing the "Fresh Apple" button, or the "Cocaine" button. Now, why does the monkey keep hitting the Cocaine button? Again and again and again? Until it has shattered it's life? Just like obesity and overeating are doing to the general population? Seriously. Think about it! Why does one keep reaching for the Donuts, versus reaching for better health? This book will give you plenty of answers. it did for me.
By the way, I've lost a good bit of weight, and have no [real] cravings for comfort food. My body tells me what it needs. For the majority of people, there is not a single diet out there that addresses the problems that get people into the predicaments we get in regarding nutrition and health. It's a lot more than just "Do not eat that, but do eat this." Wrong! There are things going on in the brain that, unless recognized and controlled, will not let you break a bad cycle of poor health and poor eating habits. This book would be a great starting point for learning about the needed changes. If anyone is ever having any problems getting to the next level of achieving their goals of good health ... feel free to ask me. I can always talk about what works for me. I give the book 5 stars. It enlightened me to where it all started from. And it's no wonder that more and more people are getting obese, and that the children are turning into Diabetics at an alarming rate. type 1 and type 2. Good Luck in your quest for more information and to overcome the programming that the food industry is throwing at the world. If it was an easy 1-2-3 process, we'd ALL be in great shape. Education makes us more knowledgeable and able to combat and defeat this Dis-ease.
I relate to everything the author says about "conditioned hyper-eating". I've always wondered why it's so difficult for me to control my eating behavior when I have plenty of self-discipline in other areas of my life. Now I know. Eating sugar, fat, and salt has done a number on my brain chemistry. It's more than psychological. It's physiological.
The best part of the set is the last two CDs, especially the very last one, that talk about how to tackle overeating and get it under control. Dr. Kessler makes it clear that you can't dabble in junk food a little and win. You need to cut it out of your life completely - have an eating plan and strategies for those times when you're confronted with a choice between taking care of yourself or giving in to the urge to wolf down toxic "food". In this culture, we're faced with that choice multiple times a day.
What Dr. Kessler says about food and getting a handle on overeating gels with what I've personally experienced. He knows what he's talking about. Great book/CD set.
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or just want to make wise choices.