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The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite Paperback – Bargain Price, September 14, 2010
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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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
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Weight loss is ultimately just calories in (diet) and calories out (exercise), but Kessler has taught me to KNOW WHAT YOU EAT. I have made it a habit to go on-line and check the nutritional information for the food outlets I frequent, and to always check the labels on packaged food. If the restaurant doesn't provide nutritional information, I move on to one that does! If the supermarket doesn't provide nutritional information on the products they sell (notoriously a problem in the deli/bakery sections), I move on. Try Kessler's advice on this and you will be in for some big, but helpful, shocks.
My only complaint is that the book is a bit repetitive, particularly in his item-by-item examples of the horrible things done to food. But stick to it, and it does drive the message home, and there are good lessons along the way.
While it was interesting to read about how the food industry manipulates fat, sugar and salt into their food to make us "Crave-It!" I was hoping for a larger section on how to change our thought patterns, with real suggestions to try, rather than just theories. I think as an addition to a book I recently purchased titles Willpower, it could be helpful.
Our food industry is exactly that, an industry that studies us and makes marketing decisions directly based on getting us to consume more. The food industry is generally concerned with their bottomline, not our waistline. They know our brains are hardwired for salt, sugar, and fat. In the caveman days, we needed all three of these to help us survive. Now, our food supply is plentiful, and we should worry less about these, but our brain hasn't caught up with the industrial revolution. Ever wonder why we like things like chocolate dipped pretzels or those delicious cheese and bacon drenched french fries?
Throughout time food supplies have been limited and we have craved food that would help sustain us. Kessler maintains, we are still hard wired that way, and we still have these biological urges. We are being marketed towards what has become our weaknesses. The final portion of the book he suggests ways to stop this desire to overeat. There are no easy solutions. Watch portion size, eat enough to sustain you to the next meal. Stay away from sweet, salty, and fatty food. No gimmicks, no tricks on making this easier, we must re-wire our brains.
Chapters are nice and small, so they are easy to digest. His writting style is much like having a conversation with someone that is knowledgeable and passionate about what he speaks. There are no easy solutions in getting us to stop eating so much, just explations behind why. Hopefully with more of us knowledgeable about why, we can stop overeating.
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