The End of Overeating

By David Kessler, MD (Rodale, 2009)

For centuries we’ve attributed overeating to various weaknesses — the flesh, the soul or the will. But this searing study of the U.S. food industry exposes the neurological impact of processed foods and argues that the obesity epidemic may have its origins squarely in the brain.

Author David Kessler, the former FDA commissioner who blew the whistle on the tobacco industry, explores how processed foods — diabolically designed to be both irresistable and habit forming — have contributed to an epidemic of what he calls “conditioned hypereating.” He shows how sugar, salt andfat all stimulate the reward centers of the brain (what the food industry calls “craveability”), and how sweet, salty and fried foods condition the brain to seek these rewards repeatedly, regardless of actual appetite.

Using a range of impressive sources (including food-industry insiders) along with a tireless account of lab studies, Kessler shows how the habit-forming cycle of conditioned hypereating develops and how it can be transformed.Wondering why you go berserk at the smell of Cinnabons or why your family snarfs bagged snacks at an astonishing rate? This well-researched book may help you reframe your relationship with the foods you once thought you couldn’t get enough of.

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