The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite
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Dr. David A. Kessler, the dynamic and controversial former FDA commissioner known for his crusade against the tobacco industry, is taking on another business that's making Americans sick: the food industry. In The End of Overeating, Dr. Kessler shows us how our brain chemistry has been hijacked by the foods we most love to eat: those that contain stimulating combinations of fat, sugar, and salt.
Drawn from the latest brain science as well as interviews with top physicians and food industry insiders, The End of Overeating exposes the food industry's aggressive marketing tactics and reveals shocking facts about how we lost control over food―and what we can do to get it back. For the millions of people struggling with their weight as well as those of us who simply can't seem to eat our favorite foods in moderation, Dr. Kessler's cutting-edge investigation offers valuable insights and practical answers for America's largest-ever public health crisis. There has never been a more thorough, compelling, or in-depth analysis of why we eat the way we do.
desire that you didn't have a moment before. Evidence that high-sugar, high-fat foods are reinforcing, then, comes from two key findings in animal studies: Animals are willing to work harder for those foods, and the foods intensify the power of cues, such as where the animal once encountered the stimuli. Three other features of food also exert a powerful influence on our desire for more. First, quantity. Give a rat two pellets of food rather than one, give a person two scoops of ice cream rather
potatoes in the produce section, we buy potato au gratin in a package. 91 92 THE END OF OV E R E ATING Some brands of pasta sauce are loaded with sugar. Foods from around the world are sold breaded, battered, and fried, appearing in the frozen-foods section as chicken tacos and jalapeno poppers, calamari rings and fish sticks, stuffed pierogi and dumplings. And we don't have to buy plain frozen vegetables if we prefer to have them glazed or smothered in cheese and butter sauces. "Take a look
money, finding only short-term weight loss and a vain hope that it will last. That is because we have not understood why eating certain foods only makes us want to eat more of them. No one has recognized what's really happening. Let me try to explain. Overriding the Wisdom of the Body People get fat because they eat more than people who are lean. I know this seems obvious, but we've spent decades being confused about it. Even now some people question the link between food consumption and
hypereating, food cues are the stimulus, overeating the habitual response. These cues, said James Leckman, professor of child psychiatry and pediatrics in the Child Study Center at Yale University School of Medicine, are "invitations to the brain." "The ability to respond to urges for food is built in, but if you give in to those urges too often, the system becomes dysregulated. Then you're hypersensitive to these cues," Leckman explained. "To 181 182 THE END OF OVEREATING control our brains,
average American, but the extremes to which De Niro 9 10 THE END OF OVEREATING had to go for his role gave us experimental information it would have been hard to get another way. First, he gained sixty pounds for the film by loading up on calories, and then he dropped most of that weight. When I asked how he'd been able to do it, De Niro explained that it had been easy to lose the first thirty-five or forty pounds. "I stretched the rubber band and let it come back," he said. But the last