The End Of Overeating: Taking Control Of The Insatiable North American Appetite by David KesslerThe End Of Overeating: Taking Control Of The Insatiable North American Appetite by David Kessler

The End Of Overeating: Taking Control Of The Insatiable North American Appetite

byDavid Kessler

Hardcover | April 28, 2009

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With engineers working around the clock to figure out how to add "irresistibility" and "whoosh" to food, and the ever-expanding choices (and portions) available to us, it's no wonder we've become a culture on caloric overload. But with obesity rising at alarming rates, we're in desperate need of dietary intervention.

In The End of Overeating, Dr. David A. Kessler, former Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, takes an in-depth look at the ways in which we have been conditioned to overeat. Dr. Kessler presents a combination of fascinating anecdotes and newsworthy research - including interviews with physicians, psychologists, and neurologists - to understand how we became a culture addicted to the over-consumption of unhealthy foods. He also provides a controversial view inside the food industry, from popular processed food manufacturers to advertisers, chain restaurants, and fast food franchises. Kessler deconstructs the endless cycle of craving and consumption that the industry has created, and breaks down how our minds and bodies join in the conspiracy to make it all work. He concludes by offering us a common sense prescription for change, both in our selves and in our culture.
David A. Kessler, M.D., served as Commissioner of the U. S. Food and Drug Administration under Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. Dr. Kessler, a pediatrician, 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, ...
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Title:The End Of Overeating: Taking Control Of The Insatiable North American AppetiteFormat:HardcoverDimensions:344 pages, 9.3 × 6.3 × 1.15 inPublished:April 28, 2009Publisher:McClelland & StewartLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0771095538

ISBN - 13:9780771095535

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Turning food into a drug... It turns out food manufacturers (including most chain restaurants) are manipulating and engineering food to maximize it's addictive properties (endorphins, which are released when we eat, and at higher levels the more we like the food, talk to the same parts of the brain that opiates do). It's not about will power - it's about being targeted with highly palatable food that tastes great, can be eaten without chewing much, and is full of calories (and devoid of nutrition). You might find more whole foods in your diet as a result of reading this book. Highly recommended.
Date published: 2009-09-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing book! This is an amazing book! I could so relate to the stories and the situations that were describing how hooked on some foods some of us are and I finally understand why I have had some serious addictive issues with food! After reading this book, I cannot look at processed, packaged foods the same way and it's helping me in my quest to be healthier! I highly recommend this book to anyone who has felt completely out of control with certain foods; this book will finally explain why "you can't have just one" of certain foods and give you some tips to recovery... it's an addiction and the food manufacturers have been capitalizing on it, on the backs or I should say the stomachs of unsuspecting North Americans. Kudos to David Kessler for calling them out on it!
Date published: 2009-07-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Food for Thought We're pretty savvy as a society about the arsenal that marketers use to persuade us to buy, join or covet a product. But have you ever considered that there's a similar "art and science" to commercial food? Enter David Kessler, the former head of the FDA, and author of the The End of Overeating. If the book sounds familiar, it should. It's been getting a lot of media attention and buzz. In a nutshell, Kessler identifies the various ways food companies and restaurants have "triggered" or manipulated our senses to become addicted to their products. So it's not just your lack of willpower that makes you reach for another potato chip or cookie. "Bliss point", "hyperpalating", "whoosh" these are all specific neural targets that chain restaurants and food companies spend a lot of time developing, through a blend of high sugar, salt and fat. This may not be earth shaking news - in fact it should be something that we suspected on a gut level. But it's another thing to have it documented and written about so cogently. This book is not a justification or cri de coeur for obesity, but it is a very persuasive and insightful (if at times bleak) critique of the food industry and the rewiring of our biological reflexes for profit. Worthwhile and illuminating reading.
Date published: 2009-07-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Helpful Kessler has written an interesting book about the fight we're up against when trying to resist food--the marketing, the taste engineering, etc. I liked the practical tips he gives at the end. However, other authors have similarly broached this topic but in a more engaging style. I would recommend Michael Pollan's books, or Mindless Eating by Wansick (this is the guy whose institute does all the really neat research on overeating.)
Date published: 2009-06-03

Read from the Book

Can Canada Put on the Brakes?I walked into Jack Astor’s Bar & Grill in Toronto, an energetic place that draws a young crowd and entertains them with loud music and multiple television monitors. A sign advertised a restaurant gift card: “a gift for every craving.”The dinner menu descriptions had an over-the-top quality that reminded me of Chili’s, including ultimate nachos, with their “bubbling blend of cheeses,” and a bacon cheeseburger.I ordered two items from the “start-up” list. The lobster and crab dip was a warm, fatty blend dominated by cream cheese. The Southwest grilled chicken flatbread, with its four-cheese blend and smoky chipotle aioli, was a dish of fat on fat on refined carbohydrates, accompanied by a little protein. There were two flatbreads to an order, each about 10.5 inches long.My entrée, crispy honey sesame chicken, consisted of fried chicken balls with a substantial portion of vegetables, covered in a sweet sauce. Fat, sugar, and salt had been layered and loaded onto the dish.But for all that, the food at Jack Astor’s stopped somewhat short of its American counterparts. The preparations had less of an industrial quality. The dishes were cooked to order on site, not par-fried, frozen, and shipped across the country. There weren’t as many fried chicken balls on my dinner plate, and they weren’t as large.I saw that kind of contrast everywhere I looked in Canada. Swiss Chalet offered an all-you-can-eat lunch, a garlic cheese loaf “smothered in melted Jack and cheddar,” and a waiter who assured me that “everything comes with dipping sauce.” But portion sizes were a trifle smaller than is typical in the United States and there was a homemade quality to most of the food. At Caroline’s Cheesecake, there were fewer choices than at the Cheesecake Factory, but the portions seemed about as big. The Pickle Barrel had a lot of healthy-sounding food on its menu, but it also served a “triple threat chocolate sundae,” a “mammoth Oreo cookie sundae,” and lemon cranberry and apple cinnamon muffins that were the size of grapefruits.Canada, it seems, is headed in a troubling direction as the ingredients of conditioned hypereating are assembled. Things aren’t as bad here as they are in the United States, but they aren’t good. One out of four Canadians is now obese, compared to one in three in the U.S. One-third of Canadians who were classified as normal weight a decade ago are now overweight. The upward curve is especially evident in the younger population, with the number of overweight and obese children, ages 7 to 13, increasing by as much as 300% in just two decades.Human physiology and conditioning are, of course, the same in both countries, so social norms and the environment offer the only possibilities of arresting these trends. It is as if a great natural experiment is being conducted in Canada.An earlier generation of Canadians recalls a time when eating in restaurants was a rare event and snacking in the street was considered crass. One colleague told me how his father used to love visiting U.S. supermarkets because he was awed by how many more varieties of breakfast cereal were available. Even today, despite changing patterns and the growth of chain restaurants across the country, food is still not quite so ubiquitous or indulgent in Canada. The limitations that once disappointed Canadians may yet save them from the consequences its more overindulgent neighbor is facing.Nonetheless, candy cane donuts and sour cream donuts are now available at Tim Horton’s, and the small donut balls known as “Timbits” are one of the store’s especially popular features. Even the upscale restaurant, Milestone’s, serves an array of sweet and fatty dipping sauces with its Cajun popcorn shrimp, seafood mixed grill, and yam fries. And the Quebecois tradition of poutine– French fries covered with cheese curds and brown gravy–has gained traction, with many fast-food restaurants in all of the provinces adding it to their menus. Swiss Chalet gives me the opportunity to “poutinize” my fries for $1.99.Still, Canada has an opportunity to recognize the trajectory it is on and change course. A publishing professional I met there suggested how it might be done when he confessed to his struggle over Kit Kats. A large, tightly disciplined man, he told me that every evening as he heads to the train for his ride home, he breaks into a run to get safely past a news stand that sells those crispy chocolate wafers. Canada, too, must figure out the direction it needs to start running in order to avoid calamity.When I asked the manager of Jack Astor’s about portion sizes, he told me, “They’re bigger than they have to be. But it’s not like Cheesecake Factory.”The question is whether it will stay that way.

Editorial Reviews

"A fascinating account of the science of human appetite, as well as its exploitation by the food industry."
— Michael Pollan, author of In Defense of Food