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The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite [Audiobook, Unabridged] [Audio CD]

David A. Kessler MD M.D. , Blair Hardman
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 28 2009
Most of us know what it feels like to fall under the spell of food -- when one slice of pizza turns into half a pie, or a handful of chips leads to an empty bag. But it's harder to understand why we can't seem to stop eating -- even when we know better. When we want so badly to say "no," why do we continue to reach for food?

Dr. David Kessler, the dynamic former FDA commissioner who reinvented the food label and tackled the tobacco industry, cracks the code of overeating by explaining how our bodies and minds are changed when we consume foods that contain sugar, fat, and salt. Food manufacturers create products by manipulating these ingredients to stimulate our appetites, setting in motion a cycle of desire and consumption that ends with a nation of overeaters. The End of Overeating explains for the first time why it is exceptionally difficult to resist certain foods and why it's so easy to overindulge.

Dr. Kessler presents groundbreaking research, along with what is sure to be a controversial view inside the industry that continues to feed a our nation -- from popular brand manufacturers to advertisers, chain restaurants, and fast food franchises. Dr. Kessler's cutting-edge investigation offers new insights and useful tools to help us find a solution. There has never been a more thorough, compelling, or in-depth analysis of why we eat the way we do.


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Review

Fascinating ... an exploration of us New York Times Disturbing, thought-provoking, and important Anthony Bourdain, author of 'Kitchen Confidential' No ordinary diet book New Scientist The End of Overeating is an invaluable contribution to the national conversation about the catastrophe that is the modern American diet Michael Pollan, author of In Defense of Food

About the Author

David A. Kessler, MD, served as commissioner of the United States Food and Drug Administration. He is a paediatrician and has been the dean of the medical schools at Yale and the University of California, San Francisco. Under his direction, the FDA announced a number of new programs, including the following: the regulation of the marketing and sale of tobacco products to children; nutrition labelling for food and preventive controls to improve food safety. The recipient of many honours for his work in public health, in April 2008 Dr Kessler was named the '2008 National Hero' by the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley 'for his leadership as the nation's top drug regulator and his courage in challenging the US tobacco industry'.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
"For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs." -- 1 Timothy 6:10

Anyone who reads this book should be outraged at the food industry and the people in Congress who protect them!

In 1906 Upton Sinclair wrote the The Jungle which exposed the bad practices in the meatpacking industry. As a result, consumers woke up and demanded reform. I hope that Dr. David Kessler's book, The End of Overeating, will have the same effect.

As I read this book, I was also reminded of how tobacco executives used to spike their products to make them more addictive while testifying in public that no one could ever be addicted to tobacco.

I did a lot of consulting for food manufacturers and restaurant companies as a young consultant. That experience made me complacent about thinking that I knew about industry practices. What Dr. Kessler shares here shocked me in terms of how much has been learned about how to make food addictive, especially by using the kinds of foods that will make a person obese and subject to many serious diseases.

I think the most important part of this book comes on pages 247 and 248 where Dr. Kessler proposes these important reforms:

1. Restaurants list the calorie counts of every item on their menus.

2. All food products should list on their labels in a prominent way the percentage of added sugars, refined carbohydrates, and fats that are in the item.

3. A well-funded public education program should describe the unhealthy consequences of eating food loaded with extra sugar, fat, and salt.

4.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Complex argument made clear June 26 2009
Format:Hardcover
This book answered a lot of questions i have had for a long time, which can be summarised in one: why is it so darned hard to lose weight? A question that the author had had too, but has the background and training to answer it. I did not find this book repetitive, it is just carefully argued, with chapters building on the conclusions developed in previous chapters. I also found it to be quite different from other nutrition or diet books; instead of saying 'don't eat high sugar/fat junk food, you know it's bad for you' the argument is WHY we find it so hard not to eat that stuff, and WHY there is so much of it around. Food providers and retailers are not our friends apparently. One final point, though I was furnished with lots more really useful info about why I eat what i eat, my advice to future readers is to not read the chapter on the iniquity of cinnamon buns anywhere near a provider of those buns - man, did i get a craving as he kept going on about the flavours, and odours, the texture.... the soft dough hmmm
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful March 12 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Advice that works in the real world to avoid the seduction of food. I too hope the world changes in the future. Restaurants will offer food that nourishes and increases vitality rather than hurting its patrons with too many calories, fat and sodium.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book July 14 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Loaned my copy and didn't get it back so had to buy myself another! Excellent resource regarding what is wrong with our diet and how food companies capitalize on how our bodies respond to sugar, fat and salt. Also has concrete suggestions for gaining control.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars insightful June 10 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Very informative got half way through a borrowed book then decided i would just buy a copy so i could share the info with my children
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting June 20 2010
By J. Scully TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
The End of Overeating first explains what exactly overeating is (did you know you don't have to be overweight to overeat?), and then shares why so many people can't stop themselves from overeating. The book also shares some very informative - and somewhat horrifying - traits of the food industry. It all makes so much sense when you stop and think about what's revealed, but it took someone else pointing it out to make me realize just how unhealthy the food that restaurants are serving us really is. I think deep down we all know that they're adding sugar, salt and fat to foods to make them more appealing, but discovering just how many layers of unhealthy substances are hiding in a prepared meal was shocking! After thoroughly explaining the ins-and-outs of what overeating is and why we do it, Kessler then talks about ways to change these habits - or as he calls it, "Food Rehab". He stresses that practice, determination and commitment are required, but changes can be made.

I found the first part of the book which focuses on Sugar, Fat and Salt got a bit long-winded and technical at times, but each section includes a clear and easy to understand antidote involving real-life situations to explain each point being made. My one problem with the book was that many of the experiments referenced in the early parts of The End of Overeating involved animal testing that didn't always appear to be 100% kind. Granted, it's clear that these experiments were not done for this book in particular, but were merely referenced for their scientific value. On the flip side of that, I found the studies on human eating habits to be quite fascinating.

The End of Overeating is a smart and informative book that opened my eyes to how often I'm overeating, and made me realize that I have the ability to correct these bad habits.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
I thought this was going to be a self help book. It is not!
But it is a very interesting read!
Published 7 months ago by Julie Laurin
3.0 out of 5 stars No Silver Bullet
Although the book is interesting, it isn't going to change the eating habits of North America. Unfortunately. Read more
Published on Feb. 28 2010 by Susanne Posteraro
5.0 out of 5 stars What's Changed in America that has Resulted in Obesity?
David Kessler knows what he is talking about. His credentials are very strong. In addition to a stellar academic background he has run a teaching hospital and served as a... Read more
Published on Jan. 16 2010 by Bart Breen
4.0 out of 5 stars Practical and Useful
There isn't much in this book that hasn't appeared somewhere before in top-rated nutritional periodicals. Read more
Published on Nov. 19 2009 by Ian Gordon Malcomson
2.0 out of 5 stars This book is boring, layered with repetitiveness and served with sigh
Now and then a subject will catch my attention and I will read everything I can about it. The subject du jour is the food industry and eating. Read more
Published on Aug. 30 2009 by Princess Lucy
5.0 out of 5 stars best ever!
I have read and/or followed just about every diet know to mankind over the past 35 years. I have not had any long term success in terms of keeping the weight off. Read more
Published on Aug. 12 2009 by Michael Kelly
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book with real useful information
Ever think that you were crazy because you just can't stop reaching for those chips? Well, you will be glad to learn by reading this book the actual reasons why we are so addicted... Read more
Published on July 16 2009 by K. Parker
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of time and money.
I found this book extremely light on content and physically contains over 50 cummulative pages of white space interspersed throughout the text and an additional 70 pages of end... Read more
Published on July 15 2009 by Drew P.
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