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on May 18, 2016
This is a great book for those of us losing weight and want to keep it off when we're done. It is a recommended read for a weight management program at a local hospital. The last section is the most helpful part.
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"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. Food marketing should be monitored and exposed where makers of products are attempting to create addictions.

The book begins by explaining based on scientific studies how we crave added fat, sugar, and salt. Dr. Kessler then explains how the food industry seeks to orchestrate those ingredients to make products irresistible. He goes on to show with other studies how combining those ingredients in the right way creates an unhealthy addiction to consuming ever-increasing quantities of those foods. From there, he explains how other addictions are overcome and what the lessons are for overeating. Next, he describes six potential ways to change your behaviors so that you can withdraw from addictive and compulsive eating (whether you are overweight or not). Finally, he talks about the public policy issues.

Go tell someone about this book the next time you find yourself being attracted to an unhealthy food. Your outrage will help distract you from harmful eating.
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on July 21, 2016
The central thesis of the book demonstrates how hyper palatable foods arrive in our food environment, why they lead us to overeat, and how we can escape their control over our eating habits. This book is a must read for anyone who has difficulty controlling their food cravings or who uses food to cope with stress. It contains an excellent analysis of how food is first manufactured, then marketed to maximize consumption at the expense of our long-term health.
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on June 26, 2009
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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on June 20, 2010
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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on July 16, 2009
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 to foods that are doing nothing more for us than adding excess pounds. This book is filled with scientific research that is presented in an easily digestible (pardon the pun) format that will keep you engaged. It also offers real suggestions at the end of the book about how you can overcome and conquer your body's chemical addiction to these kinds of foods. This is a must read for those that feel that they are trapped in a cycle of bad eating and feel that they are unable to escape. It will offer you entertainment, real facts (including a statistics and a chapter on the Canadian food marketplace) and most of all, hope.
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on January 16, 2010
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 commissioner for the Food and Drug Administration. He's not simply writing a book to get on the bandwagon and tap into the huge industry that exists in America because frankly as a nation, we're gaining weight. We are at a sea change now, where our younger generations may for the first time in a long time, actuarially begin to see lifespans and quality of life decrease. Add to these qualifications the fact too that Kessler has a strong background in examining and dealing with the science and medicine of tobacco addiction and it's easy to see why Kessler is better positioned than most to write a book of this nature.

Kessler very clearly and with great support explains why this raise in national obesity is happening and then goes on to provide real insight as to what needs to change to see this disturbing trend reversed, both in the arena of national health care policy and personal habits and responsibility.

First to the technical elements of this book. I purchased this book on my Kindle and I found it to be well laid out with an interactive table of contents which allowed me to move directly to chapters. This is an important element because the Kindle tracks by data volume and not page number, so without this element, as I've found to my consternation in other Kindle books you're forced to guess as to where that particular chapter you're looking for is without a means to jump there easily and so this is something that I look carefully for now in a Kindle book before I just hit the buy button. This book functioned completely and conveniently in the Kindle format and I can recommend it without reservation in that format as opposed to a hard-copy.

This book is laid out in six parts and is written in short pithy chapters that progressively build upon one another and then transition cleanly into the next logical area to be addresses and assessed.

From the fundamentals of nutrition to an examination of the business practices of today's food industry to the emotional and psychological trigger-points that have been identified and are routinely pushed with predictable results in the American populace a case is compellingly built as to why Americans have gained weight, how the food and restaurant industry is complicit in the factors which coincidentally contribute to their profit margins and how Americans can identify and take control of their own destinies collectively and individually.

While the level of discussion presented in this book is higher than most popular literature, the editing and writing style has been well laid out and there is no reason the average reader cannot move through this material easily. Anecdotal stories pepper the work and help to illustrate and reinforce the more technical elements that are explained themselves without a great deal of technical, medical jargon.

All in all I came away from the book better aware of the factors that are at work in our nation and within me personally to drive me toward overeating and obesity. That knowledge in and of itself is not enough to solve the problem, but there is enough there to provide a platform from which to move in the future.

5 stars, an excellent and powerful read.

bart breen
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on August 12, 2009
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. Very similar to the author. In fact it is the reason he researched and wrote the book in the first place. ANd did he research! I am a senior now. An overweight senior. This book I believe will cause me to never look at food the same way again.

Just a great overview of the research the food industy does on an on going basis to make our food more and more palitable. Fat, sault and sugar do the trick. Read what he shows what a macdonald's bun is made up with for example.

The last half of the book talks about why we overeat and how to intervene and interupt this behavior. Just a great review of the scientific literature.

The book is easy to read as Dr. Kessler is a fine writer as he makes the material extremely easy to understand.
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on June 25, 2009
This is an amazing actually explains how your brain gets tricked into your craving cycles. It makes you truly look at your addictive foods and see them for what they are: Sugar/Fat/Salt..Yup, the food industry intentionally hi-jacks your brain from the first bite! Binge eating is exactly what they want you to do because then you are hooked on their products and this equals Big Bucks $$$ for them. You can easily learn how to side-step this process and stop overeating forever! All the answers are in how you prime your brain. After reading the book I now see food differently and I am no longer addicted to "Junk"..and I'm finally losing weight!
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on July 14, 2013
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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