The End of Overeating: Taking Control of Our Insatiable Appetite

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9780141047812: The End of Overeating: Taking Control of Our Insatiable Appetite

Uncover the truth behind our food addiction - and learn how to break the cycle Many of us find ourselves powerless in front of a bag of crisps, a packet of biscuits, the last slice of pizza. Why is it that we simply can't say no? In The End of Overeating David Kessler, the man who took on the tobacco industry, exposes how modern food manufacturers have hijacked the brains of millions by turning our meals into perfectly engineered portions of fat, salt and sugar, turning us into addicts in the process. The result is a ticking time-bomb of growing obesity, heart conditions and a mass of health problems around the globe. Examining why we're so often powerless in the face of such food, Kessler reveals how our appetites have been and are increasingly hijacked by hyper-palatable foods that encourage us to keep eating - all the time. With a special focus on the growing problems in the UK and Europe, Kessler lays out a clear plan and vital tools for reclaiming control over our cravings.

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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'.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

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.


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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Uncover the truth behind our food addiction - and learn how to break the cycle Many of us find ourselves powerless in front of a bag of crisps, a packet of biscuits, the last slice of pizza. Why is it that we simply can t say no? In The End of Overeating David Kessler, the man who took on the tobacco industry, exposes how modern food manufacturers have hijacked the brains of millions by turning our meals into perfectly engineered portions of fat, salt and sugar, turning us into addicts in the process. The result is a ticking time-bomb of growing obesity, heart conditions and a mass of health problems around the globe. Examining why we re so often powerless in the face of such food, Kessler reveals how our appetites have been and are increasingly hijacked by hyper-palatable foods that encourage us to keep eating - all the time. With a special focus on the growing problems in the UK and Europe, Kessler lays out a clear plan and vital tools for reclaiming control over our cravings. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780141047812

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Uncover the truth behind our food addiction - and learn how to break the cycle Many of us find ourselves powerless in front of a bag of crisps, a packet of biscuits, the last slice of pizza. Why is it that we simply can t say no? In The End of Overeating David Kessler, the man who took on the tobacco industry, exposes how modern food manufacturers have hijacked the brains of millions by turning our meals into perfectly engineered portions of fat, salt and sugar, turning us into addicts in the process. The result is a ticking time-bomb of growing obesity, heart conditions and a mass of health problems around the globe. Examining why we re so often powerless in the face of such food, Kessler reveals how our appetites have been and are increasingly hijacked by hyper-palatable foods that encourage us to keep eating - all the time. With a special focus on the growing problems in the UK and Europe, Kessler lays out a clear plan and vital tools for reclaiming control over our cravings. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780141047812

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Book Description Penguin Books. Book Condition: New. 2010. Paperback. Explores how modern food manufacturers have hijacked the brains of millions by turning our meals into perfectly engineered portions of fat, salt and sugar, turning us into addicts in the process. With a focus on the problems in the UK and Europe, this title lays out a plan and tools for reclaiming control over our cravings. Num Pages: 352 pages. BIC Classification: JFCV; KNDF; VFM. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 195 x 133 x 21. Weight in Grams: 258. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780141047812

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Book Description Penguin Books, 2010. Book Condition: New. 2010. Paperback. Explores how modern food manufacturers have hijacked the brains of millions by turning our meals into perfectly engineered portions of fat, salt and sugar, turning us into addicts in the process. With a focus on the problems in the UK and Europe, this title lays out a plan and tools for reclaiming control over our cravings. Num Pages: 352 pages. BIC Classification: JFCV; KNDF; VFM. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 195 x 133 x 21. Weight in Grams: 258. . . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780141047812

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