The End of Overeating – Taking Control of the Insatiable North American Appetite
by David A. Kessler, MD
If I were going to try and summarize The End of Overeating in just one sentence, I think “People get fat because they eat more than people who are lean.” would be pretty close. It may sound too simple, but don’t worry because this book is so much more than that. After reading only the first few chapters, I already wanted to eat less!
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. Some of the methods described for changing our behaviour and reward tendencies, even seem like they could work to curb other repetitive bad habits (like skipping a work-out)!
*This book was provided for review by Random House Canada.