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Sugar Nation: The Hidden Truth Behind America's Deadliest Habit and the Simple Way to Beat It
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Sugar Nation: The Hidden Truth Behind America's Deadliest Habit and the Simple Way to Beat It

3.52 of 5 stars 3.52  ·  rating details  ·  531 ratings  ·  105 reviews

-Every five seconds, one more person develops diabetes.
-Worldwide, 285 million people are affected by type 2 diabetes.
-Many of them have no idea.

Here is the personal story of one man who has unearthed the mysteries of this global epidemic and offers hard-won practical advice for how readers can take control of their lives and combat this deadl
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published July 19th 2011 by Hachette Books
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(showing 1-30 of 1,462)
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Jeff O'Connell was pretty angry when he wrote this book - he'd seen the end result of diabetes in his father, and had been diagnosed as prediabetic himself, despite having the stereotypical perfect physique, tall and slim. In Sugar Nation, he sets out to figure out the cause of America's diabetes epidemic and why conventional treatment (drugs and low fat diets) are so inadequate. What he finds is that diabetics, instead of being helped to manage their disease by cutting out the very things that ...more
I really hate to give bad reviews, and I know this author spent a great amount of time and research on his book. For me the biggest problem is that the book is mistitled -- it's really a book about Diabetes in America -- how to spot it, prevent it, and how pervasive it is becoming. Every chapter focused on another aspect of the disease. While I understand that this is a major outcome of America's sugar addiction, I found myself wanting more content that was directly applicable to my life -- or e ...more
Deborah Biancotti
I was torn between calling this book 'One Man's Journey into His Own Metabolism' - or 'Jeff O'Connell's Non-Unified Theory of Everything'.

Although O'Connell's research is interesting, & his stats on the dangers of diabetes (so prevalent it runs the risk of becoming disregarded except as a 'normal part of getting old') compelling, in the end I was left with two questions.

a) What really **is** the 'simple way' to beat diabetes? I've read the whole book & I'm not exactly sure.
b) Who ca
Martha Smith
The author takes the reader on his personal health journey. He takes you inside his visits with his "medical" doctors and the medications they prescribe to him. He indicates how difficult it is to find accurate information. The drug industry has saturated most of the literature in the doctor's office. Doctors in general do not teach prevention or reversal. They pedal pills.

Sadly, the author did not find the "cure" for his diabetes or answer he was looking for. He did not know that John McDougal
I expected this book to be more about what you could do about this Sugar Nation of ours -- not an expose on the author's personal experiences (and other than saying that what he does to control it only specifically works for him because he has a unique type of situation, he doesn't go any further than that in terms of how others in this sugar nation world can deal with it). It was also severely bogged down in facts, studies, blah blah blah, that was just way over my head in terms of what I could ...more
Outstanding book on the discrepancies in diabetes self-care. The person who is thin, fit, yet with prediabetic numbers may not concern a physician; a referral to a dietician may still result in a lack of correct information. There are cofusing, differing verdicts on diabetes treatment, and a tendency toward little intervention until the disease is full-blown and in control. The author, a thin, fit prediabetic, has researched this in-depth, and suggests his own physical salvation through a diet t ...more
Some of this book is very common sense, and shows that the American Diabetes Association isn't. Why is the ADA pushing MORE carbs for the average diet, even if it's saying high-fiber carbs should be part of that.

O'Connell pushes, rather, a high-fat and high-protein diet. He's careful to say, though, that he doesn't endorse a full-blown Atkins diet, and to note that it often doesn't work so well as a diet tool in general, let alone an anti-diabetes tool. And, O'Connell also pushes exercise, with
More fuel to add to the "you better watch what you eat" fire. It's rather alarming just how much sugar and simple carbs the average American eats, and how devastating this can be on a person's body. Reading this book has made me look at my own diet a little more closely, though I have yet to do anything about it.

Also alarming is the way Jeff O'Connell portrays much of the U.S. health care system as not very informed -- and led, one way or another, by the nose by the pharmaceutical industry.

I d
A good period of this book were things I already knew, BUT there were also several things that the author explained that I DID NOT know & that were very helpful to me at understanding those key things.

The things that the author cleared up for me were very helpful. I felt those few things that I did learn outweighed the redundancy of the things I already knew.

The format of the book was the authors journey & his struggles.

One thing I did not like was that sometimes it was unclear if wha
This is another book where I should have read the description more closely. I thought this would be a book about the ills of sugar, and in a way, it was. But what it more specifically was about was one man’s experience with type-two diabetes (including learning from his father, who lost most of his leg and his life to the effects of the disease). It was a compelling story, but the mixture of arrogance and naïveté that the author manages to put forth left me feeling like I could have better spent ...more
Sarah Lee
A book I just couldn't finish. It was well researched and written, however it wasn't really what I was expecting or interested in reading. I was hoping it was more about the secrets of sugar addiction and diabetes, and it was...just not in the way that you think it is. It has a lot of information on Americans misinformation about diabetes, and how people are not listening to their doctors or doctors are prescribing medications and between the two the problems are just getting masked, but not act ...more
Apr 28, 2015 Carmen rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Dieters
This book was a little too technical for me. It was also disjointed...he doesn't seem to have a clear flow with his chapters or the points he wants to convey. But it is very informative about diabetes. It talks about how even thin people can have Type 2 Diabetes. It talks a lot about how Type 2 Diabetes is reversible, and how diet and exercise can cure it. It talks about how the drug industry makes tons of money off diabetics. It supports a low-carbohydrate diet.
Spook Harrison
Sep 22, 2011 Spook Harrison rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Basically everyone.
Recommended to Spook by: New Book Shelf
Shelves: health-physical
At first the tone of the book, definitely written by a magazine writer!, put me off, but the information was so compelling I continued reading and am beyond glad I did! Extremely well-researched and examining the issue from multiple angles, this is an excellent text. Also, I'll be able to recommend it to my friends who don't like slogging through academic literature!
I didn't finish this. The title is misleading. I thought the book was going to address all the different aspects of sugar's effect on the body and western civilization's addiction to it. It did discuss those things briefly in the beginning, but the book was primarily about type 2 diabetes. The author provided an account of his personal experience with the disease and how he is frustrated over the lack of medical professionals being properly educated about it and fully versed in guiding patients ...more
An excellent look at why type 2 diabetes has become a runaway epidemic in our society, and how most of the medical community and the American Diabetes Association have basically let it happen. This is a must-read for anyone who has been diagnosed with the disease, or with prediabetes, or has a family history of it.
I was initially intrigued with this book as I work in the medical field and was interested to see the author's personal journey with diabetes. However, I soon found the book difficult to enjoy with it's negative view. I found the overall message fairly good but not the details.
Mary Jordan Samuel
I believe his scare-tactic approach was too extreme because my love for sugar (no matter how sluggish it makes me feel) still took precedence over living the extreme diet and exercise regimen that he proposes.
I'm currently giving myself a 30 day challenge to eliminate refined sugars, so started reading this book thinking by the title, Sugar Nation: The Truth Behind Americas Deadliest Habit and the Simple Way to Beat It, would provide great inspiration. Had the title clearly mentioned it was a book about the author's path to reversing his pre-diabetes and his disillusion with the American Diabetes Association's methods, I probably wouldn't have picked up the book and hence been so disappointed.

An interesting mix of autobiography and medical reporting. The author is a thin fairly young man who was diagnosed with pre-diabetes. One gathers he was very fit, but had a punk diet. He argues loudly for the benefits of a low carb, high protein, and incidentally high fat diet and a serious exercise program, in his case a mix of weight training and HIIT.

This is all well and good and his own experiences are fairly interesting. The one catch is that he doesn't have too much to say about the eviden
I absolutely loved this book. For years I have argued with my physician about "pre diabetes" and she kept insisting that I take oral meds. I kept refusing, losing 60 pounds, and dropping my A1c to a safe level. Finally, someone explains how the system works, or in this case doesn't work for our benefit, and tells us how we can mange our health without going to extremes. Thank you Jeff O'Connell for sharing your own personal story and reaching out far enough to make sure our Nation knows what can ...more
The book addresses all the issues that a diabetic can relate to but, I think Jeff sort of goes out of focus after couple of chapters, after which I thought the book would pick up some speed!

The synopsis gave me the impression that this book would be objective - well-informed, constructive and analytic - but it just takes a sharp turn towards rant-ville. 'Indistinctive' is how I did put it in one word - it touched and went off the areas which I think was important to elaborate on. References sup
Jeff O’Connell started researching alternative methods of controlling diabetes when he learned that his blood sugar levels were “pre-diabetic,” and that his father was dying of diabetes. That’s when he discovered that his condition could be controlled through changes in his diet and exercise. Most doctors and even the ADA (American Diabetic Association) don’t stress this. They have a tendency to prescribe first – assuming that people won’t or can’t follow a diet/exercise plan (and possibly they ...more
The Joy of Booking
Author Jeff O'Connell is a fitness journalist, a healthy eater, and a regular exerciser. So why is he diagnosed with pre-diabetes when he's the exact opposite of the stereotypical diabetes patient?

He takes readers along on his personal journey to discover what causes his blood sugar to rocket sky-high and then drop like a rock - and it's not just genetics. He speaks with diabetes doctors and researchers, attends conferences, and reads dietary guidelines for diabetics. His findings are scary. The
This is one man's journey and how he has dealt with being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. HE has figured out how to deal with it in a way that works for HIM and while I am not saying that he has a point or that his way will work, I feel that it is HIS way of dealing with it and that not ALL people with benefit from his take on things. Very heavy handed about the American Diabetes Association (ADA),doctors,and drug companies being in each others back pockets and the author comes across as smug th ...more
J.C. Hart
I picked this title up from NetGalley a few months ago, and it’s taken me a fairly long time to make my way through it – but then, I find that’s often the case with non-fiction. I wanted to be shocked, and warned off sugar, and this book certainly did that. It showed with great detail just how bad the situation is with diabetes and the foods we eat, as well as how the treatments are lacking.

While most of the stats were from America, there were several instances that gave a global picture of the
I'm not quite sure how to characterize this book... it was mainly a semi-memoir terribly overgrown magazine article. The author writes about his own struggle with pre-type-2 diabetes (based on a men's health article called "The Thin Man's Diabetes") and goes into the history of the disease and its treatment and today's approach to it. The problem though is that he doesn't really spell out how to manage the illness, other than to exercise (short bursts of high intensity workouts every day) and to ...more
A few weeks ago when I told my friend that I had been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, she recommended this book with the caveat that it would scare me. She was right! It did scare me. But it also gave me information that I need to manage this challenge.

During the 10 weeks since my diagnosis, I have been amazed at the amount of time and effort it takes to keep on top of this disease. I have to analyze everything I put in my mouth to make certain that I keep within my carb allowance. O'Connell's d
George Ilsley
Sometimes I feel like I know a secret that no one else knows. The secret is that sugar is really bad for you. High blood pressure, heart disease, and of course, diabetes.

Of course many people know this secret but most people don't change their diets, even after being diagnosed with serious illnesses such as diabetes. Many doctors don't even know what kind of advice to give regarding proper nutrition.

This book is both a personal journey and a foray into the diabetes epidemic of North America (and
I, too, as other reviewers have said, thought this book was going to be more of an expose of the food industry. It wasn't, but that didn't stop me from liking the book. It's almost more of an expose of the pharmaceutical industry and American health organizations. The author, after learning that his father is dying of type 2 diabetes, gets tested for diabetes and discovers that despite his somewhat healthy lifestyle, he is pre-diabetic. He begins to research what the various health organizations ...more
Sugar Nation is Jeff O'Connell's personal journey, but his health issues, I now realize, are my health issues, and this book has ripped the scales from my eyes.

I suppose to really explain my reaction to this book, there has to be a little background about me. Last month, right after Thanksgiving, I saw my doctor who asked why I had put on so much weight since the last time I saw her. The answer was stress and junk food, and she said, "Well then, you know what to do there, but you may also want t
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