Emily's Reviews > The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite

The End of Overeating by David A. Kessler
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's review
Nov 07, 2009

really liked it
Read in November, 2009

I worried that this would be more of the same (Fast Food Nation, Omnivore’s Dilemma, In Defense of Food, etc.) but Kessler takes a new approach, focusing less on the evils of the food industry (although they’re in there) and more on the behaviors that drive overeating. Kessler identifies “conditioned hypereating” in which people habitually overeat in a manner that leads to more overeating and makes it harder and harder to end the behavior. In this group of people he also identifies obsessive thoughts about eating. These thoughts lead people to eat compulsively, believing that they will not find satisfaction or relief any other way, despite rational knowledge that they will feel badly about the decision (regret, lack of control, weight gain, etc.).

I believe strongly that some people are more disposed toward this behavior and that readers who were disappointed by Kessler’s findings—or did not identify with the population he describes—are simply not among those people. If you identify with the people he describes in the early pages of the book, you will appreciate and benefit from his research and analysis.
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