Tuesday, October 12, 2010
The End of Overeating by David A. Kessler
General rating: 4 out of 4
This book is subtitled "Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite". The bulk of the book contains Dr. Kessler's reports on the research that he did. He recounts studies and experiments and their results, he tells of interviews he had with various players in the food industry, he includes some of his own personal experiences as well as the experiences of others.
Is it plausible? Very. It is, in great part, very intutive. Nothing he reported was actually shocking to me. And there are pages and pages of endnotes, citing references, sources, and offering further explanation in many cases too.
Is it thought provoking? Very. There are many books that enter my imagination or my mind and stay there forever. This is one of them. It altered the way I look at food and gave me power over my own personal reactions to some of the food he talked about. I loved his "Food Rehab" section because it underscored principles that I had already found to be important (that's the best kind of book, you know--one that validates what you think you know already! :D). This is a very useable book with memorable ideas.
Is it engaging? Yes, mostly. I put it down and picked it up for a few weeks during the research reporting section. It was interesting but not exactly gripping. Once I got into the "Food Rehab" section and beyond, I read straight through. I find this to be pretty standard with an info book. I don't expect it to "grab" me the way some fiction does, I just expect it to be engaging enough so that I am interested all the way to the end.
It is uplifting? Definitely. It clearly states the problem, gives the reader a little taste of blaming someone else for their problems and then goes on to explain how the reader can "take back control" and be master of their own choices and, ultimately, their own bodies. I smile when I think of how nicely he said a version of, "it's hard, but it's not all your fault, and don't worry--you can defeat their tactics and overcome!"
My recommendation: Read it! It is instruction on how to negotiate the American food industry. Knowledge is power, and all that. I really liked this book.