How Mac N' Cheese Is Like A Cigarette

How Mac N' Cheese Is Like A Cigarette

Carrie McBride
May 11, 2009

Being huge lovers of mac n' cheese in all its delicious forms, we definitely stopped to see what this provocative headline was all about. The article by Cathy Arnst is a review of a new book by Dr. David Kessler promisingly titled The End of Overeating. In it he describes "conditioned hypereating" - an almost uncontrollable drive to eat excessively beyond hunger. This breakdown in appetite regulation begins in childhood and only gets worse.

In fact, studies have shown that children's ability to exercise portion control declines with age. Fed huge portions of salty, sugary, fatty food by their parents, their neuro-circuitry is strengthened to keep wanting these foods.

In The End of Overeating Kessler, a pediatrician, examines the science behind obesity and finds that even more than diminished physical activity, our addiction to high fat and high sugar foods drives our hypereating. Starting from a young age, Kessler believes that our brains are "hijacked" by the food industry and the powerful allure of unhealthy foods. And it's not just the overweight who are held hostage but also people of healthy weight who become controlled and obsessed with their eating.

The reference to cigarettes isn't coincidental as Kessler, a former FDA chief, once lead the government's attempt to regulate the tobacco industry. He draws a parallel between the tobacco and the food industries' marketing and manipulation for profit and also hopes that we begin to view unhealthy foods with the same disdain we do cigarettes.

If you'd like to read more about this book, you can find Arnst's article here and find the book for sale here.

Mouthwatering Photo: by Flickr member Subspace licensed for use under Creative Commons

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