DAY 7: Week 1 Resources
Each Sunday throughout the 28 Days to Overcoming Food Addiction program I’ll be providing resources on the subject of food addiction (or sometimes, just addiction in general) for you to further your understanding.
I save links to interesting articles that I find online on my Pinterest board “Food Addiction Articles and Research,” which you’re welcome to follow if you’d like to keep current on what’s happening in the field.
Three books that I will reference repeatedly and that I believe are worth reading are:
The End of Overeating, by David A. Kessler, MD
Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us, by Michael Moss
Food Junkies: The Truth About Food Addiction, by Vera Tarman, MD
These books changed my life. Not immediately or all at once, but they gave me a lot to think about as I started to analyze why I behave the way I do in the presence of certain foods.
Michael Moss’s book is primarily about the processed food industry and how Big Food manufacturers manipulate food to get and keep us hooked. It deals with the history of processed food’s development and marketing in a way that provides a lot of context for the 21st century version of the Standard American Diet.
It is absolutely fascinating.
Dr. Kessler’s book is more personal and yet more scientifically based. Dr. Kessler is the former Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, and is the FDA head that took on Big Tobacco. His book is more interested in the science of why the SSF combination hijacks our brains and how we can unplug from them. It is good science, but presented in an easy-to-understand, nonthreatening way.
Dr. Tarman’s book is written from both a medical and personal perspective with lots of case studies from her hundreds of food addicted patients. Unlike Dr. Kessler or Mr. Moss, Dr. Tarman doesn’t dance around the question of addiction as she draws on the latest research in the field. I found the gravity of her words to be surprisingly reassuring. She unapologetically asserts that food addiction is not only real, but is a gravely serious affliction which demands a highly structured recovery plan.
When I read that I admit I knew I was on the right track!
Since we’ve been talking about the nature of food addiction this week, today I offer a compelling quote from Dr. Mark Hyman, Director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine and NYT bestselling author of “Are You a Food Addict?”
Just below that you’ll find a link a powerful TED talk video for you to watch.
I’ll be interested in your feedback, so please feel free to hop on the Facebook page and let me know your thoughts.
Until tomorrow, stay strong.
“There are specific biological mechanisms that drive addictive behavior. Nobody chooses to be a heroin addict, cokehead, or drunk. Nobody chooses to have a food addiction either.
These behaviors arise from primitive neurochemical reward centers in the brain that override normal willpower and, in the case of food addictions, overwhelm the ordinary biological signals that control hunger.
Why is it so hard for obese people to lose weight despite the social stigma, despite the health consequences such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and even cancer, and despite their intense desire to lose weight?
It is not because they want to be fat. It is because in the vast majority of cases, certain types of food— processed foods made of sugar, fat, and salt combined in ways kept secret by the food industry— are addictive. We are biologically wired to crave these foods and eat as much of them as possible.”
– Mark Hyman, MD