The End of Overeating (Weekly Response 2/9)

This week, I was particularly struck by the excerpts from “The End of Overeating”, by David Kessler that we read. I believe that it highlighted some of the biggest problems that America and many other countries face today: obesity. The excerpts we read showed a lot of the sociological and scientific background on the “epidemic” that is taking hold in our society. It is particularly shocking when he talks about his friends like Claudia and others who, at the mere sight of food, go crazy over it and practically start frothing at the mouth upon seeing an M&M. It is almost scary to read the descriptions he gave of them when he put a Twinkie-like snack or a snickers bar in front of his acquaintances and asked them to describe what they were feeling. Many of them said that they were distracted and stressed by the food, and that they could not resist eating it, although it would make them feel bad later. In my opinion, these people, and the many unfortunate people like them have some kind of mental or social (or both) problem that can and needs to be treated. Over 50% of Americans are overweight, and this is leading to greater problems in the world, such as rising healthcare costs, earlier death, and decreased productivity. I was also interested (appalled is probably a better word) at the descriptions he gave of his visits to Chili’s and Cinnabon. When one buys a dish from these or similar restaurants, one doesn’t usually worry about what’s in it, but the fact that they are so reluctant to give out the ingredients makes me personally slightly suspicious (I never was a big fan of Chili’s anyway). I also noticed that being sick (I had some sort of stomach bug the day I read these excerpts) makes everything sound so much more disgusting and abhorrent. Reading the descriptions (especially of the Chili’s meals; Cinnamon buns tend to be a bit less aggressive on the digestive system) made me gag multiple times, and I had to stop multiple times because my stomach was starting to hurt more intensely. I guess it goes to show that everything really depends on the hidden processes going on inside our brain.

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