Friday Quiz: Why Do We Overeat? (May 1, 2009)
Q: Why Do We Overeat?
A: Because the packaged foods we eat are designed to trigger the reward centers in our brains, much like crack cocaine.
Former FDA director David Kessler recently published his study of this pressing question, The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite.
Here is an excerpt from an interview he gave the Wall Street Journal:
WSJ: There is a lot of concern about obesity and children. What is the biggest cause? It is portions that are too large, or the wrong types of food?
Dr. Kessler: They are getting huge portions of very stimulating foods, hyper-palatable foods. You have huge portions of sugar, fat and salt. Every time they eat those foods it strengthens their neuro-circuitry to eat that food again. It activates them. Once these cues are laid down, and the information is in your brain, it stays there and drives behavior. This isn't a disease. But we've been captured by these stimuli. In the past, it allowed us to survive. Now we have health consequences because it's available 24/7 and we've added the emotional gloss of advertising.
Correspondent Kevin M. sent in this insightful comment regarding yesterday's entry Housing: the Steeplechase Analogy:
Having been in the mortgage business since the early 1980s, I can testify that all that you wrote today is true, down to the timelines.
Thank you, Kevin.
Dark Age Ahead Jane Jacob
Coercion Douglas Ruskoff
The Limits to Capital, New Edition (an explication of Marx's Capital)
The Predators' Ball: The Inside Story of Drexel Burnham and the Rise of the Junk Bond Raiders
"This guy is THE leading visionary on reality.
He routinely discusses things which no one else has talked about, yet,
turn out to be quite relevant months later."
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