Book Summary by Lisa Griffin

In the book, “The End of Overeating,” author Dr. David Kessler reveals how the human body and brain react to sugar, fat and salt and how the food industry is using that to create food addictive habits. Available in audio as well.

Dr. Daniel Amen brought this to The Daniel Plan team’s attention to share with the participants how our taste buds have been hijacked for profit, not for nutritional benefits.

Not to take lightly, Dr. Kessler is the former Commissioner of the United States Food and Drug Administration and in his book he unveils the hidden truths that popular brand manufacturers, advertisers, fast food eateries and chain restaurants use to sell their products. Watch this 4-minute video interview with Dr. Kessler for more insight:


Author David Kessler, At-A-Glance

  • David Kessler, MD., former Commissioner of the United States Food and Drug Administration.
  • He was appointed by President Bush and reappointed by President Clinton.
  • Served as Dean of medical schools at Yale and UC San Francisco.

Fundamental Conclusions from the Book

  • The human body is biologically wired to respond to sugar, fat and salt.
  • Sugar, fat and salt—especially when mixed, interact with the opioid circuits of the brain, which cause us to devour more of the substance that triggers the response.
  • The food industry is dedicated to capture consumers with addictive ingredients anticipating consumers become dependent on addictive foods.

Book Description

Most of us know what it feels like to fall under the spell of food when one slice of pizza turns into half a pie, or a handful of chips leads to an empty bag. But it’s harder to understand why we can’t seem to stop eating even when we know better.

When we want so badly to say “no,” why do we continue to reach for food? David Kessler, the dynamic former FDA commissioner who reinvented the food label and tackled the tobacco industry, now reveals how the food industry has hijacked the brains of millions of Americans. The result? Americas number-one public health issue.

Dr. Kessler cracks the code of overeating by explaining how our bodies and minds are changed when we consume foods that contain sugar, fat, and salt. Food manufacturers create products by manipulating these ingredients to stimulate our appetites, setting in motion a cycle of desire and consumption that ends with a nation of overeaters.

“The End of Overeating” explains for the first time why it is exceptionally difficult to resist certain foods and why it s so easy to overindulge. Dr. Kessler met with top scientists, physicians, and food industry insiders. “The End of Overeating” uncovers the shocking facts about how we lost control over our eating habits and how we can get it back.

Dr. Kessler presents groundbreaking research, along with what is sure to be a controversial view inside the industry that continues to feed a nation of overeaters.

For the millions of people struggling with weight as well as for those of us who simply don’t understand why we can’t seem to stop eating our favorite foods, Dr. Kessler’s cutting-edge investigation offers new insights and helpful tools to help us find a solution.

Book Excerpts

“Food manufactures have long been using focus groups to test for cravings and then designing their product for “irresistibility” and “crave-ability.” When a food scientist at Frito-Lay analyzed what determines “irresistibility” five key influences were pinpointed: calories, flavor hits, ease of eating, meltdown and early hit. Companies know this and use this.”

“Andrew, a typical food-craver, celebrated every Little League victory at Carvel, the legendary ice cream chain in New York. Now his childhood memory sends him back to Carvel whenever he sees one. He battles with his desire to go and his determination not to. Foods become imbued with emotional resonance.”

Book Reviews

“If Kessler’s encouraging words don’t prod Americans into new habits, the shock therapy of learning what we’re really consuming likely will.”

–The New York Post

“David Kessler’s fascinating book is essential to anyone interested in learning more about how corporate greed and human psychology have created a national health crisis.”

–Alice Waters
Chef and Owner of Chez Panisse

“A fascinating account of the science of human appetite, as well as its exploatitation by the food industry. The End of Overeating is an invaluable contribution to the national conversation about the catastrophe that is the modern American diet.”

—Michael Pollan
author of “In Defense of Food”

“David Kessler, who led the battle against the tobacco industry, now joins the fight against obesity. His message is important: The problem is not only the behavior of profit-driven food companies, but also the daily choices that each one of us makes.”

–Eric Schlosser
author of “Fast Food Nation”