Why We Overeat

David Kessler, like Michael Pollan before him, blew my mind.

When I read Kessler’s, The End of Overeating, several years ago, I knew right then and there that exploring our relationship with food on both a personal and societal level would be an integral part of my journey.


In our efforts to try and tackle the issue of obesity, we tend to point fingers in every direction: processed foods, soda, high fructose corn syrup, not enough exercise, refined carbs,..and the list goes on and on.

Kessler challenged all of my thoughts and biases about the food industry and how we eat with his novel. He forced me to consider the way our bodies respond to food on a biological level and how companies tap into that science to create products that keep us eating.

Basically, Kessler dropped some knowledge. Scientific knowledge at that.

I strive for balance in everything I do, and the same goes for my analysis of our societal response to food. Just how much is out of our control when it comes down to it? Can we really ignore the way food is manufactured and distributed in our quest to find the answer to curbing obesity? Does a national recommended eating plan such as MyPlate really address our needs when many of the large food companies have lobbyists pushing their agenda into our national food policies?

These are huge questions with complicated answers. I spent a lot of time thinking about them from a subjective point of view; the big-L Liberal, ivy-league educated, East Coaster with strong views about what is and isn’t right with our food politics. It’s easy to point fingers at one cause or another. But what does all of that really mean if I can’t look at these issues from both sides? How can I consider nutrition without considering the science?

Discovering Kessler’s work was a turning point for me. So it brought me great pleasure to see him at this recent webinar hosted by Harvard University’s School of Public Health.

Let Kessler drop some knowledge on you and explore your thoughts and feelings about what he’s saying. Do you agree or disagree? Why do you think we overeat? What would you change about your eating habits or would you change anything at all?

I’m always curious to hear what you have to say! Please feel free to share in the comments below or email me anytime at food4thoughtnyc@gmail.com.

As always, keep paying it forward. Stay healthy! 🙂

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