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Addicted to Food: Understanding the obesity epidemic (Kindle Single) (Guardian Shorts Book 56) [Kindle Edition]

James Erlichman
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Obesity has hit epidemic levels. In the developed, and much of the developing world, it is now 'normal' to be overweight with a BMI of 25 or more. And the global population is getting fatter all the time as a powerful mix of cheap foods, social behaviours and commercial pressures drives us to the biscuit tin again and again and again.

But this is not the worst of it.

The sugars, salts and fats that are slowly killing us are at the same time essential for our survival. Our brains reward us when we eat them, filling us with feelings of pleasure. But modern abundance has pushed this too far - in this Guardian Short, James Erlichman lays out a frank argument in which we have become addicted to food. Full of diverse research and exploring the science of obesity and the social history of what we eat for our meals (and snacks), 'Addicted to Food' is a powerful call for us to understand the terrible catch-22 that is driving our ever-expanding waistlines. Written with humour and passion, it will not just make you look at that custard cream in a different fashion, but enable you to understand why it tastes so delicious in the first place.


James Erlichman is a visiting fellow at the University of Sussex, where he recently completed a PhD in public health science policy. Previously he has worked as a journalist and author, broadcaster, and for two years as a senior scientific researcher at the International Obesity TaskForce, a London-based charity.

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 217 KB
  • Print Length: 46 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Guardian Books (20 Feb. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BJ5H184
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #109,914 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nothing new here 19 Mar. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
We have hunter-gatherer genes. But we don't live hunter-gatherer lives.

Save 1.99. You've just read the book.

There is little or nothing in here that most Guardian readers won't already know. Far better to spend a bit more money and buy a decent modern nutrition book, complete with references and author information. This work has neither.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but flawed 9 Feb. 2014
By pixie g
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I found this an interesting read, but I got the sense the author was blaming the food industry for deliberately including unhealthy sugars etc in ready meals for instance - which may well be the case, but people can (and should) take responsibility for their own eating habits - yes, there's a lot of unhealthy food freely available, and, with our access to cheap food, and a lack of exercise, many, particularly in the West, are prone to putting on weight (sometimes lots of weight) - but equally lots of people don't. You can read the label, and you can exercise common sense.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very thought provoking 28 April 2013
By Oscar
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I would urge anybody who is concerned about the health of their own and future generations to read this book. Not necessarily to agree with everything set down here but to look at some the arguments for a much more critical approach to our major food producers. Is it right, for example, that we (rightly) tax tobacco and alcohol in part to discourage consumption and yet we do not tax highly sugared and fatty foods?

A central thesis of the book is that many of the more harmful foods are addictive in much the same way as many drugs. They trigger similar reactions in the brain.

It's relatively short, well argued and easy to read. Controversial and stimulating.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A brilliant reference book which I keep re-reading as a reminder to change habits,

Deserving of 5 stars but only given 4 to highlight to other purchasers that hard copy is far preferable to kindle for reference books. Yes, there is a contents page and indexes. But this book needs to be flicked through backwards and forwards to maximise its benefits.

Everyone with sugar cravings should read this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Short read to puts obesity epidemic in a nutshell 10 Sept. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Short and to the point summing up the most recent findings and reports on obesity in perspective. Our diet has changed more in the last 40 years than in the previous 40,000! It is not diet book but it does highlight where all the problems stem from. Fascinating read that will make you look at the obesity epidemic with fresh eyes.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was my first Kindle single, really glad I got it, very educational without all the fluff that can fill up non-fiction titles when they are trying to fill a book.

If you want a comprehensive summary of what we as individuals and as a wider society need to do about our expanding waistlines - this is for you
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking 29 April 2013
By Pip
Format:Kindle Edition
This is a very interesting read. Good length book & doesn't get too bogged down. Really makes you think about food labelling, but also about how we have become conditioned to how we eat, and has made me consider how to break that way of being. Without intending to be, this is the best diet aid I've read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 14 Feb. 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book s a fascinating review of the causes of obesity, including sugar as an addictive agent, and the availability of cheap empty calories in fast food, biscuits, donuts etc.
Politicians should all read it, and anyone who wants to understand why so many of us now fat and unfit.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very interesting article but would have liked more information
Published 4 months ago by john haagensen
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful but frightening
So easy to get up and have sandwich filled with RUBBISH" take heed, this is true and makes you think what's in your food. Enjoyed reading this , well written. Thanks.
Published 5 months ago by mary andrew Isle of Arran
5.0 out of 5 stars OMG
A very stimulating book.
I found it very interesting and informative.
If you are interested in such things this is a good place to start.
Published 11 months ago by Myfanwy
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
Great read. My view of food had changed recently and this confirmed that view. Broccoli is the future for us all!
Published 18 months ago by Mr Shane J Irish
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning.
So easily understood. So well written
And so easily remembered..
No more custard creams for me!!! And I'm going to be reading the labels a lot more too. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Del
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read
An interesting read, written with authority and presenting facts to support the hypothesis. Good response from seller with prompt delivery.
Published 22 months ago by Mjp Howells
4.0 out of 5 stars Good concise review of current opinion
Nothing new for anyone who's seen the excellent 'The Men Who Made Us Fat' but a well written & clear collection of articles.
Published 24 months ago by Michael Anthony Rees
5.0 out of 5 stars Very up to date
Although this is only a short piece, it is crammed with up to date information about the food industry, health and so on, so I felt the writer was at the forefront. Read more
Published on 20 Aug. 2013 by hippychic
5.0 out of 5 stars compulsive read from start to finish
Anyone who is interested in why true health seems to be getting harder to attain, this read is for you.
Published on 12 Aug. 2013 by Darren James
4.0 out of 5 stars very topical
Vital reading if one has any interest in this very serious and real problem. Should have been a little longer.
Published on 20 Jun. 2013 by Lancs Peter
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