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The Hungry Years: Confessions of a Food Addict Paperback – 1 Jun 2006
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Compulsively readable. I gulped it down in a couple of greedy bites
It is a powerful memoir -- Daily Telegraph
Its part memoir, part diet book, part comedy, and part sugar rush. I loved it -- Tim Lott
This hilarious, self-lacerating memoir of a compulsive eater is a superb book ... this is his crowning achievement -- Jon Ronson
From the Publisher
Makes fat not just a feminist issue but relevant to everyone: William Leiths unblinking investigation of the physical consequences and psychological pain of being an overweight man charts new territory.
Shortlisted for the Mind Awards 2006 Book of the YearSee all Product description
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Overall, this was thought-provoking. There is the behaviour he simply can't understand upfront in the book; then his first attempt to understand it through the science of diet; then his second attempt through his therapy. What I didn't find it was all that amusing - though clearly episodes do have comic value and it is written to amuse as well as to instruct - and others do find it amusing. So what I personally would have valued more was a bit more of a single considered overview of his three states of mind, and a bit less of the 'serial' version of his life...But I would recommend this book, all the same, to anyone with an interest in these themes.
One of the main arguments goes something like: we have only diverged from our hunter-gatherer diet relatively recently in our human evolutionary history; this diversion involved the cultivation and consumption of cereals including wheat; obesity is a relatively recent phenomenon in human history. Ergo, carbs are to blame.
My objection to this general theory is that "recent" is a relative term. Humans have been cultivating wheat for 10,000 years, whereas obesity is no more than 2-3 generations old. I think there is some truth in that carbs are cheap to mass produce and form the "vehicle" for junk food. Go into any high street coffee shop and look at all the beige food on offer, it is all junk to be sure. So if you commit to avoiding carbohydrates, you are committing to avoiding all this junk food & that's where the health benefit comes from (no bad thing).
But there ain't nothing wrong with wholemeal bread, brown rice, wholemeal pasta ... it's all good!
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