I Think, Therefore I Overeat

New fleet of books tries to explain American obesity
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 18, 2009 8:09 PM CDT
One author says some humans tend to overeat because their brain activity demands it.   (Shutter Stock)
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(Newser) – As the waistlines of Americans continue to expand, so is the genre of literature seeking to explain why, Elizabeth Kolbert writes in the New Yorker, profiling no fewer than seven books on the subject—including one that endorses “fat power.” The Fat Studies Reader argues that the real problem isn’t obesity, but societal hysteria founded by a deep-seated contempt for the corpulent.

The authors of The Evolution of Obesity take a Darwinian approach, blaming the calorically demanding brain for the obesity epidemic. The End of Overeating maintains that the mouth, not the mind, has been conditioned—by food engineers, to engage in a sweet-snacking habit akin to drug addiction called “eatertainment." Whatever the reason, humans always want more calories for less effort, Kolbert notes. With so many causes, it's one dream that won’t be deferred.