America’s food obsession


I just finished reading Mika Brzezinski’s new book Obsessed: America’s Food Addiction – And My Own. It was one of those books that I consumed in just a few sittings, mainly because I saw myself on nearly every page page of the author’s shameful and painful food confessions. Brzezinski firmly tackles the obesity problem in America, starting with her own best friend, who was morbidly and dangerously obese. The two make an agreement: After the initial shock of the confrontation, they agreed to write this book together with two conditions: Brzezinski would gain 10 pounds and relax her obsession with food and exercise, and her friend would healthfully lose 75 pounds. Along their journey they discovered many obvious and obscure things about the food industry and questions if obesity is more than just a lack of self-control or will power: Is our food being chemically manufactured in order to keep us coming back for more?

Though one woman came from a place of obsessed thinness and the other from resigned obesity, the women discovered that they had more in common than not. They both had major physical and psychological foods problems, one that Brzeznski says is not entirely the fault of laziness, a lack of will power or even a lack of time. It’s not as simple as that. Our food supply is contaminated creates a cycle that is very hard to break: Once you begin the cycle of eating processed foods, the way they are manufactured keeps you coming back for more.

If we are to have an honest conversation about obesity and its monetary impact upon society, we have to talk about the problem with our food supply. We can’t have a healthy population if we’re fueling our bodies with chemicals, additives, pesticides and an overabundance of sugar.

  • We need to address the overabundance of high fructose corn syrup, MSG and its hidden variants, trans fats, sugar, genetically modified food, and the lack of good nutrition in schools.
  • We need to retrain our taste buds so that fruits can be satisfying enough as a dessert.
  • We need to move more; it’s a great stress reliever and can help us all ease into older age by retaining muscle tone and flexibility.
  • We need to provide good nutrition in schools, and get rid of the ultra-processed foods and hidden sugars that over-excite young brain and make learning harder than necessary.

What are some ways people can break the processed food cycle?

By Julie Hurley, founder of Hurley Health and Wellness

Julie Hurley