Thursday, 25 November 2010


Well I DID tell you I was a slow reader!!!!!!! ....... and I didn't even finish my other book first, I only read when I take Mr-7-year-old or Mr-4-year-old to karate so thats about an hour to an hour and a half reading weekly .... MAXIMUM.  Excuses aside, I have finished and here is my view on the book.

Its easy to read, as mentioned I red it while each of the kids were at karate and interrupted reading did not become a problem; the book was comfortable to read (no big words) but I did get annoyed occasionally when he kept referring to professor blah blah and this research and that research.  Now while I understand that this is needed to back up a book on nutrition I found it irritating non-the-less.

They key word in the book is HYPERPALATABLE
So what is "hyperpalatable" food?
Well its food that is loaded with salt-sugar-fat combination so as to be irresistibly appealing and when eaten you just want to eat more.  It also doesn't require much in the way of chewing and  basically melts in your mouth and slides down your throat so you are not having to engage much in the way of consciousness with regards to actually eating it.  Now this is something that manufactures are fully aware of and promote (along with a variety of external and personal emotional stimulants that enhance your reaction).  In my head I equated it to eating a Burger King or McDonalds versus eating a carrot or salad sandwich.  One makes us feel better when we are down, it's a treat or special occasion thing and the other is an everyday, crunchy chewy nutrition thing.
Its also a case of that once you start eating hyperpalatable foods that you want more and think you need more, its all to do with the salt-sugar-fat loading on the food by manufacturers.  These foods are also not very good at filling you up or keeping you full like a low GI food would even though they are calorie dense.

One thing in the book is that Dr. David Kessler does not blame the foods themselves, or the manufacturers for that matter, as we are all human we each have our own reward, treat, emotional systems that contribute to enhancing the wanton need for hyperpalatable foods.  Think about situations where you can associate hyperpalatable foods and an emotion and then the enhancing element the food has on your emotion. For me an example would be Burger King Bacon Double Cheese burger with fries at a BK in London.
We were new to London - it was cheap food - money was tight - it was winter - it was warm inside, the food tasted yummy!!!  This to me equated to comfort and an "everything will be all right" feeling in me.  I craved double bacon cheese burgers ...... or did I???!!!!  I have not had one since I was pregnant with number 2 so have been "clean" for 4.5 years now :-)

A few quotes from the book and from Dr. David Kessler:
"Hyperpalatable foods keep us trapped in a cue-urge-reward-habit cycle, and that's what food manufacturer's are counting on."
"The most dominant source of the power of highly palatable foods comes from just one of the senses: taste.  Although the sight and smell of food, as well as the other sensory stimulants, enhances food's appeal and motivates us to eat, taste has by far the most direct connection to the body's reward system.  Alone among the senses, taste is hardwired to brain cells that respond to pleasure.  It prompts the strongest emotional response."
"Once our behaviour becomes automatic, the emotional component - the desire to feel better - is no longer required"
"...many people cannot stop after a few bites of hyperpalatable food.  We have become conditioned to seek more reward"
"Thats what the industry has engineered, with food built layer upon layer to stimulate our senses."
"If we allow an object to be more powerful, it will always have power over you."

So, would I recommend?
Will it give you the answer to being thin?
Will it make you think about what and why you eat certain foods?

I hope you enjoy this, I feel that knowledge is power and while I have an idea of what manufacturers are up to and what the food is doing to me I retain the upper hand.



  1. That's interesting.

    Did it give some more examples of hyperpalatable foods? Just wondering about my ocassional evening stress/winter binges where I voraciously go through things like bread, crisps, biscuits.

  2. HEy Rob, anything that has a salt-sugar-fat "layering" he calls it. Kettle crisps are a killer apparently - no wonder they are one of my *true loves*, biscuits=yes certainly from the sugar/fat combo perspective.
    Some people can say "oh I'll just have one" and stick to that; me not so much! So even if it means the kids are to go without until I can regain control over the controlling foods/emotions then its not brought into the house. Surprisingly though the kids never mind nearly as much as I wish they would ;-)


Thank you for your comments, I read & digest them all :-)