America's Food Addiction-- and My Own

Book - 2013 | First edition
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With insights from notable people in medicine, health, business, the arts, and politics, Brzezinski breaks through the walls of silence and shame we've built around obesity and food obsession and talks openly about how our country became overweight, and what we can do to turn the corner and step firmly onto the path of health.
Publisher: New York, NY : Weinstein Books, [2013]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781602861763
Branch Call Number: 616.8526 B916o
Characteristics: x, 239 pages ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Smith, Diane


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ksoles Aug 14, 2013

MSNBC star Mika Brzezinski once told her best friend, journalist Diane Smith, "Diane, you're not just overweight, you're fat. You're obese." Who says that to a friend? Perhaps only someone who harbours a miserable food addict inside her thin body. Someone who used to constantly binge on pizza, chips and ice cream. Someone who, though uncomfortable in her own skin, relies on good genes and fanatical exercise to maintain an outwardly healthy appearance.

In "Obsessed," Brzezinski and Smith provide intimate details of their life-long struggles with food. The former has resolved to gain some weight and release her obsessions; the latter wants to lose 75 lbs. We travel with them on their journeys and also hear from such famous men and women as Charles Barkley, Jennifer Hudson, Gayle King, and Dr. Nancy Snyderman, all of whom have battled to maintain a normal weight. In addition to discussing her personal issues, Brzezinski writes passionately about America's obesity epidemic: how it arose in the first place, the dangers it presents, and how society can curb it.

"Obsessed" provides a quick and interesting read though it feels marred by the unnecessary repetition of passages that appear on random pages in bold letters. Additionally, although the author plays the tortured, empathetic expert, she sometimes comes across as smug and self-righteous. Diane Smith ultimately emerges as the more likeable and credible of the two; many more readers will relate to her difficult quest for health and her frustration over trying fad diets, losing weight, and then quickly gaining it all back.

Aside from Brzezinski's admissions of closet bingeing, this book offers little in the way of news. Today, most know that diets do not provide a permanent solution; a focus on whole (not processed) foods and exercise is the key to a healthy life. Model good eating habits for your kids, cook nutritious meals and monitor portion sizes. Not rocket science but to stop the vicious cycle, we must take our well-being far more seriously.

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