Obesity: why we eat much more than we want

Obesity is one of the biggest problems in the Western world. To combat obesity, it is important to know why we often eat much more than we want. Why is it that we have to eat a bag of chips as soon as we take a hand? Dr. David Kessler went looking for the answers to our strange food addiction. His book: Don’t be overeaten contains his report, indispensable for anyone who eats more than he would like.

Power supply

The body needs nutrition to perform. Food is the fuel for the body. Without a complete and healthy diet, physical performance deteriorates. Fast food and refined foods are food, but not nutrition.

Pleasure, fun and happiness

In a stressful world with a 24/7 economy, pleasure, pleasure and happiness are sometimes hard to find. Advertisements about food take advantage of this: we are bombarded with advertisements that link food to pleasure, fun and happiness.

Potato chips

Why is it that when we eat a handful of chips, the rest of the bag also has to be eaten? Why is it that we control ourselves in everyday life and as soon as that bag of chips is open we eat that bag of chips uncontrollably? Why is it that in the past an entire family could do with 1 bag of chips a week and that nowadays we eat a bag of chips every day? Uncontrolled and uncontrolled, that bag of chips has to be eaten as soon as it is opened. Recognizable?

To make money

According to Dr. David Kessler, author of Don’t Be Stuffed, it is mainly the food industry that tests everyone’s willpower. The food industry has only 1 goal: Making money from the sale of food. The means: seducing through advertisements and processing the food to make it sweeter, saltier, more tender, more colored and etc. Example: tomato sauce and ketchup consist almost entirely of sugar and coloring agents. We associate tomato sauce and ketchup with savory things, but they are actually pure sweets.

Central Bureau of Statistics

The Central Bureau of Statistics in Voorburg has calculated that the number of overweight people in the Netherlands has increased significantly over the past thirty years. Both in adults and in 4 to 20 year olds. The seriously overweight group among adults has even doubled. About 6.5 million Dutch people are moderately or severely overweight. And that is considerably more than the 27% of seriously overweight adults in the Netherlands in the early 1980s.


We can’t just blame the food industry. Nowadays we live in a world full of convenience. We do much more sedentary work. We drive around in a car. Convenience features such as elevators, escalators and treadmills don’t help either. We are using increasingly larger plates and glasses. We spend entire evenings stretched out on the couch or sitting behind the computer. And who still does physical labor like in the days of our grandparents?


Yet many doctors today still believe that seriously overweight people lack willpower. Hardly anyone talks about the addictive effects of today’s processed foods on our brains. No one is talking about the fact that our taste buds have had a strong preference for sweet, salty and fat since evolution and that the food industry cleverly responds to this. The food industry puts salt, sweet and fat in our food in every conceivable way. The brain responds to this and becomes addicted.


Scientific research has shown that the brain responds exactly the same way after using sugar as it does after using nicotine or alcohol. The brain becomes addicted to sugar. The brain cannot cope with constant food temptations. Useful to know for the food industry, they then put even more sugar in our food.

Emotion eater

People who use food to feel better have a big problem with all those foods that have addictive effects. These emotional eaters want to feel better and are looking for pleasure, pleasure and happiness, exactly what the food industry promises them. Because in order to achieve goal 1 (earn money), the food industry must ensure that you buy a lot of food. Anyone who is addicted to food will get a lot of food. Just take a look at the average shopping cart in a supermarket and see what’s in it.


Dr. David Kessler also overeat himself and overcame overeating by beating his personal food addiction. He’s the first to admit it was quite a struggle! How did he do that? By old-fashioned willpower and his bicycle, because he is an adult and responsible for what he puts in his mouth. You cannot possibly blame the entire food industry for obesity. He put the pastry in his mouth, not the food industry. He got in the car instead of riding his bike to work. Everyone’s willpower weakens during stress, fatigue, illness or during a bad day.

Dr. David Kessler

Dr. David Kessler was once an adviser to the US Food and Drug Administration, where he had a reputation as a tough inspector. Today he is chief pediatrician, epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California. His book: Don’t let yourself be gorged was published by Contact publishing house.

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