The Book You Need To Read If You Want To Lose Weight

March 21, 2013   27 Comments

Salt, Sugar, Fat Review

Snack Girl has read only a few books in her life that have made a lasting impact on what she eats.

For example, Michael Pollan’s “Omnivore’s Dilemma” was one of those books that got me writing about food in the first place. Back in October, I received an e-mail from Michael Moss of the New York Times and thought it was a hoax. But, he was checking a source, Snack Girl, regarding a quote on Lunchables.

That’s right, people. My critique of Lunchables made it into this amazing book, “Salt, Sugar, Fat: How The Food Giants Hooked Us”, so of course, I am a bit biased toward it.

But, even if he hadn’t quoted me, I would love and learn from this book. In it he explains how the big food companies (Kraft, Coca-Cola, Kelloggs, Frito-Lay, etc.) have systematically introduced and marketed more and more sugar, salt, and fat, all the while knowing the health concerns.

This book was banned from my bedroom because my husband said it made me too angry to go to sleep. This book will change how you see the products in the grocery store and huff and puff a bit if you have ever had a processed food habit.

Toward the end of his meticulously researched analysis of the tactics of the processed food industry, Michael Moss states:

If nothing else, this book is intended as a wake-up call to the issue and tactics at play in the food industry, to the fact that we are not helpless in facing them down.

We have choices, particularly when it comes to grocery shopping, and I saw this book, on its most basic level, as a tool for defending ourselves when we walk through those doors.

I could not agree more with the premise that we need to defend ourselves from the marketing and products that are making us unhealthy. You make choices every day and you can simply choose not support the industry that brings us this junk food.

I spend a lot of my time writing about specific products to educate my readers about what to look out for. I do this because the marketing keeps coming at us and convinces us (many times) that products are better than they are.

Moss’s article, The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food is an introduction to his book and well worth reading if you don't have time for the whole book.

Have any of you read this book? How do you deal with the power and pull of processed food?

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First 20 Comments: ( See all 27 )

What's the name of thd book?

One of 'those' books for me was:

"The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite" by David Kessler.

It also covered what the food companies are doing to us to get us addicted and what we can do to fight that addiction.

I also read The End of Overeating by Kessler, a real eye opener. Thank you Snack Girl for your good work and reminders to stay healthy.

I am a Life Time WW, any comments on the snack foods from WW?

Omnivores dilemma was a real eye opener for me and really impacted how I think about food. I have Pandora lunchbox by Melanie Warner on my radar too.

I have not read the book yet, but did read his article in the New York Times....quite an eye-opener! I've printed it and shared it with lots of friends and I'm planning on buying the book just because I believe in his message and want to see it spread! I hope everyone will wake up and realize that we are responsible for our bodies and we need wholesome, real foods for fuel. Especially for our children!

Omnivore's Dilemmma (and the movie Food Inc.) changed dramatically how my husband and I eat. We buy all of our protiens from farmers we know, eggs too. There is very little processed food in our house. I can't get my hubby to give up cereal but if that's all he eats I guess that's ok. I have even gotten so I make all of our bread, including hamburger buns, hot dog buns and English Muffins (they are amazingly easy and did you know that some companies actually spray their muffins with antibiotics after baking to increase shelf life?!) I live at Farmer's Market year round.

THANK YOU! Just for being here and helping us understand more about healthy food options. I will read this!! It makes me so mad, as you, that "they" can control us like this.

Bravo for speaking the truth about what most big food manufacturers want disguised as being healthy. Unfortunately, the time has come when we must be our own "food police" by reading labels and choosing food closest to the source.

We watched several Netflix movies within the last few weeks and we have definitely changed our outlook on what we're consuming. Hungry for Change, Food Matters, Food Inc. and Forks over Knives. Wow!

I have heard lots of great things about that book and plan on reading it soon.

Another must-read is "Eat Fat, Lose Fat" by Sally Fallon.

I watched Michael Moss on the Dr. Oz show. He explained a lot of this. I immediately put my name on the waiting list for his book at the library. It was a very long list. Hopefully this means a lot of people are interested in his message.

Thank you for sharing! I'm going to look on Amazon for the Michael Moss book!

I read the article a few weeks ago and was thinking about buying the book. I am going to do it now. Thanks for writing about it. It was the push I needed to spend the money on it.

Michael Moss's book is excellent. I also recommend the new book: Pandora's Lunchbox by Melanie Warner.

From Melanie, I learned that the ingredient azodicarbonamide is actually used quite extensively in bread and bread-type products. It’s used as a dough conditioner and a manufacturing aid. Its main use outside of the manufacturing of bread is for creating foamed plastic - things like yoga mats.

The more reinforcement we get to stay away from processed foods, the better off we will be.

As Jonathan Bailor eloquently states: The things we eat are not recognized by our body as food.

Gotta go, I have a yoga class.

Ken Leebow

PS. An oldie, but good is Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food.

Just curious: How is this book any different from "The End of Overeating" which talks about the same thing (sugar, fat, and salt)?

I'm glad I'm not the only one who reads everything I can get my hands on about the food crisis in this country...and talks about it to anyone who will listen, LOL! I, too, read about this book in the NYT as it was a summary and confirmation of many many years of my own reading on processed food, nutrition, etc. It's so good this book is available at this time when we are more bombarded with crap than ever before, plus unscrupulous corporations, an untrustworthy government in the pocket of these corps, and the onslaught of dishonest marketing aimed at us and our children! I found myself watching American Idol this week, muting the ads, then fell asleep with mute on. I woke up to GIANT bacon from Dennys, followed by I MEAN GIANT screen-sized fries, etc from McD'S! Even muted I felt assaulted. What the heck is going on? These marketers are getting so desperate for more addicts! I believe the internet as had the greatest single impact on awareness in this arena [and others] and thru sites and sharing, like SG's, fast food, processed food, etc etc is finally going DOWN! Little inroads are being made, labeling, exposes, and I'm reveling in it all. Three cheers for Snack Girl, Food Babe, 100 Days of Real Food, OCA, Moss, Pollan, Food Inc., and awareness-raisers and whistle-blowers everywhere! :)

Two favorites: 'Eating Animals' & 'Animal. Vegetable. Miracle'

Congrats for being mentioned in the book!

Hello Lisa - been following you on Twitter for a good while - not surprised the great man quoted you.

Last week I listened to Dr Robert Lustig talk about fructose - he has a new book too - 'Fat Chance', The science is mounting up to the point where it just can't be ignored. He is determined to use the law to take on the food giants just like happened with tobacco.

I see others are also mentioning David Kessler. His 2009 book 'The End of Overeating' started the ball rolling for me. His role at the FDA meant he was well placed to see what the food giants were knowingly doing to us. I was on a mission from that point on!


The world seems to be waking up to this - at last! I read The China Study last summer, because I was diagnosed with Osteo-Penia (thinning bones) and the onset of OsteoArthritis. I was eating lots of dairy, but after I read The China Study I realized I needed to quit dairy. It LEACHES calcium from our bones. The dairy industry lies; it's not a food for adults. And now studies are showing all those calcium supplements we have been scolded into taking increase the risk of heart attack.

Starting in July 2012 I began to eat many raw, whole foods each day. Yes, I juice some greens with fruit and have that each day. Three months after I started eating almost no processed foods and lots of raw fruits and veggies I had no arthritis pain at all, ever. The same diet supports being a healthy weight, strong bones, low cholesterol, etc.: WHOLE, RAW FOODS. I try to avoid GMOs as much as I can, however, as they are linked with health problems, too.

I have a history of losing and gaining the same 10-12 lbs. over and over, but I don't count calories or WW points or anything eating like this. I lost 10 lbs. and I don't have to weigh at my ideal weight.

There are so many web sites and FB groups with recipes and tips for eating raw. And the health food stores sell lots of chips, crackers, etc. that qualify as whole, raw foods. Those are my snacks. I try to eat 60% raw every day, and for the rest I try to make them whole grains or cooked veggies (like tonight I had eggplant; can't eat that raw). I don't try to be perfect, and I will still eat a donut or something occasionally. But not very often at all, because it can make me crave sugar (I have problems with that).

The food at the grocery store is mostly processed and bad for you. I was eating a lot of it until last summer when I started to develop health issues. THAT is my motivation! I am 53 and healthy. I have an 11-year-old son and a 42-year-old husband. I want to keep up with them for years to come, not be all bent over in pain.

How good I feel now is enough to keep me going! And now I am used to the food and genuinely enjoy it.

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