Our theme for this month: “A New Year, A New Beginning”
Our Bible verse for today: “Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the wild animals that the Lord God has made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You can’t eat from any tree in the garden’?” Genesis 3:1 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Processed food can be addictive.”
Since the Garden of Eden, Satan has been trying to get people to eat things they shouldn’t eat. Yesterday we considered how manufacturers and marketers of food products condition us to overeat. We’re constantly inundated with advertisements for food; food itself is available everywhere; and portions sizes are far too big. Over time, all of that conditions us to consume much larger portions than our bodies really need.
However, in addition to the marketing strategies and the intentionally large portions, chemistry also plays a role in getting us to eat more. In his ground-breaking book “The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite”, Dr. David Kessler provided substantial researched-based evidence which proves conclusively that the food industry has colluded to intentionally make processed foods addictive in nature. Dr. Kessler is a highly respected medical doctor who has served as the Dean of the medical schools at Yale University and at the University of California San Francisco; and he has served as the Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration under two Presidents. His credentials are impeccable.
In his research, conducted over decades, Dr. Kessler discovered that the food industry learned how to scientifically manipulate certain elements in processed foods in order to make the food addictive. What they did is similar to what the tobacco industry did with nicotine in order to make cigarettes more addictive. His findings have been validated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; by the U.S. Surgeon General; by the Center for Disease Control (CDC); and it has spawned investigations and hearings in the U.S. Congress.
Dr. Kessler’s book is a fascinating (and somewhat infuriating) read. It will inform you, but it will also make you mad. Fortunately, just as in the case with the addictive nature of cigarettes, there are steps we can take and strategies we can employ to combat and pushback against the schemes of the food industry. Dr. Kessler dedicates much space in his book to that subject. I encourage you to read it.
So, when it comes to gaining control over and cleaning up our diet, we will have to be intentional about it and we will have to have help. Conditioning and chemistry can be tough factors to fight back against. Tomorrow, as we conclude the dietary part of our thinking about possible New Year’s resolutions, I will suggest some additional resources that you might find helpful.