America's Food Addiction--and My Own

Book - 2013 | 1st ed. --
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Mika Brzezinski is at war against obesity. On Morning Joe, she is often so adamant about improving America's eating habits that some people have dubbed her "the food Nazi." What they don't know is that Mika wages a personal fight against unhealthy eating habits every day, and in this book she describes her history of food obsession and distorted body image, and her lifelong struggle to be thin. She believes it's time we all learned to stop blaming ourselves, and each other, and look at the real culprits--the food we eat and our addiction to it. Mika feels the only way to do this is to break through the walls of silence and shame we've built around obesity and food obsessions. She believes we need to talk openly about how our country became overweight, and what we can do to turn the corner and step firmly onto the path of health. So Mika made a deal with her very close friend Diane: they would work together on this book and on their personal goals, to help Diane drop 75 pounds and to break Mika's obsession with staying superthin. As she did in her bestseller Knowing Your Value, Mika has packed each chapter with insights from notable people in medicine, health, business, the arts, and politics. Singer Jennifer Hudson, the late writer and director Nora Ephron, TV host Gayle King, New Jersey governor Chris Christie, and many others open up to Mika about their own challenges and what works for them when it comes to food and diet. It's time we stopped whispering the F-word ("fat") the way we used to shun the C-word ("cancer"). This book--with its trademark Brzezinski smarts, honesty, and courage--launches us into a no-holds-barred conversation with family and friends, in schools and kitchens, in Congress and the food industry, to help us all find ways to tackle one of the biggest problems standing between us and a healthier America.
Publisher: New York : Weinstein Books, c2013.
Edition: 1st ed. --
ISBN: 9781602861763
Characteristics: x, 239 p. ; 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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