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Summary

2016 Voice Arts Award Finalist

A fact-filled guide to coping with compulsive overeating problems by an experienced addiction doctor who draws on many patients' stories of recovery.

Overeating, binge eating, obesity, anorexia, and bulimia: Food Junkies tackles the complex, poorly understood issue of food addiction from the perspectives of a medical researcher and dozens of survivors. What exactly is food addiction? Is it possible to draw a hard line between indulging cravings for "comfort food" and engaging in substance abuse? For people struggling with food addictions, recognizing their condition - to say nothing of gaining support and advice - remains a frustrating battle.

Built around the experiences of people suffering and recovering from food addictions, Food Junkies offers practical information grounded in medical science, while putting a face to the problems of food addiction. It is meant to be a knowledgeable and friendly guide on the road to food serenity.

©2014 Vera Tarman with Philip Werdell (P)2016 Post Hypnotic Press Inc.

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  • MMH Toronto
  • 07-03-17

No Easy Fixes Here

An interesting and engaging book and perspective. After hearing it, I realize that being addicted to food is a spectrum. self awareness of where we fall in this spectrum is essential to healing. Dr. Tarman makes a compelling case for abstinence from trigger foods, not a popular stance to take. Great book, glad to have read it.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • John Iadipaolo
  • 16-08-16

Thoughtful and Provocative Examination of Addictio

If you could sum up Food Junkies in three words, what would they be?

Thoughtful
Comprehensive
Honest

What did you like best about this story?

It examines a disease which has been long misunderstood, shamed and ignored with honesty, clarity and careful consideration of research as well as the authors' personal and professional experience.

What three words best describe Lisa Bunting’s voice?

Clear
Direct
Neutral

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No. Since I relate to this topic I had to listen and digest it in small parts over time.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • AudioBook Reviewer
  • 20-02-17

parallels are strong between food and alcohol

Food addiction creates a situation where many who suffer, find themselves alone and without good advice. In Food Junkies: The Truth About Food Addiction by Vera Tarman and Philip Werdell, they provide not only practical advice, but a host of narratives where those that suffer from food addiction can gain the confidence to break the cycle of addiction. The central tenet of the book is that to combat overeating, one must treat overeating as an addiction and the book works to validate that, often opposed, contention. While addictions in alcohol, drugs, and other substances sometimes remain often as problems others have, all of us eat food. This book provides solace and a talking center for what seems an obvious issue, but is not talked about much. If overeating is a genetic disorder, then there would be great value in parent talking to child and child talking to parent in a way that’s meaningful.

Those who are food addicts, or at least overeat, will recognize many parts of the book will resonate with them from digging food out of the trash after throwing it away to the denial that comes with the disorder. The narratives clear, telling a story, making an important point, but some go beyond what one might initially expect is a book of clinical explication. From the introduction, the authors make clear there are three audiences: the clinician, the patient, and the layperson interested in the subject and speaks clearly to all of them. The parallels are strong between food and alcohol addiction and the analogies and metaphors vivid. The only small idiosyncrasies about the book came from the editing, from time to time a veteran clinician will recognize some points that aren’t quite right such as hearing “pharmakinetics” instead of “pharmacokinetics.”

While it may seem an odd companion, The Bitter Taste of Dying: A Memoir by Jason Smith, narrated by Paul Costanzo, provides a strong narrative “next read,” I feel to this book about overeating and addiction. While The Truth About Food Addiction goes over the stages of early, middle, late, and final in the food addiction circuit, as one would expect of a clinical narrative, the book also goes very dark, it goes to the places the textbooks won’t – to stories of failure, rape, hopelessness, and death. These are more than stories of success and failure, these narratives are the real sadness many would be uncomfortable sharing, but the important real solutions that come from this candid and important discussion.

About the narrator
Lisa Bunting is a veteran narrator providing both the gravitas and clarity that the book needs. She is an easy listen and provides the narrative strength to capture both the emotion and teaching that come from this book. It seems a very good match between content and speaker. Her voice is assuring, while not being pushy, as many readers are looking for encouragement, but a firm hand to help guide them. Her voice lends that hand.

Audiobook was provided for review by the publisher.

Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog

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14 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • James
  • 19-01-17

best food book I ever read

finally an explanation of why people, including myself, are addicted to food and guides on how to overcome it

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Fifi
  • 21-04-17

Excellent

Excellent scientific explanation of food addiction. Excellent personal account of her own struggles. Excellent description of the solution to food addiction.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Robert
  • 02-04-17

FINALLY !!!!!!!!!!!!

I have been struggling for 45 years. came close to figuring it out a few times but never quite nailed it until now. Words cannot express my gratitude for this book. Thank you

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Phil Selman
  • 26-03-18

Interesting and Semi-convincing

Let me start by putting this into perspective: I’m in recovery from multiple addictions, and food is almost certainly among them. I once weighed 430 pounds and have maintained a 200-pound weight loss for an extended period. I used addiction recovery techniques to do it, and, though under control, I still struggle and will always struggle with food addiction. That said, I expected a lot more of this book to resonate with me than it did.

Many of the authors’ points were vague, and their case studies are little better. The gist is that eating disorders are psychological, whereas food addiction is chemical, and there’s some overlap between the two. I’d argue that psychology *is* chemical, and those there’s more overlap than separation between the two ideas. What’s more, some of the therapeutic strategies they focus of repeatedly, for instance avoiding triggers, are exactly the same as those used in effective cognitive behavioral therapy. So, the authors might be right, in a way, but it seems to me that they’re mostly advocating a better form of therapy.

While their methods/approach to treating food abuse as an addiction may be accurate, their low-carb-camp approach is a bit skewed. I don’t know if they’ve been drinking the low-carver Cool-Aid, but some of their molecular chemistry and understanding of metabolic processes are a bit off. For instance, they completely skip over the very concept of glycogen, pretending that and unused sugar immediately turns to fat, and they equate sugar consumption with insulin resistance.

Before you buy into their grasp of science, I’d recommend a) going to the American Diabetes Association website to see what they have to say on the matter, and b) picking up a freshman-level nutrition textbook and reading the first four or five chapters. You’ll be surprised how many errors you’ll find in this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jill
  • 24-01-18

Exactly the diagnosis that I needed to hear

This is what you need to read when you’ve tried everything to lose weight And you haven’t been successful. Or if you’ve lost weight and continue to gain it back lose it and gain it back again

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • J. Mccormack
  • 02-01-18

fantastic

a great book and a great story teller
inspiring, educational and full of hope for the future

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Ryan
  • 13-11-17

Interesting Perspective

An interesting book for sure. Great to see this side of addiction and how others struggle with something that many people would normally brush off or dismiss.

I started this book with the hope to find out how to help people with food addiction lose weight and was given an peek into the lives of people with a real struggle.

I'm not sure if I totally agree with the author but I can't disagree with anything she said either.

Worth a listen if you or someone you know might be struggling with food addiction.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful