Student - 29 november 2012

Just one more...

What: Eet mij: De psychologie van eten (Eat me: The psychology of eating)
Who: Asha ten Broeke and Ronald Veldhuizen
Where: Quality (online) bookstores
Cost: 18 euros for the paperback

Apparently, overweight is a deceptively simple problem. All we have to do is consume no more calories than we need, and problem solved. Easy, isn't it? In Eet Mij, Veldhuizen and Ten Broeke wipe the floor with such illusions in 250 pages of snappy writing. They concentrate on the - neglected - influence of our environment on our eating behaviour.
Following in the footsteps of Wageningen lecturer Reint-Jan Renes, they show how our self-control bites the dust in supermarkets where we are bombarded with temptations. They also show that our bodies are not reliable calorie detectors. How much we eat is in fact determined by environmental factors such as plate and portion size. So you should read Eet Mij primarily for these revelations about the 'obesogenic' environment. Those interested in the biological side of hunger will find less in it to their taste, although the book does explain very clearly why dieting is counterproductive and how genes play a big role in our weight.
On one point, the book may leave the reader a little confused. Veldhuizen and ten Broeke suggest in passing that the idea that there is an obesity epidemic is partly based on exaggerated statistics and a shifting of the BMI borderlines. But before they have provided strong support for this view, they head off in another direction. For the rest, Eet Mij is a very interesting book about the psychological side of weight and overweight. And reading it is just like having a tub of Pringles: after every chapter you think, just one more. Really.