"Explores how industry has manipulated our most deep-seated survival instincts."—David Perlmutter, MD, Author, #1 New York Times bestseller, Grain Brain and Brain Maker
The New York Times–bestselling author of Fat Chance reveals the corporate scheme to sell pleasure, driving the international epidemic of addiction, depression, and chronic disease.
While researching the toxic and addictive properties of sugar for his New York Times bestseller Fat Chance, Robert Lustig made an alarming discovery—our pursuit of happiness is being subverted by a culture of addiction and depression from which we may never recover.
Dopamine is the “reward” neurotransmitter that tells our brains we want more; yet every substance or behavior that releases dopamine in the extreme leads to addiction. Serotonin is the “contentment” neurotransmitter that tells our brains we don’t need any more; yet its deficiency leads to depression. Ideally, both are in optimal supply. Yet dopamine evolved to overwhelm serotonin—because our ancestors were more likely to survive if they were constantly motivated—with the result that constant desire can chemically destroy our ability to feel happiness, while sending us down the slippery slope to addiction. In the last forty years, government legislation and subsidies have promoted ever-available temptation (sugar, drugs, social media, porn) combined with constant stress (work, home, money, Internet), with the end result of an unprecedented epidemic of addiction, anxiety, depression, and chronic disease. And with the advent of neuromarketing, corporate America has successfully imprisoned us in an endless loop of desire and consumption from which there is no obvious escape.
With his customary wit and incisiveness, Lustig not only reveals the science that drives these states of mind, he points his finger directly at the corporations that helped create this mess, and the government actors who facilitated it, and he offers solutions we can all use in the pursuit of happiness, even in the face of overwhelming opposition. Always fearless and provocative, Lustig marshals a call to action, with seminal implications for our health, our well-being, and our culture.
|Publisher:||Penguin Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.30(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
Robert H. Lustig, M.D., MSL,is professor of pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology and a member of the Institute for Health Policy Studies at University of California, San Francisco. He has authored 120 peer-reviewed articles and 70 reviews. He has mentored 30 pediatric endocrine fellows and trained numerous other allied health professionals. He is the former chairman of the Obesity Task Force of the Pediatric Endocrine Society, a member of the Obesity Task Force of the Endocrine Society, and a member of the Pediatric Obesity Devices Committee of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. He is also the president of the nonprofit Institute for Responsible Nutrition, dedicated to reversing childhood obesity and Type 2 Diabetes. He consults for several childhood obesity advocacy groups and government agencies.
Read an Excerpt
Once upon a time we were happy. Then the snake showed up. And we've been miserable ever since. Hieronymus Bosch's painting Garden of Earthly Delights (circa 1500) is a triptych housed in the Prado in Madrid. It is an allegorical warning of what happens when we squander our birthright of happiness divined from God in one garden and move on to the pleasures of the flesh in the next garden, with the inevitable result of eternal damnation. Figures. Our most lauded goal in life-to be happy-is seemingly an illusion, out of reach for us common folk. Except the rich aren't any happier. Happiness seems to be a mirage, something to chase after, to keep us turning over rocks, kissing frogs, and trying to fit keys into the magic lock.
Excerpted from "The Hacking of the American Mind"
Copyright © 2018 Robert H. Lustig.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Part I A Few Fries Short of a Happy Meal
1 The Garden of Earthly Delights 17
2 Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places 26
Part II Reward-The Agony of Ecstasy
3 Desire and Dopamine, Pleasure and Opioids 45
4 Killing Jiminy: Stress, Fear, and Cortisol 60
5 The Descent into Hades 69
6 The Purification of Addiction 84
Part III Contentment-The Bluebird of Happiness
7 Contentment and Serotonin 97
8 Picking the Lock to Nirvana 109
9 What You Eat in Private You Wear in Public 122
10 Self-Inflicted Misery: The Dopamine-Cortisol-Serotonin Connection 137
Part IV Slaves to the Machine: How Did We Get Hacked?
11 Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness? 151
12 Gross National Unhappiness 165
13 Extreme Makeover-Washington Edition 175
14 Are You "Lovin' It"? Or "Liking It"? 186
15 The Death Spiral 204
Part V Out of Our Minds-In Search of the Four Cs
16 Connect (Religion, Social Support, Conversation) 221
17 Contribute (Self-Worth, Altruism, Volunteerism, Philanthropy) 236
18 Cope (Sleep, Mindfulness, Exercise) 250
19 Cook (for Yourself, Your Friends, Your Family) 267
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Lustig Provides Answers to Addiction to Foods Lustig’s continues to expose Corporate America and how their profits lead to poor healthcare outcomes. The US subsidizes the foods which cause us the most harm and namely sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) which is found in most processed foods and many soft drinks and sport drinks. He says fructose or HFCS can age a person 7 times more than plain white sugar. Sugar is addictive as any recreational drug as it drives the dopamine reward system. And sugar sweetness with rats surpassed cocaine to drive the dopamine reward system. And cocaine is 2nd in addiction only to methamphetamine, which is the most addictive substance one can get involved with. He said with Type I Diabetes there is no dementia, but with type Type II Diabetes there is dementia, and its because of the insulin which Type II Diabetics have, but Type I Diabetes do not have. Insulin is a growth hormone and can cause blood vessel changes and a host of other ill health affects. When you have Type II Diabetes your body produces excessive insulin but its not effective in moving glucose into cells, but the excess insulin causes damages to the body cells. He also claims healthcare today has not extented the time of living only the time of dying. In his chapter Connect he talks about the social network mainly refering to Facebook. He said we must maintain interpersonal relationships but Facebook is not an eye to eye conversation but some anonymous person filled with emojis’s. He says the internet connection drives dopamine and its easy to get addicted and suggests personality traits earlier in life may that suggest the addiction transfer to Facebook. He says Facebook is an outlet for depression and being social on Facebook means you will be less social everywhere else. It can impact moods as one compares themselves to others. Facebook encourages coonection as a means of escaping loneliness or anxiety. And finally he mentions that fact a persons weight does not tell the full story on ones health. It depends on the makeup of weight as it is muscle, fat, and where is the fat located, in the hips and buttocks, or around the abdomen, which he calls visceral fat, which leads to chronic diseases especially Type II diabetes. As a pharmacist with over 4 decades in the business, I have witnessed the rise of the use of anti-depressants for all ages and Lustig showed me why. Our cheap processed foods loaded with sugar and HFCS are the addictive substances that lead to depression.
: The biochemistry of the human body is now well enough understood to verify what philosophers and sages have been telling us for ages, and then some. That’s what this lively book is about: how dopamine is the hormone that gets us addicted to pleasurable experiences, from opioids to sugar, and how serotonin can rescue us from addiction. Serotonin is the hormone of the happiness and contentment with life long sought by Stoic philosophers, mystics, ascetics, and other spiritual seekers. But corporations now understand our biochemistry too, and use it exploit our weaknesses for financial gain. That is, addiction is very profitable, despite the unhappiness and early deaths. Fortunately, the cures are cheap and very effective if we pursue them with zeal: a good night’s sleep, a low sugar / processed food diet, mindful meditation, regular exercise, helping others, building community, and other ways of contributing to a better world. Lustig is a medical doctor and researcher who is now devoting his life to combatting the corporate manipulations that making so many of us so sick. Some of his concluding sentences: “No thing can make you happy. Experiences can make you happy. People can make you happy…Those who abdicate happiness for pleasure will end up with neither. The science says so”.