How to Take Control of Overeating

8 Reasons You Can’t Stop Eating

What’s really behind your raging appetite? You might be surprised by some of the factors that cause us to overeat

Why Are We Always Overeating?

8 Reasons You Can’t Stop Eating // bowl of M&Ms © Thinkstock

Image: Thinkstock
You eat too much. We all do. And who can blame us? Food is delicious, supremely satisfying, and it couldn’t be easier to come by. We know we should cut back, but if we wanted to leave half a burger on our plate, we would—right? Don’t be too sure about that.

“The reason food is so powerful is because it stimulates the emotional core of the brain,” says David Kessler, MD, former FDA commissioner and author of The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite. But this is about more than indulging in a fatty meal at the end of a bad day. According to Kessler, the food produced by major restaurants and manufacturers is formulated to condition us to eat, and eat, and eat.

So what exactly is behind this effect? We asked Kessler to explain. Here are 8 reasons you can’t put down the fork, and what you can do about it.