The best books to capture sugar and food addiction to stop eating your way into weight gain

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an addictions physician with a passion for the field of food addiction. I have spoken, taught, and written about this subject for over 15 years. I am the author of Food Junkies: Recovery from Food Addiction; have a thriving free Facebook group: I'm Sweet Enough: Sugar-Free for Life (which you are invited to join), and a podcast called Food Junkies—to catch up on the latest in the field. I am also a food addict in recovery for over 15 years and have maintained a 100-pound weight loss since then.


I wrote...

Book cover of Food Junkies: Recovery from Food Addiction

What is my book about?

This book is considered the primer on sugar and food addiction. This covers the science, the clinical picture (diagnosis and treatment), and actual stories of food addicts in various stages of their addiction. Very reader-friendly and ideal for both the newcomer to this field and the clinician who wants to learn more about food addiction. Written by an addiction physician working in the field, with her own recovery from sugar addiction (and weight loss maintenance) for over 15 years.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Bright Line Eating: The Science of Living Happy, Thin and Free

Vera Tarman, MD Why did I love this book?

This book is written by the founder of the very successful weight loss food program, Susan Peirce Thompson. She covers the science and clinical picture of food addiction. Which she believes is essential for long-term successful weight loss.

This book is very public/reader-friendly. She is also a food addict in recovery and is very open about her trials and tribulations. I find her very engaging and personable.

By Susan Peirce Thompson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bright Line Eating as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Over 99% of people who try to lose weight don't succeed. They don't get slender and they don't stay slender long term. The average dieter spends a significant amount of money and makes four or five new attempts each year. Four or five new attempts each year with almost no hope of success. Only 1% of people will get down to their goal weight on traditional diets. Susan Peirce Thompson. Ph.D., suggests that there's something fishy going on here, something important we're not paying attention to. We don't have an obesity problem; we have an obesity mystery-and she has a…


Book cover of Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease

Vera Tarman, MD Why did I love this book?

This is a must-read by anti-sugar advocate Robert Lustig. He is a paediatric endocrinologist who became famous with the viral YouTube video: Sugar the Bitter Truth.

This book covers the science of sugar and its detrimental effects on the body. This is a staple its the food addiction field. For a scientific book, it is readable and mind-boggling.

By Robert H. Lustig,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fat Chance as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Sugar is toxic, addictive and everywhere. So what chance do you have of living sugar-free?

With busy lives and little time left for cooking we find ourselves relying on a diet of processed food. But this is what's responsible for our chronically expanding waistlines, soaring levels of diabetes and a catalogue of diseases.

Dr Robert Lustig reveals the truth about our sugar-laden food:

Why conventional low-fat weight loss advice won't work: not every calorie is the same, and skipping lunch doesn't mean it's ok to eat dessert Why too much sugar can cause serious illness even if you are not…


Book cover of Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us

Vera Tarman, MD Why did I love this book?

This book is a must-read for anyone interested in food addiction. It addresses how the food industry deliberately engineers foods to be addictive—regardless of poor health outcomes. It will blow your mind to see how the food industry are drug pushers no different than any other drug dealers. 

By Michael Moss,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Salt Sugar Fat as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The No.1 New York Times Bestseller

In China, for the first time, the people who weigh too much now outnumber those who weigh too little. In Mexico, the obesity rate has tripled in the past three decades. In the UK over 60 per cent of adults and 30 per cent of children are overweight, while the United States remains the most obese country in the world.

We are hooked on salt, sugar and fat. These three simple ingredients are used by the major food companies to achieve the greatest allure for the lowest possible cost. Here, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter…


Book cover of Saving Sara: A Memoir of Food Addiction

Vera Tarman, MD Why did I love this book?

An excellent, well-written memoir of what it is like to be a food addict. Sara Somers tells her story of discovery and how she finds recovery. You really feel the drama of what it is like to eat, to overeat to the point of shame and sickness, and then that is possible to recover from even the worst case. A book to identify and feel inspired to change.

By Sara Somers,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Saving Sara as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For nearly fifty years, Sara Somers suffered from untreated food addiction. In this brutally honest and intimate memoir, Somers offers readers an inside view of a food addict's mind, showcasing her experiences of obsessive cravings, compulsivity, and powerlessness regarding food. Saving Sara chronicles Somers's addiction from childhood to adulthood, beginning with abnormal eating as a nine-year-old. As her addiction progresses in young adulthood, she becomes isolated, masking her shame and self-hatred with drugs and alcohol. Time and again, she rationalizes why this time will be different, only to have her physical cravings lead to ever-worse binges, to see her promises…


Book cover of The Case Against Sugar

Vera Tarman, MD Why did I love this book?

Written by investigative reporter Gary Taubes—he covers the span of history, science, and toxic effects of sugar on our populations. Very readable and very enlightening. He holds no punches on the sugar industry. Well researchedhe had the time to accumulate data over the years; no academic has that kind of time and commitment. 

By Gary Taubes,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Case Against Sugar as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

More than half a billion adults and 40 million children on the planet are obese. Diabetes is a worldwide epidemic. Evidence increasingly shows that these illnesses are linked to the other major Western diseases: hypertension, heart disease, even Alzheimer's and cancer, and that shockingly, sugar is likely the single root cause. Yet the nutritional advice we receive from public health bodies is muddled, out of date, and frequently contradictory, and in many quarters still promotes the unproven hypothesis that fats are the greatest evil.

With expert science and compelling storytelling, Gary Taubes investigates the history of nutritional science which, shaped…


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Book cover of The Chomsky Effect: A Radical Works Beyond the Ivory Tower

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New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Writer Professor of Humanities Borders Radicalist

Robert's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

Noam Chomsky has been praised by the likes of Bono and Hugo Chávez and attacked by the likes of Tom Wolfe and Alan Dershowitz. Groundbreaking linguist and outspoken political dissenter—voted “most important public intellectual in the world today” in a 2005 magazine poll—Chomsky inspires fanatical devotion and fierce vituperation.

In The Chomsky Effect, Chomsky biographer Robert Barsky examines Chomsky's positions on a number of highly charged issues—including Vietnam, Israel, East Timor, and his work in linguistics—that illustrate not only “the Chomsky effect” but also “the Chomsky approach.”

Chomsky, writes Barsky, is an inspiration and a catalyst. Not just an analyst…

The Chomsky Effect: A Radical Works Beyond the Ivory Tower

By Robert F. Barsky,

What is this book about?

"People are dangerous. If they're able to involve themselves in issues that matter, they may change the distribution of power, to the detriment of those who are rich and privileged."--Noam Chomsky

Noam Chomsky has been praised by the likes of Bono and Hugo Chávez and attacked by the likes of Tom Wolfe and Alan Dershowitz. Groundbreaking linguist and outspoken political dissenter--voted "most important public intellectual in the world today" in a 2005 magazine poll--Chomsky inspires fanatical devotion and fierce vituperation. In The Chomsky Effect, Chomsky biographer Robert Barsky examines Chomsky's positions on a number of highly charged issues--Chomsky's signature issues,…


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