Much of our dietary sugar comes through meals and snacks
we don’t cook at home, and several forthcoming books take on
larger questions about processed foods and the cycles of craving
that they can help generate.
In October, HarperOne will publish Fast Food Genocide by
Joel Fuhrman, whose Eat to Live has sold more than one million
print copies since 2003, according to NPD BookScan. In his
new book, Fuhrman asserts that processed foods—or “
franken-foods,” as he calls them—can lead not only to obesity but also
to “diminished intelligence, attention deficits, reduced educational and occupational opportunities, and even increased drug
addiction, violence, and crime,” according to the publisher.
Another book, Unsafe at Any Meal by Renee Joy Dufault
(Square One, May), examines a more specific problem with
processed foods. The author, a former investigator for the Food
and Drug Administration, argues that mercury contained in
cleaning chemicals used in processing plants can end up in the
products such as candy made there. She asserts that mercury
This season’s wellness shelf is as multifarious as ever, touching on sugar, yoga, maternity myths, and more. But across the dozens of forthcoming titles a theme emerges: the importance of being more thoughtful about how we eat and exercise.
A book on the behavioral psychology of eating, an examination
of America’s culture of addiction, and a neuroscience-backed
look at the effects of meditation: these are just a few of the books
encouraging readers to be more conscientious about the way
they diet and exercise.
The Not-So-Sweet Stuff
In the way that certain foods and practices—vegetable
smoothies, bone broth, marathon training—can attain a faddish
popularity, others, such as salt or white carbohydrates, can fall
into infamy. The latter appears to be the fate of sugar this
season. The coming months will see several books that offer
new, mostly unfavorable perspectives on that (annoyingly
delicious) soluble carbohydrate, plus titles addressing related
concerns, such as processed foods.
The books arrive at a time when the scientific community is
subjecting sugar, and the research surrounding it, to greater
scrutiny. Last fall, the New York Times reported that, in the
1960s, the sugar industry funded studies that aimed to de-emphasize the role of sugar consumption in heart disease.
Similarly, Coca-Cola spent millions on studies downplaying the
link between sugar and obesity. Meanwhile, in 2015, the World
Health Organization issued the recommendation that adults
and children cap their sugar consumption at 10% of their total
daily energy intake, citing the connection between sugar and
obesity and tooth decay. All of this suggests that health experts,
as well as consumers, are treating the negative effects of sugar
consumption with renewed seriousness.
Connection New books encourage deep thoughts about health
BY DANIEL LEFFERTS