The Hungry Years: Confessions of a Food Addict by William Leith

Combining the revealing cultural commentary of Fast Food Nation with the visceral insights of A Million Little Pieces, this is the story of a journalist’s struggle with weight, and an unflinching look at our own culture of fat and thin.

“I thought: if I can understand the despair, my own and everybody’s else’s, I could write the story—of why we hate fat, of why we are fat, of why, in some perverse way, we want to be fat. And, most importantly, what we can do to stop being so fat. Obesity is the essential human problem in a nutshell—we try to make life easy by giving ourselves access to resources, and then we make life difficult by overconsuming those resources. We have more of everything than we’ve ever had, and yet we feel emptier.”

While on assignment to interview Dr. Robert Atkins, journalist William Leith realized that he could not report on diet alone; he wanted desperately to develop a deeper understanding of his relationship with food and the pathological cravings that led him (and millions of others) to become dangerously overweight.

His Atkins interview led him to probe not only the link between carbohydrates and addiction, but also how our relationship with food has changed over the last few decades in light of economic, technological, and cultural changes in the world, as well as our cultural obsession with our bodies. Combining the science of food addiction with memoir, humor, and sociological insights, The Hungry Years is a book that will force us to look at our culture of consumption in a new way.

“This hilarious, self-lacerating memoir of a compulsive eater is a superb book. I feel about The Hungry Years the way William Leith feels about buttered toast: I couldn't get enough and I panicked when I was reaching the end.”
--Jon Ronson, author of Them: Adventures with Extremists and The Men Who Stare At Goats

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