The Hacking of the American Mind

The Hacking of the American Mind

The Science Behind the Corporate Takeover of Our Bodies and Brains

Book - 2017
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"We all know that we can't put down our sodas or our cell phones. But what if these cravings are engineered--by design? And what if these desires actually cause damage--not just to ourselves, but to our families, our friends, and our entire society? While researching the toxic impact of sugar on our health for his New York Times best seller Fat Chance, Robert Lustig made a discovery that reaches beyond the politics of food. Our seemingly innocent addictions are far from it--they are biochemical, and they are damaging our bodies and our brains. With his trademark wit and incisiveness, Lustig reveals how these chemicals interact with one another to drive our behaviors, and how Big Business uses the science of addiction to keep us hooked--to our detriment, and for their profit. Dopamine is the 'reward' neurotransmitter that tells our brains 'This feels good, I want more.' Yet too much dopamine leads to addiction. Serotonin is the 'contentment' neurotransmitter that tells our brains 'This feels good, I have enough.' Yet too little serotonin leads to depression. Ideally, both should be in optimal supply. But too many of our simple pleasures have morphed into something else--a 6.5-ounce soda has become a Big Gulp; an afternoon with friends has been replaced by 1,000 friendings on Facebook. What we think we want, what we're told will bring us happiness, is just a clever marketing scheme to lead us to consume more and more. Wall Street, Madison Avenue, Las Vegas, Silicon Valley, and Washington, DC., have gotten inside our heads, exploiting newly discovered brain physiology and chemistry to confuse and conflate pleasure with happiness. Our behaviors are not our own, because our minds have been hacked. But there are ways to reclaim our health and our lives. Using that same brain science, Lustig offers solutions to defend ourselves against Corporate America, and to reengage in the pursuit of happiness, even in the face of overwhelming opposition. And the time to take action--for ourselves, for our children, and for all of society--is now."--Jacket.
Publisher: New York :, Avery, an imprint of Penguin Random House,, [2017]
ISBN: 9781101982587
Call Number: 152.42 L9766h
Characteristics: 344 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm


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JCLCherylMY Aug 11, 2018

Dr. Lustig has written an extremely interesting and controversial book on the topic of pleasure and happiness and how we process them differently in our brains. Pleasure hones in on instant gratification, never having enough, the need for more, more, and more. This need increases dopamine in our brains, thus producing the never ending wheel of dissatisfaction with what is. Advertisers play and prey on this need to constantly need more. Happiness focuses on accepting what is, nothing needing to change, looking outside of ourselves. To help aid us on cultivating happiness, Dr. Lustig coins the term "the 4C's": Connect with others; Contribute by helping others; Cope by sleeping well, practicing mindfulness, exercising; and Cook by eating real foods. All of these increase the serotonin level in our brains making us more peaceful and productive people. I also enjoyed his TED talk on this topic as well as his first one on the addictive properties of sugar (titled Sugar: the Bitter Truth). You may find his first book, Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease, informative as well.


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