Stuffed: Book summary and reviews of Stuffed by Hank Cardello & Doug Garr

Stuffed

An Insider's Look at Who's (Really) Making America Fat

by Hank Cardello & Doug Garr

Stuffed

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About this book

Book Summary

Stuffed takes up where Fast Food Nation left off. Echoing Jeffrey Wigand's whistle-blowing on the tobacco industry, Cardello, a food-industry insider, reveals how American food corporations and their marketing machines have spurred the obesity epidemic into our nation's most serious present-day crisis.

For almost thirty years, Hank Cardello worked for some of the largest food and beverage corporations in the world, helping companies like Coca-Cola, Anheuser-Busch, and General Mills find bigger and better ways to keep Americans within reach of one more carbonated beverage and a larger bag of chips.

Now, Cardello blows the lid off the food industry, offering an insider's account of how the boardroom decisions and marketing muscle of America's food giants have promoted the bottom line at the expense of consumer health and created the greatest health problem of our time. But Cardello's goal is not merely to scare people. Along with a discussion of questionable marketing practices, he puts forth a clear plan for making America's food healthier, showing that even in this bleak situation, the future holds a great deal of hope.

Provocative and groundbreaking, Stuffed is a sweeping critique of the food and beverage industry that highlights the money behind the calories and how the finances of food have overpowered the science of health.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"The obesity epidemic in particular, he argues, is connected to food businesses that control 'almost everything the average American eats.'" - Publishers Weekly.

"This Big Brotherish approach raises a number of questions ... the subject of healthy food by ineluctable extension requires addressing environmental and agricultural policy issues, which Cardello avoids. Nonetheless, the point zings home: The food industry knows how to sell; now it has to sell the right thing." - Kirkus Reviews.

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Reader Reviews

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Donna

More food for thought...
I consider myself a "foodie" as are probably most of the other reviewers of this book - or am I wrong? That to me is the point of a lot of the discussion in the book. If everyone desired or cared enough to read (and apply) these types of books we wouldn't even have the obesity issue. The way an individual or family eats is a lifestyle decision and, for me, Cardello has given yet another perspective on things - some of which I knew, some I didn't.

I enjoyed the book and found it easier to read than I expected. I did have two favorite chapters that I'd like to mention because I think it would entice a reader. The first, is "Let them eat cupcakes" - a discussion on how schools have vilified the cupcake (and I agree it has become the scapegoat) . My favorite, however - because I strongly agree with - was "Stealth Health". This chapters describes basically ways to help those that cannot seem to help themselves. It describes and suggests ways to make food healthier without the consumer even knowing about it. I do it even with my family...why not in fast food chains or packaged goods?

I recommend this book to individuals or book clubs, it a great way to get people talking and thinking about food and choices.

Kathy

Very enjoyable book
I really enjoyed this book. My husband and I are baby boomer's now in our 50's, and while we were always thin and active while young ,we did grow up
eating high sugar cereals, junk food and a lot of fast food in our teens and early adulthood.Now we are both trying to head off becoming diabetic.

We are both in the medical profession and know from patient and unfortunately our own family members the devastating consequences of this disease. Although
we are very educated in nutrition and have managed to both lose over thirty pounds each and turn our blood work results around, I am aware first
hand of not only the limited choices out there but also how conscious one has to be about ingredients. I certainly hope the future of the food industry can
beas healthful as this book says it could possibly be. I really look forward to more sugar free choices especially chocolate.

Beverly

You want that cupcake...you know you do....
Hank Cardello – a former executive at some of America’s largest food giants – gives us an insider’s look at how the food industry through clever marketing and manipulation, has super-sized the American diet all of reasonable proportion and made it practically impossible for the consumer to resist. Nutritional science has been trumped by profit. Though some things are obvious – product placement on store shelves, for example – the reader will learn of numerous other practices designed to make you buy and consume more. My favorite was – “Sullivan’s Nod” – used by restaurant wait-staff to persuade you to choose the most expensive item on the menu. There is a thought provoking discussion of vending machines in our schools, how they got there and what their future might be. Cardello also points out the need for personal responsibility on the part of the consumer in the choices they make and lays out a concrete plan of action to make America’s food healthier and then make the healthier food both available and desirable to consumers

Shirley

Stuffed
Stuffed is an absolute delight. Cardello, a former executive in the food industry presents the history of our “improved” foods and their role in the current obesity crisis. He shows how profit has been more important than nutrition. His language, with his flashes of humor is straightforward and easy reading. Everyone concerned with the obesity problem of adults and more so of children will find Stuffed well worth the read.

Catherine

Very insightful and informative...excellent reading.
I couldn't believe some of the stubbornness and money hungry attitudes of food manufacturers about changing the business of food production in order to get a more healthy product. This book will really open your eyes!

When I first started reading it made me angry that America is stuck in such a rut and we as individuals really have no choice in the matter. But I really like that Cardello has some very innovative and positive ideas about how to change this problem. If only we can get the higher-ups to listen to what he has to say.

Fast food isn't the only thing that's not healthy for us. I will definitely be reading more labels from now on and with more insight as to what to look for. I would have liked to know more about what I, an ordinary consumer, can do to help with this problem. But I also think that knowledge is the first step and if enough people read this book maybe things will start to turn around. In my opinion it is a very interesting and thought provoking read.

Erica

Stuffed: Who's (Really) Making America Fat
"Stuffed" was well-written and researched, engaging and informative. Although I have been well aware of the manipulation of the public by the food industry, I had thought of it only in terms of advertising. Cardello makes it clear that advertising is only the tip of the iceberg. But I particularly appreciated the fact that he did not just indict the food industry. He discussed solutions that are in the market or in development as well as coming up with viable, logical solutions for the problems they had created which did not rely strictly on the consumer exercising greater self-discipline and address the bottom line for the participants in the industry.

...12 more reader reviews

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More Information

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After nearly three decades working as an executive in the food and beverage industry, Hank Cardello suffered a personal health crisis and dedicated himself to introducing healthier ingredients into mainstream food and beverages. He directs the Global Business Obesity Forum, the premier outlet for uniting the mainstream food industry and health scientists to advance solutions to the obesity crisis.

Doug Carr has worked as a journalist, editor, and author for more than thirty years, writing for publications such as Business Week, GQ, Popular Science, and Newsweek.

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