Review: Obsessed by Mika Brzezinski

4.9.13

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Mika Brzezinski is a champion for women, advocating for causes such as ending workplace inequality and encouraging women to 'know their worth.' Obsessed is her third book, and in it, she takes on the important topic of America's addiction to fast and unhealthy food.

Obsessed is not just about America's problem, but covers Mika's own issues with food, and that of her friend Diane Smith, a successful television journalist. Mika reveals her lifetime battle with binge eating, opening her struggles and her life to the reader. We hear about an incident with a large tub of Nutella, as well as her addiction to Big Macs and family size ice-cream tubs in college, which she would try to repent with a 10 mile run. Diane's struggle with her weight is also documented, and we follow her inspiring story of her battle to slim down, and the health challenges that she faced along the way.

Much like Brzezinski's second book, Knowing Your Value, Obsessed features contributions from individuals including Governor Chris Christie, Nora Ephron, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Jennifer Hudson, Dr Nancy Snyderman and Senator Claire McCaskill. Each shares their journeys and struggles with food, and readers will find portions that they will all be able to relate to.

Perhaps some of the most important part of the books include the need to overhaul the food system and the participation required from the large food companies across the country. Mika raises a powerful discussion about what is actually in our food when she asks why don't people sit down and eat large portions of healthy food. It is clear that most 'unhealthy' foods have addictive qualities, in part due to the additives that are within them, leading to our cravings for things containing sugar, corn syrup and other ingredients which do us no good. Mika also includes fresh points in the discussion surrounding obesity, particularly the link between childhood obesity and bullying and the fact that obesity is impacting upon potential military recruits; with one in four "too fat to fight."

This is an important conversation that America- and indeed the world needs to embrace, and become involved in. Mika herself admits that she is "not out of the woods yet," and she knows that her problem may be hard for people to sympathise with. Many of us have a love-hate relationship with food, and this book is essential reading if you want to make the important step in changing your life for a healthy one. Obsessed is a brave and honest publication, and in the end, Mika gained close to ten pounds, and Diane has lost 75 pounds and counting.

Obsessed is already encouraging individuals to come forward and discuss their challenges with food. Mika continues the discussion through her role as the co-host of Morning Joe, and she recently tweeted her weight and is encouraging other individuals to do the same. Pick up a copy of Obsessed when you are next at the bookstore, or purchase a copy online or the e-version this week. It's a step in the right direction.
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