A Gratitude to Dundurn: Why publish a second edition of Food Junkies?

A Gratitude to Dundurn: Why publish a second edition of Food Junkies?

Posted on January 10 by Vera Tarman in Non-fiction, Recent Releases
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A great deal has happened since the 2014 publication of Food Junkies: The Truth about Food Addiction.

Initially, I wrote the book to draw public attention to the issue of food addiction. The press was already talking about the addictive nature of sugar:  Remember the study of the rats that preferred Oreo-chow over cocaine? The pictures of people eating Nutella by the bottle and the medical statistics documenting how soda pop brought on diabetes?

Still, there continues to be a bemused attitude towards the concept of people actually being addicted to food. “Really? How can you be addicted to food? You have to eat.”

Food Junkies came out in December 2014. Thanks to the publicity team at Dundurn, I was asked to speak on a number of CBC radio morning shows. It was on one of these call-in shows in early January that a woman — who had suffered years of food addiction — called from her car. She had pulled her vehicle over to the side of the highway and shouted into her phone, “It's real! Thank you for talking about this — finally. It is not a joke.” She sent a large donation to the treatment centre where I worked. We were going to open a food addiction program. 

Thanks to the book, thanks to Dundurn’s willingness to publish this outlier message, a new medical intervention for food addiction was introduced. This intervention was the first of its kind in Canada, indeed, in the world. 

Over eighty people came into this program in the following two years, learning how to push back the lure of processed foods. Many were able to stop the misery of overeating and finally lose weight long-term. 

Multiple shows, workshops, TV spots and public lectures later, with the help of Food Junkies, more of us have joined the campaign to bring awareness to the anti-sugar / “real food” message. While there is still levity around the concept of food addiction in the general public mind, many more people are finally getting it. It is serious business resisting the food industry’s lure and deadly consequences of abject addiction, obesity, diabetes, even dementia. 

The personal has become political. 

People eat well to stay healthy, but people also eat well to resist the toxic food messages promulgated by the food industry. The most recent venture that I promoted was the “I’m Sweet Enough: A September Sugar-Free Life” challenge, where over three hundred people attempted to quit sugar for one month. We did this together three months ago, in the context of group and growing public support. We are no longer alone. 

It is time for the second edition, Food Junkies: Recovery from Food Addiction

New material in this book introduces concepts and models of recovery. This book illustrates more examples of thriving individuals who have found their way toward living a sugar-free/processed food–free life.  They show how it IS possible to live a free and happy life NOT eating processed foods. The temptation to eat and the feeling of deprivation are countered by the larger freedom from food obsessions.  To feel the unbound energy that results from healthy eating, when one is no longer pulled under by the sluggish blanket of sugar, is delicious. 


Freedom tastes great. 

The Power is Ours. 


Thank you, Dundurn for taking the chance to publish this message — again. 


Vera Tarman

Posted by Kendra on October 30, 2014
Vera Tarman photo

Vera Tarman

Vera Tarman, MD, MSc, FCFP, ABAM, is a specialist in addiction medicine. She is the medical director of Renascent, an addictions treatment centre. Vera lives in Toronto.