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Sunday, 6 February, 2011 3:07 AM
HLN Anchor/Author Jane Velez-Mitchell releases her third book, 'Addict Nation: An Intervention for America'
NEW YORK -- Jane Velez-Mitchell was born on Sept. 29, 1955 in New York City. Her mother is from Puerto Rico and her father is from Ireland. She covered the entire Michael Jackson child sexual abuse trial and reported on Nancy Grace. In addition, she appeared several times on CNN's Larry King Live. Velez-Mitchell is one of a few openly gay journalists on television. In addition, she is known for animal rights advocacy and is a vegan and an environmentalist.
"I did journalism at New York University and did stints in all sorts of places around the country, Florida, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles," she said in a phone interview. "Now, I'm working at CNN Headline News. It's now called HLN. I have a show called Issues, it airs at 7 p.m. Eastern on HLN right before Nancy Grace."
This is the third book to be released by Velez-Mitchell. Her first book, "Secrets Can Be Murder: What America’s Most Sensational Crimes Tell Us About Ourselves" was published on June 10, 2008. "iWant: My Journey from Addiction and Overconsumption to a Simpler, Honest Life" was her third book and it hit store shelves on Aug. 10, 2009.
"It really goes into how we're all addicted to a lot of very self-destructive stuff," the television host and author explained. "It's not making us any happier. It's making us miserable. We shop too much, we eat too much, we pop too many prescription pills, we watch too much violence on television, we spend too much time on the internet. We need to address it as a culture because it's taking us down."
Why did you decide to name the book, "Addict Nation"?
"Because I believe that we've become an addict nation," Velez-Mitchell answered. "We're bombarded by thousands and thousands of ads telling us we're not going to be a complete human being, we're not going to be fulfulled and we're not going to be happy unless we buy this, buy that. This is a consumer culture. We're citizens, we're more than consumers. We have to use our power, which is the power to say 'No.' No, I won't buy that. If we flex that power, we're going to get healthier, we're going to lose weight, we're going to have a lot more discretionary income. We're not going to buy it anymore, you better change."
She added: "I'll use the example of fast food. Every day, one out of every four Americans eats fast food. Even though the obesity crisis has been created by fast food, if you see the rise in obesity, it parallels perfectly the rise of fast food outlets around the country over the last several decades. The way to regain your power in this situation and lose weight is to say, 'I will not eat fast food period. I will not even go into a fast food outlet to go to the bathroom.' Just for today, say no to fast food. It's something we need to wake up to."
Do you think people from other countries also have the same addictions?
"Unfortunately, the all-American diet and lifestyle is being exported around the country," Velez-Mitchell said. "Now, in Japan for the first time, you see kids who are obese and have acne. Yeah, people are picking up our bad habits. We have to stop it here and maybe it won't spread around the world. The Earth cannot sustain this lifestyle. One child in the United States is equivalent to having 30 children in a third-world country. We use so many resources something like 30 percent. It's really something we have to look at."
How have you overcome your own personal addictions?
"I've given up a lot over the course of my life," the television host and author said. "I've given up not only alcohol and drugs, smoking, meat, dairy and sugar. Guess what, I'm very happy, happier than I've ever been. There's plenty for me to eat, plenty for me to do. I have a great time. I have a great time. Say I'm not going to do it, whether it's shopping , popping a pill, watching porn, playing video games all day, whatever it is. Read 'Addict Nation.' I have a blueprint for how you can get out of that self destructive behavior."
Most of these addictions are coming from commercials. Do you think people should just turn off the TV?
"I think that we have to regain our power. Our power as consumers is the power to say 'No.' I can watch an ad for alcohol, but it doesn't mean I'm going to go out and drink. The only power that an addict has is the power to stay away from the substance that they are powerless over. First, you have to surrender to being powerless. I'm going to stay away from it. Once you do that, you gain strength. I don't think it's about staying away from the commercials. It's about confronting yourself and realizing those commercials are sending me a message that are not in tune with what I want."
All of those years on CNN have paid off. Now, Velez-Mitchell has her own show on the Headline News Channel (HLN). Her show, Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell, airs at 7 p.m., directly after Prime News and just before Nancy Grace. Look for her new book "Addict Nation: An Intervention for America" is now available in stores everywhere and online.
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