Body of Truth: How Science, History, and Culture Drive Our Obsession with Weight—And What We Can Do About It
By Harriet Brown
Da Capo Press. 243 pages.
He who loses weight lives a long, healthy life.” For many years, patients in my father’s medical practice routinely went home with a free pen stamped with that fortune-cookie-like prescription. Call it a rallying cry or a nag, but presumably that pen was a reminder to patients to substitute apples and grapes for ice cream and cake on their grocery lists.That was the 1960s. Fifty years later, almost every physician you visit will still advise you similarly, though probably without the free pen. But do we know a lot more now than we did then about what actually constitutes a healthy weight range for a given individual? What practical knowledge has research really given us about how to lose weight and keep it off without feeling like an abused yo-yo? Despite the proliferation of research studies about weight loss and eating habits, it often appears that many fundamental questions about what to eat or not to eat and why or why not remain unanswered.
Into the fray comes science journalist Harriet Brown with Body of Truth: How Science, History, and Culture Drive Our Obsession with Weight—And What We Can Do About It. For Brown, learning to become “OK with [my] body as it is right now” has been a lifelong journey. But her larger goal in…