Losing It: 0america's Obsession with Weight and the Industry That Feeds on It

Laura Fraser, Author
Laura Fraser, Author Dutton Books $24.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-525-93891-0
Reviewed on: 12/30/1996
Release date: 01/01/1997
Paperback - 335 pages - 978-0-452-27291-0
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As a former bulimic, freelance writer and contributing editor at Health magazine Fraser had a personal interest in the exemplary research she undertook for this readable and convincing expose of the diet industry. Fraser traces the cult of weight loss back to the late 19th century, when the ideal of the plump woman (albeit in corsets) was replaced by photographer Charles Dana Gibson's concept of the slender female--the Gibson Girl. Since then, a huge industry has developed that promises weight loss to women who are manipulated to believe that thinner is better. Fraser interviewed those who profit from promoting weight loss, including doctors advocating controversial weight loss surgery (an estimated 25,000 procedures are performed annually), TV diet gurus, organized weight loss groups and sellers of liquid diets. According to the author, not only are diets counterproductive but liquid products are dangerous, low-fat foods are a waste of money and some physicians who are obesity specialists are also involved in diet product corporations. A program of regular exercise, a well-balanced diet and a refusal to accept ""ridiculous"" weight standards will help people to live cheerfully in their bodies, Fraser stresses. (Jan.)
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