Judith Moore was born in Stillwater, Oklahoma, and claimed to have become an obese child, weighing 112 pounds, by second grade. She wrote a memoir of her childhood entitled Fat Girl: A True Story (2005). After her parents split up, she shuttled between her mother's apartment in Brooklyn and her maternal grandmother, who lived on a farm in Arkansas. She graduated from Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington and lived much of her adult life in Berkeley, California. In the early 1980s she began to submit freelance book reviews and essays to weekly newspapers in the area. These pieces were collected and published in her first book as The Left Coast of Paradise: California and the American Heart (1987). Her second book, Never Eat Your Heart Out (1998) focused on her relationship with food. As a journalist, she wrote mostly for The San Diego Reader, a weekly publication, specializing in book reviews and offbeat feature subjects. She married and divorced twice, with two daughters. She died of colon cancer at age 66.