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Body of Truth: How Science, History, and…
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Body of Truth: How Science, History, and Culture Drive Our Obsession with…

by Harriet Brown

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I read this book as an electronic advance reading copy provided by Edelweiss, and I have submitted my comments to the publisher via that web site.

This book is a fine introduction to the sociological implications of weight, dieting, and beauty standards. The author has an interesting perspective in that, in addition to the (unfortunately) ubiquitous problems of dieting and self image that she has experienced herself, she also has a daughter who had anorexia. That story is the subject of her earlier book.

The best part of this book is the bibliography, where the author cites numerous books and journal articles for further reading. In fact, that extensive bibliography made me wonder if there is anything new to learn in the current title. Recommended for large libraries. ( )
  librarianarpita | Oct 19, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0738217697, Hardcover)

Over the last 25 years, our longing for thinness has morphed into a relentless cultural obsession with weight and body image. You can't be a woman or girl (or, increasingly, a man or boy) in America today and not grapple with the size and shape of your body, your daughter's body, other women's bodies. Even the most confident people have to find a way through a daily gauntlet of voices and images talking, admonishing, warning us about what size we should be, how much we should weigh, what we should eat and what we shouldn't. Obsessing about weight has become a ritual and a refrain, punctuating our every relationship, including the ones with ourselves. It's time to change the conversation around weight. Harriet Brown has explored the conundrums of weight and body image for more than a decade, as a science journalist, as a woman who has struggled with weight, as a mother, wife, and professor. In this book, she describes how biology, psychology, metabolism, media, and culture come together to shape our ongoing obsession with our bodies, and what we can learn from them to help us shift the way we think. Brown exposes some of the myths behind the rhetoric of obesity, gives historical and contemporary context for what it means to be "fat," and offers readers ways to set aside the hysteria and think about weight and health in more nuanced and accurate ways.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:58 -0400)

"Over the last 25 years, our longing for thinness has morphed into a relentless cultural obsession with weight and body image. You can't be a woman or girl (or, increasingly, a man or boy) in America today and not grapple with the size and shape of your body, your daughter's body, other women's bodies. Even the most confident people have to find a way through a daily gauntlet of voices and images talking, admonishing, warning us about what size we should be, how much we should weigh, what we should eat and what we shouldn't. Obsessing about weight has become a ritual and a refrain, punctuating our every relationship, including the ones with ourselves. It's time to change the conversation around weight. Harriet Brown has explored the conundrums of weight and body image for more than a decade, as a science journalist, as a woman who has struggled with weight, as a mother, wife, and professor. In this book, she describes how biology, psychology, metabolism, media, and culture come together to shape our ongoing obsession with our bodies, and what we can learn from them to help us shift the way we think. Brown exposes some of the myths behind the rhetoric of obesity, gives historical and contemporary context for what it means to be "fat," and offers readers ways to set aside the hysteria and think about weight and health in more nuanced and accurate ways"--… (more)

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