Cover image for Body respect : what conventional health books get wrong, leave out, and just plain fail to understand about weight
Body respect : what conventional health books get wrong, leave out, and just plain fail to understand about weight
Bacon, Linda, author.
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Publication Information:
Dallas, TX : BenBella Books, [2014]
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xxiii, 208 pages ; 21 cm
"Body insecurity is rampant, and it doesn't have to be. Think for a moment about your attitudes toward weight: Do you believe that people who are thinner are more healthy and attractive? Do you think dieting is an effective health strategy? Do you judge yourself or others because of weight? If you answered yes to any of those questions, you're not alone. It's much more common for people to feel bad about their bodies than to appreciate them-and to judge others by those standards as well. But people don't have to be packaged in a small size to be valuable and attractive-or healthy for that matter. Saying that they do causes more harm than good, and judgments based on size tell us more about our own prejudice than someone else's health or value. It's time to show every body respect. With the latest findings from the Health at Every Size© (HAES) movement, Body Respect debunks obesity myths, demonstrates the damage of focusing on weight, and explores how social factors impact health: the world is not a level playing field, and that affects one's opportunities as well as one's size, health and sense of self. Using peer-reviewed evidence and common sense, scientists and nutritionists Linda Bacon and Lucy Aphramor explain the fall-out of a health agenda based on the concept that thinness is the goal and that one's weight is simply a matter of personal choices. They explore why diets don't work and provide alternative paths to better health and well-being for people of all shapes. Body Respect is indispensable reading for anyone concerned about widespread body insecurity and size stigma and their many implications"--
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RM222.2 .B332 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Mainstream health science has let you down.

Weight loss is not the key to health, diet and exercise are not effective weight-loss strategies and fatness is not a death sentence.

You've heard it before: there's a global health crisis, and, unless we make some changes, we're in trouble. That much is true--but the epidemic is NOT obesity. The real crisis lies in the toxic stigma placed on certain bodies and the impact of living with inequality--not the numbers on a scale. In a mad dash to shrink our bodies, many of us get so caught up in searching for the perfect diet, exercise program, or surgical technique that we lose sight of our original goal: improved health and well-being. Popular methods for weight loss don't get us there and lead many people to feel like failures when they can't match unattainable body standards. It's time for a cease-fire in the war against obesity.

Dr. Linda Bacon and Dr. Lucy Aphramor's Body Respect debunks common myths about weight, including the misconceptions that BMI can accurately measure health, that fatness necessarily leads to disease, and that dieting will improve health. They also help make sense of how poverty and oppression--such as racism, homophobia, and classism--affect life opportunity, self-worth, and even influence metabolism.

Body insecurity is rampant, and it doesn't have to be. It's time to overcome our culture's shame and distress about weight, to get real about inequalities and health, and to show every body respect.

Author Notes

Linda Bacon, Ph.D. , is an internationally recognized authority on topics related to nutrition, weight, and health. A nutrition professor and researcher, she holds graduate degrees in physiology, psychology, and exercise metabolism, with a specialty in nutrition. She has conducted federally funded studies on diet and health, and is well-published in top scientific journals. Linda's advocacy for Health at Every Size#65533; has generated a large following on social media, health and nutrition listservs and specialty blogs, and the international lecture circuit. She and her work are quoted regularly in national and international publications, with recent appearances in the New York Times , London's Sunday Times , ABC Nightly News with Diane Sawyer , Good Morning America , and magazines including Prevention , Glamour , Cooking Light , Newsweek , Fitness Magazine , and National Geographic . Well known for her hard-hitting political and social commentary, Linda writes a regular column on the Health at Every Size blog and frequently guest posts elsewhere. Her first book, Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight was called the "Bible" of the alternative health movement by Prevention Magazine .

Lucy Aphramor, Ph.D., R.D. , notably pioneered the use of a health at every size approach in the U.K. National Health Service, developing an eight-week HAES course that is now available internationally through licensed facilitators. She is director of a consultancy dedicated to advancing health at every size theory and practice in and beyond the U.K. through training, research, and community engagement. Dr. Aphramor is also an honorary research fellow at Glyndwr University, Wales, and a visiting lecturer in nutrition and dietetics at Surrey University.

Dr. Aphramor is the only U.K. dietitian with publishing and teaching expertise in critical weight science. She is at the forefront of the new international Critical Dietetics movement where her work blending critical thinking and compassionate self-care is enthusiastically received. Her influence extends to coverage in the popular press and her reputation as an outspoken scientist gains her interviews across the board from women's magazines to the broadsheets.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Bacon (Health at Every Size) and dietician Aphramor team up to "champion a paradigm shift-from weight to respect" in this passionately argued book. According to the authors, American culture promotes "anti-fat myths that keep people at war with their own bodies" and on perpetual (and ultimately unsuccessful) diet roller coasters. The eye-opening first chapter contends that a number of commonly accepted beliefs are misconceptions, including that being fat is synonymous with poor health. Fatness, Bacon and Aphramor go on to claim, does not lead to decreased longevity, nor is BMI an accurate measure of health. Moreover, the preoccupation with weight has harmful consequences such as self-hatred, eating disorders, and weight discrimination. The authors thus promote an approach to weight that is mindful and kind, emphasizing self-care and social justice (socioeconomic status and job satisfaction are more indicative of longevity than weight, they maintain). While some readers may be initially skeptical, this examination of dieting myths and facts is well reasoned and well documented. Those willing to keep an open mind (and throw away their scale) will no doubt find it a thought-provoking read. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.