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Making Weight: Men's Conflicts with Food, Weight, Shape and Appearance

Making Weight: Men's Conflicts with Food, Weight, Shape and Appearance

by Arnold Andersen, Leigh Cohn, Tom Holbrook

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The first book to explore mens issues with eating disorders and body image issues.


The first book to explore mens issues with eating disorders and body image issues.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In the last 20 years, increasing numbers of men and boys have become obsessed with obtaining the perfect body exemplified by body builders, male models, and professional wrestlers. This excessive concern with appearance can lead to compulsive exercise, steroid abuse, eating disorders, and, in extreme cases, body dysmorphic disorder, a serious psychiatric condition. Acknowledging that few men will admit these preoccupations, the authors of these two books seek to bring these issues to a wider audience and to promote more realistic goals for male physique and fitness. Written in a popular, almost sensational style, The Adonis Complex discusses and summarizes research coordinated by Harvard researchers Pope (psychiatry) and Robert Olivardia (psychology) and Katharine A. Phillips (psychiatry, Brown Univ.; The Broken Mirror: Understanding and Treating Body Dysmorphic Disorder). Pope and his associates first document changes in advertisements, Playgirl centerfolds, and toys such as G.I. Joe to demonstrate how the steroid-hyped male torso became an ideal beyond the capability of most men. They then report on results of a computerized body image test given to male college students that showed, across cultures, a dissatisfaction with physical appearance and a tendency to misjudge the physique desirable to the opposite sex. Using case studies and self-tests, the team goes on to describe and outline treatment for specific problems and dispel myths about weight and steroid use. Separate chapters address concerns for boys, gays, lovers, and friends. Andersen (psychiatry, Iowa State Univ.; ed., Males with Eating Disorders), Leigh Cohn (ed., Eating Disorders, the Journal of Treatment and Prevention), and Thomas Holbrook, a medical specialist, also address men's concerns with physical appearance, drawing attention to fat as a men's issue and focusing on obesity and eating disorders. After extended discussions on the developmental, social, and evolutionary factors contributing to appearance ad self-esteem, the authors provide "a proactive proposition for men who want to feel and look better" in "Ten Steps to Healthy Living," with advice on nutrition, exercise, relationships, and social and spiritual concerns. Holbrook relates his own story of recovery from eating disorders and excessive exercise. Courses of treatment are described, and a final chapter offers advice for families and loved ones. Both books give reading lists and resources on where to seek further help, and both are recommended for public library collections.-Lucille M. Boone, San Jose P.L., CA

Product Details

Gurze Books
Publication date:
Edition description:
1 ED
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Product dimensions:
6.01(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.67(d)

Read an Excerpt

Fat is not just a feminist issue any more! This book is for men who cannot stand the way they look in the mirror, and the ones who are so driven for perfection that they neglect the deeper areas of life. It is for men who are overeaters or anorexic, bulimics or excessive exercisers. Traditionally, gay men were thought to be more concerned with appearance than heterosexuals; but in the 21st century, both are troubled. Men have the same issues regardless of sexual orientation, and all men are addressed here. Making Weight is also intended for loved ones who want to help the men in their lives and professionals who treat these disorders.

A synchronicity about men’s bodies is occurring in our culture. Television talk shows are beginning to include segments about guys who have eating disorders, and male celebrities have recently begun to acknowledge their problems in public. An HBO segment recently aired on a male student athlete who died of anorexia nervosa, and an evening news show just promoted itself with a story on men and cosmetic surgery. Newspapers and magazines are also starting to pick up the topic. Psychology conferences on men’s issues have been featuring speakers—including the authors of this book—for the past few years, and treatment programs have recently sprung up that are specifically for men. Coauthor Thomas Holbrook’s facility has specialized in treating men for many years. This subject is beginning to explode in the media, just as bulimia did in the early 80’s.  

What People are Saying About This

Margo Maine
A powerful, much-needed exposé of the current state of the male psyche and body image. The truth is out: body hatred is no longer an exclusively women’s domain. Maybe men aren’t from Mars after all.
— (Margo Maine, Ph.D., author of Father Hunger: Fathers, Daughters & Food)
John P. Foreyt
At last! A terrific book about men's concerns with their shape and weight. Making Weight provides an outstanding step-by-step program for achieving and maintaining a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle. Highly recommended.
— John P. Foreyt, Ph.D. Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX
Micheal Levine
The authors have long championed the importance of scientific knowledge, care, practicality, patience, and clinical wisdom in addressing the continuum of eating problems in males, as well as females. This book is a very accessible, highly practical combination of their personal, professional, and political experiences in helping males.
&151; Michael Levine, Ph.D. Professor of Psychology Kenyon College, Gambier, OH
David M. Garner
Finally, weight-obsessed men have an exceptional resource that is authoritative, sensitive and practical. Every chapter is packed with valuable information and practical strategies to help men overcome anxieties about eating and body weight.
— (David M. Garner, Ph.D. Co-editor, Handbook of Treatment for Eating Disorders)
Craig Johnson
The highly-respected authors have addressed virtually every issue of importance from biology to culture. This will be the standard text on males and eating disorders for years to come.
— Craig Johnson, Ph.D. President-elect of Eating Disorders Awareness and Prevention
Richard Keelor, M.D.
This book is a gift not only for men who are caught in the growing obsession for a lean and sexy body, but also for parents, teachers, and health professionals, who are searching for a sound and balanced approach for their children, students, and clients.
— Richard Keelor, Ph.D. Former Director of Program Development President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports

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