Waistland: A (R)evolutionary View of Our Weight and Fitness Crisis

Overview

Harvard psychologist Deirdre Barrett tackles the obesity and fitness crisis from an evolutionary standpoint.
In the modern jungle of burgers, couches, and remote controls, obesity is an enormous and growing epidemic. Weight-loss books and diet gurus urge us to "listen to our bodies," but our instincts are designed for the African savannah, not food courts. The sugary and fatty foods that we, as hunter-gatherers, are programmed to forage used to...

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Waistland: A (R)evolutionary View of Our Weight and Fitness Crisis

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Overview

Harvard psychologist Deirdre Barrett tackles the obesity and fitness crisis from an evolutionary standpoint.
In the modern jungle of burgers, couches, and remote controls, obesity is an enormous and growing epidemic. Weight-loss books and diet gurus urge us to "listen to our bodies," but our instincts are designed for the African savannah, not food courts. The sugary and fatty foods that we, as hunter-gatherers, are programmed to forage used to be hard to come by. Now they're as close as the vending machine down the hall.
Radical changes are necessary and, fortunately, are biologically easier than small or gradual changes in diet. Barrett tells us how to reprogram our bodies, break food addictions, and ignore our attraction to "supernormal stimuli"—artificial creations that appeal to our instincts more than the natural objects they mimic. Barrett delves into scientific research—from animal ethology to evolution—to show the disastrous direction in which our instincts have led us, and how, using our intellect, we can get back on course.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393062168
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/25/2007
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 940,520
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Deirdre Barrett is an evolutionary psychologist at Harvard Medical School’s Behavioral Medicine Program. She is the author of several books, including Waistland, Trauma and Dream, and Supernormal Stimuli. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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Table of Contents


Don't Feed the Animals     3
Which Came First: the Take-Out Fried Chicken or the Cholesterol-Laden Egg?     9
Don't Be Too Refined     26
Get a Move On     52
Thinking Outside the Box     85
You Can't Be Too Rich or Too Thin     109
The Bearable Lightness of Being: Medical Views on Ideal Weight     127
Marching to a Different Drummer: Strategies for the Individual in an Unhealthy Society     158
Changing the Drumbeat: Strategies for a Healthy Society     184
Notes     215
Acknowledgments     241
Index     243
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