Women Afraid to Eat: Breaking Free in Today's Weight-Obsessed World / Edition 1

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Overview

Designed to challenge America's growing obsession with thinness, this book reveals the profound mental and physical effects on women struggling with their weight. It examines the way weight obsession consumes women, shatters lives, and ultimately kills. Documented are four major weight and eating problems-eating disorders, dysfunctional eating, size prejudice, and overweight. A warning call to parents and health professionals, it gives clear guidelines on how women can bring about meaningful change in their lives to improve health and well-being.

The book contains black-and-white illustrations.

At last a book that challenges America's obsession with thinness and reveals its profound mental and physical effects on women. This book examines the ways this obsession consumes women, shatters their lives, even kills. It documents women's four major weight and eating problems — eating disorders, dysfunctional eating, size prejudice and overweight — all on the rise in modern society. A new approach is needed to deal with these issues in healthier ways. The old ways haven't worked. This book issues an urgent warning call to families, health professionals, and the media to stop today's destructive policies, and gives clear guidelines on how women and those who work with women can bring about meaningful change to improve health and well-being. Written by an international expert in this field, Frances M. Berg, editor of Healthy Weight Journal, licensed nutritionist, and adjunct professor at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine. A valuable resource for health professionals in the Afraid to Eat series.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Neva L Crogan, PhD, APRN, BC (University of Arizona College of Nursing)
Description: With this book, the author presents a new approach to healthier living without dieting. Healthy choices are discussed while exploring societal pressures and myths.
Purpose: The author addresses the problems in today's weight-obsessed world while providing direction in how to break free with a new approach that helps people and does not harm them. It is a much-needed book for women experiencing obesity and its multiple effects on everyday life.
Audience: According to the author, the book is written for the woman who is trying to find her way out of a limiting, weight-obsessed existence. She also offers direction to health professionals, educators, and policymakers who see the need to shift towards a health-centered approach to weight loss. The author is a credible expert with practical experience and appropriate education.
Features: The book is in two parts; in Part I the drive to be thin, hazards of weight loss, public manipulation, size prejudice, and the unremitting weight gain of the general population are covered. In Part II a new paradigm for healthy lifestyle choices is offered. The new model affirms the right to health at any size or weight. The book includes self-help tools, questionnaires, health-centered resources, websites, references, and an index. The title is somewhat deceiving in that it does not reflect the health-centered approach to better living through healthy choices.
Assessment: This is the first edition of a much-needed book. A health related paradigm is presented with a focus on healthy choices, physical activity, and feeling good about oneself at any size. This is a practical approach to a difficult, multifactorial problem affecting many women in today's society.
Neva L. Crogan
With this book, the author presents a new approach to healthier living without dieting. Healthy choices are discussed while exploring societal pressures and myths. The author addresses the problems in today's weight-obsessed world while providing direction in how to break free with a new approach that helps people and does not harm them. It is a much-needed book for women experiencing obesity and its multiple effects on everyday life. According to the author, the book is written for the woman who is trying to find her way out of a limiting, weight-obsessed existence. She also offers direction to health professionals, educators, and policymakers who see the need to shift towards a health-centered approach to weight loss. The author is a credible expert with practical experience and appropriate education. The book is in two parts; in Part I the drive to be thin, hazards of weight loss, public manipulation, size prejudice, and the unremitting weight gain of the general population are covered. In Part II a new paradigm for healthy lifestyle choices is offered. The new model affirms the right to health at any size or weight. The book includes self-help tools, questionnaires, health-centered resources, websites, references, and an index. The title is somewhat deceiving in that it does not reflect the health-centered approach to better living through healthy choices. This is the first edition of a much-needed book. A health related paradigm is presented with a focus on healthy choices, physical activity, and feeling good about oneself at any size. This is a practical approach to a difficult, multifactorial problem affecting many women in today's society.
Library Journal
"It's health at any size!" is this book's emphatic message to American women. Berg, a licensed nutritionist, the founder/editor of Healthy Weight Journal, and the author of several books, including Afraid To Eat: Children and Teens in Weight Crisis, argues that the media and society cause women to obsess over the numbers on the bathroom scale and subsequently abuse their bodies and minds. In the first part of her book, she covers eating disorders, dysfunctional eating, and rising weights and size prejudice. True stories of women fatally dieting to fit into smaller wedding gowns and avoiding medical checkups so that they won't have to be weighed or ridiculed by their doctors help illustrate the problems. Berg devotes the second half of her book to suggestions on how women can be healthy no matter what their weight. Throughout, she backs up her observations with research and statistics. More than just your typical "how-to-love-your-weight" book, this guide explains why women are so obsessed with their weight and calls for a change in the way overweight women are treated by society. Recommended for libraries serving consumers, educators, and health professionals.--Samantha J. Gust, Niagara Univ. Lib., NY Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
Public Library Quarterly
All public libraries will want at least two copies, one for the reference desk and a second for circulating.
Todays Dietitian
The guru of the nondieting movement has struck again. Frances Berg scores a direct hit . . . Belongs on every dietitian's bookshelf.
Midwest Book Review
Women Afraid to Eat challenges the social and medical pressures to be thin. It shows in startling detail what the current warped norm for body shape (unachievable by most) is doing to women, how it harms them physically, emotionally, and socially. It takes an authoritative look at the many issues that negatively affect eating, weight, and how women feel about their bodies. Women Afraid to Eat explains why all four of the major weight and eating problems (eating disorders, dysfunctional eating, overweight, size prejudice) have been intensified by modern American culture.

Women Afraid to Eat is also a handbook for change at the personal and cultural level. It offers women positive feelings, reaffirming that they can be healthy and attractive at any size. It gives clear and specific guidelines on how women (and those who work with women) can bring about meaningful change to improve health and well-being. Women Afraid to Eat encourages women to eat well, live actively, and feel good about themselves and others.

Choice
An authority on weight management, Frances Berg provides the most comprehensive and socially responsible guide to dealing with weight-obsession available to date. Its scope, intensity and integrity is simply unparalleled. Berg systematically and eloquently argues that women need to know the risks associated with extreme dieting: "It's time to confess we don't know the answers. . . . Time to get serious about solving weight loss problems instead of letting weak or unethical leaders, a relentless diet industry, doctors who dispense ‘rainbow pills,' exploitative advertisers, and the media lead us into even deeper trouble."

The book uncovers important, little-known facts -- e.g., how government research reports manipulate the truth about the efficacy of popular weight loss programs.

Berg argues that by educating themselves and taking control of their lives, by shifting from a weight-centered to a health-centered approach, women can counteract the ubiquitous internal and external pressure to be thin. . . . Delivering a powerful message to the weight-loss industry as well as to consumers, this title should help reshape attitudes, behaviors, and expectations. Berg provides excellent lists of health-centered resources and of health-centered Web sites. The references are extensive and up-to-date.
CHOICE, American Library Association


3 Stars from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780918532626
  • Publisher: Healthy Weight Network
  • Publication date: 10/28/1999
  • Series: Afraid to Eat Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 6.02 (w) x 8.99 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Meet the Author

Frances M. Berg is the editor of Healthy Weight Journal, a licensed nutritionist, and adjunct professor at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine. She lives in Hettinger, North Dakota.
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Table of Contents

Foreword
Introduction 13
Part I Today's weight-obsessed world
1 Fear of food, fear of fat 15
2 Our culture fails to nurture women 31
3 Dysfunctional eating disrupts normal life 51
4 Eating disorders shatter women's lives 71
5 Weights continue to rise 95
6 Prejudice punishes large women 111
7 Living in starvation mode 129
8 The risks of losing weight 147
9 Food and activity choices intensify problems 169
10 How the diet industry exerts control 193
Part II Breaking free, living free
11 Health at any size 213
12 It's about you 227
13 The joy of active living 245
14 Eating well 265
15 Celebrating size diversity 283
16 Creating a more nurturing culture 301
17 Prevention and treatment 315
18 Call to action 331
Appendix 337
Body mass index chart
Questionnaires
Statistics and information
Resources
References 353
Index 369
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