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Health At Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight Paperback – May 4, 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: BenBella Books; Second Edition edition (May 4, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935618253
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935618256
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,922 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Linda Bacon, Ph.D., earned her doctorate in physiology, specializing in weight regulation, from the University of California, Davis. She also holds graduate degrees in psychology, specializing in eating disorders and body image, and exercise science, specializing in metabolism, and has professional experience as a researcher, clinical psychotherapist, exercise physiologist and educator. Dr. Bacon is currently an associate nutritionist at the University of California, Davis and the lead investigator for a clinical research study that evaluates the Health at Every Size program, co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. She is also a nutrition professor in the biology department at City College of San Francisco. Additionally, she maintains a private practice, advising individuals, health care professionals and institutions on strategies for implementing the Health at Every Size program.

Customer Reviews

This book changed my life.
R. Smirh
Eat good food, eat what you want and enough of it, and stop when you're full.
Shaunta Grimes
Easy read and very informational.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

107 of 113 people found the following review helpful By Shaunta Grimes on April 14, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This week, when we were in Las Vegas, I finished reading Dr. Linda Bacon's book Health At Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight.

Bacon didn't coin the term Health at Every Size (HAES), as she points out in the book. It was a movement before her involvement. But she has written a book that spells it out in a very readable, understandable way.

Health at Every Size starts with a discussion about the social and cultural myths surrounding weight. She talks about how at different times in the last century, women's magazines have had articles about how to GAIN weight, instead of how to lose it. Maybe the most important lesson in the book is how the weight loss industry, which includes government agencies, lies and manipulates statistics in order to make us believe that if we are fat, we are going to die.

1.) We're all going to die. Skinny does not equal immortal. (In case you were wondering.)

2.) The Center for Disease Control helped to design the `obesity crisis' with false statistics.

3.) The act of trying to obtain a `perfect' weight causes far more health problems than the act of trying to be as healthy as possible at your current weight, whatever that may be.

The first part of this book, for me anyway, felt like a battle cry.

The next part of the book talks about Health at Every Size and how to implement it into your life.

I'll admit something here. I skipped ahead to section two. And I was confused. Because I was looking for menu plans and concrete steps to follow. I've read a lot of diet and `life style change' books, starting with Susan Powter and ending right here. They all have steps to follow.

This book doesn't break HAES down that way, and at first I was confused.
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49 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Jodi-Hummingbird TOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 12, 2013
Format: Paperback
It's flawed in parts but I got a lot out of this book overall. The core messages of this book are solid and timely; Listen to your body and eat real food that makes you feel good. Starving yourself to be thinner ends in weight gain for most of us and a raising of your set-point weight, so don't do it. Move in ways that make you feel good without worrying about burning calories. Don't pay attention to super-skinny ideals or weight-loss-diet-hype and just do what works for you and makes you feel healthiest. Skinniness is not the same as healthiness and it is the latter which is most important.

The writing of the book seemed clumsy at times. I feel the main points could have been put more simply and that some of the text was too long and meandering in getting to a point.

The parts on accepting and finding your set-point weight were quite good. One of the strongest parts of the book was the letters at the back of the book which were to give to family to let them know it'd be great if they made no positive or negative comments about your size changing because you're focusing on health and not mere weight change. A letter for doctors was also included.

There are also some not-so-good parts of this book. I feel this book would have been a lot stronger if the sections on nutrition were omitted entirely and the book just made the points about health being more important than weight more clearly and powerfully. The author should focus on the topic she really knows a lot about.

The nutrition information in this book really is bad. It's basically a description of the food pyramid. 30% of calories from fat is talked about as way too much fat - this despite the fact lipid experts such as Mary Enig PhD say that for some of us 30% is nowhere near enough dietary fat.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Jessie on August 16, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was truly life changing for me. At a time when I was sick and tired of the diet merry-go-round, Health at Every Size was a breath of fresh air. Finally, someone who is standing up and not only telling us that dieting doesn't work - but who has done the research to prove it!

But, I have to insert a note of caution here. If you are still looking to be your "ideal size" or reach your "goal weight" - this is not the book for you. I've seen other reviewers call this book "depressing" "sad" "unrealistic" and "disheartening." And, if you're looking for yet another diet, yet another magic bullet that promises to finally make you thin, this is NOT your book.

HAES is NOT about making you thin. It is NOT about becoming an ideal size or reaching a goal weight. It is NOT about going on yet another diet with a new Intuitive Eating set of rules. It IS about loving and accepting your body as it is RIGHT NOW. It IS about learning to trust your body around food again. It IS about undoing the damage that years and years and years of repeated starvation (dieting) has done to your mind and your body. It is NOT a quick fix.

If you can accept that this is not just another diet book, please buy it, read it, think about it, get angry, get active, and change your life. If you're looking for another diet book with it's accompanied false promises and outright lies, find your way over to that section please.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Obistat on January 13, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book is a must-read for everyone who is concerned about their own weight, that of a loved one, or about the obesity epidemic. That is probably all of us. Linda Bacon knows about the science and politics of weight-loss, she has academic degrees in physiology(weight regulation), psychology (eating disorders and body image) and kinesiology (exercise metabolism). And she tells us all about it.

The book is in two parts, with an extensive appendix in this revised edition. The first part gives us the science and politics of weight-loss, while in the second part she gives us the tools to take care of our bodies and our nutrition in a way that does work. The appendix contains letters and essays explaining HAES to different groups. All these are also available on the website for the book, for those who have the first edition.

The first part discusses what is wrong with the obsession on weight. Weight is not under our control. Yes, you can lose weight. Some people can even lose a lot of weight. But it is almost impossible to keep it off long-term, that is for a period of 5 years or longer. That period of 5 years btw is the period you have to be free of cancer to be called cured. (Linda Bacon does not say that, I did). Most research on weight loss only looks at a period of 2 years, and even at that relatively short term, most people are regaining, and they are still regaining at that time. Furthermore, fat is not the killer it is made out to be. The most alarming figure about that, the 400,000 deaths per year figure published in 2004, turned out to be very wrong. Another article published a year later gave the number of 26,000; far fewer than those caused by guns, cars or alcohol (each separately).
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