- Publisher: Prentice Hall Trade; Reprint edition (January 1991)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0136156002
- ISBN-13: 978-0136156000
- Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.7 x 1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,520,230 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Never Too Thin: Why Women Are at War With Their Bodies Paperback – January, 1991
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From Library Journal
Two books with different approaches but a common theme: our obsession with thinness. Seid concentrates on the historical and philosophical currents that have contributed to the "thin is healthier" concept, while Gilbert emphasizes the psychological aspects of eating, overeating, and weight control. A clinical psychologist specializing in eating disorders, Gilbert seeks to provide readers with an understanding of why people find dieting difficult and often impossible. She debunks the idea that successful dieters have more "will power," arguing that long-term success has more to do with an individual's social and family circumstances and how a diet is managed. Seid chronicles and analyzes the growth and development of the current emphasis on diet and fitness, examining in depth the influence of the fashion, fitness, and food industries. She argues that the equation of thinness with fitness may be contributing to weight problems rather than counteracting them. Excellent titles both.
- Jodith Janes, Univ. Hosps . of Cleveland
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
The assertion that huge proportions of Americans are overweight and obese is also misleading. When insurance companies, rather that medical practitioners, decide upon the definition of obesity, they will choose the most extreme possible definition for the purpose of charging higher premiums and denying more claims. That's simply how insurance works. They are in business to make money, not to care for anybody's health, and certainly not to provide any unbiased standards by which health can be quantitatively measured. Every cent of premiums collected that they have to pay out in claims is a "loss" to them. Hence, matty's just quoting insurance misinformation instead of examining the underlying financial motives for ratcheting the concept of "healthy weight" downward.
As to the claim that being overweight puts one at greater risk for heart attack, stroke, diabetes and cancer, I'd like to point out that a recent study revealed that those who live longest are those with BMIs in the 25-29 range, which is considered overweight. They live longer than those with BMIs of 18-24, considered "normal weight", and longer than those with BMIs of 30 or higher, considered "obese."
As to the assertion that the author is an "old, bitter, fat women [sic]," I'd like to respond that the assessment is coming from some young, sexually frustrated, skinny, pimply teenaged misogynist nerd who doesn't have a chance of having a meaningful relationship with a woman in his lifetime, and so, has no other option but to resort to an ad hominem attack upon a learned scholar whose achievements he has no possible hope of ever approaching. Get yourself some therapy, matty04, and leave the literary analysis to those of us who can demonstrate some actual reading comprehension.
Seid says that the pursuit of a fat-free body has turned into a new way of life and a new religion. Also, although the female body hasn't changed, the ideal female has. In the past, full-fugured women were desired. Now, the health and insurance industries have convinced the average Americans to lose weight. Body image standards are higher for women than they are for men. She also argues that beauty and fashion hold too high a place in our society. She suggests finding a happy medium between thinness and obesity. She urges that we "dismantle this new religion, because it is misguided and destructive." Lastly, she states "We must restore a humanistic vision in which self-improvement means cultivating the mind and enlarging the soul."
The author assumes that everyone wants a fat-free body. Many people are happy with their weight and don't want to change. The practice of fasting is already a widely practiced religious rite. The ideal female has changed over the years due largely from changes in fashion and the media. But, fashion and the media are just cyclical. In the past, it was considered better to be obese. Fatter was considered better than being thin in the past. The Mona Lisa, considered beautiful in the Rennaissance, could not even be compared with today's women. it was considered unhealthy to be skinny. The health and insurance industries are right to encourage Americans to lose weight. 60% of Americans are overweight, and 1/4 are obese. This is costing these industries billions of dollars each year. Adults and children are growing fatter each year. Men also face pressure to have the right body. They need to have good looks to attract women, not just money. Men also experience eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. Not all people are created equal. There are people that are thin, average, and fat. There is no reason to punish those who aren't average. People should just learn to accept who they are. The "new religion" makes people more confident about themselves. The better you look, the better you feel. For those who don't look good, simply things, such as diet and exercise, can give you this confidence.
People have always been self-conscious. This "unrealistic vision" is the healthiest way to live. Being overweight puts you at greater risk for heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and cancer. A healthy body leads to a healthy mind.
Roberta Seid is an old, bitter, fat women.