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Eating as Captor--and Liberator

WOMEN AFRAID TO EAT Breaking Free in Today's Weight-Obsessed World By Frances M. Berg;Healthy Weight Network, 376 pages, $17.95

May 01, 2000|SHARI ROAN

Nutritionist Frances Berg bases her book on the theory that dieting has led to many mental and physical health problems in women.

A growing number of health experts now support the argument that dieting undermines self-esteem, can lead to eating disorders and rarely works to promote health. Berg further contends that dieting, in its extreme, causes women to become afraid of eating for fear they will not be accepted in a society that is so focused on thinness.

The first part of the book is devoted to the conditions--such as advertising and the diet industry--that Berg says have led women to worry obsessively about weight. Berg offers techniques to counter those societal forces and goes on to provide practical ways to achieve a healthy weight. These suggestions center on physical activity and eating a balanced diet that does not include food restrictions or stepping on the scales.

Berg has dealt with this subject before, in the book "Afraid to Eat: Children and Teens." Now, as then, she backs her arguments with detailed research.

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