Harriet Brown's Body of Truth: How Science, History, and Culture Drive Our PDF

By Harriet Brown

ISBN-10: 0738217700

ISBN-13: 9780738217703

Over the earlier twenty-five years, our quest for thinness has morphed right into a relentless obsession with weight and physique photograph. In our tradition, "fat" has develop into a four-letter note. Or, as Lance Armstrong acknowledged to the spouse of a former teammate, "I referred to as you loopy. I known as you a whinge. yet I by no means known as you fat." How did we get to this position the place the worst insult you could hurl at an individual is "fat"? the place girls and women (and more and more males and boys) will nutrition, purge, overeat, undereat, and berate themselves and others, all within the identify of being thin?

As a technology journalist, Harriet Brown has explored this collective longing and fixation from an goal standpoint; as a mom, spouse, and girl with "weight issues," she has struggled to appreciate it on a private point. Now, in Body of Truth, Brown systematically unpacks what's been provided as "truth" approximately weight and health.

Starting with the 4 largest lies, Brown indicates how examine has been manipulated; how the scientific career is complicit in maintaining us at the hours of darkness; how mammoth pharma and massive, empty gives you equivalent massive, colossal funds; how a lot of what we all know (or imagine we all know) approximately future health and weight is incorrect. and the way all of these have an effect on we all on a daily basis, even if we all know it or not.

The quest for overall healthiness and health hasn't ever been extra pressing, but such a lot folks proceed to shop for into fad diets and unimaginable physique beliefs, blind to the wear we're doing to ourselves. via interviews, study, and her personal event, Brown not just provides us the genuine tale on weight, health and wellbeing, and wonder, but in addition bargains concrete feedback for the way every one folks can type in the course of the lies and misconceptions and make peace with and for ourselves.

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Extra resources for Body of Truth: How Science, History, and Culture Drive Our Obsession with Weight—And What We Can Do about It

Example text

It is irrelevant to me how my wife goes about cooking my favourite goulash as long as it turns out the way I like it. It is irrelevant to me that the stock of a company is falling, if I do not own such stock ; or that Catholics are modernizing their doctrine, if I am an atheist ; or that it is now possible to 59 THE S ociAL CoNSTRUCTION oP REALITY fly non-stop to Africa, if I do not want to go there. However, my relevance structures intersect with the relevance structures of others at many points, as a result of which we have 'inter­ esting' things to say to each other.

As long as my knowledge works satisfactorily, I am generally ready to suspend doubts about it. In certain attitudes detached from everyday reality - telling a joke, at the theatre or in church, or engaging in philosophical speculation - I may perhaps doubt elements of it. But these doubts are 'not to be taken seriously'. For instance, as a businessman I know that it pays to be inconsiderate of others. I may laugh at a joke in which this maxim leads to failure, I may be moved by an actor or a preacher extolling the virtues of consideration and I may concede in a philosophical mood that all social relations should be governed by the Golden Rule.

It is important to stress that this controlling character is inherent in institutionalization as such, prior to or apart from any mechanisms of sanctions specifically set up to support an in­ stitution. These mechanisms (the sum -<>f which constitute 72 institutions that we call societies. Their controlling efficacy, however, is of a secondary or supplementary kind. As we shall see again later, the primary social control is given in the exis­ tence of an institution as such. To say that a segment of human activity has been institutionalized is already to say that this segment of human activity has been subsumed under social control.

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Body of Truth: How Science, History, and Culture Drive Our Obsession with Weight—And What We Can Do about It by Harriet Brown


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