Skip to main content

For today's diary, I thought I'd list a few books that I have found useful in explaining how we got here and/or what we can do about it.

WHEE (Weight, Health, Eating and Exercise) is a community support diary for Kossacks who are currently or planning to start losing, gaining or maintaining their weight through diet and exercise or fitness. Any supportive comments, suggestions or positive distractions are appreciated. If you are working on your weight or fitness, please -- join us! You can also click the WHEE tag to view all diary posts.

Fat Land: How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World
by Greg Critser

Published in 2003, Critser's book introduces us to the cast of characters that, he says, made America fat. The first words of Chapter 1 are "Earl Butz, nominated by Richard Nixon in 1971 to be the eighteenth secretary of agriculture..." Chapter 1 goes on to talk about how our food got loaded with HFCS and palm oil. Chapter 2 follows with a discussion of David Wallerstein, the inventor of Supersizing. The remaining five chapters (it's a short book) discuss such subjects as the differences between the U.S. and France in child-raising, the decline of physical activity, and some of the medical implications of overweight and obesity. Fat Land is not a tour de force, but the stories of Butz and Wallerstein make it a must-have reference book for the WHEE reader.

The End of Overeating
by David Kessler, M.D.

An instant classic, and current subject of the twice-weekly "Let's Read a WHEE Book Together" diary series written by Clio2 and yours truly. Kessler was a liveblogging guest for a Fitness Monday installment a few weeks ago. The End of Overeating is a pipe-hitting exposé of how food manufacturers layer sugar, fat, and salt to drive us to eat more and more of their foods. I disagree with Kessler's idea that this is something new in the world of food (Jared Diamond has written about how Western Europe had to deal with the 17th-century version of this), but there's no arguing with the thoroughness of Kessler's research, or with the popularity of this book. This is going to be on WHEE bookshelves for a long time.

Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think
by Brian Wansink, Ph.D.

Where Kessler's book talks about a wide range of research performed by others, Wansink uses his own research to support his point: That we Americans are eating more because we're being served more. Wansink won an IgNobel Prize for the invention of the "bottomless soup bowl," and Mindless Eating details this and many other amusing experiments. Although Wansink's goal is to get us to mindlessly eat more sensibly, I was inspired by Wansink's book to begin my current weight loss journey back in early 2008. By mindfully limiting the portions I ate (but not weighing, measuring, or counting calories) and riding my bicycle to work, I lost over 20 pounds (from my peak weight of 229) by the middle of July.

What are your favorite WHEE books?

Upcoming WHEE diaries:

September 16
  Weds AM - yrs truly
  Weds PM - ???

September 17
  Thurs AM - Ed G
  Thurs PM - ???

September 18
  Fri AM - ???
  Fri PM - ???

September 19
  Sat AM - cusoon
  Sat PM - Edward Spurlock (Kessler, Ch. 7)

September 20
  Sun AM - louisev - Turtle Diary
  Sun PM - ???

September 21
  Mon AM - NC Dem
  Mon PM - ???

September 22
  Tues AM - Clio2 (Kessler, Ch. 8)
  Tues PM - ???

September 23
  Weds AM - Edward Spurlock
  Weds PM - ???

Originally posted to Edward Spurlock on Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 06:36 AM PDT.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site