Frances M. Berg recently wrote a book entitled Women Afraid to
Eat--Breaking Free in Todays Weight-Obsessed World*. Below are a
few of the thoughts from Ms. Bergs book:
- A Minnesota starvation study from 1944-1945 determined some predictable
characteristics of individuals not getting enough to eat for sustained
periods of time. Observations from countries suffering famine also
documented the same human characteristics. These characteristics included
apathy and a general loss of humanity. Individuals who normally treated
others with warmth and caring could engage in non-caring behavior and even
acts of cruelty. Could alarming characteristics we see in others be
predictable responses to under-eating?
- In the history of the U.S., characteristics associated with Americans have
included abounding energy, generosity, friendliness and optimism. Could
these simply be characteristics of a well-fed people?
- Both Miss America contestants and PlayboyTM centerfolds have
seen a reduction in body size by 1/3 in the last 30 years.
- Americans have never lived longer than this moment in time. We often
forget to celebrate the overall level of good health in society.
- The dieting industry continues to reap profits from a public desperate for
answers. As one diet fails, another beckons.
- We often fail to recognize the detrimental effects of the narrowly defined
ideal body image often portrayed by the media. Against this impossible
standard, we all feel inferior.
- Quote from Camryn Manheim (actress): "I think its a miracle that I
laugh every day and walk through life with pride, because our country is
unrelenting when it comes to large people. I dont understand. We hurt
nobody. Were just fat people."
* Published by Healthy Weight Network, Hettinger, ND, 2000; ISBN:
Compiled by Betty Holmes, MS, RD
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