I found Secrets from the Eating Lab: The Science of Weight Loss, the Myth of Willpower, and Why You Should Never Diet Again by Traci Mann, PH.D. using the Overdrive app. I was expecting a book similar to Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss. What I got was part SSF and part diet book.

SSF was a much more in-depth look at that is going on in the food manufacturer’s lab while Secrets from the Eat Lab is more about dieting than food. Where I was looking for more science of the manipulation of our food offerings, Mann here instead gives us a breakdown of the lies and myths surrounding dieting.

In fact, she goes so far as to say that dieting itself is wrong. It is her contention that there is strong science showing that we should find our natural weight set point and then attempt to stay near the bottom of our specific range. Mann points out studies that show that people considered overweight by the diet industry are actually healthier (or at least as healthy) as those who fit the ideal healthy mold.

While not a complete free ride to eat anything you want in any amount, Mann does leave you feeling empowered to “just be healthy.” Morbid obesity is still a huge health risk (hence the name) but the psychological and emotional impact of trying to diet your way to some television ideal does more harm than good.

This is an interesting read albeit a bit redundant and slow at times. Overall though – a good read.

by Chris Doelle

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