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Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Pocketmags Digital Magazines

Should we give up dieting?

Susie Orbach Michael Mosley

YES We both agree that there is a crisis around food and bodies. I know your motives aren’t cynical. I don’t dispute the sugar and refined carbs argument, but what worries me is the seductive thrust of your latest book: that you can lose weight fast by reprogramming your body. You are appealing to the same people who bought your first book. But did they learn? Did they change their life? If only. If only the perfectly reasonable advice you proffer were of use to more than a few. It all sounds sane and welcoming.

Indeed, the stories of blood sugar levels slashed, energy returned, illness replaced by health and vigour, depression banished, would enthuse anyone troubled by their weight. But this victorious narrative in which the beast of appetite is slain by the judicious reduction in food and in type of food eaten is not, as experience shows, borne out. Diets don’t work. You know that. I know that. The researchers know that. The publishers know it. You didn’t sell 250,000 copies of The 8- Week Blood Sugar Diet and a million copies of The Fast Diet because diets were successful. You sold them because diets fail. There is panic where food, fat and fitness are concerned.

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About Prospect Magazine

In Prospect’s February issue: Tom Clark and Luke Harding examine the attacks facing democracy. Clark reviews two books on democracy and suggests a new intellectual assault may be on the horizon. Harding looks at Russia’s attempts to derail the democratic process by focussing on its technical frailty. Melissa Deckman asks why women voted for Trump, while Duncan Bell charts the story of the Anglosphere and suggests Brexiteers are indulging in an old fantasy. Also in this issue: Matthew Harries asks if it’s time to ban the nuclear bomb, Adam Mars-Jones looks at the way we perceive aliens in films and Elizabeth Pisani explores the role of activists in changing the perception of Aids and its pushing for treatment.