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Losing It: False Hopes and Fat Profits in the Diet Industry
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Losing It: False Hopes and Fat Profits in the Diet Industry

4.07  ·  Rating Details ·  69 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
This probing social and cultural history of our preoccupation with weight blows the whistle on a multi-billion dollar industry that feeds on insecurityTaking the same revolutionary and ultimately inspiring approach as The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf, Losing It examines and explodes our culture's obsession with slenderness and the huge establishment that exploits our fears of ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published May 1st 1998 by Plume
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Nov 15, 2007 Claire rated it really liked it
I loved this book when I read it, particularly for its comprehensive history of the diet industry. It is almost ten years old, so recent obesity research will not be included. However, the overall message and analysis of the industry is more relevant than ever.
Sep 16, 2016 Emma rated it it was amazing
Well researched and fascinating book from the mid-90s - I would love to read an updated edition to see if and how research has moved on.
Jun 01, 2011 Kathy rated it it was amazing
I vacillated between four and five stars on this but, after reflecting on how much thought I've given to the text, it deserved a five.

Fraser ties together an incredible amount of research with her own stories of dieting and going undercover as a potential managed diet program participant. It took me a long time to get through this book because, as a lifetime fat girl, a lot of the subject matter was emotionally charged for me.

She covered how our society has changed over the years to one where un
Spook Harrison
Sep 01, 2013 Spook Harrison rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Spook by: Fat Chick's Guide to Life
I think that if I ever do teach a class on health and nutrition, this will be one of the required reading texts. I enjoyed the historical overview, and the way Fraser writes it wouldn't be difficult for a high schooler to read. Reminds me of Leavy's book, and goes into greater depth on the differences between the Victorian ideals and those of a Flapper (ch. 1, esp. p. 35), discussing current events and popular books, entertainers, and political events that prompted them, which are fascinating. L ...more
Jenny Schmenny
Aug 18, 2007 Jenny Schmenny rated it it was amazing
Not the most revolutionary fat-positive book I've ever read, but really good, with lots of science and cultural critique. I think it tied a lot of things together effectively, and I'd like to own a copy.
Jun 28, 2009 Laura rated it it was amazing
i was going to say that every woman who has ever suffered from an eating disorder or disordered eating should read this but then i realized no. Everyone should read this.
Oct 29, 2014 Melinda rated it liked it
Shelves: fat-studies
If I could I would give this book 3.5 stars. Losing It is chock full of information. It starts with a history of how the slim body became associated with a fit body. Then the text shifts from history to an in depth analysis of the Diet Gurus (such as Susan Powter and Gene Simmons) and the rest of the book is a break down of the collusion between the health/medical industry and the diet industry. Another point to note is that Fraser also takes on diet plans and diet doctors and comes to the concl ...more
Rob Bentley
Jul 23, 2010 Rob Bentley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have mixed feelings about this book. I think its subject is a very important one, and overall it was worth reading. However, the author seems to have chosen to write to a female, very feminist audience. I just wish she would have broadened the scope a little. The first half of the book was fascinating and very important information for people to know. The highlight of the book is the chapter on diet fads. Fraser also published that chapter as an article, and you can read it on the CVS Pharmacy ...more
I stumbled across this book while weeding at my library. The author traces the history of the diet/weight loss industry and makes a lot of interesting points about body image that may help reassure those who have struggled with their weight.

My only caveat is that you're not going to find the most current information on this subject in either edition. If you know that while reading it, then you'll be okay. The 1997 edition was basically out of date the year it was published; it discusses fen-phe
Jun 22, 2007 HeavyReader rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who thinks fat people are unhealthy and disgusting
Shelves: fatliberation
This book is a little out of date, but there may be a newer edition out.

I learned so much about the diet industry and health from this book. The most notable thing that I learned is that studies show that fat people who are active live longer than thin people who are inactive. This is a must read for anyone interested in fat liberation.
Frederick Bingham
Jan 01, 2012 Frederick Bingham rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A highly critical analysis of the diet industry and the hype, quackery and misinformation that surrounds it. Often funny, often sad.
Aug 11, 2009 Emily rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
One of my favorite books on the dieting industry in the United States. I actually own two copies of this book; at first on accident, but now on purpose so I can loan the paperback out to friends.
Jana Botkin
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Dec 18, 2009 Ben rated it liked it
It was a bit self-serving, but had some great information.
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Mehitabel rated it it was amazing
Dec 22, 2010
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Laura Gladney-lemon rated it really liked it
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I am a long-time journalist and San Franciscan who loves travel and books. I'm the author of the NYT-bestselling memoir An Italian Affair, and its sequel, All Over the Map. I also wrote a book about the diet industry, Losing It. I am the co-founder and editorial director of, which publishes short, top-shelf ebooks by women. My own Shebook, The Risotto Guru, is all about eating in Ital ...more
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