"Susan Yager has given us a delightful breeze through a century of American dietary prescriptions, from Dr. Kellogg to Michael Pollan. What to do? We still haven't figured out how to keep our food appetites to reasonable limits."
    — Marion Nestle author of What to Eat.

A lively cultural history of the American weight loss industry that explores the origins of our obsession with dieting.

As a nation battling an obesity epidemic, we spend more than $55 billion annually on diets and diet regimens. Our weight is making us sick, unhappy, and bigger than ever, and we are willing to hand over our hard-earned money to fix the problem. But most people don't know that the diet industry started cashing in long before the advent of the Whopper.

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"For the diet-obsessed among us, her book is a fascinating read." — New York Times

Featured in the Wall Street Journal

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Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune editor's picks





Six years ago my uncle and his girlfriend (both on diets) and my son and his wife (who is vegan) were coming to our house for dinner. Since this was late summer on the east end of Long Island, I had a lot of wonderful, local, animal free-options. I roasted Japanese eggplants for a tomato/eggplant casserole, made a big green salad, sliced some additional heirloom tomatoes, chopped garlic for a simple olive oil and basil pasta, baked some biscotti, and had a lot of fresh peaches, plums and nectarines ready to grill for dessert.

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