Book Review – The Obesity Epidemic

This may seem a strange book for me to be reading and reviewing…I am not obese (or overweight), never have been and in all likelihood, never will be. Until recently, I was one of the many people who thought overweight people were either eating too much and/or exercising too little. But then I discovered the real food movement, via books like Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions, and started to get a lot more interested in nutrition and health. I discovered Zoe Harcombe’s website by accident but decided that this book deserved a read. I am so glad I read it, because it is absolutely brilliant.

If like many people (including, sadly, governments and nutritionists involved in giving out advice on healthy eating) you think that a healthy diet is one low in calories, low in fat and with plenty of starchy carbohydrates then you need to read this book at once! Harcombe systematically dismantles the myths surrounding these “facts” about diet. For example, did you know that there has never been a study that conclusively showed an association (nevermind causation!) between high saturated fat intake and heart disease? According to our own Food Standards Agency in 2009The ideal controlled dietary trial for prevention of heart disease has not yet been done and it is unlikely ever to be done“.

Did you think that there were studies showing the benefits of eating plenty of carbohydrate? Erm, no, it’s just that if you tell people they need to eat less fat, then they need to eat something. Protein containing foods usually contain fat, so it has to be carbohydrates then.

In this book Harcombe systematically dismantles these and many other myths that have built up around diet. Myths that are perpetuated by our governments with their food pyramids and eat well plates. She does an excellent job of making this an entertaining and often amusing read, possessing as she does what could well be described as an acerbic wit, but after reading this book I have come away feeling somewhat angry and annoyed at the years of lies and mistruths I, and lots of other people interested in food and health, have been told.

So, what is the solution to the Obesity Epidemic? Harcombe suggests replacing current dietary advice with the simple advice to “Eat Naturally; Move Naturally“. She also gives advice on how this campaign might be put into practice. I would like to be hopeful about this but when you look, for example, at the website of the British Nutrition Foundation and see that their members include companies such as British Sugar, McDonalds and Birds Eye I don’t  think that’s gonna happen, do you?

In the meantime, I shall be harping on to whoever will listen about this book and about the Weston A Price Foundation, and maybe start removing dietary advice literature from the doctors surgery and replacing them with WAPF leaflets…waddya reckon?!

I’ll end this post with Zoe Harcombe’s TV trailer about the book and suggest that you hop on over to her website, download her “20 Diet Myths” ebook, then treat yourself to some eggs, butter and real meat 🙂

Linking up this post to Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday. 

Tagged , , ,

6 thoughts on “Book Review – The Obesity Epidemic

  1. Wow great post! I haven’t heard of this book but I have heard all the “myths.” It drive me nuts when people eat egg whites only, really!? I read a blog once called “Is God stupid!?” saying why would he create the egg yolk if it was SO bad for us. I have watched the biggest loser and they force these myths, and yes people lose weight but they aren’t healthy! Isn’t health the ultimate goal? Now you added a book to MY amazon wishlist 🙂

  2. Allie says:

    I MUST get this book – I’ve long suspected that it’s a lot of hooey about diets. Real food is better for you!!! Thanks hon!

I will reply to comments here on the blog, so please check back if you are looking for a response! I love hearing from you x

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


Feminist reflections on fitness, sport, and health


Reading & Reviewing Works by Women of Color

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Liz Bourke: Books, Opinions, Services

His Futile Preoccupations .....

On a Swiftly Tilting Planet

JacquiWine's Journal

Mostly books, with a little wine writing on the side

Intermittencies of the Mind

An Unreliable Reader

Kaggsy's Bookish Ramblings

So many books, so little time

Bodies in the Library:

Crime, Fiction and Women

Bookish Feminist

"Let us pick up our books and pencils. They are our most powerful weapon." --Malala Yousafzai


literary translation news and updates

Lizzy's Literary Life

Celebrating the pleasures of a 21st century bookworm


Adventures with great novels around the world

Death & the Maiden

"For many of us, working with death is an act of resistance. It is our way of reclaiming our space, our bodies, our lives and ourselves."


about books, from a bookstore

Beauty is a Sleeping Cat

Books, Movies, Art, Writing, and Cats


Book reviews by someone who loves books ...

Hard Book Habit

Reading classics and hard books, and spouting rhubarb about them

Never Stop Reading

books & life

%d bloggers like this: