Review: Health At Every Size, by Linda Bacon Ph.D

Fat isn’t the problem. Dieting is the problem. A society that rejects anyone whose body shape or size doesn’t match an impossible ideal is the problem. A medical establishment that equates “thin” with “healthy” is the problem.
The solution?

Health at Every Size.

Tune in to your body’s expert guidance. Find the joy in movement. Eat what you want, when you want, choosing pleasurable foods that help you to feel good. You too can feel great in your body right now—and Health at Every Size will show you how.

Health at Every Size has been scientifically proven to boost health and self-esteem. The program was evaluated in a government-funded academic study, its data published in well-respected scientific journals.

Updated with the latest scientific research and even more powerful messages, Health at Every Size is not a diet book, and after reading it, you will be convinced the best way to win the war against fat is to give up the fight. 

Paperback, 374 pages
Published: March 23rd 2010 by BenBella Books
 (first published October 11th 2008)
Original Title
Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth about Your Weight
ISBN13: 9781935618256
Edition Language: English

My Review

I bought this book out of interest, having been a fat person for most of my life and tried diets multiple times that worked temporarily. I’d lose a couple of stone then plateau before starting to increase again. And before I knew it I’d be back to my old weight. In the last year I’ve put on 10 kg. The nurse has got grumpy with me, I’ve returned to the Wellbeing Service Health Trainer I was seeing three years ago (at least), and she’s referred me to Thrive. I have to fill in a food diary and track everything. It’s already screwing with my head. I’m trying not to restrict but I’m struggling with it. I want to get fitter, my weight will do what it will.

I read this book with interest. Linda Bacon is a good writer and she makes the science understandable. The first half of the book is about the science, which shows that restrictive dieting may actually trigger the body’s anti-starvation mechanisms, making the dieter obsessed with food and binge. She discusses the social and political pressures around body size and health.

The basic idea is that rather than restricting food and exercising as punishment for eating, people should try to listen to their body, eat when they’re hungry and move in ways that feel good. The book tries to help the reader with that. It’s very easy to read, and full of information. Many will find it challenging because it questions everything we’re told about weight and health.

The book is US-centric and doesn’t discuss disability in respect to health and food. It also assumes the reader is in a stable living situation where they can afford and cook ‘real’ food. At times it comes off as a bit preachy.

If you’re struggling with your weight, sick of feeling a failure because the diets don’t work, try reading this book.

Published by

R Cawkwell

Hi I'm Rosemarie and I like to write. I write short stories and longer fiction, poetry and occasionally articles. I'm working on quite a few things at the minute and wouldn't mind one day actually getting published in print.


  1. Hey Rosie – glad you found the book valuable. Thanks for alerting others to your criticism; I agree with your points about it being US-centric, and the assumptions/lack of attention about disability and privileged living circumstances! You won’t find the same problems in my more recent work. Perhaps you want to read Body Respect next?
    Lindo Bacon (

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