Waistland: The R/evolutionary Science Behind Our Weight and Fitness Crisis

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9780393062168: Waistland: The R/evolutionary Science Behind Our Weight and Fitness Crisis
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Harvard psychologist Deirdre Barrett tackles the obesity and fitness crisis from an evolutionary standpoint.

In the modern jungle of burgers, couches, and remote controls, obesity is an enormous and growing epidemic. Weight-loss books and diet gurus urge us to "listen to our bodies," but our instincts are designed for the African savannah, not food courts. The sugary and fatty foods that we, as hunter-gatherers, are programmed to forage used to be hard to come by. Now they're as close as the vending machine down the hall.

Radical changes are necessary and, fortunately, are biologically easier than small or gradual changes in diet. Barrett tells us how to reprogram our bodies, break food addictions, and ignore our attraction to "supernormal stimuli"―artificial creations that appeal to our instincts more than the natural objects they mimic. Barrett delves into scientific research―from animal ethology to evolution―to show the disastrous direction in which our instincts have led us, and how, using our intellect, we can get back on course. 50 illustrations

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About the Author:

Deirdre Barrett is an evolutionary psychologist at Harvard Medical School’s Behavioral Medicine Program. She is the author of several books, including Waistland, Trauma and Dream, and Supernormal Stimuli. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Review:

An elegantly written and eye-opening analysis of what makes us fat. -- Steven Pinker, PhD, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of How the Mind Works

In this cogent, clearly argued, and thought-provoking book, Barrett shows how we are paying the price for our own plenty. -- David Spiegel, M.D. Medical Director, Center for Integrative Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine; author of Living Beyond Limits

Offers us a way to understand the pandemic of obesity that we find ourselves in. -- John Ratey, M.D. Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry Harvard Medical School, co-author of Driven to Distraction

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