Parenting in the Age of Diet Culture
by Virginia Sole-Smith
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Pub Date 25 Apr 2023 | Archive Date 26 May 2023
Henry Holt & Company, Henry Holt and Co.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
By the time they reach kindergarten, most kids believe that “fat” is bad. By middle school, more than a quarter of them have gone on a diet. What are parents supposed to do?
Kids learn, as we’ve all learned, that thinness is a survival strategy in a world that equates body size and value. Parents worry if their kids care too much about being thin, but even more about the consequences if they aren’t. And multibillion-dollar industries thrive on this fear of fatness. We’ve fought the “war on obesity” for over forty years and Americans aren’t thinner or happier with their bodies. But it’s not our kids—or their weight—who need fixing.
In this illuminating narrative, journalist Virginia Sole-Smith exposes the daily onslaught of fatphobia and body shaming that kids face from school, sports, doctors, diet culture, and parents themselves—and offers strategies for how families can change the conversation around weight, health, and self-worth.
Fat Talk is a stirring, deeply researched, and groundbreaking book that will help parents learn to reckon with their own body biases, identify diet culture, and empower their kids to navigate this challenging landscape. Sole-Smith draws on her extensive reporting and interviews with dozens of parents and kids to offer a provocative new approach for thinking about food and bodies, and a way for us all to work toward a more weight-inclusive world.