Cover Image: What's Eating Us

What's Eating Us

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Member Reviews

I loved the premise and promise of this book, and it mostly delivered. It’s part memoir and part investigative reporting into the world of body image, dieting, and the resulting eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia, and binging, with particular emphasis on the first two). The author, a recovering bulimic, discusses her struggles with body image stemming from societal “ideals” fed to us via all types of media.

Several key points:
* Eating disorders are a leading cause of death in the US, yet very little money is spent per capita to study them. Much, much less than is spent to research Autism and Schizophrenia, yet more people are affected (and die) from eating disorders every year.
* BIPOC sufferers in particular are under diagnosed and over represented (at least anecdotally).
* The diet industry wants people to stay “engaged” and thus have a financial incentive to make people feel bad about their bodies. Noom, for example, markets itself as offering behavioral therapy (CBT) to help its “Noomers” understand the root causes of food choices but, in the end, is primarily a calorie-restricting diet plan.
* As a society, we have to stop focusing on skinniness as a virtue (and its opposite: “extra” weight as a vice, a result of laziness) as there is evidence of a true brain connection related to weight, satiety, hunger clues, and exercise. In other words, everyone is different and what works for some people may not work for others.

The second half of the book focuses on the author’s seeking various treatments for her bulimia which include, among other things, a suggestion to write about it. The last 25% veers off into the author’s struggle with infertility, yet I don’t recall her mentioning if this had anything to do with her decades of severe calorie restriction and bulimia. Since many women with eating disorders struggle with gaining and losing pregnancy weight, I understand why it was included. I do wish, however, that there was more included on the fascinating intersections of the medical and research communities, pharmaceutical companies, insurance providers, legislators, and educators as they relate to eating disorder education, treatment, support, and especially prevention. But perhaps that’s a topic for another book. If so, I hope it is approached with the same skepticism and sense of humor as this one.

In sum, I learned quite a lot, found the audiobook entertaining (except for a few occasions when the narration was a bit shrill), and enjoyed the author’s often sarcastic and f-bomb-laden voice. If you are a woman (or rather if you have a body) and use social media, there is a lot to be angry about. Find or create a support system and work for change.

My thanks to #NetGalley for this advance reader/listener copy of #WhatsEatingUs by #ColeKazdin

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I had difficulty starting this book, but it was hard to put it down once I did.

The story is explicitly told from the author's point of view, struggles, and experiences. As a woman struggling with weight all my adult life, I related to Cole Kazdin's battle with weight. However, here is where our differences begin. The author did an incredible job of sharing her scuffle with food and weight. She describes in great detail her fight with eating disorders, bulimia, and body image.

Women of any age should read this book, and I am sure it will relate to multiple food and body-related anxieties. But the primary purpose of this book is for women to understand that each body is different and we should treat it in that way. Instead of jumping on the next train of newly invented diet, we should first work on our mental state, figure out how our bodies work and what is healthy and good for us, and stop chasing society's next "perfect body image."

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I ended up reading a print copy of this because I wanted to be able to annotate. Packed with info. Well researched.

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I wanted to so much enjoy this audiobook but found it hard to stay engaged. Its part memoir and research, I think it might read better than listening to. Just not something I found to be my cup of tea.

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This well researched manifesto should be required reading. I was triggered AF but I learned of many, books, resources and movements supporting #HAES. Coincidently, nearly every book she referenced was already on my ( will never live long enough ) TBR list. Society, the medical community, the media and more often than not "family & friends" continues this toxic DIET environment. I was moved to action, triggered and entertained as I LMAO by her release of profanity behind the lunacy as she narrated about the Weight Loss Industry/Society standards and the laws relating to size discrimination. There were some views I did not agree with but as I continued the #audiobooking experience, I started to agree as I remembered similar experiences from my grade school years... SMH This is a definite must read for ALL women. <3

#NetGalley #EA #ZoomSupportGroups #NAMI #DIETCulture #Fatphobia #WeightStigma #EatingDisorders #BipocHealthDisparities #WeightWatchers #HAES #PinInterest #BMI #RacialTrauma #Stress #DIABETES #INTUITIVEeating #Anxiety #DisorderedEating #FoodBinging #HealthyMovement #Recovery #Compulsion verses #Addictions #BlackWomen #CulturalBodyImage #Trauma #DoubleStandards #GenderDisparities #CBT #Purging #Noom

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This beautiful blend of memoir and research, explores our cultural obsession with women's weight and what a journey it is to remain healthy this culture. While not quite self-help, this book will inspire readers

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Excellent examination of the unwinnable battle of life in a weight/size obsessed culture and eating disorders. The disorders themselves are poorly researched, as it treatment options. Open, honest, and raw- Authors narration was pleasing and well executed which was nice due to the difficult topic and research heavy content.

ARC from the publisher via NetGalley, but the opinions are entirely my own.

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The author of What’s Eating Us shares decades-long personal experience with eating disorder recovery while sharing information regarding the science of eating disorders and the treatment options. Kazdin also spends time in this novel discussing her fertility and entry into motherhood.

Kazdin discusses diet culture and the billions of dollars made by the weight loss industry.
She shares statistics including how deadly anorexia really is and the lack of a standard of care for disordered eating in the US, as well as missed diagnoses.

Kazdin shares that 90% of women in the US are unhappy with their bodies. Over half of adults in the US are trying to lose weight at any given time.

Those raised in the 80s and 90s will recognize Kazdin’s references to growing up in diet culture and low fat public health marketing. Diet culture persists, sometimes relabeled as wellness. ! didn’t realize Pinterest had banned weight loss ads until listening to this book. I wish all media would ban weight loss ads. How many decades have we been seeing weight loss system ads on almost every commercial break?

How many people spend their whole lives trying to change their bodies? Or gaining and losing the same 15 pounds? This book, as well as everything else I have read on this topic, warns of the harm to our bodies from weight cycling (aka yo-yo dieting).

Kazdin addresses the harm in complimenting people on weight loss, which is a natural instinct that we should reconsider. How often are we complimenting weight loss for those who may be harming themselves and suffering to lose the weight? (Also, grief, stress, and trauma can cause weight loss, not to be celebrated.)

Unlearning the diet culture that my generation was raised in has been an informative journey. If you appreciated the books The Gospel of Wellness, What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Fat, and How Not to Diet, you may want to pick this one up. What’s Eating Us focuses much more specifically on eating disorders than these other books and would be an excellent resource for beginning to understand more on the topic.

This review is posted on Instagram and Facebook @beginandendwithbooks and Goodreads Michelle Beginandendwithbooks

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*received for free from netgalley for honest review* Overall really great book, i have read many like this and this was one of the better ones but of course this is actually up to date too lol

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Well I don't have an eating disorder. I don't even have any misplaced objections to good or bad foods. I found this book interesting in how it looked at the diet industry and fat positivity. I also found it interesting to see how little help there is out there for people who struggle with eating disorders.

I received a copy of this audiobook from netgalley for a honest review.

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I received an ARC of this audiobook by the publisher via Netgalley in an exchange for an honest review.

The topic this book delves into is one I have a deep and long history with. I've been in recovery from anorexia going on ten years now. Some days are easier than others and a lot of the struggles Kazdin describes are the same issues millions of people fight against daily, including myself. Due to the deeply personal connection I have with the subject matter, this review has been a struggle to write. There are pros and cons to What's Eating Us, but I think my predominant issue with the book is that I didn't go into it expecting approximately 60% of the book to be a memoir. My main motivation reading this book was to explore the sociology, psychology, and physiology of eating disorders. I went in expecting more studies and longer discussions regarding the science behind epidemic.

Maybe the predominant issue regarding that expectation is that not a lot of studies or research is being done on eating disorders. Kazdin discusses how the government and big pharma aren't interested in funding research in this field. The consequence is I didn't go into the book with the right expectations. Plus there are times when the memoir aspect veered off into meandering territory. Towards the end of the book, Kazdin takes us on her fertility struggle. And I'm not sure why it was included in a book about eating disorders. This is a causal vs correlation effect. If Kazdin mentioned that there's evidence eating disorders can affect a person's fertility and then presented the data, that's one thing. But to spend a chunk of the book complaining about the cost of invitro seems.... unfocused and besides the point. This aspect of the narrative as a result made me unfocused on getting through the book.

Pros were that Kazdin presented some of the latest theories and studies being done on eating disorders that I hadn't heard about before. I just wish that those discussions took up more of the book. I left this book feeling sad and like not a lot of headway has been made in the last decade medically and frustrated in more ways than one.

2.5 stars rounded up.

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I have been working on repairing my relationship with my body since 2020. While I never had an eating disorder to the extent of the author of this book, all women (and likely all people) in our country sadly experience the same shame and pressure around their bodies. I think this book is a great start for anyone who is coming to realize that DIETS DON'T WORK and wants to stop fighting their body for the rest of their life. One thing the author mentions that was so important for me was curating my Instagram feed to see bigger bodies and body positive role models.

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So informative! I have so much respect for the research, the honest perspective, and the deep dive into the culture of eating. Even if you haven’t experienced disordered eating, I feel like we’ve all been influenced by diet culture. I wish this book had been published before I went down the Noom rabbit hole of unhealth, but I am so glad others will have the opportunity to learn from the author’s experience and journalistic research.

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It was interesting to learn that every 52 minutes someone dies of an eating disorder. That is so sad. There is no doubt that women are really messed up when it comes to our relationship with food and body image. Most of us are taught this from a very young age by our parents and television. This book made me sad on so many levels.

I am so happy that the author is somewhat healed from her eating disorder. But it does still seem like a real struggle. Not sure what needs to change to fix all of this.

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I was kind of unprepared for how focused this book would be on eating disorders. I was expecting it to be more about the general diet culture all American women are exposed to. I thought the discussion of eating disorders was well done, but as someone with a history of an eating disorder I found it kind of triggering and think it could have been clearer that this was the focus of the book. But the content was good and I found it relatable.

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Thank you Netgalley and Macmillan Audio for this audio arc in exchange for an honest review.

Let me start this review off by saying, this should be a required reading for all. It touches on so many issues that I never would have considered attributing to disordered eating, which is my own oblivious privilege, but hearing them put into this context OF COURSE it aids to eating disorders. Systemic issues and oppressive settings are going to impact every day life including how you eat and what. Having a history of an eating disorder, especially an untreated one which most are, can lead to numerous different health issues through your lifetime. We as a society need to spend more time and money focusing on how to help heal and improve lives disrupted by eating disorders because it is a bigger issue than we are making it out to be.

As someone who identifies as a woman I have had a tricky relationship with food and my body basically my entire life. After reading this book and keeping my own mental issues as well as those that are generational in mind—I realized yes society depiction of women and food is the issue but it isn’t solely to blame here. My depression and anxiety also play a key role in my relationship to food. With eating disorders not having as much research as other health issues it makes sense that it took me almost 30 years to realize my depression impacts my relationship with food just as much as diet culture does. I am someone who healthily got out of an eating disorder and whose CBT and antidepressants are a GODSEND, but I am one of the privileged lucky ones. My ED never went far enough to cause physical harm, but the mental harm took years of undoing. We must do better by our minds and our bodies.

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I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was my first time alternating between reading and listening to a book on audio. While I usually prefer to read a book, it was powerful to hear the author narrate her own story.

As a woman who has struggled with eating, body image, and been virtually every size, this book allowed me to feel seen. It helps to know that I am not alone in these struggles. Sadly, there is no quick fix or cure. Our failure as a society to make lasting changes leaves ALL women susceptible.

Cole Kazdin should be applauded for her vulnerability and for bringing awareness to a taboo issue. She not only opened my eyes to fact that while help is available, it is primarily geared toward white women. Women who fall in the BIPOC demographic fall through the cracks because the systems in place do not take them into account. This is unacceptable and must be remedied.

*This book deals heavily with disordered eating, negative body image, and mental health. It is a terrific read, but may trigger some readers.

Special thanks to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Essential, and Macmillan Audio for allowing me to read and listen to this book in exchange for my honest feedback.

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This book is all about the reality of recovery & relapse in eating disorders, and what it’s like from a firsthand experience attempting to go through recovery.

What's Eating Us by Cole Kazdin is a well-balanced mix of journalistic-style, research-based writing, the author’s journey of battling an eating disorder and her recovery journey. We watch her as she struggles with her disorder and searches for innovative, yet evidence-based tools for recovery.

I’m a dietitian who specializes in working with women with disordered eating, body image issues, and chronic health conditions. Big disclaimer here: I would not recommend this to someone with a current ED, or someone who is in the early stages of recovery from ED, because the descriptions of certain behaviors and thoughts throughout the book would be triggering. However, I think this is a fantastic book recommendation for anyone else who struggles with body image issues, chronic dieting, or their relationship with food in any way. In particular, I think a lot of health practitioners would benefit from reading this book. It clearly delineates how our culture’s ‘health’, fatphobia, and food biases show up in different fields and contribute to this toxic environment that makes it hard NOT to develop disordered eating or chronic dieting patterns.

So many women will be able to relate to this. The author describes the exact inner dialogue I hear explained by so many clients.

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This book is about diet culture and the hold that it has on everyone. It presents such good facts on eating disorders as well as treatments. The author did a fantastic job including research of those of BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ as well as those in larger bodies and how that affects the treatment or lack thereof that they receive. I enjoyed the narration and loved the author included tips and potential red flags to look out for when seeking treatment for eating disorders. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to read a copy of this book early!

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•Intersectional nonfiction
•Eating disorder recovery

It has been too long since I read a nonfiction book that had me completely hooked from start to end.

This is what I would consider a fast paced and impossible to put down nonfiction read.

Specifically, as someone who has struggled with binge eating and bulimia the discussion being had in this book hit every cord.

What's Eating Us is both personal and informational, but most important of all it is intersectional. It takes the time to underline the disparities between body anxiety/eating disorders as it pertains to BIPOC.

Being someone who would consider themselves in a place of recovery from aforementioned disorders this book has highlighted it emboldened me to continue to take an honest look at my ongoing disordered habits.

Lastly, in regards to Kazdin's specific story, I appreciate her mentioning the difference in making dietary changes due to beliefs versus restriction.

Being vegan I have been told before that it is just a form of disordered eating, but for me it is so much more personal and important than that.

Okay, one last thing, I recently read the blockbuster nonfiction The Power of Habit and I would highly recommend reading these in tandem.

9 Writing Style
10 Intrigue
9 Logic
10 Enjoyment
3 Impact Bonus
TOTAL= 38+3= 41/8= 5.125

3.00/5.00 Impact Rating
--There are many little pieces of this that I will take with me and share often about this subject, but most of all it has affected how I will have conversations about eating/disorders

5.00/5.00 Rounded Rating

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