Books, Read + Review

Not Just About Food: Understanding Eating Disorders by Carol Sonenklar and Tabitha Moriarty

Readers can learn about the discovery and treatment of eating disorders in this short 104 book. It covers a wide variety of topics, such as the people involved in its naming and treatment in the scientific community. Unlike other books on the same topic, this book covers not only scientific explanations but also links some of the causes to traditional and pop culture. For example, it talks about how famous celebrities have experienced eating disorders in order to fit the post 1980’s trend of being skinny. This book excels at being able to educate the reader on a broad variety of topics, spanning from prominent figures, to those affected, and the scientific logic of eating disorders. While eating disorders may seem like a neurological disorder, this book is able to educate on how parts of society may have a psychological effect and how there are many other physical and societal factors which lead to eating disorders.

I enjoyed how this book was straight to the point and good at summarizing such a broad topic. It was able to compile the research of many different scientists, spanning 200 years of research into a book under 150 pages while still being in depth enough to give the reader a comprehensive understanding of the topic. While other books may bore the reader with pages of punctual descriptions of scientific experiments, this book summarizes the work of major names in the field of research while still being able to link them to the bigger picture. My favorite part about the book is the organization of the information. Among the many facts were biographies of the people which contributed to the research of eating disorders and famous figures which were affected by it. This organization was unique compared to other books and it allowed me to stay engaged with the book because between the columns of information was an event which was relevant and relatable to pop culture. The author’s organization also makes the reader realize how relevant the subject is in day to day life.

The most memorable part of this book was learning about how Disordered Eating has been seen throughout history. It started as being viewed as hysteria, and now it is being seen as a sign of emotional distress and a possible sign of depression. Emotional disorders have been given more attention more frequently in the 21st century, and I think it was interesting how eating disorders can also fall under this category. Schools educate students on signs of depression, yet topics such as Eating Disorders are rarely mentioned. Through 200 years of research, eating disorders are now viewed as more of an emotional and societal issue rather than a physical one.

William L. At Twin Hickory

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