Michael's blog

Jean Fain: "A kinder, gentler, more effective way to lose weight"

Author Jean FainJean Fain, 55, of Concord, Mass., is a longtime friend and colleague, though it is coincidental that we both ended up professionally concerned and active in the fight against obesity. When we met, we were working at the Boston Globe.

Though I beat her to the presses by a month or two, Jean is a whirlwind of activity. In addition to her book “The Self-Compassion Diet, A Step-by-Step Program to Lose Weight with Loving-Kindness,” Jean is a psychotherapist in private practice and a teaching associate at the Cambridge (Mass.) Health Alliance.

I recently asked her to engage in an interview form I enjoy, in which the questions, and answers, are 10 words or less. Please note: it’s not a strict rule, and I’ve done some editing as well.


Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

The most current report by the World Health Organization estimates that in 2005:
* 400 million people in the world were obese,
* About 1.6 billion people 15 or older were overweight.
* At least 20 million kids under 5 were overweight.
WHO estimates that by 2015...
* About 2.3 billion people will be overweight.
* About 700 million will obese.
And, the planet groans.

Whose interfering?

From a recent Marion Nestle post: 


It is not an accident that five dollars at McDonald’s will buy you five hamburgers or only one salad. It is not an accident that the indexed price of fruits and vegetables has increased by 40% since the early 1980s, whereas the indexed price of sodas has decreased by 30%. Right now, agricultural policies support our present industrialized food system and strongly discourage innovation and consumption of relatively unprocessed foods.


Crop to Cuisine interview

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

Dov Hirsch's interview with me on his show, "Crop To Cuisine," ran a week ago, but I'm only getting around to posting it today. In fact, I just listened to it myself and am very pleeased with their handling of my comments; I'm eager for you to hear it.

The interview commences about 8:30 into the show.

More mainstreaming

I started writing "Fat Boy Thin Man" more than six years ago, and though the timing was mine, not measured to the zeitgeist, even then I thought that it was coming at a good juncture in history. 

I was right then, but boy, the pace is picking up. "Mike and Molly," the sitcom in which the main characters meet at an Overeaters Anonymous meeting, could hardly be a more mainstream example.

A great and busy week

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

I didn't plan it this way, but this first week of 2011 has turned out to be a whirlwind of outreach for "Fat Boy Thin Man."

Monday, an interview I did with Crop To Cuisine aired in New York, Austin, Denver, and several other markets. I haven't been able to hear it yet, but I felt that the interaction with my interviewer, Dov Hirsch, was excellent, and I'm hopeful for the edited version.

Wanna go to rehab? For free?

Another tenet of my argument (see prev. post) is that insurance-supported rehab must be available to food addicts in the same measure as it is for other addictions. I reached that conclusion via experience: I was in the eating disorders unit of a psychiatric hospital in 1991, and it remains a cornerstone of my recovery, which is in its 20th year.



What we think is healthy

A tenet of my argument about obesity is that Americans don't lack for knowledge about nutrition, but choose not to apply it because nutrition is for sissies.

I could be wrong about that.

A poll by Consumer Reports Health says that 9 out of 10 Americans consider their diet  "somewhat," "very," or "extremely" healthy. Yeah, right. Fattest nation on earth, one of whose chief cultural exports to the world is fast food.


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