Trusting the American Body
The French Diet, French Women Don’t Get Fat, and Mastering the Art of French Eating are all titles found in American bookstores. It seems our society has an obsession with the French and the way they eat. It is also how author Mary Maxfield begins her article “Food as a Thought”.
Maxfield is a graduate student from Fontboone University who claims that the food industries, as well as prominent health journalists, are part of the growing health anxiety in our country. Her essay is a response to Michael Pollan, a well-known health journalist and is a name that Maxfield refers to a lot in her article. She suggests that Pollan is contributing to our cultural anxiety over food by using “eating algorithms” in which he backs up by his negative claims over American health. Instead of using a diet plan, or strict rules on food, Maxfield insists Americans should learn to trust their bodies, and they will meet their personal health needs, no more, no less.
Mary Maxfield’s theory on trusting your body, and listening to its needs is extremely useful because it sheds light on the difficult problem of dieting and loosing weight, while also trying to achieve balanced nutrition. Despite her intentions, she fails to elaborate on how to trust ourselves with food, and the education needed through doctors and schools to do so.
Most health journalists such as Michael Pollan are not out to make our country an unhealthy place; in fact, they are probably trying to help, which can be seen in articles like Why are calorie counting Americans fatter than Europeans? and Easy ways to be a skinny American. But, I believe as Maxfield does, that they add anxiety to an already stressful situation. If you walk into a grocery store, gas station, or convenience store, there are many articles about loosing weight or the newest dieting fad. How are Americans supposed to know which one will work? How will they choose the diet that can help them get back into...
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