July 1957

The Importance of Overweight.

Author Affiliations

By Hilde Bruch, M.D. Price, $5.95. Pp. 438. W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 55 Fifth Ave., New York 3, 1957.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1957;100(1):174. doi:10.1001/archinte.1957.00260070188028

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In this book the complex subject of obesity is handled in a comprehensive and sympathetic manner. The author believes that obesity is only the conspicuous reflection of an inner disease state which may originate from the interaction of cultural, psychological, and metabolic factors. Because obesity may represent the best possible adjustment which the overweight patient has been able to make to his own life situation, treatment must involve more than the curt adjunct "to stop eating and exercise more." Perhaps, as the author puts it, a portion of the problem may lie in the present standards of beauty which aim to a "near emaciation" of the human body. In other cultures the obese have been admired as symbols of prosperity and not rejected as in our own.

Although the author's orientation is basically psychiatric, she presents an excellent discussion of the history of obesity as a medical problem and reviews

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