Please join us for a virtual event celebrating the release of FAT TALK: PARENTING IN THE AGE OF DIET CULTURE by Virginia Sole-Smith and THE WELLNESS TRAP by Christy Harrison. This event will be hosted on Zoom Webinar.
About FAT TALK:
In this illuminating narrative on the daily onslaught of body shame that kids face from peers, school, diet culture, and parents themselves, journalist Virginia Sole-Smith offers a compelling reported look at how families can change the conversation around weight, health, and self-worth.
By the time they reach kindergarten, most kids have learned that “fat” is bad. As they get older, kids learn to pursue thinness in order to survive in a world that ties our body size to our value. Multibillion-dollar industries thrive on consumers believing that we don’t want to be fat. Our weight-centric medical system pushes “weight loss” as a prescription, while ignoring social determinants of health and reinforcing negative stereotypes about the motives and morals of people in larger bodies. And parents today, having themselves grown up in the confusion of modern diet culture, worry equally about the risks of our kids caring too much about being “thin” and about what happens if our kids are fat. Sole-Smith shows how the reverberations of this messaging and social pressures on young bodies continue well into adulthood—and what we can do to fight them.
Fat Talk argues for a reclaiming of “fat,” which is not synonymous with “unhealthy,” “inactive,” or “lazy.” Talking to researchers and activists, as well as parents and kids across a broad swath of the country, Sole-Smith lays bare how America’s focus on solving the “childhood obesity epidemic” has perpetuated a second crisis of disordered eating and body hatred for kids of all sizes. She exposes our society’s internalized fatphobia and elucidates how and why we need to stop “preventing obesity” and start supporting kids in the bodies they have.
Continuing conversations started by works like Girls & Sex, Under Pressure, and Essential Labor, Fat Talk is a stirring, deeply researched, and groundbreaking book that will help parents learn to reckon with their own body biases, identify diet culture messaging, and ultimately empower their kids to navigate this challenging landscape. Sole-Smith offers an alternative framework for parenting around food and bodies, and a way for us all to work toward a more weight-inclusive world—because it’s not our kids, or their bodies, who need fixing.
About THE WELLNESS TRAP
A searing critique of modern wellness culture and how it stands in the way of true well-being that "will change the way you think about your health—in all the best ways.” (Casey Gueren)
“It's not a diet, it's a lifestyle.” You've probably heard this phrase from any number of people in the wellness space. But as Christy Harrison reveals in her latest book, wellness culture promotes a standard of health that is often both unattainable and deeply harmful.
Many people with chronic illness understandably feel dismissed or abandoned by the healthcare system and find solace in alternative medicine, as Harrison once did. Yet the wellness industry promotes practices that often cause even more damage than the conventional approaches they’re meant to replace. From the lack of pre-market safety testing on herbal and dietary supplements, to the unfounded claims made by many wellness influencers and functional-medicine providers, to the social-media algorithms driving users down rabbit holes of wellness mis- and disinformation, it can often feel like no one is looking out for us in the face of the $4.4 trillion global wellness industry.
The Wellness Trap delves into the persistent, systemic problems with that industry, offering insight into its troubling pattern of cultural appropriation and its destructive views on mental health, and shedding light on how a growing distrust of conventional medicine has led ordinary people to turn their backs on science. Weaving together history, memoir, reporting, and practical advice, Harrison illuminates the harms of wellness culture while re-imagining our society’s relationship with well-being.
Virginia Sole-Smith is a freelance journalist whose work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Harper’s Magazine, Slate, and Elle. She is the author of The Eating Instinct: Food Culture, Body Image, and Guilt in America and also writes the Burnt Toast newsletter. She lives in New York’s Hudson Valley with her husband, two daughters, a cat, a dog, and way too many houseplants.
Christy Harrison, MPH, RD, is a registered dietitian nutritionist, certified intuitive eating counselor, and journalist who has been covering food, nutrition, and health for more than 20 years. She is the author of two books, The Wellness Trap and Anti-Diet, and the producer and host of the podcasts Rethinking Wellness and Food Psych, which have helped tens of thousands of people around the world think critically about diet and wellness culture and develop more peaceful relationships with food. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, SELF, BuzzFeed, Refinery29, Gourmet, Slate, the Food Network, and many other publications, and her work is regularly featured in national print and broadcast media. Learn more about Christy and her work at christyharrison.com.
Accessibility: This event is hosted on Zoom Webinar, which does have Closed Captioning access. For questions or access requests, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.