Latest Book Reviews

Posted: Oct 29 in Reading List, Weight loss by

As the holidays approach, do you find yourself trying to decide on a good book to read? A trip to the bookstore and you’ll certainly find a slew of new “diet books.”

But which are safe and effective? Which will help you with long-lasting changes that make sense?

To help consumers sort out their choices and make healthy decisions, registered dietitians who are media spokespeople of the American Dietetic Association have reviewed more than two dozen of the latest diet and lifestyle books.

“Some of the titles offer sound nutrition information and can be a resource for eating right,” said ADA spokesperson and registered dietitian Marisa Moore, who is one of the contributing reviewers. “Others contain many of the usual fad diet red flags: promising rapid weight loss, glorifying and vilifying certain nutrients or food groups, featuring nutritionally deficient meal plans or touting complex step or phase programs. And some books are basically new incarnations of popular diets from the past.”

According to Moore, common elements among recent diet books include:

  • Attitudes and emotions. Several of the new diet books focus less on an actual diet plan than to the emotional and behavioral dimensions of weight loss, body image and relationships with food.
  • No animal products. Where vegetarian and vegan titles traditionally have targeted particular audiences, several new diet books aimed at mainstream readers offer plans ranging from total elimination of all animal products to gentler versions of plant-based diets with significant reductions in meat consumption.
  • Beyond the bookstore. Diet and lifestyle book authors and publishers are thinking beyond the bookstore and building entire marketing programs, complete with interactive Web sites where readers can create user accounts and track their progress, in addition to name-brand lines of food products and nutrient supplements.

“No matter what advice you may get from a diet book, it’s important for people to remember no book can deliver the individualized counseling, meal planning and nutrition expertise that lead to healthy and long-lasting weight-loss success,” Moore said. “Your best route to a healthful diet comes from working with a registered dietitian.”

To read the reviews, visit www.eatright.org/dietreviews.

Titles reviewed by registered dietitians from ADA include:

  • The 4 Day Diet (St. Martins Press)
  • The All-New Atkins Advantage: The 12-Week Low-Carb Program to Lose Weight, Achieve Peak Fitness and Health, and Maximize Your Willpower to Reach Life Goals (St. Martin’s Press)
  • The Best Life Diet Cookbook (Simon & Schuster)
  • The Cheat to Lose Diet (Three Rivers Press)
  • Complete Beck Diet for Life (Oxmoor House)
  • The Diet Selector: From Atkins to Zone, More than 50 Ways to Help You Find the Best Diet for You (Running Press)
  • Eat This Not That! for Kids!: Be the Leanest, Fittest Family on the Block! (Rodale)
  • The Engine 2 Diet: The Texas Firefighter’s 28-Day Save-Your-Life Plan that Lowers Cholesterol and Burns Away the Pounds (Wellness Central)
  • Flat Belly Diet (Rodale)
  • The GI Diet Clinic (Workman Publishing Company)
  • Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health (Anchor)
  • The Hot Latin Diet: The Fast Track Plan to a Bombshell Body (Celebra Hardcover)
  • La dieta del Gordo (Grijalbo)
  • Neris and India’s Idiot-Proof Diet: A Weight-Loss Plan for Real Women (Grand Central Publishing)
  • Never Say Diet: Make Five Decisions and Break the Fat Habit for Good (WaterBrook Press)
  • The No Crave Diet: Lose Weight by Conquering Your Cravings (Virgin)
  • Skinny B*tch Bun in the Oven: A Gutsy Guide to Becoming One Hot (and Healthy) Mother! (Running Press)
  • The South Beach Diet Supercharged: Faster Weight Loss and Better Health for Life (Rodale)
  • Thin Is the New Happy (St. Martin’s Press)
  • T.O.’s Finding Fitness: Making the Mind, Body, and Spirit Connection for Total Health (Simon & Schuster
  • Women’s Health Perfect Body Diet (Rodale)
  • Your Big Fat Boyfriend: How to Stay Thin When Dating a Diet Disaster (Quirk Books)

The American Dietetic Association is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. ADA is committed to improving the nation’s health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the American Dietetic Association at www.eatright.org.

-Tracy Boykin, RD

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