Like a true dietetics nerd I’ve been reading some of the most influential and popular dieting books including: Michael Pollan’s ‘In Defence of Food’ and Rosemary Stanton’s ‘The Diet Dilemma’. I was happy to find surprisingly little repetition between the two titles. I’ll share my brief thoughts on them…
“In Defence of Food” by Michael Pollen starts with the line‘Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.’
While the words at the start of Pollen’s book may not be 100% accurate, omitting some complexities of the modern healthy diet, they are generally correct. For instance where to healthy fats fit in, such as Fish, Eggs, and dairy?
Other than that, Pollen puts a good case forward. He writes so convincingly, with evidence to back his every word, that it was difficult to approach the book critically. I enjoyed the read, even being an almost-dietitian. I think story-telling is important with any book, and maybe even more so with titles that interact with the reader in this way. Books that ask the reader to do something need to be engaging and this one was.
Rosemary Stanton’s ‘The Diet Dilemma’.
This book seems to have one purpose; to educate. This is the reason that I didn’t finish the book and was uninterested most of the time. I suspect that I’m clearly not the target audience which is why I’ve had such a strong reaction! I can see someone who is either preparing to attend, or who has just attended a dietitian consultation to be the target. The book serves as a crash-course in dieting and all the problems that dieters face. But it’s presented in a way that would be interesting if you had been living under a rock, or have had no reason to diet ever.
While this book is very good, I dislike the writing style and for me it lacks narrative.
One last point. Books such as these can be great tools, but nothing more. They can put your fears at ease before meeting a dietitian or help you stay on track, but ultimately they are flawed. Often intensive one-on-one help is needed to make the enormous life changes described in these books.
Until next time
Please remember that I’m a dietetics STUDENT, so none of my opinions should be trusted! PLEASE consult an Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD) or your GP before applying anything discussed in this blog to your diet or exercise regime