1st Edition

Diets and Dieting
A Cultural Encyclopedia

ISBN 9780415801935
Published May 20, 2009 by Routledge
320 Pages

USD $68.95

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Book Description

Diets and dieting have concerned—and sometimes obsessed—human societies for centuries. The dieters' regime is about many things, among them the control of weight and the body, the politics of beauty, discipline and even self-harm, personal and societal demands for improved health, spiritual harmony with the universe, and ethical codes of existence. An A to Z encyclopedia, this innovative reference work spans many periods and cultures as the acclaimed cultural and medical historian Sander Gilman lays out the history of diets and dieting in a fascinating series of articles.

This volume is a reference tool presenting the historical, popular, and scientific context for diets and dieting from the ancient world to the present. The entries range from biography to large survey essays, which cover the historical and cultural context as well as the practice of dieting. The entries are truly international in scope, and present the context for contemporary dieting culture and celebrity within the longer historical view and across cultures.

Sample entries include:



Robert Atkins

Bariatric Surgery




China Today

Fast Food

Fat Positive



Greek Medicine

John Harvey Kellogg

Medieval Diets

Paleolithic Diets



Table of Contents

List of Entries. 


Entries A-Z. 



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Sander Gilman is Distinguished Professor of the Liberal Arts and Sciences at Emory University. A cultural and literary historian, he is author and editor of more then seventy books including Multiculturalism and the Jews, The Jew’s Body and Franz Kafka, The Jewish Patient, all published by Routledge.




"[A]n excellent cultural history of diets and dieting.... Concise and informative, it will make a nice addition to public or small academic libraries.’— Library Journal

"Diets and Dieting is a wealth of information … unique, comprehensive, informed, informative, ‘user friendly,’ and very highly recommended …."—The Midwest Book Review