French Women Don't Get Fat. The Secret of Eating for Pleasures
By Mireille Guiliano. A Borzoi Book Published by Alfred E. Knopf 2005 ($30)

Pros: We were all charmed by the book, and for the most part found it a delightful read. Giuliano clearly loves food and shares her friendly advice for pleasurable eating that includes treating every meal as something special, choosing the ‘right’ foods and wine, and creating an enjoyable ambiance. Her positive approach to weight management offers a wake-up call from obsessive calorie counting, physical exertion and self denial. Guiliano candidly shares her success for long term weight control and recommends sensible lifestyle strategies that include portion control and regular walking. There is a seasonality and simplicity in her recipes that made us want to try them.

Cons: Although at first the book was fun to read, it became repetitive and tiresome with generalizations about French women, and with time started to take on an elitist tone. Our biggest concerns however, were the inaccuracies in nutrition science and the hearsay evidence that contradicted scientific consensus. The references to detox foods, chemical weapon foods, and wonder-foods undermined the credibility of the book to the point where we can NOT recommend it to clients without adding a long list of corrections.The

Final Word: Although the book is charming and offers many good lifestyle tips, the nutritional inaccuracies we found prevent us from to recommending it as a resource for nutritional guidance on weight loss. This is one person’s success story not a well researched program for weight management. There are so many good nutrition books out there that reading one with more scientific merit would be a better investment of your time. Stay tuned for more of our book reviews on this topic.

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