Still, I enjoyed reading Jane Brody's surprisingly upbeat summary of the field this December.
But I’m happy to say that there has been a tremendous improvement in recent years in the crop of weight loss guides. Most have been written by research scientists who avoid gimmicks and boring, overly restrictive or quick weight-loss schemes that are bound to fail. Instead, their recommendations are based on sound studies and clinical trials that have yielded a better understanding of what prompts us to eat more calories than we need and, in particular, more calories from the wrong kinds of foods.Among the books Brody favors are: The Volumetrics Eating Plan, by Barbara Rolls; Ending the Food Fight (Guide Your Child to a Healthy Weight in a Fast Food / Fake Food World), by David Ludwig; and The Instinct Diet, by my faculty colleague Sue Roberts. If U.S. food policy were designed by Sue, I can tell you the food system would be a different place (!), with a pricing structure that favored fruits and vegetables across the board and many other changes as well.