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This is Big : How the Founder of Weight Watchers Changed the World (and Me)

Meltzer, Marisa
Format: Hardback
Publisher: Vintage Publishing (Chatto & Windus)
Published: May 7, 2020
ISBN: 9781784742393
304 pages

£14.99

A life-changing book’ Viv Groskop

Marisa Meltzer was put on her first diet aged five: it was the beginning of a fraught relationship with food. Jean Nidetch was a housewife from Queens who defiantly lost 70 pounds after she was mistaken for being pregnant. Taking everything she learned from this experience, in 1963 she founded Weight Watchers, a company that has shaped decades of diet culture.

When Marisa reads Jean’s obituary, she feels a moment of intense connection. Curious about the woman and her legacy, she signs up for a year of Weight Watchers; counting points, weighing in and listening to her fellow members struggle with their bodies. This is Big is a biography of an idiosyncratic entrepreneur whose impact is still felt strongly today.

It is a history of dieting and body politics for anyone who has agonised over their weight or defiantly tried not to do so. And it is Marisa’s funny and thoughtful journey towards a different way to live in the world. ‘This is the anti-diet book I’ve been waiting for’ Daisy Buchanan

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