If life is like a box of chocolates, why have the pleasures of eating become so bittersweet? These days the proffered box of bonbons isn't just an invitation to sample life's unpredictable pleasures; it has become yet another battleground in the struggle between discipline and desire. "No, really, I shouldn't," is the predictable reply—and then you do.
When the snake enticed Eve in the Garden of Eden, the only food she was forbidden to eat was the apple. Today virtually every element of the American diet has become problematic for one reason or another. In the fifties it was sex that inspired feelings of guilt, anxiety, or shame; in the nineties it is food.
We have become a nation obsessed with eating. This preoccupation with food and diet isn't limited to the estimated thirty million Americans who are at risk for hunger and malnutrition, or to the estimated eight million Americans who suffer from anorexia and bulimia. Nor is it restricted to the estimated eighty million Americans who are clinically obese, or the nearly three out of four who are merely overweight. These statistics are merely evidence of an obsession with food so deeply embedded in our culture that it touches nearly every one of us.
This obsession manifests itself in the millions of men and women * who many times a day berate themselves for____________________