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WHAT’S EATING US: Women, Food, and the Epidemic of Body Anxiety
by Cole Kazdin

WHAT’S EATING US: Women, Food, and the Epidemic of Body Anxiety by Cole Kazdin

Blending personal narrative and investigative reporting, Emmy-award winning journalist Cole Kazdin elevates the conversation around disordered eating, moving far beyond “diets don’t work” and unsatisfying messages of self-acceptance to reveal an epidemic crisis that is killing millions of women

(St. Martin’s Essentials, March 2023)

Women of all ages struggle with disordered eating, preoccupation with food, and body anxiety. Journalist Cole Kazdin was one such woman, and she set out to see if the impossibility of her own full recovery from an eating disorder was all in her head. Interviewing women across the country as well as the world’s most renowned researchers, she discovered that most people with eating disorders never receive treatment—the fact that she did made her one of the lucky ones.

Kazdin takes us to the doorstep of the diet industry and research community, exposing the flawed systems that claim to be helping us, and revealing disordered eating for the crisis that it is: a mental illness with the second highest mortality rate (after opioid-related deaths) that no one wants to talk about. Along the way, she identifies new treatments not yet available to the general public, grass roots movements to correct racial disparities in care, and strategies for navigating true health while still living in a dysfunctional world.

What would it feel like to be free? To feel gorgeous in your body, not ruminate about food, feel ease at meals, exercise with no regard for calories-burned? To never making a disparaging comment about your body again, even silently to yourself. Who can help us with this? We can.

What’s Eating Us is an urgent battle cry coupled with stories and strategies about what works and how to finally heal—for real.

COLE KAZDIN is a writer and four-time Emmy Award winning television journalist. A regular contributor to VICE, her work has also been featured in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Magazine, The Daily Beast, Cosmopolitan, NPR, and more. Cole is a graduate of Northwestern University and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She lives in Los Angeles.

Early Praise for What’s Eating Us:

“Kazdin courageously practices radical honesty in sharing her experience with an eating disorder. Honesty does to eating disorders what water did to the Wicked Witch of the West––it melts them. Otherwise they terrorize you and hold you hostage. Eating disorders are messy. Fessing up to that mess is the first step in putting the pieces back together.”––Cynthia Bulik, Distinguished Professor of Eating Disorders, University of North Carolina

“What’s Eating Us takes seriously the lethality of eating disorders, a fact that is distressingly absent from most of the discourse on the subject. With disarming honesty and sparkling wit, Kazdin shares her own history with disordered eating, setting it alongside the experience of women she interviewed across the country. What the stories collectively demonstrate is that while the billion dollar diet industry will never have our backs, there is hope in new treatments and in stories like Kazdin’s. What'\’s Eating Us is a vital contribution to the literature on disordered eating, and a must-read for anyone hungry for real data and hard-boiled hope on the subject of eating, diets, and wellness.”––Christie Tate, New York Times bestselling author of Group

“You think you know everything about dieting and food disorders and then this book comes along! The picture Kazdin paints is shocking. If you think this does not apply to you, you should know that ninety percent of women in America are dissatisfied with their bodies. In fact, this dissatisfaction is so prevalent scientists have called it “normative discontent”. So, there is a ninety percent chance the information in this book applies to you. You will find that diets don’t work––they are designed to fail and then the companies have repeat customers. Kazdin explores why huge amounts of government and private money goes into the “obesity epidemic”, but hardly any goes into eating disorders. This is a lively and informative book.”––Catherine Gildiner, author of Good Morning Monster