December 3, 2009: Blog On Books

The Art Of Overeating: A Bellyful Of Laughs About Our Food-Phobic Culture by Leslie Landis, MFT

Despite past resolutions, ’tis again the season for overeating. There are many books that propose to deter us from the vice, but not many that roast the topic with glee. In The Art Of Overeating, author Leslie Landis goes that route, suggesting that people eat everything they order so as to save the environment the landfills will thank them. That’s one of the many pointers in her “reasonable person’s anti-diet bible,” which has smart and creative visuals to match Landis’ offbeat gustatory humor.

Landis points out that what she calls the “food police” only succeed at taking the fun out of something we’re supposed to enjoy, and they don’t solve the problem. A licensed MFT, she says she’s learned in her practice that using humor as a tool can be much more effective than nagging. Readers will definitely see themselves in her funhouse mirror.

The book’s “expert” advice also takes the form of food facts. When we heard Landis being interviewed on the Bill Handel radio show, we learned that each of us can expect to eat the weight of six full-grown elephants in our lifetime. It would be interesting to know how much of that gain happens every December.

Her advice for parties, which abound this month, suggests that it might be quite a bit -”Always stand by the kitchen door so you can grab the whole tray of hors d’oeuvres before the server gets to the other guests.” Strategic advice for any occasion from a book that takes a refreshing look at our complicated relationship with food.