Having read your long post here, Meg, all I can say is that this book doesn't really shed any new information on this subject. I am inclined to believe that the reason why the population of the United States is now at 60% obese has more to do with the fact of our lifestyle choices.
Seven and a half years ago, I moved to Atlanta, Georgia from a small "walk-friendly" Midwestern town. There is a local saying here that "Atlanta is the city where you drive somewhere to go for a walk." My husband and I have found this to be true. When I lived in the aforementioned smaller college town, after our evening meal, we would put our athletic shoes on and go for an evening walk almost every night. It helped us digest our meal, relaxed us after a day at work and helped to put us to sleep. It was easy. We just stepped outside our front door. Within a year of moving here, I can gained 35 lbs and went up one size in clothing. Ditto with my former thin husband.
Although I had been diagnosed with arthritis in 1994, I never had any symptoms (ie, pain, stiffness, lack of mobility) UNTIL I moved here and stopped my regular exercise. Within 4 years, I was even bed ridden for a period of several months; due to the fact that I was inactive. I had no idea that I had kept the more serious complications of my arthritis at bay all of those previous years by doing something as simple as a nightly walk with my partner.
I stopped dieting long ago. However, what I have done is learn to make food choices that support a healthier body. As a result, the weight is coming off slowly but it is coming off. I "discovered" in January 2010 that my morning blood glucose was 174 mg/dl (diabetic is 146 mg/dl and normal is 90 mg/dl). By simply changing my food choices I have had a normal fasting blood glucose for nearly a year and my eye doctor, who was the one who first pointed out to me about the changes in my vision, now claims I have the vision of someone nearly 20 years younger! He was amazed! It goes without saying that you are what you eat
I followed your personal history, Meg, long ago and I do know that you lost over 100 lbs in less than a year. I think that is what everyone here wishes they could do. However, after reading such books as the one you reviewed, and seeing how people here have struggled so much and feel they have gotten so little out of all their efforts; I have recently decided that I would instead focus on having good (if not great) health.
Since the affects of my RA and osteo-arthritis have really thwarted my desire to be as active as I once was, I have learned a more important lesson (for me): health and wellness is not a number on the scale nor a certain physical body image that may or may not conform to societal standards. What is to me today is to have "normal" numbers like blood glucose, blood pressure and blood cholesterol (all of mine are "normal"). The other part is that I am able to be as active as my arthritis will allow me to be. I am being more pro-active about regaining some of the muscle I lost when I moved here and with that strength and flexibility. I do set weight lose goals for myself but I don't "stress out" about not reaching a particular goal at a particular time. I do think that the obsessing that often accompanies weight lose efforts is counter-productive and can even contribute to a lack of overall well being. Will I end up seeing my goal weight? I honestly don't know at this point but, in the meantime, I am learning that optimal health is more subjective than being able to do 100 ab crunches or walking 10,000 steps a day. To me, that is real hope and one I am willing to bank on.