Tuesday, May 26, 2009

David & Fiona Haslam's "Fat, Gluttony and Sloth"

David Haslam is a medical doctor and clinical director of the National Obesity Forum. He is also visiting lecturer at Chester University and a visiting fellow at the postgraduate medical school of Herts & Beds. Fiona Haslam has written numerous articles on medicine and art and is the author of From Hogarth to Rowlandson: Medicine in Art in Eighteenth-Century Britain.

They applied the “Page 99 Test” to their new book, Fat, Gluttony and Sloth: Obesity in Literature, Art and Medicine, and reported the following:
Anyone waging a personal battle against obesity can rest assured that millions of others have trodden the same weary path over many centuries,and most have failed. This book documents the successes and heroic failures as far back as 30,000 years. Physical activity is possibly the most daunting aspect of any weight loss regime, and also the most challenging chapter to interest the reader in its history. Cardan, the ancient physician declared that trees have the answer, because they live for up to a thousand years by being totally inactive and immobile, therefore so should humans, if they want to achieve a similar span. Activity should be frowned upon; just ask any tree. Page 99 is a necessary lull between the high octane essays on diet and drugs. Read page 99 for an interesting perspective on the views of ancient commentators on activity, but read on to discover how strychnine, arsenic and mercury cured obesity, how circus 'fat ladies' are even more sexually alluring than 'male dwarves', and about a '250 lb man eating chicken'!
Read more about Fat, Gluttony and Sloth at the University of Chicago Press website.

--Marshal Zeringue