The Art of Overeating: a light-hearted look at Americans’ obsession with food


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Public health officials say obesity costs billions and billions in health care spending. Not funny. But meeting a problem head-on with humor can sometimes help solve it, says Leslie Landis, a psychologist who lives in Malibu and has written ‘The Art of Overeating.’

Her book is a collection of trivia, facts, musings and art on the state of our relationship to food. For example, she writes that the ancient Greeks were the first to chew gum. And if two heads are better than one, surely, ‘two breads are better than one,’ she says. She includes appealing photos of fried chicken, and disturbing ones of bare bellies. And how about this: ‘You will eat the weight of about six full grown elephants during your lifetime.’


Landis says she came to realize how obsessed Americans have become about their diets and collected items for the book over time, she said this afternoon by phone.

She means for everyone to have a good laugh, but she adds: ‘I did not want in any way to make people who are overweight feel uncomfortable.’

Landis will be signing books and talking at the Barnes and Noble at the Grove shopping mall near 3rd Street and Fairfax at 7 p.m. on Nov. 4.

-- Mary MacVean