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Why Fast?

The Pros and Cons of Restrictive Eating

A sober engagement with the diverse meanings of intermittent fasting in human culture.
Fasting from food is a controversial, dangerous, and yet utterly normal human practice. In Why Fast?, Christine Baumgarthuber engages our fascination with restrictive eating in cultural history. If fasting offers few health benefits, why do people fast? Why have we always fasted? Does fasting speak to something deep and immutable within us? Why are our bodies so well adapted to intermittent fasting? And, what might this ancient, ascetic ritual offer us today? Thoughtful and considered, Why Fast? is a sober reconsideration of a contentious practice.

184 pages | 4 3/4 x 7 3/4

Food Controversies

Food and Gastronomy


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Table of Contents

1 A Hunger for More: Fasting and Its Purposes from Antiquity to the Present
2 Food for Thought: Fasting Throughout the Ages
3 The Physician Within: Fasting for Health
4 Seeing Less of You: The Promise of Fasting for Weight Loss
5 The Wages of Thin: The Dangers of Fasting for Weight Loss
EPILOGUE Of Apps and Appetite: The Future of Fasting

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