EP 125: Body Image, Diet Culture, and Food Politics with Marisa Meltzer


In this episode, Kimberly and Marisa Meltzer discuss body image within diet culture and the politics of food. Marisa discusses her latest book, This Is Big: How the Founder of Weight Watchers Changed the World — and Me, which describes her relationship with food, her body, and dieiting. Feminist politics complicate how many women experience body image and dieting; additionally, food is largely cultural which further complicates how women navigate eating, weight, and their bodies within an ever-changing landscape. Kimberly and Marisa both discuss their personal experiences with their bodies and aversions to diet culture.



Marisa Meltzer is a journalist based in NYC. She has written for The New York Times, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, The Guardian, New York Magazine, Vogue, and more. She has authored How Sassy Changed My Life and Girl Power: The Nineties Revolution Music, as well as her latest book This Is Big which discusses her personal relationship with weight, the founder of Weight Watchers, and diet culture.


What They Share 

-Personal experience regarding body image, weight, and diets

-Researching Weight Watchers for This Is Big

-Diet culture and food within U.S. versus other countries

-Feminist conflicts with diets and weight


What You’ll Hear

-Marisa was put on a diet at age 4

-Familial relationships with one’s body and food

-Experience while writing latest book This Is Big

-COVID-19 pandemic influencing our relationship with weight and food

-Researching Founder of Weight Watchers

-Experience with Weight Watchers

-Kimberly describes experience with weight

-Feminism influencing weight politics

-“Fat” as a descriptor not value judgment

-Food in community vs. food individually

-Excess of choice in food, diets, and lifestyles

-Compulsive eating behavior versus normal eating

-Impulses, needs, desires, and satiation

-Cultural approaches to food

-Approach to food as rebellious act

-Relationship with parents after latest book



Website: https://www.marisameltzer.com/

IG: @marisameltzer

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