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Jane Rachel Kaplan, Ph.D., MPH

902 Curtis St.
Albany CA, 94707


Our Library



    Our library covers a broad range of topics related to eating disorders, food, eating, weight management and body image. No one book can cover all points of view and each book recommended here speaks to a different aspect of food and eating. Some books will help some readers and not others. Parts of a book may be useful and others parts not.

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    Wonderful books about kids and food

How to Get Your Kid to Eat but Not Too Much by Ellyn Satter is a practical and warm guide to kids and food. Ellyn Satter is my hero in the area of kids and food. I find her books very well-written and useful. She is both a nutritionist and a family therapist and her combined perspective shines as she guides parents in understanding what kids ideally should eat and also how to deal with kids and their issues with food. It covers weight and size issues in a positive and enlightening way. This book is geared towards the parents of school-age children.

    Child of Mine: Feeding with Love and Good Sense, also by Ellyn Satter, is geared towards parents of younger children, from birth to five. It provides basic information on what babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers need from a nutritional standpoint and how they feel about and experience food. It gives lots of ideas about how to interact with your young child in a healthy way around food and body and provides advice about weight and size issues.

    Ellyn Satter has done such a good job with both these books, I can't recommend them highly enough. These books are great reading for parents and non-parents alike.

    For parents, educators, and all of us, about children, teens, and weight

    Afraid to Eat: Children and Teens in Weight Crisis by Francie Berg, brings a comprehensive perspective to the issue of children, teens and weight in our society. She covers describes the four weight problems; dysfunctional eating, eating disorders, size prejudice, and overweight and discusses an integrated approach for dealing with them. See what children and teens are really up against in their schools and communities and learn what can be done to foster a healthy relationship to food and body in our complex society. Finally, someone has tackled this complex problem on a social level and brought us solid ideas for change. This is a must-read for educators who have influence over programs and planning for children and teens and for parents who want to better understand overweight or eating-disordered children.

    Food, Eating and Body-Image

    When You Eat the Refrigerator, Pull Up a Chair: 50 Ways to Get Thin, Gorgeous, and Happy When You Feel Anything But by Geneen Roth and Anne Lamott is a warm reflection piece about the meaning of food and eating. It offers many encouragements to look beyond food for other sources of nourishment and to like and forgive yourself.

    Breaking Free from Compulsive Eating Geneen Roth's classic describes her own inner journey to give up diets and find her own way to enjoy and feel free with food. When people we know read this book, they relate deeply to Geneen's struggles and feel her pain and joy. For some, just reading it breaks down inner barriers to change.

    *Note: Geneen Roth's books reflect a strong anti-diet approach which implies lack of external structure in eating. This can be very useful for some people but is often less useful for those with severe eating disorders. Even if you do not subscribe to an anti-diet approach, these books have a lot to teach about using food in a healthy way.

    Full Lives: Women Who Have Freed Themselves from Food & Weight Obsession by Lindsey Hall, is a good meal. The book is a series of stories of the journeys to recovery and experiences of recovery of Lindsay and many other women, some of whom are leaders in the area of body acceptance and recovery from eating problems such as Jane Hirschmann, Geneen Roth, and Susan Kano. Allow yourself to get to know these interesting women who made the journey to recovery and here tell the tale.

    Transforming Body Image by Marcia Germaine Hutchinson is a beautiful and classic book about how to go about the arduous task of liking your body. For so many of us, body hate has seemed necessary, even essential-"If I don't hate my body, then I'll just eat and eat and I'll be as big as a house." In truth, body hate is only essential in lowering self-esteem.

    This is a gentle book backed by the strong and poignant story of Marcia's own struggles to like her body which was put on diets since childhood. For me, this book is the pure form, it's about a deep and true body acceptance. Even if you feel that body acceptance is a million miles away from where you are, this book can inspire you.

    Outsmarting the Midlife Fat Cell: Winning Weight Control Strategies for Women Over 35 to Stay Fit Through Menopauseis Debra Waterhouse's tour de force on food, eating, exercise and menopause. This book has lots of biochemical information which I liked because I could really understand what's happening to my body and what I can do to help myself be healthy. The book is nicely balanced between ideas for healthy eating and permission to tune in and follow your body's needs. I think it is incredibly useful for women before, during and after menopause.

    Outsmarting the Female Fat Cell: The First Weight Control Program Designed Specifically for Women, also by Debra Waterhouse, teaches us about the physiology of our bodies in a very easy-to-understand way. It is really weight control from the inside out. Once we understand how our female bodies operate, then we can see why Debra recommends an approach which honors our bodies many needs and its need for frequent meals and also encourages us to tune to and give our bodies what they need instead of fighting them. The fat cell has many secrets to tell us and Debra tells them in an understandable, friendly and useful way.

    The Diet-Free Solution: 6 Winning Ways to Permanent Weight Loss (in hardcover, this book is called simply The Solution). Laurel Mellin has given us a gem with emphasis on finding the internal, nurturant, limit-setting voice within which is crucial to success with weight management. I like this book so much because it is very much about food and eating and at the same time, it is very psychological. In fact, it is among the best synthesis of psychological and nutritional concepts I have ever seen. Also, the book is dense. It's not just a few principals which you could read about in half an hour. Though its major points are clearly and simply explained, there are a lot of in-depth ideas and exercises, so that you can keep getting more out of this book as the months go on.

    Books For Professionals

    Feminist Perspectives on Eating Disorders,edited by Patricia Fallon, Melanie Katzman and Susan Wooley, is an edition of articles about bringing a feminist understanding to working with women with eating disorders. It is a book with a lot of information and a lot of heart. Articles range from the historical context for the obsession with thinness to explorations of gender and body. The section on treatment issues is tremendously powerful, with articles on sexual abuse and eating disorders, use of medication, and a feminist re-envisioning of the 12-Step program for overeaters. Susan Wooley's article, "The Female Therapist as Outlaw," is one of the best articles I've ever read on the guts of treatment. I was crying by the end. Articles on race and class as well as on prevention of eating disorders are very informative.

    A Woman's Conflict: The Special Relationship Between Women and Food is an anthology I edited in 1980. It has some wonderful and classic articles including a piece by Hilde Bruch, M.D., the grandmother of the field of eating disorders, a piece by Susan and Wayne Wooley and Sue Dyrenforth on body image and weight control. There is a wonderful article by Chris Downing on the goddesses and food and a soulful article by Marva Styles on black woman and food. Also included are articles on sociological and anthropological perspectives on women and food.


Copyright 1997-2018 Jane Rachel Kaplan, Ph.D. All rights reserved.

Dr. Jane Kaplan Ph.D., Psychologist Provides Eating Disorders Therapy in the SF East Bay area, near Berkeley, Albany. Weight Management Coaching, Psychology of Nutrition and Healthy Eating Counseling, Individual, Group and Family Therapy for Anxiety and Depression.