It is one thing to criticize writing style and modes of expression. However, your review of Wasted was dismissive, condescending and spoke of a basic ignorance of eating disorders. The suggestion that a person would purposefully bring his or her self to the brink of death just for the attention is demeaning and disrespectful. Very rarely does one engage in self-destructive behavior for the sole purpose of punishing or manipulating family members.

As for your self-satisfied observation that you are concerned with "greater issues" (i.e., that you are a humanitarian concerned with the plight of the world) I recommend that you review the statistics on eating disorders and the fatality rates. Anorexia and Bulimia are diseases, not tantrums or teenage rebellion and merit the concern and activism given to other issues of import.

Regarding your observation that over-indulgence might be responsible for eating disorders --- consider these facts:

  • many eating disorder victims are victims of emotional, physical and/or sexual abuse --- and are hardly over-indulged, spoiled or pampered;
  • many victims come from over-demanding, unresponsive, and unloving homes;
  • many victims are expected by their families to live up to unreasonably high standards of achievement and are punished by a variety of psychological and physical means;
  • many victims are deeply unhappy and/or clinically depressed (another disease) and are unable to control what you might deem to be childish or self-indulgent feelings;
  • weight is not the real issue --- it is an attempt to cope with unbearable aspects of the victim's life;
  • many victims suffer from enormous guilt because they do not have "real problems" or because they think they are indulging themselves --- but in fact are in denial that they suffer from a disease;
  • victims do not choose to be ill any more than any other sick person chooses to be ill, nor would they recommend their lifestyle to others, nor are they happy to be ill.

Would you accuse someone with heart disease of purposefully mistreating themselves and their bodies over the years by consuming high cholesterol/fat foods, smoking or failing to exercise in order to punish and manipulate their families, causing the families to worry incessantly about the patient's health and ring up high costs for medical care?

Would you call a cancer victim a "tyrant"?

Is the solution to anorexia and bulimia really as plain as the nose on one's face or "the plate on her table?" Are you suggesting that eating disordered victims would be cured if only they would just cut it out and eat something and keep it down?

Perhaps you should submit your theory to JAMA for review --- if only psychiatrists and other medical professionals knew how simple it is to end all that suffering, you could actually make a difference in the world, rather than self-importantly trumpeting your enlightened and advanced social consciousness through a literary review.

One should think carefully about what one is espousing and place a premium on knowledge of subject matter over attempts at wit and clever turns of phrase.


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