Why Women Need Fat (BlogHer Book Club)

I knew as soon as I saw the title, Why Women Need Fat, that this was a book I’d like to read.  While I believe we ALL “need fat”, I was interested to see what the authors had to say with respect to women and our dietary needs.


One of the most interesting parts of this book, in my opinion, didn’t actually answer the title question.  The first section deals with the changes that have emerged in the American diet over the last sixty or so years and the impact these have had on our health.  As one who has definitely grown up in a time when animal fats have been vilified, I was really intrigued by some of the evidence presented here.  Was this all totally new information to me?  No.  But it was organized and clear and, still, compelling.  Also?  No matter how many times I learn about, the connection between government and nutritional guidelines, it always gives me the creeps.  It was much easier when I actually believed everyone had my health and safety in their best interests!


The authors go on to explain the functions of fat in a woman’s body before, during, and after childbirth.  I was happy to learn that my curvy thighs and hips as a teenager were actually just my body doing its job fertility-wise. ;)  All kidding aside, it was interesting to read about fat distribution and functionality.  It would only make sense that our bodies need different things during different phases of life and the book does a good job of explaining it.



The one thing I found distracting throughout the book was the constant reference and comparison to Playmates as some sort of female ideal.  I’m not particularly prudish, but this just made me roll my eyes.  While most of the book seems grounded and practical, this particular obsession with comparing “typical” (and HEALTHY) women with Playmates and finding them inferior was grating.  I also found it a bit of a generalization to suggest that all men find the Playmate form to be ideal.  I don’t take issue with the idea that lots of guys like to look at Playmates… but I think at least part of that may also be the simple fact that they’re, um, naked.  Just saying.  I wonder if I’m the only one who noticed that…


Head on over to the BlogHer Book Club Page where many of us will be discussing this read.  And maybe we’ll see if I’m the only one who rolled her eyes about the Playmates… :)


This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed, as always, are my own.
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2 comments to Why Women Need Fat (BlogHer Book Club)

  • While I suspect my hubby may find a Playmate’s abs ideal he has specifically told me the implants “are gross.” Of course I’m sure not every playmate has implants, but you get the idea.

    • Yeah, I get the idea. :) I should probably clarify that they were specifically referring to the ratio between a Playmate’s waist and hip measurements. Now, as a woman with a tiny waist vs. hip ratio (the apparent “ideal”– though mine are NOT Playmate-worthy!!!), I still find this to be a vast generalization. Perhaps I’m giving men too much credit? :D

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