Health Scan

'What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets'

"What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets" is organized by one day's calorie intake. (Ten Speed Press)
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Monday, September 27, 2010; 6:48 PM

Who's hungrier than a sumo wrestler? "What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets" (Ten Speed Press, $40)

Husband-wife duo Peter Menzel and Faith D'Aluisio traveled to 30 countries, taking pictures (Menzel) and interviewing people (D'Aluisio) about their diets. The large, glossy, fascinating book is organized by one day's calorie intake: It starts with a cattle herder in Kenya who consumed only 800 calories (cornmeal porridge, mostly) and ends with a London woman who had just kicked a methamphetamine addiction and binged on 12,300 calories worth of food. We find out that a 400-pound sumo wrestler in Japan consumes fewer calories (at least that day) than an 18-year-old student in Venezuela. New York University nutrition professor Marion Nestle writes in the foreword, "The stories in this book illustrate the unwelcome transition from traditional foods to processed junk foods as globalization expands."

- Rachel Saslow



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