The Food Fight: Truth, Myth and the Food-Health Connection


359 pages
Contains Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-394-22074-9
DDC 613.2




Reviewed by Susan Free

Susan Free is a movement analyst, teacher, and freelance writer in


The Food Fight looks at the way food has been linked to good health
through history, and describes historical precedents of the current
health-food movement. The editor of Eating Well magazine, Scott Mowbray,
has written a critical social history that reflects his concern that
much of health-food rhetoric is ideological and antiscientific. Mowbray
seeks to demonstrate how the public’s beliefs about food are often at
odds with what is actually known. He believes that the public’s
thinking about sugar, bread, vitamins, food regimens, and other issues
has been consistently uncritical and self-righteously moralistic. For
instance, he points to the way white sugar has been called “white
death” in the popular health press, and to the inflated, even
romanticized, status of unrefined foods.

This book presents itself as an antidote to all the unscientific
health-food books currently on the market. Certainly Mowbray raises
interesting questions about the credibility of health-food theories.
However, the book would have been more effective if it had summarized
more of the current medical research on the topics discussed, so as to
set the record straight. Perhaps, too, Mowbray could have acknowledged
that much of what is considered scientific knowledge today started out
as offbeat theories.


Mowbray, Scott., “The Food Fight: Truth, Myth and the Food-Health Connection,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 16, 2024,