Forget Atkins and think Plato, Sunderland academic tells dieters

Dr Peter Hayes form Sunderland University who has written a book called 'The Philosophy of Dieting'
Dr Peter Hayes form Sunderland University who has written a book called 'The Philosophy of Dieting'
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SWAP the F-plan for philosophy.

That is the advice from a Sunderland academic to Wearsiders looking for the best way to lose weight.

Dr Peter Hayes says dieters should ditch the traditional methods of shedding pounds.

Instead, they should look to philosophy for practical advice on shrinking their waistlines.

The senior lecturer in politics at Sunderland University examines the UK’s obesity issue and how to tackle it in his new book, The Philosophy of Dieting: Look Great with the Help of Philosophers from Plato to Camus.

“For far too long we have been taking advice on how to diet from doctors and nutritionists,” he said.

“Their advice has, frankly, been useless, and now we are in the midst of an obesity epidemic.

“If we are going to get a grip on this crisis and lose weight, we need a completely different approach, one that is inspired by philosophers like Plato, Hobbes and Locke.”

“A lot of the book is about philosophers and I have pulled out their advice on how to lose weight.”

He said he best diet will depend on the individual’s own philosophy.

“My own personal choice is from one of the founders of modern philosophy, John Locke,” he said.

“Locke’s diet is simple, easy and cheap to follow.

“This diet is linked to a surprisingly sophisticated understanding of the workings of our metabolism.”

In his book, Dr Hayes also looks at the works of major philosophers such as Bergson, who based his diet on laughter.

But one of the main features is Plato and his “erotically charged love diet”, where the love of food is not given such a priority in life as relationships, love and goodness – ultimately leading to slimmer and happier selves.

The book was launched at The People’s Bookshop, in Durham City, and is also available online from Amazon.

Twitter: @sunderlandecho