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Book review: The Wellness Syndrome by Carl Cederström and André Spicer

This examination of how society views ‘wellness’ is an insightful and surprisingly entertaining read, says Dr Suneeta Kochar

This surprisingly entertaining read focuses on how ‘wellness’ has become an ideology. It discusses how we are now part of a culture in which those who don’t look after their bodies are seen as lazy and weak-willed individuals.

The authors highlight that people who do not contribute to their own wellbeing may be seen as a threat to society as only healthy bodies are deemed to be productive bodies in the current collective mindset.

They go on to describe how ‘wellness’ is not just considered a lifestyle choice but a moral obligation, which is referred to as biomorality.

In one chapter on the individual’s quest to achieve ‘wellness’, obsessive self-tracking is described.

The text suggests that as a society we have lost our faith in politicians and instead placed it in celebrity chefs, such as Jamie Oliver - a phenomenon the authors amusingly describe as ‘how foccacia saved Britain’.

Although it presents a somewhat depressing outlook, The Wellness Syndrome is an ultimately insightful and funny read.

8/10

Dr Suneeta Kochar is a GP in Bexhill, Sussex.

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