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

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.


Dr Suneeta Kochar is a GP in Bexhill, Sussex.