Review: ‘This Is Big,’ by Marisa Meltzer

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“This Is Big” by Marisa Meltzer; Little, Brown (304 pages, $28)


How do you feel about people who kvetch about money and then spend $900 on a sweater? Marisa Meltzer is a deft, amusing memoirist, but she lacks self-reflection in “This Is Big: How the Founder of Weight Watchers Changed the World (and Me),” when she doesn’t pause to, for instance, consider the privileged position she’s in as a person who’s about 40 and still gets her parents to pay for spa weekends.

As a result, although her depiction of her battle with body issues is complicated and provocative, the “(and Me)” half of Meltzer’s book is unsatisfying. But the other half, a biography of Weight Watchers founder Jean Nidetch, is chatty and illuminates both Nidetch’s more-complex-than-she-revealed relationship to her weight and her enormous impact on what could be called the Industrial Weight Loss Complex.


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