|16th Century painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo|
Arcimboldo's unconventional, amusing portraits composed of fruits and vegetables have been attributed to mental illness, but they are most likely a reflection of the abundance of the times and the luxury to enjoy food and art.
Today, although we are less literal when the phrase "you are what you eat" enters the conversation, nutritionists would probably still love the painting. In 1942,Victor Lindlahr first publicized the phrase with his radio show and book, You Are What You Eat: how to win and keep health with diet. Adele Davis made it her slogan in the 1960's, and today we think of it, or should when we step on the scale and are unhappy.
The image of how we enjoy food has changed. But no artist would produce a portrait adorned with fatty foods, fast foods and junk foods because it's too hard to look at ourselves that way. However this map of obesity in the US confirms that that is our image. Changing our eating behaviors should become performance art for any adult, not an athlete, that has a BMI of 25+.
It doesn't take very much imagination to see that obesity is not a pretty picture.
Article first published as You Are What You Eat - Changing Your Image on Technorati.