Part of a series of highly entertaining books on the history of sinning. Eating too much is one of the Western world's greatest problems, but relatively few people would consider it a crime against God. Yet even as gluttony has ceased to be an evil, food and dieting have become a cultural obsessions, with millions of pounds expended on mortifying the flesh with punishing diet and exercise regimes. This brief history of gluttony traces the changing cultural attitudes towards food and pleasure, scarcity and abundance. It reveals how notions of saintliness and purity have helped form modern views of enjoyment, self-mortification, and ultimately nutrition. Restaurant-goers and readers of gourmet magazines rationalize their pursuit of too much food in many ways, but does a slight tinge of guilt makes your meal taste that much better? This book provides the answer, thoroughly exploring humankind's attempts to quell its chief survival strategy - eating.