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Our not so healthy obsession with health and happiness

Cass Business School hosts book launch event for The Wellness Syndrome

Obsessed with your health? Constantly monitoring apps charting your well-being? You could be suffering from the 'wellness syndrome'.

In a new book, co-authors Andre Spicer, of Cass Business School, and Carl Cederström, of Stockholm University, use the term to describe how our growing fixation with boosting health and well-being is actually making people unhappier.

The release of the book, titled 'The Wellness Syndrome', was celebrated with an event at Cass Business School.

The authors opened the event with an introduction to the theory behind the wellness syndrome, and its role in contemporary society.

"Today people are constantly faced with the pressure to maximise their own well-being," said Professor Andre Spicer. "Though it has directed our attention to some of the more harmful aspects of contemporary lifestyles, like over-eating and smoking, there are also some serious but often overlooked downsides of our fanatical attachment to wellness."

"The pressure to ensure your health can often backfire and actually undermine people's sense of wellbeing. People who are judged not to be maximising their own well-being are considered to be bad people or to have some kind of moral flaw. Overweight people, for instance, are routinely judged as having other negative characteristics like laziness. As a result new kinds of discrimination based on health and wellbeing are starting to open up."

The panellists were Andy Martin, journalist and author, Steven Poole, columnist for the New Statesman and Guardian and author of You Aren't What You Eat, and Christina Bølling, Health Editor at leading Danish women's magazine, ALT for Damerne.

For more information about the book, visit The Wellness Syndrome website.

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