Challenging Obesity: The science behind the issues by Heather McLannahan

Challenging Obesity: The science behind the issues

EditorHeather McLannahan, Pete Clifton

Paperback | April 10, 2008

not yet rated|write a review

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 380 plum® points

Ships within 1-3 weeks

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


Food is one of the great pleasures of life. For many, more especially in the developed world, overindulgence and a less active lifestyle have generated the so-called epidemic of obesity. Despite this, many societies place great emphasis on a perfect, slim body shape and may discriminateagainst those who are overweight. There are strong individual differences in body weight, and hardly a month goes by without the announcement of yet another gene 'for' obesity, with discussion of the implications for those who hope to reduce their body weight. How should individuals and governmentsrespond to the different challenges of obesity?The book takes a multidisciplinary approach, beginning with a broad overview of issues, then moving to an examination of the biological and psychological aspects of eating behaviour and exercise, and their implications for overall energy balance. These early chapters include a description of humannutrition and physiology, particularly in relation to adipose tissue, and an examination of the way in which brain receives information from the rest of the body about likely energy needs. One of the most important questions about obesity is why some individuals are so much heavier than others. Herethe book looks at the contributions from genetics, development, and influences from the social environment - and the complex way in which these may interact.Obesity increases the risk of ill health. Later chapters examine the diseases that are associated with obesity, the discrimination experienced and its effect on socio-economic status and psychological wellbeing. Obesity is often associated with recurrent efforts to lose weight. We discuss thedifferent strategies that individuals may use to lose weight, from diet and exercise through to more medically oriented options including surgery and drug treatment. None of these methods has a good record of success and may also incur harmful side effects; these problems are addressed, togetherwith the research that might overcome them. The book concludes by examining how governments, and others, might develop policies that respond to the challenge of overcoming the obesity epidemic.

About The Author

Heather McLannahan is a Senior Lecturer in Health Studies at The Open University. She followed her postgraduate studies at Oxford with a Lectureship at Liverpool University and then worked on sea-bird behaviour, including feeding behaviour, at the Institute of Terrestrial Ecology in Norwich and gave undergraduate lectures at UEA until...

Details & Specs

Title:Challenging Obesity: The science behind the issuesFormat:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 10.35 × 8.27 × 0.67 inPublished:April 10, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199563373

ISBN - 13:9780199563371

Look for similar items by category:

Customer Reviews of Challenging Obesity: The science behind the issues


Extra Content

Table of Contents

1. A Global ChallengeIntroductionWhat is obesity?Measuring obesityThe relationships between obesity and ill healthThe economic cost of obesityWho is most likely to become obese?Why have so many people become overweight and obese?Summary of Chapter 12. Energy: Intake and NeedsIntroductionEnergy intakeWhat is a balanced diet?The chemical nature of macronutrientsMeasuring energy intakeReleasing energy from foodEnergy expenditureControlling weightSummary of Chapter 23. Food: Digestion and AbsorptionIntroductionThe digestive systemThe fate of food as it passes along the gutAbsorption and distribution of fuel moleculesSummary of Chapter 34. Metabolism: The Body's Internal Balancing ActIntroductionMetabolism, homeostasis and a healthy balanceInsulin and the regulation of blood glucose levelsCreating an energy reserve: longer-term storage and use of lipidsInsulin resistanceRoles of adipose tissueConsolidationSummary of Chapter 45. Brain and BehaviourIntroductionThe 'eating' brain: a quick introductionHungerSatietyBrain mechanisms and feeding behaviourSummary of Chapter 56. Individual Differences: Genes and EnvironmentIntroductionGenes and obesityEnvironment and obesityGene-environment interactions and obesityFactors affecting childhood obesityPregnancyEpilogueSummary of Chapter 67. The Consequences of ObesityIntroductionThe medical consequences of obesityPsychosocial consequences of obesitySummary of Chapter 78. Treating Obesity: Diet, Exercise and LifestyleIntroductionEnergy balance revisitedReducing energy intake: 'going on a diet'Exercise as a treatment strategy for obesityCombining exercise and dietLifestyle and body weightChildhood obesitySummary of Chapter 89. Treating Obesity: Drugs and SurgeryIntroductionDrug treatments for obesitySurgical treatment of obesitySummary of Chapter 910. Challenging Obesity: The FutureIntroductionThe obesogenic environmentObesity and governmentEvaluating policies to reduce the incidence of obesityCombating obesity: what policies would be effective?ConclusionSummary of Chapter 10Answers and CommentsReferences and Further Reading

Editorial Reviews

"Challenging Obesity is a well-written, comprehensive book dealing with an important public health issue. The authors provide a scientific perspective on obesity, addressing a number of different aspects of the topic. This book is a valuable and important resource for those studying,researching and teaching in the area of nutrition and public health. Of value to those studying the topic of obesity in particular, are the clear definitions, detailed summaries and self assessment questions. I would recommend this book to my students studying on our Energy Regulation and Obesitymodule. Although this book is primarily aimed at those studying the health sciences, individuals with a general interest in health and nutrition will also benefit from this book." --Dr Helen Lightowler, Oxford Brookes University