Fat Politics: The Real Story behind Americas Obesity Epidemic

Paperback | September 15, 2006

byJ. Eric Oliver

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It seems almost daily we read newspaper articles and watch news reports exposing the growing epidemic of obesity in America. Our government tells us we are experiencing a major health crisis, with sixty percent of Americans classified as overweight, and one in four as obese. But how valid arethese claims? In Fat Politics, J. Eric Oliver shows how a handful of doctors, government bureaucrats, and health researchers, with financial backing from the drug and weight-loss industries, have campaigned to create standards that mislead the public. They mislabel more than sixty million Americansas "overweight," inflate the health risks of being fat, and promote the idea that obesity is a killer disease. In reviewing the scientific evidence, Oliver shows there is little proof that obesity causes so much disease and death or that losing weight is what makes people healthier. Our concern with obesity, he writes, is fueled more by social prejudice, bureaucratic politics, and industry profit than byscientific fact. Misinformation pushes millions of Americans towards dangerous surgeries, crash diets, and harmful diet drugs, while we ignore other, more real health problems. Oliver goes on to examine why it is that Americans despise fatness and explores why, despite this revulsion, we continue togain weight. Fat Politics will topple your most basic assumptions about obesity and health. It is essential reading for anyone with a stake in the nation's--or their own--good health.

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From the Publisher

It seems almost daily we read newspaper articles and watch news reports exposing the growing epidemic of obesity in America. Our government tells us we are experiencing a major health crisis, with sixty percent of Americans classified as overweight, and one in four as obese. But how valid arethese claims? In Fat Politics, J. Eric Olive...

J. Eric Oliver is Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago. He is the author of Democracy in Suburbia and The Paradoxes of Segregation.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 6.1 × 9.09 × 0.71 inPublished:September 15, 2006Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195313208

ISBN - 13:9780195313208

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments: Introduction--A Big, Fat Problem1. What is Fat?2. How Obesity Became an Epidemic Disease3. Why We Hate Fat People4. Women, Fat, and the Sexual Market5. Fat Genes and the Obesity Blame Game6. Food and Weight Gain: Super Sized Misperceptions7. Sloth, Capitalism, and the Paradox of Freedom8. Obesity Policy: The Fix Is In9. Unmaking the Obesity EpidemicNotes: Index:

Editorial Reviews

"In Fat Politics, Eric Oliver examines America's ongoing search for weapons of body mass destruction and reveals that the emperors of the current fat hysteria aren't wearing any clothes. This is an essential book for understanding the leading moral panic of our time. Fat Politics provides aparticularly compelling analysis of the economic factors that have helped produce the current panic over fat. Fat Politics is the latest illustration of what happens when an academic whose work is not actually funded by the weight-loss industry takes a look at the evidence regarding the relationshipbetween weight and health."--Paul Campos, Professor of Law, University of Colorado, and author of The Obesity Myth