Thinking in Circles About Obesity: Applying Systems Thinking to Weight Management

Paperback | November 5, 2009

byTarek K. A. Hamid

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Thinking in Circles about Obesity: Applying Systems Thinking to Weight ManagementTarek K.A. Hamid, Operational and Information Sciences, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CaliforniaLow-carb.low-fat.high-protein.high-fiber.Americans are food-savvy, label-conscious, calorie-aware-and still gaining weight in spite of all their good intentions. Worse still, today's children run the risk of a shorter life expectancy than their parents. Thinking in Circles About Obesity brings a healthy portion of critical thinking, spiced with on-target humor and lively graphics, to the obesity debate. Systems scholar Tarek Hamid proposes that a major shift in perspective is needed to address the problem. This book unites systems (non-linear) thinking and information technology to provide powerful insights and practical strategies for managing our bodies, as well as our health. Applying these creative, business-tested techniques to personal health lets readers approach weight problems like CEOs-not bean-counters!-and connect the elusive links between the biological, environmental, social, and psychological factors that contribute to overweight and obesity, yo-yo dieting and willpower issues. The author's clear insights dispel dieters' unrealistic expectations and illuminate dead-end behaviors to tap into a deeper understanding of how the body works, why it works that way, and how to improve the bottom line. For optimum results, he includes innovative tools for:Understanding why diets almost always fall short of our expectations.Assessing weight gain, loss, and goals with greater accuracy.Abandoning one-size-fits-all solutions in lieu of personal solutions that do fit.Replacing outmoded linear thinking with feedback systems thinking.Getting the most health benefits from information technology.Making behavior and physiology work in sync instead of in opposition.Given the current level of the weight crisis, the ideas in Thinking in Circles About Obesity have much to offer the clinical or health psychologist, the primary care physician, the public health professional the parent and the lay reader. For those struggling with overweight, this book charts a new path in health decision-making, to see beyond calorie charts, Body Mass Indexes, and silver bullets.

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Thinking in Circles about Obesity: Applying Systems Thinking to Weight ManagementTarek K.A. Hamid, Operational and Information Sciences, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CaliforniaLow-carb.low-fat.high-protein.high-fiber.Americans are food-savvy, label-conscious, calorie-aware-and still gaining weight in spite of all their good int...

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Thinking in Circles about Obesity: Applying Systems Thinking to Weight ManagementTarek K.A. Hamid, Operational and Information Sciences, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CaliforniaLow-carb.low-fat.high-protein.high-fiber.Americans are food-savvy, label-conscious, calorie-aware-and still gaining weight in spite of all their good int...

Dr. Tarek K.A. Hamid is a trained system dynamicist (with a PhD from MIT, and a winner of the Forrester award for his first book). He has been a Professor of System Dynamics at the Naval Postgraduate School, in Monterey, CA since 1986, where he was awarded the Naval Postgraduate School's Faculty Performance Award, in recognition of mer...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:486 pages, 9.25 × 6.1 × 0.04 inPublished:November 5, 2009Publisher:Springer New York

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0387094687

ISBN - 13:9780387094687

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Table of Contents

Part I: Mismanaging the Obesity Threat1. Like Boiled FrogsPart II: How We Changed Our Environment .And Now Our Environment Is Changing Us2. Unbalanced Act3. Human-Environment Interactions: Not One Way. and Not One-Way4. Tilting the Energy Balance: More Energy In5. Tilting the Energy Balance: Less Energy Out6. Individual Differences7. Is Ad-Lib Behavior Killing Us?Part III: We Can't Manage What We Don't Understand8. The Energy Balance Equation: Reigning Intellectual Paradigm orStraitjacket?9. What We Know That Ain't So10. Closing the Loops on Energy Balance: Energy Output Side11. Closing the Loops on Energy Balance: Energy Input Side12. Beyond Physiology: Closing the Behavior-Physiology Loop13. Looking Back. Looking ForwardPart IV: We Can't Manage What We Mis-Predict14. Learning by Doing15. Give Us the tools, and We Will Finish the Job 16. A Microworld for Weight and Energy Regulation17. Experiment 1: Assessing Weight Loss-Reality versus Fiction18. Experiment 2: Going Ballistic-on a Diet19. Experiment 3: Understanding Why 250 lbs [doesn't equal]  250 lbs20. Experiment 4: Trading Treatment Options-Diet versus Exercise21. PHDs for the Masses? (That's Personal Health Decision support)Part V: Prevention. And Beyond22. The Fat Lady... Models23. The Third Path: Prevention24. Location, Location, Location: Places to Intervene in Systems25. It will Take More than Food Pyramids26. MICROWORLDS R US27. Beyond Prevention

Editorial Reviews

From the reviews:"Systems thinking is a perspective and a set of conceptual tools that enable us to understand the structure and predict the behavior of complex systems. While already commonplace in engineering and in business, the use of systems thinking impersonal health is less widely adopted. Yet health is precisely the setting where dynamic complexity is most problematic and where the stakes are highest. Thinking in Circles about Obesity: Applying Systems Thinking to Weight Management, aims to fill this gap.The book applies systems thinking to personal health in a form that's accessible to the general reader with the hope that it would have a profound influence on how ordinary people think about and manage their health and well being."BehavioralHealthCentral.com, December 30, 2009"Commonplace in engineering and in business, the use of systems thinking in personal health is less widely adopted. . health is precisely the setting where dynamic complexity is most problematic and where the stakes are highest. Thinking in Circles About Obesity: Applying Systems Thinking to Weight Management . aims to fill this gap. The book applies systems thinking to personal health in a form that's accessible to the general reader . ." (The Systems Thinker, Vol. 20 (10), December/2009 - January/2010)"'Thinking in Circles About Obesity' and is by Tarek K. A. Hamid . . I first saw the book reviewed while doing a Google Fast Flip search for 'obesity' and was intrigued by it. . I have a copy and read . I'm really excited by it. It's well-researched (with about 300+ endnotes and index), written for the lay person, and explains very well both how complex weight loss is and how we can better think about it." (Stephen Colbert, Weight Watchers, May, 2009)