Whats Wrong with Fat?

Paperback | July 9, 2014

byAbigail C. Saguy

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The United States, we are told, is facing an obesity epidemic - a "battle of the bulge" of not just national, but global proportions - that requires drastic and immediate action. Experts in the media, medical science, and government alike are scrambling to find answers. What or who isresponsible for this fat crisis, and what can we do to stop it?Abigail Saguy argues that these fraught and frantic debates obscure a more important question: How has fatness come to be understood as a public health crisis at all? Why, she asks, has the view of "fat" as a problem - a symptom of immorality, a medical pathology, a public health epidemic - come todominate more positive framings of weight - as consistent with health, beauty, or a legitimate rights claim - in public discourse? Why are heavy individuals singled out for blame? And what are the consequences of understanding weight in these ways?What's Wrong with Fat? presents each of the various ways in which fat is understood in America today, examining the implications of understanding fatness as a health risk, disease, and epidemic, and revealing why we've come to understand the issue in these terms, despite considerable scientificuncertainty and debate. Saguy shows how debates over the relationship between body size and health risk take place within a larger, though often invisible, contest over whether we should understand fatness as obesity at all. Moreover, she reveals that public discussions of the "obesity crisis" domore harm than good, leading to bullying, weight-based discrimination, and misdiagnoses. Showing that the medical framing of fat is literally making us sick, What's Wrong with Fat? provides a crucial corrective to our society's misplaced obsession with weight.

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The United States, we are told, is facing an obesity epidemic - a "battle of the bulge" of not just national, but global proportions - that requires drastic and immediate action. Experts in the media, medical science, and government alike are scrambling to find answers. What or who isresponsible for this fat crisis, and what can we do ...

Abigail C. Saguy is Associate Professor of Sociology and of Gender Studies at UCLA. She is the author of What Is Sexual Harassment? From Capitol Hill to the Sorbonne (University of California Press, 2003).
Format:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:July 9, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199377111

ISBN - 13:9780199377114

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements1. Introduction2. Problem Frames3. Blame Frames4. Fashioning Frames5. Frames' Effects6. ConclusionMethodological AppendixNotesReferencesIndex