Automotive Holiday Deals Books Gift Guide Books Gift Guide Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Prime Music Sweepstakes egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Get Ready for the Winter Gifts for Her  Fine Art Deals Amazon Gift Card Offer cm15 cm15 cm15 $30 Off Amazon Echo $30 Off Fire HD 6 Kindle Cyber Monday Deals BestoftheYear Shop Now DOTD
Rethinking Thin and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

  • List Price: $20.00
  • Save: $6.40 (32%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.
Rethinking Thin: The New ... has been added to your Cart
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by Tobyone
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: solid cover with clean pages
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

Rethinking Thin: The New Science of Weight Loss--and the Myths and Realities of Dieting Paperback – April 29, 2008

73 customer reviews

See all 15 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$3.81 $0.01
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"

Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2015's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
$13.60 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Rethinking Thin: The New Science of Weight Loss--and the Myths and Realities of Dieting
  • +
  • Weighing In: Obesity, Food Justice, and the Limits of Capitalism (California Studies in Food and Culture)
Total price: $43.55
Buy the selected items together

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Take an Extra 30% Off Any Book: Use promo code HOLIDAY30 at checkout to get an extra 30% off any book for a limited time. Excludes Kindle eBooks and Audible Audiobooks. Restrictions apply. Learn more | Shop now

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. New York Times reporter Kolata may be the best writer around covering the science of health. Here she offers an eye-opening book that questions all our received wisdom about why we get fat and the health hazards of those extra pounds. In chapters equally entertaining and dismaying, Kolata (Flu) traces the history of dieting fads back to the 19th century; discusses our changing ideas about the ideal body (thinner and thinner); and, most importantly, explains how genetic and biochemical understanding has (at least among researchers) replaced the view of obesity as a lack of self-control. Most dramatic is Kolata's recounting of Jeff Friedman's groundbreaking search at Rockefeller University for the "satiety factor," a hormone he called leptin that tells our brains when we're full. The science alternates with moving chapters in which Kolata follows a group of people in a weight-loss study who are trying desperately to get thin—a quest that, as Kolata makes increasingly clear is sadly futile. In her final—and perhaps most surprising—chapter, Kolata blasts those in the obesity industry—such as Jenny Craig and academic obesity research centers—who are invested in promoting the idea that overweight is unhealthy and diet and exercise are effective despite a raft of evidence to the contrary. This book will change your thinking about weight, whether you struggle with it or not. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* When New York Times science writer Kolata took an unbiased look at society's war on fatness, she found that the spoils of the conflict fatten the pockets of a multibillion-dollar dieting industry, while most ever-hopeful yet hapless dieters lose only money. Why, then, do we still repeat a mantra--"eat less and exercise more"--that has failed dieters for 2,000 years? Why, in diet study after diet study, do chubby participants consistently fail to reach their target weights? And why do the majority of dieters end up regaining most of their hard-lost weight, or regaining and then exceeding it? Following up on participants in a two-year clinical weight-loss study comparing the overall efficacies of the Atkins diet and a highly regarded low-calorie, low-fat diet opened Kolata's eyes to the plight of millions who can't seem to measure down to today's weight ideals. The experience led her to examine the millennia-old history of humanity's battle against the bulge. She interviewed several credentialed authorities, and she cites sound scientific evidence that calls in question the productiveness of common weight-loss methods. Her report reveals well-documented intelligence certain to annoy those segments of society and commerce that stubbornly cling to the ignis fatuus that all one needs to be thin is willpower. Donna Chavez
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; 1st edition (April 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312427859
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312427856
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #496,766 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

91 of 97 people found the following review helpful By CMCM on May 21, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I actually found this book extremely good reading, and couldn't put it down! It's not that Kolata presents anything earth shatteringly new, but she does a great job of compiling a lot of fascinating information about studies and attitudes that most of us would probably never get a chance to read through our usual casual reading. Kolata has done a LOT of research here and it's a great read!

We have been led to believe that obesity is a relatively recent development in U.S. society, but this apparently is not the case. The stories of weight loss strategies and weight attitudes from even 100+ years ago are fascinating to read about. Discussion of our past attitudes about what is fat and what is a desirable weight shows that these attitudes have changed substantially through the years: for example, flappers of the 20's, who most of us vaguely recall to have been quite thin, would actually be considered overweight by today's extreme standards. The "Gibson Girl" ideal of the early 1900's would be considered absolutely obsese today.

Studies and experiments which have been done to figure out the "why" of overweight show that everything is still not well understood about weight gain, obesity, and weight loss. There are still more questions to be asked and not yet enough answers, and to complicate things each person is unique in physiology. Genetics is thought to play a strong role, and studies of twins and adopted children reveal the genetic component plays a strong role in your weight and how easily you can gain or lose excess weight.

Don't read this book expecting to find some new weight loss miracle. There are no real solutions in this book, but rather, it can give you a more realistic and educated understanding of what you are up against in the weight loss wars.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
163 of 205 people found the following review helpful By Werner Cohn on May 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book has been a tremendous disappointment to me.

I read an article by Kolata in the New York Times a few days ago that was based on this book. I thought that the article was excellent, stressing the heritability component in obesity, and pointing to the failures of weight-control diets. I rushed to get the book, fully expecting fuller, more satisfactory explanations -- a truly book-length treatment of this important subject.

But the book here is actually no more than an article that has been heavily padded with cutesy anecdotes so as to achieve the physical corpulence of a book.

There are interesting (but not original) descriptions of diet fads throughout the ages. There are interesting (but depressingly familiar) accounts of failures of diets. There is an interesting account of animal studies on obesity. There are interesting accounts of twin studies that point to high heritability of obesity. And then there is endless prose that over-interprets all this: to wit, obesity is inherited, nothing can be done about it.

There is also an instance of gross malpractice of journalism. In the introduction, Kolata tells us that her book is the story of a high-science, two year long, carefully planned study of diets: Atkins versus LEARN. In chapter after boring chapter she gives us personality sketches of some of the participants and trivia about the progress of the study over the two year period. Then, at the end, while we wait for her to tell us the outcome, she tells us that, well, no, she can't say. The scientists haven't had the time to write up the results. Come on, Ms. K.
Read more ›
15 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
31 of 37 people found the following review helpful By J. A Carty on June 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Earlier this evening I finished Rethinking Thin by Gina Kolata. Kolata presents a history of dieting in America from about the 1800's to present while interspersing the comments of several participants in a recent study comparing Atkins to a program called LEARN (basically the type of calorie counting, measure everything diet your doctor would give you). There is something sad about the book in some ways, because dieting is ultimately a series of false hopes. Interesting, this is something I have been thinking is true but then the next diet comes on the market and if you aren't "thin" you feel you have to try it. This time it will be different. This time it will work. What is that quote that they attribute to Einstein?: Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

While overall the book makes me feel a bit sad because there is no magic solution it also gives me a little sense of peace. I know I am a very successful person in pretty much every area of my life, except for weight loss, and I'm not the only one.

I won't give away everything in the book, but it is definitely worth a read for the "overweight" and the "normal size." Maybe especially for the thin people to see how tough it really is to have gained wait, how frustrating and defeated you can feel. Also, the book is very well written. Kolata has an easy straightforward style that balances presenting factual/scientific details w/ anectodal information so that her reporting does not become just boring and didactic.

Very much enjoyed :)
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Rethinking Thin: The New Science of Weight Loss--and the Myths and Realities of Dieting
This item: Rethinking Thin: The New Science of Weight Loss--and the Myths and Realities of Dieting
Price: $13.60
Ships from and sold by

Want to discover more products? Check out this page to see more: nutrition books