More than 1.1 billion people worldwide are overweight or obese. How and why did the world get so fat? Shell, a journalist and codirector of the Program in Science Journalism at Boston University, explores the issue from many angles including the roles of genetics, pharmaceutical companies, the food industry and social class. She charts the growth in scientific research on obesity and obesity treatments in the last decade (from stomach stapling to the notoriously dangerous drug Fen-Phen), explaining the biology of metabolism that makes it so difficult to circumvent the body's appetite. Shell also explores the lifestyle culprits behind obesity, traveling to Micronesia to document the residents of the island of Kosrae, whose average life span has plummeted in recent years due to the introduction of high-fat Western food. Though she lucidly explains the physiology of fat, Shell fills the book with chatty profiles of patients and doctors ("Rudy Leibel is a small man and trim... He has a degree in English literature, and a weakness for poetry") and her prose reads like that of a glossy magazine. There is also much in the book that may be familiar to readers; the spotlights on new obesity treatments are compelling, but it will come as no surprise that too much high-fat, calorie-dense food and too little exercise trigger obesity. On the other hand, given that Big-Tobacco-style class-action lawsuits against fast food companies are under consideration, some may find Shell's arguments for the regulation of junk-food TV advertising, among other measures, timely and provocative.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This is not quick-fix diet book. It's a science journalist's study of why we are fatter than ever (60 percent of Americans should be skipping dessert today) and what is being done about it.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I loved this book- in large part because if was extremely well written and covered a diverse number of topics related to obesity research. Science journalist Ellen R. Read morePublished on February 21, 2012 by Dominick J. Lemas
The author somehow manages to remain calm while revealing how certain sorry segments of the science community distort the facts for money. Read morePublished on April 20, 2008 by Michael Grace
From the title and abstract, I'd hoped to find an interesting and readable exposition of the known biochemical mechanisms regulating appetite, from the insulin/glucose cycle to... Read morePublished on May 7, 2005 by Eotvos
While one can be grateful and admire the authors' acknowledgement of the marketing of obesity-just how much the obsessive desire of normal weight people to be stick thin body... Read morePublished on May 1, 2004 by W. Dickinson
If you enjoyed Jungle or Fast Food Nation, and/or are a nutrition/health enthusiast, this book is a must-read. Read morePublished on January 26, 2004 by Anand Rangarajan
Anyone who enjoyed Fast Food Nation is going to love this book, because it makes clear why what we're eating and how we're living, has created the biggest public health problem... Read morePublished on August 4, 2003 by C. Thompson
Author Ellen Ruppel Shell puts the obesity epidemic in proper perspective with remarkable skill and thoroughness. She cites it as the no. 2 public health risk factor in the U.S. Read morePublished on July 28, 2003 by Ann Sherwin
This is a very interesting book regarding the current scientific research on the biological and social causes of obesity and what society is doing about it (not that much). Read morePublished on April 9, 2003 by Bert Krages
I loved this book. It has everything the others don't have, mystery, adventure, even gore, but hey, this is the human body we're talking about here, what did you expect? Read morePublished on March 6, 2003 by C. Thompson