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The World is Fat: The Fads, Trends, Policies, and Products That Are Fattening the Human Race Hardcover – Bargain Price, December 26, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, author of The End of Poverty and Common Wealth
This personal, warmly sympathetic account of the makings of the global obesity crisis is just what is needed to figure out what to do about it. Popkin is an economist, but a humanistic one, and his humanity shines through in this book.
Marion Nestle, author of What to Eat and Food Politics, and professor of nutrition, food studies, and public health at New York University
The most serious epidemic ever is insidiously engulfing the world. Barry Popkin draws upon his decades of research and experience to describe its originsand a set of potential solutions. Those interested in the future of mankind should read this book.
Walter Willett, author of Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy, and chair, Department of Nutrition, Harvard University
Popkins research contributions and insights into food and nutrition have inspired scores of scholars. In The World is Fat, he now inspires parents and consumers about what we can do to help our families and ourselves.
Brian Wansink, Ph.D., author of Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think
More About the Author
You can learn more about Barry Popkin and his research program and activities by going to: www.nutrans.org
Top Customer Reviews
What does make a convincing argument is the well-researched data that peppers this book, pointing the finger firmly at a one-two-three punch of the sudden drop in activity in our lives, the over-abundance of nutritionally void foods and the governmental/corporate intervention into our eating habits. While not a new theory, it is a new take that is a pleasure to read.
Where this book falls short is that the author doesn't really take the story to a conclusion. He touches on why we are fat but never really reaches an answer, touches on what obesity does to us but never really drives the point home, and touches on what we can do about it without ever really laying down any firm resolution. I would have liked to see less conjecture about liquid calories and more facts about the changes in our world. I found myself leaving the book with more questions than I started with.
The book clocks in at a light 170 pages of meat in a large font, and as such, it makes a great introduction, but not a great answer, to a very serious question.
I do not believe, though, that this book is 100% correct in its opinions or its research. To give a small example, the author mentions that in Europe (specifically France, Spain, and Italy) it's not uncommon to see small children drink wine with meals and says that in his opinion this "clearly" is why their youth have less problems with alcohol than our nation. I have heard many people throw this around as if it's both truth and common knowledge "yeah, in France they let little kids drink!" Having lived in both France and Spain, I would ask people if they let their children drink wine. I expected to hear "yes," but the answer was an overwhelming no! They do have a drinking age over there (16).Read more ›
For one, I really didn't see much in here that I haven't seen somewhere else. High-fructose corn syrup in sodas? Check. Americans don't get enough exercise? Check. Weight is a simple matter of calories in minus calories expended? Check. Larger serving sizes? Check. The rest of the world following bad American habits? Check.
The other was Popkin's writing style. It was a little hard to put my finger on it, but it seemed rather choppy. Sentences tended to be very punchy and short, with poor transitions from one to another. Paragraphs sometimes covered several, not-especially-related topics.
I really wanted to finish this one, but between these two problems, I just felt I had to get up from the table and move onto something a little more nourishing.
Chapters are devoted to causes of weight gain, including the usual suspects such as reduced movement, sugary drinks, and convenience food. Although Popkin pulls no punches when criticism is warranted, he also makes an valiant effort to be fair by pointing out positive changes that some companies in the food industry have made. (In the case of McDonald's, their efforts to reduce portion size were met by an increase in portion size by competitor Burger King; eager to cash in on the big eating McDonald's tried to discourage.)
The last chapter of The World is Fat is a breath of fresh air after the many books that point out problems but fail to offer concrete solutions. In it the author makes suggestions for changes on the individual, nationwide and international levels to help reverse the alarming trend of obesity. The individual changes are not surprising (reduce caloric intake, take the stairs instead of the elevator), but the large scale ideas just might work if they are implemented.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A fascinating, often personal and surprisingly accessible (for a scholar of his stature) book about the global obesity epidemic and what it will take to reverse it. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Paul S. Jellinek
As advertised, in good condition, and arrived quickly. Thank you!Published 18 months ago by Cecilia polanco
Read it...... It includes actual scholarship but is also entertaining. It helps to dispel many myths while simplifying the issue.Published 23 months ago by scott edward hartley
I enjoyed this book very much, I would recommend this as a starting point for anyone interested in the issue of global health and nutrition. Read morePublished on January 7, 2014 by Calvin J Schnucker
I bought this book for a college seminar class I will be taking in the fall. It put a smile on my face before I even started to read it. Read morePublished on July 26, 2011 by Chris M.
Informative. I carried away a new awareness of the way the technological revolution is changing our everyday lives...including the way we eat.Published on December 28, 2010 by Kimberly
I really wanted to like this book. However, if you've read any literature in this area, you quickly realize that Popkin doesn't have anything genuinely new to add, except for... Read morePublished on October 22, 2010 by bookworm53
Getting nutrition information from a food economist is generally a bad idea (like getting medical advice from a drug company - oh wait, we do that too!). Read morePublished on March 22, 2010 by G. Bower
Popkin may scatter his own personal history a bit too much into this well-researched book, but it doesn't change the weight or the importance of the message: we are killing... Read morePublished on March 5, 2010 by R. Wesson