- Hardcover: 384 pages
- Publisher: Viking Adult; 1 edition (September 1, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0670870595
- ISBN-13: 978-0670870592
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,551,725 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Fat of the Land: The Obesity Epidemic and How Overweight Americans Can Help Themselves 1st Edition
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From Library Journal
Despite a $39 billion diet industry and the proliferation of "fat free, sugar-free, guilt-free" foods, Americans are fatter than ever and fatter than anyone else in the world. Fumento, a medical journalist and author of the controversial The Myth of Heterosexual AIDS (LJ 11/15/89), blames a variety of factors, from nutritional fads to the cult of victimization to the merchandising of oversized food portions. His basic premise, however, is that we must accept the fact that the more calories we ingest and the fewer we burn off, the fatter we get. True self-esteem, he notes, comes from taking control of our lives and responsibility for our actions. He indicts the myriad weight-loss "miracle" gimmicks and reiterates the unpopular but proven remedy: Eat less and exercise more. Highly recommended.?Susan B. Hagloch, Tuscarawas Cty. P.L., New Philadelphia
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
``The very act of living in the United States puts you at great risk for obesity,'' warns science writer Fumento in this harangue with a clear message: The fault, dear fatties, lies in overconsumption and underexertion. The formerly fat but now happily and proudly trim Fumento (Science Under Siege, 1992; The Myth of Heterosexual AIDS, 1990) charges that the current craze for low-fat but not-so-low-calorie processed foods is giving consumers bigger waistlines while making megabucks for the food industry. The other profit-makers he pillories, with words like ``huckster'' and ``sham,'' are the writers (and publishers) of diet books, such as Susan Powter for Stop the Insanity and Cliff Sheats for Lean Bodies. He has some strong words for the tactics of Nutri/System and Jenny Craig, too, but it is the National Association for the Advancement of Fat Acceptance that really ticks him off. It is time for an attitude adjustment, he argues, calling for society to return to the values of moderation and setting limits. He'd like to see an anti-obesity campaign along the lines of the anti-smoking campaign that made puffing on cigarettes appear gauche, and he urges activists to enlist the food companies in a campaign against overeating just as they engaged beer makers in campaigns against underage drinking and, further, to pressure fast-food restaurants to reduce the size of their fat-laden portions. Having advised society of its duties, Fumento, whose attempts at humor do little to lighten this lecture, instructs individuals to eat the right foods, i.e., high in fiber and low in caloric density; eat only when hungry; and get a reasonable amount of exercise. A sermon on gluttony and sloth and a jeremiad against those who aid, abet, and profit from these sins. (Author tour) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Top Customer Reviews
I think the real villain is the "Fit or Fat" mentality. Either you're "fit" -- i.e., exercise 2 hours a day, eat nothing but fruit and tofu, and look like a supermodel -- or you're "fat" and it's all over for you, so why even bother? The fact is that anyone can become "fit," no matter what his or her weight, and if the fat doesn't go away entirely it'll be less of a concern. The important thing is not how your weight relates to the standard charts, but how you FEEL. I was put on diet pills at age 12 because, at 5'3" and 125 lbs, I was "too fat," and I spent the next 25 years trying to starve myself down to a weight I was never meant to be. Now I'm theoretically "obese," but I walk, do yoga, am taking a belly dancing class -- and am healthier than I ever was in my thin days.
He is correct that this topic has attracted scores of con artists in search of a quick buck. Right behind the con artists are a battalion of diet-guru-wannabes who have discovered one or two things that sort-of work, and have deluded themselves into believing that they have all of the answers (for example: McDougall, Ornish, Pritikin on the LF side, and Atkins, McBride, and Sears on the LC side). The author does a fair job of exposing some members of both groups, although the implied characterization as 'charlatan' is a bit harsh in some cases.
But the author did miss a few items. I have seen a number of diet books that don't follow the con-artist formula, and give basically sound advice. My favorites of these include McDonald's "The Ketogenic Diet", and Bernstein's "Diabetes Solution". Fumento might be excused for missing the recent research that shows that extreme carbohydrate restriction is healthier and more effective for weight control than fat restriction, but he claims that ketosis is "unnatural" and "unhealthy", which is *not* supported by any of the available evidence dating as far back as the last few centuries. Furthermore, he shows that he does not actually understand what ketosis *is*.
I am very glad that I read the public library's copy of this book, and didn't buy it.