- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 1 edition (May 1, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0374103984
- ISBN-13: 978-0374103989
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 74 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,081,331 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Rethinking Thin: The New Science of Weight Loss--and the Myths and Realities of Dieting 1st Edition
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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.
*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
Top customer reviews
What I didn't enjoy was the overall feel I got of the book afterwards--although not explicitly said, some of the major points I got out was how uncontrollable obesity really is, and even if you lose a certain amount of weight, the likelihood of gaining it back is very high. I know those weren't the explicit messages, but even so, as someone who would want to lose weight or gain some hopes from these types of books, it is not super helpful.
It talks about the background behind the science and studies of obesity research, along with possible ways obesity is linked to genetics and the environment. I think the overall structuring of the book could be better, and more transitioning between ideas--but overall, it's a good introduction for those wanting to understand the complexities of obesity a bit more. No clear cut messaging of what the book wants to say--this vagueness is intriguing but at the same time, a bit frustrating.