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Weighing In: Obesity, Food Justice, and the Limits of Capitalism (California Studies in Food and Culture) Paperback – November 5, 2011
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"Guthman usefully challenges healthism in obesity research and food movements where consumption eclipses production."--Lee F. Monaghan"Sociology Of Health & Illness" (07/09/2012)
"Weighing In" is the book that fat studies and critical geographers of fat have been waiting for. --Deborah McPhail, University of Manitoba"Social & Cultural Geography" (04/17/2013)"
Guthman usefully challenges healthism in obesity research and food movements where consumption eclipses production. --Lee F. Monaghan"Sociology Of Health & Illness" (07/09/2012)"
From the Inside Flap
"Weighing In is filled with counterintuitive surprises that should make us skeptics of all kinds of food -- whether local, fast, slow, junk or health -- but also gives us the practical tools to effectively scrutinize the stale buffet of popularly-accepted health wisdom before we digest it." Paul Robbins, professor of Geography and Development, University of Arizona
"If you liked Michael Pollan, this should be your next read. Guthman gives us the research behind the questions we should be asking, but, falling all over ourselves in the rush to consensus, we have overlooked. A self-described Berkeley foodie, Guthman takes on the self-satisfaction of the alternative food movement and places it in rich context, drawing on research in health, economics, labor, agriculture, sociology, and politics. This marvelous, surprising book is a true game-changer in our national conversation about food and justice." Anna Kirkland, author of Fat Rights: Dilemmas of Difference and Personhood
This groundbreaking book calls into question the ubiquitous claim that good food’ will solve the social and health dilemmas of today. Combining political economic analysis, cultural critique, and clear explanation of scientific discoveries, the author challenges our deeply held convictions about society, food, bodies, and environments.” Becky Mansfield, editor of Privatization: Property and the Remaking of Nature-Society Relations
"Step back from that farmer's market -- Guthman shows us that good foods and good eating are not enough. By questioning the fuzzy facts on obesity, the impact of environment, and capitalism's relentless push to consume, Weighing In challenges us to think harder, and better, about what it really takes to be healthy in the modern age." Carolyn de la Peña, author of Empty Pleasures: The Story of Artificial Sweetener from Saccharin to Splenda
Top Customer Reviews
Guthman's second book is one of the most wildly uneven works of nonfiction I have read. Parts of it border on brilliant. Others are clumsily assembled and hardly convincing. The strong sections are the ones in which she applies a political economy perspective to her personal research and experience in agriculture and what she calls the `alternative-food movement' (farmers markets, CSAs, community gardens, etc.). She has consider insight into this, though it's easy to tell when she's moved beyond her own work -- e.g., not as thorough exposure to the food justice movement and a few sloppy sentences like one commenting on how Obama agreed to cut food stamps in 2014 [actually, the time that a temporary increase in benefits meant to cover the Great Recession is scheduled to end, though the current 2012 Farm Bill may very well have such cuts and be signed by him].) In these chapters, Guthman gores many a sacred cow.
Then there are the chapters that are more theoretical or are focused obesity. They're so bad that it's hard to believe that the author of this book also wrote the excellent _Agrarian Dreams_. These parts tend to be toward the beginning. The prose in these academic in the worst sense, and the arguments are not persuasive. For instance, Guthman rejects the `balanced energy model' explanation for the rise of obesity since the 1980s. That is, she does not accept that people are fatter because they are eating more. The way she handles this is odd, however. She talks at length as if she's going to disprove this, but then when she gets to it, she devotes two pages to it, relying heavily on a single USDA study about demographics of calorie consumption.Read more ›
A lengthier review of the book can be found on my blog "The Pursuit of Politics" here:
For me the one of the most important aspects of the book is that it does not operate with the fault simple assumption:"Eat less, exercise more, and than you won't be overweight. " The books shows you that this is a complex problem, which has all these social, cultural, political, economic levels.
Another very important aspect of the book is it emphasizes this: if we want to do something about this problem, instead of blaming single people, we should fight for policy changes.
After finishing the book I thought about emailing the author and thank her, since I finally saw somebody not blaming people for being obese, but looking at the problem at a bigger perspective, and trying to uncover the dynamics of the situation.
I recommend everybody to read this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Interesting read. More people should be aware of how food works in the US!Published 9 months ago by Kayla
used book version but looks new. it is a must read book great information I learned about obesity that I never thought off and i didn 't knowPublished 21 months ago by Prisca Kouassi
Terrible. Here is my small write up that I did for chapters 3 and 4 for a class...
Weighing In, by Julie Guthman, can simply be described as disjointed, long winded,... Read more
Guthman levels a devastating critique of the food fetishist crowd. There will be no real change without the total reform of capitalism. Read morePublished on February 14, 2013 by Kindle Customer