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The World is Fat: The Fads, Trends, Policies, and Products That Are Fatteningthe Human Race Hardcover – December 26, 2008
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
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From Publishers Weekly
Popkin, a renowned obesity and nutrition expert, investigates what the World Health Organization has defined as a global obesity epidemic, identifying familiar culprits (nutrient-poor, sugar-rich foods; larger serving sizes and less exercise)—but introduces fresh research to demonstrate how our drinking habits have contributed to the problem. The author follows the expanding waistlines of four families in the United States, Mexico and India to argue that obesity is less a result of gluttony and sloth than a confluence of factors rooted in a fundamental conflict between human biology and modern society, where more calories are consumed than expended, and governments and multinational corporations shape everyday lives (a detailed section traces the growth of modern food and beverage conglomerates). Unfortunately, the book remains a disjointed portrayal of this thesis: Popkin never fully explores the impact of energy drinks and sodas and interrupts his observations of the four families to wax nostalgic (and unscientific) on his youthful dietary and exercise habits in rural Wisconsin. The salience and urgency of the obesity epidemic is incontrovertible, however, and Popkins is a readable and ambitious introduction. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The global obesity epidemic affects all of us - families, communities, and nations around the world. It's a weighty subject in every way, with dire consequences for well being, life expectancy, and economic productivity in the years ahead unless seriously confronted. The World is Fat is compelling reading on this complex and growing societal threat. Dr. Barry Popkin is one of the world's most distinguished experts on obesity, the global food system, and nutrition, with extensive first-hand knowledge of the trends in the U.S., Europe, India, China, and beyond. His writing is remarkably clear and concise, free of jargon, and full of wisdom, balance, and good judgment. His call to action and practical suggestions to individuals, communities, and political leaders, will be read with enormous interest and benefit around the world.
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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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There was a lot of great information I knew due to my previous degree, so there is good knowledge in there. It's just laced with disapproval from the author if you happen to be fat or not conform to 1950's stereotypes.
There were no in text citations in the Kindle book, which is unacceptable considering all the claims the author made. Found that quite annoying. I hope the physical text included citations.
If you have a dislike for our plumper brethren, pick up this book and you will feel right at home. As for me, I'll keep indulging in my vice of soda with dinner. Happy I don't have to eat dinner with popkin every night.
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.