Fat Chemistry: The Science Behind Obesity

Front Cover
Royal Society of Chemistry, 2012 - Science - 329 pages
6 Reviews
Currently, the health of over half the adult population in the UK suffers because of fat. The UK is not alone: obesity is a global problem, but the populations of some countries are heavier than others. This book probes the chemistry of fat in our bodies, providing a unique insight into understanding obesity, and how this material becomes accumulated to cause obesity with particular emphasis on the contribution of nutrition beyond calories. It visits the current hot topic of the genetic origins of obesity and progresses through to the relatively under publicised field of epigenetics, emphasising its importance to understanding the current epidemic. Coming in the wake of the establishment of international collaborations, the book aims to quantify the extent of the contribution of nutritional deficiencies to body weight gain. Yet even before these studies begin some important links have been identified and the molecular mechanisms by which they induce obesity have been mapped. This information reveals a serious problem for the next generation, but it is expected to provide the necessary information to tackle the obesity epidemic. Based on an extensive review of scientific literature, this topical book is written in a way that is accessible to the non-specialist. Suitable for the general public, the principal focus of the book is to advance the public understanding and awareness of science through the high interest subject of obesity. However, many universities recommend public understanding of science texts to students as a means of broadening general knowledge and as a means to emphasise to students the importance of communicating their research to the public. This book will be instrumental in developing this knowledge.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

Great book easy to understand summary of scientific research, well written and entertaining to read. I bought this book to help me with course work at uni and it has really lit a passion in me for nutrition and health! Enjoyed reading it, deffo recommended.

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

It is clear that nutritional advice against unhealthy body weight gain is failing. Many scientists and journalists are jumping on the bandwagon to have their say. Much of the advice is known, dressed in a different package. In Fat Chemistry: The Science Behind Obesity, Allardyce describes a new possibility for the drive behind the obesity epidemic: malnutrition. She describes how this was once associated with starvation, but now symptoms can be "hidden under a blanket of fat". It seems our preconceived view on nutrition may be blinding us to the real possibility that despite ample food many people of the world in the richest countries of the world are actually depriving their bodies of important nutrients. She also describes how given the current range of food on offer, blindly following our taste preferences can lead to malnutrition. All in all, a refreshing take on an well flogged subject.  

All 6 reviews »


It all Began with Change
Chapter 3
Beyond the Helix
The Science behind Obesity

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2012)

Claire Allardyce graduated in 1993 from the University of St Andrews, Fife, with a degree in Biochemistry and Biotechnology and then proceeded to do a PhD expecting this to start her career in rational drug design. During the course of her research, Claire became increasingly interested in how nutrition affected treatment, for example, the role of folic acid in decreasing the efficacy of certain anticancer drugs and the increased power of detoxification pathways after eating Brussels sprouts. Eventually her interest diverged towards presenting scientific findings to the general public, in particular, the chemistry of obesity.

Bibliographic information