The Obesity Myth: Why America's Obsession with Weight is Hazardous to Your Health

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Penguin, 2004 - Health & Fitness - 290 pages
4 Reviews
“Campos makes his case against the “fat kills” dogma with unimpeachable evidence. The Obesity Mythshould be required reading for every health professional in America. I believe any open-minded person who reads this book will conclude that we’ve been duped by a pack of self-serving lies. And we cannot get at the truth without first recognizing those lies. The Obesity Mythis a great place to start.” —Glenn A. Gaesser, Ph.D., professor and director, Kinesiology Program, University of Virginia

Is your weight hazardous to your health? According to public-health authorities, 65 percent of us are overweight. Every day, we are bombarded with dire warnings about America’s “obesity epidemic.” Close to half of the adult population is dieting, obsessed with achieving an arbitrary “ideal weight.” Yet studies show that a moderately active larger person is likely to be far healthier (and to live longer) than someone who is thin but sedentary. And contrary to what the fifty-billion-dollar-per-year weight-loss industry would have us believe medical science has not yet come up with a way to make people thin.

After years spent scrutinizing medical studies and interviewing leading doctors, scientists, eating- disorder specialists, and psychiatrists, Professor Paul Campos is here to lead the backlash against weight hysteria—and to show that we can safeguard our health without obsessing about the numbers on the scale. But The Obesity Mythis not just a compelling argument, grounded in the latest scientific research; it’s also a provocative, wry exposť of the culture that feeds on our self-defeating war on fat. Campos will show:

* How the nation’s most prestigious and trusted media sources consistently misinform the public about obesity
* What the movie industry’s love affair with the “fat suit” tells us about the relationship between racial- and body-based prejudice in America
* How the skinny elite—with their “supersized” lifestyles and gas-guzzling SUVs—project their anxieties about overconsumption on the poorer and heavier underclass
* How weight-loss mania fueled the impeachment of Bill Clinton

In this paradigm-busting read, Professor Campos challenges the conventional wisdom regarding the medical, political, and cultural meaning of weight and brings a rational and compelling new voice to America’s increasingly irrational weight debate.


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User Review  - Annahoj - LibraryThing

As a fat person, I found this book extremely helpful in focusing my mind toward trying to find a healthy way to become more healthy, rather than just trying to diet and lose weight. Even aside from ... Read full review

Review: The Obesity Myth: Why America's Obsession with Weight is Hazardous to Your Health

User Review  - Hilary - Goodreads

I agree, skip the Monica Lewinsky chapter if you want. An interesting book to thumb through. Read full review


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The Bimbo Culture
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The Athlete Within
Life During Wartime
Fat Politics
Feminist Accused of Unsightly Weight Gain
Anorexia Nervosa and the Spirit of Capitalism
The Last American Diet
Body Mass Index Table

Why Do Americans Diet?
The Last 10 Pounds

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About the author (2004)

A professor of law at the University of Colorado and a nationally recognized expert on America¬'s war on fat, Paul Campos is the author of a weekly opinion column that appears in more than forty newspapers nationwide. His articles have appeared in The New Republic, The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, the San Francisco Chronicle, and The Boston Globe.

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