Fat Land: How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2004 - Health & Fitness - 232 pages
8 Reviews
What in American society has changed so dramatically that nearly 60 percent of us are now overweight, plunging the nation into what the surgeon general calls an "epidemic of obesity"? Greg Critser engages every aspect of American life - class, politics, culture, and economics - to show how we have made ourselves the second fattest people on the planet (after South Sea Islanders).

Fat Land highlights the groundbreaking research that implicates cheap fats and sugars as the alarming new metabolic factor making our calories stick and shows how and why children are too often the chief metabolic victims of such foods. No one else writing on fat America takes as hard a line as Critser on the institutionalized lies we've been telling ourselves about how much we can eat and how little we can exercise. His expose of the Los Angeles schools' opening of the nutritional floodgates in the lunchroom and his examination of the political and cultural forces that have set the bar on American fitness low and then lower, are both discerning reporting and impassioned wake-up calls.

Disarmingly funny, Fat Land leaves no diet book - including Dr. Atkins's - unturned. Fashions, both leisure and street, and American-style religion are subject to Critser's gimlet eye as well. Memorably, Fat Land takes on baby-boomer parenting shibboleths - that young children won't eat past the point of being full and that the dinner table isn't the place to talk about food rules - and gives advice many families will use to lose.

Critser's brilliantly drawn futuristic portrait of a Fat America just around the corner and his all too contemporary foray into the diabetes ward of a major children's hospital make Fat Land a chilling but brilliantly rendered portrait of the cost in human lives - many of them very young lives - of America's obesity epidemic.
 

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This book changed my life! Read full review

Review: Fat Land

User Review  - Marjorie Holderer - Goodreads

Easy to read, funny and serious, well written. How the pieces came together for 40 years to turn Americans into a health mess. Plenty to undo. Agriculture, international trade food industry, PE pros ... Read full review

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Contents

Introduction
1
Up Up Up Or Where the Calories Came From
7
Supersize me Who Got the Calories into Our Bellies
20
World Without Boundaries Who Let the Calories In
30
Why the Calories Stayed on Our Bodies
63
What Fat Is What Fat Isnt
109
What the Extra Calories Do to You
127
What Can Be Done
155
Fat Land Facts
177
Notes
185
Index
223
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

GREG CRITSER is a longtime chronicler of the modern pharmaceutical industry and the politics of medicine. His columns and essays on the subject have appeared in Harper's Magazine, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, the L.A. Times, and elsewhere. Critser is the author of Fat Land: How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World (Houghton Mifflin), which the American Diabetes Association called "the definitive journalistic account of the modern obesity epidemic." He lives in Pasadena, California, with his wife, Antoinette Mongelli.

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