McGraw Hill Professional, Sep 22, 2003 - Health & Fitness - 352 pages
Advance Praise for Food Fight
“Food Fight is a blueprint for the nation taking action on the obesity crisis. In his analysis, Brownell is balanced but bold, courageous and creative. A public health landmark.” --David A. Kessler, M.D., Dean, Yale School of Medicine, Former Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration
“We are indeed involved in a food fight. It is a fight for the health of America---especially our children. This book provides much of the necessary ammunition to win this fight.” --David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D., former Surgeon General, Director of the National Center for Primary Care, Morehouse School of Medicine
“Provides a compelling approach to reverse the obesity epidemic now gripping our nation. Anyone concerned about this crisis, and that should include all Americans, will find this book enlightening.” --Walter C. Willett, M.D., Dr.P.H., Chair, Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health
“Food Fight is a very informative, provocative, and well-written account of the role of food in the growing public health problem of obesity. I highly recommend it.” --Steven N. Blair, P.E.D., President and CEO, the Cooper Institute
“Food Fight rings the alarm to enlist Americans in an effort to protect children from the ‘toxic environment’ that is leading to skyrocketing rates of obesity and other health problems.” --Michael F. Jacobson, Ph.D., Executive Director, Center for Science in the Public Interest
“Kelly Brownell and colleagues were among the first to sound the alarm, that an increasingly "toxic environment" puts everyone, and especially children, at risk for obesity. Food Fight enters the front lines in the battle between public health and private profit.” --David S. Ludwig, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Obesity Program, Children’s Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School
How America is eating itself into a national health crisis and what we can do about it
In Food Fight, one of the world's best-known and most respected experts on nutrition, obesity, and eating disorders delivers the sobering message that America is quickly succumbing to a "toxic" food environment guaranteed to produce obesity, disability, and death.
Dr. Kelly D. Brownell goes beyond the bestselling Fast Food Nation to explore the roots of the obesity epidemic and the enormous toll it is taking on the nation's health, vitality, and productivity. And he offers an unflinching assessment of a culture that feeds its pets better than its children, that targets the poor and children as a market for high-calorie, low-nutrition junk food and manipulates children into poor eating habits with toy giveaways and in-school promotions.
But Food Fight isn't all bad news. It is also an inspiring call to action from one of the nation's most effective public health advocates. Dr. Brownell suggests bold public policy initiatives for stemming the rising tide of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, such as imposing taxes on junk food and using the proceeds to make healthy foods more affordable and available. He describes steps individuals can take to help safeguard their and their families' health, including pressuring schools to remove junk food vending machines. And he offers a workable plan for improving individual and family eating and exercise habits.
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These are only a few of the author's points which are backed by hundreds of examples and documented by almost thirty pages of notes (small print):
Obesity, poor diet, and lack of physical activity are a world epidemic. The list of diseases they cause is long. America leads the way and other countries should learn from us before it’s too late for them.
Suburban sprawl and common use of energy-saving devices are at the root of the physical activity crisis and attacking it first is suggested as central to solving the others. Changing people’s behavior by exhortation is not likely to affect it much so greater incentives must be instituted to make people more physically active.
Advertising aimed at children is malicious and should be banned as it is in a very few countries. Children, especially very young, cannot distinguish advertising from the program. Children interest groups are for it. The food industry is opposed. Which side are you on?
The USDA and a number of medical groups developed a document “The Ten Keys to Promote Healthy Eating in Schools” but that’s only wishful thinking compared to the reality in schools.
The author teaches a course "The Psychology, Biology, and Politics of Food" at Yale. The course is available for auditing free from Yale on line.
Part 2 The Toxic Environment
Part 3 Changing Things
Summary of Recommended Actions