Well worth reading. For a long time I fit the typical "dieter" profile....try any new program coming down the pike. Very informative as to how we all became so obsessed about weight. One very successful women is profiled and sadly, none of her accomplishments eclipsed her losing weight and writing a book about it (not this one, she has her own diet book, which I have read) The weight loss science is seriously flawed, but so ingrained in the physician's sphere that they dispense it unabashedly to their patients! READ IT , YOU WILL BE GLAD YOU DID !
This book attempts to present the other side of the fat-is-bad hype, and does raise some valid issues, but didn't seem quite as even-handed as the author would like to have you believe. The truth almost certainly lies somewhere between this rather "it's okay, we're all fine as we are" approach and the medical and societal panic about obesity.
Just as low-carb dieting becomes a national obsession and McDonald's begins downsizing its super-sizing, Campos, a law professor and syndicated columnist, offers a sure-to-be scandalous message: maybe fat isn't all that bad. Through solid prose, Campos builds a case against the "social institutions" that have misled the public about the dangers of being overweight. He boldly states that a cultural phenomenonsociety's hysterical fear of body fatis the real health hazard, not the over-consumption of food. Through a series of anecdotes, readers are told that the media is responsible for crushing healthy body images (particularly women's); how the dieting industry perpetuates the myth of obesity for its own gain; and how yo-yo dieting cycles have destroyed more lives than obesity ever will. Campos also says there's no real medical or scientific justification that fat is bad. "Given that Americans are enjoying longer lives and better health than ever before, the claim that four out of five of us are running serious health risks because of our weight sounds exactly like the sort of exaggeration that can produce a cultural epidemic of fear." --Publisher's Weekly
When an entire society is told that thinner is better and studies everywhere agree diets don't work, it's time to take a look at the assumptions behind the messages. Packed full of lengthy discussions of popular studies (particularly the Harvard nurses study), dense chapters run through statistics and conclusions at a breathtaking pace. Campos regularly insists on two points: BMI is basically meaningless, and a variety of media-based sources are contributing to an enormous industry that blends oversized portions with trendy, potentially harmful, diets. He grabs attention to the first claim with early assertions that by BMI standards, Brad Pitt is overweight and George Clooney is obese; more detailed discussion covers how insurance companies developed the BMI tables in their earliest forms and the federal government later tinkered with measurements in a way that accounts for much of the sudden "explosion" in obesity (yes, a BMI chart is included at the end of the book). Repeatedly, Campos rails against media stars whose main qualification is their leanness, questions medical conclusions, and demands that we look at weight as a class issue. --Amazon.com
This was an interesting point of view, but I found the research studies in the beginning chapters not well footnoted to enable me to look them up on my own for further reading. The political and social commentary was more interesting.