A book by Greg Critser. This book is about Obesity in America. One major area this book covers is why obesity and poverty are linked.

Several other major points he makes are:

  • 26 percent of Americans are obese, not just overweight, but fat to a point where there are health problems.
  • Being overweight will kill far more Americans each year than any terrorist would dare dream of taking out.
  • Trends in international trade, agriculture, social customs, marketing and food sciences have all contributed to the caloric increase of the American diet.
  • In prepared foods there is a pervasiveness of:
    1. High-fructose corn syrup -the crack version of sugar
    2. Palm oil -with the same molecular characteristics as lard.
  • In the last 20 years, the proportion spent on restaurant food has increased, from around a quarter to around a half each dollar spent on food.
  • Restaurant food tends to:
    1. Come in larger potions
    2. Have a greater caloric density.

He talks about some truths of human behavior.

  • Most people do not know when to stop eating and tend to eat as much as they can.
  • When given the opportunity to eat at a discounted price many people will order - and eat - twice as much.
  • This is a product of natural selection, insurance against future deprivation.
  • The increasing diversity of high calorie snacks encourages a larger total quantity to be eaten.
  • He also debunks the myth that moderate exercise throughout the day is not equal to short intense exercise.

My favorite quote:

"almost all Americans will be overweight by 2050."1

What makes this book a good resource is that these assertions are backed up by many case studies numerous pieces of statistical evidence.

Review source data: Obesity Gap, Laura Miller, Salon January 9, 2003

1 James O. Hill, University of Colorado's Health Sciences Center

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