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What's Wrong with Fat? presents each of the various ways in which fat is understood in America today, examining the implications of understanding fatness as a health risk, disease, and epidemic, and revealing why we've come to understand the issue in these terms, despite considerable scientific uncertainty and debate. Saguy shows how debates over the relationship between body size and health risk take place within a larger, though often invisible, contest over whether we should understand fatness as obesity at all. Moreover, she reveals that public discussions of the "obesity crisis" do more harm than good, leading to bullying, weight-based discrimination, and misdiagnoses. Showing that the medical framing of fat is literally making us sick, What's Wrong with Fat? provides a crucial corrective to our society's misplaced obsession with weight.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Christine Morton on 04-21-14
Enlightening findings from rigorous research
What made the experience of listening to What's Wrong with Fat? the most enjoyable?
Well written in an engaging style, the book drew me in with the claim that the much hyped "obesity epidemic" is less a matter of empirical fact than a particular frame constructed by those who see obesity as a medical issue or individual responsibility. I learned a lot, including that BMI was never meant to assess individual weight, and was recalculated in the late 1980s (or 1990s?) resulting in a lot more people becoming 'overweight' or 'obese' overnight!
What was one of the most memorable moments of What's Wrong with Fat??
I appreciated the insights from the advocates who proffer alternative framing of fat, as "healthy at every size" or a matter of social acceptance. I was shocked and dismayed to learn of details of public health campaigns that shame and blame children and their parents regarding childhood obesity.
How could the performance have been better?
I can see how reading nonfiction can be challenging for a performer, but I found this voice not well suited to nonfiction. It's probably a matter of subjective taste - the voice was too high pitched for me to really enjoy it.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
I listened to this book over several days while driving to/from work. The substance of the book caused to me reflect on my own assumptions about fat, talk to colleagues, and come back for more. I needed time to digest the material in between listening sessions.
Any additional comments?
In the chapters reporting data, there was a lot of repetitive data or terms, which in reading, could be easily skimmed without reading every word. Listening to the description of tables in the chapter reporting on the surveys was a bit tedious. Overall, though, this book makes a significant contribution to our understanding of "obesity" and how particular frames, or definitions, create significant harm for certain groups of people.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful