Our government is telling us that obesity is a major health crisis, that sixty percent of Americans are "overweight," and that one in four is obese. But how true are these claims? In Fat Politics, Eric Oliver unearths the real story behind America's "obesity epidemic." Oliver shows how a handful of doctors, government bureaucrats, and health researchers, with financial backing from the drug and weight-loss industry, have campaigned to misclassify more than sixty million Americans as "overweight," to inflate the health risks of being fat, and to promote the idea that obesity is a killer disease. In reviewing the scientific evidence, Oliver shows there is little proof either that obesity causes so many diseases and deaths or that losing weight makes people any healthier. Our concern with obesity is fueled more by social prejudice, bureaucratic politics, and industry profit than by scientific fact. Such misinformation, Oliver argues, is the true problem with obesity in America. By telling us we need to be thin, the proponents of the "obesity epidemic" are pushing millions of Americans towards dangerous surgeries, crash diets, and harmful diet drugs. Oliver goes on to examine the surprising reasons why we hate fatness and why we are gaining weight, and also the real threats to our health that are being displaced by our fat obsession. Fat Politics not only topples our most basic assumptions about obesity and health, it highlights frightening dangers caused by making our weight a scapegoat for our real problems.
- Publication Date:
- 15 / 11 / 2005