A Big Fat Crisis: The Hidden Forces Behind the Obesity Epidemic � and How We Can End It
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A Big Fat Crisis: The Hidden Forces Behind the Obesity Epidemic � and How We Can End It

3.33 of 5 stars 3.33  ·  rating details  ·  49 ratings  ·  18 reviews

Obesity is the public health crisis of the twenty-first century. Over 150 million Americans are overweight or obese, and across the globe an estimated 1.5 billion are affected. In A Big Fat Crisis, Dr. Deborah A. Cohen has created a major new work that will transform the conversation surrounding the modern weight crisis. Based on her own extensive research, as well as the...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published December 24th 2013 by Nation Books (first published January 1st 2013)
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Jessica
Who's to blame for the obesity epidemic in the United States? Deborah Cohen, a medical doctor and public health researcher, examines the food environment and the psychology of impulse consumption. Her conclusion? We evolved to crave sugar, fat, and calories, which were scarce for most of human history, but now the glut of energy-dense and nutrient-empty foods in our society is making us sick. She concludes: "The food environment has become a tsunami. If it doesn’t drown us, it waterlogs even the...more
David Kinchen
BOOK REVIEW: 'A Big Fat Crisis': Dr. Deborah A. Cohen Says It's Not Your Fault -- Entirely -- If You're Fat

Most books on the nation's obesity crisis -- which affects more than 150 million Americans, almost half the nation's population -- blame the individual for pigging out. Or they blame fast food restaurants like the ubiquitous McDonald's for "super-sizing" portions and our bellies and posteriors.


Call it the "Spurlock Syndrome" for Morgan Spurlock's documentary on obesity. McDonald's was in th...more
Chris Demer
This is a very readable and on-target book that addresses the crisis of obesity in today's world and the public health crisis that is on its way as a result.Deborah Cohen is a physician with a background in epidemiology. She provides statistical evidence that obesity decreases life expectancy and increases the risks of diabetes, heart disease, stroke and some types of cancers. Meanwhile-what do we do about it??

While it is easy to throw the responsibility for being overweight or obese onto those...more
Jim Kahn
The author presents a case for explaining how our culture's epidemic with obesity is due to the overabundance, ruthless marketing and the science of getting people to eat more than they need to. She reviews a multitude of studies indicating the subconscious effects of various situations and how we can be exploited by clever advertising to eat more and thus become obese.

She goes on to explain how the government should take collective action to impose regulations to combat obesity in the same way...more
E
This book presents an argument that is important to understand and not getting anywhere near enough attention in our "if you're unhealthy it's your own damn fault, put down the box of doughnuts" culture, namely, that our food environment sets people up to fail. This argument, then, puts the blame where it more appropriately belongs: on the food manufacturers, advertisers, supermarkets, and restaurants that push and push and push us to eat more, and more crap, than we really need. Sadly, although...more
Bonnie Samuel
Interesting ideas. Kind of pie in the sky, though. Americans being as independent and "it's all about individual responsibility" as we are, you'd have a heck of a time getting people to accept the idea of having the government regulate our food environment beyond food safety, even if it makes people healthier and lowers the cost of medical care. I can see this working in a progressive society like Denmark or Sweden, but it's a little too fantastic for the United States.
Pat Herndon
Well researched, yet surely controversial. Cohen examines the environmental conditions that lead a majority of Americans to be overweight. She places less blame on the individual than she does on an over abundant, affordable, food supply and the marketers and retailers who use techniques to constantly bombard us with easily made bad choices. She looks to environmental protection laws, clean water laws, public hygiene laws, regulation of alcohol sales and the passage of the ADA as models of regul...more
Melanie
Interesting information about how humans have evolved and the resulting difficulty with the overabundance of unhealthy food. Her solutions involve government regulation of the food environment. It only addresses the issue of weight when it talks about the health of Americans. I believe health involves many aspects of lifestyle that interact with weight that also need to be addressed to solve the obesity crisis. Many "normal" weight individuals are very unhealthy while many "overweight" individua...more
Heather
I wavered between 2 and 3 stars on this one. Parts of it were interesting, other parts were over-the-top preachy. It started out well with a discussion of how we are wired to eat and our environment makes it extremely difficult for us to overcome that wiring. The science was a little weak, and some of the studies used as arguments just seemed pointless, like having people choose between a glue stick and a pack of M&M's.

The rest of the book was about how we need more regulations to make peop...more
Lisaal
Lots of great research. Premise that in order to solve the “fat crisis”, we need government regulation. Hmmmm... Parallels the pre-germ theory 19th century with today’s consumerist food culture. We limit alcohol and tobacco sales. Junk food should be the same.
-change the way food is marketed & sold - availability of high-calorie, low-nutrient foods, too-large portion sizes, and food advertising.
-People in our society do not have a chance to be healthy because we are bombarded with garbage....more
Jennifer
I am giving it four stars because I think it's worth reading. I have learned a lot by reading it- for example only 7 extra calories per day can explain our average weight gain of 23 lbs. I definitely feel more aware of our food- pushing surroundings from having read this- which is exactly what I wanted- to feel refreshed and reinspired to continue calorie counting.
Erika
Lots of information, but most of it was not new to me. I liked the author's multi-system approach to the current obesity crisis, rather than focusing on only one solution.
Tressa
She made good points, but this isn't anything new. Yes, we are hard wired to eat. Yes, food manufacturers will do anything to get us to buy their product. Yes, we have an abundance of food. I don't need a MD to figure that out. I was looking for more chemistry rather than psychology. I also don't need the government in my shopping cart.
PWRL
May 27, 2014 PWRL marked it as to-read
Shelves: 2014-new
O
lisa
Nothing new. Rehashed info better told in other sources.
Lindsay
Nothing groundbreaking here. However, she has a very readable style and I liked the ideas that she had for making it easier for people to make smarter choices at restaurants. One idea is to prohibit restaurants from charging patrons for sharing dishes. But in general she wrote of stuff I think most people know--portion sizes have gone up, and it's cheaper to get processed food than healthy stuff.
Stephanie
Some very interesting ideas on the obesity epidemic. However, since we can't even regulate gun control I am wary to think our government would even begin to pass any of these terrific legislative ideas.
Irene
Ok book... very detailed... I skipped through some pages!!
Jackie
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Jun 29, 2014
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Jun 26, 2014
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