Weavre's Reviews > The Obesity Myth: Why America's Obsession with Weight is Hazardous to Your Health

The Obesity Myth by Paul Campos
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Aug 24, 08

it was amazing
bookshelves: science-and-learning-theory
Recommended to Weavre by: new book display @ Albright Mem. Library
Read in June, 2004

This book made a lot of interesting observations, some of which are now supported by further research. (For example, cholesterol and triglyceride levels make more difference in risk of "obesity-related" problems like heart attack risk, than does the amount of fat itself.)

I particularly liked that it challenged popular assumptions in clear, comprehensible ways. For example, obese people have health risks beyond those of nonobese people. It's easy to assume that, therefore, all obese people should lose weight in order to reduce risk. But, consider: fair-skinned people have a higher risk of skin cancer than do dark-skinned people. The logic of the slimming industry, applied here, would suggest that fair-skinned people should tan to darken their skin to reduce their risk ... but as almost everyone now knows, this is exactly the wrong approach, and dramatically increases risk!

Paul Campos also calls attention to the less-popularized but very real health risks of being underweight, and how the focus on obesity has led to ignoring these risks.

This is NOT a book to say, "Be happy fat and don't bother losing weight." It's definitely a good idea for anyone, of any shape, to act to improve physical fitness and stamina, and to eat a healthy diet. When these things are in balance and other disorder is absent, morbid obesity isn't likely ... and neither is emaciation. Paul Campos does suggest, though, that fitness and nutrition are more important than waistline measurements, and that we should think critically about what the popular media tells us regarding our health before swallowing it whole.
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