May 15, 12
Read in January, 2010
What's Changed in America that has Resulted in Obesity?
David Kessler knows what he is talking about. His credentials are very strong. In addition to a stellar academic background he has run a teaching hospital and served as a commissioner for the Food and Drug Administration. He's not simply writing a book to get on the bandwagon and tap into the huge industry that exists in America because frankly as a nation, we're gaining weight. We are at a sea change now, where our younger generations may for the first time in a long time, actuarially begin to see lifespans and quality of life decrease. Add to these qualifications the fact too that Kessler has a strong background in examining and dealing with the science and medicine of tobacco addiction and it's easy to see why Kessler is better positioned than most to write a book of this nature.
Kessler very clearly and with great support explains why this raise in national obesity is happening and then goes on to provide real insight as to what needs to change to see this disturbing trend reversed, both in the arena of national health care policy and personal habits and responsibility.
First to the technical elements of this book. I purchased this book on my Kindle and I found it to be well laid out with an interactive table of contents which allowed me to move directly to chapters. This is an important element because the Kindle tracks by data volume and not page number, so without this element, as I've found to my consternation in other Kindle books you're forced to guess as to where that particular chapter you're looking for is without a means to jump there easily and so this is something that I look carefully for now in a Kindle book before I just hit the buy button. This book functioned completely and conveniently in the Kindle format and I can recommend it without reservation in that format as opposed to a hard-copy.
This book is laid out in six parts and is written in short pithy chapters that progressively build upon one another and then transition cleanly into the next logical area to be addresses and assessed.
From the fundamentals of nutrition to an examination of the business practices of today's food industry to the emotional and psychological trigger-points that have been identified and are routinely pushed with predictable results in the American populace a case is compellingly built as to why Americans have gained weight, how the food and restaurant industry is complicit in the factors which coincidentally contribute to their profit margins and how Americans can identify and take control of their own destinies collectively and individually.
While the level of discussion presented in this book is higher than most popular literature, the editing and writing style has been well laid out and there is no reason the average reader cannot move through this material easily. Anecdotal stories pepper the work and help to illustrate and reinforce the more technical elements that are explained themselves without a great deal of technical, medical jargon.
All in all I came away from the book better aware of the factors that are at work in our nation and within me personally to drive me toward overeating and obesity. That knowledge in and of itself is not enough to solve the problem, but there is enough there to provide a platform from which to move in the future.
5 stars, an excellent and powerful read.