Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Big Fat Crisis: The Hidden Forces Behind the Obesity Epidemic � and How We Can End It” as Want to Read:
A Big Fat Crisis: The Hidden Forces Behind the Obesity Epidemic � and How We Can End It
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

3.27 of 5 stars 3.27  ·  rating details  ·  71 ratings  ·  24 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
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published December 24th 2013 by Nation Books (first published January 1st 2013)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Big Fat Crisis, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Big Fat Crisis

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 193)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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
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
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
A look at the obesity epidemic with suggestions on what we can do about it, mostly circulating around government regulations to shrink restaurant portion sizes, remove candy displays at checkout, and increase usage of public parks for exercise.

Honestly, I'm on board with the government regulations, simply because I think this is a bigger crisis than people even realize right now. Just thinking about all the increased health care costs (which we will ALL PAY even if we are not obese) can be shock
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
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
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.
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.
Heather said it better than I could: "My fear in regulating healthy foods is that I suspect the obesity epidemic was caused in part by really poor dietary guidelines set by the government in the first place." The basic premise of the book is that we can't help eating the junk food that manufacturers deliberately entice us with (so that they can make a profit); therefore the government has to regulate it for us. I certainly don't have any great love for food manufacturers who are inundating us wi ...more
Deborah Cohen has written a compelling book about how the food environment often works against us and nudges us toward obesogenic choices. Her clear, engaging writing style is filled with solid science. Many of the studies she cites are intriguing and surprising on their own, but she pulls them together into a comprehensive whole. The picture she paints allows the reader to see the food environment through the eyes of scientist who is concerned about the health of our nation and compassionate ab ...more
I started out really liking this book. The first few chapters talked about brain function and how an individual faced with many choices every single day tends to choose the easiest, most comforting choices when it comes to food, especially towards the end of a long day. However, about half way through this book, the author started to blame global warming on obesity. Yup. We are fat because we eat too much red meat and since read meat comes from cows and cows emit carbon dioxide which threatens t ...more
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
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
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.
Stefanus Andre
Interesting and informative first half but the suggestions on how to mitigate and solve the obesity epidemic require quite a lot of changes to be done. Hence it is very likely to happen any time soon, especially in USA.
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.
Callie Rose Tyler
Jul 24, 2014 Callie Rose Tyler marked it as just-no
A call for more government thank you.
May 27, 2014 PWRL marked it as to-read
Shelves: 2014-new
Nothing new. Rehashed info better told in other sources.
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.
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.
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.
Ok book... very detailed... I skipped through some pages!!
Ki marked it as to-read
Feb 20, 2015
Brittany Jock
Brittany Jock marked it as to-read
Feb 09, 2015
Alina marked it as to-read
Feb 03, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Family Secrets: Living with Shame from the Victorians to the Present Day (Themes In British Social History) Braceros: Migrant Citizens and Transnational Subjects in the Postwar United States and Mexico Family Secrets: The Things We Tried to Hide (Themes In British Social History) Comparison and History: Europe in Cross-National Perspective Papa Jethro

Share This Book