Marilee J. Layman
October 3rd, 2007
The Obesity Myth by Paul Campos:
I pointed out a Campos article to firecat who had already seen it and asked if I'd read this book. I hadn't, so I took it out of the library.
Subtitled Why America's Obssession with Weight is Hazardous to Your Health, the biggest revelation for me was that the Harvard study that all our BMI and health information has been based on for years doesn't actually say what was publicized. People at the "acceptable" BMI actually die of health issues earlier than either underweight folks or overweight folks. Then, there are diseases that fat protects people from.
The book is in three parts: 1. Fat Science, where he provides info on the current studies on fat and health -- showing that weight doesn't predict your health. 2. Fat Culture, where we see that the people who are at the heart of waging the war on fat are, wait, pharmaceutical companies and weight-loss companies. Science? Naw, money. 3. Fat Politics, where he shows how thin became good and fat became bad.
I would have prefered actual footnotes for the references to studies and papers. What he's done (and this does go with the popular science voice of the book) is to have a Notes section at the back of the book where each cite starts with a bolding of the particular sentence or phrase in the text and then has the reference.
I think this is a good book for everybody to read -- not just overweight people. Find out how money is pushing the fat-is-bad message.