Globesity: A Planet Out of Control?

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Overview

Obesity represents one of the major global health challenges of the 21st century.

Its occurrence has now reached epidemic proportions, not only in industrialized nations, but increasingly in less developed countries too.

Written by world-leading specialists in public health nutrition, Globesity cuts straight to the underlying nature and causes of this devastating trend. It shows that the causes of obesity are primarily socio-economic and the result of a distorted agricultural and food production and supply system. To address this problem, we must learn how to better manage the physical, social and economic environment rather than simply focusing on individual lifestyle choices.

The authors draw starting parallels between the obesity crisis and climate change, both of which are characterized by the over-consumption of increasingly scarce resources and require radical, urgent and sustainable solutions. The authors argue that if we are to deal with the twin crises of our climate and our waistlines, action must be taken now.

Drawing on a wide range of sources and disciplines, including anthropology, economics, sociology, epidemiology, medicine and nutrition, Globesity provides a vital treatment of the issues for general readers, health professionals, policy-makers and students alike.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book shows how closely interwoven are the forces which shape our dietary health and our environmental and economic security. It recognizes that world history is at a point of transition, and that there is hope that we can yet avoid future disaster."
Tim Lobstein, International Association for the Study of Obesity, UK

"Readers of Globesity may be dismayed to discover that obesity is not a problem exclusive to Americans. It affects Europeans and people throughout the world. This thorough and well written book provides all the evidence needed to convince anyone that the health threats are real and demand immediate action from governments as well as individuals."
Marion Nestle, Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University, and author of Food Politics and What to Eat

"The threats posed by obesity, and the rate at which the incidence has been rising, are unsustainable. The authors provide a compelling analysis of the causes and consequences of obesity, and set out the conditions under which the problems can be addressed."
Erik Millstone, Professor of Science Policy, University of Sussex

'Focusing mainly on the overconsumption of our planet's resources as well as the culture in the western world of 'fast food' over healthy food, the conclusion of this highly topical title relates to the 'odd couple' that is obesity and climate change. Arguing that many of the solutions to obesity would also help to combat climate change, the loudest argument within the book is that we must act now if we have any hope of avoiding a two-fold global crisis.'
The Environmentalist

'Despite being an easy read, this is a serious book that takes a genuinely cross-disciplinary approach to obesity as a disease. Even the most knowledgeable readers will find new facts and slants on fatness, and perhaps be encouraged to think more deeply about global public health.'
HealthMatters

'The book is transformative. It should be read and debated by students and educators; parents; practitioners in pediatrics, public health, and general medicine; and leaders in government, business, city planning, marketing, and international relations. Essential.'
J. M. Lacey, Choice.

'Gobesity is an excellent eye-opener; written in a very accessible style and including many interesting examples and anecdotes, it provides a useful overview of the obesity crisis, its causes and its repercussions. It is to be hoped that many policy-makers and citizens wake up and start developing anti-obestiy policies'
Axel Michaelowa, International Affairs

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781844076666
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 4/28/2009
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Francis Delpeuch and Bernard Maire are Research Directors in public health nutrition and work at the WHO Collaborating Centre for Human Nutrition at the IRD (Institut de Recherche pour le Développement) in Montpellier, France. Emmanuel Monnier is a scientific journalist. Michelle Holdsworth is Associate Professor of Public Health Nutrition at the University of Nottingham, UK.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures and Boxes ix

Foreword: Human Health and Global Crisis Tim Lobstein xi

Preface: Tragic Blindness xiii

List of Acronyms and Abbreviations xvii

1 Wave of Panic Across the Planet 1

Shocking figures 5

Developing countries are not exempt 9

The end of the 'French Exception' 11

Children on the front line 12

Too poor to be thin 15

2 'Badnosh' and Other Paradoxes of the Abundant Society 17

Cows go mad 17

GMOs: A focal point for new fears 20

Too much fat and sugar, not enough taste 22

Home cooking 23

Our health in jeopardy 26

Unhealthy bodies, unhappy minds 29

Underage victims 31

A high price to pay 32

3 Revolution on our plates 35

McWorld 37

No more peeling potatoes 39

From one revolution to the next 40

A change of pace 42

Fat at last! 44

The fat and the thin 46

4 Agriculture in the Age of 'More is More' 51

Towards an agriculture without farmers? 52

Produce more! 54

The perverse effects of farm subsidies 55

The success of the 'green revolutions' 58

But the fight goes on 60

A billion Chinese meat-eaters? 61

Will the world food price crisis curb the obesity pandemic? 62

The issue of eco-costs 63

5 Welcome to Wal-Mart 67

Industrial Meccano 67

Peasants out of the loop 70

Large-scale distribution takes off 71

The supermarket Eldorado of emerging nations 72

Food choice: Is it real or sham? 75

The levelling of culinary cultures 76

6 Culprits or Scapegoats? 81

Neither saints nor sinners. The goal is profit 81

More nosh for the same dosh 82

The power of advertising 84

Kids, the privileged target of the Big Five 85

Fun and games... 85

... will do the trick 87

The authoritiesstrike back 88

Powerful lobbies 90

Lobbies against lobbies 91

A genetic link? 92

7 Go Active! 95

Burning off the fat 96

Good for the figure, great for health97 97

The physical activity index 97

An armchair society 98

A question of culture 100

8 Slimming with Pills 103

Towards a weight vaccine? 105

The patient's denial, the doctor's blindness 108

A bitter remedy 109

The myth of the ideal weight 111

Draconian diets: Best avoided 111

The new wave of functional foods 113

Healthier products at last 115

9 Prevention is Better than Cure 119

Mission: To nip it in the bud 120

Fewer calories, with more physical activity 121

Changing individual behaviour: Forget it 123

Altering the environment 124

A mosaic of possible measures 126

Children first 129

Programmes that work 130

10 Some Leads and their Limits 133

I will, if you will 133

Taxing junk food 138

Making healthier food cheaper 139

Empowering consumers 140

Another way of labelling 141

Slow Food: The leisurely alternative 142

Should we eat less meat? 144

Producing less, but better 145

Biotechnology vs bio-ecology 145

A global code of practice for advertising junk foods to children 146

11 Obesity and Climate Change: An Odd Couple 149

Evidence for an unexpected relationship 149

Similar causes? 150

Drive less, cycle more, save the planet! 151

We (and the planet) are what we eat 153

Similar solutions to obesity and climate change 156

Epilogue: At the Crossroads 159

Bibliography 163

Index 173

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