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Killer Fat: Media, Medicine, and Morals in the American
     

Killer Fat: Media, Medicine, and Morals in the American "Obesity Epidemic"

by Natalie Boero
 

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ISBN-10: 0813553717

ISBN-13: 9780813553719

Pub. Date: 09/01/2012

Publisher: Rutgers University Press

In the past decade, obesity has emerged as a major public health concern in the United States  and abroad. At the federal, state, and local level, policy makers have begun drafting a range of policies to fight a war against fat, including body-mass index (BMI) report cards, “snack taxes,” and laws to control how fast food companies market to

Overview

In the past decade, obesity has emerged as a major public health concern in the United States  and abroad. At the federal, state, and local level, policy makers have begun drafting a range of policies to fight a war against fat, including body-mass index (BMI) report cards, “snack taxes,” and laws to control how fast food companies market to children. As an epidemic, obesity threatens to weaken the health, economy, and might of the most powerful nation in the world.

            In Killer Fat, Natalie Boero examines how and why obesity emerged as a major public health concern and national obsession in recent years. Using primary sources and in-depth interviews, Boero enters the world of bariatric surgeries, Weight Watchers, and Overeaters Anonymous to show how common expectations of what bodies are supposed to look like help to determine what sorts of interventions and policies are considered urgent in containing this new kind of disease.

            Boero argues that obesity, like the traditional epidemics of biological contagion and mass death, now incites panic, a doomsday scenario that must be confronted in a struggle for social stability. The “war” on obesity, she concludes, is a form of social control. Killer Fat ultimately offers an alternate framing of the nation’s obesity problem based on the insights of the “Health at Every Size” movement.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813553719
Publisher:
Rutgers University Press
Publication date:
09/01/2012
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction: Weighty Matters 1

1 Obesity as a "Leading Health Indicator": Public Health, Moral Entrepreneurs, and a Confluence of Interests 16

2 All the News That's Fat to Print: The American Obesity Epidemic and the Media 40

3 Normative Pathology and Unique Disease: Weight Watchers, Overeaters Anonymous, and Behavioral Treatments for the Obesity Epidemic 59

4 Bypassing Blame: Bariatric Surgery, Normative Femininity, and the Case of Biomedical Failure 94

Conclusion: Health at Every Size or Thin at Any Price? 124

Appendix: Methodology 137

Notes 145

References 161

Index 171

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