The World is Fat: The Fads, Trends, Policies, and Products That Are Fatteningthe Human Race

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Overview

Fast Food Nation meets The World Is Flat in this eye-opening look at the obesity epidemic.

Today, the planet's 1.3 billion overweight people by far outnumber the 700 million who are undernourished. This figure would have seemed ludicrous just fifty years ago, when hunger was the world's most pressing nutritional problem.

In The World Is Fat, Barry Popkin argues that the fattening of the human race is not simply about that next cheeseburger; ...

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The World Is Fat: The Fads, Trends, Policies, and Products That Are Fatteningthe Human Race

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Overview

Fast Food Nation meets The World Is Flat in this eye-opening look at the obesity epidemic.

Today, the planet's 1.3 billion overweight people by far outnumber the 700 million who are undernourished. This figure would have seemed ludicrous just fifty years ago, when hunger was the world's most pressing nutritional problem.

In The World Is Fat, Barry Popkin argues that the fattening of the human race is not simply about that next cheeseburger; rather, it is a result of an unprecedented collision of human biology with trends in technology, globalization, government policy, and the food industry that are changing how we eat and how we live.

Popkin, whose expertise in both nutrition and economics makes him uniquely qualified to write this book, compares our lifestyles today with those of half a century ago through the stories of five families living in the United States, Mexico, and India. He shows how increasing access to media and exposure to advertising, a powerful food industry, the rise of Wal-Mart like shopping centers, and a dramatic decline in physical activity are clashing with millions of years of human evolution, creating a world of overweight people with debilitating health problems such as diabetes. Ultimately, Popkin contends that widespread obesity is less a result of poor individual dietary choices than about a hi-tech, interconnected world in which governments and multinational corporations have extraordinary power to shape our everyday lives.

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Editorial Reviews

Fuchsia Dunlop
Popkin, a distinguished nutritionist with more than 30 years' experience in international research, offers a concise, lucid overview of how the human diet has gone awry in the last half-century.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly

Popkin, a renowned obesity and nutrition expert, investigates what the World Health Organization has defined as a global obesity epidemic, identifying familiar culprits (nutrient-poor, sugar-rich foods; larger serving sizes and less exercise)-but introduces fresh research to demonstrate how our drinking habits have contributed to the problem. The author follows the expanding waistlines of four families in the United States, Mexico and India to argue that obesity is less a result of "gluttony and sloth" than a confluence of factors rooted in a fundamental conflict between human biology and modern society, where more calories are consumed than expended, and governments and multinational corporations shape everyday lives (a detailed section traces the growth of modern food and beverage conglomerates). Unfortunately, the book remains a disjointed portrayal of this thesis: Popkin never fully explores the impact of energy drinks and sodas and interrupts his observations of the four families to wax nostalgic (and unscientific) on his youthful dietary and exercise habits in rural Wisconsin. The salience and urgency of the obesity epidemic is incontrovertible, however, and Popkin's is a readable and ambitious introduction. (Jan.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781583333136
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 12/26/2008
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.14 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Barry Popkinis the Carla Smith Chamblee Distinguished Professor of Global Nutrition at the University of North Carolina and the director of the UNC Interdisciplinary Obesity Center. His research has spanned all continents over the past thirty years. His work has been featured in hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles, including The New York Times, The Wall Steet Journal, USA Today, and Scientific American.
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Table of Contents

1 A brief history of the modern diet 17

2 We are what we drink 43

3 On movement 65

4 The world is flat - and fat 83

5 The big problems of a fat world 101

6 Nothing to see here : the food industry's role in causing and solving the problem 123

7 What can we do? 145

Acknowledgments 179

Sources and references 185

Index 223

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2013

    HEY FATASS

    STOP EATING FATTY

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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