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Understanding Obesity

Book front cover titled Understanding Obesity by Stanley Ulijaszek

In this book, Stanley Ulijaszek attempts to pull apart the entangled fields and viewpoints concerned with obesity to weave together a cohesive understanding of the issue plaguing many countries around the world. The author takes an interdisciplinary approach to elucidate facts in the midst of decades of failed policy and interventions. 

This book takes an interdisciplinary approach to cover the topic of obesity to help elucidate a culturally and politically charged term. Stanley Ulijaszek draws from biology, anthropology and sociology to discuss the entangled debates about obesity in medicine, public health, public policy and in the media. Readers can expect to find up-to-date information on body fat, genetics, metabolism, food, ultra processed foods, eating, inequality, blame, stigma and physical exercise. The author positions the book as an attempt to pull together the interconnected fields related to obesity, acknowledging the decades of failed policy and intervention efforts to curb rising obesity and related negative health outcomes.
Publisher’s summary
Most people have some dissatisfaction or concern about body weight, fatness, or obesity, either personally or professionally. This book shows how the popular understanding of obesity is often at odds with scientific understandings, and how misunderstandings about people with obesity can further contribute to the problem. It describes, in an approachable way, interconnected debates about obesity in public policy, medicine and public health, and how media and social media engage people in everyday life in those debates. In chapters considering body fat and fatness, genetics, metabolism, food and eating, inequality, blame and stigma, and physical activity, this book brings separate domains of obesity research into the field of complexity. By doing so, it aids navigation through the minefield of misunderstandings about body weight, fatness, and obesity that exist today, after decades of mostly failed policies and interventions.

Ulijaszek, S., 2024. Understanding Obesity. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

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