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Fat Land: How Americans Became the Fattest People in the Worldby Greg Critser
"[T]he really interesting and provocative aspect of Critser's book concerns class and poverty, which he insists several times are the 'key determinants of obesity and weight-related disease.' That's a strong-enough assertion for a magazine article, but he doesn't take it far in this slender book....Still, Fat Land is a lively book with more than a few worthwhile points to make, and you can't help but appreciate a writer who comes up with a line like 'In the early 1990s supersize had met Super Mario with a vengeance.'" Laura Miller, Salon.com (read the entire Salon.com review)
Synopses & Reviews
In this incisive and astonishing expose, journalist Greg Critser looks beyond the sensational headlines to reveal why nearly 60 percent of Americans are now overweight. Critser investigates the many disparate factors of American life that have converged and conspired to place us among the fattest people on the planet. Delving into issues of class, politics, culture, economics, and the latest in medical research, Fat Land does an excellent job connecting the dots between government and corporate policies and the fattening of America" (Michael Pollan, New York Times Book Review).
Critser's sharp-eyed reportage and sharp-tongued wit make for a disarmingly funny and truly alarming book. From supersize to Super Mario, from high fructose corn syrup to the high cost of physical education in schools, Critser examines the obesity epidemic. Along the way he explains why pediatricians are treating conditions rarely before noticed in children, why Type 2 diabetes is on the rise, and how agribusiness has unwittingly altered the American diet.
"In vivid prose conveying the urgency of the situation, with just the right amount of detail for general readers, Critser tells a story that they won't be able to shake when they pass the soda pop aisle in the supermarket." Publishers Weekly
"An important work that belongs in all nutrition and public health collections." Library Journal
"An absorbing volume, of living large." Michiko Kakutani, New York Times
"An in-depth, well-researched, and thoughtful exploration of the 'fat boom' in America." The Boston Globe
In this astonishing expose, journalist Greg Critser looks beyond the sensational headlines to reveal why nearly 60 percent of Americans are now overweight. Critser's sharp-eyed reportage and sharp-tongued analysis make for a disarmingly funny and truly alarming book. Critser investigates the many factors of American life — from supersize to Super Mario, from high-fructose corn syrup to the high cost of physical education in schools — that have converged and conspired to make us some of the fattest people on the planet. He also explains why pediatricians are treating conditions rarely before noticed in children, why Type 2 diabetes is on the rise, and how agribusiness has unwittingly altered the American diet.
Today Americans are the fattest people on the face of the earth (save for the inhabitants of a few South Seas islands). About 61 percent of Americans are overweight. This book shows how and why Americans got that way.
About the Author
GREG CRITSER is a longtime chronicler of the modern pharmaceutical industry and the politics of medicine. His columns and essays on the subject have appeared in Harper's Magazine, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, the L.A. Times, and elsewhere. Critser is the author of Fat Land: How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World (Houghton Mifflin), which the American Diabetes Association called "the definitive journalistic account of the modern obesity epidemic." He lives in Pasadena, California, with his wife, Antoinette Mongelli.
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