The Cultural Histories of Fat and Fat Phobia

Anna Katharina Schaffner at the TLS:

Written in the sharp and irate debunking-of-bad-science mode that has become his stock-in-trade, Warner’s book The Truth About Fareveals that many of the most widely accepted views on the causes of obesity are simplistic, scientifically unsound or immoral. The book is a thought-provoking corrective to the idea that obesity is simply the result of eating too much and moving too little, which puts the blame squarely on the obese. With verve, mastery of the available data, and a gripping narrative, Warner demonstrates that obesity is a highly complicated problem that requires intricate strategies if it is to be addressed effectively. Books that take a complexity-theory approach are not normally an easy sell, given that they refuse to provide neat solutions to pressing problems, and Warner’s certainly pulls the rug of comforting certainties from under the reader’s feet. Almost all existing strategies in the fight against obesity are flawed and inefficient at best, he says, and may even be making things worse.

more here.