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Diet Myth [Paperback]

Paul Campos

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Book Description

May 10 2005
Is your weight hazardous to your health? According to public-health authorities, 65 percent of us are overweight. Every day, we are bombarded with dire warnings about America’s "obesity epidemic." Close to half of the adult population is dieting, obsessed with achieving an arbitrary "ideal weight." Yet studies show that a moderately active larger person is likely to be far healthier (and to live longer) than someone who is thin but sedentary. And contrary to what the fifty-billion-dollar-per-year weight-loss industry would have us believe, medical science has not yet come up with a way to make people thin.

After years spent scrutinizing medical studies and interviewing leading doctors, scientists, eating- disorder specialists, and psychiatrists, Professor Paul Campos is here to lead the backlash against weight hysteria—and to show that we can safeguard our health without obsessing about the numbers on the scale. But The Diet Myth is not just a compelling argument, grounded in the latest scientific research; it’s also a provocative, wry exposé of the culture that feeds on our self-defeating war on fat. Campos will show:

How the nation’s most prestigious and trusted media sources consistently misinform the public about obesity
What the movie industry’s love affair with the "fat suit" tells us about the relationship between racial- and body-based prejudice in America
How the skinny elite—with their "supersized" lifestyles and gas-guzzling SUVs—project their anxieties about overconsumption on the poorer and heavier underclass
How weight-loss mania fueled the impeachment of Bill Clinton

In this paradigm-busting read, Professor Campos challenges the conventional wisdom regarding the medical, political, and cultural meaning of weight and brings a rational and compelling new voice to America’s increasingly irrational weight debate.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: GOTHAM BOOKS PB; Reprint edition (May 10 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159240135X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592401352
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 13.5 x 2.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #432,594 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book that really makes you think about our weight obsessed society! April 10 2007
By Jennifer R. Hill - Published on Amazon.com
This book helped give me a better vision of just how weight obsessed our society is and how it effects its citizens. I have always been skeptical about every little report and study that comes out admonishing anyone who weighs a bit more than they should and the doomsday mentality of the media in regards to our weight. Like the author points out - our weight is going up but we are living longer than ever before. He also discusses how being active is a lot more important than what we weigh.

If you really want a serious look at weight and diet this is a great book to read! It will make anyone who is "overweight" (by our government's standards) feel better about themselves and not feel so down about every extra pound they may carry.
14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars interesting facts March 26 2006
By Kirachan - Published on Amazon.com
I am aware that this book too only shows one side of the coin, and the repetition of the same accusations over and over made the read a little less exciting than possible, but WHAT was repeated were some revealing and scary thoughts about what people do with statistics! There is just no better instrument than bent data if you want to push a cause... and since the weight-health relation topic affects me personally, it made me really angry to read how I am declared sick and worthless and how people are handed the instruments to discriminate against me through fake interpretations of statistical data, that any 4th grader would look through... had someone only asked them.
13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Go Mythbusters July 4 2006
By CathyVM - Published on Amazon.com
With lawyerly aplomb, Professor Paul Campos has provided a well-written and devastatingly logical case against the omnipresent sophistry that underpins so much apparently "sound science", and puts the "war on fat" on trial. Doing what so many health professionals have regretfully failed to do, he analyzes the original data purporting to support the hysterical claims of the obesity experts and finds the evidence for this war not so much negligible as practically non-existent.

Erudite and thought provoking, the Diet Myth places the obesity panicdemic within a wider context of deeper societal issues ranging from consumerism to racism with astonishing perception and delicious wit.

This book will outrage, but ultimately empower, anybody who believes (or has been convinced) they have a problem with their weight or shape, and should be compulsory reading for the weight-fascist self-interested health professionals who have played such a pivotal role in the creation of this farcical "disease". Aside from all that, it's a ripping good read!
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stop Eating disorders and read this book now! March 5 2009
By Pola Kai Napali - Published on Amazon.com
As someone who has struggled with eating disorders since my teen years I am horrorified and outraged at what I have learned in this book.

That the health, medical and government authorities would tamper with obesity studies to show that being fat is unhealthy and scaring a nation into obsession and eating disorders galore makes me want to scream!It is amazing this has been going on and the masses of Americans have been duped over and over for a hundred years. Oprah should read this book and let it be known that we have been essentially lied to about the dangers of being fat and that weight loss is health promoting.

Please read this book and be willing to stop the insanity by confronting your own obsession with your weight. Please do it for future generations who may not have to suffer from a life draining, self esteem robbing and fatal obsession.

The work to be done to cleanse our minds and beings of this deeply ingrained belief system is by no means easy. But armed with the information that Paul Campos so brilliantly explains, one can be inspired to keep remembering what is really important in life and what true health really is.

I came away from reading this book with not only outrage but under that emotion was the realization that we are a nation who so desparately wants love and attention that we will do anything for it. Even hurt ourselves with diets. Those of us who were not naturally thin as kids most likely have memories of not fitting in or being teased. Some of us craved to be popular so badly because we had little self esteem for many reasons. We learn from a very early age that being fat is somehow bad. Geting thin brings an almost guarantee of being admired and complimented on. We get positive attention. Who does not want that? The alternative is to be either ignored or outright shunned and even made fun of. It takes a courageous person to do the work of dropping the diet myth from their life.To find the good feelings we crave in something else that is truly healthy. Many cannot do it.

We are supported in getting thin because it is supposedly healthier, this is a virtuous desire, but now we know, the studies have been tampered with and excess fat does not make one unhealthy for the most part. Being fat is not unhealthy. What we do know is acting in unhealthy ways is unhealthy (ie dieting, binging, no exercise) we can eat a well balanced non restrictive diet, and be moderately active and enjoy health at most weights, even what we consider overweight. We don't like that idea though. We want to lose weight because we want fit in to the cultural ideal. Period.

I also recommend Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth about Your Weight by Linda Bacon Phd. and It's Not About Food by Laurelee Roark and Carol Emery Normandi.

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