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The Hungry Gene: The Science of Fat and the Future of Thin Hardcover – Oct 1 2002


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: GROVE/ATLANTIC; 1 edition (Oct. 1 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0871138565
  • ISBN-13: 978-0871138569
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 16 x 2.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 567 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,281,111 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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The first time I set eyes on Nancy Wright, she is flat on her back and cruciate. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Format: Hardcover
Anyone who enjoyed Fast Food Nation is going to love this book, because it makes clear why what we're eating and how we're living, has created the biggest public health problem since smoking. I really don't know where to begin getting into it, because this slim volume is so complete, covering everything from what starvation studies told us about why we eat, to the genetics of appetite, to social influences on eating behavior, to prenatal programming of obesity. It gets deep into the politics of the food industry, and into food marketing to children. It explains how changes in the diet made industry rich, and a growing number of people around the world fat and diabetic. It nails the smoking gun of the obesity epidemic, which is the impact of an obesegenic environment on suseptible genes--genes that most of us have, by the way. It doesn't eliminate personal responsibility as a factor in obesity, but it does show why some of us are more likely than others to over eat and why and what can be done about it. I read Hungry Gene in one sitting, on a cross country flight from New York to LA, because it was so well written, and so darn interesting. I mean, there is a whole chapter on Kosrae, Micronesia where an entire population got fat in just one generation, and that is written almost like a travel piece, with great verve and with tons of information. There's another very graphic and chilling chapter on stomach surgery, which incorporates a whole history of obesity treatments. There's another chapter on this scientist in the UK who is showing that obesity can be programmed in the womb. There's even a chapter on food marketing, where the author crashes a conference for food marketers and exposes how they con our kids into craving all their junk. It's entertaining, incredibly informative, and terribly important stuff. So buy it, read it, and then see if you can watch just one more fast food ad on tv without throwing the remote at the set.
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By Mike on Sept. 25 2002
Format: Hardcover
I rarely read non-fiction, let alone science books, but I ordered this one because I've been wondering about the obesity epidemic for some time--it seems that every other person has a serious weight problem these days, and I wondered why. I was drawn into The Hungry Gene from the first chapter--and literally could not put it down. It's fascinating--the chapters on obesity surgery and fat in Kosrae, Micronesia blew me away--they were so well written, more like a novel than like non-ficiton. But the book is also frightening--especially the chapters on the drug industry and food marketing to kids. I couldn't believe the tactics food makers use to draw children into eating stuff they probably shouldn't, and I also couldn't believe how they use kids as salesman, to get their parents to do their will. The book explains the science behind the obesity epidemic in a way that anyone can understand, and it crushes the myth that people are fat because they lack will power or have some sort of character disorder. It's the first book I've read that really puts weight into perspective--explains the big picture, and offers some realistic solutions that don't involve buying some new product or diet drug, or going on some hokey diet. As someone who has fought a losing battle with weight all his life, I can tell you this really opened my eyes. HIGHLY recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
While one can be grateful and admire the authors' acknowledgement of the marketing of obesity-just how much the obsessive desire of normal weight people to be stick thin body builders viciously escalated today's obesity epidemic is, of course as with all these eat less move more, political books never really examined. To her credit she is more sympathetic than scolding, and acknowledges homo sapiens' stunning ability to survive famine through "famine" metabolism control, (I wish I could regulate my heater so effectively in the winter!) and superior carb storing ability as fat. (If only I could get this kind of return on my bank acct. for such minimal but constant deposits!) The hope based on ignorance of this physiological truth is what the diet industries profits from with it's-hello-eat less! starvation sports drinks and reducing teas. This is the real evil cuplrit here-NOT Fast food! Who was believing that fast food supersized meals were beneficial to your health anyhow? No one, at least in that industry, was preying on false hope and America's moral obsession with thinness and fitness. In that sense "health bars" such as Jamba Juice, where one gulped down thousands of calories of fructose and fat free soy while the other hand slammed one's face with fat free carbs hoping to regain one's compromised modern health is the real problem. The junk food eaters woud've always been part of America's once stable fat percentage, but over looked is what compounded and created the Obesity epidemic one hears about ad nauseum: those miserable, self-loathing healthy eaters adhering tragically to the eat low fat replaced with earth sustaining carbs-move into the gymn self-flagelaters who found themselves more and more exhausted, deprived and self-blaming only to wake up fatter somehow.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
If you enjoyed Jungle or Fast Food Nation, and/or are a nutrition/health enthusiast, this book is a must-read. It is fascinating, well-paced, reasonably comprehensive and enlightening about the history of obesity research and the current state. It balances scientific biographic accounts with social events/scenarios. Should help people show more sympathy towards larger people!
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