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Rethinking Thin: The New Science of Weight Loss---And the Myths and Realities of Dieting

Rethinking Thin: The New Science of Weight Loss---And the Myths and Realities of Dieting

Написано Gina Kolata

Озвучено Ellen Archer


Rethinking Thin: The New Science of Weight Loss---And the Myths and Realities of Dieting

Написано Gina Kolata

Озвучено Ellen Archer

оценки:
3/5 (75 оценки)
Длина:
8 часов
Издатель:
Издано:
15 июн. 2007 г.
ISBN:
9781400174508
Формат:

Описание

In this eye-opening book, New York Times science writer Gina Kolata shows that our society's obsession with dieting and weight loss is less about keeping trim and staying healthy than about money, power, trends, and impossible ideals.



Rethinking Thin is at once an account of the place of diets in American society and a provocative critique of the weight-loss industry. Kolata's account of four determined dieters' progress through a study comparing the Atkins diet to a conventional low-calorie one becomes a broad tale of science and society, of social mores and social sanctions, and of politics and power.



Rethinking Thin asks whether words like willpower are really applicable when it comes to eating and body weight. It dramatizes what it feels like to spend a lifetime struggling with one's weight and fantasizing about finally getting thin. It tells the little-known story of the science of obesity and the history of diets and dieting-scientific and social phenomena that have made some people rich and thin and left others fat and miserable. And it offers commonsense answers to questions about weight, eating habits, and obesity, giving us a better understanding of the weight that is right for our bodies.
Издатель:
Издано:
15 июн. 2007 г.
ISBN:
9781400174508
Формат:

Об авторе

Gina Kolata is an award-winning senior writer for the New York Times. The winner of numerous writing awards, she has authored several books, including the bestselling Flu: The Story of the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 and the Search for the Virus that Caused It. Her latest book is Rethinking Thin: The New Science of Weight Loss—and the Myths and Realities of Dieting.


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3.2
75 оценки / 8 Обзоры
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  • (5/5)
    I picked this book up at the $1 store, read it, and liked it so much I went back and bought three more copies to give away. It's a very well-written book that covers the theories and practices of dieting beginning in the 1800's and continuing through to 2007. The latest information summarizes a lot of recent scientific studies, involving genetics and brain imaging. It seems that science is slowly unravelling the complicated processes behind why we feel hungry and why we feel full. I don't want to spoil the book by telling you the latest findings, but I will say that reading it gave me an entirely different outlook on the subject. The book also touches on the fact that our obsession with obesity has spawned an industry that employs thousands of people in various capacities, and that in turn raises some interesting questions about whether society has a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. It's a quick read even though it's full of facts. I can't recommend it highly enough.
  • (5/5)
    Every now and then I come across a book that reminds me of why I read non-fiction. A book that takes one of my many seemingly unshakable worldviews and flips it on its head. Rethinking Thin is one of those books.I began Rethinking Thin expecting the material would argue against the endless chain of fad diets in favor of good ol' fashioned healthy eating and regular exercise. And the pear photo on the cover also suggests that we shouldn't expect to have movie star figures. The author does advocate these habits, but she also goes further and presents data on obesity that is so... unpopular. So... Darwinian.For as long as I've had an interest in health and body weight I believed, with rare exceptions, that we are in control of our weight through what we eat and the amount of calories we burn. Energy in, energy out. Simple as that. Fatter people may have a more difficult time becoming healthy but ultimately it came down to personal willpower. Then along comes Rethinking Thin and says this: The evidence isn't 100% conclusive but science has shown for years that people realistically only have control of about 10%-20% of their body weight. The rest is determined by genetics and NOT environment. Stating this is pretty much a moral affront to our way of life. After all, we live in a culture of expected personal responsibility and choice. There are exceptions here, such as the meticulous dieters who maintain strict food schedules (and perpetual semi-starvation) for their whole lives. But for the rest of us, well, we're only human. I feel like this is something we intuitively know to be true. I mean, how many people do you know who have drastically reduced their body weight AND permanently maintained it? The argument that first convinced me was how, even though my daily caloric intake may vary by the hundreds every day, my body weight remained fairly constant over a period of weeks and months. As the book puts it, our bodies are better at counting calories than we are.Rethinking Thin also cautions against putting too much stock in the so-called obesity epidemic and argues that deaths related to being overweight might be statistically exaggerated. Are we heavier than 100 years ago? Yes, but we're also taller with better nutrition. Again, the evidence isn't fully conclusive because it's very difficult to separate other physiological causes of death from simply being fat. In my opinion, there are two main reasons why the information from this book isn't more widely known: (1) There's lots of money to be made in the business of convincing people that being fat is their own fault, and (2) the start of a diet is a hopeful time. There's little hope in knowing that some things will probably never change.
  • (5/5)
    Kolata's book is one of the best I've read on the issue of weight and weight control. She surveys western attitudes on weight over the last few hundred years, demonstrating how body ideals for men and women have gotten tinier and tinier, while showing that even "new" diets (suck as Atkins) were actually proposed decades ago. She personalizes the survey by following obese participants through a 2-year University of Pennsylvania study which compared Atkins to a standard low-calorie diet while bringing the reader up to date on current obesity research. The apparent conclusion? 1) Most people, unless they have a genuine psychological problem, have a range of about 20 - 30 pounds where their weight is inclined to settle. The only way to get out of this range is to permanently change your exercise and eating habits, and even if you do, your metabolism may change slow as a result (the starvation effect). 2) The weight loss industry has too much to gain - pun fully intended - by reinforcing the belief that any amount of weight over and above the standardized weight charts is unhealthy, despite research to the contrary. Kolata's book is at once liberating and discouraging: it suggests that overweight people are not to "blame" for their condition - genetics is the culprit - but at the same time, it dashes the hope for most people that weight loss can ever be sustained. The book is readable and thought-provoking and definitely worth a read.
  • (4/5)
    As a formerly skinny woman who has recently put on weight and is having a hell of a time taking it off, I have reached the stage where I am turning to books to help me understand and develop a strategy. I don’t eat excessively and I exercise regularly albeit less intensely than before (used to be a 5-day-a-week gym rat for 10 years). What has happened to my willpower and positive outlook? Did more than my body suffer in my injuries of the last 4 years? Did my metabolism change? Why did I go from being the woman who could eat anything to the woman who wouldn’t lose a pound on a concentration camp diet? Is it my fault? Is it hormones? The moon? What?!From the above, you can probably deduce my frustration with my body and its inability to return to its former state. Rethinking thin hasn’t given me easy answers to any of these questions, but I do have some hope. The upshot theory of this book is that each body has a predetermined weight range it can comfortably maintain. Wired similarly to height, it is unchangeable without rigorous dietary changes. A caloric intake that sustains a 200-pound body is not the caloric intake that will sustain the same body after a 50-pound weight loss. Generally the caloric intake that will sustain the new 150-pound person is drastically lower. Scientists are only beginning to understand why. The stalwart principle of eat less and exercise more doesn’t always work.My problem with the why is that everyone seems to want a single reason. I bet it’s multiple reasons. Availability of food. Quality of food. Reduced exercise. Hormone levels. Chemicals. They want one of these to be the culprit and that just seems silly. All of these things are probably factors. In my case, I think it’s beer. I’m weaning myself off beer and I bet it will happen. I’m hoping that I’m at the top of my maintainable weight range and that if I return to the bottom part of the range I was at in my early 30s, I can stay there without starving myself. I’m not shooting for the skinny 20 year old I was, but the fit 30 year old I was, too.
  • (5/5)
    This book is intriguing, rigorously researched, and maintains a beautiful balance between objectivity and personal voice. This book can teach a reader a great deal about the paradoxical science of obesity.
  • (3/5)
    As someone who has always struggled with her weight, I found this book to be a combination of relieving and perplexing: why have I tried so hard when diets have been scientifically shown to do no good?
  • (3/5)
    I really enjoyed her book on the flu, so I had great expectations for this book. But it took me a while to get through this because I kept putting it down. It didn't always grab me, but when it did I thought it was good.I liked the perspective that there are many factors involved in America's obesity rather than just "eat less, exercise more." There are many people (myself included!) for whom eating better and exercising more would make a huge difference. But that is not the whole picture for all people. Overall, an informative read.
  • (3/5)
    A comprehensive look at all of the contradictory advice on weight loss. The author is a journalist, not a scientist but she has covered the health/diet beat for many years. When all the evidence is compiled, it makes a person just want to be satisfied with whatever weight they are right now and not worry about it anymore.