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

Gina Kolata, Author . Farrar, Straus & Giroux $26 (272p) ISBN 978-0-374-10398-9

New York Times reporter Kolata may be the best writer around covering the science of health. Here she offers an eye-opening book that questions all our received wisdom about why we get fat and the health hazards of those extra pounds. In chapters equally entertaining and dismaying, Kolata (Flu ) traces the history of dieting fads back to the 19th century; discusses our changing ideas about the ideal body (thinner and thinner); and, most importantly, explains how genetic and biochemical understanding has (at least among researchers) replaced the view of obesity as a lack of self-control. Most dramatic is Kolata's recounting of Jeff Friedman's groundbreaking search at Rockefeller University for the "satiety factor," a hormone he called leptin that tells our brains when we're full. The science alternates with moving chapters in which Kolata follows a group of people in a weight-loss study who are trying desperately to get thin—a quest that, as Kolata makes increasingly clear is sadly futile. In her final—and perhaps most surprising—chapter, Kolata blasts those in the obesity industry—such as Jenny Craig and academic obesity research centers—who are invested in promoting the idea that overweight is unhealthy and diet and exercise are effective despite a raft of evidence to the contrary. This book will change your thinking about weight, whether you struggle with it or not. (May)

Reviewed on: 02/26/2007
Release date: 05/01/2007
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-4001-0450-5
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-60252-923-6
Paperback - 257 pages - 978-0-312-42785-6
MP3 CD - 978-1-4001-5450-0
Open Ebook - 272 pages - 978-1-4299-2365-1
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