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Weighing Intakes on the "obesity epidemic," challenging many widely held assumptions about its causes and consequences. Julie Guthman examines fatness and its relationship to health outcomes to ask if our efforts to prevent "obesity" are sensible, efficacious, or ethical. She also focuses the lens of obesity on the broader food system to understand why we produce cheap, over-processed food, as well as why we eat it. Guthman takes issue with the currently touted remedy to obesity--promoting food that is local, organic, and farm fresh. While such fare may be tastier and grown in more ecologically sustainable ways, this approach can also reinforce class and race inequalities and neglect other possible explanations for the rise in obesity, including environmental toxins. Arguing that ours is a political economy of bulimia--one that promotes consumption while also insisting upon thinness--Guthman offers a complex analysis of our entire economic system.
Julie Guthman is Associate Professor in the Community Studies Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is the author of Agrarian Dreams: The Paradox of Organic Farming in California
Table of Contents
Introduction: What's the Problem?
How Do We Know Obesity Is a Problem?
Whose Problem Is Obesity?
Does Your Neighborhood Make You Fat?
Does Eating (Too Much) Make You Fat?
Does Farm Policy Make You Fat?
Will Fresh, Local, Organic Food Make You Thin?
What's-Capitalism-Got to Do with-it?
Conclusion: What's on the Menu?
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