What's Wrong with Fat?

What's Wrong with Fat?

Abigail C. Saguy / Feb 20, 2020

What s Wrong with Fat The United States we are told is facing an obesity epidemic a battle of the bulge of not just national but global proportions that requires drastic and immediate action Experts in the media medica

  • Title: What's Wrong with Fat?
  • Author: Abigail C. Saguy
  • ISBN: 9780199857081
  • Page: 311
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The United States, we are told, is facing an obesity epidemic a battle of the bulge of not just national, but global proportions that requires drastic and immediate action Experts in the media, medical science, and government alike are scrambling to find answers What or who is responsible for this fat crisis, and what can we do to stop it Abigail Saguy argues that thesThe United States, we are told, is facing an obesity epidemic a battle of the bulge of not just national, but global proportions that requires drastic and immediate action Experts in the media, medical science, and government alike are scrambling to find answers What or who is responsible for this fat crisis, and what can we do to stop it Abigail Saguy argues that these fraught and frantic debates obscure a important question How has fatness come to be understood as a public health crisis at all Why, she asks, has the view of fat as a problem a symptom of immorality, a medical pathology, a public health epidemic come to dominate positive framings of weight as consistent with health, beauty, or a legitimate rights claim in public discourse Why are heavy individuals singled out for blame And what are the consequences of understanding weight in these ways What s Wrong with Fat presents each of the various ways in which fat is understood in America today, examining the implications of understanding fatness as a health risk, disease, and epidemic, and revealing why we ve come to understand the issue in these terms, despite considerable scientific uncertainty and debate Saguy shows how debates over the relationship between body size and health risk take place within a larger, though often invisible, contest over whether we should understand fatness as obesity at all Moreover, she reveals that public discussions of the obesity crisis do harm than good, leading to bullying, weight based discrimination, and misdiagnoses.Showing that the medical framing of fat is literally making us sick, What s Wrong with Fat provides a crucial corrective to our society s misplaced obsession with weight.

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    About "Abigail C. Saguy"

      • Abigail C. Saguy

        Abigail C. Saguy Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the What's Wrong with Fat? book, this is one of the most wanted Abigail C. Saguy author readers around the world.


    1. I think there are at least two kinds of truly fabulous books: those that articulate something you've thought or felt, but never seen anyone say before (or say so well), and those that overturn the way you think and create new categories and ways of seeing. This book was fabulous, for me, in the second way.I stayed up late reading. The author is smart, and the writing is clear and nuanced. She does a good job of explaining technical terms in academic sociology, and of explaining the notion of "fr [...]

    2. Here in New England Puritans settled here a long time ago and we have been a nation of morals scolds since the that time. We moralize sex, drugs and rock and roll we crusade against alcohol in the 1920s by introducing prohibition. We want to reform people and wag the finger at people we believe do not show personal responsibility. Thin bodies are not only a symbol of health and beauty but have been moralized into a moral virtue and fat bodies a moral vice. Many assume overweight people have no s [...]

    3. I've read books about fat acceptance/fat rights in the past. When I saw this book in the library and read the blurb on the inside cover, I thought I would read something in a similar vein. While this book refutes the idea that being overweight or obese is automatically unhealthy and challenges the concept of the "obesity epidemic", it's more academic and less polemical in nature than other books I have read on this issue. The title of the book is a hint of what Saguy aims to do in this book. She [...]

    4. I read this book for a class, and it was a fascinating read. I would have finished it regardless of the course requirements. The author did a good job of explaining in clear language any academic terms she used. That made it easy to read even for someone with a background in sociology.The author disputes the cultural assumptions about the negative effects of being overweight and the idea of an obesity epidemic. While doing so, she draws attention to the way findings from specific studies can be [...]

    5. If I were the type of reader to highlight whole paragraphs, this would be the book in which I'd do so.One of the most important & revelatory things I learned while studying history in college is that it doesn’t matter if something is true or not—what matters is if people think it’s true and what they do about it. Abigail Saguy follows a similar line of thought in What’s Wrong with Fat?. She doesn’t test the veracity of claims that ‘obesity’ is a public health crisis—instead s [...]

    6. An excellent analysis of the ways in which fat is framed in the US, challenging the reader to consider how mainstream society’s framing of fat and the “obesity crisis” actually increases the stigma against people of size, which runs completely contrary to promoting the mental and physical health of individuals and society. Written in accessible language and extremely well-documented, Saguy’s book is a must for anyone even remotely interested in issues of social justice.

    7. A fascinating book that explores 'the frames' around 'fat' bodies. The attention to race and class is excellent, alongside a recognition of the pressure placed on children to conform to an undefined 'norm.'The 'health at every size' movement is well revealed in this book and builds on the diverse 'frames' configuring the 'normal body' in both science and the media.Strongly recommended. It is beautifully written, evocative and convincing.

    8. Sharp writing and a must-read for anyone interested in the politics of body size. Saguy makes a compelling argument that our culture's growing anti-fat stigma is more harmful to both individuals and society than fatness itself, or the so-called "obesity epidemic."

    9. I've been looking for a book on this topic for a while since I went to a lecture last fall on "the obesity paradox". The paradox is that obese people are more likely to be diagnosed with a wide variety of conditions but once they are diagnosed, they are likely to have a better outcome than a normal weight person with the same condition. There are an increasing number of papers about situations in which higher body weight is protective. The author is a sociologist and does not try to address the [...]

    10. Interesting book that takes a look behind the "Obesity Epidemic" headlines. The author explains how some work has been based on extrapolated and estimated figures but are being reported as gospel by the media. She also looks at possible motivations for the way obesity is 'framed' in today's society (as health crisis, as economic problem, etc). Should we be concentrating on fitness rather than body size? After all, being thin does not necessarily mean you are healthy. The author warns that we sho [...]

    11. Dense and scholarly, but worth the effort. Thought-provoking study of how and possibly why (*cough* drug funding *cough*) "obesity" has come to be seen as a moral/medical/public health crisis in our society. A good account of some of the less-ballyhooed studies that indicate there are some health _benefits_ to being heavier as well. Not pro-fat nor pro-thin, but an interesting look at society and media and the role they play in such matters. Marred by a couple of unfortunate typos/editing issues [...]

    12. Un libro revelador. Utiliza todas las herramientas de los Estudios Filosóficos y Sociales sobre Ciencia y Tecnología (EFSCT) para analizar uno de los temas de vanguardia con mayor presencia pública: la obesidad. Una "verdad incuestionable" que se cuestiona desde muchas aristas diferentes. Una apología al refrán mexicano que dice "salió peor el remedio que la enfermedad".Un libro para todo público… para que todo público se cuestione sobre sus ideas acerca de la gordura y la salud…. y [...]

    13. This book, while filled with insightful, well-researched insights into the way we talk and feel about fat, is just really hard to read. I've picked it up almost every day for a month, and I'm still only half way done. It's more appropriate for a graduate course text than for easy reading - which is unfortunate, as the information in the book is really helpful for having well-constructed conversations pertinent to many of today's body-posi and general body image issues. I'll probably try to pick [...]

    14. Assigned this book in my Health & Society class last semester to teach the students how to think critically about how we frame health issues generally (and body weight more specifically). I love this book-- and students seem to as well-- though the chapter on French v. American media was a bit dull. If you don't feel like reading, can listen to this podcast-- thesocietypages/officehour

    15. I learned a lot, listened to this book through Audible. Not the best way to digest a nonfiction book based on research but sometimes I don't always finish nonfiction books so a toss up. Already this book's insights on fat as a social construction through a medical/public health/fat at every size/acceptance frames have influenced my research.

    16. A bit dry and reads like a college research paper. However, it brings to light some fascinating ideas to mull over the ways in which "obesity" is framed and how those methods of framing fatness drastically affect our perception of the concept of fat as well as fat people. Worth the read.

    17. Very well written. And indeed a convincing discourse fitting its title - what 's wrong with fat. I would have preferred that the main theme would be re-iterated somewhat less often. But in all, a book worth reading. I hope it will have the influence it deserves.

    18. Thought-provoking, and very engagingly written, considering it's an academic book. She never intended to question in-depth the medical claims about obesity, and while that's a good decision, it does leave some important aspects of the matter undiscussed.

    19. Very interesting read. I was hoping for a little more discussion of fatness in a historical context, but this book is a wonderful guide to how fat is presented in today's society.

    20. An interesting challenge to status quo thinking about health and weight, and possibly an essential read for folks who are interested in the social construct of body issues and such

    21. An excellent sociological examination of the frames around fatness in the US. It only took me two days to read, as it was engaging and well-written. Very, very good.

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