Book Reviews

Book review: XXL Obesity and the Limits of Shame.

Statistics in developing and industrialized countries inform us of a frightening fact that in many fat and obese people are steadily on the increase. It is alarming since costs associated with obesity are staggering and most likely will increase in the near future.

In this timely book, authors provide specific figures in North America and tell how this lamentable situation came about and all the research involved with it.

Obesity diminishes quality of life, may lead to cancer, type-2 diabetes, hypertension and stroke, heart disease, gall bladder problems, affects knee and hip functions, and causes breathing problems, urinary incontinence, loss of libido and more.

Clearly, obesity must be avoided at all cost, but in North America the population is constantly fed with fast-food advertising extolling the taste and convenience, snacks that are too salty, or contain too many kinds of saturated fats.

The fast-food industry spends (according to the authors) several billions on all types of advertising and sells essentially four ingredients (flour, sugar, fat, and salt).

After World War II, Germans had, for a few years, barely enough to eat, and certainly very little meat, butter and other types of saturated fats. After the then minister of economy Ludwig Erhard freed all food and manufacturing restrictions and controls effectively opening markets, mainly with the help of the Marshall Plan, and people started eating sausages, butter and many other foods incompatible with health. High blood pressure, and other cardiovascular disease incidents started to increase exponentially.

The same thing is happening now in China and India and the medical profession has already sounded the alarm.

The authors suggest a solution to solve this looming problem, which all levels of government could follow, by legislation and by-laws.

This timely book should be studied by all parents, particularly immigrants, and those of modest means to learn about the repercussions of feeding their offspring with processed food, and giving in to their constant demands about sugar-laden soft drinks.

Highly recommended!

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