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Diet, Nutrition, & Health: Obesity

A topic guide covering aspects of diet, nutrition, and health.

Internet Resources

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead

Overweight, loaded up on steroids and suffering from a debilitating autoimmune disease, Joe Cross was at the end of his rope and the end of his hope. With doctors and conventional medicine unable to help, Joe traded in junk food and hit the road with a juicer and generator in tow, vowing only to drink fresh fruit and vegetable juice for 60 days. Across 3,000 miles Joe had one goal in mind: To get off his pills and achieve a balanced lifestyle.

Source: Kanopy

Feeding Frenzy: The Food Industry, Obesity and the Creation of a Health Crisis

Over the past three decades, obesity rates in the U.S. have more than doubled for children and tripled for adolescents -- and a startling 70% of adults are now obese or overweight. The result has been a widening epidemic of obesity-related health problems, including coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes. While discussions about this spiraling health crisis have tended to focus on the need for more exercise and individual responsibility, FEEDING FRENZY trains its focus squarely on the responsibility of the processed food industry and the outmoded government policies it benefits from. It lays bare how taxpayer subsidies designed to feed hungry Americans during the Great Depression have enabled the food industry to flood the market with a rising tide of cheap, addictive, high calorie food products, and offers an engrossing look at the tactics of the multi billion-dollar marketing machine charged with making sure that every one of those surplus calories is consumed.

Source: Kanopy

Perspectives

Obesity

About one in five school-aged children has obesity. It is essential that young people understand what this condition is, and how to avoid it. This book explores issues related to obesity. Readers will explore how widespread obesity is and what causes it. They will evaluate if junk food and soda should be taxed to reduce obesity, and if healthier school lunches can reduce obesity. Colorful photographs, charts, graphs, tables and editorial cartoons reinforce text and present data.

Fed Up!

Once dismissed by the medical profession as a purely cosmetic problem, obesity now ranks second only to smoking as a wholly preventable cause of death. Indeed, it's implicated in 300,000 deaths each year and is a major contributor to heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and depression. Even conservative estimates show that 15% of all children are now considered to be overweight--worldwide there are 22 million kids under five years old that are defined as fat. Supersized portions, unhealthy diets, and too little physical activity certainly contribute to what's making kids 'fat.' But that's not the whole story. Researchers are at a loss to explain why obesity rates have risen so suddenly and so steeply in the closing decades of the 20th century. But head out to the beaches, playgrounds, and amusement parks, and it's obvious that overweight children are more numerous and conspicuous. We see it in our neighborhoods and we read it in the headlines. Our nation--indeed the world--is in crisis. But knowledge is power and it's time to arm ourselves in the battle to win the war on obesity. Fed Up is just what the doctor ordered. Based in part on the Institute of Medicine's ground-breaking report on childhood obesity, this new book from family physician and journalist Susan Okie provides in-depth background on the issue; shares heartrending but instructive case studies that illustrate just how serious and widespread the problem is; and gives honest, authoritative, science-based advice that constitute our best weapons in this critical battle.

Fat Politics

Our government is telling us that obesity is a major health crisis, that sixty percent of Americans are "overweight," and that one in four is obese. But how true are these claims?In Fat Politics, Eric Oliver unearths the real story behind America's "obesity epidemic." Oliver shows how a handful of doctors, government bureaucrats, and health researchers, with financial backing from the drug and weight-loss industry, have campaigned to misclassify more than sixtymillion Americans as "overweight," to inflate the health risks of being fat, and to promote the idea that obesity is a killer disease. In reviewing the scientific evidence, Oliver shows there is little proof either that obesity causes so many diseases and deaths or that losing weight makes peopleany healthier. Our concern with obesity is fueled more by social prejudice, bureaucratic politics, and industry profit than by scientific fact.Such misinformation, Oliver argues, is the true problem with obesity in America. By telling us we need to be thin, the proponents of the "obesity epidemic" are pushing millions of Americans towards dangerous surgeries, crash diets, and harmful diet drugs. Oliver goes on to examine thesurprising reasons why we hate fatness and why we are gaining weight, and also the real threats to our health that are being displaced by our fat obsession.Fat Politics not only topples our most basic assumptions about obesity and health, it highlights frightening dangers caused by making our weight a scapegoat for our real problems.

Fat Chance

New York Times Bestseller Robert Lustig’s 90-minute YouTube video “Sugar: The Bitter Truth”, has been viewed more than three million times. Now, in this much anticipated book, he documents the science and the politics that has led to the pandemic of chronic disease over the last 30 years. In the late 1970s when the government mandated we get the fat out of our food, the food industry responded by pouring more sugar in. The result has been a perfect storm, disastrously altering our biochemistry and driving our eating habits out of our control. To help us lose weight and recover our health, Lustig presents personal strategies to readjust the key hormones that regulate hunger, reward, and stress; and societal strategies to improve the health of the next generation. Compelling, controversial, and completely based in science, Fat Chance debunks the widely held notion to prove “a calorie is NOT a calorie”, and takes that science to its logical conclusion to improve health worldwide.

Obesity in America: A National Crisis

Why have rates of obesity, morbid obesity, and super obesity increased so dramatically since 2000? Backed up by meticulous research, this two-part set is a provocative, thorough investigation into the upsurge of obesity in America. The first chapter, Prevalence, documents the rapid rise of serious weight issues in all age groups since the 1970s and the cost to the health care system of treating the diseases that result. Contributing factors such as depression, social trends, and aggressive food marketing are covered in detail in Causes—with special attention to soft drinks and sweeteners of all kinds. Assessment explains body mass index, or BMI, and other methods used to evaluate unhealthy levels of body fat. Finally, Treatment discusses the limitations of dieting and includes exercise tips for those who don’t lose weight despite frequent trips to the gym. With graphs, discussion questions, and commentary from researchers, clinicians, and dieters, the set is ideal for classroom use. 2-part set, 76 and 79 minutes each. 

Source: Films on Demand

Lunch Hour

LUNCH HOUR explores the National School Lunch Program, childhood obesity, and our addiction to unhealthy foods. It shows what schools, parents, authors, doctors, politicians, celebrities, and chefs are doing to problem solve this issue and help save the children of America.

Source: Kanopy