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Printed at: 20/10/2014  –  22:08:08


Fat: A Cultural History of Obesity

By: Sander L. Gilman


Description

The modern world is faced with a terrifying new ‘disease’, that of ‘obesity’. As people get fatter, we have come to see excess weight as unhealthy, morally repugnant and socially damaging. Fat it seems has long been a national problem and each age, culture and tradition have all defined a point beyond which excess weight is unacceptable, ugly or corrupting.

This fascinating new book by Sander Gilman looks at the interweaving of fact and fiction about obesity, tracing public concern from the mid-nineteenth century to the modern day. He looks critically at the source of our anxieties, covering issues such as childhood obesity, the production of food, media coverage of the subject and the emergence of obesity in modern China. Written as a cultural history, the book is particularly concerned with the cultural meanings that have been attached to obesity over time and to explore the implications of these meanings for wider society. The history of these debates is the history of fat in culture, from nineteenth-century opera to our global dieting obsession. Fat, A Cultural History of Obesity is a vivid and absorbing cultural guide to one of the most important topics in modern society.

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Hardcover
Status
Available
Edition
First Edition
ISBN
9780745644400
ISBN10
0745644406
Publication Dates ROW:
Sep 2008
Publication Dates US:
Nov 2008
Publication Dates Aus & NZ:
Sep 2008


Format
217 x 148 mm
8.54 x 5.82 in
Pages
200 pages
Paperback
Status
Available
Edition
First Edition
ISBN
9780745644417
ISBN10
0745644414
Publication Dates ROW:
Sep 2008
Publication Dates US:
Nov 2008
Publication Dates Aus & NZ:
Sep 2008



Format
212 x 142 mm
8.32 x 5.58 in
Pages
200 pages
E-book
Status
Available
Edition
First Edition
ISBN
9780745658759
ISBN10
074565875X
Publication Dates ROW:
May 2013
Publication Dates US:
May 2013
Publication Dates Aus & NZ:
May 2013


Format
229 x 152 mm
9.02 x 5.98 in
Pages
248 pages

* Exam copies only available to lecturers for whom the book may be suitable as a course text.
Please note: Sales representation and distribution for Polity titles is provided by John Wiley and Sons Ltd.

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Reviews

"Gilman's work is absorbing and witty. It is addictive to read his critical observations on areas including childhood obesity, the growth of obesity in modern China and media coverage of the topic. And this, er, slim book will certainly appeal to all of us who want to understand a little more about the cultural and historical aspects and attitudes to obesity."
Tribune

"This book will be useful to students of culture and social identity, concentrating as it does on the historical debates surrounding obesity."
Times Higher Education

"[Fat] offers an engaging and suggestive reading with which all historians of fat, food, and modern dietary regimes will want to engage."
H-Net: Humanities and Social Science Reviews Online

"Sander Gilman makes a nuanced and richly documented argument about the historical, cultural, and scientific contingency of concepts such as 'fat', 'obesity', and 'health'. This book is a powerful demonstration of how moralistic prejudices influence public health discourse, and our ideas of what constitutes diseases and epidemics. It is an invaluable contribution to the contemporary interdisciplinary critique of our moral panic over fat."
Paul Campos, University of Colorado

"In Fat, Sander Gilman artfully skewers the cultural tropes and myths surrounding one of the leading moral panics of our time – America's so-called obesity epidemic. Gilman unearths the hidden agendas and historical precedents that allow for our growing weight to be labelled as a deadly disease. Through his wit and erudition, Fat is an invaluable perspective for anyone wanting a more nuanced perspective about health, culture, and society"”
Eric Oliver, University of Chicago, author of Fat Politics

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Some Weighty Thoughts on Dieting and Epidemics.

1) Epidemic Obesity.

2) Childhood Obesity.

3) The Stigma of Obesity.

4) Obesity as an Ethnic Problem.

5) Regions of Fat.

6) Chinese Obesity.

Conclusion: “Globesity” and Its Odd History.

Supplemental Readings.

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Author Information

Sander L. Gilman is Distinguished Professor of the Liberal Arts and Medicine at Emory University.

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