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The Shape We're In: How Junk Food and Diets are Shortening Our Lives Paperback – 26 Jun 2014

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Guardian Faber Publishing; Main edition (26 Jun. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1783350385
  • ISBN-13: 978-1783350384
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.4 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 66,761 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

We couldn't put it down. (Grazia)

A thought-provoking read that asks us to consider obesity as not just a physical issue but in the context of the way we live today and the example we set our children. (Nursery World)

Scotland's appalling health record should mean every person in the country reads this book. (Lesley McDowell The Herald)

'This book provides a masterly overview of the forces causing the global and UK obesity epidemic. I am supposed to be an expert in cardiovascular epidemiology, obesity and food policy. Yet I happily admit that I learnt many new and important things in every chapter . . . It is extremely well written . . . Sarah Bosely moves effortlessly from the expert overview to the compassionate description of an individual, and back again. She is non-judgmental and compassionate, but never over-sentimental . . . a pleasure to read, full of energy, vigour, and power.' (Simon Capewell MD DSc, Professor of Clinical Epidemiology, University of Liverpool)

'This book explores in very readable detail what every concerned parent should know about just who is making us fat. The science becomes sense. Yes we all have a personal responsibility, but so too does big business and government. We are all being abused and neglected. I hope everyone who reads this book will agree that it's time to fight back.' (Dr Ian Campbell, GP, obesity expert, and founder of Bodylibrium)

Book Description

The Shape We're In: How Junk Food and Diets are Shortening Our Lives, by Sarah Boseley: 'If you are fat it is your fault. You should just get on your bike and go on a diet . . .'

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Janie P on 16 July 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
This book strongly makes the case for the actions needed to combat the obesity epidemic. Personally I dont find the reasons for the epidemic that complex: the free market has allowed Big Food to peddle garbage unchecked. The public need educating about what is being done to them, and what they can do about it both as consumers and as voters. This book makes an important contribution to that process.
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This book draws our attention to the whole social environment effectively controlling our eating and drinking habits, bringing with it steadily expanding waistlines all around the world – and also leading to type 2 diabetes and other obesity related diseases. Not surprisingly, as the health editor of the Guardian, Sarah Boseley provides us with a well-researched read and some fascinating chapters, particularly the one on Mexico's disastrous soft drinks situation.

She does however bring her personal baggage to the dietary aspects of the book, which tend to be anchored in conventional wisdom rather than reflecting the more cutting edge research of recent years. She is right to condemn the diet industry for peddling dreams and not reality, but I would question her outright dismissal of dieting approaches (as in a lifestyle diet and not a short-term weight loss approach) which have been shown to work and which we (the consumers) can use at home; in particular, low-carbohydrate approaches. Time and time again, the evil trio of salt, sugar and fat are used synonymously with the term 'junk food'; a general mistake which is already having its impact on a new generation of children brought up on low or no-fat milk and chemically prepared low-calorie spreads rather than butter. Another chapter changes the trio to sugar fat and alcohol (the deadly trio) and few can argue with that - if the context is highly processed foods. Sadly, although the book’s sub-title refers to junk food, she generalises her food critique leading us to believe that she simply accepts the ‘saturated fat is always bad’ dietary dogma which evolved from following the imperfect correlations of Ancel Keys et al.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Syriat TOP 500 REVIEWER on 24 Jun. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
We all know that we are getting fatter. This age of convenience and plenty is leading to bigger waistlines, binge and famine diets and less activity. Sarah Boseley attempts to deconstruct this trend and identify reasons why we seem addicted to the wrong types of food.
The book is primarily focused on the food industry with the examination of diet culture firmly put into second place. There has been a lot of research here with Boseley visiting Wales, America, Mexico and other places to find positive and negative stories. The examination of Mexico, now the most obese country in the world, is particularly fascinating. It highlights the story behind their recently adopted sugar tax and why this is the hope the country has to improve matters. She also points her finger at the advertising of food and looks at how we are bombarded with food images which encourage us to eat badly.
The style is right side of hectoring and really does make you think about the food you eat. There are people out there trying to change things and in this book Boseley not only puts herself firmly amongst them but also manages to shine a light on those who have fought hard against the large corporations. We have so little time these days to consider our eating habits. Books like the impress upon us the importance of doing just that.
Review provided thanks to Guardian Faber Publishing and NetGalley
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on 20 July 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to eat more healthily. The message is really EAT REAL FOOD. Processed food is killing us.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 28 July 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's a good book telling you about the 'hidden' calories such a lot of sugar soft drinks and drinking too much fruit juice. Also the warning about diets and even five years after giving up diets but eating healthily, you can still pile on the pounds because of the 'famine mode'. I feel I am on the famine mode - otherwise it would look strange, my shopping basket full of fresh vegetables and fruit, nuts, seeds etc and no crisps, cakes,or sugared drinks but I still become obese in a few years later because of my mistakes five years ago. Many people will either think my appearance in relation to my shopping basket is a mystery or that I'm starting out on my healthy eating plan, having given up my unhealthy existence.

Well I'll stick with it and not allow people waylay me to 'to go on a diet' because I know on my diet, the mobid obese would start losing weight.
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Format: Kindle Edition
We’re bombarded every day with news about obesity and what we can do about it. People that are overweight are demonised and often ridiculed by large sections of the media and every other day we hear about some new diet that’s going to change everyone’s lives for the better. The Guardian’s health editor Sarah Boseley aims to delve deep into the heart of what makes people fat in The Shape We’re In.

We’re approaching a situation now where life expectancy is actually expected to fall. Huge numbers of people are obese or overweight. Sarah looks to see where obesity is most prevalent and finds it’s not just among the lower classes as many have suggested. We live in a world of constant snacking. People barely notice what they’re eating as they shovel a selection of treats down their throats. This level of snacking means we’re never really satisfied as a lot of this is done on the move and without due consideration. We’re rarely sitting down for a meal that we can really savour.

She feels that the people in power are too focused on the money generated by the processed food industry. It’s not just as simple as telling people to eat less and that’ll be the problem solved. It has become normal to be overweight and if people are surrounded by this they’ll thing there’s nothing wrong with glugging copious amounts of fizzy pop or having regular takeaways. Young people are being bombarded with ads and fed sugar morning, noon and night. These habits start at an early age and build into something very problematic in later life.

She argues that the diet industry is one of the biggest frauds of our time, part of the problem rather than the solution. So many of these things come and go but in a large amount of cases the weight goes back on.
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