“What’s Wrong with Fat?” by Abigail C. Saguy

Those of you following me on Twitter (@weightdebate) may remember that I tweeted some quotes & thoughts on Professor Saguy’s book a few months ago. At the recent 2014 International Weight Stigma Conference I noted copies of  “What’s Wrong with Fat?” on sale – good.

For those of us wanting a better understanding of the implications of the term ‘Fat’  this book deserves a warm welcome.

I’ve quoted below at length, because it is so well written:

“Abigail Saguy argues that  fraught and frantic debates [on obesity] obscure a more 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 more 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…reveals that public discussions of the “obesity crisis” do more 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.”

This book fulfills a number of functions and does it in a sensitive & insightful manner – not always the case when reading round this subject.

 Prof. Saguy is interviewed about fat & ‘the potential for removing stigma’ on Office Hours Abigail Saguy on ‘What’s Wrong with Fat’ ? You can visit Prof. Saguy’s  website or follow her on Twitter @WhatsWrongwFat? 

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