Our planet is in the grip of an obesity pandemic.
More than a billion people worldwide are overweight and over 600 million are obese. We live in an obesogenic environment in which it is much easier to get fat than to stay fit. How has this come to be? Who is to blame? What can we do?
In Fat Planet, Dr David Lewis and Dr Margaret Leitch examine the social and psychological causes of the obesity pandemic in order to answer these questions. They use ground-breaking research to highlight the behaviour of corporations that relentlessly promote foods high in sugar, fat and salt, and show that these ‘junk’ foods have shockingly similar neurological effects to hard drugs. They consider the prevalence of food cues which unconsciously stimulate our desire to consume. And they debunk the myths of fad diets and slimming pills, suggesting practical, easily implemented strategies for sustainable weight loss.
The evidence is clear: our problem with obesity must be addressed or we will face catastrophic consequences. It is not too late to change.
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About the Author
Dr David Lewis is a neuropsychologist, director of research at Mindlab International, and the author of more than two dozen bestselling books. He is a Chartered Member of the British Psychological Society, a Fellow of the International Stress Management Association, and founder of Action on Phobias and Stresswatch; a non-profit charity advising companies on stress management. He has also been the on-screen consultant to Channel 4's acclaimed Secret Eaters diet programme.
Margaret Leitch (Author)
Dr Margaret Leitch is a research scientist with PhD, MSc, and Honours BA degrees in the field of Experimental Psychology, Research Methods and Statistics, and Honours Psychology. She has conducted research into the psychological and neuroscientific underpinnings of obesity, including three years of longitudinal patient monitoring. She is a specialist in identifying the predictive signs that express a vulnerability for developing overeating habits. She is co-author of the best-selling book Lose It Right.
Table of Contents
Introduction - Fat Planet xi
Part 1 The Obesity Blame Game
Chapter 1 What It Feels Like to Be Fat 3
Chapter 2 'Hey fatty, get off this train!' 17
Chapter 3 Fashions in Fat 26
Part 2 Inside Story: The Biology of Obesity
Chapter 4 Born to Become Obese? 39
Chapter 5 The Secret Life of Fat 58
Chapter 6 Gut Reactions 79
Part 3 All in the Mind? Obesity and Your Brain
Chapter 7 How Your Brain Can Make You Obese 101
Chapter 8 'I heard an ice-cream call my name': Why Impulsive Eating Means Overeating 122
Chapter 9 Feeding Our Feelings: The Power of Emotional Eating 140
Part 4 Our Obesogenic World
Chapter 10 Caution: Food Cues at Work 161
Chapter 11 See Food - Eat Food: The Cues That Elicit Overeating 175
Chapter 12 Whatever Have They Done to Our Food? 197
Part 5 Losing It Wrong - Losing It Right
Chapter 13 Losing It Wrong: Why Fad Diets Fail 221
Chapter 14 Losing It Right- Achieving Sustainable Weight Loss 235
Chapter 15 Planning for a Slimmer Planet 258
Chapter References and Notes 275