Obesity – Annotated Bibliography

Kessler, D. A. (2016). The end of overeating: Taking control of the insatiable American appetite. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Dr Kessler is still remembered by many for the central role he played as an FDA commissioner and policymaker. A medical doctor by profession, he seeks to explain the intricacies of obesity and how thousands find themselves in this abyss. Using his wealth of knowledge on the inner workings of the food industry, Dr Kessler provides his readers with an expose that seeks to uncover tactics used to ensure consumers are always hooked on junk foods. He even goes as far as comparing fat, sugar and salt to other addictive substances such as nicotine, ultimately concluding that they are similar in their potential harm. Nonetheless, the only qualm I have with this book is the author’s sudden manoeuvre halfway through his assessment where he now starts providing proposed weight-loss solutions to his readers. The book is comprehensible to any lay person and functions as an appropriate guide to taking control of one’s appetite and avoiding obesity.

Petersen, G., & Sim, A. (2014). Eat bacon, don’t jog.

A common challenge faced by a majority of obese individuals seeking to lose weight is in choosing the best physical activity to incorporate into their lives. Membership at a local gym does not always work for everyone which is why Petersen suggests bike riding as a viable solution. As an expert in manufacturing custom bikes, Petersen is an authority on the subject since he cycles on a regular basis to keep his weight in check. What is interesting about the book is the fact that the author does not drift away from scientific arguments and makes his case using the widely acclaimed “carbs are bad” paradigm. Moreover, each page is full of humorous presentations that are readable while providing recommendations on the best strategy to employ when biking to lose weight.

Simpson, S. J., & Raubenheimer, D. (2012). The nature of nutrition: A unifying framework from animal adaptation to human obesity. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

It is a widely known fact that a large number of those afflicted by obesity would like to gain a deeper understanding of this particular phenomenon. Professors Stephen Simpson and David Raubenheimer seek to help the average person understand this but through a unique approach. As experts in Nutritional Ecology, these two scientists use monkeys and slime moulds in a bid to explain the intake of nutrients and control. It is remarkable how the authors use a combination of statistical methods and graphs to explain how creatures strike a healthy balance when consuming protein and energy giving foods. It is somewhat fascinating how this same reasoning is used to explain why obesity is currently commonplace. A scientific understanding of the issue is one of the best approaches to making better nutritional choices.

Taubes, G. (2008). Good calories, bad calories: Fats, carbs, and the controversial science of diet and health. New York: Anchor Books.

Managing or avoiding obesity often begins with having a deeper understanding of its causative agents and how to subsequently avoid them. Taubes has made this his life’s work, giving an accurate and succinct explanation of specific foods that cause obesity and how to avoid them.  A typical problem faced by morbidly obese persons is their inability to comprehend foods which are directly responsible for their condition fully. Dietary fat is mentioned as one of the primary culprits responsible for weight gain and ultimately leading to obesity. Tubes do a thorough job at providing a well-researched evaluation of the subjects, which is beneficial, especially in convincing his readers to choose their foods wisely. In finality, he sounds a warning by concluding that carbohydrates do indeed cause cancer and should be avoided at all cost.

Wansink, B. (2006). Mindless eating: Why we eat more than we think. New York: Bantam Books.

Dr Wansink is a seasoned researcher who has spent decades trying to understand obesity and the reasons behind its permeation. In this particular book, he delves into the mindless eating to explain how manufacturers can play a huge role in managing obesity. He introduces what he calls “portion control” as a feasible technique to curb overeating and therefore manage obesity across populations. His findings are enumerated using experiments carried out in colleges to assess eating habits using playful tricks. Dr Wansink finally concludes that the size of the plate or bag were key in guiding individuals into overeating, a scenario that could be reversed by manufacturers. It was intriguing to become aware of this fact since weight loss plans for obese people can now be formulated using the “portion control” with remarkable results.

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