Fast Food Nation meets The World Is Flat in this eye-opening look at the obesity epidemic.
Today, the planet’s 1.3 billion overweight people by far outnumber the 700 million who are undernourished. This figure would have seemed ludicrous just fifty years ago, when hunger was the world’s most pressing nutritional problem.
In The World Is Fat, Barry Popkin argues that the fattening of the human race is not simply about that next cheeseburger; rather, it is a result of an unprecedented collision of human biology with trends in technology, globalization, government policy, and the food industry that are changing how we eat and how we live.
Popkin, whose expertise in both nutrition and economics makes him uniquely qualified to write this book, compares our lifestyles today with those of half a century ago through the stories of five families living in the United States, Mexico, and India. He shows how increasing access to media and exposure to advertising, a powerful food industry, the rise of Wal-Mart like shopping centers, and a dramatic decline in physical activity are clashing with millions of years of human evolution, creating a world of overweight people with debilitating health problems such as diabetes. Ultimately, Popkin contends that widespread obesity is less a result of poor individual dietary choices than about a hi-tech, interconnected world in which governments and multinational corporations have extraordinary power to shape our everyday lives.