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Fed Up! Winning The War Against Childhood Obesity

by Susan Okie

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From Publishers Weekly
Drawing on up-to-date research as well as personal stories, Okie presents the astounding statistics on what she calls "the fattest generation" and the dire health risk the obesity epidemic poses. Okie, a Harvard-trained family physician and Washington Post medical reporter, tackles obesity's causes methodically and without sensation, explicating the biology of body mass and appetite regulation and the relationship between calorie intake and energy expenditure. She also examines some of the rare hormone problems and genetic disorders that, in a tiny minority of children, can cause obesity. Having explored how obesity lowers self-esteem, the author persuasively shows that recent shifts in the environment are most likely to blame for today's childhood obesity epidemic: sprawling suburban neighborhoods that discourage walking, ballooning portions in restaurant food, poor choices in school lunches, a decline in home cooking and the resulting tendency to snack rather than sit down for a family meal are among the factors she cites. Commenting analytically on pediatricians' reluctance to deal with obesity, Okie documents the innovative efforts of certain states and schools to engineer healthy eating and exercise programs. She also meets and describes several families who have put diet and exercise plans into action, or whose children have been hospitalized for obesity. Never preachy or patronizing, Okie will inform and empower all concerned parents about a problem whose time has come (as shown by a New York Times Magazine piece on the subject and recent books like Generation Extra Large. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Book Description
A new global epidemic is unfolding.

In only thirty years, rates of obesity around the world have skyrocketed. We read about it in the headlines and witness it in our neighborhoods. Overweight children are numerous and conspicuous. The world—and the U.S. in particular—is in crisis. Most scientists are convinced that this dangerous trend has been propelled by a lethal combination of modern living and human genetic vulnerability.

Children are proving to be the most vulnerable class of victims.

Once dismissed by the medical profession as a purely cosmetic problem, obesity represents an ominous health threat for our children. Obesity is now second only to smoking as a wholly preventable cause of death. Without early intervention, overweight children often become overweight adults—and we know that at any age, obesity can lead to heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and depression, conditions that account for more than 300,000 deaths each year. In fact, today's kids may be the first generation of children to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.

Knowledge is power—and it's time to fight back.

About 20% of all children are considered to be overweight—worldwide there are 22 million kids under five years old who are considered to be "fat." Eating too much unhealthy food coupled with getting too little physical activity accounts for a lot of what's making our children heavier. But that's not the whole story. New research is revealing startling evidence that isolates a number of factors that are involved in this dramatic increase in obesity rates.

Science you can trust—advice you can use.

It's time for all parents, teachers, public health officials, physicians, and community leaders to join forces and arm themselves with the best, most up-to-date information available to win the war against childhood obesity. FED UP! is just what the doctor ordered. Based in part on the prestigious Institute of Medicine's ground-breaking report on childhood obesity, this new book from family practice physician and former Washington Post journalist Susan Okie provides in-depth background on the issue. An artful combination of compelling case studies and clearly articulated science powerfully illustrates how serious and widespread the problem is. Only by understanding the factors that contribute to childhood obesity, can we fully appreciate the consequences of this epidemic—and take necessary steps toward positive change. Okie's honest, authoritative, science-based advice constitutes our best weapon in this critical battle for the health and well-being of our children.

From the Inside Flap
"I loved FED UP! I couldn't put it down. Dr. Susan Okie has written the most important book of the decade on children's health. Every parent, teacher, doctor and civic leader will be inspired to focus on the epidemic of childhood obesity. It is sophisticated on the science—what we know—and practical on what parents and their communities can do. It is so optimistic—describing talented educators and communities' innovative strategies to get our children to eat better and move more. I put it down and immediately made a long list of colleagues, family and friends I want to send it to. Bravo." -- Donna E. Shalala, PhD, Former Secretary of Health and Human Services and president of the University of Miami "Nothing is more essential to overcoming the childhood obesity epidemic in America than knowledge. Our families need to know how to live healthier and more active lives in these fast-paced and demanding times. Susan Okie's FED UP! is just what this doctor orders. Every parent should buy this book." -- U.S. Senate Majority Leader William H. Frist, M.D.

About the Author
Susan Okie is a family physician and an award-winning medical journalist. While a student at Harvard Medical School in the 1970s, she began writing about medicine and health for the Washington Post. She has spent most of her career at that newspaper, covering local and national medical news, reporting for three years from Africa, and serving as the national science editor. She recently became a Washington-based contributing editor with the New England Journal of Medicine, writing about medical and health issues. Okie lives with her husband and two sons in Bethesda, Maryland.



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