Popkin to debut new book on obesity in January

December 04, 2008

Dr. Barry Popkiin

Dr. Barry Popkiin

A new book by Barry Popkin, PhD, chronicles the worldwide rise in obesity, a phenomenon Popkin attributes more to technology, globalization, government policies and food industry practices than gluttony or sloth. <p”> <p”>

In The World is Fat: The Fads, Trends, Policies and Products That Are Fattening the Human Race, Popkin argues that sweetened beverages and processed foods are the primary culprits in our “ever-expanding” world. Add the decline in physical activity and a trend toward supersized meals and snacks away from home, and it becomes clear why our collective health has begun to suffer.

<p”> <p”> Popkin, Carla Smith Chamblee Distinguished Professor of nutrition in The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health and director of the UNC Interdisciplinary Obesity Center, has studied economics and nutrition for three decades. His research spans six continents and includes wide-ranging, long-term studies of the effects of lifestyle change on body composition.

<p”> <p”> In contrast to 50 years ago, more people in the world are now overweight than malnourished; 600 to 700 million suffer from malnutrition, and 1.6 billion people are overweight. Popkin’s book claims that widespread obesity is less an effect of poor individual choices than the consequence of a high-technology, interconnected world in which governments and multinational corporations have unprecedented power to shape lives and behaviors. <p”> <p”> “The global obesity epidemic affects all of us–families, communities and nations around the world,” says Dr. Jeffrey D. Sachs, director of Columbia University’s Earth Institute. “It’s a weighty subject in every way, with dire consequences for well being, life expectancy, and economic productivity in the years ahead unless seriously confronted. The World is Fat is compelling reading on this complex and growing societal threat.” <p”>

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<p”> <p”> <p”> <p”> <p”> <p”> <p”> <p” align=”center”> <p”> <p”> UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health contact: Ramona DuBose, director of communications, (919) 966-7467 or ramona_dubose@unc.edu.