This volume examines the biocultural dimensions of obesity from an anthropological perspective in an effort to broaden understanding of a growing public health concern. The United States of America currently has the highest rates of obesity among developed countries, with an alarming rise in prevalence in recent decades which promises to affect the nation for years to come. Bellisari helps students to grasp the complex nature of this obesity epidemic, demonstrating that it is the consequence of many interacting forces which range from individual genetic and physiological predispositions to national policies and American cultural beliefs and practices. As much a social problem as an individual one, the development of obesity is in fact encouraged by the pattern of high consumption and physical inactivity that is promoted by American economic, political, and ideological systems. With a range of up-to-date scientific and medical data, The Anthropology of Obesity in the United States provides students with a comprehensive picture of obesity, its multiple causes, and the need for society-wide action to address the issue.
Chapter 1: Introduction – Obesity in America
Chapter 2: Origins of Obesity in Evolution
Chapter 3: The Metabolic Basis of Obesity
Chapter 4: The Toxic Environment
Chapter 5: Obesity in American Society
Chapter 6: The Obesity Epidemic and American Culture
Chapter 7: Conclusion – The Anthropology of Obesity