Once dismissed by the medical profession as a purely cosmetic problem, obesity now ranks second only to smoking as a wholly preventable cause of death. Indeed, it's implicated in 300,000 deaths each year and is a major contributor to heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and depression. Even conservative estimates show that 15% of all children are now considered to be overweight--worldwide there are 22 million kids under five years old that are defined as fat.
Supersized portions, unhealthy diets, and too little physical activity certainly contribute to what's making kids 'fat.' But that's not the whole story. Researchers are at a loss to explain why obesity rates have risen so suddenly and so steeply in the closing decades of the 20th century. But head out to the beaches, playgrounds, and amusement parks, and it's obvious that overweight children are more numerous and conspicuous.
We see it in our neighborhoods and we read it in the headlines. Our nation--indeed the world--is in crisis. But knowledge is power and it's time to arm ourselves in the battle to win the war on obesity. Fed Up! is just what the doctor ordered. Based in part on the Institute of Medicine's ground-breaking report on childhood obesity, this new book from family physician and journalist Susan Okie provides in-depth background on the issue; shares heartrending but instructive case studies that illustrate just how serious and widespread the problem is; and gives honest, authoritative, science-based advice that constitute our best weapons in this critical battle.
"[Fed Up!] concludes by offering thoroughly sound and detailed solutions to an exasperating problem. ... A must-read for parents whose children are overweight -- or who hope to avoid the problem."
-- The Washington Post, March 13, 2005
"Harvard-trained doctor and journalist Susan Okie tackles the subject of childhood obesity with the latest scientific research and compelling street reporting... In her book, Okie introduces the reader to real kids, and explains in a compassionate way the science behind fat. She also puts forth a plan for parents, schools and communities to make changes."
-- The Baltimore Sun, March 4, 2005
"Susan Okie's book about childhood obesity is a lucid, unflinching look at the problem, as well as the solutions, couched in the latest scientific findings. It's as densely packed with information as a nutrient-rich gumbo and spiced with real-life kids' and parents' stories. ... That said, don't expect a light read. Do expect an engaging one."
-- Dallas Morning News
"Although the scientific detail may exceed what you d read in a newspaper or consumer magazine, the tone reads like a conversation with your family doctor -- at least the conversation you d like to have if time were never an issue. Interviews with educators, parents, children and researchers underscore her theme that communities need to tackle this problem with one voice. Numerous medical studies encompassing all aspects of childhood obesity, such as depression and body image, and the protective effects of breast-feeding help strengthen the book. Her thorough discussion of complicated and sometimes contradictory studies provides readers with current information on obesity research... a remarkably thorough book."
-- St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 17, 2005
"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 sent 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."
-- United States Senate Majority Leader William H. Frist, M.D.
"Okie pushes recruitment for the [anti-obesity] effort with some statistics that are downright scary, but seldom configured as well as she presents them... When she cites a study, she really picks nifty ones."
-- Adolescent Medicine, March 2005
"The National Black Church Initiative wholeheartedly endorses Fed Up! It is a wonderful book that helps the church and society begin to face the reality of the problem of childhood obesity. Dr. Okie book's Fed Up! should be read and implemented by every faith community and public health department to safeguard the healthy lives of our children."
-- Rev. Anthony Evans, President of the National Black Church Initiative
"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... Never preachy or patronizing, Okie will inform and empower all concerned parents about a problem whose time has come."
-- Publishers Weekly, January 17, 2005
"Okie lays out what seems like every current piece of research on this topic, from the role of genes and maternal weight during pregnancy in obesity to the effectiveness of school-based exercise programs and the feasibility of gastric bypass surgery for morbidly obese young people. She interviews leading researchers, clinicians, teachers, and community leaders. Most importantly, she spends time with kids at school, at home, and in the doctor's office, and relates how young people and their families are trying to develop healthier habits, often with encouraging success."
-- The Lancet, September 24, 2005
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