Rethinking Thin

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Ok. Let's take our lumps first: as a nation, the headlines and health reports scream at us — we are fat, chubby, tubby, obese, double-wide, love-handled, heavyweight snack-masters. And we don't like it.

Consumer Reports says 90 million Americans are dieting right now, with an average goal of losing 37 pounds! Hold the fries!

Now, health and science writer Gina Kolata says maybe we should hold the angst, too. That our obsession with weight, dieting and getting thin is fighting nature.

This hour On Point: Diets, self-image and living with the American waistline.

Quotes from the Show:

"It's very hard for many people to get down to what is considered a normal weight. ... You have to respect your body's biology." Gina Kolata

"Obesity is a serious health condition. It is an interaction between a genetic predisposition and a permissive environment." Donald Hensrud

"Sometimes when people lose weight, they show signs of starvation." Listener

"To say you can't be healthy unless you're thin is stigmatizing people who are doing everything right." Gina Kolata


Gina Kolata, science writer for the New York Times. Her new book is "Rethinking Thin: The New Science of Weight Loss — and the Myths and Realities of Dieting."

Donald Hensrud, physician who specializes in nutrition and weight management. He is professor of preventive medicine and nutrition at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and editor of "Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight for EveryBody."

This program aired on May 24, 2007.


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