The reviewer of The World Is Fat: The Fads, Trends, Policies, and Products That Are Fattening the Human Race, Kathryn E. Henderson of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University, notes the worldwide increase in rates of overweight and obesity. She also observes that there is academic and media debate over the cause of this increase. The book's author, Barry Popkin, has "conducted extensive research on the shifts and trends in dietary intake over more than three decades across several countries including India, China, Mexico, and the United States, thereby documenting the 'nutrition transition.'" Popkin contends that much of the increase in overweight and obesity is due to changes in the food industry and the availability and consumption of processed foods and sweetened beverages worldwide.
To what extent does the obesogenic environment model resonate with psychologists? If the causes of this health crisis are indeed embedded in our social and food policies, what are the proper roles and activities of health psychologists, eating disorders researchers, and clinicians who treat those who struggle with weight? Are psychologists trained to consider and intervene at appropriate levels?
By Kathryn E. Henderson [and] Meghan O'Connell
PsycCRITIQUES, 2010 Vol 55(23)