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The Obesity Reality

A Comprehensive Approach to a Growing Problem

Naheed Ali

Although every day we read news reports linking health problems to diet and lifestyle, there remains a dearth of books on the topic that consider obesity from a variety of standpoints that include medical, personal, financial, and related considerations. The Obesity Reality discusses these viewpoints to explain how and why the problem exists both in the United States and around the world, and in men, women, children.

More than a billion people are overweight and that number is expected to increase substantially over the next decade. How can we live past 90 while being obese? How can we remain healthy until our last breath? During the last decade, doctors have been successfully applying medical principles to the search for an obesity cure. But there is no magic medication, no vaccine that can head off the obesity epidemic as sweeps across the planet. Dr. Ali discusses the realities of obesity and its repercussions, which include poor health, high medical costs, restrictions on lifestyle and activities, and more. He shows how we can address obesity, starting in childhood, to prevent it from getting worse, both on a personal and on a societal level, and how we can reverse its effects through proper diet, exercise, and lifestyle choices as well as medical procedures and medications.
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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 352Size: 6 3/8 x 9 1/4
978-1-4422-1446-0 • Hardback • May 2012 • $35.00 • (£21.95)
978-1-4422-1447-7 • Paperback • July 2015 • $25.00 • (£15.95)
978-1-4422-1448-4 • eBook • May 2012 • $24.99 • (£15.95)
Naheed Ali, M.D., is the author of Diabetes and You: A Comprehensive, Holistic Approach (Rowman & Littlefield, 2011). He has appeared as a special guest on numerous talk shows and has been quoted in many national print magazines and TV websites across the US, including Woman’s World, Prevention, Whole Living, MSN.com, USAToday.com, and others.

Find out more at http://naheedali.com


Part I:The Big Picture
1: Understanding Obesity
2: The Diagnosis
3: Causes and Symptoms
4: Treatment
5: Obesity in America
6: Worldwide Obesity

Part II: The Front Lines
7: Childhood Obesity
8: Obesity and Mental Health
9: Blame and Guilt
10: The Economics of Obesity

Part III: Keep it Up!
11: The Art of Exercise
12: Finding Motivation

Appendix A: Obesity-Related Websites
Appendix B: Research and Training
Appendix C: Obesity-Related Organizations
Appendix D: Selected Studies

Selected Bibliography
About the Author
Obesity is a worldwide epidemic that shows no signs of abating. Ali (Diabetes and You: A Comprehensive, Holistic Approach) offers readers an overview of the history of condition (from the Venus of Willendorf to the Catholic church's stance that obesity was 'a punishment for gorgers'), its causes (e.g., sugary drinks), how it affects the health of the individual (e.g., increased risk of heart disease), how it affects society (e.g., taking up more and more of the total US medical expenditures) and how it can be addressed. In examining topics ranging from the role of the food industry, to how gastric bypass surgery works, to appropriate exercise regimens, Ali covers all of obesity's bases (except recipes). . . . Ali dutifully provides an extensive glossary of relevant terms, and a compendium of resources for folks struggling with obesity and those interested in further reading.
Publishers Weekly

The earth’s population keeps getting bigger—in absolute numbers as well as in weight and waist size. Obesity has become a global epidemic. The World Health Organization estimates that there will be 2 billion overweight adults by 2015. The Obesity Reality looks at the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and consequences of obesity. For starters, physician Ali points out that the proliferation of fast-food options, the increased number of sedentary jobs, and the abundance of automobiles aren’t exactly squelching fatness. Nor are soda, high-fructose corn syrup, and countless hours spent sitting in front of the TV or computer screen. Obesity puts people at risk for type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoarthritis, and even gallstones and gout. Treatments include lifestyle changes, alternative-medicine therapies, prescription and nonprescription medications, and surgical procedures (gastric banding or bypass). Chapters on childhood obesity, blame and guilt, motivational ideas, and obesity’s connection with mental health are especially cogent....This book is a useful primer. There are no shortcuts for shrinking the problem of obesity.

The Obesity Reality is a fascinating look at the greatest health challenge the world faces today. The author increases our knowledge and understanding of obesity using both a scientific and medical approach. He covers all aspects of obesity, including history, pathophysiology, social, legal, economic aspects and provides some practical advice. This is a concise but comprehensive guide for anyone who is wrestling with excess weight and wants to conquer their problem through greater understanding and knowledge.
Serena H. Chen M.D.

This book is very concise and factual, yet easy to read for everyone. It is inclusive of all the current data on obesity. I was especially impressed with the vivid descriptions of the surgical treatments. It’s definitely much to my liking and highly recommended.

Charles Tullius

Dr. Ali's book offers a comprehensive look at the causes of obesity and the ways to reverse it. His thoughtful, well-documented book is written in language that anyone can understand. His approach to preventing or reversing obesity is based on rock-solid science. He offers sound advice on working with your physician as you reverse obesity and sound advice on creating good eating habits for your kids. Read this book and make it part of your 40-year plan!
Susan D. Delaney M.D

Dr. Naheed Ali’s The Obesity Reality has something to offer to a wide audience. Overweight adults, parents of obese children, doctors, corporate CEOs and government policy makers will all find great value in this book. The author goes on to explain the physiological basis of digestion and the transformation of various foods into energy. This is followed by a section on the diagnosis of obesity, which stresses the need to exclude (by seeing a doctor) medical conditions that can present as excessive weight gain. Moreover, the chapters on childhood obesity, aimed primarily at parents, and links between mental health and obesity also contain vital information that all health professionals should be aware of.
Stuart J. Bramhall M.D

Dr. Ali has presented us with a book that serves as an essential tool in the worldwide fight against the epidemic of obesity. He opens our eyes to the multitude of physical, emotional and inter-relational effects of a disease that affects a growing proportion of our nation. The health, economic and societal burdens of obesity cry out for more national and personal attention. Dr. Ali's book thoughtfully and logically takes our collective hands and says, ‘Here is the problem. These are the consequences, and this is what we need to do about it.’

Paul T. Scheatzle, DO

  • Covers obesity from a variety of perspectives
  • Includes specific information on common health issues that arise for those who are obese
  • Provides information on the economics of obesity – the financial burden the epidemic has created for economies around the world
  • Considers ways obesity can be prevented and reversed, including medical options