x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Book review: The Weight of the Nation offers a heavy discussion

Although built on American data, The Weight of the Nation has much to offer the obesity debate in the UAE.

The authors of The Weight of the Nation succeed in pulling together some compelling research on eating habits and in highlighting the formidable commercial efforts to influence them for the worse.

Based on the TV series of the same name, the book brings into focus the important message that we all need to eat simple foods and be less sedentary. Doing so will take awareness, particularly when corporations are working to entice us in the other direction.

The authors' recommend less restaurant eating, as the food is rarely healthy and portions huge. Watching less TV is also key, not only to cut down on unhealthy sitting but to reduce exposure to tempting ads.

The book also suggests success can come via more realistic goal-setting, with the authors advocating that health improvements can be achieved by dropping just seven to 10 per cent of body weight at a sensible rate of one-half to one kilogram per week.

Although The Weight of the Nation is almost entirely based on US data, the research on the American obesity epidemic it gathers is also very relevant in the UAE.