The Hungry Gene

The Science of Fat and the Future of Thin

By Ellen Ruppel Shell
(Atlantic Monthly Press, Hardcover, 9780871138569, 256pp.)

Publication Date: January 2002

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Description
Acclaimed science journalist Ellen Ruppel Shell goes to the front lines of the struggle against obesity -- from a facility in Maine where the first superobese mice were bred more than thirty years ago, to Rockefeller University in New York where scientists worked to isolate the gene that causes obesity. Along the way Shell looks at radical and controversial surgical techniques, the evolutionary implications of mordant obesity among native islanders in Micronesia, and how drug companies are racing to create a cure-all pill. She also takes aim at the obesity-enabling culture behind the crisis -- from the suburban sprawl that has fostered America's car-centered sedentary lifestyle to fast-food marketers who prey on our jammed schedules. Weaving science, history, and personal stories, the narrative builds to a powerful conclusion that reveals how we can beat the obesity pandemic before it beats us.
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