Diet & Weight Magazine

The Great Fat Fraud Book Review

By Johnisfit @johnisfit

Disclaimer: The publisher sent me this book to review, however I am under no obligation to do so nor to make the review positive. This review reflects my personal opinion about this book.

For a relatively short book, The Great Fat Fraud: Why the "Obesity Epidemic" Isn't, How to Be Totally Healthy without Losing Weight and If You Should Lose Some Pounds, How to Keep Them from Finding You Again has to be about the longest title ever! Through the course of this review, I'll just refer to it as "The Great Fat Fraud."

What is the book about?

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From the publisher:

Fad diets, weight loss surgical procedures, diet pills and The Biggest Losers are all part of daily life. This is our "Overweight States of America,” says author Mike Schatzki. “Try to escape the weight loss industry for just one day – you'll find it nearly impossible. Around every corner, on every channel, Facebook page, and Twitter feed you'll find an ad promoting weight loss pills, 'smart liposuction,' gastric bypass surgery, and the newest in amazing plans to lose weight. We've gone from 'America the Free' to 'America the Fat.' "

But just how much truth is there behind all the Obesity Epidemic hype? Who decided what is obesity anyway? Is stick-starving skinny really the only healthy option? Find out in "The Great Fat Fraud."

Without giving away too much of the story – the book outlines how the key to fitness and health is not to manage your weight but to manage your walking. Take those much ballyhooed 10,000 steps a day and the level of fitness to achieve will be much more important to your longevity than any benefit of losing weight.

This book is about proving this to be true.

Who wrote it

Author, Mike Schatzki, is a professional speaker and trainer. Two years ago he began doing research for a speech he calls "The No Sweat Couch Potato Recovery Program." But as he studied the research on weight loss, obesity and health, he was astounded and mesmerized by what he discovered. Mike received his BA, Magna Cum Laude, Phit Beta Kappa, from Haverford College, and his MPA from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

My take

Don't let all of the author's fancy education fool you – this is not a dry academic text. The prose is conversational, friendly and simple to read and understand. Yet, the point is clearly made and supported with facts and research.

One thing I found impressive about this book is that Mike not only refers to many scientific resources but he fully describes them in the endnotes and then he goes an extra step and makes his resources publicly available on the book's website. I really appreciate this level of transparency.

It shouldn't come as a surprise that the solution to fitlessness can be something so simple as walking since that is a topic that many of us in the weight loss blog "community" have been sharing of late, but what I really appreciated learning about was the research that showed just how much more important fitness was as a factor in health than fat.

To be clear, there are still plenty of reasons to try to lose that fat such as fitting into clothes better, but the lesson here is how much more important being fit is, and how the level of fitness required can be so simply obtained.

Whenever I read I non-fiction book I try to take from it just "one thing" – from this book I will be taking the concept of making walking a requirement, not a priority. It might seem like a small differentiator yet I can see how it might help me.

The Great Fat Fraud is a simple and enjoyable read, and I recommend it.

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