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XL Love: How the Obesity Crisis Is…
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XL Love: How the Obesity Crisis Is Complicating America's Love Life

by Sarah Varney

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Disappointing. The author undertook interviews and qualitative data collection yet the judgmental tone she takes about obesity in many passages makes me question how authentic her qualitative work really was. Were her research subjects as easily able to tell her negative, blaming views of obesity as I was? If so, how honest were they with her?

There's good info in here (I hope), but occasional judgmental diction and comments turned me off, particularly the way that she described overweight children. It's not like eight-year-olds are really at fault for being overweight.

I also suspect there's something of a cherrypicking problem here with the studies presented. For instance, toward the end of the book, she gives numerous stories of people who underwent bariatric surgery and cites a couple studies about impacts on psychosocial outcomes. However, all the studies top out at two years of follow up and she ignores longer-term studies indicating a sizable percentage of people who undergo the surgery do eventually return to their original size. What are the ramifications of that?

It's like Sarah Varney wants to be a sociologist but does not have the training or ability to do it right. Some interesting material here, but it falls far short of the standards we should have around this type of work. ( )
  sparemethecensor | Feb 20, 2016 |
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"With two out of every three Americans overweight or obese, it's all hands on deck--scientists are studying how excess fat changes physical and mental health, demographers are calculating how it's shortening life spans, and economists are debating the impact it has on America's productivity and global competitiveness. But how weight affects intimacy and sexuality is barely discussed.Yet it's a question of high importance for the tens of millions of Americans who are overweight or obese and having difficulty sexually and romantically. It is changing and complicating the mating game and married life alike; stunting the ability of young people to find happiness; and tipping some heavy, but otherwise happy, couples into divorce. For many, a larger body has meant a more troubled mind: a decline in sexual quality, an increase in self-loathing, and a tendency to let these factors stand in the way of love.In XL Love, Varney travels the country and tells the personal stories of men and women who are experiencing what millions of others feel every day, along with the stories of those who are in the business of helping them: physicians, researchers, scientists, psychologists, sociologists, and more. Analytic and immersive, personal and eye-opening, XL Love tackles the question: How is sex changing in America as the shape of Americans changes?"--… (more)

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