Engel Publishes Book on History of Obesity in America

Jonathan Engel
Jonathan Engel

Jonathan Engel, an instructor in the master's in public health practice program in the School of Public Health and Health Sciences, has published a book titled “Fat Nation: A History of Obesity in America.” In the book, published by Rowman & Littlefield, he attempts to show that obesity is a symptom of complex changes over the past half century to our food, living habits, life patterns, built environments and social interactions.

An expert in health policy and management and a historian of science and medicine, Engel notes that the estimated annual health care costs of obesity-related illness are $190 billion, or nearly 21% of annual medical spending in the United States. The book discusses the known science underlying obesity and argues that obesity is a result of the interaction of our genes with our environment. Engel writes that with cheap calories ubiquitous, nearly every American confronts the challenge of not putting on weight. Given the outcomes, though, for those who are obese, Engel encourages us to address the problems and offers suggestions to help remedy the problem.