Functions of Fat

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1979, Vol 24(4), 321–322. Reviews the books, Behavioral Approaches to Weight Control. Springer Series in Behavior Modification, Vol. 3 by Edward E. Abramson (1977); and Fat and Thin: A Natural History of Obesity by Anne Scott Beller (see record 1980-50624-000); and Fat is a Feminist Issue…: The Anti-Diet Guide to Permanent Weight Loss by Susie Orbach (1978). The prevailing view of obesity is that of an aberration, entirely objectionable to the obese person, or at best, accepted with resignation after a struggle. Two of these three new books addressing the topic of obesity challenge this view. In the first book the collection of techniques allegedly designed to help practitioners untrained in behavior modification learn to apply behavioral techniques to weight loss turns a deaf ear to the insights offered by Beller and Orbach. Second book documents the evolutionary development and functions of adiposity. The third books central argument is that fat has meanings and psychological purposes beyond biological needs. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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