Ever Seen a Fat Fox?

Currently reviewing Mike Gibney’s book Ever Seen a Fat Fox? Human obesity explored (University College Dublin Press, 2016) for issue 1/2017 of Sight and Life magazine.

The nature of humans’ relationship with food over the centuries provides the guiding principle for Prof. Gibney’s exploration of the condition of obesity and possible approaches to tackle it. “It is to me blindingly obvious,” he writes, “that, notwithstanding the common sharing of most of our genomes with animals we are fat because we organized society in such a way as to make that not simply possible but probable.” Prof. Gibney’s core understanding of obesity, therefore, is that it is constructed by culture, and that, precisely because human culture is complex, the problem of obesity can only be tackled by a sophisticated combination of solutions supported by a significant financial investment. “No dough, no go!” as the penultimate line of the book puts it.

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