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The Oxford Handbook of the Social Science of Obesity
It serves as a “rosetta stone ” because it explains how seven different social science disciplines (epidemiology, demography, anthropology, psychology, sociology, economics, and political science) study diet, physical activity, and obesity.
It provides rich and detailed syntheses on the major causes and consequences of obesity. The causes examined include: socioeconomic status, peer effects, food marketing, agriculture policy, and food prices. The consequences examined include: medical costs, mortality, schooling and test scores, employment and wages, and discrimination.
It describes how social science research can inform and improve policies to prevent and reduce obesity, such as food taxes and subsidies, school-based interventions, worksite interventions, community interventions, restrictions on food marketing, anti-obesity drugs, and bariatric surgery.
This volume represents a very rare example of a very diverse set of social scientists overcoming their disciplinary boundaries and differences to share information and insights; for that reason it is of interest even to social scientists who are not particularly focused on obesity.
For newcomers to the study of obesity, the volume provides Section 2, which describes the data available for the study of obesity, describes the challenges in identifying causal effects in obesity research, and discusses complex models of obesity.