Thinking in Circles About Obesity: Applying Systems Thinking to Weight Management
Thinking in Circles About Obesity has been “Highly Commended” in the “Popular Medicine” category of the 2010 BMA Book Awards.
Low-carb…low-fat…high-protein…high-fiber…Americans are food-savvy, label-conscious, calorie-aware—and still gaining weight in spite of all their good intentions. Worse still, today’s children run the risk of a shorter life expectancy than their parents.
Thinking in Circles About Obesity brings a healthy portion of critical thinking, spiced with on-target humor and lively graphics, to the obesity debate. Systems scholar Tarek Hamid proposes that a major shift in perspective is needed to address the problem. This book unites systems (non-linear) thinking and information technology to provide powerful insights and practical strategies for managing our bodies, as well as our health. Applying these creative, business-tested techniques to personal health lets readers approach weight problems like CEOs—not bean-counters!—and connect the elusive links between the biological, environmental, social, and psychological factors that contribute to overweight and obesity, yo-yo dieting and willpower issues. The author’s clear insights dispel dieters’ unrealistic expectations and illuminate dead-end behaviors to tap into a deeper understanding of how the body works, why it works that way, and how to improve the bottom line. For optimum results, he includes innovative tools for:
- Understanding why diets almost always fall short of our expectations.
- Assessing weight gain, loss, and goals with greater accuracy.
- Abandoning one-size-fits-all solutions in lieu of personal solutions that do fit.
- Replacing outmoded linear thinking with feedback systems thinking.
- Getting the most health benefits from information technology.
- Making behavior and physiology work in sync instead of in opposition.
Given the current level of the weight crisis, the ideas in Thinking in Circles About Obesity have much to offer the clinical or health psychologist, the primary care physician, the public health professional the parent and the lay reader. For those struggling with overweight, this book charts a new path in health decision-making, to see beyond calorie charts, Body Mass Indexes, and silver bullets.