The Science behind Obesity
Claire S Allardyce (Author)
Currently, the health of over half the adult population in the UK suffers because of fat. The UK is not alone: obesity is a global problem, but the populations of some countries are heavier than others. This book probes the chemistry of fat in our bodies, providing a unique insight into understanding obesity, and how this material becomes accumulated to cause obesity with particular emphasis on the contribution of nutrition beyond calories. It visits the current hot topic of the genetic origins of obesity and progresses through to the relatively under publicised field of epigenetics, emphasising its importance to understanding the current epidemic. Coming in the wake of the establishment of international collaborations, the book aims to quantify the extent of the contribution of nutritional deficiencies to body weight gain. Yet even before these studies begin some important links have been identified and the molecular mechanisms by which they induce obesity have been mapped. This information reveals a serious problem for the next generation, but it is expected to provide the necessary information to tackle the obesity epidemic. Based on an extensive review of scientific literature, this topical book is written in a way that is accessible to the non-specialist. Suitable for the general public, the principal focus of the book is to advance the public understanding and awareness of science through the high interest subject of obesity. However, many universities recommend public understanding of science texts to students as a means of broadening general knowledge and as a means to emphasise to students the importance of communicating their research to the public. This book will be instrumental in developing this knowledge.
Claire Allardyce graduated in 1993 from the University of St Andrews, Fife, with a degree in Biochemistry and Biotechnology and then proceeded to do a PhD expecting this to start her career in rational drug design. During the course of her research, Claire became increasingly interested in how nutrition affected treatment, for example, the role of folic acid in decreasing the efficacy of certain anticancer drugs and the increased power of detoxification pathways after eating Brussels sprouts. Eventually her interest diverged towards presenting scientific findings to the general public, in particular, the chemistry of obesity.