This introductory chapter sets out the purpose of the book, which is to examine the social implications of understanding fatness as a medical health risk, disease, and public health crisis. To do this, it is necessary to understand where these frames come from, what their internal logic is, and how and why have they come to dominate our understanding of fatness. The chapter provides definitions of the terms used in the book; explains why the way fatness is framed matters; considers the social implications of the argument that obesity is unhealthy; and discusses how body size intersects with class, race, and gender. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.
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