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The world loves fat. It's what food industry executives say adds precious flavor and "mouth-feel" to our foods, and what doctors say adds detrimental calories to our diets. 91 million Americans are considered obese-defined as twenty percent above ideal body weight-and the incidence of obesity is rising around the globe. Today, inundated by tens of thousands of food ads each year, influenced by a standard of beauty built on being thin, and fighting a primal craving, we are losing the war on fat.

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Despite the appeals of the multi-billion dollar diet and exercise industries, the United States is getting fatter. The media bombards us with images of thin models exuding the message that to be thin is to be beautiful. But for many of us, being thin is a difficult, if not impossible, achievement. FRONTLINE examines how the diet industry is contributing to our frustration over unwanted pounds and asks if one can be healthy, fit, beautifulˇand fat.

published nov. 1998



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