I'm joining in late today & enjoying reading everyone's posts - maybe this is a better time to get in on the discussion.
Here are my thoughts after reading your posts -
Meg's post - "What are your thoughts on the chapter and the idea that emotional eating is NOT a cause of obesity?"
I think emotional eating definitely IS a cause of obesity, but VERY possible, those emotions are influenced by our chemical make up.
Wyllenn's post - "I'm a cultural psychologist, and I would like to believe culture and environment are significant factors in all sorts of our attitudes and behaviors. In my work, I tend to ignore the biological to a degree."
For most of my academic learning years, the emphasis in society was on the role environment played in our behavior. Since the DNA research, that has shifted to the role nature plays. I think this book is in keeping with current thought on the influence of nature over nurture.
Gailr42's post - "I have mixed feeling about the concept of obesity as a disease."
Me too! Especially, if it's an incurable one. NOTE: you refered to the similarity of Kolata's perception being similar to how one would view diabetes. As a newly diagnosed diabetes 2 person, I kept making the same connection as I read the book. Especially bc my dietitian told me that just 20 years ago, a major diabetes specialist wrote that everyone with diabetes would end up dying from complications of the disease - it could NOT be managed. (Sound like the Kolata premise?). If obesity follows the same path as diabetes has, it should be MUCH more manageable in 20 years.
SusanB's post - "I really did not enjoy this book."
I understand this feeling. I did not "enjoy" the message, but I found it fascinating. After reading tons of books promising me I could lose weight quickly and forever (I have a bookcase full of them), it was kind of interesting to read a book that said, "You might be able to do this, but you have a tough row to hoe to get it done." As I look around at my friends/family, I know only 1 person who lost over 50 lbs and kept it off for more than 10 years. I have been on and off diets for 40 years and am about 30 lbs heavier than I was when I started dieting!
SusanB's post - "... also wish that just once she would have talked to folks who have been successful."
I REALLY believe that my df and those of you who ARE successful SHOULD write a book. If you are as rare as this book indicates, you DEFINITELY have something to offer.
Now - my personal experience. I have successfully lost weight (down to my expressed goal weight) more than 5 times in my life. Each time, someone close to me either died or got SERIOUSLY ill soon after I reached goal. Each time, I gained all the weight lost + more. Were these coincidental occurrences - the problems occurred when my body was ready to re-gain the weight anyway? OR - were they causative occurrences - I engaged in emotional eating as a result of the problems and gained back my lost weight?
I teach research & one of the things I teach my students is - don't try to answer the question "why" with research. The "why" of things is part of philosophy and religion - NOT research. The best we can do with research is some answers to "what," "how," and "when" questions.