Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Metamorphoses of Fat – A History of Obesity - Columbia Scholarship Online
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

The Metamorphoses of Fat: A History of Obesity

Georges Vigarello


This book maps the evolution of Western ideas about fat and fat people from the Middle Ages to the present, paying particular attention to the role of science, fashion, fitness crazes, and public health campaigns in shaping these views. While hefty bodies were once a sign of power, today those who struggle to lose weight are considered poor in character and weak in mind. The book traces the eventual equation of fatness with infirmity and the way we have come to define ourselves and others in terms of body type. The text begins with the medieval artists and intellectuals who treated heavy bodie ... More

Keywords: fat, fat people, fatness, infirmity, body type, body-as-mechanism, food-as-fuel, fitness, body-conscious

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2013 Print ISBN-13: 9780231159760
Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015 DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231159760.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Georges Vigarello, author
C. Jon Delogu