How fat must one be to be considered obese? Why do fat parents tend to have have fat children, whether they are biologically related or not? How does one's social situation affect one's body weight? Why is fatness prevalent among the poor in westernized countries? This thoroughly fascinating volume explores the phenomenon of obesity, a condition common to nearly 15 percent of all Americans. Experts offer unique sociological insights into the relationship between obesity and the family. They share the most current information available on the social causes, correlates, and consequences of being, becoming, and losing fat. Obesity and the Family also explores dieting as a social process, the stigma of obesity in Western culture, the interactional problems of overweight adolescents, the effects of socioeconomic status on body weight, the influence of marriage on obesity, and much more.