Published: 10/03/2005, Volume II5, No. 5946 Page 35

Fat is definitely the new thin - obesity was the number one public health issue last year, from the red-top front pages to the ministers' red boxes. But are there undesirable side-effects of medicalising a condition with such strong social dimensions?

Health and Illness is the compelling new book by Mike Bury, Emeritus Professor of Sociology at London University, which questions society's attitudes to sickness, so-called 'expert' patients and the medical professions.

Published by Polity,£14.99