Deborah A. Cohen, MD, is a senior natural scientist at the RAND Corporation. Cohen received her BA at Yale University, MPH in epidemiology from the UCLA School of Public Health, and her MD from the School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. She has served on several advisory panels for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and was a Fulbright Senior Scholar in Brazil. She lives in Santa Monica, California.
"In A Big Fat Crisis...Cohen removes the blame for obesity from those with the extra pounds and places it squarely on their surroundings. Her thesis is clear: Just as infectious disease and cancer result from exposure to a pathogenic and carcinogenic environment, 'obesity is primarily the result of exposure to an obesogenic environment.'...She makes a convincing diagnosis. [A Big Fat Crisis is] a rallying cry for drastic change in how we view and manage the obesity epidemic." The Washington Post "[A] controversial but compelling solution to the obesity epidemic in the U.S." Shelf Awareness "Dr. Deborah A. Cohen has written a groundbreaking book on obesity. It should be read by everybody." HuntingtonNews "Cohen, an epidemiologist and medical doctor at the RAND Corporation, makes a convincing case that obesity involves far more than a failure of willpower... Cohen certainly presents a fresh, thoughtprovoking take on how to fight the obesity epidemic." Booklist (starred review) "Cohen takes a behaviorist approach to identifying the antecedents for eating choices, suggesting that the focus on self-control as a key element actually undercuts efforts to make change, given people's assumptions about human nature and our genetic makeup... The author makes a compelling case." Kirkus Reviews "[A] powerful book." Publishers Weekly "Deborah Cohen gives us a physician's view of how to deal with today's big fat crisis. In today's 'eat more' food environment, individuals can't avoid becoming overweight on their own. This extraordinarily well-researched book presents a convincing argument for the need to change the food environment to make it easier for every citizen to eat more healthfully." Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition, food studies, and public health, New York University, and author of Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health "Hundreds of diet books have failed to halt the obesity epidemic in America. If you are among the majority of Americans who are overweight--or are just someone who cares about others who are--you should read Deborah Cohen's A Big Fat Crisis instead. It will give you an entirely new perspective on this creeping disaster and on how our society can end it." Thomas Farley, commissioner of health for New York City, 2009--2013 "Cohen lays out the daunting internal and external forces that have led to a frightening rise in obesity in America. She offers innovative and provocative paths out of the problem, including one of my core beliefs--cities should be designed around people rather than cars. Among other things, elected officials should champion infrastructure investment that encourages more active and healthier lifestyles." Mick Cornett, mayor of Oklahoma City