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Summary

At 64, Jenni Murray's weight had become a disability. She avoided the scales, she wore a uniform of baggy black clothes, refused to make connections between her weight and health issues and told herself that she was fat and happy. 

She was certainly fat. But the happy part was an Oscar-winning performance. In private she lived with a growing sense of fear and misery that it would probably kill her before she made it to 70.

Interwoven with the science, social history and psychology of weight management Fat Cow, Fat Chance is a refreshingly honest account of what it’s like to be fat when society dictates that skinny is the norm. It asks why we overeat and why, when the weight is finally lost through dieting, do we simply pile the pounds back on again? 

How do we help young people become comfortable with the way they look? What are the consequences of the obesity epidemic for an already overstretched NHS? And, whilst fat shaming is so often called out, why is it that shouting ‘fat cow’ at a woman in the street hasn’t been included in the list of hate crimes?

Fusing politics, science and personal pain, this is a powerful exploration of our battle with obesity.

©2020 Jenni Murray (P)2020 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about Fat Cow, Fat Chance

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A book to be treasured

I'm so glad I bought this book in Audible format as Jenni's narration is superb of course and it makes the book so special as a personal history. I could relate so much to her early life in Barnsley coming from the same part of the world, the food, the attitudes to weight, the way of life. Later on I could feel the pain of the remarks from her mother as I too suffered in a similar way. It helped me understand myself , my history of problems with weight and food and the social context of a woman growing up in the 70s and 80s. This book is something that I will treasure and come back to because it for me I feel as though I have found a reflection of myself I have never been able to find before. Thank you Jenni for writing this book and for being the voice of a generation of women who have struggled for their whole lives with this issue only to be dismissed by society.

5 people found this helpful

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Phenoninal and informative on fatitudes.

Whizzed through the audio. She is a compelling listen. If you are fat (and the statistics suggest that's likely) , or love so eone who is, read this book.

3 people found this helpful

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Spot on

Loved this book. So helpful for me. Truthful engaging informative and hopeful with a happy ending.

2 people found this helpful

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Easy Listening

I really enjoyed this book and pleased that it was actually Jenni reading it. i found it informative and just an enjoyable book to listen to . Thoroughly recommended.

2 people found this helpful

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Not my cup of tea

I have not read this thinking it would be a weight loss book because otherwise I wouldn't have picked it up at all. I thought this was a part biography part essay about fatphobia. If you are picking it up for the same reason, be prepared to know that although there is a meticulous research done about food and metabolism and any type of diet, there is little about fatphobia itself apart from the author's own experience and how much shame it caused her. I read this when I needed a strong voice to support fat women by deconstructing stereotypes of body image and instead this is more a dive into Jenni Murray's life with steady focus on how much she hates to be fat. Overall not my cup of tea but a well written biography nonetheless.

1 person found this helpful

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Fabulous

Heartbreaking informative and altogether fantastic.I love Jenny on woman’s hour and this gave a whole new insight to many things .

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I struggled to finish

Started off ok, I enjoyed the history bits, I made the mistake of looking the author up, as I often do, but in the health section it said Jenni had gastric surgery in June 2015. That put me straight off. Why write a book about losing weight when you wouldn't have done it with surgery?

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Very relatable

I’m 41, female and have struggled with my weight forever. However I think it would be relatable for almost anyone that listens. Jenni is lovely to listen to and I enjoy the way she breaks down any ‘science stuff’. No magic cure in here (and honestly everyone knows there’s no such thing!) but a lot of good honest thoughts and information. I really enjoyed it!

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Intelligent and inspiring insight into a difficult topic

As a slim, tall person all my life, although always watched my weight, this has given a much needed perspective into the misery that we give others. I may well have had negative thoughts about obese people but found this book illuminating.

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Loved it

I'm 22 and my mum told me to read this but warned me that it may not really have been for my generation. I absolutely loved it and found so many aspects so relatable