"XL Love: How the Obesity Crisis Is Complicating America's Love Life" : Explores Sarah Varney

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By Indrani Bhattacharyya | July 24, 2014 1:09 PM EST

Sarah Varney in her latest book, "XL Love: How the Obesity Crisis Is Complicating America's Love Life," out in August explored the role of obesity in affecting individual sex life.

Based on the data from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sixty-nine percent of Americans are overweight and 35.1% of those people are obese.

Reuters
The United States is the most obese country in the world with 34% of the adult population classified as obese, according to the latest OECD survey.

Through her book, Sarah wanted to find out how relationship are getting affected because of weight issues.

After 2½ years of research, Varney observed that the scary effect of obesity, especially on sexual relationships which further leads to either weight gain or even weight loss.

Varney started digging deeper in the topic while serving as a senior correspondent for Kaiser Health News and a contributor to the NPR series "Living Large," which focuses on how obesity is changing American life.

The book discovers different directions through which obesity alters sexual development, dating, marriage and physical intimacy.

Weight can definitely make or break a relationship these days.

Varney says “it took a lot of work to gain the trust of her subjects, many of whom she met through weight loss counselors. They shared highly personal, and often difficult, stories of love lives dramatically affected by weight.”

The book talks about the painful days of Dana Englehardt who was 265 pounds and underwent bariatric surgery and counseling to get back her lost confidence and sexual desire.

“According to CNN living, in a chapter titled "Sex: The Birds and the Bees with Aching Knees," Varney moves from the brain to the body, exploring "bad mechanics" between partners as well as how belly fat can decrease testosterone production in men, potentially leading to sexual issues.”

But there is also body image activist like Hanne Blank who believes in sex at any size.

Orgasm is not a pants size. Fun is not a body fat percentage. "There is not a magical BMI number that produces love. End of story." Blank was quoted saying.

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(Photo: Reuters / Lucas Jackson)
The United States is the most obese country in the world with 34% of the adult population classified as obese, according to the latest OECD survey.
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