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Book Nook: 'XL Love' review

In her review of

In her review of "How the Obesity Crisis Is Complicating America's Love Life", by Sarah Varney, Peggy Brown writes, "'Physicians, often squeamish about sexual health, have largely ignored the sexual lives of their bigger patients,' she [Varney] writes. Perhaps this explosive book may help open their eyes". XL Love is available for $25.99. Credit: Rodale

XL LOVE: How the Obesity Crisis Is Complicating America's Love Life, by Sarah Varney. Rodale, 246 pp., $25.99.

Sarah Varney, a senior health policy correspondent with Kaiser Health News whose stories regularly hit NPR News and PBS NewsHour, has written a meticulously researched -- and profoundly upsetting -- book.

She opens it at the neonatal intensive care unit -- nearly a football field long -- of a Jackson, Mississippi, hospital, where America's obesity epidemic has painfully come to roost: There, tiny premature babies, and huge ones weighing more than 12 pounds, were "born to extremely heavy mothers whose chronic hypertension and diabetes forced them into premature birth ."

Varney interviews doctors troubled by patients as young as 4 years old with pubic hair (and boys developing breasts); covers "Thick Sundaes," Las Vegas shows with obese women; writes of how diabetes lowers sexual desire, and more.

THE SCOOP She alternates scientific evidence with wrenching personal stories of weight and sex.

THE BOTTOM LINE "Physicians, often squeamish about sexual health, have largely ignored the sexual lives of their bigger patients," she writes. Perhaps this explosive book may help open their eyes.

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