I admire Murray’s bravery in revealing all her indignities in this book: asking for extension seatbelts on planes, needing hip replacements, ignoring cruel catcalls. But I especially admire her admission that she feels that she cheated when six years ago she resorted to a gastric sleeve procedure (where a portion of the stomach is removed, reducing stomach capacity). Like a speed-limiting device on a car, it automatically limited her appetite.
By trying to do everything, Fat Cow, Fat Chance does nothing properly. It skims where it should dive, and it too often falls into cliche. Any minute now, I thought, she’s going to say that in her childhood olive oil was something you bought at the chemist when you had ear ache. Sure enough, she did just this, in the very next paragraph. The book’s USP is Murray herself, a good and widely beloved radio presenter, and thus a woman with many fans. If you’re one of these, and you’re interested in the increasingly vexed issue of how we became so large – 28.7% of adults in the UK are now obese – Fat Cow, Fat Chance might be for you.