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Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It Paperback – December 27, 2011
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“Taubes stands the received wisdom about diet and exercise on its head.”
—The New York Times
“Well-researched and thoughtful. . . . Taubes has done us a great service by bringing these issues to the table.”
—The Boston Globe
“Compelling and convincing. . . . Taubes breaks it down for us from historical and, more importantly, scientific perspectives.”
—Philadelphia Daily News
“Taubes’s critique is so pointed and vociferous that reading him will change the way you look at calories, the food pyramid, and your daily diet.”
“Taubes is a science journalist’s science journalist, who researches topics to the point of obsession—actually, well beyond that point—and never dumbs things down for readers.”
“Important. . . . This excellent book, built on sound research and common sense, contains essential information.”
“This brave, paradigm-shifting man uses logic and the primary literature to unhinge the nutritional mantra of the last eighty years.”
“Less dense and easier to read [than Good Calories, Bad Calories] but no less revelatory.”
“An exhaustive investigation.”
—The Daily Beast
“Backed by a persuasive amount of detail. . . . As an award-winning scientific journalist who spent the past decade rigorously tracking down and assimilating obesity research, he’s uniquely qualified to understand and present the big picture of scientific opinions and results. Despite legions of researchers and billions of government dollars expended, Taubes is the one to painstakingly compile this information, assimilate it, and make it available to the public. . . . Taubes does the important and extraordinary work of pulling it all together for us.”
“Clear and accessible . . . Taubes’s conviction alone makes Why We Get Fat well worth considering.”
“[Taubes] is helping to reshape the conversation about what makes the American diet so fattening.”
“Taubes is a relentless researcher.”
—The Washington Post Book World
“[Taubes’s] major conclusions are somewhat startling yet surprisingly convincing. . . . His writing reflects his passion for scientific truth.”
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Top Customer Reviews
Everyone in the developed world knows what's causing our obesity epidemic. BBC nailed it: "We eat too much, and too much of the wrong things," and Michelle Obama tells us "We have to move more." Clearly what we need is a balanced diet of lean meats, some good fats, and complex carbohydrates like fruit, vegetables and whole grain bread, and exercise of 30 to 90 minutes per day. Their prescription is completely reasonable and makes intuitive sense.
It is neat, plausible, and wrong. It has in fact been disproved, as nearly as "disproof" can exist in nutrition science.
In his previous book, Good Calories Bad Calories, respected science journalist Gary Taubes exhaustively researched and cited two centuries worth of research in nutrition. He came to the conclusion that none of those recommendations is supported by science, because the fundamental theory on which they're based is wrong. Why We Get Fat is an updated summary of that earlier work, much quicker and easier to read, with some significant points clarified.
The most important point of the book is that all those public recommendations -- the food pyramid, the "eat food, not too much" approach, everything we know about a balanced lifestyle -- is founded on the premise of Calories In vs. Calories Out. That we get fat because we eat too many calories, or we don't burn enough of them through movement. But this is nonsense. It's not just wrong, it is actually not a statement about what causes obesity at all (or heart disease, cancer or diabetes, for that matter.Read more ›
There are many thoughts on why this is the case, and many "conspiracy" theories as to how it came about, some with substantial evidence and outright smoking guns. This area of health is rife with disinformation, misinformation, ignorance, and outright lies.
Taubes does not deal with any of that directly. He does something quite different and important: he uses solid research from the hard literature to make his case in a very precise and focused way. The case he makes is airtight and irrefutable, even from the most hard-nosed skeptic's viewpoint.
The first thrust of this book is to show that the old "calories in - calories out" steam engine view of obesity is not only mildly incorrect, it is so very obviously wrong on so many levels as to completely defy rational thought. While he does not deal with the reasons behind this deadly myopia in the professional, corporate, and governmental world, he does systematically dismember this superstitious silliness with glorious logic and hard evidence.
From the misunderstanding of the application of thermodynamic "laws" in biological systems to the research on obesity and disease connections, he deftly leads the reader to a greater understanding of what the real research on obesity actually says, and what that means in terms of personal health and public policy.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Transformative. It will change the way you eat. Explains why USDA food pyramid is inverted and how processed carbohydrates contribute to obesity and many illnesses. Read morePublished 1 day ago by D. Crosby
I gave up. He has a complete inability to recognize that, while CI/CO isn't his tenet, it can lead to weight loss for some people. I forgot how militant he can get. Read morePublished 4 days ago by TravellingCari
I have to tell you honestly, I took one look at the photos and graphs in this book, and decided to return it. I thought it looked out of date and boring. Read morePublished 5 days ago by cjohn
Relatively interesting read. If you are a fan of food movies and health nut stuff this is up your alley. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Crystal
This is the best book I have read on losing weight. They explain why things that people thought worked to lose weight do not work and explain what does.Published 8 days ago by D. Evans
This reinforces the facts I have read by other authors, but breaks it down and makes it easy to understand.Published 9 days ago by MRiley
An absolute must read for people who want to understand the biochemistry of bodyweight. You are what you eat, and this book uses decades of historical scientific data (which had... Read morePublished 9 days ago by David Parrish