Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It

Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It

Book - 2011
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This work is an examination of what makes us fat. In his book Good Calories, Bad Calories, the author, an acclaimed science writer argues that certain kinds of carbohydrates, not fats and not simply excess calories, have led to our current obesity epidemic. Now he brings that message to a wider, nonscientific audience. With fresh evidence for his claim, this book makes his critical argument newly accessible. He reveals the bad nutritional science of the last century, none more damaging than the "calories-in, calories-out" model of why we get fat, the good science that has been ignored, especially regarding insulin's regulation of our fat tissue. He also answers key questions: Why are some people thin and others fat? What roles do exercise and genetics play in our weight? What foods should we eat or avoid? Concluding with an easy-to-follow diet, this book is one key to understanding an international epidemic and a guide to improving our own health.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2011
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780307272706
0307272702
Characteristics: xii, 257 p. : ill. ; 22 cm

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Erin_Mast
Feb 25, 2018

The author draws some erroneous conclusions. Like, hunter/gatherers would kill the biggest and fattest animals and feast. If you think about animals that hunt prey, they get the smallest, slowest, oldest and sickest. Primitive man would be no different. He touts the benefits of a heavy animal product diet, sighting things like the Atkin's diet. Atkin's diet of a heart attack. Just because a person looses weight, doesn't mean they are healthy. The only way to reverse heart disease is with a plant based diet. Dr. Dean Ornish proved this more than 2 decades ago. A good book with lots of information about the hazards of too much protein is Proteinaholics. It is based entirely on science and written by a Dr. Garth Davis. If you want to loose weight and be healthy, do not listen the what this book says. You would do better to go to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine's web sight and read the science behind a healthier lifestyle.

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farrellhi2000
Feb 15, 2018

It presents some excellnt points in the first chapter; but the rest of the book spent too much effort to defend its position and with lots of non-scientific claims. It's disappointing and I wouldn't recommend it.

j
jloen
Jul 10, 2016

This is a must read, along with The Big Fat Surprise by Nina Teicholtz. These authors have helped correct the government-sponsored errors in diet recommendations that were forced upon us in the 1970's and 1980's, and which led to the obesity and T2D epidemics. It is important for more people to read and understand this information.

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lenne
Jul 02, 2016

An excellent book and easy to read. It is not a book of one-liners quoted as "facts" that we are bombarded with today. The writer presents a well-argued case for readers who want to see an opinion supported by well researched facts, reason and logic.

j
jaybird443
May 31, 2016

I don't really agree with the ultra low carb diet he espouses. A more balanced diet including calorie control makes more sense to me. Besides if we all ate high protein (meat) and reduced or eliminated carbs (rice/potatoes etc. ) the planet could not support our growing population!

LRS1969 Jul 23, 2015

Probably one of the Top Three books on the Low Carb High Fat Diet lifestyle.

Numerous other dietary authors who were leaning were swayed over completely when Taubes' (long) article "What if It's Been a Big Fat Lie" was published in the NYT. And many low fat adherence "experts" saw the light with Taubes' publication of the extensive tome "Good Calories, Bad Calories". Tubers then followed up with this book - a "leaner version" for lay people.

And still as excellent.

Tubers has been heavily involved in an organization promoting and funding further detailed research into the benefits of LCHF.

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IrishMoon
Jul 01, 2015

The book is OK, but there is not much new information beyond that which most books have included for the past few years.

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ghreads
Sep 03, 2014

The case Gary Taubes makes for the low-carb diet is very compelling. This is apparently a simpler version of a previous book, “Good Calories, Bad Calories” that he wrote on the subject. That book was apparently very technical; this one is for the more casual reader. I think that he has hit the right level of detail here. A previous reviewer suggested that one could start the book at chapter 11 without missing too much – I concur. The first chapters provide some interesting insight into the history of the subject but they are not essential to understanding the technical information which is introduced first in Chapter 11. There is a very thorough examination of the roles of carbohydrates, protein and fat in our diets and the effect of insulin and other hormones and enzymes on weight gain and other health issues but I think a little more attention should have been paid to fibre. Giving up carbs means giving up a lot of fibre. This subject is mentioned briefly near the end of the book when he is discussing short-term side-effects of the dietary transition but I would have liked a fuller explanation of how we can get along with less fibre.
Other than that one omission, I have no problem with the book’s content. However, in my personal opinion, the writing is terrible. He obviously opted to use a conversational style of writing but the result, for me, is very flabby language. I keep wanting to rewrite every other sentence to tighten it up – where was the editor? All the excess words interfere with the message. I’m sure he could have maintained a conversational style while making the writing more efficient and streamlined.

I give the book 4 stars – an average of 5 for content, 3 for writing quality.

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JudyJudyJudycoxnet
Dec 01, 2013

Excellent information that everyone should know.

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JPrewitt
Jun 12, 2013

If you're interested in the information in "Good Calories, Bad Calories," but a little daunted by the more technical nature of that book, pick this one up instead. Taubes includes all of the relevant scientific information and adds dietary guidelines to this book, making it a handy resource for the general reader, or to give to your doctor if you'd like to start a conversation about how your diet is affecting your health.

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