Building upon his critical work in Good Calories, Bad Calories and presenting fresh evidence for his claim, Gary Taubes revisits the urgent question of what’s making us fat—and how we can change.
He reveals the bad nutritional science of the last century—none more damaging or misguided than the “calories-in, calories-out” model of why we get fat—and the good science that has been ignored. He also answers the most persistent questions: Why are some people thin and others fat? What roles do exercise and genetics play in our weight? What foods should we eat, and what foods should we avoid? Persuasive, straightforward, and practical, Why We Get Fat is an essential guide to nutrition and weight management.
Award-winning science journalist Taubes follows his Good Calories, Bad Calories (2007) with this eminently more reader-friendly explanation of the dangers of dietary carbohydrates. If the USDA dietary guidelines—recommending that highly caloric grains and carbohydrates comprise 45 to 65 percent of daily caloric intake—are so healthy, why, he asks, has obesity among Americans been on the upswing? Why has this same diet, endorsed by the American Heart Association, not managed to reduce the incidence of heart disease? And, finally, he asks why mainstream health experts continue to promote the notably unscientific notion of “calories in/calories out” as the single focus of weight management? After explaining in layperson’s terms the science that debunks the idea that weight control is a matter of burning more calories than one consumes, Taubes offers an alternative viewpoint: no carbs. While his recommendation to eliminate carbohydrates (grains, fruits, sugars, etc.) from one’s diet is not necessarily a new one, Taubes does present compelling supporting evidence that many, if not all, people should consider at least severely limiting carbohydrates in their diet. —Donna Chavez
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