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Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It [Kindle Edition]

Gary Taubes
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)

Print List Price: CDN$ 18.95
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Sold by: Random House Canada, Incorp.
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Hardcover, Deckle Edge CDN $31.00  
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Review

“Well-researched and thoughtful . . . Reconsidering how our diet affects our bodies, how we might modify it to be healthier, and being less harsh with those who struggle with their weight are all worthy goals. Taubes has done us a great service by bringing these issues to the table.”
            -Dennis Rosen, The Boston Globe
 
“Less dense and easier to read [than Good Calories, Bad Calories] but no less revelatory.”
            -Jeff Baker, The Oregonian
 
“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.”
            -Men’s Journal
 
“Gary 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.”
            -John Horgan, Scientific American
 
“Important . . . This excellent book, built on sound research and common sense, contains essential information.”
            -Larry Cox, Tucson Citizen
 
“This brave, paradigm-shifting man uses logic and the primary literature to unhinge the nutritional mantra of the last 80 years.”
            -Choice
 
“Aggressive . . . An exhaustive investigation.”
            -Casey Schwartz, The Daily Beast
 
“Passionate and urgent . . . 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.”
            -Karen Bentley, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
 
“Clear and accessible . . . Taubes’s conviction alone makes Why We Get Fat well worth considering.”
            -Lacey Galbraith, Bookpage
 
“An enlightening treatise that is meticulously researched yet approachable by all, this will captivate anyone interested in the science of diet and disease.”
            -Starred review, Library Journal
 
“This is the book you can give to people who want to understand the science of why you’re finally losing weight . . . without being hungry and miserable doing it.”
            -Tom Naughton, FatHead
 
Why We Get Fat is nothing short of tremendous . . . This is a seminal book . . . What if the calories-in/calories-out hypothesis is wrong? What if we’ve spent two generations and billions of dollars re-engineering our food system and altering our eating habits away from fat . . . and making ourselves fatter and unhealthier as a result? That’s what Taubes convincingly argues with clear logic, specific evidence, and brilliant illustrations on every page.”
            -John Durant, Hunter-Gatherer
 
“Compelling . . . Gary Taubes has done it again . . . [Why We Get Fat] takes a hard look at the commonly held belief that the reason why we gain weight is because we consume more calories than we expend and turns it upside down . . . Packed with eye-opening information and elucidating studies.”
            -Diets in Review
 
“This is the book I knew was inside of Good Calories, Bad Calories . . . Why We Get Fat is the book to give to friends, doctors, congressmen, and anyone else who wants to understand the futility of our current nutritional advice . . . Clearly, obviously, succinctly, Taubes shows us how scientific theories that explained obesity as a hormonal rather than moral issue were abandoned during World War II for simplistic theories based on thermodynamics that work in physics, but make no sense when used to describe the behavior of complex biological systems.”
            -LowCarbConfidential
 
 
 

Product Description

An eye-opening, myth-shattering examination of what makes us fat, from acclaimed science writer Gary Taubes.

In his New York Times best seller, Good Calories, Bad Calories, Taubes argued that our diet’s overemphasis on certain kinds of carbohydrates—not fats and not simply excess calories—has led directly to the obesity epidemic we face today. The result of thorough research, keen insight, and unassailable common sense, Good Calories, Bad Calories immediately stirred controversy and acclaim among academics, journalists, and writers alike. Michael Pollan heralded it as “a vitally important book, destined to change the way we think about food.”

Building upon this critical work in Good Calories, Bad Calories and presenting fresh evidence for his claim, Taubes now revisits the urgent question of what’s making us fat—and how we can change—in this exciting new book. Persuasive, straightforward, and practical, Why We Get Fat makes Taubes’s crucial argument newly accessible to a wider audience.

Taubes 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, especially regarding insulin’s regulation of our fat tissue. 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?

Packed with essential information and concluding with an easy-to-follow diet, Why We Get Fat is an invaluable key in our understanding of an international epidemic and a guide to what each of us can do about it.


From the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eureka, the solution in a nutshell July 29 2011
By Charlie
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book has totally changed my view of food and what to eat.

It is well written, concise, informative and supports its conclusions with detailed reference sources. Certainly the best book on food and weight control I have ever read. I am over 60 years of age and have tried other weight control regimes with success, however at the expense of feeling hungry most of the time and having to eat things that I don't really like. I now really understand the physiology of all this and realize that it is not simply a matter of calories in and calories out. This has been quite a revelation and has assisted me in focusing on the key elements of weight control.

I am presently reading his other book "good calories, bad calories" which is much more detailed and harder to read. If you want the quick and dirty read "Why we get fat" as is summarizes everything one needs to know in an easy to read and factual manner.

I now eat what I like, am not hungry, feel great and am able to easily keep my weight where I want it to be. Highly recommended.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's All About The Science March 1 2011
Format:Hardcover
You have to approach this book with an open mind. It is purely science based; although it is the author's interpretation of the science. It is very easy to read with short, sweet (pun) chapters. The editing is not the most polished, but it's not a novel. Who really cares if the word fat is overused or there's a few grammar errors.

I see so many negative reviews because it doesn't agree with their own concepts. In fact, objectively speaking, this book attacks this very approach -- that things work because they worked for me and therefore they should for you too. These people haven't read the book, no way, and they are not criticizing the facts, the science. They behave exactly like the current dietary gurus who are too stupid to see it's not working. Because you're a vegan stick person is not proof this isn't valid science -- insulin sensitivity has you covered

Put yourself in one of two camps. Either you look at all the fatties and think they are weak minded slovenly gluttons or you think there's something physiologically wrong with them. If you're in the first group, which btw includes my own doctor, you need to read this book and consider the science. Not because I want to convince you, but because I want you to convince me it's wrong. Don't tell me that CICO isn't valid when you don't even understand that's not what he's saying. If you think it's a personality weakness problem, I have no time for your own mental deficiencies -- read the book before you criticize! If you're in the second group, if you're a frustrated dieter -- all dieters are -- then this book will open up a whole new world of possibilities. Even if you think you know it all, there are ideas here that will make you say "ahhh!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding! Jan. 28 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you haven't read Good Calories, Bad Calories, then this will serve as a good introduction to Gary Taube's survey of the research into diet and nutrition. If you have read GCBC then this still has some new things to offer, especially as GCBC wasn't specifically targeting obesity. Taubes demolishes the calories in/calories out model of obesity with cogent arguments, and brings up some new studies that came out after GCBC. Well worth a read!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life Changing Escape from Dogma Dec 20 2011
By Mary47
Format:Hardcover
First, I bought Good Calories, Bad Calories for my e-reader. Then I bought Why We Get Fat, for my e-reader. Then I had to buy hard copies, so I could share them. Then I had to buy another set. Then my husband read them. Then he bought a set to share with friends too!

I have always struggled with my weight - usually keeping it in the "high" end of a healthy BMI. Then menopause hit. Something changed. I was gaining 10-15 pounds a month! My biggest "diet success" always came from following the Atkins plan. But, I was only looking for quick weight loss and the nay-sayers would chip away at my resolve - convincing me the diet was unhealthy and would kill me!

Gary Taubes clearly, rationally, logically (and scientifically!) exposes the faulty science used to support the low-fat diet hypothesis and exposes it for what it is - the most widespread FAD diet ever and a failed mass scientific experiment of epic proportions. The results of the experiment are in and they are conclusive - we all bought into the recommendaton to replace the fat in our diet with starch and sugar - and we are fatter and sicker than ever.

Gary explains (and he is right) - until we were brain-washed with the low-fat dogma, and into the near-religious belief in the evils of fat, we ALL knew and understood, to lose weight the stuff to shove off the plate are the carbs - first dessert, then the potatoes, bread and other "fillers" like pasta and rice. What you kept was the meat and vegetables. You know, foods with actual nutrition - protein, essential fats, vitamins!

Gary Taubes has finally switched my focus from merely losing weight to regaining and keeping my health. I'm not gaining weight anymore. In fact, I have lost 35 pounds. I have energy to burn. My skin and hair are radiant.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Science Writing Jan. 26 2011
Format:Hardcover
This book lays out the basics of the current state of the science of fat metabolism, particularly the role of the insulin hormone in fat accumulation. Through excellent historical critical inquiry, it reveals how public health authorities and nutritionists managed to veer off on the wrong track some 30-50 years ago. Taubes's background was physics (Harvard) and he applies the rigor of sound scientific methodology to an area plagued by unwarranted conclusions derived from ambiguous data to justify public polcy interventions--well meaning interventions based on incomplete knowledge, but incorrect and causing more harm than good. Now there are a lot of vested interests at stake and Taubes's work illicits strong reactions from many (who avoid engaging with the research itself, rejecting the conclusions rather than providing a critique of Taubes's evidence and analysis).

This book is less detailed about the science than Good Calories, Bad Calories, but it is very readable and includes more up-to-date research that supports the themes in the earlier book. My daughter who is in high school and interested in science read Why we get fat in a day with excellent comprehension. Very highly recommended.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars It Works!
Found this book to be well written, concise, and practical. Put it into practice about a month ago, and have already lost 15 pounds without really trying. Read more
Published 1 day ago by bigbaboo
3.0 out of 5 stars good read but not for me
good read but not for me, way too many references of names/universities/researchers that I dont care about. but valuable information within
Published 3 months ago by Dylan
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT READ TO OPEN MINDS ABOUT WEIGHT GAIN AND WEIGHT LOSS
Do you like reading? Do you like to read about nutrition and how we got to the point were we are as a society, as humanity? Read more
Published 3 months ago by T. Tepox
5.0 out of 5 stars Important
Exceptionally Interesting, easy-to-read and understand.
Published 3 months ago by Jewell or Ben Wolgram
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book a must read in describing insulin sensitivity in regards to weight gain or loss.
Published 5 months ago by pat
5.0 out of 5 stars goes against conventional wisdom, which is great because it obvoiusly...
Taubes is a genius and has a logical yet simple and clear writing style. Nutritional 'science' has gone astray the past 50+ years and people like Taubes and others are starting... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Jeff Spitzig
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Every obese person should read this book. All doctors should read this book.
Published 7 months ago by Joe
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Interesting book.
Published 7 months ago by Kev
5.0 out of 5 stars It Will Change Your Life!
This book should be mandatory reading for all. The author explains the science behind weight gain, and unlike most other books, the history of research in this area and what it has... Read more
Published 8 months ago by LooLoo7892
5.0 out of 5 stars The truth about weight loss
A must read!! Challenges every misconception you may have about weight loss and food ingestion.
Exposes the nonsense that we have been exposed to that you can work off weight,... Read more
Published 8 months ago by james r clapp
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