Book Review: Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It

Friday, August 26, 2011

There is a lot of speculation in this book, but the speculation is based in scientific research. Taubes is not a health professional; he's a journalist and he does not intend the book to be a definitive answer, more a call for more research in some very promising areas. I've read some interesting criticisms of Taubes's ideas online and I don't think he has all the answers, but the research he presents is compelling enough to prompt further study.

One of Taubes overarching themes is that saying overweight is caused by overeating is like saying a crowed room is caused by more people entering than leaving. Neither answer addresses the reasons for the change. He also spends a considerable amount of time debunking the calories in vs. calories out model of weight loss. And, there is a lengthy discussion of the problems with the lipid hypothesis of heart disease.

I found this book really interesting and it doesn't read like a diet book at all...until the very end. I think he should have left the "diet" out at the end (it's in an appendix) as I think it detracts from the rest of the book. In spite of that, I'd still feel comfortable recommending this book to anyone interested in nutritional science.

Have you read this book? I'd love to hear other thoughts.
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  • JIBBIE49
    I've read "Good Calories, Bad Calories" and am amazed at how intelligent Gary Taubes happens to be. He went to Harvard, Stanford (where he received a Master's in AeroSpace Engineering) and then a Master's at Columbia University in Journalism.
    This book "WHY WE GET FAT" is an easier book with just the main issues, as the "Good Calories Bad Calories" is a very detailed book with 129 pages of references from his research of five years into writing the book. He is very easy to understand and he did NOT start out with the intention of showing a low carb diet was what we should be following. The research did that of itself.
    2333 days ago
    JustBirdy: very interesting he didn't try to push the second book on you! (Good for him!)

    I thought the book was very good; I wish he'd gone more into the different types of fats, because some are indeed more helpful (or harmful) than others. I like the fact he lists his sources, too.
    2340 days ago
    That's what I've heard, JustBirdy--although you got it straight from the source. Why We Get Fat is apparently the easier-to-read and shorter version of Good Calories, Bad Calories. How awesome that you were able to go to the Ancestral Health Symposium! I'm thinking about going to the WAPF conference next year, but I'm not sure if I'll be able to swing it or not.
    2341 days ago
    I haven't read it yet. I did meet Gary Taubes at the Ancestral Health Symposium, and told him I read the whole GCBC from cover to cover, and he told me I didn't need to read the second one.
    2341 days ago
    I found the book interesting and informative... It basically confirms what I try to follow.
    2341 days ago
  • KERRYG155
    I've never heard of it, but may have to look it up. Thanks.
    2342 days ago
    2342 days ago
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