Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday: “Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It” by Gary Taubes

serious young obese woman with colorful hair
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Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It is pretty darn controversial. Still, most of what the great Gary Taubes says is true. Though I’m unsure where I stand on the whole vegetarian versus low-carb/Paleo debate, it seems clear that blood sugar spikes are a bad thing. Read the book closely and draw your own conclusions.

Key Takeaways

  • Excess calories aren’t what make us gain weight.
  • Low-fat diets definitely don’t help us lose wight.
  • The calorie theory of weight loss is garbage science.
  • According to an early ‘90s collection of National Institutes of Health studies, even while dieting, people often gain weight and lose muscle.
  • Exercise doesn’t work either; it simply makes us want to eat more.
  • Our bodies, not our calorie intake, regulate our weight. If that weren’t so, the couple of extra calories per day that lead to a yearly weight gain would almost guarantee we were all overweight.
  • The energy we spend and consume are dependent variables; one affects the other.
  • Of course, the type of food also matters. Carbs release much more insulin than protein or fat, and insulin is the fat-storing hormone.
  • Meat was the preferred calorie source in prehistoric times.
  • On a comprehensive analysis of 229 hunter-gatherer populations from 2000: “When averaged all together, these hunter-gatherer populations consumed about two-thirds of their total calories from animal foods and one-third from plants.”

About the Author

Gary Taubes is an acclaimed American author, journalist, and investigative science writer known for his influential work on nutrition, health, and obesity. With a keen interest in challenging conventional beliefs, Taubes has delved deep into the complex world of dietary science, challenging the prevailing notions about the causes and treatment of obesity. He has written extensively on the subject, analyzing the role of carbohydrates, sugar, and insulin in weight gain and exploring the potential benefits of low-carbohydrate and ketogenic diets. Taubes is widely recognized for his meticulous research, engaging writing style, and ability to present complex scientific concepts in a compelling manner, making him a prominent figure in the field of nutrition and health journalism. His thought-provoking books, including Good Calories, Bad Calories and The Case Against Sugar, have sparked widespread discussion and influenced public understanding of nutrition and the obesity epidemic. Through his work, Taubes continues to challenge prevailing beliefs and encourage critical thinking about the role of diet and nutrition in our overall health and well-being.


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