Thursday, June 02, 2011

The Most Important Nutrition Book(s) You'll Ever Read

I've been annoying my friends and acquaintances lately by pushing the books "Why We Get Fat: And What To Do About It" and "Good Calories, Bad Calories", both by Gary Taubes. (WWGF is a shorter version of GCBC.)

Why? Because reading these books made me mad.

I'm mad because the people who set nutrition policy (and agricultural policy) keep pushing a dogma (if you're fat, it's because you're lazy) that is not supported by science, and have ignored or ostracized scientists from related fields such as endocrinology who actually do have an answer for those of us who have trouble with our weight.

Anyone who has struggled with weight issues knows how difficult it is to lose weight, despite trying to eat less / exercise more as we've been told. We eat what we're told are healthy diets, we get moving -- and either the scale doesn't budge or we actually gain weight. And then we're told it's our fault and that the reason we're fat is that we have a moral defect, i.e. laziness.

Meanwhile, we all know people who stay thin effortlessly despite eating more than we do.

Science has actually had the answer for more than 50 years, but because the received dogma is that the reason for overweight was sloth, nobody was listening. In truth, we are fat because we're insulin resistant, and we've been told to eat the wrong things (remember Snackwells?) which only exacerbated the problem by raising our blood sugar and causing other health problems. It's no coincidence that the obesity epidemic is coinciding with a diabetes epidemic. Oh, and diabetics are also told they're diabetic because they're fat. No, they're fat because their insulin metabolism isn't working. How's that for blaming the victim?

Gary Taubes is a science journalist who has studied the history of the science of fat metabolism. He lays out exactly where the science went wrong and how we can get back on track.

I've had enough of the "blame the victim" game from nutritionists. If you're tired of being bludgeoned, read these books.


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