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Why We Get Fat: And What to Do about It [Mass Market Paperback]

Gary Taubes
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (159 customer reviews)

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Book Description

20 Feb 2012

Persuasive, straightforward, and practical, Why We Get Fat is an essential guide to nutrition and weight management.
In this exciting new book, Gary Taubes, bestselling author of Good Calories, Bad Calories addresses the urgent question of what’s making us fat—and how we can change. He reveals the bad nutritional science of the last century and the good science that has been ignored, answering the most persistent questions along the way: 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?

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor Books; Reprint edition (20 Feb 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307949435
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307949431
  • Product Dimensions: 18.4 x 10.7 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (159 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 141,222 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
200 of 202 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chris 30 Dec 2010
Format:Kindle Edition
I recommend this book if, like me, you have spent time, effort and money trying to figure out how to remove your excess weight and have better all-round health.

This book is the second from Gary Taubes that I have read. The first `Good Calories, Bad Calories' (or The Diet Delusion here in the UK) is long, at nearly 600 pages, expects a knowledge and understanding of science, is occasionally repetitive and sometimes poorly edited, but makes the point about the wrong road we have been following in pursuit of weight loss and better health extremely well to my mind.

This is a shorter book and took a lot less time to read. It is clear to me that Taubes has tested and honed his arguments and has learned how to get them across better. To my mind the book flows easily. There were one or two technical sections but he led me up to these with background so by the time I got there I was able to understand the point he was making. In GCBC this was not the case and there were some sections that I didn't `get' and had to read a number of times to understand.

The book acknowledges but does not deal with the consequences to the environmental and moral questions that it raises. This is left for others to debate. Here the science behind fat metabolism is the focus of attention.

There is new information in here too. There is a description of Insulin Resistance that I found very useful in furthering my understanding. The unanswered question in the whole book for me is: Can Insulin Resistance be `cured' and if so how long does it take?

`Why We Get Fat...' is not really a diet book. Since starting the diet as prescribed here, though, I have lost 28lbs without hunger or any discomfort.
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136 of 140 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading 28 Jan 2011
By Satisfied at Last TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A very easy read - clear, concise, you'll get the point first time every time.

I'm rereading it, from cover to cover as it's so good, and I want to make certain I've not missed anything.

In a nutshell, if you eat sugar, flour and other hi carb foods, you generate a lot of insulin.

Insulin is a very powerful hormone, that has the following effect...
1. Its stops you burning fat instantly, so if you eat carbs, you literally cannot lose weight.
2. Insulin is known as the hunger hormone, so you're starving and overeating.

Current Dieting advice is to eat 5 portions of fruit and veg. If you eat 4 meals plus 5 fruit, you'll be realising Insulin 9 times a day... so you'll be permanently starving and worse, unable to burn any fat... so won't lose weight at all.
Insulin triggers our overeating.

It's a constant cycle.
This advice breaks that cycle and gives you masses of research to back up it's arguments. It's a stunning piece of work, that blasts government advice for the folly that it is.

All current diets miss the key factor - the influence of hormones.
This book introduces the concept that Obesity is "malnutrition", it's caused by poor quality foods in sugar and flour not by overeating or lack of exercise.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required reading !!! 22 Feb 2011
I stumbled onto this book quite by accident, when listening to the podcast Windows Weekly of all things. Paul Thurrott a tech journalist who seldom goes into print talked about this book in an extremely positive way, as I respect his opinion on tech matters it encouraged me to get this book - and I am very glad I did. Gary Taubes book is just on the money with the amount of scientific evidence he unearthed that casts major doubts on the perceived widom from nutritionists, doctors and current and latter day scientists who bang the drum for the low fat, high carb, calories in/calories out crowd. His book systematically and emphtatically undermines all that and comes to a "heretical" conclusion that we are becoming more obeses as well follow the "conventional wisdom"

I recommend this book highly and would also urge readers interested in material such as Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson as a complimentary source that comes to the same conclusion but from a completely different angle, whereas Gary Taubes book is built on scientific evidence, Mark Sisson's book stems from his days as a very successful athlete - two authors, who have no known association to my knowledge that arrive at the same conclusion that increase insulin caused by high carb diets are the biggest culprit behind the explosion in obesity we see today.

Both books, highly recommended.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Confronting, essential reading 21 Mar 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I was a confirmed low-carb sceptic before I started reading this book. But having had two children in the last four years, I was struggling to lose the extra weight I'd gained and was prepared to consider every alternative. I then heard about the book and a read of the Amazon reviews persuaded me to give the book a chance.

This is now probably one of the most significant books I've read. It has completely challenged everything I thought I knew about diet and nutrition and I'm staggered to see how little scentific evidence there is for so much of what we believe about weight management.

Taubes' book is well-written, thoroughly-researched and utterly compelling. His style is very easy to read -- even the complex, in-depth explanations -- and his conclusions will change the way I eat.

I highly recommend "Why We get Fat" for anyone who wants to make informed health choices (although, yes, be prepared for the deckle edges).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A very in depth look into Why We Get Fat - A very interesting read
Great in depth look into the human body and why we are prone to get fat by eating too many carbs. The truth behind the misconception that carbs help us to lose weight. Read more
Published 23 hours ago by dajeanie
5.0 out of 5 stars OMG... you've got to read this
If you are trying to reduce or manage your weight, you should read this book. It is a real eye-opener and reveals many misunderstandings in the area of weight management.
Published 4 days ago by J. Cunningham
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
A+ product and service. Will use again. Good price, fast service. I cannot fault this transaction in any way. Thank you
Published 4 days ago by jacqui holtom
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should read it
Obesity is killing vast numbers of people and costing the world economies vast amounts of money. This book is a valuable contribution to understanding how individuals and... Read more
Published 9 days ago by Peter
4.0 out of 5 stars Last piece of the puzzle for me.
I have celiac disease. Not by choice I've have to cut all grains, dairy products (except for ghee), sugar and legumes from my diet. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Rachael Harper
2.0 out of 5 stars Not really suitable for non-meat-eaters
The science seems convincing but there is no solution offered to creating a do-able low-carb diet without large amounts of meat. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Claire M
1.0 out of 5 stars what a load of bollocks
This diet book polemic is nothing but wishful thinking, wrapped in unjustified intellectual arrogance. Specious and highly subjective. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Zak
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Clear, well written and well referenced. I would highly recommend this book if you want to know about the effects of sugar on your body. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jessedi
2.0 out of 5 stars Nothing new
It's a bit of a laborious read and is very one sided argument which over simplifies a big problem. Basically it's cut out sugar .
Published 2 months ago by Bookworm
5.0 out of 5 stars Very informative
A great read. I enjoyed the tone the book was written in, rather than being preachy and repetitive as many books about food/diet are, it delivered the information in an unbiased... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Sarah Young
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