Everything we know about obesity is wrong! That’s the gist of a new book called Why We Get Fat, from Gary Taubes. He says there are millions of people who are at their wit’s end about their weight, because they’re following all the rules about eating less and exercising more, but they’re still gaining weight! And Taubes says it’s because we’ve been given the wrong advice.
- For example: Experts say the key to losing weight is eating fewer calories. So, how does that explain the spike in obesity rates during the Great Depression when 60% of people were living in poverty and couldn’t afford food?
- Experts also say you’ll lose weight if you exercise more. So, how does that explain the high rate of obesity among construction workers, who get more exercise than the average person, often while lifting 60 pounds of tools throughout a day?
- And we’ve all heard experts say you’ll lose weight if you eat less red meat. But statistics show that meat consumption in North America peaked in the 1970s, and since then, people have been getting fatter, not skinnier!
This new book puts the blame squarely on two specific food ingredients: Sugar and refined grains. Taubes says it’s because research shows they both do things to our body that no other ingredients do.
For example: While most nutrients can be processed by any cell in the body, sugar contains fructose, which is mostly metabolized by the liver. And fructose often triggers an increase of the hormone insulin, which causes every cell in your body to store more fat. And refined grains turn to glucose, and act just like sugar in our bodies.
That’s a problem when you consider that sugar and refined grains tend to be found in the cheapest foods you can buy. That helps explains why obesity first became a problem during the Great Depression. And as our calorie consumption has increased over the years, research shows that more than half of the “extra calories” we take in today come from added sugars and refined grains.
In other words, the book says: Diet and exercise all you want, but as long as you’re still eating foods with processed grains and sugar, you’ll still gain weight!
Want to go further? The name of that book again is Why We Get Fat, by Gary Taubes.