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Throughout the decades of this obesity epidemic, the calories-in/ calories-out, energy-balance notion has held sway, and so the health officials assume that either we’re not paying attention to what they’ve been telling us—eat less and exercise more—or we just can’t help ourselves.

Michael Pollan heralded it as “a vitally important book, destined to change the way we think about food.” Building upon this critical work in Good Calories, Bad Calories and presenting fresh evidence for his claim, Taubes now revisits the urgent question of what’s making us fat—and how we can change—in this exciting new book.

Persuasive, straightforward, and practical, Why We Get Fat makes Taubes’s crucial argument newly accessible to a wider audience.

Taubes reveals the bad nutritional science of the last century, none more damaging or misguided than the “calories-in, calories-out” model of why we get fat, and the good science that has been ignored, especially regarding insulin’s regulation of our fat tissue.

“I was always unhappy and depressed when gaining [weight]. If nothing else, we should eat “not too much,” as Michael Pollan famously prescribes in his best-selling book In Defense of Food, and this will suffice. This is what Bruch described in 1957 as the “prevalent American attitude that the problem [of obesity] is simply one of eating more than the body needs,” and now it’s the prevalent attitude worldwide.

We can call this the “calories- in/ calories- out” or the “overeating” paradigm of excess fat—the “energy balance” paradigm, if we want to get technical.

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