From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
Award-winning science journalist Taubes follows his Good Calories, Bad Calories (2007) with this eminently more reader-friendly explanation of the dangers of dietary carbohydrates. If the USDA dietary guidelines recommending that highly caloric grains and carbohydrates comprise 45 to 65 percent of daily caloric intake are so healthy, why, he asks, has obesity among Americans been on the upswing? Why has this same diet, endorsed by the American Heart Association, not managed to reduce the incidence of heart disease? And, finally, he asks why mainstream health experts continue to promote the notably unscientific notion of calories in/calories out as the single focus of weight management? After explaining in layperson's terms the science that debunks the idea that weight control is a matter of burning more calories than one consumes, Taubes offers an alternative viewpoint: no carbs. While his recommendation to eliminate carbohydrates (grains, fruits, sugars, etc.) from one's diet is not necessarily a new one, Taubes does present compelling supporting evidence that many, if not all, people should consider at least severely limiting carbohydrates in their diet.--Chavez, Donna Copyright 2010 Booklist
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Taubes, a reputable and accomplished science writer who wrote Good Calories, Bad Calories (CH, Mar'08, 45-3827), is not promoting yet another diet book or plan. He assures readers that overweight and obesity are not character flaws but a disorder of fat accumulation; most of the book deals with this issue in detail. This brave, paradigm-shifting man uses logic and the primary literature to unhinge the nutritional mantra of the last 80 years that an imbalance of "calories in versus calories out" leads to weight change. That concept, like so many other belief systems in society that need to be toppled, has been taught and learned by generations of increasingly self-hating obese consumers desperately trying various potions and advice while searching for scapegoats. According to Taubes (and the forgotten evidence he has uncovered), people get fat not because they take in more calories than they expend, but because they do not utilize them properly. At that point, the discussion turns to intermediary metabolism and especially insulin, cortisol, and other hormonal action. And it is the fat cells that make everything happen. Overall, this book's advice is to reduce carbohydrate intake and to replace most sugary/starchy foods with protein and fat. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates and above; general readers. M. Kroger emeritus, Pennsylvania State University, University Park Campus
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Award-winning science journalist Taubes, author of the best-selling Good Calories, Bad Calories, once again challenges the conventional belief that weight gain is caused by overeating and a sedentary lifestyle. To disprove the idea that taking in more calories than one expends leads to weight gain, he scrupulously evaluates human metabolism and analyzes nutrition research dating back to the 19th century. Taubes is especially interested in separating the "ethical, moral, and sociological considerations" of why we get fat from the science of it. He shows how false conclusions have been drawn about the causes of obesity and related maladies as a result of poor science and biased research, and he carefully details why increased consumption of refined carbohydrates, not fats, is to blame. Readers also get a succinct explanation of the theories discussed in Taubes's previous book. VERDICT An enlightening treatise that is meticulously researched yet approachable by all, this will captivate anyone interested in the science of diet and disease. A good choice for the general public. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 8/10.]-Erin Silva Fisher, Univ. of Nevada, Reno (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.