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Extended Audio Sample Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease Audiobook, by Robert H. Lustig Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (583 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Robert H. Lustig Narrator: Jonathan Todd Ross Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2012 ISBN: 9781101604427
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Robert Lustig’s ninety minute YouTube video “Sugar: The Bitter Truth” has been viewed more than two million times. Now, in this much anticipated book, he documents the science and the politics that has led to the pandemic of chronic disease over the last thirty years.

In the late 1970s when the government mandated we get the fat out of our food, the food industry responded by pouring more sugar in. The result has been a perfect storm, disastrously altering our biochemistry and driving our eating habits out of our control.

To help us lose weight and recover our health, Lustig presents personal strategies to readjust the key hormones that regulate hunger, reward, and stress; and societal strategies to improve the health of the next generation. Compelling, controversial, and completely based in science, Fat Chance debunks the widely held notion to prove “a calorie is not a calorie,” and takes that science to its logical conclusion to improve health worldwide.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The obesity pandemic is well documented. But what can be done about it? More importantly, when does a personal health issue rise to become a public health crisis? In Fat Chance, Dr. Robert Lustig examines the science of obesity to determine the role that our current diet (especially too much sugar and too little fiber) plays in weight gain and disease. Using that knowledge, he proposes changes in our personal, public, and governmental attitudes to combat this scourge. Fat Chance is a ‘savory’ read with a ‘sweet’ finish.”

    Sanjay Gupta, MD, neurosurgeon and CNN medical correspondent

  • “Our eating habits are killing us. In this timely and important book, Dr. Robert Lustig presents the scientific evidence for the toxicity of sugar and the disastrous effects of modern industrial food on the hormones that control hunger, satiety, and weight. He gives recommendations for a personal solution to the problem we face and also suggests a public policy solution. Fat Chance is the best book I’ve read on the relationship between diet and health and the clearest explanation of epidemic obesity in our society.”

    Andrew Weil, MD, author of Spontaneous Happiness and You Can’t Afford to Get Sick

  • “Robert Lustig is neither ringing an alarm bell nor giving us a gentle, paternalistic nudge. His message is more authentic. He is a medical doctor issuing a prescription. In order to address a current cocktail of health threats, Americans must alter their diets and do so radically. Those alterations must begin with a dramatic reduction in the consumption of sugars.”

    Alec Baldwin

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Viv JM | 2/20/2014

    " Surprisingly entertaining look at the scientific argument in favour of fructose (in sugar or HFCS) being the culprit in obesity and metabolic syndrome. Lustig has some great soundbites eg "face it, we've been fruct" and so forth. Interesting reading. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lex | 2/13/2014

    " An absolute must-read for anyone consuming a western diet! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carol | 1/31/2014

    " This is not a diet book. Lustig gives us all the scientific facts behind the obesity pandemic: what caused it, what we can and can't do about it. Main message: sugar in all its forms is bad for us. Very well laid out and written with scientific jargon that we can easily understand. A very good book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kellykorreck | 1/31/2014

    " Good book exploring the basic biochemistry that retains fat. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Barbara | 1/21/2014

    " The first part of this book was way over my head. It was so technical. I don't think the average person would understand it. What I got out of it was don't eat sugar, don't drink soda and don't drink juice. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julia Kurzeja | 1/17/2014

    " a fantastic and important book, everyone should read it and act on it. marred by sloppy editing which allowed too many non sequiturs and contradictions. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beth666ann | 1/15/2014

    " This book is depressing to anyone who struggles with weight and believes weight loss can be achieved through dieting, but it rings true and is well backed-up with research--and the author does, at the end, pose some solutions to the dilemma he outlines. Basically, this book says, diets never work and all you can do once you've ruined yourself by getting too many fat cells is exercise your ass off and try to eat lots of fiber and stay away from processed foods. Alcohol = evil. Sugar = evil. Also, when you reduce your food intake (as in a diet), your body will after a while almost ALWAYS reduce its own energy intake to counterbalance it and keep you from losing more weight. This is because when we were cavemen, we ate as much as we could in times of plenty, then slowly used up the fat in times of famine. Our bodies are apparently still keyed to that. However, the food industry, specifically through the 1970s initiative to go "low-fat" and through the discovery of the cheap-to-produce high-fructose corn syrup, took fiber out of most foods and replaced it with sugar. In the last couple of chapters, the author examines things that individuals can do (there's a great shopping list with green, yellow, and red foods), and he also examines what we as a nation can do and looks at the social policy end of things. This is an interesting look at the obesity epidemic because it looks at public health, big food, and medical stuff all at once. What's missing is psychology--but that's kind of the point: this author doesn't believe the obese should be blamed for psychological weakness. I agree--and yet I also think there are great food habits and techniques for managing intake that psychology/cognitive behavioral therapy can provide. But again, this book is not about that. It's a great, if disheartening, read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ellen Hull | 1/12/2014

    " Read this book!! It will change the way you look at the American diet. My only complaint is that I feel powerless to effect change it left me angry at the government, food industry and the medical establishment and wanting to take action. Guess it has to start with small changes here at home. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chanah | 1/8/2014

    " So far this book is excellent. I am learning so much from it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kimberly | 1/7/2014

    " Lots of sobering realities and no easy answers, but if you need compelling reasons to reject conventional wisdom about the health of the Standard American Diet, even the so called "healthy choices", you'll find them here. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary Nelsen | 12/18/2013

    " Very helpful book about the science of nutrition and harmful modern dietary challenges. I learned a lot and have changed my way of watching what I eat - for the better. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Justin Dessonville | 12/11/2013

    " The science behind it is sound and the read was good with a lot of references to look into and research "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patricia | 12/5/2013

    " Robert Lustig provides a good introduction to the health dangers of sugar and processed food. A great resource for those seeking more information on food health. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Donna Parker | 11/18/2013

    " Wow. This book is uplifting and depressing all at once. Sigh. I suppose more than all that, frightening. Informative and I will go with the uplifting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pompe | 10/14/2013

    " Suger is toxic and Robert Lustig rules! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Terri Floccare | 9/23/2013

    " Many parts were too medical for me, but I loved the case studies and his observations all make sense. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Muzaffer Can Karadayi | 7/25/2013

    " This guy is the Noam Chomsky of medical professionals, wish had found this book earlier in my childhood which I spent most of it as an obese kid, Mr. Lustig covers the whole issue with proof and accuracy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Liz Ely | 4/6/2013

    " Definately worth reading book about food and health, pretty good from a fat positive point of view as it talks about flaws in BMI measure- as well as obesity related illness as a societal not an individual issue. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Meghan | 1/15/2013

    " Great and informative! Lots of physiological info on the body and biochemistry. Author seems to feel fiber is highly underrated, and I would agree. Nice that he gives dietary suggestions. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joan | 1/10/2013

    " An absolute must read, I could not put this one down. Brilliantly written and scientifically based analysis if the obesity epidemic as the public health problem it is along with upstream real solutions - both individual and societal. "

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About the Author

Robert H. Lustig, MD has spent the past sixteen years treating childhood obesity and studying the effects of sugar on the central nervous system and metabolism. He is the Director of the UCSF Weight Assessment for Teen and Child Health Program and also a member of the Obesity Task Force of the Endocrine Society.

About the Narrator

Jonathan Todd Ross is an Earphones Award–winning voice actor and writer. He has lent his voice to numerous anime television shows, including Yu-Gi-Oh! and Sonic X. His audiobook narrations include Tom Angleberger’s bestseller The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, and the George Brown, Class Clown series by Nancy Krulik, among others.