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Extended Audio Sample Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It Audiobook, by Gary Taubes Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.99905615856536 out of 53.99905615856536 out of 53.99905615856536 out of 53.99905615856536 out of 53.99905615856536 out of 5 4.00 (4,238 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Gary Taubes Narrator: Mike Chamberlain Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2010 ISBN: 9780307877536
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Gary Taubes has written an interesting book which seeks to take conventional wisdom and turn it on its head. In general, we believe that the key to losing weight is eating less and exercising. We count calories all the time—in the food we eat and the exercises we perform at the gym. In our minds, eating fewer calories and getting off our butts has become synonymous with virtue and self-discipline. We think that people gain weight merely because they're too lazy to prepare healthy meals and go to the gym.

However, in Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It, Taubes argues that it's not just the quantity of food eaten that's important; it's quality. A person may cut many calories, but this won't necessarily lead to weight loss if s/he continues to eat the same amount of carbohydrates. According to Taubes, there are many hormones and enzymes in the body which determine whether or not a person is going to gain weight. Many of these are outside our control but one isn't—insulin. The more carbohydrates you eat, the more your body produces insulin which in turn leads to a spike in hunger. So eating carbs leads to eating more carbs and things continue in this vicious circle. In the long term, eating so many carbs can lead to insulin resistance and diabetes.

This is a wonderfully direct and scientifically researched book which will help you understand your body a great deal better. Once you know the ins and outs of bodily function, you can decide the best foods for you to consume. And eating more of the right kinds of food also helps you to get off the couch and get moving. So Taubes' theory tackles the problem of what to eat as well as how much to exercise, and it's written in an accessible manner which can be understood by a layperson.

Taubes was born in Rochester, New York and studied applied physics at Harvard before getting an M. S. in aerospace engineering at Stanford. He went on to get another Master's at Columbia's journalism school and thus began his career as a writer. He has written for Discover and Science magazines and is also the author of four books. At first, he wrote more about physics-related topics, but, of late, he has turned to diet and nutrition. He has won the Science in Society Award of the National Association of Science Writers three times.

In his New York Times bestseller, Good Calories, Bad Calories, Taubes argued that our diet’s overemphasis on certain kinds of carbohydrates—not fats and not simply excess calories—has led directly to the obesity epidemic we face today. The result of thorough research, keen insight, and unassailable common sense, Good Calories, Bad Calories immediately stirred controversy and acclaim among academics, journalists, and writers alike. 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’ 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. He also answers the most persistent questions: 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?

Packed with essential information and concluding with an easy-to-follow diet, Why We Get Fat is an invaluable key in our understanding of an international epidemic and a guide to what each of us can do about it.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Taubes’ critique is so pointed and vociferous that reading him will change the way you look at calories, the food pyramid, and your daily diet.”

    Men’s Journal

  • “Gary Taubes is a science journalist’s science journalist, who researches topics to the point of obsession—actually, well beyond that point—and never dumbs things down for readers.”

    Scientific American

  • “Well-researched and thoughtful…Reconsidering how our diet affects our bodies, how we might modify it to be healthier, and being less harsh with those who struggle with their weight are all worthy goals. Taubes has done us a great service by bringing these issues to the table.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Well-researched and thoughtful . . . Reconsidering how our diet affects our bodies, how we might modify it to be healthier, and being less harsh with those who struggle with their weight are all worthy goals. Taubes has done us a great service by bringing these issues to the table. Dennis Rosen, The Boston Globe

  • Less dense and easier to read [than Good Calories, Bad Calories] but no less revelatory. Jeff Baker, The Oregonian
  • Taubes’s critique is so pointed and vociferous that reading him will change the way you look at calories, the food pyramid, and your daily diet. Men’s Journal
     
  • Gary Taubes is a science journalist’s science journalist, who researches topics to the point of obsession—actually, well beyond that point—and never dumbs things down for readers. John Horgan, Scientific American
  • Important . . . This excellent book, built on sound research and common sense, contains essential information. Larry Cox, Tucson Citizen
  • This brave, paradigm-shifting man uses logic and the primary literature to unhinge the nutritional mantra of the last 80 years.             Choice
  • Aggressive . . . An exhaustive investigation. Casey Schwartz, The Daily Beast
  • Passionate and urgent . . . Backed by a persuasive amount of detail . . . As an award-winning scientific journalist who spent the past decade rigorously tracking down and assimilating obesity research, he’s uniquely qualified to understand and present the big picture of scientific opinions and results. Despite legions of researchers and billions of government dollars expended, Taubes is the one to painstakingly compile this information, assimilate it, and make it available to the public . . . Taubes does the important and extraordinary work of pulling it all together for us. Karen Bentley, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
  • Clear and accessible . . . Taubes’s conviction alone makes Why We Get Fat well worth considering. Lacey Galbraith, Bookpage
  • An enlightening treatise that is meticulously researched yet approachable by all, this will captivate anyone interested in the science of diet and disease. Starred review, Library Journal
  • This is the book you can give to people who want to understand the science of why you’re finally losing weight . . . without being hungry and miserable doing it. Tom Naughton, FatHead
  • Why We Get Fat is nothing short of tremendous . . . This is a seminal book . . . What if the calories-in/calories-out hypothesis is wrong? What if we’ve spent two generations and billions of dollars re-engineering our food system and altering our eating habits away from fat . . . and making ourselves fatter and unhealthier as a result? That’s what Taubes convincingly argues with clear logic, specific evidence, and brilliant illustrations on every page. John Durant, Hunter-Gatherer
  • Compelling . . . Gary Taubes has done it again . . . [Why We Get Fat] takes a hard look at the commonly held belief that the reason why we gain weight is because we consume more calories than we expend and turns it upside down . . . Packed with eye-opening information and elucidating studies.             Diets in Review
  • This is the book I knew was inside of Good Calories, Bad Calories . . . Why We Get Fat is the book to give to friends, doctors, congressmen, and anyone else who wants to understand the futility of our current nutritional advice . . . Clearly, obviously, succinctly, Taubes shows us how scientific theories that explained obesity as a hormonal rather than moral issue were abandoned during World War II for simplistic theories based on thermodynamics that work in physics, but make no sense when used to describe the behavior of complex biological systems.             LowCarbConfidential
     
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A USA Today Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Steve Bedford | 2/19/2014

    " Very interesting and paradigm shifting. Definitely a must read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kade Boone | 2/18/2014

    " Very informative and touches on the science and history as to why people in this country as well as other that are eating like Americans do are getting fat at an epidemic level. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shawn Riegsecker | 2/8/2014

    " Absolutely amazing book. I loved the science. I learned a TON. This should be mandatory reading for everyone. Period. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ranga Kamaladasa | 1/21/2014

    " Advocates the Atkins diet. Underlying theme is controlling insulin which acts to store fat in your body. The first few chapters seemed a bit repetitive and is more of social critique than the answer to the topic in question. But the book has some interesting points, and forced me to change my diet. Good book, recommended. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nan | 1/10/2014

    " An easy to read and understand book about the nutrition behind weight gain and cholesterol. I don't think most people want to believe what he says or for that fact, change the way they eat. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sean O'meara | 1/9/2014

    " A good followup to Taubes good calories bad calories. A good summary of the science, with a new look at the research and how it has changed in the past 50 years. Not really a diet book, more a look at the state of nutrition research "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessica | 12/31/2013

    " So interesting. I liked how Taubes toed the line between providing scientific evidence and keeping it understandable. Definitely eye-opening, even for a skeptic like me. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Tom Slavin | 12/30/2013

    " Lots of info but you get the distinct feeling the writer thinks he is smarter and better than everyone else "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cinda | 12/25/2013

    " Good science behind the paleo/primal diet and the lies that we continue to be told. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marie Gentilcore | 12/15/2013

    " I read this book when it first came out about a year ago or so. Since I had read Mr. Taubes' previous book, Good Calories, Bad Calories. It was more of a summary of the first book written in easier to understand terms. I think it is a great book for understanding the science about low carb diets. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Liz S | 11/29/2013

    " Pretty basic nutritional science --- and a lot less rigorously cited/documented than some of Taubes' other books. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Steve Butterbaugh | 6/3/2013

    " I lost 10 pounds shortly after I finished this book - solely out of the clarity I had about fat and its role proper food. I stopped worrying about it and kept an eye on carbohydrates instead. I recommend this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chiara | 3/1/2013

    " A very compelling argument for dropping sugar and simple carbs from a healthy lifestyle diet. Taubes cites historical evidence of oncoming obesity from different cultures around the world; especially Native cultures. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kirsti S. | 1/13/2013

    " MCL. His answer is carbohydrates. He may be right for some people, but there are a lot of questions he doesn't answer and I think the answer is much more complicated than that. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dianne | 11/20/2012

    " Not a diet book, but a look at why we live in a fat world and what can be done about it. If you're offended by someone suggesting you give up your precious carbs, don't read this. If you have an open mind, take a look at the science (especially in his earlier book) and think about it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Seth Jenson | 10/23/2012

    " If you're fat, this book is for you! Just kidding. Great book though. Good to know that I can eat as much fat and protein as I want, and it won't make me any fatter. Bad news about the carbs though. If you wanna be lean, you've gotta cut way down on them. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Minnow | 6/18/2012

    " Interesting read, and quite persuasive, but I'd like to hear a response from the other side before making up my mind. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kate Davenport | 5/15/2012

    " Thought provoking. And it brings together some science I already knew about in a whole new way. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 2/10/2012

    " The book in a nutshell: carbs and sugar are making us fat. Recommended diet: no potatoes, no flour, no sugar; no problem. But when the author said no beans or fruit, I said fudge it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary | 12/25/2011

    " Gary we have been waiting for you! Thank you for your hard work and research in saving our lives! I will pass on the information to my clients in counseling. Again, thank you! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lee Weinstein | 11/3/2011

    " Very good book and totally different thinking on what we should eat -- no carbs and sugar/fructose. Only meats, fish and poultry and green leafy veggies. Really makes sense. Would be interested in others' views. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sybil | 5/22/2011

    " Taubes presents this information in a way that's easy to follow, provocative, and convincing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jamie | 5/17/2011

    " Interesting read. I like that he recognizes that there must be at play than just overeating. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heromuseum | 5/10/2011

    " As books on nutrition go, this one is excellent. It's not the most exciting subject in my opinion, but it's worth understanding. If you want to understand how carbohydrates and sugars affect your body, read this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tina | 5/10/2011

    " This book makes so much sense! And it's entirely based on scientific research of the last century. It explains all of the factors that make you fat (carbs), from what you eat, to hormone levels etc. Now I have to reexamine the Atkins diet.... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kurt | 5/5/2011

    " Absolutely the best book of this topic I know, even though it is mostly contrarian. Finally makes sense of fat gain and loss from a full perspective. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Roland | 5/3/2011

    " if people knew what was in this book, they would change the way they eat "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dave | 5/1/2011

    " A much easier to read (and understand) version of Taubes' Good Calories, Bad Calories. It also updates research since GC/BC. Still plenty of science, but in a more easily digestible form. This is the Taubes book I'll be getting for folks now. "

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About the Author

Gary Taubes,award–winning journalist, contributing correspondent for Science magazine, and a contributing editor at Technology Review, has written about science, medicine, and health for such publications as Fortune, Forbes, and GQ.

About the Narrator

Mike Chamberlain is an actor and voice-over performer in Los Angeles. His voice credits range from radio commercials and television narration to animation and video game characters. Stage trained at Boston College, he has performed works from Shakespeare and the classics to contemporary drama and comedy. His audiobook narration has won four AudioFile Earphones Awards.