Of course, right by my side as I write this is Taubes' new book, Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It. I haven't finished it yet, but it is as great as I'd hoped it would be. The Reader's Digest interview covers a few of the key points in the book, and the cover has "Eat This to Lose Weight" plastered across it, with "The New Science of Dieting" underneath.
Some quotes from the interview which I particularly enjoyed:
- "For the most part, you can define an obese person as someone for whom eating less didn't work."
- After pointing out that the amount of weight gain which is most common is the result of eating about 20 extra calories per day, "if practicing energy balance is the way to keep from getting fat, the question is 'why aren't we all fat?'".
- In talking about a recent diet study (I think he was talking about this one, which he further analyzes on his blog) he points out how, as is often the case, they compare a calorie-resticted diet to a low-carb diet where people can eat as much as they want. "To me, this is the most important observation in the field of obesity research: that you can have an effective diet that doesn't restrict calories."
- "Not everyone gets fat from eating carbohydrates...but some huge percentage of people who are fat got that way from carbs in their diet.[...] If you've been fat for a long time, getting rid of carbohydrates might not make you lean. But the leanest you can be is on the diet with the least carbohydrate.
Do I think the Reader's Digest is improving in its science and nutrition reporting? Although time will tell, I tend to doubt it. More likely, it's the "even a broken clock is correct twice a day" syndrome. I'd love to be proved wrong, though!
Get the Book Why We Get Fat
Photo © Karen Struthers