Why We Get Fat And What You Do About It Published By Gary Taubes

1073 WordsNov 16, 20145 Pages
Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It published by Gary Taubes is a controversial 217 page look at the obesity epidemic plaguing the world. Taubes spends the entirety of the report analyzing the common myths of weight gain and weight loss. Taubes himself is a correspondent to Science magazine, has had works published in the New York Times, and is an investigator of health policy research at the University of California’s School of Public Health. The clear-cut argument that Taubes instantly makes within the first two chapters of the book is that obesity is not as simple as the “calories in/out” method that we’re taught to believe. He states that we have been conditioned to believe that we only get fat when we take in more energy than we…show more content…
This all changed in the 1870s. The Pima population started to live in famine. They began relying on government rations, and then obesity started popping up. Years later, almost all of the Pima people were obese. They were eating an abundance of food before and weren’t fat, which went against the calories in/out theory. Why did this change after the supply of government rations? Another example to counter our conventional wisdom of weight gain is a rare disorder known as progressive lipodystrophy. It is characterized by the complete loss of subcutaneous fat in the upper body, and excess gain of it below the waist. Are we going to presume that these people gained lower body fat because they overate and lost upper body fat because they underrate? Obviously, that’s a ridiculous assumption. It shows that weight is linked to genetics. Another example is that of identical twins. Identical twins tend to store fat in the exact same places. Even twins who spent years apart, living different lifestyles, tended to end up both fat or both skinny. Taubes gives many examples about how obesity is not caused by eating too much. But what about not exercising enough? While acknowledging that exercise is important to lower the risks of heart disease and diabetes, he concludes that exercise really does not lead to substantial weight loss. The USDA guidelines have even suggested that up to 90 minutes a day of vigorous exercise
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