Elisabeth's Reviews > Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It

Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes
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Sep 26, 2011

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Read in August, 2011

I began this audio book knowing roughly what to expect. I knew it wasn't a diet book per se, but that it aimed to be a thinking person's guide to the science behind carb reduction's benefits.

I am a skeptic by nature. I was predisposed to disrespect the book because it was written by a popular science writer as opposed to a PhD or endocrinologist. The first part annoyed me because the author lays out all kinds of anecdotes before attempting to explain the physiological mechanisms.

However, the longer the book went on, the more I could not deny its compelling argument. For myself, I decided to do an experiment on my own body and try the way of eating that Taubes espouses. I'll see for myself if I get leaner and what the diet does to my LDL/HDL numbers. But I consider it a rather long-term experiment, because I'm merely reducing sugars and simple carbs, not eliminating them.

Here are some additional comments:

1. The narrator pronounces "causal" wrong somewhere in the first third of the book. He repeats the error, saying "casual" instead of "causal," which is kind of funny because it has a rather opposite meaning in this context. I almost poked my eye out over the fact that no one caught this mistake. Towards the end he does it again... he says "casualty" instead of "causality"... I was on the plane listening and I think I said something out loud like, "whaaa???" causing my neighbor to look at me funny.

2. Also towards the end, the author just nonchalantly mentions that if you use coffee, diet soda or other artificial sweetners, you may miss the benefits of carb reduction. What? You can't just throw that in there and not tell us why. I'm just sayin'.

3. The author may be intentionally avoiding addressing some of the known negatives of eating an Atkins-style diet high in fat and low in carbs.

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Susan To your 3rd point: What are some of the "known" negatives?

Elisabeth Hi! I have heard that it causes some bone weakening (Harvard School of Public Health), as well as intestinal/colon cancer risk caused by a low fiber/roughage diet (Mayo Clinic). I can't say I thoroughly researched any negatives of the Atkins diet, though.

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