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Big Fat Lies: The Truth About Your Weight and Your Health
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Big Fat Lies: The Truth About Your Weight and Your Health

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  91 ratings  ·  13 reviews
In this authoritative, easy-to-read book, Glenn Gaesser, an exercise physiologist, challenges the conventional wisdom that excess body fat poses a danger to health. He explains that it is the fat in your diet — not your weight — that is harmful, and presents scientific evidence of the benefits of body fat. In addition, Gaesser presents a “20/20 program” for achieving optim ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published July 22nd 2002 by Gürze Books (first published August 27th 1996)
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Peggy Elam
May 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book -- I'd give it 5 stars but am deducting one for the last third of the book, which I recommend people ignore. The last section is a diet plan that Gaesser's original publisher insisted be included to (supposedly) make the book more marketable...and which is contradicted by the first two-thirds of the book.

Big Fat Lies presents research indicating that mainstream beliefs about the relationship between weight and health are wrong, and that weight-loss dieting can harm health. Highly
Jan 09, 2008 rated it did not like it
Fascinating...because it first bashes the weight loss industry for making you believe that you need to lose weight, and then offers a weight loss plan. What a douchebag.
Nov 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: clinical-work
There are many, many things I loved about this--mainly that Gaesser takes a completely empirical approach to examining the fat phobia currently afflicting most of America (health professionals included). The data is, in fact, quite damning of this panicked and moralistic view of "excess" weight (Have your doubts? See this peer-reviewed summary of the main points: I also really like his completely sane and actually achievable recommendations regarding ph ...more
Sep 29, 2018 rated it liked it
a fascinating reexamination of the biological consequences to being overfat and of yo-yo dieting. the conclusions here fly in the face of all popular wisdom on health and weight. a fascinating, troubling read.

in the end the author makes a data-driven case that it is far healtheir to stably maintain overweight than (1) to ever, EVER diet and than (2) the lose-gain-lose-gain-lose weight cycle, which is critically dangerous for overall health.

pretty eye-opening.

we've been increasingly hearing peopl
Oct 03, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Any one concerned about there health or that has considered dieting
I originally read this book for my university class "Nutrition and Exercise Science" (much more complex than it sounds) and decided to reread it. I believe this book should be required reading for any one in my fields, dietetics and exercise science. Too many people think health is defined by size, whereas this book shows it is a healthful, consistent diet and exercise (but not the hard-core exercise everyone thinks of). I recommend this book to anyone that has ever dieted or considered it or ha ...more
Nov 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
God bless you, Dr. Gaesser, for standing up and telling the medical community and us that it's much healthier to be active, eat right, and be fat than to be thin at any cost. I watched my mother yo-yo diet for most of her life only to see her die from complications likely created by that yo-yo dieting. Any time a doctor tells me I just need to lose weight, in spite of my excellent blood pressure, blood sugar readings, and cholesterol levels, I will tell that doctor to read this book. Enough of t ...more
Sarah Rigg
Nov 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Glenn has a higher degree in exercise physiology and is rigorous in backing up his assertions in this book. He talks about how most of what we think we know about food, exercise, and body weight are wrong. It only gets 3 stars because a) by now some of the science is outdated and b) he comes really close to a Health at Every Size stance but then includes some diet-like plans that could be triggering for some folks who are trying to overcome the weight loss dieting mentality.
Jul 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book should be required reading for everyone. American schools should teach it. It contains so much great science. Fat IS NOT unhealthy. Fat IS NOT unfit.

I do have a few criticisms. One, the author focuses too much on blood pressure and cholesterol as indicators of health, as opposed to how people feel in their bodies. Two, and as a result of number one, in the last third of the book the author heavily recommends a regimen of restrictive eating (a diet where a maximum of %20 of calories con
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It wouldn't be much of an overstatement to say this book is changing the way I feel about myself for the better. I've done a fair amount of research on more updated studies than the ones mentioned here, and the evidence as best I can tell as a layman seems to hold up.
Moni Smith
Apr 22, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2009
Overall, I thought this was a very informative book. It got a little bit overwhelming at times with all of the studies cited, but it was great that the author had the research to back up his facts. He also offered a good solution at the end for being healthy that doesn't put the focus on losing weight, but more on exercise and and watching fat intake. I learned a lot from this book and will look at diets differently from now on.
Jeff Hayes
Nov 15, 2015 rated it did not like it
Ever wonder if an author is lying to you, or if he's just ignorant? (I suppose it's right there in the title.) While I agree that obesity isnt a disease itself, I'm surprised that so many reviewers trumpet the science in this book, considering that there are no references. I Googled a few of the studies mentioned in the book and the author completely misinterpreted or ignored (I am being generous here) their findings, so I have little faith in the rest of what he is saying.
Sep 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Lots of research data that I will never remember but very informative book
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Mar 01, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
what a bunch of dated contradicting drivel.
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