Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease
ISBN 9781101606582 | 336 pages | 27 Dec 2012 | Hudson Street Press
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New York Times Bestseller
Robert Lustig’s 90-minute YouTube video “Sugar: The Bitter Truth”, has been viewed more than three million times. Now, in this much anticipated book, he documents the science and the politics that has led to the pandemic of chronic disease over the last 30 years.
In the late 1970s when the government mandated we get the fat out of our food, the food industry responded by pouring more sugar in. The result has been a perfect storm, disastrously altering our biochemistry and driving our eating habits out of our control.
To help us lose weight and recover our health, Lustig presents personal strategies to readjust the key hormones that regulate hunger, reward, and stress; and societal strategies to improve the health of the next generation. Compelling, controversial, and completely based in science, Fat Chance debunks the widely held notion to prove “a calorie is NOT a calorie”, and takes that science to its logical conclusion to improve health worldwide.
The Mediterranean Diet
Pioppi, a small town in Italy, is the home of the Mediterranean diet. In Ancel Keys' Seven Countries study (Italy was one of the countries), this diet was associated with lower death rates from heart disease. The diet was popularized in America due to its population's low incidence of disease and long lifespan. Unfortunately, Pioppi and many surrounding areas that originally consumed a peasant fare can no longer afford to do so. Processed food is more readily available and cheaper. These areas, once renowned for their health, have soaring rates of obesity in part due to a current lack of whole grains, fresh fruits, and vegetables from their diets. These items are just too expensive, and they don't taste as good.
Here's what's in the real Mediterranean diet: high olive oil consumption (mono-unsaturated fat); legumes (beans, lentils, peas); fruits, vegetables, and unrefined grains (fiber); dairy products (saturated fat); eggs (high-quality protein); fish (omega-3s); and wine in moderation (resveratrol, flavonoids, and likely other factors). Americans misunderstand the Mediterranean diet, because they think it is all about pasta, which is Italian but not Mediterranean. Because what the Italians used to eat in Italy is not what the Italians eat in the United States. The pasta and pizza movement actually started in the United States within the poor Italian immigrant population, based on the cost of carbohydrates versus meat. That diet then migrated over to Italy. And now the Italians have our problem.
“No scientist has done more in the last fifty years to alert Americans to the potential dangers of sugar in the diet than Dr. Robert Lustig.”
–Gary Taubes, author of Good Calories, Bad Calories and Why We Get Fat
“Our eating habits are killing us. In this timely and important book, Dr. Robert Lustig presents the scientific evidence for the toxicity of sugar and the disastrous effects of modern industrial food on the hormones that control hunger, satiety, and weight. He gives recommendations for a personal solution to the problem we face and also suggests a public policy solution. Fat Chance is the best book I've read on the relationship between diet and health and the clearest explanation of epidemic obesity in our society.”
–Andrew Weil, M.D., author of Spontaneous Happiness and You Can’t Afford to Get Sick
“Fat Chance is THE manifesto for our time. It reveals the real reasons we why we are a fat nation and how to cure the obesity epidemic. It gets right to the root of the problem, which is not gluttony and sloth, as the food industry, government and your neighbor would have you believe. It is because we are drowning in a sea of sugar which poisons our metabolism, shrinks our brains, and threatens our national security and global competitiveness. Every American, politician, teacher, and business leader must read this book. Our nation's future depends on it.”
–Mark Hyman, M.D., author of The Blood Sugar Solution
“Fat Chance is an extraordinary achievement. Obesity's causes, mechanisms, health consequences, and preventive approaches are all devilishly complicated, but Dr. Lustig's outstanding contribution clarifies the complexity via a writing style that's accessible, insightful, and often gently humorous. Robert Lustig is a clinician, a scientist, and an advocate — a combination that that makes him uniquely qualified to bring the condition's many facets into sharp focus. Obesity has become the world's number one health problem. Fat Chance is the book for all of us who must confront this epidemic.”
–S. Boyd Eaton, M.D., Departments of Radiology and Anthropology, Emory University, and father of the Paleo Diet movement
“Robert Lustig is neither ringing an alarm bell nor giving us a gentle, paternalistic nudge. His message is more authentic. He is a medical doctor issuing a prescription. In order to address a current cocktail of health threats, Americans must alter their diets and do so radically. Those alterations must begin with a dramatic reduction in the consumption of sugars.”
“The obesity pandemic is well documented. But what can be done about it? More importantly, when does a personal health issue rise to become a public health crisis? In Fat Chance, Dr. Robert Lustig examines the science of obesity to determine the role that our current diet (especially too much sugar and too little fiber) plays in weight gain and disease. Using that knowledge, he proposes changes in our personal, public, and governmental attitudes to combat this scourge. Fat Chance is a 'savory' read with a 'sweet' finish.”
–Sanjay Gupta, M.D., neurosurgeon and CNN medical correspondent
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