401: Gary Taubes Update With Preview Of ‘Why We Get Fat’


Gary Taubes, author of Why We Get Fat...and what to do about it.

Gary Taubes, New York Times journalist and author of Good Calories, Bad Calories, joins us again today on The Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show with Jimmy Moore! to update us on what has been happening in his life and to share more about his upcoming December 28, 2010 release of Why We Get Fat And What To Do About It. This is the much-awaited consumer-friendly version of his previous book that will certainly bring the message of high-fat, low-carb living to the general public. We are VERY excited to bring you this highly-anticipated conversation with a man who needs no introduction to our listeners. You asked to hear from him and now he’s here! ENJOY!

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Why We Get Fat And What To Do About It
Gary Taubes’ “Why We Get Fat” Lecture
– RELATED PODCAST: An Interview With ‘Good Calories Bad Calories’ Author Gary Taubes Part 1 (Episode 139)
– RELATED PODCAST: Jimmy Moore’s Interview With Journalist And Author Gary Taubes Part 2 (Episode 140)
– RELATED PODCAST: Gary Taubes: Best Of 2008 ‘Encore Week’ (Episode 213)

30 Responses to 401: Gary Taubes Update With Preview Of ‘Why We Get Fat’
  1. JayCee
    September 13, 2010 | 2:29 pm

    Awesome interview.

    I’m probably one of biggest desciple’s of GCBC chapters and sections specifically on the alpha glycerol phosphate and it’s role in the creation of triglycerides inside the adipose tissue. I’ve quoted that section to people like a hundred times and think it would be sad if it’s somehow proven to be outweighted by another contradicting hypothesis. I would really love to follow Gary’s possible future blog and discussions on the subject of it.

    Looking forward to the new book and thanks for the great work you doing Gary!!

    • JayCee
      September 13, 2010 | 3:19 pm

      By the way I totally love the new books cover and think it’s sales will exceed everyones expectations. :-) I have seen quite a number of Diet Delusion books in our bookstores here in South Africa and cannot help to wonder what the cover will look like and name of the new book will be in the Non-US countries.

    • Gisela
      September 14, 2010 | 12:32 pm

      No sadness merited, true science is always refining hypotheses and discarding the also-rans that perhaps made sense at the time but got disproven by additional enquiry. Gary himself is all about the science, so yeah, it’s never entirely comfortable to be proven wrong about something, but the point is to learn better and get the truest possible understanding. And in this case, the contradictory hypothesis doesn’t topple the whole idea of carbs driving insulin driving fat, it just shows that the understanding of some of the subordinate details are still in play.

      • JayCee
        September 14, 2010 | 1:49 pm

        I have to agree Gisela.

        I actually had a look again at one of the so called ‘studies’ explaining this Glyceroneogenesis process in this post:


        This study is basically flawed, even a layman like me can see things such as the fact that the test subjects were not keto-adapted and I believe that a total different set of rules apply for people who are not keto-adapted. There are some other flaws too, and I think at the end it the basic biochemistry that Gary mentioned to in GCBC will carry more weight (take up a bigger part of a pie-chart of total processes) at the end.

        • Nigel Kinbrum
          December 23, 2010 | 2:37 am

          “I believe that…”
          Believing something doesn’t make it fact. The fact is that Glycerol-3-Phosphate production isn’t limited by dietary carbohydrate. See Oh Nevermind ….. (Taubes and G3P).

  2. LisaW
    September 13, 2010 | 5:38 pm

    Excellent interview…

    Thanks for bringing this to us Jimmy!

  3. Cathy
    September 13, 2010 | 6:46 pm

    Jimmy, thanks for another great interview! I read Good Calories, Bad Calories. And intend to read this new book, too.

  4. Carroll
    September 13, 2010 | 7:20 pm

    I have found it frustrating trying to get my doctor friends to read GCBC. They have already made up their minds, or aren’t prepared to wade through the book. The biggest criticism I have seen of Taubes on the net is that he has ignored recent science in favour of research 20+ years old. Would have been good to have him respond to this.

    • Jimmy Moore
      September 13, 2010 | 8:51 pm

      Taubes has addressed this in my previous interview Carroll. He wrote GCBC to give this historical perspective. The modern science is important, but his point is the data has been there for many years.

  5. Peter Silverman
    September 14, 2010 | 5:44 am

    Your recent guest Stephan Guyenet pointed out that many traditional cultures eat very high carb diets, for instance the African cultures that eat mostly cassava or ugali, and are free of obesity and heart disease. I understand why we get fat, but wonder why they don’t.

    • kevin
      September 14, 2010 | 10:10 am

      I’m sure one factor is the lack of a sedentary lifestyle.

    • Gisela
      September 14, 2010 | 12:24 pm

      Cassava is a starchy root vegetable, ugali is basically a cornmeal mush much like Italian polenta. I think Stephan Guyenet emphasizes that indigenous cultures that eat starchy diets either don’t use gluten grains (e.g., the Kitavans and the Tokelau who mainly eat tubers and coconuts), or they ferment & grind what grains they do use in order to reduce phytotoxins, excess fiber, and lectins (usually non-gluten grains such as corn, sorghum, and millet). There’s also a fair amount of evidence that any culture that has a low sugar consumption rate will be healthier. Japanese and Chinese eat loads of rice, but they tend to consume little fructose (found in fruits, high fructose corn syrup, and table sugar), although that’s changing in modern times, and their waistlines are increasing just like ours. Those cultures who use wheat or sugar to any large degree have less healthy cultural profiles than those who don’t. So there’s no controlled clinical trials around to prove the point beyond a doubt, but the evidence that exists is at least plausible.

    • Denise Minger
      September 14, 2010 | 6:23 pm

      Most people alive today are facing the repercussions of not only their own diets, but of several generations of shoddy nutrition and Western food consumption. It has a cumulative effect and the negative health consequences tend to worsen with each subsequent group of offspring (eg, Pottenger’s cats).

      I imagine societies that have never consumed modern foods and who are very physically active throughout life (= great insulin sensitivity) are better equipped metabolically to handle high carb diets. Expose them to the junk most Westerners eat, give ’em poor prenatal nutrition, and put them in an environment where they sit for 12 hours a day — no doubt they’d start facing the same obesity problems (among other things) as the rest of us.

      • Mical
        October 4, 2010 | 1:01 pm

        I absolutely agree with Denise (your interview was great by the way!). The cause of insulin resistance is still up for debate (too much carb exposure, fructose, gluten, lectins, etc.), but people with correctly functioning metabolisms (greater insulin sensitivity) can process more carbs effectively. People get caught up arguing over the types of diet people can eat (Masai & Inuit vs Kitavins for example), and which one is “best”. People get caught up in arguing the theory behind the proposed mechanisms that cause the diseases of civilization. And they begin to overlook the simple anectodal evidence. Eating a Paleo or Low-Carb diet improves health parameters (such as blood pressure, triglycerides, blood sugar, etc.). That was one of the main points of Taubes Book, GCBC. He provided some scientific explanation of the mechanisms of obesity. His opponents argued over the application of the law of physics (calories in vs calories out) and completely disregarded any theory that low carb could be effective. And the book is full of evidence on how low carb was effective in dealing with obesity. Instead of asking why it seemed to be effective, all the evidence was disregarded because of difference in theory. This is why the Eades and Atkins were so great, because they tried something that seemed to be effective, and helped hundreds and thousands of people, and wrote books explaining why they thought their methods worked. Even if the ideas behind their methods were to be argued against based on the proposed mechanisms they put forth in their books, that doesn’t change the fact that they have gotten great results for a mulitude of people who otherwise would have been SOL. This is seen with the glycerol phosphate example in Taubes book. Even though there is more current info on the subject, that doesn’t change the fact that people had lost weight with low carb in the examples in his book. These updated findings should be an opportunity to expand our understanding of our observations. I also like that Taubes acknowledges this, and didn’t just disregard the updated info because it didn’t agree with this original theory on that specific subject.

      • Rach
        October 13, 2010 | 10:31 pm

        I don’t doubt that people in better metabolic condition can handle the insults of the western diet, but don’t think for a minute that people who have never consumed a modern diet are necessarily in that boat. Look at the horrific health outcomes for indigenous peoples in developed countries, such as the Australian Aboriginal peoples. This population experiences massively high rates of diabetes, heart disease and chronic renal failure at epidemic proportions, with a large gap in life expentancy compared with the non-Indigenous population. I believe other Indigenous populations around the world experience many of the same issues when exposed to western diets.

    • Mark
      November 3, 2010 | 4:32 pm

      Hi Pete,
      I lived in Africa for 3 years, in the countries of Ivory Coast and Mali. I can assure you that there are many overweight men and women in Africa. In the village where I lived there were many women (like carrying buckets of water long distances) who did hard physical labor and ate very low fat high carb diets (not by choice!) and were overweight. And many of them had malnourished children at the same time. Now I currently reside Brazil and I observe the same thing. Poor women stuck doing manual labor such as cleaning house and only having the money to eat rice, beans, and bread. Many, many of these poor Brazilian women(I am currently in Curitiba, Parana)are overweight, while at the same time women from the upper class look slim and healthy.

  6. Nina
    September 14, 2010 | 10:24 am

    Excellent. Interesting to hear the story BEHIND publication and how the editing/printing process may lag behind new research.

    Here in the UK people are reading his earlier book and it is much discussed on certain internet sites. Unfortunately the typical response is: ‘I’m not a scientist, BUT….. no long term research to support….’

    We can post links to this and youtube interviews + Dr Kendrick’s points about bias in research fundings, but if they don’t wanna hear it they won’t.

    I was listening to your interview with Dr Bernstein and the long moan about the difficulty of getting on Oprah. Why bother? She’s on the way out. She’s also a FAILED dieter. Why not interview successful celebrity dieters and find out how they did it. Oprah’s buddy Dolly Parton is a fine example.

  7. Laura
    September 14, 2010 | 11:26 am

    This guys Candor is refreshing…After researching Nutrition and Diet myself..for Years… after reading GCBC I was NO LONGER confused..and knew with CERTAINTY HOW i needed to eat to remain Trim and Healthy the rest of my life..I had to put the book down many many times just to have my ‘OMG moments’ to process the brilliancy of his argument.. I will Never look back..and will become an avid reader of Any Blog material he puts out..however infrequently.. He’s a genius.. with young kids.. so I dont expect lots of BLOG TIME ..however.. all I can say is Thankyou for doing what you did.. and still do.. and I look forward to sending the ‘layperson version’ of GCBC ( Why we get Fat) to all my friends and family!!!

  8. Gisela
    September 14, 2010 | 12:45 pm

    I loved this interview, as it really shows Gary to be on top of his game, even when he admits that there were some errors that crept into his book. (Omigosh! He’s human, and so are his publishers!)

    Speaking of which, I think it would be extremely helpful if Gary were able to put up an ongoing errata page on his website, where he basically corrects things that were plain wrong, and maybe briefly updates about the newer research material that came out after GCBC was published, so that anyone who wants to carp on how he’s dishonest because of some misstatement can be shown up as not paying attention to how terrifically meticulous and honest he really is.

    I’m really looking forward to getting WWGF in time for my hubby’s annual New Years resolution phase. It’s about the only time he is open to different ideas of how to improve himself, so I’m hoping to take advantage of that “slim” window of opportunity.

  9. Denise Minger
    September 14, 2010 | 5:57 pm

    Great interview!

    Like others have mentioned, it’s refreshing that he acknowledges earlier errors. That earns mega respect points in my book. Inability to retract or even admit to flawed/outdated concepts is one of the biggest problems with the nutrition field and the authorities within it — and is the reason junk theories like the lipid hypothesis are gonna take eons to die.

    Looking forward to reading his new book!

    • Jimmy Moore
      September 14, 2010 | 8:18 pm

      THANKS for listening, Denise! Gary is a rare breed in his field.

  10. hans keer
    September 15, 2010 | 7:03 am

    Hi Jimmy,

    It is always good to listen to you and Taubes.

    Funny, I already had noticed the change of the alpha triglyceride-phosphate story during the IMS-lecture.

    As the CutTheCarb-blogger I of course believe in the carbs-drive-insulin-drive-fat-story. But I think it’s not the whole story. Also the Neolithic-foods like grains, dairy, nightshades and legumes bring a lot of havoc (i.e. autoimmune diseases). We wrote a very successful layman suitable post about it http://bit.ly/a9Gvjk. I hope you, Gary and your listeners can benefit from it. Very best regards, Hans

  11. LCforevah
    September 15, 2010 | 3:29 pm

    Hi Jimmy

    While listening to Taubes talk about Jillian Michaels, I decided to google:
    *how many of biggest losers have gained back weight?*

    Well it turns out that quite a few of them have put back almost all of what they lost, which is no surprise to anyone.

    This was also part of what I found:


    I knew that the program edited what they showed–but not to this extent!

  12. kem j
    September 16, 2010 | 5:03 pm

    Great interview, thank you. I have just consulted my GCBC for the zillionth time whilst writing a letter to the editor regarding a rather poor weekly “nutritional” column in out local newspaper.

    What a comprehensive, consise and user friendly publication is GCBC. Thanks GT!

  13. Andre Chimene
    September 16, 2010 | 8:45 pm

    GREAT interview. I am listening for the 4th time while I workout. Your audios have replaced music, Tony Robbins and my Dr. Bernstein CDs as my motovational/educational treat. I like it so much I am going to buy another one of your books.

    • Jimmy Moore
      September 17, 2010 | 5:58 am

      You are awesome, Andre!

  14. Alden Tyrell
    September 19, 2010 | 2:43 pm

    gary, I skipped GCBC but this one I’ll purchase.

  15. Rebecca Latham
    October 5, 2010 | 8:45 am

    I just listened to the interview, and, as usual, Gary does not disappoint! Thank you so much for asking him my question, Jimmy! I was so excited to hear his answer, which was mostly satisfying. :0}

    I was particularly interested in the comments he made right after that question about how eating low carb will help a person to achieve the best results they can expect, but that this will not necessarily be the results they want. I have often heard Atkins eaters talk about how they can’t seem to lose that last however-many pounds, even though they eat as they should. I would certainly be in that group. Rather than being discouraged by his take on the subject, I found encouragement and hope in it. If my metabolism or fat storage has been irreparably damaged due to my excessive carb eating in the past 50 years, or even my mother’s, for that matter, I know that eating low carb will help me be the best I can be. I already know that eating low fat and high carb is no way to live. Can I live with this extra 10-15 pounds and be happy and healthy? You bet!

    I’ll be sure to post this interview on my blog, and encourage all the folks at the Atkins Community Forum to listen to it, too!

    Thanks again, Jimmy! I can’t wait for the new book to come out!


  16. Laurence Chalem
    November 6, 2010 | 1:38 pm

    Jimmy, forgive me for not adding you to my list of heroes until now. I’m sure you sacrificed greatly, self-funding your introduction into the “Truth-spreading” industry, and now, hopefully, your work is more generously supported. Best wishes to continue your work and giving a voice to other “truthers.” Again, you’re my hero… – lc

    • Jimmy Moore
      November 7, 2010 | 4:05 pm

      THANKS so much Laurence!

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