Fat Chance: The Hidden Truth About Sugar, Obesity and Disease

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9780007514144: Fat Chance: The Hidden Truth About Sugar, Obesity and Disease

The landmark New York Times best seller that reveals how the explosion of sugar in our diets has created an obesity epidemic, and what we can do to save ourselves.

Robert Lustig is at the forefront of war against sugar — showing us that it's toxic, it's addictive, and it's everywhere because the food companies want it to be. His 90-minute YouTube video "Sugar: The Bitter Truth" has been viewed more than 7 million times. Now, in this landmark book, he documents the science and the politics that have led to personal misery and public crisis — the pandemic of obesity and chronic disease--over the last thirty years.
 
In the late 1970s, when the U.S. government declared that we needed to get the fat out of our diets, the food industry responded by pumping in more sugar to make food more palatable (and more salable), and by removing the fiber to make food last longer on the shelf. The result has been a perfect storm for our health, disastrously altering our biochemistry to make us think we're starving, drive our eating habits out of our control, and turn us into couch potatoes. If we cannot control how we eat, it's because of the catastrophic excess of sugar in our diet--the resulting hormonal imbalances have rewired our brains!
 
To help us lose weight and recover our health, Lustig presents strategies we can each use to readjust the key hormones that regulate hunger, reward, and stress, as well as societal strategies to improve the health of the next generation. With scientific rigor and even a little humor, Fat Chance categorically proves that "a calorie is not a calorie," and takes that knowledge to its logical conclusion--an overhaul of the global food system.

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About the Author:

Robert H. Lustig, M.D., MSL, is professor of pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology and a member of the Institute for Health Policy Studies at University of California, San Francisco. He has authored 120 peer-reviewed articles and 70 reviews, as well as The Fat Chance Cookbook and the upcoming The Hacking of the American Mind. He has mentored 30 pediatric endocrine fellows and trained numerous other allied health professionals. He is the former chairman of the Obesity Task Force of the Pediatric Endocrine Society, a member of the Obesity Task Force of the Endocrine Society, and a member of the Pediatric Obesity Devices Committee of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. He is also the president of the nonprofit Institute for Responsible Nutrition, dedicated to reversing childhood obesity and Type 2 Diabetes. He consults for several childhood obesity advocacy groups and government agencies.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

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.

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