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.
“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.”–Alec Baldwin “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
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.
See all Editorial Reviews
I had hit a wall in terms of eating right and dieting. Then my sister shared with me how much she was able to lower her LDL in her cholesterol by reducing her sugar intake. I started to Google articles on sugar and came across Dr Lustig’s You Tube video. It was 90 minutes but it was, in a word, captivating. I was then fortunate to find out that he was coming out with a book at the end of December. I had it delivered to my Kindle while on a beach vacation during the Christmas/ New Year’s holidays. Well, as much as that does not sound like a good vacation book (I did read 2 other novels), it was fantastic on multiple levels. Dr Lustig has a gift because not only is he obviously educated in his field but he is articulate and extremely thorough. Specifically, his book details how sugar is bad for you but he takes it to a level where you totally get it. He explains it from angles that you have never even realized existed…politically, economically, socially and of course, scientifically. And it is not just sugar. He gets into every corner of nutrition….fiber, insulin, leptin, stress, exercise. The book covers everything. It is obvious he put a tremendous amount of effort into this book. He also states very clearly that he has scientific back-up to all of his statements. As I mentioned above, I was looking for a “new diet book” but this book is much more than that. Realizing what is going on in my body because I absolutely love and eat so many carbs was mind boggling. He teaches you all about food labels and let me tell you, it is an education. I am married over 25 years and my wife always does the food shopping. This book had such an effect on me, that I went food shopping by myself so that I could take the time and read the food labels. You cannot believe how much sugar is in your food. I am not even viewing my change in eating as a diet. This is about understanding what is going on with all of the garbage that we consume. For me, it is a change of life. The book just clicked with me. If you want to live longer( in addition to many other benefits such as losing weight), read this book cover to cover. I also love the fact that he endorses the glass of red wine I am drinking right now.
While fighting a carbohydrate roller coaster and watching my triglycerides go up, I was considering going to weight watchers. I heard a PBS interview with Lustig and decided to avoid refined carbs even before I was able to get the book. Within two weeks, I had lost a couple of pounds. Three months later, I had lost a solid 12 pounds by my doctor’s scale. My triglycerides had declined 100 points. My cholesterol readings were within the normal range. My blood pressure had dropped thirty points. Since then I have lost another ten pounds and my glucose is usually in the normal range. All this without suffering deprivation. This book deserves to be read together with Taubes’ “Good Calories, Bad Calories” and “Why We Get Fat and What to Do About it.” While they overlap, they each contain information not covered by the others. In reality, the nutritional principles these authors propound are simple, but we have been so convinced by the bad science espoused by the FDA Food Pyramid that we need to have the whole picture explained. More important than the weight aspect of avoiding carbs, however, is the link of hyperinsulemia to diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, depression, and even cancer. Since these diseases are so pervasive in the United States, I think there are few people who would not benefit greatly from reading this book.
This books is well written and explains biochemistry in a way that I can understand. While I knew that white sugar, white flour, etc. were not good for me, this book convinced me to try a little harder to switch to healthier options. The one concept that impacted me most is that even before one sees changes on the scale or waistline, positive changes occur internally. For example, as the liver becomes less fatty, it functions better and that leads to other health improvements. Since we’ve changed our eating habits, we have more energy and my mood is better. After 2 months, I no longer even want high-sugar snacks. In fact, I surprised my husband with a store-bought pie a few weeks ago and we felt so bad after a couple of slices that we threw the rest in the trash and have not even been tempted to buy anything similar since. We are eating more healthy foods and we are losing weight and inches, but we are no longer “dieting.” This is a lifestyle change and not a temporary “fix.”
- Title: Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease
- Autor: Robert H. Lustig
- Publisher (Publication Date): Avery; Reprint edition (December 31, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 159463100X | 0142180432
- ISBN-13: 978-1594631009 | 978-0142180433
- Download File Format: EPUB, PDF