Robert Lustig’s 90-minute YouTube video Sugar: The Bitter Truth has been viewed more than two 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.
©2012 Robert H. Lustig (P)2012 Penguin Audio
I have heard Lustig interviewed before on Jimmy Moore's low-carb podcast and by Alec Baldwin. I find him to be very credible. I found the writing style very informative and engaging, and I thought JT Ross was a very good narrator...striking just the right tone for the book overall...however, his mispronunciation of the word "satiety" (just Google it for the correct pronunciation) was pretty distracting, as the word occurs often. Of course, we all bring our preconceptions to a book when we read it, and I was really hoping for more practical advice on "what to eat" than I ended up with. Yes, the essential information is there...but it would have been much more helpful to me personally if there had been a section along the lines of "here are sample menus which would be supported by Lustig's presentation of science". It might be that it came across better in reading the book visually...but I didn't pick up much of that here. I think people writing for this subject often don't realize that many of us just "don't speak the language of food" and really need someone to "paint a picture" for us. I must say I did feel like he really did a tremendous job of busting stereotypes and explaining both why we are where we are with the obesity epidemic and how best to proceed as a society. I liked the way he went thru all the popular diets and explained both their strengths and weaknesses. So I found the book quite enjoyable overall and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to people who are looking to get their bearings on the myriad of varying opinions about diet and exercise.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in learning more about nutrition, how the body processes food/nutrients/sugars, and is looking for more education as a whole on the subject. I will say the beginning was a bit slow and some parts got very technical for a listener who has no background on anatomy/ body break down structures. I listened to those sections twice to try to understand the material. Once I made it past those rough patches though, I flew through the book. This book changed the way I look at and eat sugar and processed foods. I am so conscious of it all in the grocery store now, so it has changed the way I shop as well. Would definitely recommend.
Exhaustive, Comprehensive, Conclusive
Mindsight by Daniel Siegel. Siegel, and especially, Lustig, have trolled vast amounts of modern research data and assembled the myriad pieces into articulate and persuasive arguments for their respective causes: mindfulness in Siegel's case and a diet based on evolutionary principles in Lustig's. Each of these authors provide modern empirical support for wisdom that has been known for millenia.
One sugary beverage a day, whether fruit juice or a pop, equals 10-12 pounds of weight gain per year. Six month old infants are being seen at obesity clinics due to the sugar added added to baby formula.
Yes and I nearly did.
Lustig presents a comprehensive analysis of the problem of modern diet, including the contributions of government and industry.
Provides a better understand of food and sugar's impact on the body. Anyone having difficulty losing weight, or having health issues should read this book.
Most important issue of our generation!!!
interested in medicine, fitness, and economics.
Dr. Lustig writes a compelling case against sugar. Fructose, a component of table sugar, is added to almost all processed food - and it's killing us. I agree with the author that sugar (and carbs) are the real dangers in our diet rather than fat. And his book is full of evidence.
Where I think the book falls a little short is in his disavowal of personal responsibility. I believe that we can all choose to eat less sugar, exercise more, and consume more fiber. The author, on the other hand, seems to think our poor health is out of our control.
Moreover, the author's politics are difficult to understand. He correctly points out the dangers of government: politicians being owned by big food, governmental misguidance, and ineffective government programs. Yet, he concludes that the only solution to the problem is more government - the very government he criticized.
The narration is FANTASTIC!
Great detail about this problem and ways that many people can find some understanding about this problem.
I didn't read the print version, but the audio edition was great. It was paced well, and captured the humorous portions of the book well.
Fat Chance was great. I can't highly recommend it enough. I will say I noticed at least two mistakes. Wellbutrin isn't an SSRI and dextrin is not a sugar. It is a soluble fiber. I actually really found the political discussions intriguing. I've read another review about it stuffing liberal biases in, but I didn't really see that.
Dr. Lustig is the champion of the "sugar is poison" subject. His scientific message about the infiltration of sugar and processed food throughout the world and the growing list of harmful health effects should be mandatory reading for everyone...simply so one can make better choices.
The first half of the book Dr. Lustig uses a wry, fresh sense of humor to keep us engaged but somewhere around half-way the sense of humor (and connection) goes away and the science and soapbox take over. This is an important work but it must be said that it is also his first book and a book is not a short form speech. I am surprised his editor did not guide him to a more balanced effort.
Following his substantial scientific evidence, Dr. Lustig does offer examinations of nearly every recent diet plan to have come along in the last few decades...and even early man. He offers a host of solutions ranging from medical, political, economic, education and business to common sense. However, the message becomes its own burden...a weight of its own that does not empower or really inspire...
I do recommend the book!!! I learned a great deal and have already had a lot of exposure to the subject. In an ironic twist though the title of the book says it all..."Fat Chance"...which to me means that we will not or cannot succeed in overcoming the acceptance of the harmful aspects of sugar and processed food into our world....and that was the cumulative feeling I had when finishing the book.
This book is definitely worth getting, because it puts it all together for you in one easy package regarding our health and what's needed for us to make a change. It's technical at times though, but it has all the pieces to make it a well-rounded piece of literature for us to consume, besides sugar, making great food for thought. It's definitely needed and will hopefully inspire us to do something to better our future, since we are the ones in control of it always anyway, if we actually decide step up 100%. I hope everyone reads it so we can move forward with our health, stop living in a fairytale and help save our loved-ones from a horrible fate of chronic disease and suffering in a way we best know how.
The information presented in this book was concise and laid out well. The information was not altogether new but presented in such a way that the reader will not help but look at their own diet and sugar intake in quite the same way. The book has a lot of focus on children, which is good, but also has a great deal of good information for adults as well.
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