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Publisher's Summary

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

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Well-written, well-read, solid content

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.

23 of 24 people found this review helpful

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Changed the Way I Eat

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.

26 of 28 people found this review helpful

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  • Sammons
  • Ellisville, MO, United States
  • 03-31-13

Very Informative

Great detail about this problem and ways that many people can find some understanding about this problem.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Great medical content, questionable politics

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!

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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The Case Against Modern Diet.... Closed

If you could sum up Fat Chance in three words, what would they be?

Exhaustive, Comprehensive, Conclusive

What other book might you compare Fat Chance to and why?

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.

Which scene was your favorite?

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.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes and I nearly did.

Any additional comments?

Lustig presents a comprehensive analysis of the problem of modern diet, including the contributions of government and industry.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Fascinating Information, helped me lose 10 pounds.

Excelent book!!!

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!!!

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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An absolute must read for medical professionals

For any physician who has daily patient interaction, from the surgeon to the family practitioner, this novel will enhance your ability to communicate the importance of self management of obesegenic risk and steps necessary to improve not only your patient's lives but those with whom they interact in their communities.

-Dr. Ryan M. Greene, DO, MS

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • B
  • 01-28-13

A must read for anyone interested in obesity

Would you consider the audio edition of Fat Chance to be better than the print version?

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.

Any additional comments?

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.

11 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Important...Mandatory...and Exhausting.

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.

10 of 13 people found this review helpful

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Great explanations, but no new actionable advice

Fat Chance does a truly stellar job explaining the science behind how we get fat, but has no new information, suggestions or options for how we can break the cycle of addiction, hormone resistance and other factors that make us overweight. If you're interested in the science behind human energy metabolism, this book is worthy of at least TEN stars, not a mere five! But if you expect to hear something beyond "eat right and exercise" when it comes to actionable advice to combat your addiction to processed foods and lethargy, you'll be sorely disappointed. Still, I recommend this book for everyone fighting the good fight because it will demystify a LOT of how the body responds to various types of food intake, and that can equip you to be more effective at everything you do from that point on as it pertains to winning the ongoing battle.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful