Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease

( 19 )

Overview

New York Times Bestseller

Robert Lustig’s 90-minute YouTube video “Sugar: The Bitter Truth”, has been viewed more than three 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 ...

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Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease

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Overview

New York Times Bestseller

Robert Lustig’s 90-minute YouTube video “Sugar: The Bitter Truth”, has been viewed more than three 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.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
09/01/2014
An endocrinologist argues that exercise won't help you shed pounds and fasting only worsens weight gain. By readjusting the hormones that regulate hunger, reward, and stress, permanent weight loss can be achieved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142180433
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 12/31/2013
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 42,195
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert H. Lustig, M.D has spent the past sixteen years treating childhood obesity and studying the effects of sugar on the central nervous system and metabolism. He is the Director of the UCSF Weight Assessment for Teen and Child Health Program and also a member of the Obesity Task Force of the Endocrine Society.

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Read an Excerpt

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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Table of Contents

Introduction: Time to Think Outside the Box xi

Part I The Greatest Story Ever Sold

1 A Fallacy of Biblical Proportion 3

2 A Calorie Is a Calorie-or Is It? 9

3 Personal Responsibility versus the Obese Six-Month-Old 22

Part II To Eat or Not to Eat? That's Not the Question

4 Gluttony and Sloth-Behaviors Driven by Hormones 33

5 Food Addiction-Fact or Fallacy 48

6 Stress and "Comfort Food" 64

Part III "Chewing" the Fat

7 The Birth, Care, and Feeding of a Fat Cell 75

8 The Difference Between "Fat" and "Sick" 85

9 Metabolic Syndrome: The New Scourge 93

Part IV The "Real" Toxic Environment

10 The Omnivore's Curse: Low Fat versus Low Carb 105

11 Fructose-The "Toxin" 117

12 Fiber-Half the Antidote 130

13 Exercise-The Other Half of the Antidote 139

14 Micronutrients: Home Run or Hyperbole? 150

15 Environmental "Obesogens" 158

16 The "Empire" Strikes Back: Response of the Food Industry 166

Part V The Personal Solution

17 Altering Your Food Environment 183

18 Altering Your Hormonal Environment 209

19 Last Resorts: When Altering Your Environment Isn't Enough 218

Part VI The Public Health Solution

20 The "Nanny State": Personal versus Societal Responsibility 229

21 What Hath Government Wrought? 239

22 A Call for Global Sugar Reduction 255

Epilogue: Not a Top-Down but a Bottom-Up Movement 272

Acknowledgments 277

Notes 281

Glossary 303

Index 307

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 19 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 19 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2012

    This book is an oustanding eye opener about how dependent we hav

    This book is an oustanding eye opener about how dependent we have become on sugar in our everyday diets and how our health is being effected by it. I bought the book and couldn't put it down. It is very well written and the science and patient studies really prove how our children are suffering from sugar  which is present in most of our food. This is a "must read book"

    18 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2013

    Shocking

    Most of us think of sugar as benign, empty calories. Cookies, cake, candy...delicious treats in moderation...that's what we think, right? NOT! How about toxic? How about orange juice is higher on the clycemic index than Coke? A must-read for all, especially parents. The addictions are real! Food producersm know the magic formula for ensnaring us...and they know that once trapped, you'll have the fight of your life to break free.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2013

    Fascinating

    This was an excellent book and I had a hard time putting it down. It is heavy into biochemistry but Dr. Lustig does a great job of putting this into terms for the layperson. I'm so thrilled to hear someone from mainstream medicine confirm that there are hormonal impacts from our environment. This isn't new but I believe that it is often overlooked. This will change how I eat and how I guide my family to eat. I highly recommend this book! Dr. Lustig not only puts fabulous and fascinating information into this book, but he's also funny and has a great writing style. I also watched his 90 minute video on YouTube and he's an engaging speaker. I'll look forward to reading more of his work!

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 24, 2013

    Definitely an eye opener!

    In Fat Chance, Dr. Lustig really gets into the science of obesity and weight gain. While the chapters may get dull at times (the last section of the book is basically about food in our political system), there is wonderful information about how we can use food to our advantage!

    I was a fan.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 13, 2013

    Highly recommend

    If you are concerned about the obesity epidemic or just your own health, I highly recommend this book. Dr Lustig does a very thorough job in stating how the way we've been eating directly affects our health and well being. Some of the chapters where he gets into the scientific, may be a little rough for some readers, but overall a very informative text that has me examining the way I eat and what I eat.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2013

    Quite enlightening

    While it is scientifically written, it was fascinating. I finally understand how important controlling our insulin is. I lost 20 something pounds after reading this book. Fiber and no "sugar" is the way to go. Everyone should read this book. I've given copies to my siblings. I am healthier and thinner.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2014

    Lots Of Information!

    This book is extremely helpful in informing the readers on why sugar is so bad for us and what it does to our bodies. I do recommend the book but the author goes into such detail (all good stuff) that it reads much like a medical textbook and it was a tough read for me.
    I had previously purchased and read this author's book, The Fat Chance Cookbook, and I feel that the first 50-60 pages of the cookbook gives a very good overview of Fat Chance. Unless you want to get into the actual medical reasons for why sugar and processed food is so bad for you, I'd actually recommend buying and reading The Fat Chance Cookbook and afterwards, if you feel the need for more information, buy Fat Chance.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2014

    Learn not only what to eat but WHY

    This is not a "diet" book. In view of our obesity crisis and the illnesses that our American diet are causing, Dr. Lustig explains exactly what happens in our bodies when we eat all of this processed food that we are confronted with in our country these days. He describes why our bodies simply cannot cope with all this refined food with far too much sugar. He helps me understand what goes on in my body when I do not provide it with decent nutrition. He explains why it is so difficult to change our eating habits. He doesn't just tell us to eat real, unprocessed food with very little sugar and lots of fiber. He tells us why we really, really need to do this to reduce obesity and to prevent illnesses that can be caused by poor nutrition. This is an excellent and very helpful book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2014

    Eye opening book from a hugely knowledgeable figure. He does not

    Eye opening book from a hugely knowledgeable figure. He does not indorse any type of diet, but goes into detail on what these substances do to your body. He also shines a light on food politics and how much the government and certain companies stand to benefit from influencing what we eat.

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  • Posted August 30, 2013

    good info, but too political and too technical

    So much of this book was difficult to understand, but the author seems to have good credentials and know the science. I'm sure we will get more on this topic as time progresses.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 24, 2013

    Great for the Layman

    The many diets and dieting subjects before the public these days is sickening! Lustig does a decent job of putting the ABC's of body chemistry in the food/diet arena. Learning why the fat doesn't go away is worth learning. Foods are necessary but trigger good and bad reactions. I learned why my favorites kept my stomach pregnant.

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