Why We Get Fat: And What to Do about It

Version: Unabridged
Author: Gary Taubes
Narrator: Mike Chamberlain
Genres: Health & Fitness, Diet & Nutrition
Publisher: Random House Audio Publishing Group
Published In: December 2010
# of Units: 7 CDs
Length: 8 hours
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An eye-opening, myth-shattering examination of what makes us fat, from acclaimed science writer Gary Taubes.

In his New York Times best seller, Good Calories, Bad Calories, Taubes argued that our diet’s overemphasis on certain kinds of carbohydrates—not fats and not simply excess calories—has led directly to the obesity epidemic we face today. The result of thorough research, keen insight, and unassailable common sense, Good Calories, Bad Calories immediately stirred controversy and acclaim among academics, journalists, and writers alike. Michael Pollan heralded it as “a vitally important book, destined to change the way we think about food.”

Building upon this critical work in Good Calories, Bad Calories and presenting fresh evidence for his claim, Taubes now revisits the urgent question of what’s making us fat—and how we can change—in this exciting new book. Persuasive, straightforward, and practical, Why We Get Fat makes Taubes’s crucial argument newly accessible to a wider audience.

Taubes reveals the bad nutritional science of the last century, none more damaging or misguided than the “calories-in, calories-out” model of why we get fat, and the good science that has been ignored, especially regarding insulin’s regulation of our fat tissue. He also answers the most persistent questions: Why are some people thin and others fat? What roles do exercise and genetics play in our weight? What foods should we eat, and what foods should we avoid?

Packed with essential information and concluding with an easy-to-follow diet, Why We Get Fat is an invaluable key in our understanding of an international epidemic and a guide to what each of us can do about it.

Includes a bonus PDF with images from the book

Reviews (7)


Written by Anthony L. on November 22nd, 2019

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Positives: Well researched, interesting studies, felt good about making changes to my diet Negative: WAY TOO LONG. Seemed at times repetitious with information overload. Bottomline: Cut Carbs, eat more protein with vegetables


Written by Kimberly H. on September 15th, 2018

  • Book Rating: 3/5

Got lost in the details. Too much proving the point. Good I formation but presented in a hard to follow format.

Written by Kathryn W on October 31st, 2017

  • Book Rating: 3/5

The narrator has a nasal voice and speaks slowly. I listened at 1.25x speed. The book is a long explanation of the very restricted ketogenic diet.

Written by Delphine B on September 27th, 2017

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Great book! Is it possible to provide the appendix list of foods to avoid and foods to eat more of?

Written by Jennifer Braden on January 31st, 2017

  • Book Rating: 5/5

I've been a registered dietitian for a couple of decades. I hold a masters in human nutrition. I had NO IDEA that much of what I learned was based on such awful science and dogma. I've been eating in a much different way (easily took off 20 pounds in 5 weeks), and I feel better physically AND emotionally. This book should be used in medical schools as well as in nutrition education. I've looked up a few of the citations, and I'm overwhelmed by the amount of research (and truth) found on the pages of this book. I recommend "Good Calories, Bad Calories," "The Case against sugar" (both Taubes). Then, take a look at Lustig & Ludwig (endocrinologists). Great information!

Written by Marion Threadcraft on May 9th, 2014

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Though this book, which was recommended by my internist, lends a little toward the scientific, it works. A scientist wants to explain the proof if his conclusions, hence the plethora of studies quoted, etc. It makes sense, even to the non scientific mind. And, again, it works!


Written by Anonymous on December 31st, 2013

  • Book Rating: 2/5

This is supposed to be a lay person's version of his theories about weight gain and yet he blabbers on and on and on about every study that was ever done and why they are all wrong. Could have been one disk long: "It's about Carbs, Stupid" with explanation of why that's true (it's working for me)

Author Details

Author Details

Taubes, Gary

GARY TAUBES is a contributing correspondent for Science magazine and a contributing editor at "Technology Review". He has written about science, medicine, and health for "Science, Discover, the Atlantic Monthly, the New York Times Magazine, Esquire, Fortune, Forbes, and GQ". His articles have appeared in "The Best American Science Writing" three times. He has won three Science in Society Journalism Awards, given by the National Association of Science Writers-the only print journalist so recognized-as well as awards from the American Institute of Physics and the American Physical Society. His book "Bad Science: The Short Life and Weird Times of Cold Fusion" was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award. He was educated at Harvard, Stanford, and Columbia.