Lets look at the national trend lines about fat consumption, obesity and overweight to see if there are any more clues. In the mid 70’s, for example, national fat consumption was around 40%. Today it’s around 33%. This is a statistically significant change that could not have happened by random chance. In the mid 70’s the national obesity rate was around 12%. Now it’s 33%. In the 70’s, the national overweight rate was around 30%. Now it’s 66%. So as a nation we’re eating less fat, but we’re fatter than ever. The low-fat/low-calorie party line has been around 40 years now, and the spectacularly unsuccessful results speak for themselves.
Taubes also has something radical to say about what causes horizontal growth or fat. The conventional, accepted theory is that we eat more, and therefore we grow fat. Taubes, however, says we’ve got it backwards because all growth (whether it’s horizontal, vertical, tumor or pregnancy) is triggered by hormonal stimulation, not caloric intake. Or said another way, caloric intake follows an increase in mass. Teenagers, for example, eat more when they start growing not the other way around. (A teenager doesn’t grow taller because he or she eats more calories.) Similarly, growth in fat tissue, which is stimulated by insulin, drives overeating. It’s truly rare and very exciting to hear a truly revolutionary scientific idea like this one.
If you read Why We Get Fat, as I hope you will, you’ll have to make a special effort not to get angry as you come to realize we cannot trust the research community and health organizations that supposedly exist for our benefit. The book shines an uncomfortable spotlight on “the surprisingly dismal state of nutrition and chronic disease research.”. We deserve better.