Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease (Paperback)
The landmark New York Times best seller that reveals how the explosion of sugar in our diets has created an obesity epidemic, and what we can do to save ourselves.
Robert Lustig is at the forefront of war against sugar — showing us that it's toxic, it's addictive, and it's everywhere because the food companies want it to be. His 90-minute YouTube video "Sugar: The Bitter Truth" has been viewed more than 7 million times. Now, in this landmark book, he documents the science and the politics that have led to personal misery and public crisis — the pandemic of obesity and chronic disease--over the last thirty years.
In the late 1970s, when the U.S. government declared that we needed to get the fat out of our diets, the food industry responded by pumping in more sugar to make food more palatable (and more salable), and by removing the fiber to make food last longer on the shelf. The result has been a perfect storm for our health, disastrously altering our biochemistry to make us think we're starving, drive our eating habits out of our control, and turn us into couch potatoes. If we cannot control how we eat, it's because of the catastrophic excess of sugar in our diet--the resulting hormonal imbalances have rewired our brains!
To help us lose weight and recover our health, Lustig presents strategies we can each use to readjust the key hormones that regulate hunger, reward, and stress, as well as societal strategies to improve the health of the next generation. With scientific rigor and even a little humor, Fat Chance categorically proves that "a calorie is not a calorie," and takes that knowledge to its logical conclusion--an overhaul of the global food system.
About the Author
Robert H. Lustig, M.D., MSL, is professor of pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology and a member of the Institute for Health Policy Studies at University of California, San Francisco. He has authored 120 peer-reviewed articles and 70 reviews, as well as The Fat Chance Cookbook and the upcoming The Hacking of the American Mind. He has mentored 30 pediatric endocrine fellows and trained numerous other allied health professionals. He is the former chairman of the Obesity Task Force of the Pediatric Endocrine Society, a member of the Obesity Task Force of the Endocrine Society, and a member of the Pediatric Obesity Devices Committee of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. He is also the president of the nonprofit Institute for Responsible Nutrition, dedicated to reversing childhood obesity and Type 2 Diabetes. He consults for several childhood obesity advocacy groups and government agencies.
“No scientist has done more in the last fifty years to alert Americans to the potential dangers of sugar in the diet than Dr. Robert Lustig.”
--Gary Taubes, author of Good Calories, Bad Calories and Why We Get Fat
“Our eating habits are killing us. In this timely and important book, Dr. Robert Lustig presents the scientific evidence for the toxicity of sugar and the disastrous effects of modern industrial food on the hormones that control hunger, satiety, and weight. He gives recommendations for a personal solution to the problem we face and also suggests a public policy solution. Fat Chance is the best book I've read on the relationship between diet and health and the clearest explanation of epidemic obesity in our society.”
--Andrew Weil, M.D., author of Spontaneous Happiness and You Can’t Afford to Get Sick
“Fat Chance is THE manifesto for our time. It reveals the real reasons we why we are a fat nation and how to cure the obesity epidemic. It gets right to the root of the problem, which is not gluttony and sloth, as the food industry, government and your neighbor would have you believe. It is because we are drowning in a sea of sugar which poisons our metabolism, shrinks our brains, and threatens our national security and global competitiveness. Every American, politician, teacher, and business leader must read this book. Our nation's future depends on it.”
--Mark Hyman, M.D., author of The Blood Sugar Solution
“Fat Chance is an extraordinary achievement. Obesity's causes, mechanisms, health consequences, and preventive approaches are all devilishly complicated, but Dr. Lustig's outstanding contribution clarifies the complexity via a writing style that's accessible, insightful, and often gently humorous. Robert Lustig is a clinician, a scientist, and an advocate — a combination that that makes him uniquely qualified to bring the condition's many facets into sharp focus. Obesity has become the world's number one health problem. Fat Chance is the book for all of us who must confront this epidemic.”
--S. Boyd Eaton, M.D., Departments of Radiology and Anthropology, Emory University, and father of the Paleo Diet movement
“Robert Lustig is neither ringing an alarm bell nor giving us a gentle, paternalistic nudge. His message is more authentic. He is a medical doctor issuing a prescription. In order to address a current cocktail of health threats, Americans must alter their diets and do so radically. Those alterations must begin with a dramatic reduction in the consumption of sugars.”
“The obesity pandemic is well documented. But what can be done about it? More importantly, when does a personal health issue rise to become a public health crisis? In Fat Chance, Dr. Robert Lustig examines the science of obesity to determine the role that our current diet (especially too much sugar and too little fiber) plays in weight gain and disease. Using that knowledge, he proposes changes in our personal, public, and governmental attitudes to combat this scourge. Fat Chance is a 'savory' read with a 'sweet' finish.”
--Sanjay Gupta, M.D., neurosurgeon and CNN medical correspondent