Wednesday Bonus: Gary Taubes Lecture

Gary Taubes gave a lecture recently at Dartmouth on fat accumulation.  If you haven’t read “Good Calories, Bad Calories,” this is a nice summary of  one major topic in the book.  (If you have read the book, enjoy the review.)  For anyone who believes losing weight is all about eating less and moving more, consider it must-see TV.

This link will take you to the lecture.

Once the page opens, click the pause button (farthest left on the player) to start the video.  Hat tip to Dr. Mike Eades for putting this out via Twitter.

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13 thoughts on “Wednesday Bonus: Gary Taubes Lecture

  1. Ayana

    I loved the video. Thank you very much. 🙂

    My pleasure. Even if you’ve read the book, it’s a good watch.

  2. Tracey

    Ahhh broadband in NZ sucks a hairy kumara – would there be a downloadable version by any chance? I…ts….t…….ak…in….g…….f…i…ve…..sss…k…nd…s…t…uh…… (it’s taking 5 seconds to play each second of the movie so sadly it’s unwatchable in my neck of the woods).

    Oh for ‘real’ broadband one day….. :\

    Thanks for the link tho!

    Sorry to hear that. If your broadband is via cable, it may depend on the number of users on your hub. Perhaps you can view it during off-hours?

  3. Brian

    I read the book and the video was good too. The most important part of the video, if you want to break it down to a short 3 or so min span (you know, from all the ADD), is from slide 44 to slide 49. The storage of fat, glycerol 3-phosphate and the subsequent power of insulin.


    That was also the part of the book — along with the explanation of homeostasis — that had me slapping myself in the forehead and experiencing a major “aha!” moment.

  4. Vin - NaturalBias

    I have the book and read the chapter on sugar which had some excellent information on fructose. I look forward to reading the rest of it as well as watching this lecture if I can manage to find a free hour to do so! Thanks for sharing it!

    Some people had a tough time absorbing the science in GCBC, but I’ve read your blog posts and I know that won’t be an issue for you. Enjoy.

  5. Felix

    Wow. He’s been getting better and better and giving this lecture. The loading up of inconvenient facts was a great change to his lecture that made it much more convincing. Probably because it overloads the rationalization part of the brain – You can only rationalize that many inconvenient facts. Plus, he got the people to laugh at the old hypothesis, which is a powerful thing. I think he should extend the inconvenient fact part even more, add some more examples and progressively amp up the ridicule. People will *only* start considering an alternative hypothesis, if they stop to believe that they have the true answer already. (That part is *totally* crucial.) You have to create a void in the head by destroying the belief that the old hypothesis explains the data by overloading the brain with data that makes it look foolish.

    It’s like this Zen story about a professor who asks a Zen master if he can teach him Zen. The master then picks up a teacup and fills it with tea until it starts flowing over and spills on the floor. He then says: The tea spills over because the cup is already full. It can’t contain new tea. You have to empty the cup first before you can fill it again. Your mind is like the full cup of tea. You have to empty it first before you can put in something new.

    I really hope that over time Gary Taubes mobilizes people to actually do the necessary trials.

    Humor helps, definitely. That’s partly why I chose to make Fat Head a comedy-documentary (being a standup comic kind of pushed me in that direction as well), and that’s why I so enjoyed Malcolm Kendrick’s book. Kendrick is literally laugh-out-loud funny.

    I get the impression Gary has made this his mission in life now. He’s brilliant, he’s determined, and he will make people pay attention sooner or later.

  6. Jeanne

    I’m glad he’s still on the road, speaking. I get the impression, from some of the comments he made, that he is a little fed up with the resistance.
    However, I was encouraged by the questions from this audience. Sounds like some of the docs are getting it.

    I think the slow reaction to his book is proof of the axiom that scientific progress is often the result of funerals. The old guard who’ve been promoting the “fat kills!” theory control the funding, they populate the peer-review boards, they write the textbooks. It’s an uphill battle, but it has to be fought. Too many people are needlessly fat and sick.

  7. Josh Goguen

    I love this lecture and some of your videos because it’s an easy way to show people what they gist is with out slamming a 600+ page book in their lap and saying, read this.

    I’m slowly creeping my way thru GCBC and I have to stop every now and then for fear of losing my mind over how bad the science has been the last 50 years.

    That was one of the side-effects of researching the film: I lost a lot of faith in the scientific community. It’s my nature to be skeptical, but I was nonetheless stunned to discover how much of “science” is driven by agendas, preconceived beliefs, and outsized egos.

    Gary knew his book wasn’t going to appeal to the general public because of the scientific density, so kudos to him for deciding his mission was to convince the white-coat crowd first. He is working on a more consumer-friendly version, but in the meantime, the videos are an easily-digestible presentation of the information.

  8. Felix

    I’ve just ordered Kendrick’s book. Yeah, the humor-part really helps getting stuff into our thick skulls. I’ll need to get my parents to watch your movie. Do you know if/when it will be available in Germany?

    Our international distributor isn’t having much luck cracking the DVD markets outside North America yet, although they’ve done better in selling TV rights. That’s the hazard of being an indie film.

    You’re going to love Kendrick’s book.

  9. Colm

    Thanks Tom, always good, fun content on your blog. We’ve linked to it a few times now.

    Links love is a beautiful thing.

  10. kyle

    Tom–one of the interesting things from your movie was the question of if the obesity epidemic is true or just a definitional change but it seems like Taubes, Eades etc. still refer to the obesity epidemic. Did this come up in any of your discussions with him/them?

    Mike Eades and I have talked about it. He thinks it’s a bigger problem than I do — I don’t deny there’s been a fattening trend, but I don’t think it qualifies as an epidemic. The change in the definition made millions of people “obese” overnight and put millions more close to a line they could cross by gaining a few pounds. They gained those few pounds and joined the statistics.

    We certainly agree that high blood sugar is a bigger epidemic. He did mention a study that concluded the epidemic is exaggerated in one of his Twitters, so maybe we’re not that far apart on the topic.

  11. Carmen

    When listening to Gary Taub’s lecture, I noticed all the statistics he cited had higher obesity figures for women. There was also mention of estrogen keeping weight down? Low-carb diets seem to work much faster and better for men – are any of the low-carb gurus discussing gender differences in how effectively low-carb diets work?

    Men have more muscle and fewer fat cells generally, so my guess would be that most diets work better (on average) for men. There are exceptions within those averages, of course. I gain weight fairly easily, but my wife doesn’t.

    I don’t have GCBC handy, but I believe there was also some discussion of how more of the fattening hormones are active after menopause.

  12. Lazar

    I’m new to this blog and it’s absolutely amazing, very informative. The lecture was great, very inspiring, I really enjoyed it.

    My story is that I started experimenting with food about 2 years ago when I eliminated chocolate from my diet. I’m still experimenting (I even went vegan for 2,5 months), and come to some conclusions

    meat-good, (the)fat-good, vegetables-good, fruits-good, cereal-bad, potato-bad, diary-bad, sweets-bad, chocolate-bad, coffee(and related products)-bad

    I still don’t know what to think about honey and legumes, though

    Just wanted to share my current thoughts

    Sorry, long post : )

    Happy experimenting. Honey and legumes are off my list. Honey because of the sugar, and legumes because of the phytotoxins.

  13. Carla

    I’ve recently discovered your blog but have been supporting these unconventional dietary views for the past year. I LOVE your blog and I LOVE this link for the video. I’m catching up on all of your posts now…

    I already read Good Calories, Bad Calories and have been looking for something to convince my family and friends to jump on this lifestyle. No one wants to read the book but they will watch the slideshow presentation.

    I also passed the link onto a surgeon friend who primarily performs gastric bypass surgeries. I’ve been talking to him about this for awhile and have been trying to get him to read the book but he is so busy. He is very open minded though and wants to learn more that will help his clients. At his practice they don’t perform the surgery on their patients until they have failed to lose the weight after a year of counseling and diet. There is hope yet for future doctors!

    Thanks for everything you have done. I’m buying the movie and having a movie night with my parents and husband when I get it! With some raw veggies and bacon wrapped shrimp to snack on… 🙂 I haven’t convinced my husband to give up his grains but he will eat what I cook!

    I’ve heard from a few people who did give up the grains after watching the film. Maybe there’s hope …

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