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That Sugar Book: This Book Will Change the Way You Think About 'Healthy' Food by Damon Gameau
He was in many ways a prophetic figure. The debate between the camps raged on for two decades until eventually the Keys’ theory won out. Fat quickly became the villain and stole the headlines, while sugar was exonerated. By the late 1970s the low-fat movement was in full swing and seen as the healthiest diet – the food industry started tailoring their products accordingly. In San Francisco, the author Gary Taubes (Good Calories, Bad Calories and Why We Get Fat) explained to me that the iconic example is low-fat yoghurt: ‘You remove the fat, add some fruit and sugar and then market it as a health product.’ Since that time and still today, the ingrained belief is: if you eat fat, you’ll get fat and increase your chances of heart disease. John Yudkin and his sugar research fell to the wayside and Yudkin himself was ridiculed, so much so that other scientists were deterred from looking into the effects of sugar.
In 1976, the Sugar Association won the Silver Anvil Award (the Oscars of the PR world) for ‘excellence in forging public opinion’. They had seemingly convinced the public and policy makers that sugar was harmless. The great dagger in the heart for society was that the US Food and Drug Administration, the government body reviewing the safety of sugar for the first time, used this report as part of their findings. As the author Gary Taubes told me, ‘They thought, how great! The science has been done for us.’ Gary went on to say, ‘The Sugar Association’s president Jack Tatem stood up at a general meeting that year and said that there is no conclusive evidence linking sugar to these diseases and that this is the lifeblood of our organisation. If anyone links these diseases to sugar, then we’re dead.’ Here is an excerpt from the Silver Anvil Awards stating why the Sugar Association won their PR award: Sugar, because of its universal usage and visibility, was a natural target for the lay nutritionists and promoters of fad foods and diets who appeared to capitalize on the concern generated by the consumer movement.
As a result, the industry faced a barrage of criticism in the media suggesting that public consumption of ever-increasing amounts of sugar was responsible for a far-ranging variety of health problems. The objectives of the program were to reach target audiences with the scientific facts concerning sugar, enlist their aid in educating the consuming public, and to establish with the broadest possible audience the safety of sugar as a food. (For more on this, see Big Sugar’s Sweet Little Lies by Cristin Kearns and Gary Taubes, on the Mother Jones website: www.motherjones.com.) Cristin informed me that this manipulation of evidence and deliberate muddying of the waters still goes on today. In 2003, when the World Health Organization (WHO) was looking to recommend that no more than 10 per cent of people’s calorie intake should come from sugar, the Sugar Association openly attacked the organisation. In a statement, their president warned: ‘We will exercise every avenue available to expose the dubious nature’ of the report and urge ‘congressional appropriators to challenge future funding’ – in other words, they would lobby the US to pull US$260 million from WHO funding.
The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet by Nina Teicholz
Albert Einstein, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, Gary Taubes, Indoor air pollution, meta analysis, meta-analysis, phenotype, placebo effect, randomized controlled trial, Robert Gordon, selection bias, the scientific method, Upton Sinclair
Mann for the Veritas Society (London: Janus, 1993), 1–17; Uffe Ravnskov, The Cholesterol Myths: Exposing the Fallacy that Saturated Fat and Cholesterol Cause Heart Disease (Washington, DC: New Trends, 2000). “What if It’s All Been a Big Fat Lie?”: Gary Taubes, “What if It’s All Been a Big Fat Lie?” New York Times Magazine, July 7, 2002. In 2007, he published a book: Gary Taubes, Good Calories, Bad Calories: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom on Diet, Weight Control, and Disease (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2007). Gina Kolata . . . called: Gina Kolata, “Carbophobia,” New York Times, October 7, 2007. Taubes wrote later on his blog: Gary Taubes, “Catching Up on Lost Time: The Ancestral Health Symposium, Food Reward, Palatability, Insulin Signaling and Carbohydrates, Kettles, Pots and Other Odds and Ends (with Some Philosophy of Science as a Special Added Attraction). Part I,” Gary Taubes (blog), September 2, 2011, accessed February 12, 2014 http://garytaubes.com/2011/09/catching-up-on-lost-time-ancestral-health-symposium-food-reward-palatability-insulin-signaling-carbohydrates-kettles-pots-other-odds-ends-part-i/.
For the low-carb band of researchers, however, these trials were the last piece of evidence they had been waiting for. Westman, Volek, and Phinney came to the reasonable conclusion that the high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet could now be recommended to the public more broadly.XXII Gary Taubes and “The Big Fat Lie” While these researchers have been ignored by most mainstream medical and nutrition communities, the one person who has successfully redirected the nutrition conversation over the past decade toward the idea that carbohydrates, not fat, are the drivers of obesity and other chronic diseases is the science journalist Gary Taubes. In 2001, he wrote a critical history of the diet-heart hypothesis for Science magazine, which was the first time a major scientific journal had published a thorough analysis of the low-fat dogma’s scientific weaknesses—at least since Pete Ahrens had ceded the battle against Ancel Keys in the mid-1980s.
Los Angeles Times declared: Marni Jameson, “A Reversal on Carbs: Fat Was Once the Devil. Now More Nutritionists Are Pointing Accusingly at Sugar and Refined Grains,” Los Angeles Times, December 20, 2010. made the case recently that the fructose found in fruit: Richard J. Johnson, The Fat Switch (Mercola.com, 2012). said Ronald M. Krauss: Ronald M. Krauss, interview with author, August 21, 2013. British Medical Journal: Gary Taubes, “The Science of Obesity: What Do We Really Know About What Makes Us Fat? An Essay by Gary Taubes,” British Medical Journal 346 (2013), doi: 10.1136/bmj.f1050. more than a few major studies: Michel de Lorgeril et al., “Mediterranean Alpha-Linolenic Acid-Rich Diet in Secondary Prevention of Coronary Heart Disease,” Lancet 343, no. 8911 (1994): 1454–1459; Jean-Pierre Després, “Bringing Jupiter Down to Earth,” Lancet 373, no. 9670 (2009): 1147–1148; J.
The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability by Lierre Keith
British Empire, car-free, clean water, cognitive dissonance, correlation does not imply causation, Drosophila, dumpster diving, en.wikipedia.org, Gary Taubes, Haber-Bosch Process, longitudinal study, McMansion, meta analysis, meta-analysis, out of africa, peak oil, placebo effect, Rosa Parks, the built environment
The metabolism of cooked fats results in by-products called ketone bodies. An elevated number of ketone bodies in the blood and urine is a state called ketosis. The levels of ketone bodies in people eating low-carb diets like the Atkins diet are an endless source of controversy. If the low-carb detractors in both the medical profession and the media knew their biology a little bit better, they’d drop it. Journalist Gary Taubes interviewed ketosis experts for his groundbreaking New York Times article, “What If It’s All Been a Big Fat Lie?” The experts “universally sided with Atkins, and suggested that maybe the medical community and the media confuse ketosis with ketoacidosis, a variant of ketosis that occurs in untreated diabetics and can be fatal.” Ketosis is a perfectly natural state. We evolved to store fat when we had plenty, and burn fat when food was slim.
Tired faded into exhaustion. Exhaustion turned to winter—always winter, never Christmas—at the marrow of me.138 Yet I kept at it for twenty years. So here’s a deal. Try living in my body for ten minutes. Then you can call me a coward. How did this happen? How did the traditional foods recognized as essential, if not sacred, since forever get demonized by our culture? That history has been documented by writers like Gary Taubes and Ron Schmid, and a full recounting is beyond the scope of this book.139 But a brief overview should help the reader understand the brute financial interests involved, and what corporate profits have cost the rest of us. Schmid titles his chapter on the subject “Betrayal.” “Betrayal,” he writes, “is a strong word, implying disloyalty, treachery, deliberately misleading behavior. My premise … is that many of our private and public institutions have betrayed our trust.”140 That betrayal has happened for the same reason that it usually does: money.
Our food supply has also been stripped of nourishing fats like butter, lard, and coconut oil, which have been replaced by the grain cartels’ cheap, rancid vegetable oils, all with the stamp of healthy, low-fat approval. Note well that those “healthy,” low-fat substances include hydrogenated oils, chemically altered fats for which there are in fact no safe levels of consumption. Alan Stone, staff director for the McGovern committee, told Gary Taubes that he had an inkling about how the food industry would respond to the new dietary goals back when the hearings were first held. An economist pulled him aside, he said, and gave him a lesson on market disincentives to healthy eating: “He said if you create a new market with a brand-new manufactured food, give it a brand-new fancy name, put a big advertising budget behind it, you can have a market all to yourself and force your competitors to catch up.
The Gospel of Food: Everything You Think You Know About Food Is Wrong by Barry Glassner
Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Gary Taubes, haute cuisine, income inequality, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Urbanism, placebo effect, profit motive, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, Saturday Night Live, stem cell, twin studies, urban sprawl, working poor
Oakes, “Suspicious Minds: Perceived Vitamin Content of Ordinary and Diet Foods with Added Fat, Sugar or Salt,” Appetite 43 (2004): 105–8. 26. Jane Brody, “High-Fat Diet: Count Calories and Think Twice,” New York Times, September 10, 2002. 27. Gary Taubes, “What If It’s All Been a Big Fat Lie?” New York Times, July 7, 2002; Sally Squires, “Into Our Stomachs and Out of Our Minds,” “Experts Declare Story Low on Saturated Facts,” and “The Skinny on Author Gary Taubes,” Washington Post, July 28, 2002, and August 27, 2002. For Taubes’s response to Squires, see Gary Taubes, “Dietary Fat, Cont’d.,” Washington Post, September 24, 2002. 28. Publication dates for the Kolata stories: “Beneﬁt . . . ,” April 25, 1995; “Amid inconclusive . . . ,” May 10, 1995; “In Public Health . . . ,” April 23, 2002; “Scientists . . . ,” April 30, 2002; “Body Heretic . . . ,” April 17, 2005. 29.
Nor is there much incentive for other journalists to challenge the conventional wisdom. Those who do typically ﬁnd themselves accused of being an enemy of public health. Green and other doubters routinely receive caustic criticism from advocacy organizations such as the Center for Science in the Public Interest and from readers who accuse them variously of ignorance, naïveté, or duplicity. After Gary Taubes, a veteran science writer, argued in a New York Times Magazine piece in 2002 that foods such as steak and cheese, “considered more or less deadly under the low-fat dogma, turn out to be comparatively benign,” and that “cutting back on the saturated fats in my diet to the levels recommended by the American Heart Association would not add more than a few months to my life,” he was decried by spokespeople for advocacy and governmental organizations, and more vehemently still, by nutrition writers.
Yet Taubes feasts away on his meat, unmoved by the pleasures on my plate.) A Lone Voice of the New York Times In the health or science section of a major American newspaper, you are about as likely to ﬁnd a vocal skeptic of standard dietary advice as you are an anticapitalist in the business section. Critics like the Los Angeles Times’s Emily Green write for the “food” and “home” sections, and freelancers such as Gary Taubes pub- False Prophets 17 lish occasional pieces in the New York Times Magazine. To my knowledge, only one full-time science and health reporter— Gina Kolata at the New York Times—has dared to dispute the doctrine of naught. Kolata’s byline appears on most of the Times pieces over the past decade that have raised doubts about the wisdom of vilifying particular foods: “Beneﬁt of Standard Low-Fat Diet Is Doubted” “Scientists Cautious on Report of Cancer from Starchy Foods” “In Public Health, Deﬁnitive Data and Results Can Be Elusive” “Amid Inconclusive Health Studies, Some Experts Advise Less Advice” “The Body Heretic: It Scorns Our Efforts” In those and other articles over the past decade, Kolata has questioned whether low-fat and low-cholesterol diets reduce the incidence of heart disease and cancer; whether eating sugar causes obesity; and whether consumption of acrylamide, a much-maligned chemical in French fries and other starchy foods, causes cancer.28 The moral of many of Kolata’s stories was summed up in an article she published in 1999.
In defense of food: an eater's manifesto by Michael Pollan
Few scientists ever look back to see where they and their paradigms might have gone astray; rather, they’re trained to keep moving forward, doing yet more science to add to the increments of our knowledge, patching up and preserving whatever of the current consensus can be preserved until the next big idea comes along. So don’t count on a scientific Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn to show up and expose the whole fat paradigm as a historical disaster. The closest thing to such a figure we have had is not a scientist but a science journalist named Gary Taubes, who for the last decade has been blowing the whistle on the science behind the low-fat campaign. In a devastating series of articles and an important new book called Good Calories, Bad Calories, Taubes has all but demolished the whole lipid hypothesis, demonstrating just how little scientific backing it had from the very beginning. Indeed. Wind the tape back to 1976, and you find plenty of reasons to doubt the lipid hypothesis even then.
Or, as I mentioned, the problem with a meat-heavy diet might not even be the meat itself but the plants that all that meat has pushed off the plate. We just don’t know. But eaters worried about their health needn’t wait for science to settle this question before deciding that it might be wise to eat more plants and less meat. This of course is precisely what the McGovern committee was trying to tell us. The zero-sum fallacy of nutrition science poses another obstacle to nailing down the effect of a single nutrient. As Gary Taubes points out, it’s difficult to design a dietary trial of something like saturated fat because as soon as you remove it from the trial diet, either you have dramatically reduced the calories in that diet or you have replaced the saturated fat with something else: other fats (but which ones?), or carbohydrates (but what kind?), or protein. Whatever you do, you’ve introduced a second variable into the experiment, so you will not be able to attribute any observed effect strictly to the absence of saturated fat.
Food Politics (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002). ———. What to Eat (New York: North Point Press, 2006). Simon, Michele. Appetite for Profit (New York: Nation Books, 2006). On the controversies surrounding modern nutrition science and its methods, the literature is endless. A good place to start appreciating the complexities, if not impossibilities, of the field is Marion Nestle’s excellent epilogue to Food Politics. Gary Taubes offers a thorough critique of both epidemiological and clinical nutrition research in Good Calories, Bad Calories. For more on the methodology of nutrition science: Belanger, C.F., C.H. Hennekens, B. Rosner et al. “The Nurses’ Health Study.” American Journal of Nursing. (1978): 1039–40. Campbell, T. Colin. “Letters to the Editor: Animal Protein and Ischemic Heart Disease.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 71.3 (2000): 849–50.
Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth About Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar--Your Brain's Silent Killers by David Perlmutter, Kristin Loberg
epigenetics, Gary Taubes, Kickstarter, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, mouse model, phenotype, publication bias, Ralph Waldo Emerson, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), stem cell
., “Low Serum Testosterone and Increased Mortality in Men with Coronary Heart Disease,” Heart 96, no. 22 (November 2010): 1821–25. Chapter 4 1. R. H. Lustig, et al., “Public Health: The Toxic Truth About Sugar,” Nature 482, no. 7383 (February 1, 2012): 27–29. 2. Gary Taubes, Good Calories, Bad Calories: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom on Diet, Weight Control, and Disease (New York: Knopf, 2007). 3. Gary Taubes, “Is Sugar Toxic?” New York Times, April 13, 2011. Available online at http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17Sugar-t.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0. 4. R. H. Lustig, “Sugar: The Bitter Truth,” video, http://youtu.be/dBnniua6-oM (2009). This is a captivating overview of sugar metabolism. 5. Gary Taubes, Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It (New York: Knopf, 2010). 6. Ibid., 134. 7. K. Yaffe, et al., “Diabetes, Glucose Control, and 9-year Cognitive Decline Among Older Adults Without Dementia,” Archives of Neurology 69, no. 9 (September 2012): 1170–75. 8.
WHETHER IT’S FROM A LOLLIPOP, Lucky Charms, or a slice of cinnamon-raisin bread, we all know that this particular carbohydrate is not the healthiest of ingredients, especially when it’s consumed in excess or comes from refined or processed forms such as high-fructose corn syrup. We also know that sugar is partly to blame for challenges with our waistlines, appetites, blood sugar control, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and insulin resistance. But what about sugar and the brain? In 2011, Gary Taubes, the author of Good Calories, Bad Calories,2 wrote an excellent piece for the New York Times titled “Is Sugar Toxic?”3 In it, he chronicles not just the history of sugar in our lives and food products, but the evolving science behind understanding how sugar affects our bodies. In particular, he showcases the work of Robert Lustig, a specialist in pediatric hormone disorders and the leading expert in childhood obesity at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, who makes a case for sugar being a “toxin” or a “poison.”
If you juice several apples and concentrate the liquid down to a 12-ounce beverage (thereby losing the fiber), lo and behold you get a blast of 85 sugar calories that could just as well have come from a soda. When that fructose hits the liver, most of it gets converted to fat and sent to our fat cells. No wonder fructose was called the most fattening carbohydrate more than forty years ago by biochemists. And when our bodies get used to performing this simple conversion with every meal, we can fall into a trap in which even our muscle tissue becomes resistant to insulin. Gary Taubes describes this domino effect brilliantly in Why We Get Fat: “So, even though fructose has no immediate effect on blood sugar and insulin, over time—maybe a few years—it is a likely cause of insulin resistance and thus the increased storage of calories as fat. The needle on our fuel-partitioning gauge will point toward fat storage, even if it didn’t start out that way.”5 The most disturbing fact about our addiction to sugar is that when we combine fructose and glucose (which we often do when we eat foods made with table sugar), the fructose might not do much to our blood sugar right away, but the accompanying glucose takes care of that—stimulating insulin secretion and alerting the fat cells to prepare for more storage.
The Case Against Sugar by Gary Taubes
Albert Einstein, British Empire, cuban missile crisis, epigenetics, Everything should be made as simple as possible, Gary Taubes, Isaac Newton, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, phenotype, pre–internet, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, selection bias, the new new thing, the scientific method, Works Progress Administration
ALSO BY GARY TAUBES Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It Good Calories, Bad Calories: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom on Diet, Weight Control, and Disease Bad Science: The Short Life and Weird Times of Cold Fusion Nobel Dreams: Power, Deceit, and the Ultimate Experiment THIS IS A BORZOI BOOK PUBLISHED BY ALFRED A. KNOPF AND ALFRED A. KNOPF CANADA Copyright © 2016 by Gary Taubes All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, New York, and in Canada by Random House of Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited, Toronto. www.aaknopf.com Knopf, Borzoi Books, and the colophon are registered trademarks of Penguin Random House LLC. Portions of Chapter 8 originally appeared in Mother Jones, (November/December 2012), as “Sweet Little Lies,” coauthored by Gary Taubes and Cristin Kearns Couzens.
Portions of Chapter 8 originally appeared in Mother Jones, (November/December 2012), as “Sweet Little Lies,” coauthored by Gary Taubes and Cristin Kearns Couzens. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Taubes, Gary, author. Title: The case against sugar / by Gary Taubes. Description: First edition. | New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2016. | Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2016018147 | ISBN 9780307701640 (hardback) | ISBN 9780451493996 (ebook) Subjects: LCSH: Sugar-free diet—Case studies. | Sugar—Physiological effect—Popular works. | Nutritionally induced diseases—Popular works. | BISAC: HEALTH & FITNESS / Nutrition. | SCIENCE / Chemistry / General. Classification: LCC RM237.85 .T38 2016 | DDC 613.2/8332—dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2016018147 Cover photograph and design by David Drummond Ebook ISBN 9780451493996 v4.1_r1 a To Gaby, for keeping the family together We are, beyond question, the greatest sugar-consumers in the world, and many of our diseases may be attributed to too free a use of sweet food.
The New York Times, May 22, 1857 I am not prepared to look back at my time here in this Parliament, doing this job, and say to my children’s generation: I’m sorry, we knew there was a problem with sugary drinks, we knew it caused disease, but we ducked the difficult decisions and we did nothing. GEORGE OSBORNE, U.K. chancellor of the exchequer, announcing a tax on sugary beverages, March 16, 2016 CONTENTS Cover Also by Gary Taubes Title Page Copyright Dedication Epigraph Author’s Note INTRODUCTION Why Diabetes? CHAPTER 1 Drug or Food? CHAPTER 2 The First Ten Thousand Years CHAPTER 3 The Marriage of Tobacco and Sugar CHAPTER 4 A Peculiar Evil CHAPTER 5 The Early (Bad) Science CHAPTER 6 The Gift That Keeps On Giving CHAPTER 7 Big Sugar CHAPTER 8 Defending Sugar CHAPTER 9 What They Didn’t Know CHAPTER 10 The If/Then Problem: I CHAPTER 11 The If/Then Problem: II EPILOGUE How Little Is Still Too Much?
Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It by Gary Taubes
ALSO BY GARY TAUBES Good Calories, Bad Calories: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom on Diet, Weight Control, and Disease Bad Science: The Short Life and Weird Times of Cold Fusion Nobel Dreams: Power, Deceit and the Ultimate Experiment THIS IS A BORZOI BOOK PUBLISHED BY ALFRED A. KNOPF Copyright © 2011 by Gary Taubes All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc., New York, and in Canada by Random House of Canada Limited, Toronto. www.aaknopf.com Knopf, Borzoi Books, and the colophon are registered trademarks of Random House, Inc. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Taubes, Gary. Why we get fat and what to do about it / Gary Taubes. p. cm. eISBN: 978-0-307-59551-5 1. Low-carbohydrate diet. 2. Weight loss. 3.
Calvin and Hobbes © 1986 Watterson. Reprinted by permission of Universal Uclick. All rights reserved. 11.2 Fatty acid/tryglyceride illustration. By Ellen Rogers. 11.3 Effects of insulin on adipose tissue photograph. Courtesy of Informa Healthcare Communications. Reprinted from Endocrinology: An Integrated Approach, Stephen Nussey and Saffron Whitehead, page 31. Copyright 2001. A Note About the Author Gary Taubes is the author of Good Calories, Bad Calories: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom on Diet, Weight Control, and Disease. He is a contributing correspondent for Science magazine, and a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation investigator in health policy research at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health. His articles about science, medicine, and health have appeared in Discover, The Atlantic, and The New York Times Magazine, among other publications.
The Cancer Chronicles: Unlocking Medicine's Deepest Mystery by George Johnson
Atul Gawande, Cepheid variable, Columbine, dark matter, discovery of DNA, double helix, Drosophila, epigenetics, Gary Taubes, Harvard Computers: women astronomers, Isaac Newton, Magellanic Cloud, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, mouse model, Murray Gell-Mann, phenotype, profit motive, stem cell
., “Low-Fat Dietary Pattern and Risk of Invasive Breast Cancer: The Women’s Health Initiative Randomized Controlled Dietary Modification Trial,” JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association 295, no. 6 (February 8, 2006): 629–42; [http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/295/6/629] and Shirley A. Beresford et al., “Low-Fat Dietary Pattern and Risk of Colorectal Cancer.” For a summary, see “The Nutrition Source: Low-Fat Diet Not a Cure-All,” Harvard School of Public Health website. [http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/nutrition-news/low-fat] 27. sugar may pose a greater danger: Gary Taubes, Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health (New York: Vintage, 2008); and Gary Taubes, Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It (New York: Knopf, 2010). 28. Obesity … has joined the short list: See, for example, “AACR Cancer Progress Report,” 2012, American Association for Cancer Research website. [http://cancerprogressreport.org] 29. caloric restriction: The mechanisms are complex, involving insulin regulation and other cellular processes.
I am also grateful to the Keystone Symposia and the Society for Developmental Biology for accommodating me at some of their events. Just as I was getting my boots wet, David Corcoran at The New York Times enthusiastically commissioned and published two of my early reports. Thanks to him and other colleagues—Christie Aschwanden, Siri Carpenter, Jennie Dusheck, Jeanne Erdmann, Dan Fagin, Louisa Gilder, Amy Harmon, Erika Check Hayden, Kendall Powell, Julie Rehmeyer, Lara Santoro, Gary Taubes, and Margaret Wertheim—for their reactions and advice on the manuscript. Several recent alumni of the Santa Fe Science Writing Workshop read early versions, offering their good sense and expertise: April Gocha, Cristina Russo, Natalie Webb, Shannon Weiman, and Celerino Abad-Zapatero. Bonnie Lee La Madeleine and Mara Vatz helped with library research and the endless checking of facts. The manuscript was in constant flux and any errors that survive are my own.
In any case it was low in refined carbohydrates and sugar—energy-packed foods that hit the blood so quickly, causing spikes in insulin and potentially disrupting so many biochemical cascades. Toward the end of our interview Riboli pulled from his bookcase a binder of charts. “At the end of 1800 the usual consumption of sugar in most European countries was two to three kilograms per person per year,” he said. “Now it is between fifty and sixty kilograms.” I pictured a hundred-pound pile of sugar and eating it over the course of twelve months. I was reminded of the journalist Gary Taubes, who argues that carbs and sugar, rather than dietary fat and overeating, drive the modern obesity epidemic and the damage it causes, including cancer, by skewing how the body uses energy. Riboli and his colleagues suspect that all energy-rich foods are a problem. Although they are high in calories they can leave us unsated and wanting more. “If I go and buy a burger or a sandwich, most often it contains between five hundred fifty and six hundred kilocalories,” he said.
Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All by Michael Shellenberger
Albert Einstein, Asperger Syndrome, Bernie Sanders, Bob Geldof, carbon footprint, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, clean water, Corn Laws, coronavirus, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, cuban missile crisis, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, energy transition, failed state, Gary Taubes, global value chain, Google Earth, hydraulic fracturing, index fund, Indoor air pollution, indoor plumbing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet Archive, land tenure, Live Aid, LNG terminal, long peace, manufacturing employment, mass immigration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, Potemkin village, purchasing power parity, Ralph Nader, renewable energy transition, Steven Pinker, supervolcano, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trade route, union organizing, WikiLeaks, Y2K
She reported on a body of evidence, particularly a series of clinical trials conducted in the 1950s and 1960s, which challenge the nutrition consensus that diets high in animal fats result in heart disease and obesity. The evidence suggested there was either no effect, or that diets high in saturated fats might be beneficial. “There are now at least seventeen systematic reviews looking at the clinical trials and nearly all conclude that saturated fats have no impact on mortality,” she explained. Teicholz’s book built on a significant body of research unearthed by science journalist Gary Taubes, whose 2007 book, Good Calories, Bad Calories, was one of the first to challenge the anti-fat conventional wisdom. While writing for Science and The New York Times Magazine in the early 2000s, Taubes unearthed studies finding that a high-fat diet would lead to weight loss and improvements in heart disease risk factors compared to the kind of low-fat, plant-rich diets that the American Heart Association and the U.S. government had been advising us to eat since the 1960s and 1980s, respectively.
“A friend of mine had an experience a few years ago where two young guys came and asked if they could take footage for a documentary about farm life,” a farmer told Foer. “Seemed like nice guys. But then they edited it to make it look like the birds were being abused. . . . Things were taken out of context.”65 “When I started this research in the 1990s, and was looking at dietary salt,” said science journalist Gary Taubes, “I interviewed a Harvard nutritionist who told me about going into nutrition science as a vegetarian and student at Berkeley in the late sixties so he could demonstrate to people that his way of eating was correct.”66 Foer notes that PETA activists used the former head of the IPCC Rajendra Pachauri as a scientific authority on climate change because “he argues that vegetarianism is the diet that everyone in the developed world should consume, purely on environmental grounds.”67 Sometimes Foer condemns animal farming for reasons that appear to have more to do with anti-capitalist ideology than the environment.
Johnson, “Temple Grandin digs in on the practical side of what animals want.” 61. Foer, Eating Animals, 213. 62. Ibid. 63. Temple Grandin and Catherine Johnson, Animals Make Us Human: Creating the Best Life for Animals (Boston: Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt, 2009), 297. 64. Tom Levitt, “Jonathan Safran Foer: If You Care About Climate Change, Cut Out Meat,” Huffington Post, October 3, 2019, https://www.huffpost.com. 65. Foer, Eating Animals, 189–96. 66. Gary Taubes in discussion with the author, November 1, 2019. 67. Foer, Eating Animals, 211. 68. Ibid., 192. 69. Ibid., 189–190. 70. Michael Pollan, The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (New York: Penguin, 2007), 361–362. 71. Foer, Eating Animals, 97. 72. Robert DuBroff and Michel de Lorgeril, “Fat or fiction: The diet-heart hypothesis,” British Medical Journal: Evidence-Based Medicine, May 29, 2019, https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjebm-2019-111180. 73.
Good Calories, Bad Calories: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom on Diet, Weight Control, and Disease by Gary Taubes
Albert Einstein, California gold rush, cognitive dissonance, collaborative editing, Drosophila, Everything should be made as simple as possible, experimental subject, Gary Taubes, invention of agriculture, John Snow's cholera map, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, phenotype, placebo effect, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, Robert Gordon, selection bias, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, twin studies, unbiased observer, Upton Sinclair
Contents Title Page Dedication Prologue A Brief History of Banting Part One THE FAT-CHOLESTEROL HYPOTHESIS 1 The Eisenhower Paradox 2 The Inadequacy of Lesser Evidence 3 Creation of Consensus 4 The Greater Good Part Two THE CARBOHYDRATE HYPOTHESIS 5 Diseases of Civilization 6 Diabetes and the Carbohydrate Hypothesis 7 Fiber 8 The Science of the Carbohydrate Hypothesis 9 Triglycerides and the Complications of Cholesterol 10 The Role of Insulin 11 The Significance of Diabetes 12 Sugar 13 Dementia, Cancer, and Aging Part Three OBESITY AND THE REGULATION OF WEIGHT 14 The Mythology of Obesity 15 Hunger 16 Paradoxes 17 Conservation of Energy 18 Fattening Diets 19 Reducing Diets 20 Unconventional Diets 21 The Carbohydrate Hypothesis I: Fat Metabolism 22 The Carbohydrate Hypothesis, II: Insulin 23 The Fattening Carbohydrate Disappears 24 The Carbohydrate Hypothesis III: Hunger and Satiety Epilogue Notes Bibliography Acknowledgments Illustration Credits A Note About the Author Also by Gary Taubes Copyright FOR SLOANE AND HARRY, MY FAMILY Prologue A BRIEF HISTORY OF BANTING Farinaceous and vegetable foods are fattening, and saccharine matters are especially so…. In sugar-growing countries the negroes and cattle employed on the plantations grow remarkably stout while the cane is being gathered and the sugar extracted. During this harvest the saccharine juices are freely consumed; but when the season is over, the superabundant adipose tissue is gradually lost.
Reprinted from Obesity Symposium, Adadevoh. “Obesity in the African.” 60–73. 1974, with permission from Elsevier. Chapter 21 Photographs of lipodystrophy with lower-body obesity. Die Krankheiten des Stoffwechsels und ihre Behandlung. Copyright 1931, page 186, Die Magersucht, Grafe, Figure 20 (Photograph of O. B. Meyer). With kind permission of Springer Science and Business Media. A NOTE ABOUT THE AUTHOR Gary Taubes is a correspondent for Science magazine. His articles about science, medicine, and health have appeared in Discover, The Atlantic Monthly, and The New York Times Magazine, among other publications. 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 Pan American Health Organization, the American Institute of Physics, and the American Physical Society.
His writing was selected for The Best American Science Writing 2002 and The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2000 and 2003. He is the author of Bad Science: The Short Life and Weird Times of Cold Fusion, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award, and Nobel Dreams: Power, Deceit and the Ultimate Experiment. He was educated at Harvard, Stanford, and Columbia. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and their son. ALSO BY GARY TAUBES Bad Science: The Short Life and Weird Times of Cold Fusion Nobel Dreams: Power, Deceit and the Ultimate Experiment *1 When the first American edition of The Physiology of Taste was published in 1865, it was entitled The Handbook of Dining, or Corpulence and Leanness Scientifically Considered, perhaps to capitalize on the Banting craze. Return to text. *2 Endocrinology is the study of the glands that secrete hormones and the hormones themselves.
Massive: The Missing Particle That Sparked the Greatest Hunt in Science by Ian Sample
Albert Einstein, Arthur Eddington, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, Donald Trump, double helix, Ernest Rutherford, Gary Taubes, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, John Conway, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, Menlo Park, Murray Gell-Mann, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Stephen Hawking, uranium enrichment, Yogi Berra
It enticed Japanese physicists—and others looking on—with the tantalizing prospect of playing a serious role in a machine that could bag the best discoveries before the SSC was even up and running. Lederman could only raise an eyebrow at Rubbia’s numbers. He found it bizarre that CERN was claiming it could build the LHC so quickly and for such a small amount of money.5 He wondered if Rubbia was talking in terms of 1940 dollars. Writing in Discover magazine in July 1985, the U.S. journalist Gary Taubes claimed that “some scientists suspect that [Rubbia’s] dubious numbers are bluffs to force the US into collaboration [with CERN].” Soon, American particle physicists were facing criticisms closer to home from researchers working in other areas of physics. The Department of Energy proposed the SSC on the promise that it would be built with “new money” and support from outside nations. But soon after the project was announced, $18 million was diverted from the scrapped Isabelle collider project at Brookhaven National Laboratory to get work started on the SSC.
David Jackson, Maury Tigner, and Stanley Wojcicki, Scientif ic American, March 1986. 3 See “White House, DOE Announce Support for SSC,” in Ferminews, the Fermilab in-house journal, February 13, 1987. 4 See Fermilab: Physics, the Frontier and Megascience, by Lillian Hoddeson, Adrienne W. Kolb, and Catherine Westfall, University of Chicago Press, 2008. 5 Lederman’s thoughts on Rubbia’s selling of the LHC appear in “Collision over the Supercollider,” by Gary Taubes, Discover, July 1985. 6 For the comments attributed to James P. Sethna, see Krumhansl’s obituary (“James Krumhansl, 84, Opponent of Supercollider”), New York Times, May 22, 2004. 7 Krumhansl’s prediction is covered in the Physics Today “Washington Report,” August 1987, 50. 8 Secretary Herrington elaborated on this point in a hearing before the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Energy Research and Development of the Committee on Science, Space and Technology held on March 17 and 18, 1987.
The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman by Timothy Ferriss
23andMe, airport security, Albert Einstein, Black Swan, Buckminster Fuller, carbon footprint, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, correlation does not imply causation, Dean Kamen, game design, Gary Taubes, index card, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, life extension, lifelogging, Mahatma Gandhi, microbiome, p-value, Parkinson's law, Paul Buchheit, placebo effect, Productivity paradox, publish or perish, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, stem cell, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, Thorstein Veblen, Vilfredo Pareto, wage slave, William of Occam
Though indebted to hundreds of people, I wish to thank a few of them up-front, here listed in alphabetical order (still more in the acknowledgments): Alexandra Carmichael Andrew Hyde Ann Miura-ko PhD Barry Ross Ben Goldacre MD Brian MacKenzie Casey Viator Chad Fowler Charles Poliquin Charlie Hoehn Chris Masterjohn Chris Sacca Club H Fitness Craig Buhler Daniel Reda Dave Palumbo David Blaine Dean Karnazes Dorian Yates Doug McGuff MD Dr. John Berardi Dr. Justin Mager Dr. Lee Wolfer Dr. Mary Dan Eades Dr. Michael Eades Dr. Ross Tucker Dr. Seth Roberts Dr. Stuart McGill Dr. Tertius Kohn Dr. Timothy Noakes Dustin Curtis Ellington Darden PhD Eric Foster Gary Taubes Gray Cook Jaime Cevallos JB Benna Jeffrey B. Madoff Joe DeFranco Joe Polish John Romano Kelly Starrett Marie Forleo Mark Bell Mark Cheng Marque Boseman Marty Gallagher Matt Brzycki Matt Mullenweg Michael Ellsberg Michael Levin Mike Mahler Mike Maples Nate Green Neil Strauss Nicole Daedone Nina Hartley Pavel Tsatsouline Pete Egoscue Phil Libin Ramit Sethi Ray Cronise Scott Jurek Sean Bonner Tallulah Sulis Terry Laughlin The Dexcom Team (especially Keri Weindel) The OneTaste Team The Kiwi Thomas Billings Tracy Reifkind Trevor Claiborne Violet Blue William Llewellyn Yuri V.
Food Porn Daily (http://www.foodporndaily.com) Need some inspiration for your cheat day? Food Porn Daily provides a delicious and artery-blocking cornucopia of bad (but tasty) eating. Save it for Saturday. Gout: The Missing Chapter (http://www.fourhourbody.com/gout) Concerned about protein intake and gout? Read this missing chapter from Good Calories, Bad Calories, graciously provided by stunning science writer Gary Taubes. It might change your mind. End of Chapter Notes 1. Okay, I did have a few cold ones in Munich. It was one-third the cost of bottled water. 2. See the “Living Forever” chapter for more on this. THE SLOW-CARB DIET II The Finer Points and Common Questions As to methods, there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods.
Now, on to my interpretation of the data: If you don’t have a serious preexisting medical condition, the amount of protein I prescribe should not hurt you. There is no compelling evidence to support the protein-hurts-your-kidneys claim. This is what Michael Eades MD calls a “vampire myth” because it just refuses to die, despite a lack of evidence. Gout? Gout is usually blamed on purines and therefore protein, so those diagnosed with it, like my mother, will be put on low-protein, low-legume diets. I ascribe to Gary Taubes’s interpretation of the scientific literature, which indicates that fructose (and therefore sucrose, table sugar) and other factors are more likely to be causal agents of gout. Phosphoric acid in carbonated drinks is also to be avoided. My mother’s uric acid levels normalized on the Slow-Carb Diet, despite much higher protein intake. She continued to take low-dose allopurinol during the diet, and the food was the only variable that changed.
Think Like a Rocket Scientist by Ozan Varol
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, Andrew Wiles, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Arthur Eddington, autonomous vehicles, Ben Horowitz, Cal Newport, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, dark matter, delayed gratification, different worldview, discovery of DNA, double helix, Elon Musk, fear of failure, functional fixedness, Gary Taubes, George Santayana, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Inbox Zero, index fund, Isaac Newton, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Johannes Kepler, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, late fees, lateral thinking, lone genius, longitudinal study, Louis Pasteur, low earth orbit, Marc Andreessen, Mars Rover, meta analysis, meta-analysis, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, multiplanetary species, obamacare, Occam's razor, out of africa, Peter Thiel, Pluto: dwarf planet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Upton Sinclair, Vilfredo Pareto, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce, Yogi Berra
The history of science, as clinician and author Chris Kresser says, “is the history of most scientists being wrong about most things most of the time.”38 Aristotle’s ideas were falsified by Galileo’s, whose ideas were replaced by Newton’s, whose ideas were modified by Einstein. And Einstein’s own theory of relativity broke down at the subatomic level—in the imperceptible land of tiny particles like quarks, gluons, and hadrons—where quantum field theory now rules. We were certain about each of these facts—until we were not. The “here today, gone tomorrow” nature of scientific theory is simply its “natural rhythm,” Gary Taubes writes.39 Although scientists dedicate their lives to cross-examining their own ideas, this mode of operation runs counter to human conditioning. In politics, for example, consistency trumps accuracy. When politicians admit to changing their minds—because the facts have changed or a better argument persuaded them—they are castigated by the opposition for flip-flopping. They are dragged through the mud for being inconsistent, indecisive, and generally unfit to be the hard, ideological person suitable for elected office.
Wason, “On the Failure to Eliminate Hypotheses in a Conceptual Task,” Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 12, no. 3 (July 1, 1960): 129–140, https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/86db/64c600fe59acfc48fd22bc8484485d5e7337.pdf. 36. “Peter Wason,” obituary, (London) Telegraph, April 22, 2003, www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/1428079/Peter-Wason.html. 37. Alan Lightman, Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine (New York: Pantheon Books, 2018). 38. Chris Kresser, “Dr. Chris Shade on Mercury Toxicity,” Revolution Health Radio, May 21, 2019, https://chriskresser.com/dr-chris-shade-on-mercury-toxicity. 39. Gary Taubes, “Do We Really Know What Makes Us Healthy?,” New York Times, September 16, 2007, www.nytimes.com/2007/09/16/magazine/16epidemiology-t.html. 40. Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark (New York: Random House, 1995; reprint Ballantine, 1997), 211. 41. Vox, “Why Elon Musk Says We’re Living in a Simulation,” video, YouTube, uploaded August 15, 2016, www.youtube.com/watch?
Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice From the Best in the World by Timothy Ferriss
23andMe, A Pattern Language, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Bayesian statistics, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, corporate social responsibility, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, dematerialisation, don't be evil, double helix, effective altruism, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, family office, fear of failure, Gary Taubes, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, Google Hangouts, Gödel, Escher, Bach, haute couture, helicopter parent, high net worth, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, income inequality, index fund, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kevin Kelly, Lao Tzu, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, Mikhail Gorbachev, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Naomi Klein, non-fiction novel, Peter Thiel, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Saturday Night Live, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart contracts, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, Tesla Model S, too big to fail, Turing machine, uber lyft, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator
In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life? I’m now a zealous low-carb eater. I quit sugar as well as high-carb foods like flour, rice, and starchy vegetables. At last, my sweet tooth has vanished—such a relief! Changing that habit made an enormous difference in my health and also in my sense of well-being. I was persuaded to adopt a low-carb approach to eating when I read Gary Taubes’ book Why We Get Fat. I read that book, and overnight, I changed just about everything about the way I eat. For instance, these days, my daily breakfast is three scrambled eggs (with the yolks) and some form of meat (bacon, turkey, whatever’s in the fridge). What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love? I’m a giant raving fan of children’s literature and young-adult literature.
He is recognized for his work on DigiCash, Mojo Nation, ZRTP, “Zooko’s Triangle,” Tahoe-LAFS, BLAKE2, and SPHINCS. He is also the founder of Least Authority, which offers an affordable, ethical, usable, and lasting data storage solution. What is the book (or books) you’ve given most as a gift, and why? Or what are one to three books that have greatly influenced your life? Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes. When it came out ten years ago, it was the definitive study of the history and science of human nutrition in the 20th century. As well as exploring history, it became part of history itself, since a subsequent generation of nutrition researchers have been forced to take sides for or against the thesis of this book. Unfortunately, most of the people I’ve given copies to didn’t get much from it!
Numbers Rule Your World: The Hidden Influence of Probability and Statistics on Everything You Do by Kaiser Fung
American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Andrew Wiles, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, business cycle, call centre, correlation does not imply causation, cross-subsidies, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, edge city, Emanuel Derman, facts on the ground, fixed income, Gary Taubes, John Snow's cholera map, moral hazard, p-value, pattern recognition, profit motive, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, statistical model, the scientific method, traveling salesman
For a discussion of randomized experiments, see the classic reference Statistics for Experimenters by George Box, Stuart Hunter, and Bill Hunter; for observational studies, consult the monograph by Paul Rosenbaum and Don Rubin’s Matched Sampling for Causal Effects for constructive points of view; and to comprehend the limitations, study the papers of David Freedman, who was a professor of statistics at Berkeley. The ongoing discussion among epidemiologists on the imperfection of their statistical methods offers a practical perspective on causality to supplement the aforementioned academic references. Gary Taubes, a science reporter, offers the best starting point in “Epidemiology Faces Its Limits,” published in Science, and for more, see commentaries by Erik von Elm (in the British Medical Journal), Dimitrios Trichopoulos (in Sozial und Praventivmedizin), Sharon Schwartz (in the International Journal of Epidemiology), and Kenneth Rothman (in the American Journal of Public Health). Alfred Evans gives the subject a book-length treatment in Causation and Disease.
Think Like a Freak by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner
Albert Einstein, Anton Chekhov, autonomous vehicles, Barry Marshall: ulcers, call centre, Cass Sunstein, colonial rule, Edward Glaeser, Everything should be made as simple as possible, food miles, Gary Taubes, income inequality, Internet Archive, Isaac Newton, medical residency, Metcalfe’s law, microbiome, prediction markets, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, Scramble for Africa, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Tony Hsieh, transatlantic slave trade, éminence grise
Glaeser, “Racial Differences in Life Expectancy: The Impact of Salt, Slavery, and Selection,” unpublished manuscript, Harvard University and NBER, March 1, 2005; and Katherine M. Barghaus, David M. Cutler, Roland G. Fryer Jr., and Edward L. Glaeser, “An Empirical Examination of Racial Differences in Health,” unpublished manuscript, Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania, and NBER, November 2008. For further background, see: Gary Taubes, “Salt, We Misjudged You,” The New York Times, June 3, 2012; Nicholas Bakalar, “Patterns: Less Salt Isn’t Always Better for the Heart,” The New York Times, November 29, 2011; Martin J. O’Donnell et al., “Urinary Sodium and Potassium Excretion and Risk of Cardiovascular Events,” The Journal of the American Medical Association 306, no. 20 (November 23/30, 2011); Michael H. Alderman, “Evidence Relating Dietary Sodium to Cardiovascular Disease,” Journal of the American College of Nutrition 25, no. 3 (2006); Jay Kaufman, “The Anatomy of a Medical Myth,” Is Race “Real”?
Collider by Paul Halpern
Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, anthropic principle, cosmic microwave background, cosmological constant, dark matter, Ernest Rutherford, Gary Taubes, gravity well, horn antenna, index card, Isaac Newton, Magellanic Cloud, pattern recognition, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Solar eclipse in 1919, statistical model, Stephen Hawking
., The Rise of the Standard Model: Particle Physics in the 1960s and 1970s (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), pp. 356-357. 11 M. Bodnarczuk, ed., “Reflections on the Fifteen-Foot Bubble Chamber at Fermilab” (Batavia, IL: Fermilab, 1988). 12 Burton Richter, “The Rise of Colliding Beams,” in Lillian Hoddeson et al., The Rise of the Standard Model, p. 263. 13 Crease and Mann, The Second Creation, p. 345. 14 Dieter Haidt, “The Discovery of the Weak Neutral Currents,” AAPPS Bulletin 15, no. 1 (February 2005): 49. 15 Gary Taubes, “Carlo Rubbia and the Discovery of the W and the Z,” Physics World (January 9, 2003): 23. 16 Daniel Denegri, “When CERN Saw the End of the Alphabet,” CERN Courier 43, no. 4 (May 1, 2003): 30. 17 “Europe 3, U.S. Not Even Z-Zero,” New York Times, June 6, 1983, p. A16. 18 Boyce D. McDaniel and Albert Silverman, Robert Rathbun Wilson (1915-2000), Biographical Memoirs, vol. 80 (Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2001), p. 12. 19 Herwig Schopper, telex to Leon Lederman, July 5, 2003, Fermilab Archives. 7.
Beyond Bigger Leaner Stronger: The Advanced Guide to Building Muscle, Staying Lean, and Getting Strong by Michael Matthews
How often you should refeed depends partially on your body, but most people don’t need to do it more than once every 5 to 7 days, which is my general recommendation. I also recommend that you do it in the middle of your training week. The increase in carbs will give you a nice boost of strength in the gym. (I like to do it before back or legs to help with deadlifting or squatting.) THE DEAL WITH LOW-CARB DIETING The hysterical crusade against carbohydrates has reached a frantic pitch. From the scientifically bankrupt theories of guys like Gary Taubes to the trendy low-carb diets like Paleo, Zone, Dukan, and so forth, the carbohydrate is now the victim of the same level of persecution that saturated fat endured for decades. Well, we’ve come to learn that saturated fats aren’t the evil heart killers they were made out to be (excluding the processed form known as trans fat, which is known to increase risk of heart disease, among other issues).84 85 If we’re to believe the leaders of the Carbohydrate Inquisition, this molecule will blow up our blood sugar levels, break our metabolism, force us to be fat, give us diabetes and many other diseases, and, well, just generally turn us into hungry, horrible people.
Rocket Men: The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 and the Astronauts Who Made Man's First Journey to the Moon by Robert Kurson
I’m grateful to these people who read early drafts of Rocket Men or have otherwise encouraged and supported my writing: Bill Adee, Dick Babcock, Andrew Beresin, Gabrielle Brussel, Andy Cichon, Josh Davis, Kevin Davis, Katelynd Duncan, Jonathan Eig, Joe Epstein, Robert Feder, Brad and Jane Ginsberg, David Granger, Peter Griffin, Rich Hanus, Elliott Harris, Miles Harvey, Neil Hirshman, John Jacobs, Jon Karp, Len and Pam Kasper, Jennie Lee, Melody Margolis, Gil Netter, Jason Steigman, Gary Taubes, Randi and Rob Valerious, Mark Warren, and Bill Zehme. Thanks, also, to Ken Andre, Dr. Sanford Barr, Stu Berman, Mitch Cassman, Dr. Michael Davidson, Dr. Samuel Goldman, Jordan Heller, Dr. Nolen Levine, Mitch Lopata, Donna Moy, Scott Novoselsky, John Packel, Tracy Patis, Victor, Sally, and Virginia Reyes, Scott Rosenzweig, Kevin Sanders, Dr. Dan Schwartz, and Dan Warsh. Ryan Holiday and Brent Underwood of Brass Check Marketing have been wonderful promoters for my books and have a very exciting company on their hands.
The End of Doom: Environmental Renewal in the Twenty-First Century by Ronald Bailey
3D printing, additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Asilomar, autonomous vehicles, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, Climatic Research Unit, Commodity Super-Cycle, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Attenborough, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, demographic transition, disruptive innovation, diversified portfolio, double helix, energy security, failed state, financial independence, Gary Taubes, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, Induced demand, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, knowledge economy, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Naomi Klein, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, pattern recognition, peak oil, Peter Calthorpe, phenotype, planetary scale, price stability, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, Stewart Brand, Tesla Model S, trade liberalization, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, women in the workforce, yield curve
Wall Street Journal, May 4, 2012. online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303916904577377841427001840; see also S. Stanley Young and Alan Karr, “Deming, Data and Observational Studies: A Process out of Control and Needing Fixing.” Significance, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society 8.3 (September 2011): 116–120. errorstatistics.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/young-karr-obs-study-problem.pdf. publish only studies with positive results: Gary Taubes, “Epidemiology Faces Its Limits.” Science 269.5221 (July 14, 1995), 169. “Investigators who find”: Taubes, “Epidemiology Faces Its Limits,” 169. little thing from a big thing: Taubes, “Epidemiology Faces Its Limits,” 164. “only primitive tools”: Samuel Shapiro, “Looking to the 21st Century: Have We Learned from Our Mistakes, or Are We Doomed to Compound Them?” Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety 13.4 (April 2004), 260.
Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time by Michael Shermer
Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, anesthesia awareness, anthropic principle, butterfly effect, cognitive dissonance, complexity theory, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, cosmological principle, discovery of DNA, false memory syndrome, Gary Taubes, invention of the wheel, Isaac Newton, laissez-faire capitalism, Laplace demon, life extension, moral panic, Murray Gell-Mann, out of africa, Richard Feynman, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Silicon Valley, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions
Sexual energy guru Wilhelm Reich called his theory of Orgonomy "a revolution in biology and psychology comparable to the Copernican Revolution" (in Gardner 1952, p. 259). I have a thick file of papers and letters from obscure authors filled with such outlandish claims (I call it the "Theories of Everything" file). Scientists sometimes make this mistake, too, as we saw at 1:00 P.M., on March 23, 1989, when Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann yield a press conference to announce to the world that they had made cold nuclear fusion work. Gary Taubes's excellent book about the cold fusion debacle, appropriately named Bad Science (1993), thoroughly examines the implications of this incident. Maybe fifty years of physics will be proved wrong by one experiment, but don't throw out your furnace until that experiment has been replicated. The moral is that the more extraordinary the claim, the more extraordinarily well-tested the evidence must be. 7.
To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism by Evgeny Morozov
3D printing, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Automated Insights, Berlin Wall, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive bias, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, Dava Sobel, disintermediation, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, frictionless, future of journalism, game design, Gary Taubes, Google Glasses, illegal immigration, income inequality, invention of the printing press, Jane Jacobs, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, license plate recognition, lifelogging, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, moral panic, Narrative Science, Nelson Mandela, Nicholas Carr, packet switching, PageRank, Parag Khanna, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, pets.com, placebo effect, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Thaler, Ronald Coase, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, smart meter, social graph, social web, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, urban decay, urban planning, urban sprawl, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks
Crawford, “The Computerized Academy,” The New Atlantis (summer 2005), http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/the-computerized-academy. 249 “data is now helping some”: quoted in Bobbie Johnson, “Mendeley Injects Some Pace into Academia with Fast, Big Data,” GigaOM, August 6, 2012, http://gigaom.com/europe/mendeley-injects-some-pace-into-academia-with-fast-big-data. 249 A recent Wall Street Journal investigation: Gautam Naik, “Journals’ Ranking System Roils Research,” Wall Street Journal, August 24, 2012, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444082904577609313125942378.html. 249 In an April 2012 post: Phil Davis, “The Emergence of a Citation Cartel,” The Scholarly Kitchen, April 10, 2012, http://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2012/04/10/emergence-of-a-citation-cartel. 251 “the nutrient composition of the diet”: Gary Taubes, “What Really Makes Us Fat,” New York Times, June 30, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/01/opinion/sunday/what-really-makes-us-fat.html. 251 Sociologist of science Gyorgy Scrinis calls such a tendency: Gyorgy Scrinis, “Nutritionism and Functional Foods,” in The Philosophy of Food, ed. David Kaplan (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012); and Scrinis, “On the Ideology of Nutritionism,” Gastronomica 8, no.1 (February 2008): 39–48. 252 “shift to nutrient-level language”: ibid. 252 “enabled the lay public to interpret”: ibid. 252 “nutrients, food components, or biomarkers”: ibid. 253 Bruno Latour distinguishes between “matters of facts”: for a distinction between “matters of fact” and “matters of concern,” see Bruno Latour, “Why Has Critique Run out of Steam?
The Rise and Fall of Modern Medicine by M. D. James le Fanu M. D.
Barry Marshall: ulcers, clean water, cuban missile crisis, discovery of penicillin, double helix, experimental subject, Gary Taubes, Isaac Newton, lateral thinking, meta analysis, meta-analysis, rising living standards, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), stem cell, telerobotics, The Design of Experiments, the scientific method, V2 rocket
See also Geoffrey Rose, ‘The Population Mean Predicts the Number of Deviant Individuals’, BMJ, 1990, Vol. 301, pp. 1031–5; Geoffrey Rose, The Strategy of Preventive Medicine (Oxford: OUP, 1992); Bruce Charlton, ‘A Critique of Geoffrey Rose’s “Population Strategy for Preventive Medicine”’, JRSM, 1995, Vol. 88, pp. 607–8. 51.Marcia Angell, ‘Clinical Research: What Should the Public Believe?’, NEJM, 1994, Vol. 331, pp. 189–90. 52.Gary Taubes, ‘Epidemiology Faces its Limits’, Science, 1995, Vol.269, pp. 164–6. 3: The Unsolved Problem: The Mysteries of Biology Revisited REFERENCES 1.Y. Ben-Shlomo, ‘Dietary Fat and Epidemiology of Multiple Sclerosis’, Neuroepidemiology, 1992, Vol. 11, pp. 214–25. 2.D. A. S. Compston, ‘The Dissemination of Multiple Sclerosis’, Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of London, 1990, Vol. 24, pp. 207–19.
The Barbell Prescription: Strength Training for Life After 40 by Jonathon Sullivan, Andy Baker
complexity theory, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, experimental subject, Gary Taubes, indoor plumbing, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral panic, phenotype, publication bias, randomized controlled trial, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), the scientific method, Y Combinator
National Vital Statistics Report 2002; Ogden et al., “Prevalence of Obesity”; Park et al., “The Metabolic Syndrome,” 427-436. 8. Omran, “The Epidemiological Transition,” 509-538; Mackenbach, “The Epidemiologic Transition Theory,” 329-331. 9. Park et al., “The Metabolic Syndrome,” 427-436; Johannson and Sundquist, “Change in Lifestyle Factors,” 1073-1080; van Dam et al., “Combined Impact of Lifestyle Factors.” 10. Gary Taubes, Good Calories, Bad Calories. 11. Penninx et al., “Metabolic Syndrome and Physical Decline,” 96-102. 12. Rana et al., “Cardiovascular Metabolic Syndrome,” 218-232; International Diabetes Federation, “IDF Consensus Worldwide Definition.” 13. Ford, Giles, and Dietz, “Prevalence of Metabolic Syndrome,” 356–359. 14. Rana et al., “Cardiovascular Metabolic Syndrome,” 218-232. 15. Monteiro and Azevedo, “Chronic Inflammation in Obesity,” 228-32. 16.
Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Air France Flight 447, Andrei Shleifer, banking crisis, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, business cycle, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, commoditize, creative destruction, credit crunch, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, discrete time, double entry bookkeeping, Emanuel Derman, epigenetics, financial independence, Flash crash, Gary Taubes, George Santayana, Gini coefficient, Henri Poincaré, high net worth, hygiene hypothesis, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, informal economy, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, Jane Jacobs, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, knowledge economy, Lao Tzu, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, mandelbrot fractal, Marc Andreessen, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, money market fund, moral hazard, mouse model, Myron Scholes, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, placebo effect, Ponzi scheme, principal–agent problem, purchasing power parity, quantitative trading / quantitative ﬁnance, Ralph Nader, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, Republic of Letters, Ronald Reagan, Rory Sutherland, selection bias, Silicon Valley, six sigma, spinning jenny, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, stochastic process, stochastic volatility, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, The Great Moderation, the new new thing, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, transaction costs, urban planning, Vilfredo Pareto, Yogi Berra, Zipf's Law
Benefits of stress: For the different effects of the two types of stressors, short and chronic, Dhabar (2009); for the benefits of stress on boosting immunity and cancer resistance, Dhabhar et al. (2010), Dhabhar et al. (2012). Iatrogenics of hygiene and systematic elimination of germs: Rook (2011), Garner et al. (2006), Mégraud and Lamouliatte (1992) for Helyobacter. The Paleo crowd, De Vany, Gary Taubes, and friends: Taubes (2008, 2011), De Vany (2011); evolutionary anthropology, Carrera-Bastos et al. (2011), Kaplan et al. (2000). BOOK VII: The Ethics of Fragility and Antifragility Modern philosophical discussions on capitalism: No interest in such a simple heuristic as skin in the game, even in insightful discourses such as Cuillerai (2009). Courage in history: Berns et al. (2010).
Sun in a Bottle: The Strange History of Fusion and the Science of Wishful Thinking by Charles Seife
Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Brownian motion, correlation does not imply causation, Dmitri Mendeleev, Ernest Rutherford, Fellow of the Royal Society, Gary Taubes, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Mikhail Gorbachev, Norman Macrae, Project Plowshare, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, the scientific method, Yom Kippur War
Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries by Safi Bahcall
accounting loophole / creative accounting, Albert Einstein, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Astronomia nova, British Empire, Cass Sunstein, Charles Lindbergh, Clayton Christensen, cognitive bias, creative destruction, disruptive innovation, diversified portfolio, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edmond Halley, Gary Taubes, hypertext link, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, Jony Ive, knowledge economy, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, Murray Gell-Mann, PageRank, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, Pierre-Simon Laplace, prediction markets, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, random walk, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, side project, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Solar eclipse in 1919, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tim Cook: Apple, tulip mania, Wall-E, wikimedia commons, yield management
Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation by Michael Pollan
biofilm, bioinformatics, Columbian Exchange, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, dematerialisation, Drosophila, energy security, Gary Taubes, Hernando de Soto, hygiene hypothesis, Kickstarter, Louis Pasteur, Mason jar, microbiome, peak oil, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Steven Pinker, women in the workforce
Global Spin: The Corporate Assault on Environmentalism by Sharon Beder
American Legislative Exchange Council, battle of ideas, business climate, centre right, clean water, corporate governance, Exxon Valdez, Gary Taubes, global village, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, laissez-faire capitalism, oil shale / tar sands, old-boy network, price mechanism, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, telemarketer, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, urban planning
The omnivore's dilemma: a natural history of four meals by Michael Pollan
additive manufacturing, back-to-the-land, clean water, cognitive dissonance, Community Supported Agriculture, double entry bookkeeping, Gary Taubes, Haber-Bosch Process, index card, informal economy, invention of agriculture, means of production, new economy, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, transaction costs, Upton Sinclair, Whole Earth Catalog
Coming of Age in the Milky Way by Timothy Ferris
Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, Alfred Russel Wallace, anthropic principle, Arthur Eddington, Atahualpa, Cepheid variable, Commentariolus, cosmic abundance, cosmic microwave background, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, dark matter, delayed gratification, Edmond Halley, Eratosthenes, Ernest Rutherford, Gary Taubes, Harlow Shapley and Heber Curtis, Harvard Computers: women astronomers, Henri Poincaré, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, John Harrison: Longitude, Karl Jansky, Lao Tzu, Louis Pasteur, Magellanic Cloud, mandelbrot fractal, Menlo Park, Murray Gell-Mann, music of the spheres, planetary scale, retrograde motion, Richard Feynman, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Searching for Interstellar Communications, Solar eclipse in 1919, source of truth, Stephen Hawking, Thales of Miletus, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Wilhelm Olbers
She Has Her Mother's Laugh by Carl Zimmer
23andMe, agricultural Revolution, clean water, clockwatching, cloud computing, dark matter, discovery of DNA, double helix, Drosophila, Elon Musk, epigenetics, Fellow of the Royal Society, Flynn Effect, friendly fire, Gary Taubes, germ theory of disease, Isaac Newton, longitudinal study, medical bankruptcy, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, moral panic, mouse model, New Journalism, out of africa, phenotype, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Scientific racism, statistical model, stem cell, twin studies