Is Gary Taubes America’s Most Controversial Nutrition Writer?

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On Tuesday, Taubes, author of Good Calories, Bad Calories, and, most recently, Why We Get Fat, appeared on the Dr. Oz show where the two spared over the best approach to weight loss. Taubes insists it’s carbohydrates that make us plump (not to mention sick); Oz says it’s too many overall calories and lack of exercise. Afterwards, on his website, Taubes tried to explain himself further, grousing that the show’s producers “played him like the second coming of Atkins—a persona that my wife likes to refer to as ‘meat boy’.” He went on to point out how “Oz got to play the role of Harvest King, extolling the virtues of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.”

As Dr. Oz’s outspoken adversary, Gary Taubes’ theories go against Dr. Oz’s most fervent beliefs. In this web exclusive segment, Gary explains…

Meat Boy, if you don’t already know, is an award-winning science writer, and if you haven’t read his books, we recommend them (Why We Get Fat, a shorter, less dense version of GCBC, could have been titled Good Calories Bad Calories For Dummies). Problem is, almost all discussion of exercise takes place as a footnote. (Physical activity has many benefits, but weightloss isn’t one of them, Taubes argues.) This may leave people who are interested in tweaking their diet for reasons other than strict weightloss a little confused.

Carb “tolerance,” that is, how severely it will cause you to pack on weight, will vary, dramatically at times, from person to person. It’s also impacted by activity level. How to figure out what’s best for you, whether you’re training two hours a week or 12? We like the guidelines provided by our friends at Training Peaks. We’re bullish on exercise to help in weight management, but read Meat Boy’s books. They’re provocative, but enlightening, for sure.    
—Nick Heil