Don’t miss the article by Gary Taubes in the new “Special Food Issue” of Scientific American Magazine, titled, “Which One Will Make You Fat? Rigorously controlled studies may soon give us a definitive answer about what causes obesity—excessive calories or the wrong carbohydrates” (September 2013). It features a picture of a skillet containing a burger with cheese and bacon and a plate with a bun on the opposite page.

Gary says, “After a decade of studying the science and its history, I am convinced that meaningful progress against obesity will come only if we rethink and rigorously test our understanding of its cause. Last year, with Peter Attia, a former surgeon and cancer researcher, I co-founded a nonprofit organization, the Nutrition Science Initiative (NuSI), to address this lack of definitive evidence. With support from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation in Houston, Tex., we have recruited independent scientists to design and carry out the experiments that will meticulously test the competing hypotheses of obesity (and by extension, weight gain). The Arnold Foundation has committed to fund up to 60 percent of NuSI’s current research budget and three years of operating expenses for a total of $40 million. The investigators will follow the evidence wherever it leads. If all works out as planned, we could have unambiguous evidence about the biological cause of obesity in the next half a dozen years….”

You can read the story online at:

Image: Travis Rathbone; Food Styling by Liza Jernow.
(c) 2013, Judy Barnes Baker,

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Judy Barnes Baker

The working title for my first book was, “You’ll Never Know What You Are Missing.” It summed up my goal: to make eating for health synonymous with eating for pleasure. Once you discover the secret, you will find that the very best food for weight management, longevity, the treatment and prevention of disease, and over-all health and happiness is also the most sumptuous, satisfying, and indulgent way of eating the world has to offer. You are invited to the feast. Enjoy!


  1. That is fabulous!!! If they want a volunteer for the LC way of eating, I will do so gladly! Thanks for sharing. I did not read the entire article, but did it address the anomaly of slim Asian people that eat a whole lot of rice?

  2. Hi Nancy. Perhaps this is a question that will be answered by the research.

  3. Kimberly Kirby Buchholz

    Great news about the research! That was a good question by Nancy, about slim Asian people who eat a lot of rice. Anecdotal experience only: I have observed high intake of vegetables sauteed in generous amounts of oil, to go along with the rice. Plus, the meat (or substitute) is sauteed in oil as well. These things I have experienced either through Chinese restaurant work experience where employees ate nightly dinner with the owner family, or where I frequently ate dinner with friends from India. I look forward to the research results. Thanks for the post!

  4. Hi Kimberly. I saw some statistics the other day that said that China and India now have the highest rates of diabetes in the world, so maybe it isn't working out so well for them either. It may be that traditional fats are protective when eating a high carb diet and vegetable oils and trans fats are now part of Asian diets as well as ours. I suspect that sugar consumption has also skyrocketed around the world as well, so that puts fructose in the picture too. (Rice is all glucose.) We shall see.

  5. Kimberly Kirby Buchholz

    I did not see those statistics about the diabetes rates in China and India–glad you posted. Good point about a possible change in fats to high trans fats, etc. My thoughts go back to the high diabetes rates in the U.S. among Native Americans and South Americans who relocate. Maybe those gene pools are especially sensitive. Evidently, things are grim in American Samoa, according to The Travelling Dietitian:

  6. Referring to Nancy's comment above: Perhaps Asian people are able to handle the glucose (not as bad as fructose) in rice, because they do not also fill their bodies with massive amounts of sugar and white flour, the same way North Americans do. Therefore, their metabolisms remain healthy and their bodies can deal with the glucose from rice.

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