More than half a billion adults and 40 million children on the planet are obese. Diabetes is a worldwide epidemic. Evidence increasingly shows that these illnesses are linked to the other major Western diseases: hypertension, heart disease, even Alzheimer's and cancer, and that shockingly, sugar is likely the single root cause. Yet the nutritional advice we receive from public health bodies is muddled, out of date, and frequently contradictory, and in many quarters still promotes the unproven hypothesis that fats are the greatest evil.
With expert science and compelling storytelling, Gary Taubes investigates the history of nutritional science which, shaped by a handful of charismatic and misguided individuals, has for a hundred years denied the impact of sugar on our health. He exposes the powerful influence of the food industry which has lobbied for sugar's ubiquity - the Sugar Association even today promoting 'sugar's goodness' - and the extent that the industry has corrupted essential scientific research. He delves into the science of sugar, exposes conventional thinking that sugar is 'empty calories' as a myth, and finds that its addictive pleasures are resulting in worldwide consumption as never experienced before, to devastating effect.
The Case Against Sugar is a revelatory read, which will fundamentally change the way we eat.
The latest offering from health journalist Taubes (Why We Get Fat) prosecutes the case against sugar, in particular sucrose and high fructose corn syrup. His hypothesis is that "sugar is the dietary trigger of obesity and diabetes" and of related illnesses like heart disease. The author traces the history of sugar, delves into its biochemistry, explores false starts in the research into sugar's health effects, and examines current developments in knowledge of chemistry and metabolism to bring home his point. Recognizing that condemning sugar is "the nutritional equivalent of stealing Christmas," Taubes begins with an examination of whether sugar is addictive. (Short answer yes, and it's in cigarettes!) Fittingly, he ends with a discussion of how little is too much. (Short answer probably very little.) Reiterating a point he makes throughout about the limits of research, the author concludes that "the evidence against sugar is not definitive, compelling though I may personally find it to be." His study is itself compelling, as well as meticulously explained and researched. Readers will hate to love this book, since it will cause them to thoroughly rethink the place of sugar in their diets.
Customer ReviewsSee All
The Case Against Sugar
This is a life changing book, one that I will come back to many times.
To see the sugar industry as exactly the same as the tobacco industry is not that much of a stretch.
Ultimately we test the accuracy of this book, when we test our blood sugar readings, our our weight on our scales.
I can't escape sugar completely but where I can I at least cam minimise it.
More thorough and rigorous than other popular books I’ve read on the topic
The first half was very engaging, and I really enjoyed the thoroughness of the research and arguments. After that, I found the book a bit repetitive - but I still finished it, so it can’t have been too bad!