We live in a time of greatly increasing numbers of overweight and obese people. If it were just a matter of 2/3's of the population not looking appropriately svelte, we could just change our notions about ideal bodies and live with it. But overweight and obese people have elevated risks of all sorts of evils: heart attacks, strokes, cancers, diabetes, and generally shorter life expectancies. Neither the obesity nor the associated diseases are acceptable. We are paying an ever increasing price in human misery and health care costs due to this cluster of health problems. Clearly we should identify the cause, find a cure, and fix this problem.
The origins of obesity and the associated "diseases of civilization" have been thoroughly and carefully examined and reviewed by Gary Taubes in two books ("Good Calories, Bad Calories", and "Why We Get Fat"). This short paper summarizes the essence of Taubes' books, and helps readers to take advantage of the simple constructive ideas he reveals.
There is abundant evidence that a diet rich in carbohydrates is the cause of the modern epidemic of obesity and many of the diseases of civilization. The data is in. The causal mechanisms are understood. Remedies are available in any of a number of low-carb / non-starvation diets. These diets work for me because I feel connected with the underlying science. My understanding leads to confidence, and confidence allows me to stick to the diet.
As a civilization, we need to adjust our diet to correct for these many severe problems. Unfortunately, an enormous overburden of bad advice regarding proper nutrition makes it difficult to take advantage of this important scientific information. But our lives are literally at stake. We all need to change our thinking about diet and nutrition to be in line with the clear conclusions of science. I have. Will you?