Cover image for The case against sugar / by Gary Taubes.
The case against sugar / by Gary Taubes.
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Alfred A. Knopf, [2016]

Physical Description:
365 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
General Note:
"This is a Borzoi book"--T.p. verso.


Library Branch
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
1 Bob Harkins Branch 613.28332 TAU Book Adult General Collection
1 Nechako Branch 613.28332 TAU Book Adult General Collection

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From the best-selling author of Why We Get Fat, a groundbreaking, eye-opening expos#65533; that makes the convincing case that sugar is the tobacco of the new millennium: backed by powerful lobbies, entrenched in our lives, and making us very sick.

Among Americans, diabetes is more prevalent today than ever; obesity is at epidemic proportions; nearly 10% of children are thought to have nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. And sugar is at the root of these, and other, critical society-wide, health-related problems. With his signature command of both science and straight talk, Gary Taubes delves into Americans' history with sugar: its uses as a preservative, as an additive in cigarettes, the contemporary overuse of high-fructose corn syrup. He explains what research has shown about our addiction to sweets. He clarifies the arguments against sugar, corrects misconceptions about the relationship between sugar and weight loss; and provides the perspective necessary to make informed decisions about sugar as individuals and as a society.

Author Notes

GARY TAUBES is cofounder of the Nutrition Science Initiative (NuSI). He's an award-winning science and health journalist, the author of Why We Get Fat and Good Calories, Bad Calories, and a former staff writer for Discover and correspondent for the journal Science. His writing has also appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, and Esquire, and has been included in numerous Best of anthologies, including The Best of the Best American Science Writing (2010). He has received three Science in Society Journalism Awards from the National Association of Science Writers. He is also the recipient of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Investigator Award in Health Policy Research. He lives in Oakland, California.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

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. Agent: Kris Dahl, ICM. (Dec.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Library Journal Review

Taubes (cofounder, Nutrition Science Initiative; Why We Get Fat) delivers another convincing book exploring the negative health issues surrounding sugar consumption. To create this fascinating and illuminating read, the author carefully juxtaposes historical events against the growth of the sugar industry and the limitations and misconceptions of nutritional and medical science. We learn how the sugar industry that supported research shaped the public's view of the ingredient's nutritional value and actively lobbied against any reports that held their product in a negative light. Taubes then turns the focus on how the growth of Western diseases parallels the adoption of sugar into the Western diet. Unfortunately, the author does not offer any plan of action, ending the final chapter with the statement that everyone must decide what is best for themselves. VERDICT This accessible book will be of particular interest to historians and health-conscious readers. Individuals seeking practical help in curtailing sugar in their diets would benefit from books such as Richard Jacoby's Sugar Crush. [See Prepub Alert, 6/13/16.]-Crystal Renfro, Kennesaw State Univ., Marietta, GA © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Author's Notep. xi
Introduction Why Diabetes?p. 3
Chapter 1 Drug or Food?p. 30
Chapter 2 The First Ten Thousand Yearsp. 45
Chapter 3 The Marriage of Tobacco and Sugarp. 64
Chapter 4 A Peculiar Evilp. 72
Chapter 5 The Early (Bad) Sciencep. 84
Chapter 6 The Gift That Keeps On Givingp. 107
Chapter 7 Big Sugarp. 124
Chapter 8 Defending Sugarp. 144
Chapter 9 What They Didn't Knowp. 185
Chapter 10 The If/Then Problem: Ip. 210
Chapter 11 The If/Then Problem: IIp. 225
Epilogue How Little Is Still Too Much?p. 273
Acknowledgmentsp. 283
Notesp. 287
Bibliographyp. 313
Indexp. 351

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