Originally Posted by Florian
Why are so many Americans obese? Just compare the portions in American restaurants with the portions in French restaurants.
When I first heard the notion that calories are not the problem, it seemed like nonsense to me. It's clearly the case that if you take in more calories than you burn, you will get fat. Period. In his book, Taubes dances around this basic fact for quite a while, but then finally acknowledges that yes, of course, this is the case. But he argues that it doesn't really say anything about why we get fat.
The usual assumption is that we get fat because we eat too much and exercise too little. That is... our bodies push
unused calories into fat cells. But after reading Taubes's book (based on very extensive empirical physiology research) I finally understand the flaw in that common way of thinking. When insulin (and other hormones) are out of balance because of eating a lot of simple carbs, especially sugar and fruit juice, etc, the calories are literally pulled
into fat cells and out of the blood stream. When this happens, we feel hungry, even though we are at the same time storing excess calories as fat. In a sense our body is in starvation mode because it does not sense the presence of blood sugar (if I remember correctly) in the blood it needs to keep functioning.
This also results in the lack of available energy for physical activity. That is, we don't get fat because we don't exercise, but rather we don't exercise because we are getting fat: the energy that should be available for physical activity is being sucked into fat cells.