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Global Obesity Prevention Center

Journal Club Announcement

 

Primary Reference Article:

 

The science of obesity: what do we really know about what makes us fat? An essay by Gary Taubes 
BMJ 2013;346:f1050 doi: 10.1136/bmj.f1050 (Published 17 April 2013)

Click here for full article.

 

brittany jcWhen: Thursday, February 26th @ 12:00 p.m. EDT - 1:00 p.m. EDT
Where: JHSPH, 615 N. Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205, Room E2523
Discussion Leader: Brittany Jock, Doctoral student, Social and Behavioral Interventions
Topic: The science of obesity: what do we really know about what makes us fat? 

 

 

Abstract:

 

The history of obesity research is a history of two competing hypotheses. Gary Taubes, co-founder of the Nutrition Science Initiative, argues that the wrong hypothesis won out and that it is this hypothesis, along with substandard science, that has exacerbated the obesity crisis and the related chronic diseases. If we are to make any progress, he says, we have to look again at what really makes us fat.  

The history of obesity research is a history of two competing hypotheses of energy balance and endocrinology, writes Taubes. Since the 1950s, conventional wisdom on obesity has been that it is caused by a positive energy balance -- in other words we get fat because we overeat. The alternative hypothesis -- that obesity is a hormonal or regulatory disorder -- was dismissed after the Second World War as being unworthy of serious attention. "What we want to know," he says, "is what causes us to gain weight, not whether weight loss can be induced under different conditions of semi-starvation."

 

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