Published on Dec 29, 2012
Gary Taubes, M.S., presenting at the second annual Ancestral Health Symposium (AHS12).
The science of obesity has been dogged for a century by a controversial question: is the condition an energy balance problem or a hormonal one? Do we accumulate excess fat merely because we consume more calories than we expend — we eat too much and exercise too little — or do we accumulate excess fat because the homeostatic mechanisms regulating fat metabolism and storage are out of whack.
If the latter is the case, then positive energy balance (overeating) is an effect of getting fat, not a cause, and the prime environmental suspect for the cause of excess adiposity is the carbohydrate content of the diet and its effect on insulin signaling.This talk will discuss how we might tell these two scenarios apart and potential experiments to resolve this century-old conflict.
Gary Taubes is the author of Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It (Knopf 2010) and Good Calories, Bad Calories (Knopf 2007). He’s a contributing correspondent for the journal Science, and the only print journalist to win the Science in Society Journalism Award of the National Association of Science Writers three times.