Gary Taubes is the author of many best selling books, including Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It. Following lecture is based on the latter. Here is the full transcript of the talk….
I want to thank you for having me and Carol for setting this up. And let me just give you a little bit of background before I start. And you know why a journalist is here, talking about weight and why a journalist has anything to say about this.
And as Michael explained, my obsession over the years has been controversial science, good science and bad science, how easy it is to get the wrong answer in science, and how hard it is to do it right. And after I had finished this book on the scientific fiasco called Fusion, some of my friends in the physics community said to me, if you’re really interested in bad science, you should look at some other stuff and public health, that’s really terrible.
And so in the early ‘90s I moved into public health and I meandered around the field until the late ‘90s, I was writing about nutrition issues. I did a series of exposes for the journal Science in which I spent a year on an entire – twice I spent the year on an entire article first about the idea that salt causes high blood pressure. And then about dietary fat and heart disease and that led me to do a what was a relatively famous cover story for the New York Times Magazine called What If Fat Doesn’t Make You Fat, or What If It’s Been A Big Fat Lie, and I got a large book advance from that.
And one of the things with a large book advance it gives you a lot of time to do the research. I spent four year — five years on the book, the advance lasted four.