Mr. Taubes’s argument is so persuasive that, after reading The Case Against Sugar, this functioning chocoholic cut out the Snacking Bark and stopped eating cakes and white bread ... Methodically, relentlessly, Mr. Taubes argues that 'bad science' over the course of many years primarily blamed obesity, diabetes and other 'Western diseases' on overeating or lack of exercise or both ... Mr. Taubes convinced me that these food companies deliberately set out to manipulate research on American health to their favor and to the detriment of the American public ... The Case Against Sugar should be a powerful weapon against future misinformation.
Like many US books of its type, there’s a high level of detail in this volume as Taubes unpicks the history of the ubiquitous dogmas dominating diet thinking today that may send the less committed reader looking for an executive summary. But this density and thoroughness befits the scale of the task such authors face: nothing more or less than reversing an entrenched diet orthodoxy in which powerful professional reputations and corporate interests are heavily invested. Taubes isn’t the only person to challenge the facile idea that we get fat simply because we consume more calories than we expend, but his clear and persuasive argument that obesity is a hormonal disorder, switched on by sugar, is one that urgently needs wider airing.
Taubes builds his case through lawyerly layering of rich detail ... Certainly he’s tenacious. It takes some grit to pursue a simple claim through a jungle of confusing research, and even more when you consider how that simple claim was for many years ignored or denigrated by experts in the field. To explain this disrespect, Taubes delves into the history and politics of sugar ... And though Taubes depicts Big Sugar as a single actor in a far-reaching and triumphant plot, history doesn’t really bear him out...I'm not trying to debunk Taubes’s anti-sugar position. As an industry consultant might say, 'I’m only pointing out some inconsistencies.' These should be considered in their murky context, though. Just as the history defies a simple reading, the research on nutrition—ample and diverse though it’s been—isn’t close to dispositive ... [but] he’s a clear-eyed zealot for his cause, acknowledging his bias even as he presses on for better science ... It’s extraordinary and refreshing to see a science journalist so wary of his sources, and so willing to present himself as someone who knows more than they do.