Daniel Matthew Korn,
Why Diet & Exercise Fail: How Current Research Contradicts Conventional Wisdom about Weight Loss
(independent, 2009)

The Enuit (Eskimos) eat a traditional diet extremely high in fat, yet remain lean -- until they adopt a modern Western diet. The rural Thai get 80 percent of their calories from refined white rice -- yet it's the urban Thai who are gaining weight. Drinkers of diet soda are just as likely, if not more so, to gain weight as those who consume regular sugar-laden soda. Why?

In this fascinating book, author Daniel Matthew Korn examines both traditional and modern theories as to the reasons for weight gain in the modern era. Many of these theories seem to make good sense at first glance, but he illustrates in detail how, when examined closely, most do not hold up as complete explanations for our weight gain. This painstakingly researched book cites many specific studies as evidence, and Korn poses plausible new theories as to the possible causes of our obesity explosion.

Korn considers the link between sleep disturbance, caffeine and cortisol, the effects of stress on hunger, how the obese have higher levels of hunger, and how correlation is not necessarily cause when examining reasons for weight gain. Setting this book apart from others in its genre, he methodically debunks the fat-free craze, high-fat diets, low-carb diets and sugar-free diets with both science and credible logic. He also notes how the types of fats we eat have changed, due to corn-fed animals (as opposed to grass-fed in the past and elsewhere in the world).

Korn's insightful conclusions absolutely merit closer examination and serious long-term studies. I have read a few studies that mentioned some of these observations, but I haven't read another book that pulled it all together like this. This book needs to be on the shelf of anyone struggling with weight. Highly recommended!

book review by
Lee Lukaszewicz

5 May 2012

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