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Travails of a Non-Swimmer

Fat Chance: Don’t Put This One on the Shelf

Chocolate temptation

A new book arrived today: Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease by Dr. Robert H. Lustig.

I watched Dr. Lustig’s famous (infamous?) YouTube video when it had gone viral, and really wanted to change my eating habits. But alas, after a few weeks I went back to consuming sugar like I always did: with great abandon and little accountability.

Yet thanks to Dr. Lustig I am now more inclined to check the labels of processed food and avoid as much as possible those with high-fructose corn syrup. But as for other types of sugar… it’s much harder.

And as for processed food in general: even much, much harder.

I bought the book to educate myself more and hopefully be able to use my rational mind to convince the Glutton inside me to stop craving the bad ingredient.

How to Use a Book

Dr. Lustig’s YouTube series of videos called “The Skinny on Obesity” have been very educational, but I wanted something in print that I can read slowly and digest until I get a fair understanding of the science of metabolism.

Fat ChanceI want a heavy-ish book that I can put in my shopping bag to hit myself on the head with when I find myself reaching for a pack of sugar-laden custard cups.

Also, there’s the political part. Recently Japan has decided to participate in negotiations to join the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership, a controversial free-trade agreement. While I am not following the nitty-gritty details, my concern as a consumer is about the market being flooded with even more bad sugar from other countries: thanks to the FTA now much cheaper and much more accessible.

While I strongly believe in taking personal responsibility in the food choices that we make, I do think that the government should do what it can to curb obesity by not encouraging the proliferation of unhealthy products in the market.

Too Much Sugar, Too Much Processed Food

Many years ago Japanese children ate fish for breakfast. Now my nieces eat sugar-coated cereals imported from America. Cheaper than fish, much easier to prepare, and can be consumed in 30 seconds.

I am 10kgs overweight, not yet morbidly obese but fat all the same. If the younger generation starts eating crap like I have been doing, at a younger age, people like me will become the norm and not the exception.

Nobody wants that. Except perhaps the manufacturers of extra-large clothing. And all the other manufacturers of bad food.

I’ll read the book and will be writing about it here, as I put some of its teachings into practice.



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  • slf

    Have you read the book? Any changes in your eating habits as a result?