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The Truth About Fat

Why Obesity is Not that Simple

Published by Oneworld Publications
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

Most people try out diets just to see if they work. One friend cuts out sugar, a second cuts out fat. Another mumbles something about gut microbes. Even scientists still seem to be arguing about what causes obesity, so what hope is there for the rest of us?

Anthony Warner, author of The Angry Chef, has decided to get to the bottom of it once and for all. Is obesity really an epidemic? Can you be addicted to food? Can’t you just exercise your way to freedom? And what the heck is a food desert?

You want the truth? The science, without the prejudice? You can handle it.

I have spoken to geneticists, molecular biologists, economists, biochemists, neuroscientists, addiction researchers, psychologists, microbiologists, psychiatrists, philosophers, dietitians, nutritionists, sociologists, eating disorder specialists, medical doctors, endocrinologists, geographers, and sensory scientists. I have spoken to those who dedicate their lives to helping obese people, and to others who live with their own larger bodies every day.

Everyone I spoke to had their own specialism and knowledge, and each gave me something unique and interesting to think about. Many of them are quoted in the text, but others simply helped me increase my understanding. Although I had differing lines of enquiry for everyone, I ended each interview with a couple of common questions. I asked everybody what they thought the main reasons were that obesity continues to rise, and what might be done to bring it down.

‘Warner recognises that obesity has complex and multifaceted causes and it is not – as so many persist in claiming – a collapse in willpower.’

– Guardian

‘A thought-provoking corrective to the idea that obesity is simply the result of eating too much and moving too little [told] with verve, mastery of the available data, and a gripping narrative.’


‘[Warner] has something important to say and the more people who take him seriously the better.’

– The Times

‘An informed book written with wit and scientific rigour.’

– Daily Express

‘Takes a honed knife to flabby theorizing about what makes us fat… A nuanced approach to a global issue.’

– Nature

'refreshing, humane and essential reading… The Truth About Fatoffers a nuanced, well-informed, eloquent discussion of the biology underlying obesity.’

– Fortean Times

‘Straight-up, factual and ruthlessly balanced, Warner takes no prisoners when it comes to cutting through the minefield of misconceptions in foodie media. Solid science served up with caustic wit. How can I be more like this guy?’

– James Wong, author of How to Eat Better

‘There are few subjects more prone to fads, waffle and outright nonsense than dieting. Warner is a fiery beacon of truth, burning through every popular myth, every half-baked diet fad and the legion peddlers of pseudoscientific guff that tell us how and what to eat. Anthony Warner is not the chef we deserve, but he certainly is the angry chef we need right now.’

– Adam Rutherford, author of The Book of Humans and A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived

‘An essential read for anyone who constantly worries about the modern obsession with diet and weight loss, even though it contains revelations that many will, ironically, find hard to swallow.’

– Dean Burnett, author of The Idiot Brain

‘Looking at food availability, health issues, the environment, and various fad diets, Warner finds that obesity is not a condition under the control of the sufferer… The author has no patience with pseudoscientific claims concerning health and diet and trenchantly attacks the assertions of trendy diets. Well written and easily read, this publication gives the reader a fresh perspective on the issue of obesity and lambastes our cultural discrimination of the obese.’

– CHOICE Magazine

‘Well-documented and accessible information and advice from an author who clearly loves food and cares about people.’

– Kirkus

More books from this author: Anthony Warner