Fat Chance

Robert H. Lustig

Fat Chance



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There was a time when people believed that, in order to lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle, all we had to do was eat less fat and exercise. Sugar was not demonised as much as it should have been, and this has led to alarming consequences. About one third of American adults are now obese, and this trend shows no signs of slowing down. In Fat Chance, The Hidden Truth About Sugar, Obesity and Disease, paediatric endocrinologist Robert Lustig makes us reevaluate everything we thought we knew about food. He maintains that the main cause of the ‘obesity pandemic’ is the sugar that is deliberately disguised in our food behind unfamiliar names, and that fructose is the main culprit. Lustig also provides strategies to readjust the hormones that regulate hunger and reward, and offers social and political solutions to improve the health of the future generations.

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Analysis and key concepts


Obesity is not only caused by unhealthy eating habits, but also as a consequence of a combination of different factors


People gain weight as a result of two hormones, insulin and leptin, which play a key role in the process of weight accumulation


Not all calories are the same: in order to avoid putting on weight, we need to eat the ‘right’ kind of calories


Sugar is enemy number one, because it is addictive, and fructose is the worst kind of all


In order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, it is important that we eat ‘real’ food, and avoid pre-packaged and over-processed products


We can eat healthy food without having to cook; we just need to choose the right dishes


The food industries are backed by political regimes, and have a vested interest in selling foods that are high in sugar


Regulating the marketing of sugar-rich foods could have a majorly positive impact on the health of the population, and especially in reducing body mass index




Take-home message

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Many useful tips to:

  • Find out more about what we really eat, and the effects food has on our health.
  • Discover how our body digests, uses, and stores sugar.
  • Understand why society encourages us to consume sugar.
  • Learn about effective strategies to avoid the sugar we are being encouraged to eat.

Robert H. Lustig is a paediatric endocrinologist and Professor Emeritus of Paediatrics at the University of California. He specialises in the field of neuroendocrinology, and his research and clinical practice focus on childhood obesity and diabetes. His most important studies analyse the effects of sugar on the central nervous system, metabolism, and disease. He is the author of numerous books, including Fat Chance and Metabolical: The Truth About Processed Food and How it Poisons People and the Planet .

Publishing house:

Hudson Street Press