Award-Winning Science Writer Gary Taubes to Discuss Book at The Wistar Institute: Good Calories, Bad Calories Challenges Conventional Wisdom on Diet

Award-Winning Science Writer Gary Taubes to Discuss Book at The Wistar Institute: Good Calories, Bad Calories Challenges Conventional Wisdom on Diet

May 7, 2008

(PHILADELPHIA — May 8,2008)—Award-winning science journalist Gary Taubes will discuss his book, Good Calories, Bad Calories: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom on Diet, Weight Control, and Disease, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 13, at The Wistar Institute.

Taubes challenges the widely held belief that a low-fat diet is the best approach to losing weight and avoiding disease. Instead, he advocates carbohydrate restriction, arguing that the key to good health is the kind of calories we take in, not the number.

The book is a compilation of seven years of research, including interviews with more than 600 doctors, researchers, and administrators, seeking to answer the question, what is a healthy diet? Specifically, Good Calories, Bad Calories, examines the relationship between diet and medical problems such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and high blood pressure.

With references to numerous clinical studies, Taubes argues that there is no compelling scientific evidence demonstrating that saturated fat and cholesterol cause heart disease. Further, he maintains that the only healthy way to lose weight is to eat fewer carbohydrates – particularly refined carbohydrates such as flour, sugar, and rice.

Taubes was inspired to write the book after publishing an article in the New York Times magazine in 2002, titled “What if It’s All Been a Big Fat Lie?” The article questions why Americans are so overweight, and why extra weight is so difficult to lose. He proposed that the “healthy” diet Americans are taught to follow is not based on scientific evidence. The article is available online at the New York Times Web site.

Taubes is the only three-time winner of the Science in Society Award from the National Association of Science Writers. He has spent the past 15 years writing about public health, nutrition, and diet. He was awarded an MIT Knight Science Journalism Fellowship from 1996 to 1997. Taubes earned a master’s degree in journalism at Columbia University and a master’s degree in aerospace engineering at Stanford University and studied applied physics at Harvard.

Taubes is a correspondent for Science magazine. He has also written articles for Discover, New Scientist, and The New York Times magazine. Taubes’ previous books include Nobel Dreams (1987) and Bad Science: the Short Life and Weird Times of Cold Fusion (1993). Taubes lives in New York City.

The Joseph Fox Bookshop, an independent bookstore located at 1724 Sansom Street in Philadelphia, will provide books for sale at the Wistar event. Good Calories, Bad Calories was published by Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc., in September 2007.

The Wistar Author Series features general-interest books about science and medicine. The program is part of Wistar’s public outreach efforts, which aim to introduce the Institute and its research mission to a wider audience.

The Wistar Institute is an international leader in biomedical research with special expertise in cancer research and vaccine development. Founded in 1892 as the first independent nonprofit biomedical research institute in the country, Wistar has long held the prestigious Cancer Center designation from the National Cancer Institute. The Institute works actively to transfer its inventions to the commercial sector to ensure that research advances move from the laboratory to the clinic as quickly as possible. The Wistar Institute: Today’s Discoveries – Tomorrow’s Cures. On the web at