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Gary Taubes

Science and health journalist, nutrition expert, and bestselling author

  • About Gary Taubes

    Gary Taubes is an award-winning investigative science and health journalist. Michael Pollan wrote of Taubes, “I can’t think of another journalist who has had quite as profound an influence on the conversation about nutrition.”  The only print journalist to have won three Science in Society Journalism awards, given by the National Association of Science Writers, Taubes is the author of Good Calories, Bad Calories; Why We Get Fat; The Case Against Sugar; The Case for Keto; and Rethinking Diabetes: What Science Reveals About Diet, Insulin, and Successful Treatments.

    Through his work, Gary Taubes shakes up our preconceptions about diet and health and he challenges scientific studies that have been misinterpreted and prescribed as advice for the general public for years. He offers instead new ways to eat, live, and think about health, based on the highest caliber of scientific research. Taubes’ 2002 New York Times Magazine cover story “What If It’s All Been a Big Fat Lie?” caused a big stir in the ongoing fat-versus-carbohydrate discussions. In Good Calories, Bad Calories, Taubes went on to show that the key to good health is the kind of calories we take in, not the number, and in The Case Against Sugar he presented a groundbreaking, eye-opening exposé making the convincing case that sugar is the tobacco of the new millennium. Rethinking Diabetes now shines a light on the current diabetes epidemic and questions many of the established treatments that are based on outdated research and full of misconceptions.

    In 2012, Taubes co-founded the non-profit Nutrition Science Initiative ( with the mission to reduce the individual, social, and economic costs of obesity, diabetes, and their related diseases by improving the quality of science in nutrition and obesity research. He has received a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Investigator Award in Health Policy Research and the International Health Reporting Award from the Pan American Health Organization. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Nature, Scientific American, Esquire, and numerous anthologies, including The Best of the Best American Science Writing.

  • Speaking Topics

    The Case Against Sugar

    Based on his April 2011 New York Times Magazine cover article and his latest book, Gary Taubes discusses the history, politics, and science of sugar and high fructose corn syrup, and argues that these sweeteners may indeed be far more harmful to our health than public health authorities have been willing to accept.

    Why We Get Fat: Adiposity 101 and the Alternative Hypothesis of Obesity

    In this lecture, Gary Taubes explains why obesity is not caused—as conventional wisdom has it—by eating too much and exercising too little, but rather by the effect of the carbohydrates we consume on the hormones and enzymes that regulate our fat tissue.

    The (Political) Science of Fat

    Gary Taubes explains how politics, personalities, and bad science led us to implicate dietary fat and especially saturated fats as the cause of heart disease, when the experimental evidence has consistently failed to support that belief.

    Do We Really Know What Makes Us Healthy? A lecture about diet, health and the nature of science itself

    Establishing reliable knowledge about human health is among the most difficult challenges in the world of science. In this lecture, Gary Taubes argues that medical researchers and public health authorities have made it harder still by straying from the scientific principles that have proven true time and again in the physical sciences.

  • Video

  • Praise for Gary Taubes


    Folks were very engaged with his talk and were disappointed when his time was up.

    Summit Daily News

    Praise for Rethinking Diabetes

    Decades of research have brought us shifting and even contradictory recommendations on managing diabetes. In lucid prose, Taubes sifts through and critically reviews what is known. Rethinking Diabetes convincingly makes the case for a new paradigm for the prevention and treatment of this common disorder.

    Abraham Verghese, M.D., author of The Covenant of Water

    One of the crucial responsibilities of scientists and science journalists is to question established beliefs and common assumptions. Gary Taubes accomplished precisely this in this thought-provoking book. Through his extensive research, Taubes offers significant insights, shedding light on the evolution of our understanding of diabetes, for good or bad. Additionally, Taubes delves into the potential of promising and efficacious treatments, offering a glimpse into the future of diabetes management.

    Siddhartha Mukherjee, author of The Emperor of All Maladies

    Praise for The Case for Keto

    For the last decade and a half, Gary Taubes has been the unrelenting Socrates of the diet composition dialogue, peppering the field, journalists, the general public, and experts alike to question their assumptions and ask what we really know. Like those of Socrates, Taubes’ questions do not always make others happy, but they need to be heard. We need to ask whether our presumed knowledge about diet, health, and weight is well-founded. Taubes may not provide all the answers, but his incisive questions cannot and should not be ignored.

    David B. Allison, Ph.D, Distinguished Professor, Obesity Researcher, and Academic Dean

    Gary Taubes deserves a national science medal for helping to raise the critical question of why the food we eat is killing us. He hasn’t sat on the sidelines saying just do more of the same. As a result, his insightful reading of the medical literature offers new hope to people suffering from obesity.

    Kevin Schulman, M.D., Professor of Medicine, Stanford University

    In my 40 years as a nutrition professor, I've never run across a diet book that so clearly explains how to follow a weight-loss diet and why it works. In addition, Gary Taubes shows how continuing the Keto Diet contributes to good health for years to come.”

    Janet C. King, Ph.D., Professor of the Graduate School, Department of Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology, University of California, Berkeley

    In The Case for Keto Gary Taubes vigorously challenges the conventional view that low-fat, plant-based diets are healthy and that eating fats is risky, providing an historical context of the effectiveness of keto diets that goes back more than 150 years. I thoroughly recommend the book to anyone who struggles with weight control.

    Lewis Cantley, director of the Meyer Cancer Center at Weill Cornell Medicine and New York Presbyterian Hospital

    The Case for Keto is built on fundamental principles that will pass the test of time. Taubes persuasively argues that reversing fat accumulation can be achieved without hunger through a high-fat, low-carb diet. As a clinician treating such obesity-prone individuals with type 2 diabetes, I have repeatedly and reproducibly seen the diet work miracles for those who will embrace it.

    David M. Harlan, M.D., William & Doris Krupp Professor of Medicine, co-director, UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence

    What should we eat? Gary Taubes provides the answer. Drawing on exhaustive research, and in clear language, he explains which foods are healthy for us, which foods are unhealthy—and why. He shows why obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and other chronic conditions are on the rise, and how we can intervene effectively. Gary Taubes’s work has changed everything about the way I eat.

    Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project

    In this outstanding book, Taubes presents a manifesto challenging the energy balance dietary dogma of the medical and nutritional authorities, along with a repudiation of Michael Pollan’s plant food principles. A compelling case is made for low-carb, high-fat eating—towards ‘nutritional ketosis’—for people who fatten easily (most of us), while addressing the potential risk and unknowns.

    Eric Topol, M.D., cardiologist and Professor of Molecular medicine at Scripps Research, and author of Deep Medicine

    Taubes blends science and clinical examples for a uniquely sound and honest explanation of a movement that has transformed the way we think and eat to improve our health.

    Marty Makary, M.D., Johns Hopkins, and author of The Price We Pay

    Gary Taubes’s book violates everything leading medical societies and governmental agencies espouse—but Taubes is right and they are wrong. Medicine, like life, is about risk and benefit. This book provides the best path for most people who are overweight or obese to restore health.

    Orrin Devinsky, M.D., Professor of Neurology & Neuroscience, NYU School of Medicine

    The Case for Keto is a uniquely thoughtful discussion of low-carb, ketogenic eating. It is critically important reading for anyone trying to control their weight, improve their health and rationally decide what they should eat.

    Mitchell A. Lazar, M.D., director, Institute for Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

    If you have a weight problem, or you know someone who does, then The Case for Keto is required reading. This is the book all health practitioners must read to understand obesity and diabetes and how to treat them.

    Kevin Fontaine, chair, Department of Health Behavior, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health

    Praise for The Case Against Sugar

    Taubes’s writing is both inflammatory and copiously researched. It is also well timed... Hard-charging (and I’ll add game-changing).

    Dan Barber, The New York Times

    In making the case against sugar, Gary Taubes details the often insidious efforts by the sugar industry to hide how harmful it is, just as the tobacco companies once did. This is required reading for not only every parent, but every American.

    Katie Couric

    [A] blitz of a book... Mr. Taubes’s argument is so persuasive that, after reading The Case Against Sugar, this functioning chocoholic cut out the Snacking Bark and stopped eating cakes and white bread... The Case Against Sugar should be a powerful weapon against future misinformation.

    The Wall Street Journal

    Once again, the brilliant Gary Taubes manages to make a complex scientific subject easy to understand. The Case Against Sugar is a riveting history of ideas, a clear analysis of evidence, and an utterly persuasive argument that sugar is the new tobacco.

    Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project

    No one in this country has worked harder on or better understood the role of sugar in our diet than Gary Taubes. As a journalist, an investigator, a scientist, and an advocate, he is without peer. (Plus, he knows how to write.) The Case Against Sugar is not only a terrific history but a forward-thinking document that can help us think more intelligently about how (and how not) to eat.

    Mark Bittman, author of How to Cook Everything Fast
  • Books by Gary Taubes

  • Media About Gary Taubes

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