Remembering Kevin Moore

Gary Taubes Appearing On ‘The Dr. Oz Show’ On March 7, 2011 To Discuss ‘Why We Get Fat’

For many years I’ve been saying that what the low-carb movement needs more than anything else is someone with a big enough platform to demand the kind of media appearances on major media outlets that would get the word out to the masses who so desperately need to start livin’ la vida low-carb for the sake of their weight and health. Oftentimes people have suggested we need a Hollywood superstar to be the face of this way of eating before anyone will pay any attention and I’ve often concurred with this theory that in our pop culture society that is probably the only way the message will finally cut through. But one man has emerged over the past decade as the face of low-carb living by presenting the evidence for it in both a professional and scientific manner that translates to the average, everyday American more so than even the late great Dr. Robert C. Atkins ever could. His name is Gary Taubes.

It began with his infamous July 2002 masterpiece published in the New York Times magazine entitled “What If It’s All Been A Big Fat Lie?” which landed him a book deal with Knopf to work on a more detailed and scholarly version that would appeal to researchers, doctors, and medical professionals. The culmination of that effort released to the marketplace in September 2007 when the 600+ page nutritional tome Good Calories Bad Calories debuted with great fanfare to shake up the nutritional and medical establishment about their long-held beliefs regarding conventional wisdom on the role of diet and health. One month after the book came out, Taubes was invited to appear as a guest on CNN’s Larry King Live to talk about his new book with various health luminaries like Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Andrew Weil most prominently.

In fact, Dr. Weil was quite impressed with the work Taubes had invested into the New York Times bestseller Good Calories Bad Calories and has continued to promote the Taubes philosophy in his own personal writings ever since (including two new books set to release in 2011 which will ostensibly promote the value of carbohydrate-restriction and eating more dietary fat for health). This same scenario has played itself out amongst so many others in the medical profession who have come to realize just how wrong they have been recommending high-carb, low-fat diets to their patients for weight loss and health. Whether he realizes it or not, Gary Taubes has started a new low-carb revolution that shows no signs of slowing down with all the noticeably increased attention given to it in 2010.

Shortly after Good Calories Bad Calories released in 2007, I began receiving e-mail after e-mail from my readers wanting to know if there were an easier book available for them to communicate the low-carb lifestyle to their friends and family who would never invest the time and energy into slogging through a 600-page Taubesian-styled book! The e-mails kept pouring in over the past few years and I forwarded all of these to Gary Taubes himself to consider writing a more “consumer-friendly” version of his instant classic. After much prodding from the low-carb community, he was finally able to convince Knopf to let him write another book that would be shorter in length, contain a lot less science-speak, and be much more practical in nature for those who needs such guidance and direction when it comes to how they eat for weight loss and health. The result of that effort was the highly-anticipated December 2010 release of Why We Get Fat And What To Do About It (read my review) which was based on various lectures that Taubes had been presenting over the past few years on college campuses and at medical conferences (like his “Why We Get Fat” presentation for Innovative Metabolic Solutions in August 2010). The book has followed in the footsteps of Good Calories Bad Calories landing on the New York Times bestsellers list for Hardcover Advice & Misc. this month. It’s interesting to see the 272-page book doing so well even without any big media so far (except for this month’s Reader’s Digest cover story). But all that’s about to change coming up this Thursday when Taubes is set to make an appearance on one of the top 20 syndicated daytime television shows in AmericaThe Dr. Oz Show!

One of my dedicated readers asked me on Sunday whether I knew that Gary Taubes was going to be a guest with Dr. Mehmet Oz on his Emmy Award-winning television show this week. REALLY? I told her I didn’t know anything about it and that I’d have to check in with the man himself to confirm if it’s true or not. Minutes after inquiring about what my reader had shared, Taubes wrote back to me confirming that he will be “filming Oz on Wednesday” but that he didn’t know exactly when it would air. The producer of the show told him that it could be upwards of two weeks before it is shared on the show. So I wrote my reader back who insisted it was airing THIS Thursday, February 24, 2011 on The Dr. Oz Show and that she received an e-mail about it from her Oprah Winfrey mailing list. She e-mailed me the Oprah newsletter showing me what she saw and you’ll notice to the left that’s the listing for the Taubes appearance on Dr. Oz’ show coming up this Thursday. I’ll update you on the correct date as soon as I find out for sure. You’ll want to set your DVRs to record this one and at least some snippets of it should be available online after it airs. I’m happy for Gary Taubes to have this unique opportunity to state his case on a very popular daytime television show that reaches a wide range of people who are concerned about their weight and health. While Dr. Oz hasn’t always been the biggest supporter of low-carb nutritional principles over the years, I admire him for giving a voice to those who understand why controlled-carbohydrate diets are necessary for so many of us. In fact, I submitted my own personal low-carb success story to the show recently, so we’ll see what happens if they’re truly interested in showing the viewers what low-carb living looks like in the lives of real people.

Although Taubes is a very polished speaker and communicator explaining why low-carb diets are necessary for preventing obesity and chronic disease (listen to him wax eloquently in Part 1 and Part 2 of my January 2011 podcast interview with him), he admitted that he has “this horrible feeling” about how he will be portrayed on the show since the entertainment value seems to be more important than the educational aspect of the show. I assured him that regardless of how they try to make him look, just stay in control of the message as much as you can when it’s your turn to speak and the truth will prevail. I even told him to remind Dr. Oz that he even admitted he eats a low-carb diet when he was Larry King Live in 2007. I think there’s nothing but upside to any media exposure as substantial as this and I can’t wait to see how Gary Taubes does. He told me he’d follow-up with me about how the taping goes for him on Wednesday, so I’ll likely be sharing another post reporting on what happened. Then look for Gary Taubes on The Dr. Oz Show to show up on your television screen come Thursday! Go Gary go!

2-23-11 UPDATE: I just heard from Gary Taubes on the set of The Dr. Oz Show and they informed him his interview with Dr. Oz will air on Monday, March 7, 2011. More details on how the interview went for him coming soon!

  • Mark Haub

    I can empathize with his “horrible feeling”. Keep up the good work Jimmy.

    • Yes, you’ve been in the lion’s den of media coverage yourself, haven’t you Mark? 😀

  • I think a main problem with low carb being accepted is the fact that most of the bigger proponents focus [almost] solely are carbs, while praising foods like mayonnaise and bacon due to marketing potential. I’m not saying bacon is unhealthy, but it is already so ingrained in people that the acceptance rate of this “new diet” will be extremely low, as it sounds like quackery. I think it would be more easily accepted if approached from the tradtional diet angle because it could be understood by any ordinary person (moreso than insulin, glycation, etc), and it is less extreme than “everything you know and have heard about fat is wrong.” Also, not to put down Taubes or Atkins in any way, but the degree of mainstream nutrition “fame” is definitely not proportional to knowledge, which relates back to my first point in simply recommending carb reduction while not talking about garbage foods like canola oil mayonnaise.

    • I think getting people into the low-carb fray is the all-important first step and then the refining of making the diet better comes later, John. People just don’t have a clue why carbs are making them fat and sick.

      • john morley

        Just watched the show. I think Dr.Oz came off as a corporate puppet protecting his sponsors. Oz talked over Gary repeatedly almost as to keep any info from reaching the audience. After all what kind of mail would Oz get from the enormous sugar and grain producers and there users such as Coke and Kraft USA. If you took everything Kraft USA produced from a grocery store you would find the store almost empty. I truly think Oz deep in his heart supports what Gary is saying but i splaying it down to protect his show from being canceled by the billionaires profiting from sugars and carbs. I have more energy on the low carb high protein and fat diet than Ive ever had. Dr Oz folloed it for 24 hours, clearly proving he had no interest in giving any merit to this life saving fat ridding way of life.

  • Dave Fish

    I hope Dr. Oz gives him a chance to speak and doesn’t constantly interrupt him this time.

    • Here here! Gary is optimistically hopeful about this…again, any publicity is good for the cause.

  • I’ve very optimistic after seeing the clip where Dr. Oz was asked about the Paleo Diet:
    And Dr. Oz also had the author of the South Beach diet on recently, so I really think he might be opening up, and that Gary will win him over! I’m so excited, because so many of my relatives watch Dr. Oz, and they think I have lost my marbles by giving up bread. I think this show will really help open their eyes. And i hope to see you on there next Jimmy!

    • I’m optimistic, too, Patty! Let’s see what happens. :)

  • Jennifer

    Bet you anything Oz will still be in a tizzy over the saturated fat. He’s really loosened up on some things, like coming down hard on sugar, but even as he edges closer to the correct way of thinking on this he still has conniptions over that, but it was interesting the other week to see him endorse coconut oil, and he was able to explain away why THAT saturated fat was ok. He may be positioning himself to allow a change on his stance.

    I suppose he would blow his credibility with his audience if he flipped too fast.

    • You might be right…although I think he just says whatever he thinks his audience wants to hear to make himself sound credible. But trying to be all things to all people makes you nothing to any of them.

  • R Dunn

    I think Gary will do very well. No doubt he will have some members of the audience questioning the conventional wisdom and looking into it further on their own. It can’t hurt book sales either.

    Also, rather than lecturing to his audience and just conversing with people who have alternative viewpoints, I think Dr. Oz should ask members of his audience to participate in a 30 day challenge, where half of them follow his dietary advice and the other half do a low carb appoach. Do a before and after blood panel, too.

    Next stop – Oprah. Hopefully

    • The 30-Day Challenge idea is AWESOME, but Oz would never do it. He knows he’d get CREAMED.

  • Galina L.

    I am not optimistic at all. Even during interview with Dr.Mercola nothing was said about avoiding of grains. I bet, Dr. Oz will talk with Gary only about how bad are refined sugar and flower.

  • Jon

    It’s seems unlikely they could get the show ready that fast to air… although, like all of you, I’d like to see it that soon.


    I agree with Galina in that Dr. Oz will probably just focus on the dangers of refined carbohydrates and stay ambiguous.

    • I’ll let you know after Taubes records the interview on Wednesday.

  • Terri

    Dr. Oz did give his support to low-carb diets in a Reader’s Digest chat:

    bymywitz asks: What are your thoughts on low-carb diets when it comes to treating heart disease?

    Dr. Mehmet Oz: I have a lot of confidence that these can help because they are feasible ways to lose weight, which is the major driver of heart disease.

    • Terri, Dr. Oz’ definition of low-carb isn’t a high-fat, moderate protein, low-carb diet. It’s not even close to being the same.

  • I appreciate the challenge ahead. I am a dietitian with 25 years in private practice. The important thing to remember is that there is more than one right way to eat. The folks who handle a high carbohydrate diet are not looking for weight loss advice. The low fat mantra of the last 40 years has worked well for them.

    Individuals who are more insulin resistant for whatever reason are the people who gain weight, developed diabetes, increased risk of all kinds of inflammatory states and feel awful eating a high carbohydrate diet. Their metabolism responds better to a stronger protein and healthy fat intake, with careful intake of carbohydrates. They improve most markers of CVD, DM, and inflammation with a lower carbohydrate intake. Despite the tug to focus on the obesity epidemic, the conversation should be about eating for health, not weight.

  • Galina L.

    To Bonnie,
    O.k. lets be concentrated on health. Not all low-carbers are concentrated on a weight-loss, I personally manage migraines, mood-swings and other things with a very low-carb diet. Should be ingesting for depressed and anxious people.When it comes to thous insulin-resistant folks, there are not o few as it is easy to suggest from your post.
    Yes, it looks like there is a challenge ahead for professional dietitians and people who professionally offered nutritional advice (like Dr. Oz). It may require some maneuvering in order not to look too self-contradictory.

  • I am so excited!! I’m so glad Gary Taubes can at least poke his head out to the mainstream community!

  • Val Nose

    Great to hear that Dr Oz has invited Gary Taubes on his show. The low carb revolution is on its way! Fantastic! From my own personal journey I only wished I had known about what makes you fat and sick many years ago. I felt I have been betrayed by our health system and led down the proverbial garden path to chronic diseases! I have changed my whole health status around by being on a low carb diet for the past 2 years. Thank you Gary Taubes and Jay Wortman – Gary’s Canadian colleague in the low carb war against the institutionalized paradigm of our “low fat high carb” current approach espoused by our health institutions, food and pharmaceutical industries.

  • pjnoir

    The true test will be when a co-worker or another mainstream type tells me out of the blue, that Fat is good in a diet until then It will just be viewed as another wild contradiction that gets knocked back down the next time someone on the Today show says reduce your intake of fat. Which they will.

  • Val Nose

    Hey everybody who doesn’t believe that fat is good for you.Take it from me .It is. I have no vested pecuniary interest in promoting anyone’s books or diets about low carb eating.I’m just a mainstream guy and i can surely tell anyone that the low carb high fat and protein has made a significant difference in my life.I have purchased several of Gary Taubes books am in the process of handing them out to some health care professionals,family and friends( They think I’m an evangelical lowcarb nutcase)because I fear that most people are so ingrained with the 40-50 years belief about our whole way of eating.I’ve had my share of health problems and since I changed my way of eating my health has improved considerably.

  • Jimmy, where is your Facebook Share button!! I want to share this post with my FB friends!

  • Mike S..

    Jimmy, thanks for the work you do and I’m sure you’ll put this online for us overseas low carb followers 😉

    I think that making a more readable version of GCBC (aka Diet Delusion here in Australia) in the form of “Why we get fat….” was a great move for Gary. The trick will be if we manage to get some momentum in the mainstream for paleo/low carb how do we all keep it going?

    • That’s the plan, Mike! :) As for keeping the momentum going, I think the work that so many bloggers and podcasters are doing right now serves as a built-in archive for people to tap into once they find this way of eating. I’m at nearly 500 episodes of my own podcast as well as over 4,000 blog entries just at my sites. They’ll have plenty to chew on for a while. 😀

  • Kathleen Morgan

    No matter the outcome…This is a Giant Step in Awareness! Cool :)

  • Jack C

    I just watched the Oz show. Oz was very rude to Gary Taubes and dominated the show with his exaggerated criticism of saturated fat with comments such as “it (saturated fat) will cause me to open up your chest with a band saw”. Oz claimed the 24 hour high fat diet made him feel bad and gave him a headache. He did not give Gary Taubes the opportunity to respond to anything he said. Like many of Dr. Oz’s shows, the show today will confuse more than enlighten.

    I have not read either of the books by Gary Taubes as I was a convert to healthy eating before they were published. The book “Real Food” by Nina Planck is an easy to read book which I think covers the important basic points of good diet.