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 America—The 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!