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Research on excess body weight and obesity has long been predicated on the fundamental assumption that weight is gained based on a “calories in, calories out” equation. If you consume more calories than you expend, you gain weight, right?  Science reporter Gary Taubes and reader-turned-friend Nick Gulino are among a growing faction that says it might not be so simple.

Instead, they believe there may be a hormonal or regulatory dysfunction in the body that leads certain people to gain weight more easily than others. The theory does not indicate that weight gain is the result of personal habits or choices like the current paradigm does. As Gulino himself has experienced, this too often leads to a culture of fat-shaming and blame for heavy individuals.


“This implication, that people in any way have a failure of willpower or just don’t want to be thin, is just wrong. And if you’ve ever been heavy, you know that,” Gulino said.

This conversation is based on a First Opinion by Taubes, “How a ‘fatally, tragically flawed’ paradigm has derailed the science of obesity.

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