Get the key ideas from

The Obesity Code

Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss

By Jason Fung
15-minute read
Audio available
The Obesity Code: Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss by Jason Fung

The Obesity Code (2016) addresses the alarming global rise of obesity and asks what we can do to minimize the risks to our health. The best place to start, Jason Fung argues, is to clear up common misconceptions about the causes of obesity, beginning with the old saw that all dietary fats are to blame. That means taking a closer look at the latest evidence and addressing the true culprit: insulin resistance.

  • Anyone looking to lose weight
  • Doctors and nutritionists
  • Food producers and consumers

Jason Fung is a kidney specialist and head of the Intensive Dietary Management program at Scarborough Hospital in Ontario, Canada. A well-known expert on type 2 diabetes and obesity, Fung is also the author of The Diabetes Code, The Longevity Solution and The Complete Guide to Fasting.

Go Premium and get the best of Blinkist

Upgrade to Premium now and get unlimited access to the Blinkist library. Read or listen to key insights from the world’s best nonfiction.

Upgrade to Premium

What is Blinkist?

The Blinkist app gives you the key ideas from a bestselling nonfiction book in just 15 minutes. Available in bitesize text and audio, the app makes it easier than ever to find time to read.

Discover
3,000+ top
nonfiction titles

Get unlimited access to the most important ideas in business, investing, marketing, psychology, politics, and more. Stay ahead of the curve with recommended reading lists curated by experts.

Join Blinkist to get the key ideas from
Get the key ideas from
Get the key ideas from

The Obesity Code

Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss

By Jason Fung
  • Read in 15 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 9 key ideas
Upgrade to Premium Read or listen now
The Obesity Code: Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss by Jason Fung
Synopsis

The Obesity Code (2016) addresses the alarming global rise of obesity and asks what we can do to minimize the risks to our health. The best place to start, Jason Fung argues, is to clear up common misconceptions about the causes of obesity, beginning with the old saw that all dietary fats are to blame. That means taking a closer look at the latest evidence and addressing the true culprit: insulin resistance.

Key idea 1 of 9

Genetic factors play a larger role in obesity than social environment.

Like lots of other social problems, obesity is often framed as a nature versus nurture issue. So what’s the cause of obesity – does it come down to people’s metabolisms or their lifestyle? Well, the answer might just surprise you: the latest research suggests that social environment isn’t the primary cause of obesity.

We know that from scientific studies of environmental factors affecting children as they develop. The best way of determining how important these are is to look at adopted kids and their families. That’s just what Albert J. Stunkard did. His research on adopted children in Denmark was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1986. Why Denmark? Well, the country is pretty great at keeping accurate adoption records, which is just what Stunkard needed to compare his subject’s adoptive and biological parents.

Stunkard showed that there was no correlation whatsoever between the weight of these minors and their adoptive parents. This indicated that environmental factors had virtually no bearing on whether children became obese or not. The results of the study came as a shock. Until that point, the default assumption had been that social environment was the most important factor when it came to obesity. The argument that early exposure to junk food led to weight issues had been refuted.

That left genetic factors. Stunkard didn’t just dismiss an old theory, however. He also provided evidence for a new hypothesis. When he compared adopted kids to their biological parents, he found a strong correlation: the children of obese parents were much more likely to become obese themselves even if they’d grown up in a family in which everyone else was relatively thin. In 1991, Stunkard published a follow-up study which put a number to his claims. According to his new research, genetic factors account for approximately 70 percent of a person’s likelihood to develop obesity.

Upgrade to continue Read or listen now

Key ideas in this title

Upgrade to continue Read or listen now

No time to
read?

Pssst. Sign up to your secret to success: key ideas from top nonfiction in just 15 minutes.
Created with Sketch.