Weighing in at just 244 pages, plus end notes, glossary, index and the like, the new book The Fat Switch is light for a magnum opus.
That’s sweet irony for an exploration of what its author, Richard Johnson, MD, chief of the division of Renal Diseases and Hypertension at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, believes to be the hidden mechanism behind obesity, a disease that afflicts more than one-third of U.S. adults and is responsible for a host of other health problems, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Johnson is a kidney expert whose research has taken him far beyond the bounds of the typical nephrologist’s sphere.
The Fat Switch ranges widely in building its case that biological survival mechanisms etched into our genes millions of years ago have at least as much say about body weight as do diet and exercise choices freely made. If Johnson is right, medical researchers may one day develop pills that help overweight and obese people get back on a healthier track. Johnson and colleagues are already working on it at CU, in fact.
The answer, Johnson and colleagues say, has to do with fructose, the subject of Johnson’s 2008 book, The Sugar Fix.