Book Review: The Obesity Code

Author: Jason Fung, MD

Publisher: Greystone Books


Back Cover: The Obesity Code

Everything you believe about how to lose weight is wrong.

Weight gain and obesity are driven by hormones–in everyone–and only by understanding the effects of insulin and insulin resistance can we achieve lasting weight loss. 

In this highly readable and provocative book, Dr. Jason Fung sets out an original, robust theory of obesity that provides startling insights into proper nutrition. In addition to his five basic steps, a set of life-long habits that will improve your health and control your insulin levels, Dr. Fung explains how to use intermittent fasting to break the cycle of insulin resistance and reach a healthy weight–for good. 


Book Review:The Obesity Code

“What actually causes weight gain and what can we do about it? This question is the overall theme of this book. A fresh framework for the understanding and treatment of obesity represents a new hope for a healthier future.”   -Jason Fung, MD

This is a book, plain and simple, is about obesity. As Dr. Fung points out in his book, there are many similarities (and differences) between obesity and Type 2 diabetes, this book is primarily about obesity. As a practicing nephrologist (kidney disease specialist) with many of years of clinical experience treating obesity and type 2 diabetes, he was the perfect person to write this book.

The Obesity Code is a well-researched and meticulously written book. It is filled with helpful information and backed by a lot of research. This book, given the chance, can change the way society views not only type 2 diabetes, but many health conditions that plague our society and the world today.

He discusses what he believes to be the root cause of obesity, hormones–primarily, insulin and cortisol. These two hormones play a major role in not only gaining weight, but also our difficulty in losing weight. He also discusses other key hormones that play also an intricate role in obesity.


My thoughts about The Obesity Code

This will remain in my library as a helpful resource for years to come. Dr. Fung has a unique way of taking the potentially very complex and laborious subject of biochemistry (the science of chemical processes within living matter) and simplifying it. This book was very easy to read and with all the research spread throughout the book, it was filled with page-turning information that really opens our eyes to see obesity in a new light.

He pulls no punches when it comes to holding his peers accountable for their, either lack of knowledge or interest to learn more about nutrition and the true root cause of diseases and inflammation, triggered by the foods we eat that create a cascade of hormone responses that spiral our body in a direction that the medical field can only seem to scratch their heads at while they throw more drugs to control the symptoms, rather than find the root cause.

A personal experience with the medical community: I recently had a flare-up in my right knee that proved very painful. Turns out it’s an abscess, the second one in 1.5 years in the same location. I went to the VA to have them look at it. There is a cyst that is located in the same area that I want to have removed that causes me a lot of problems when I exercise. It’s located very close to my hamstring tendon and can be quite painful with certain exercises.

While I was there, the doctor let me know that she wanted to give me very “aggressive” antibiotics, one as a shot and the others would be taken orally. My husband and I shared with her my reactions and sensitivity to medications and the fact that I don’t use any medications, not even over-the-counter drugs. She suddenly sat back with almost an indigent look on her face and asked, “then, what can I do for you today?”

Later, my husband and I were discussing the frustration and sadness we felt in that moment. It’s sad to us that the medical community (though not all) seem to instinctively think two thoughts for most conditions, medication and surgery.

Books like The Obesity Code are a refreshing light of hope in the ever darkening world of medicine. There was a time when there were more doctors interesting in finding the root cause of the disease.

There was a time, growing up, that my doctor would often ask me what I was eating that was causing my allergies to flare-up so often. We discussed my food choices and the impact they were having on my body. In the situation at the VA, the doctor did not once ask me what I was eating nor advise me to stay away from inflammatory foods to help my body to heal faster. Sad really.

It’s refreshing to know that there are still doctors out there that look for the root cause and not just simply throwing medications, with all their crazy side effects, at patients. I long to see the desire rise for the cure, the root cause of the problem versus the quick reduction of the symptoms. It is not all the fault of the medical community, because I believe it’s also propelled by the insurance companies, big business of medicine and the patients they treat. If we, as the patients, begin refusing the medications or request more assistance to get to the root of the problem, perhaps that will force not only practicing doctors too dig deeper, but also medical schools and training facilities, as well as researcher, to work towards finding out what the true problems is and not only treat the symptoms. The necessary changes in our health care system would be a long arduous process to be sure, but I believe the lives of everyone around the world are worth the time and effort it would take to push for such a change.

In the meantime, my prayer is that more doctors, like Dr. Fung, rise up and speak the truth, even if ridiculed by their peers. I’ve learned one thing from studying God’s Word, whichever direction the masses are headed…whichever direction that we are being pushed despite the alarms of reason going off in our head…the right direction is the opposite way.

If we are told that being overweight is making us unhealthy, as the case of type 2 diabetes, and insulin is a fat storing hormone, and then we are prescribed insulin to treat the condition, only to find we are gaining more weight…it should make us pause and consider what is really going on? I know, by reading this book, that many patients ask their doctors what’s going on, only to be told that it’s normal and part of the process, but doctors like, Dr. Fung, do not stop there. They care to find a better answer for their patients and get to the root of the problem to either significantly reduce the use of insulin medication or eliminate it’s need altogether. I applaud each doctor that cares enough about their patients to fly in the face of the political norm of their profession and seek the greater good of their patients.

While I don’t agree with everything in this book, like the views on evolution, mediation, and on certain carbohydrate choices while dealing with potential metabolic damage, insulin resistance, or carbohydrate intolerance, those are not the reasons I picked up this book. I’m able to look past those differences of opinion to find all the great information in this book and I believe you will too. These topics are minimally discussed in the book, while noticed, they did not detract from the purpose and intent of this book. I only mention it here because others may feel the same way.


Would I Recommend The Obesity Code

Absolutely. I personally did not find this book boring or difficult to read in anyway. I’ve ready countless textbooks and other books written on the topic of health, in one form or another and they can be very difficult to labor through, only to get very small pieces of helpful information. This book, however, is filled with useful information that is backed by well annotated research. Often, research that has been buried by the medical community because it didn’t not fit their agenda or paradigm.

If you are ready to find out what most doctors either haven’t been taught or haven’t taken the time to learn, then this book is for you. If you want some solid answers to your probing questions about why you’ve gained weight and why most diet work for a little while, but invariably fail a few months out, then this book is for you.

While this was written by a medical doctor and filled with a bit of much needed science, it is written in a way that is easy to both understand and follow. And in my opinion, one of the best books on obesity that I’ve read in a very long time.


And, that’s a wrap… The Obesity Code

I hope you found this review helpful. If so, please share it with your family and friends, so they can learn about this great book too. You can click here or on any image of the book on this page to see it on Amazon. Thanks for taking the time to read this review and God bless!



“But all along, we needed to treat obesity. We were trying to treat the problems caused by obesity rather than obesity itself.” 

-Jason Fung, MD, The Obesity Code

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