WHY WE GET FAT AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT, by Gary Taubes. Alfred A. Knopf, 257 pp., $24.95.

Taubes, author of "Good Calories, Bad Calories" (2007), a more academic and fatter tome, has written a counterintuitive -- and controversial -- book challenging established nutritional wisdom.

And, oh, how fascinating it is.

We all know about "calories in, calories out" -- if we eat too much and exercise too little, we'll gain weight, right?

Wrong, argues Taubes, an award-winning science journalist -- we get fat because we eat carbohydrates, usually the wrong kind (white flour, sugar, even orange juice). Eventually, some of those bad carbs turn into fat tissue, which has its own agenda . . . to get even fatter.

THE SCOOP Taubes' supporting data ranges from why the Pima Indians got fat to experiments on starved rats -- with 18 pages of sources.

THE BOTTOM LINE If carbs are the problem, Taubes writes, then low-carb diets just might be the solution.

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