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How Fat Works: The Inside Story

Evening Program with Book Signing

Thursday, January 5, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Code: 1A0005

Fat plagues us. As a nation, we spend $60 billion annually fighting it. When biochemist Sylvia Tara waged her own battle, she embarked on a mission to better understand the enemy. After years of research and interviews with physicians, patients and leading scientists, she offers a scientist’s perspective on how to gain the upper hand in controlling our weight.   

Drawing on her new book The Secret Life of Fat (W.W. Norton & Co.), Tara explains that our bodies actually have self-defense measures to hold on to fat. For example, fat can use stem cells to regenerate; increase our appetite; and use bacteria, genetics, and viruses to expand. It is also a critical component of our health—even playing a role in our body’s reproductive and immune systems. And although over-eating is most often cited as a factor in obesity, our genetics, gender, hormones, and microbiome also influence body weight.

She suggests that with a better understanding of how fat works, we can be more strategic in controlling it, from fine-tuning our diets to recognizing body-weight set points and using exercise and fasting to release natural fat-burning chemicals.

Tara is a former healthcare management consultant with McKinsey & Company. The Secret Life of Fat is available for signing.


S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Dr SW
Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)