By: Tim Adams | Giles Yeo: ‘Love your food but don’t eat quite as much of it as you want’ | Neuroscience | The Guardian
The obesity expert and author of Gene Eating on fad diets, the magic of miso and why he can’t say no to pork scratchings
Dr Giles Yeo arrives for lunch in Cambridge by bike from his research lab at Addenbrooke’s Hospital. In a corner of the Oak bistro he exchanges his clip-clop cycling shoes for a pair of sandals, hangs his fluorescent jacket on a peg, and explains to me the heart monitor that – if he keeps it above a certain daily level – saves him £250 a year on his life insurance. “Their goal and my goal are aligned – neither of us wants them to pay out…” Yeo, 45, is the scientific director of a group studying the effects of genetics on food intake and a pioneer in studies of the cause of obesity. He is, grinning at the prospect of lunch, a somewhat daunting picture of health.
I’m eager to see what he is going to order. His well-timed new book, Gene Eating, debunks much of what we might have taken as read about diet and dieting. It presents the evidence to show that any kind of one-size-fits-all regime is likely to be of little value. He has a gift for describing the science of how our bodies take in calories at different rates and respond radically differently to food groups. Calorie-counting ignores the fundamentals of calorie absorption, and is at best a very rough guide. Much of the trick is to find what works for you.