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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

We are all bombarded with advice about what we should and shouldn’t eat, and new scientific discoveries are announced every day. Yet the more we are told about nutrition, the less we seem to understand.

Through his pioneering scientific research, Tim Spector has been shocked to discover how little good evidence there is for many of our most deep-rooted ideas about food. In a series of short, myth-busting chapters, Spoon-Fed reveals why almost everything we’ve been told about food is wrong. Spector explores the scandalous lack of good science behind many medical and government food recommendations and how the food industry holds sway over these policies and our choices.

Spoon-Fed is a groundbreaking book that forces us to question every diet plan, official recommendation, miracle cure or food label we encounter and encourages us to rethink our whole relationship with food.

Diet may be the most important medicine we all possess. We urgently need to learn how best to use it, not just for our health as individuals, but for the future of the planet.

©2020 Tim Spector (P)2020 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about Spoon-Fed

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Not an ideal topic for an audiobook

I'm only halfway through this book, but it's clear that this is not a book that should be listened to, but should be read. There's a lot of information being given in each chapter, and hearing all this spoken means that in just goes by too quickly. I know a fair bit about this topic, having read several books, including the author's previous book, but I'm pretty much lost in this one. Spector seems to contradict himself from chapter to chapter, and makes some claims that I find surprising. For example, he says that no serious researcher believes the hypothesis that cholesterol causes heart disease any more; yet every GP tests for cholesterol, and millions of people, in the UK alone, take statins.

The biggest problem is the strident narration that sounds like the person is telling me off. It's aggressive, and the tone is not at all helpful, but rather insistent. Because of this tone, the content is colored in a way that may be influencing how I perceive the book, but overall, I'm just not convinced by the many studies the author cites (as in most books of this type, about half the content is citing the results of studies, counter-studies, and counter-counter-studies).

In addition, the author says in the introduction that most authors of books about food and diet are hawking something, but he, too, is hawking a service that will soon be available from his company. I had a lot of respect for the author before, but I have much less respect for him now.

41 people found this helpful

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A brilliant overview of our modern food system

I would have preferred if it had been narrated by the author and there are a few points I would challenge, however overall a brilliant overview and insight into food, health and the systems that control them.
He makes some interesting observations on the state of medical training for nutrition, questions why healthy food such as fruit and veg are not subsidised, looks at the broad impact of our diets on our microbiome and mental health amoung other things. Some interesting points on how healthy alternative meat analogues really are, as well as fish. The supplement and bottled water industry are also tackled, as well as pesticides and he touches on the environmental impact of food systems. At times I found it a little elitist and middle class, but towards the end of the book he does start to tone down the messages of buying healthier generally more expensive and less convenient food, by putting the burden on the government to subsidise healthy food and challenges health professionals to be more aware of what modern healthy eating should be.
The author does brilliantly put the weight of evidence through the wringer for most things but seems to skip over it when it suits the point he is trying to make, especially when there is not a lot of research in an area, and I did sometimes get the feeling he was quite contrary and just against everything and would use anything to support the current argument he is trying to make, although I suspect he knows better.
Finally he is very anti the food industry and makes some very good arguments for why this is the case, however if he really wants to make a change he should work with them not against them.
A brilliant book though and everyone should read it.

7 people found this helpful

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Rather similar to "The diet myth"

I would not have purchased this audio book had I realised how similar it was to Tim Spector's other book. I did enjoy the message but much of it was now familiar.

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I listened so far and became increasingly sceptical.

I was already wondering whether Tim Spectre had an ulterior motive, constantly mentioning ‘gut biome’ (his being closely related now with Zoe’). But when he described Coeliac Disease as ‘an allergy’, that was when I stopped listening. My daughter has Coeliac Disease, an INTOLERANCE, caused by an autoimmune reaction!!

4 people found this helpful

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Likely the most important book you'll read to date

I can't rate this book highly enough. it can be a bit dry with all the stats etc, but it's much easier to listen to than to read yourself. But the information is second to none. This is the most important book you will have read to date, and may be for some time, until Tim brings out another... thank you Tim! for a microbiome world I knew nothing about

4 people found this helpful

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  • 09-12-20

Very informative

Very interesting. Gave me a lot to think about and consider. A lot of research has gone into this book, making it easier to make better food choices.

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Educational

Extremely interesting and makes you reconsider everything you have ever learned about food. Each chapter can be picked out and read alone.

3 people found this helpful

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Excellent and informative

Life changing, huge respect for Tim Spector and all his research explained in a comprehensible manner.
Definitely changed my eating habits and mindset. Thank you.

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Interesting but …….

What to believe? Information on Hadza tribe exercise conflicts massively with other authors. Dr Tim says they are lazy and don’t do any more than the average westerner, whilst recently Dr Herman Pontzer says that they do 5 - 10 times the amount of exercise. Does make you wonder who is right and query the rest of the information in the book

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Delivery spoils the message

The monotonous hectoring narration made the interesting content sound dull and me miserable not inspired.

2 people found this helpful

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  • @arcoscadena2
  • 20-05-21

Very good overall review of all food research

The book describes well and puts together a good overview of all the research and makes easy to digest all the complexities of food and how many food recommendations are only based on economical gains.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-01-22

An amazing book!

One of the most important book that everyone who cares about it's health should read!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mattias Wid�n
  • 25-05-21

Missed a more nuanced view on meat consumption

I liked most of the book, it was nicely narrated, even though I didn't learn anything new. So because of that I wouldn't recommend it to anyone that allready know a lot in the subject (i.e. health and sustainability). I would have appreciated a more nuanced view on meat consumption since there is much that suggests that a nose-to-tail diet based on organically raised animals (particularly ruminants but also pigs, chickens, ducks etc) from natural pastures, that are so called grassfed and grass finshed (i.e. raised only on their natural diet) are perhaps the most optimal human diet of all and at the same time probanly the absolutely most sustainable way of feeding as well (in particular if done according to the planned grazing, regenerative, no waste philosophy of Allan Savory, Joel Salatin, White Oak Pasture among others knowledgeable, wise and insightful individuals).

1 person found this helpful

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  • D Green
  • 18-05-21

A True Eye-Opener!!

This is one of the the most eye opening informative books I’ve ever read/listened to. This should be a wake-up call to what you have thought you have ever heard or taught regarding foods/nutrition. This won’t tell you what you should eat but open your eyes to what is really going on in our money driven society! What it will tell you is that we are our own individuals all with different needs Contrary to what Big Food companies tell us and that there is so much more that we need to know. I have recommended this book to many already and recommend it to everyone out there as a MUST READ!

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  • Ramona NotThePest
  • 23-07-21

Eye Opening

As a long term this book was eye opening and has upended my world. Diet, foods to eat or not eat; what works for you may not or does not work for me.

I have been emboldened to speak up and challenge my medical team not only regarding foods but also my exercise routines that work for me but they don't think I should do. Instead of show me the money... its show me the science