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So I was given the book Wheat Belly last night which claims that much of the US's obesity is caused by eating wheat - specifically the highly-hybridized wheat we grow these days.

  • Does anybody know of any studies relevant to these claims?
  • Does anybody have any personal experience relevant to these claims?

Edit: Dr Tim Noakes, of Lore of Running fame, appears to partially agree.

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closed as off topic by Ivo Flipse Feb 24 '12 at 14:12

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I know this won't answer you question but I've heard about this in the documentary Food inc. They say that a great percentage of what every american eats contains wheat or transformed wheat. Great documentary by the way – Greg Feb 15 '12 at 16:58
First, the question is whether this is an observational study or a clinical study. If it is merely an observational study, then it's results should be viewed with skepticism. There is evidence to show that grains have anti-nutrients which pull nutrients from your body. There is also evidence that we consume far too many carbohydrates in general. However, to assign the blame solely on the shoulders of wheat is unfair. – Berin Loritsch Feb 15 '12 at 16:59
I'm sad that this question was closed as I found @wOOt's answer useful. I ended up getting a lot of references from many sources so I summarised them on my commercial blog here William Davis Wheat Belly Review – Sarge Feb 26 '12 at 14:32
@Sarge That's one impressive blog post, perhaps you'd be interested to blog for Fitness.SE as well? – Ivo Flipse Mar 5 '12 at 22:04
@IvoFlipse Thanks! ...and sure I could do that perhaps. – Sarge Mar 6 '12 at 2:03
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Here is a thorough review of the science in the book, by a credible Nutritional Sciences PhD student (Chris Masterjohn).

His conclusion:

Despite disagreeing with some of the points in Wheat Belly, I think Dr. Davis is essentially correct that modern wheat products are representatives of the type of hubris that is destroying the health of modern humans


But I do agree that the processed junk Dr. Davis calls "wheat" should be purged from the diet, that the development of dwarf wheat has taken its toll on us, and that we should steer clear of the packaged foods and meet Dr. Davis for a pow wow in the produce aisle.

On a personal note, I had fatigue issues that were partially cleared up by eliminating wheat, but it wasn't until going fully Paleo (my favorite variant) that my health really improved.

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