No, as a science writer trying to maintain a high level of credibility, his willful misrepresentation of that statistic is telling.
Did the biochem text you used in your doctoral program state that it was possible for insulin to drive a significant net gain in bodyfat during periods of caloric restriction? That's what I was getting at.
The previously mentioned instances of poor research and journalism by Taubes that you have dismissed for whatever eason indicate that he is writing to his bias. This paragraph reeks of apologism and I'm certain that if the AHA, ADA, USDA, etc cherry picked and misrepresented research in the same way that Taubes does (examples posted/linked to in this thread), then Taubes would be all over it.
Its funny that you mention the modern diet as being of poor quality, nutrient poor, and it being possible to be obese and malnourished. Taubes agrees completely with this and has an entire chapter on it in his new book.
And there is no evidence to state that "moderate consumption" of simple sugars does NOT lead to the problem he is stating. It has NEVER been studied. (I'm talking specifically about heart disease, blood lipid profile, etc.)
Calories burned vs. calories consumed- why does everyone keep coming back to that like he said thats not the case? Of course thats the case for obesity. Taubes talks about it in this context- it tells you NOTHING. Of course its true, its a given. The question is not consumed vs. spent calories, the question is WHY are people eating more calories???? Hormonal control (insulin) is fucked up.
And you can go on with the diatribe of "eat in moderation, thats the problem" all you want. The US government, AHA, etc. have been saying that exact statement for 30 damn years and you've seen the good that its done. Its not going to work. People aren't going to magically push themselves away from a table full of delicious food. So what are you going to do? Continue to say the same thing and watch the country spiral out of control? Same thing with the physical activity. People aren't going to get up off their couch from in front of their 50 inch LCD to go pull weeds out of their flower bed, hoe a row of vegetables, or chop down a tree with an axe. The new paradigm in this country is what it is right now. People are going to chill out and enjoy being American couch potatoes. Its in our biological make-up to chill out, and if you don't HAVE to work your ass off your body will not want to do it. And you aren't going to get any more appreciable percent of the population to adopt an exercise program either. Most people don't get into that. So what do you do? Stand on the side and watch Rome burn while saying "Calories in, calories out, people!" Or try to attack the problem by educating people what macronutrient that they are taking in which is causing their bodies to preferentially store calories as fat, and preventing it from burning the fat? They still may not give a shit, but at least they will know the TRUTH and not feel like they are failures when they try and fail repeatedly to just "eat in moderation".