This book and audio by NPR was brought to our attention by a client of DIAKADI. Endocrinologist and obesity doctor Robert Lustig deconstructs the mythology of fat. This enlightening and fascinating book explains and lays out the reasons why the world is increasingly becoming obese. It goes on to reason that exercise alone is not enough to help you lose weight and without the proper nutritional plan most people feel lost about what to put on their plate. Have you ever tried extreme dieting/fasting? Dr. Robert gives the reader true motivation to never try THAT approach again. Read the below portion of the first chapter in order to get an inside look at Dr. Lustig's book and make sure to check out The Fallacies of Fat.
By Dr. Robert Lustig
Juan, a 100 lb. six-year old Latino boy whose mother is a non-English-speaking farm worker from Salinas, California, comes to my clinic in 2003. He is wider than he is tall. I ask the mother in my broken Spanish, “I don’t care what your kid eats, tell me what he drinks.” No soda, but a gallon of orange juice per day. On calories alone, this amount accounts for 112 lbs/yr of body fat. of course, some of that is burned off, and it might influence total food intake. I explain to the mother, “La frutta es bueno, el jugos es malo (the fruit is good, the juice is bad). Eat the fruit, don’t drink the juice.” She then asks, “Then why does WIC (Women, Infants, and Children; a government entitlement program for the poor run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture) give it to us?” One kid, one mother, one question, my life was changed, and the need for this book was born. Why does WIC give it to them?
There is real science behind our worldwide obesity catastrophe. And science should drive policy, but as you will see, the politics get in the way. This is the most complex issue facing the human race this side of the Arab-Israeli conflict. It has become incrementally more complicated over time, has multitudes of stakeholders with set agendas, and has become bigger than the individual parties involved. It is devoid of simple solutions, has destroyed families, and has claimed the lives of countless individuals in its wake. You can’t pick up a newspaper or log onto the internet without seeing some new statistic on the obesity pandemic.
It’s All Obesity, All the Time. And how many of them have something good to report? You can bet that any associated tabloid is about one of two things—either the statistics are getting worse or another obesity drug was denied or withdrawn by the Food and Drug Administration. I’m sure you’re sick of it. I know I am. And weight loss has turned into a blood sport—just tune into The Biggest Loser. Eleven years ago, the media reported that six million kids in America were seriously overweight. We have tripled that number in a decade and the numbers are now surpassing 20 million. Yet for all the media attention, visibility, discussion, and weight loss programs, even Michelle Obama can’t put the genie back in the bottle. While we’re getting fatter, we’re also getting sicker.
Our risk for illness is increasing faster than the increase in obesity per se. Indeed, the cluster of chronic metabolic diseases termed metabolic syndrome— which includes obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), lipid (blood fat) disorders, and cardiovascular (heart) disease—is snowballing by leaps and bounds. And then there are the other obesity associated metabolic diseases such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, kidney disease, and polycystic ovarian syndrome. Add to that the other co-morbidities associated with obesity, such as orthopedic problems, sleep apnea, gallstones, and depression, and the medical devastation associated with the obesity pandemic is staggering. Every one of these diseases has become more prevalent over the past 30 years. What’s more, all of them are now found in children as young as 5. We have an epidemic of obese 6-month olds!