Obesogens 101: an Accessible Introduction

In Weight-Loss Maintenance on October 8, 2010 at 8:58 am

Here’s a well written link regarding obesogens, which may be contributing to our weight gain as a society.  The article offers practical suggestions at the end:

Doctor Oz on Obesogens 

I have mixed feelings about referring people to Dr. Oz, because I have mixed feelings about the man’s approach to obesity.  On his show, he often recommends foods and health strategies that are good for people of any size, but he hangs on to the notion that fat people should lose weight for the sake of losing weight.  I don’t truck with this.  All people should live more healthfully.  Weight movement downward may be a pleasant side effect in some cases.

His YOU: On a Diet is absolutely the worst of the worst diet books. On p. 27 he even cites a “95% failure rate after two years of people who have lost 50 pounds or more” (no footnote — Dr. Oz is his own footnote, a common conceit among MDs), but then he goes on and proposes that people diet anyway, his way this time. Presumably, this time everyone will succeed because they understand a little more about the digestive system, they’ll exercise with help from a pencil-drawn elf, AND they’ll invoke his clever little mantra and make a “YOU-turn” every time they get off course. Moreover, the chapter on weight-loss surgery is unethical and simply an advertisement for having a procedure. One of the scariest potential side effects, death, gets NO mention.

All of this said, I still have some respect for the good doctor, and I watch his show when I happen upon it.  I have similar complex feelings regarding Oprah.  Maybe they need a warning:  “View with Grain of Salt (or salt substitute if you have blood pressure issues).” 

Enjoy the link.  Thanks to Pani at BFB for finding it.

  1. I lost all respect for Dr Oz when he told Carnie Wilson that she was borderline diabetic, based on a blood sugar test of 106 (not fasting), taken when she was on Oprah’s show talking about her WLS and how she had gained weight and needed to lose it again. That’s an out-and-out scare tactic that I’ve seen used too many times against fat people to force them into dieting/WLS “for their own good”. Not to mention it’s not the way to diagnose diabetes. If he was going to diagnose her as diabetic, he should have done a glucose tolerance test, not just testing her blood sugar with a meter. Chances are, if he had done the glucose tolerance test, her blood sugar would have been within the normal range and he wouldn’t have been able to use that as a scare tactic.
    My doctor tries to use the fasting blood sugar as a scare tactic with me, which doesn’t work, since I know hbA1c is an average of blood sugar over 3 months’ time, and can be skewed by what I’ve eaten in the last few days before the test (my husband has type 2 diabetes and I’ve done a lot of reading about it). Nonetheless, my A1c always comes back normal, which seems to shock her. For some reason, she thinks I should have type 2 diabetes, and insists that it must run in my family, even though I’ve told her time after time that it doesn’t (can we say she’s as fat-phobic as Dr Oz?).

  2. I can’t help but flinch a little when you say that “all people should live more healthfully”. I don’t really see why you have the right to make judgments like that about me or humanity as a whole. You’re basically saying that everyone should walk around feeling guilty all the time, or that even though you’ve never met me, you know that I need to change my habits in order to be healthy.

    You don’t seem like the type of person to think like that, so I don’t believe that was your intention, but that’s how it reads.

  3. Sasquatch, I define health as follows (and it’s in my “about” entry): Live joyfully most of the time, eat healthfully most of the time, exercise most days and treasure the body that happens. As I sit here thinking, I’m hard pressed to come up with someone who has it all nailed. There are people who eat scrupulously and exercise a lot (I’m one of them), but numbers one and four could use work. Perhaps I should have been more careful and said “most people” instead of all. As for judging, hmmmm. We all do it. Even people with the most generous spirits. I like to think that when it qualifies as “discernment” it is constructive. That’s where I try to stay. I will fail from time to time. Still, I think my voice may be needed. Hope you visit often. And Vesta, you’re one of my heroes. I’m flattered you have taken time from First, Do No Harm and your other ventures to come visit me and help me launch this blog.

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