Category Archives: Overweight & Obesity

NASEM: Current U.S. Dietary Guidelines Aren’t Trustworthy

Back to the drawing board

NASEM is the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Dr. Andy Harris writes that:

The nation’s senior scientific body recently released a new report raising serious questions about the “scientific rigor” of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. This report confirms what many in government have suspected for years and is the reason why Congress mandated this report in the first place: our nation’s top nutrition policy is not based on sound science.

Dr. Harris notes that since 1980, when the guidelines were first published, rates of obesity have doubled and diabetes has quadrupled.

Current recommendations to reduce saturated fat consumption and to eat health whole grains do not, after all, reduce rates of cardiovascular disease. That was my conclusion in 2009.

For a mere $68 you can read the NASEM report yourself. Better yet, read Tom Naughton’s thoughts for free.

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: The diets I’ve designed are contrary to U.S. Dietary Guidelines.

Obesity In U.S. Adults Is Now Up to 40% (Four in Ten)

…according to the CDC.

For youths 19 or less, the obesity rate is 18.5%.

To find out if you’re obese, use a BMI calculator.

To combat obesity, follow The Advanced Mediterranean Diet (2nd Ed.).

Steve Parker MD, Advanced Mediterranean Diet

Two diet books in one

Brown Fat and the Cat in the Hat

My son Paul made this

My son Paul made this (I’ll see you in heaven, Romeo)

The Joslin diabetes blog has an interesting article on brown fat and its effect on metabolic rate and insulin sensitivity. Brown fat is just a type of body type different from the more plentiful white fat (which is actually more pale yellow). If there are other colors of body fat, I don’t know.

If you can “activate” your brown fat, it helps you burn more calories, which could be helpful if you’re trying to lose weight. It also improves insulin sensitivity: beneficial if you have type 2 diabetes or are prone to it.

From Joslin:

“When brown fat is fully activated, it can burn between 200 and 300 extra calories per day. It is most successfully activated through cold exposure. A recent study of people with type 2 diabetes had volunteers sit in a 50 degree room for a couple of hours a day for 10 days in shorts and short-sleeved shirts.

“When I say cold, it’s not icy cold, it’s not like the winter in Boston,” she says. “It’s more or less like the temperature we have here in autumn. After this mild cold exposure, all ten volunteers with type 2 diabetes, as shown in that study, displayed increased brown fat activity and improved insulin sensitivity. This is very exciting.”

Dr. Tseng is working on understanding exactly what is happening on a cellular level to activate brown fat in the cold to see if she can create a drug that will mimic the effects. “Although cold works, it’s just not pleasant,” she says. “If you had to sit in a cold room for a few hours every day, perhaps not everybody could accept that.”

Source: How Your Body Temperature Can Affect Your Metabolism | Speaking of Diabetes | The Joslin Blog

Another way to activate brown fat is exercise (at least if you’re a man or a mouse).

Steve Parker, M.D.

We Don’t Know How to Get Overweight Kids to Exercise

From a recent meta-analysis:

“In conclusion, there is no evidence that currently available interventions are able to increase physical activity among overweight or obese children. This questions the contribution of physical activity to the treatment of overweight and obesity in children in the studied interventions and calls for other treatment strategies.”

Source: Effectiveness of interventions on physical activity in overweight or obese children: a systematic review and meta-analysis including studies with o… – PubMed – NCBI

For weight loss in overweight and obese children, you have to focus on diet modification. Same as adults.

Skinny Women Are More Likely to Get That Service Sector Job

“Your worst fears have been confirmed, working ladies.

A study by researchers in the UK and Canada, published in the journal PLOS One, found that women who are on the heavier end of the “healthy” Body Mass Index, or BMI, range were subject to more weight-based prejudice than men who were solidly overweight.”

Source: Employers are more likely to hire skinny women | New York Post

I’m not too surprised about finding. And I’m not saying it’s right.

Easily calculate your BMI here.

Steve Parker MD, Advanced Mediterranean Diet

Two diet books in one

New Anti-Obesity Drugs Allegedly Underused

The article linked below promotes anti-obesity drug prescribing. Like many physicians, I’m not a big fan of these drugs. The article mentions some reasons why.

Phentermine has been around for years, but is FDA-approved for only short-term treatment, like three months.

Some of the newer drugs are approved for longer term: lorcaserin (Belviq) and  the combination drugs topiramate+phentermine (Qsymia) and naltrexone+bupropion (Contrave).

Whether you like these drugs or not, you may find the article interesting:

“About two-thirds of adults in the United States are overweight, and 46% fit the indications for antiobesity pharmacotherapy (body mass index ≥30 kg/m2 or ≥27 kg/m2 with hypertension, type 2 diabetes, or dyslipidemia) as an adjunct to diet and exercise, but only 2% of those receive treatment. This is in sharp contrast to the 8.4% of adults in the U.S. diagnosed with diabetes, of whom 86% receive antidiabetes pharmacotherapy, the investigators noted.”

Source: New Antiobesity Drugs Underused | Medpage Today

Why Aren’t the French Fat?

Julianne Taylor has a fascinating blog post based on her recent trip to France and Great Britain. Julianne is a dietitian and lives in New Zealand.  Please read the entire article.

Her conclusions:

“What can we learn from the French way of eating?

Don’t snack. At all. Eat 3 balanced meals, and snack only if needed.

Planned snacks are fine, children always have an after school snack, or small meal in France. Treat the snack with the same respect as you would a meal.

Don’t eat anywhere other than at a table. Don’t eat walking around, at your desk, in front of the TV, or snack out of the fridge. Prepare, then eat a meal at a table, preferably with company and actually experience the process of savoring your food. Eat slowly.

Choose food freshly prepared from whole ingredients like protein, fruit and vegetables.

Model eating like this to your children, and don’t push them into our bad habits. Enjoy family meals together at the table without any screens or phones.

Treat food is fine, savor a small portion as part of a meal if you wish.

Water should be the main drink, wine in moderation can be enjoyed with meals if desired,”

Source: Eating habits in France, what we should copy | Julianne’s Paleo & Zone Nutrition