After reading this article in The New York Times, I was moved to comment. Thankfully, the Times published my comment.
I’m now asking Jim Marks, executive vice president for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to spare some of the 1 BILLION dollars RWJ is earmarking for obesity research and advocacy. It’s time to research and publish findings on The Metabolism Miracle, the state of the science lifestyle program that can enable a major decrease in overweight, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and many other weight-related diseases and conditions.
NY Times; July 28, 2015
How Changing Attitudes Went Along With a Drop in Calories
Fifteen years ago, in July 2000, a Newsweek cover depicted an overweight boy clutching a giant, melting ice cream cone. “Fat for Life?” read the headline.
The Newsweek cover was striking, but not unique. The early 2000s featured a series of obesity-themed magazine covers. Most depicted children.
America had its misgivings about excess weight, even as it packed on the pounds. There have been fitness booms and diet crazes for decades. But in the early 2000s, something changed, many public health experts say: Many people started seeing obesity as a health crisis instead of a personal problem. This shift explains the surprising reduction in calorie consumption since about 2003, the first in decades. Obesity became a national issue — and not just a health issue but a cultural and economic one, too.
Around that time, Americans’ daily calorie consumption, which had been climbing for more than two decades, peaked and started coming down. The sustained calorie declines, combined with a flattening of the obesity rate, (??????? DK) have persuaded many public health researchers that something is changing about how Americans consume food and indeed how they think about it.
The changes began with a growing scientific recognition that obesity was a worsening nationwide problem — and that excess weight was tied to health problems, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer
But acknowledging those consequences came slowly over the last 15 years, perhaps changing more quickly in public opinion than in our restaurants and dining tables. Now, about 95 percent of people believe it is important to prevent obesity, according to polling for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Yet 35 percent of adult Americans are considered obese. (This percentage does NOT include those who are overweight! DK)
There’s no straight line between public health messages and public behavior. But many researchers contend that increased knowledge of obesity’s risks and a broader discussion of the evidence helped shape public consciousness of the issue.
The Centers for Disease Control, the federal government’s principal public health agency, began talking about an epidemic, language evocative of a health emergency. “All of the sudden, we turned around and saw the explosion of Type 2 diabetes, and the public health community started to use the words ‘obesity epidemic,’ ” said Dr. David Kessler, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, and a professor at the University of California, San Francisco.
But many researchers say that the growing recognition that obesity was spreading rapidly among children — along with obesity-related illnesses — helped nudge public attitudes more than anything else. Children are rarely responsible for their own diets. And evidence suggested that it was easier to prevent obesity in children than reverse it.
Jim Marks, an executive vice president at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, said that the growing prevalence of childhood obesity — and all those magazine covers of overweight youngsters — really appeared to get people’s attention. “People became aware it was wider spread,” he said. The foundation has pledged to spend $1 billion on obesity research and advocacy. (Diane Kress hopes RWJ grants monetary and research support for The Metabolism Miracle program that enables a decrease in overweight/obesity, and weight related health conditions. Contact Diane Kress at firstname.lastname@example.org. Can’t wait to hear from you, RWJ).
Two years ago, the American Medical Association classified obesity as a disease. That classification has not come without controversy. But Nikhil Dhurandhar, a professor of nutrition at Texas Tech University and the president of the Obesity Society, a group of obesity researchers, said the change was the culmination of changing awareness that obesity is a complex condition with health consequences, not just an aesthetic problem or a sign of a weak will.
“The focus has been now on the health aspect, not the cosmetic aspect,” he said.
This comment, by Diane Kress, was chosen by the NY Times to appear in the Comment Section for this article
You report that since 2003, Americans are taking in fewer calories. But, Americans are more overweight/obese and have many more weight-related illnesses than they did in 2003. The rate of obesity and weight-related conditions IS rising at epidemic rates.
As a medical nutrition therapist who specializes in treating overweight or obese patients with diet and exercise, I’ve had to change my approach due to state of the science research. For 65% of my patient base, I never discuss calories.
Over 65% of the US adult population has the genetic predisposition to insulin imbalance and insulin resistance. These unknowing individuals gain weight due to excess production and release of the fat gain hormone; insulin. They can’t lose weight and get healthy on a low calorie diet because their bodies over- metabolize one major nutrient: carbohydrate.
THAT is why despite cutting calories; we are getting fatter and sicker. If you are eating low calorie, but the bulk of your calories comes from carb foods like whole grains, whole grain bread, legumes, rice, pasta, potatoes, fruit, milk, and yogurt, and you have the genetic complement for insulin imbalance….you will gain weigh even with fewer calories! Add mixed drinks, juice, sugar sweetened soft drinks, junk food, snack foods, desserts and you WILL become obese.
So let’s not get too smug about eating fewer calories.
Researchers: It’s time to share the truth with the public; balancing insulin levels enables fat loss…calories, not so much. Diane Kress, RD CDE
For more information see: email@example.com. (Blog)
www.themetabolismmiracle.com (The program)