Who you gonna call? Part I: fat diet doctors and celebs
This starts a multi-part blog about the false gods we worship in the field of nutrition.
First, I often wonder why people buy diet programs from overweight doctors in poor health. The worst offender is Dr. Robert Atkins. I would say “was,” but of course his company and family are still raking in millions of dollars by damaging millions of people’s health. I have a friend who has made the Atkins “diet” a lifestyle–for 18 months now (not because the weight has been kept off, but because it yo-yos).
One doctor who treated Atkins for many years estimated him to be 40-60 lbs. overweight. If you follow his diet (which is up to 60 percent fat), you can count on digestive problems, constipation, and foul breath right away. Down the road a bit, you’ll be at risk for heart and kidney disease, cancer, and osteoporosis from the excesses of animal protein and fat and the a dearth of fiber and nutrients. The American Dietetic Association calls the high-protein diets like Atkins “a nightmare.”
Dr. Barry Sears authored the Zone diet (another high-protein scam) that sold millions. He states in his own book that he’s overweight.
Then we have Dr. Agatson who authored the South Beach Diet. His program is the third in the triumvirate of high-protein crimes against the public health. He has admitted to taking aspirin and a statin drug every day because he’s terrified of heart disease. He’s a cardiologist, so you’d think that if he were designing a trustworthy healthy diet, he could come up with something that doesn’t require drug dependency.
Now Dr. Phil is getting in on the $40 billion industry with his own diet book: he’s 6’4″ and 240 lbs., which is clearly overweight on any body-mass chart. But he says his weight is “age appropriate.” What age is it “appropriate” to be overweight? Over age 40? 60? And why? Why is an overweight psychologist in the business of telling people what to eat?
Kirstie Alley has abandoned Jenny Craig, gained back much of the weight she lost as its spokesperson, and announced she is starting a new diet program! She’s neither a health-care specialist NOR successful at weight loss and health. Who wants to be first in line to buy her program? That decision would be approximately as rational as buying books from the dudes listed above.
If you’re gonna sell health, doesn’t it logically follow that you should be HEALTHY? One of two things is going on here with four multimillionaire doctors and one celebrity–Atkins, Sears, Agatson, Phil, and Kirstie. One, their diets don’t work. Or two, the authors are hypocrites and don’t “walk the talk”–they want you to do as they say, not as they do. Maybe both. In any event, Americans ought to spend that $40 billion instead on whole plant foods–that just might put the Diet Doctors and Diet Celebrities, a whole lotta doctors and insurance companies, and Big Pharma out of business.