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Who You Gonna Call? Part I: Fat Diet Doctors and Celebs

Robyn Openshaw - Mar 09, 2008 - This Post May Contain Affiliate Links

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.    

Posted in: Healthy Weight, Whole Food

9 thoughts on “Who You Gonna Call? Part I: Fat Diet Doctors and Celebs”

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  1. http:// says:

    wow I was thinking the exact same thing why would someone want to teach people about nutrition if they werent healthy themselves? That is kind of embarassing! I don’t know if you watch much TV or not but sometimes I watch Oprah with my mom and this doctor named Doctor Oz sometimes comes on. If you have seen this, what do you think about what he says?

  2. http:// says:

    I rarely get the chance to watch Oprah, but I know Dr. Oz has started teaching people green smoothies–I like what I have seen from him! Doctors I do like (who promote good nutrition rather than just weight loss) include Dr. Colin Campbell (China Study), Dr. Fuhrman (Eat to Live), Mike Anderson, who isn’t actually a doctor (RAVE diet), Dr. John McDougall, and Dr. Young (alkaline diet books).


  3. http:// says:

    Great post! I have fallen “victim” to all you have mentioned (except Jenny Craig) all in a quest to better myself. What a joke! Yes, I lost weight with Atkins, but I was so severely constipated and always felt bloated.

    I have just started on my green smoothie quest and feel so much better! I can’t believe how delicious they are and I don’t think anyone can argue how healthy they are!

    I always struggle with regularity problems. It gets really bad after childbirth, lasting 6 months or longer. Well, my youngest is 3 months old and thanks to the smoothies.. I feel great!

    Do you have any suggestions for nursing while trying to lose weight with the smoothies. My number one goal is health, but I am still about 40lbs overweight.!

    Thanks again, you are a blessing!


  4. http:// says:

    Yes, I think you’re going to find it’s not hard to lose the weight if you nourish your thyroid with green smoothies (and get some green drink–see that on my site, if you want to get even more greens), and stick with whole grains/legumes (unrefined carbs) instead of the refined carbs. Stay far away from refined oils (vegetable oil and animal fats, except a little butter now and then is okay). Instead, get a little unrefined oil in your diet like extra virgin olive, coconut, and flax oil. Just stay away from the fast food, and get plenty of plant food to nourish your baby best and gradually lose the weight. 🙂

  5. amen sister!

    i feel this way about personal trainers too. why should i take workout advice from someone who is overweight?

  6. Anonymous says:

    I’m new to your blog and I LOOOOVE it! I’ve spent years reading and learning about nutrition to try to give my family the best health. There are so many fad-type nutritional guidelines out there that I’ve had to wade through to find what makes sense. It’s so nice to read your well-balanced blog and website full of common sense. I just found this yesterday and spent HOURS yesterday reading the blog, website and watching the youtube videos. The things you are saying are a nice complement to what I’m already doing-no refined foods/sugar/preservatives/additives/colorings at all, fermented foods and drinks ala Nourishing Traditions, all organic whole foods, flaxseed oil, herbal remedies, and so on. We are not full vegetarian; we do include a couple meat meals per wk, but meat is a condiment.

    In spite of all this, my husband had a heart attack at 48 last Feb. due to high chol. that we had no idea about (thought we were okay since we eat and exercise better than 99% of most Americans-didn’t know about his family history.) Now my daughter, age 7, has been diagnosed with high cholesterol. This child has eaten extremely healthfully her whole life-it’s strictly hereditary.

    I’m wanting to incorporate the green smoothies to help them even more, but there is NO WAY we can afford a BlendTec. We homeschool and are on one income and very frugal-the biggest part of our budget is healthy, organic food. Can you recommend anything at all for a lower-priced alternative to the Blendtec? I know it is the best and all else is inferior, but we have no choice and I really want to make the smoothies, especially for my daughter and husband’s health needs.

    Thank you for all the great information you are putting out. I’ve already sent two people to your website! It’s a nice place to be able to send people looking for well-balanced nutritional information. Leslie

  7. http:// says:

    Hi Leslie, thanks for evangelizing for! You must have been inspired to feed your family plant food, because can you imagine the problems you’d have if your husband were eating a Big Mac ‘n Biggie Fries every day? (Wait, I think that’s from two different fast food places.) Your DH and DD are blessed to have you making their food!

    I’m going to interrupt my regular programming (Part II of “Who You Gonna Call,” on the false gods we worship) and post a blog about heart disease right now, for you, based on another question I received.

    You might try to find a used BlendTec or VitaMix on eBay or craigslist? You can certainly try others, but even my Bosch blender attachment ($100 attachment for a $400 machine) makes inedible, chunky green smoothies.

    You can make okay smoothies with a cheap blender if you’re willing to stick to spinach (no really fibrous greens like kale, collards) and if you’re okay with the fact that you’re going to burn it up eventually. Also, don’t use frozen fruit. 🙂 Also, write me a private email, please.

  8. Hello, sorry to post this here but I’m new & having trouble. Used to think I was competent in this area but here’s the problem: I would love to contact Robyn through email however when I try instead of a new email yahoo page I get a new error page. Please HELP!! LOL Hopefully it’s ok to post my email here…. or on yahoo msgr also as spoiledbrunette. ~~Blessings, Kelly

  9. Anonymous says:

    Thanks so much for this great site! I LOVE your blogs! Keep up the good work-we all appreciate it! -Rach 🙂

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