The monetization of obesity

It’s all over the news: The American Medical Association released a statement recognizing obesity as a disease.

Obesity advocacy groups hailed the decision as a major victory. AMA Board Member, Dr. Patrice Harris, said, “Recognizing obesity as a disease will help change the way the medical community tackles this complex issue that affects approximately one in three Americans.” Joseph Nadglowski, president and CEO of the Obesity Action Coalition, a non-profit obesity advocacy group, felt that identifying obesity as a disease may also help in reducing the stigma often associated with being overweight.

It all sounds good, doesn’t it? Let unstigmatize obesity. Let’s not blame the victim. Let’s get these people help when and where they need it.

Step back a second. How and why did this happen?

Well, it’s hard to know how the internal discussions at the AMA went until we get a look at the transcripts. But let’s take a look at the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC). I believe it tells the whole story.

The OAC Board of Directors is filled with bariatric surgeons, such as Drs. Titus Duncan and Lloyd Stegemann, people who make a living from procedures and surgeries like gastric bypass and lap-band. The largest contributors to the OAC? Eisai Pharmaceuticals, maker of BELVIQ, the new drug for weight loss; Ethicon EndoSurgery, makers of laparoscopic operating room supplies; Vivus, Inc., another obesity drug maker; the American Society for Bariatric Surgeons; and Orexigen, developer of the combination drug naltrexone-buproprion for weight loss, now in FDA application stage. (Recall that naltrexone is the opiate blocking drug taken by heroin addicts but now being proposed to be gain approval for weight loss.)

In other words, while it is being cast as something being done for the public good, the motivation is more likely to be . . . money: Bariatric surgeons gain by expanding the market for their procedures to patients who previously did not have insurance coverage for this “non-disease”; operating room supply manufacturers will sell more equipment for the dramatically increased number of surgical procedures; obesity drug manufacturers will have the clout to pressure health insurers to cover the drugs for this new disease.

From the perspective of the Wheat Belly arguments, I see the world something like this: Tell the world to eat more “healthy whole grains,” complete with the gliadin-derived opiates in wheat that stimulate appetite by binding to the opiate receptors of the human brain; we eat more–400 calories per person, per day, 365 days per year, with most of those calories coming from junk carbohydrates like corn chips and soft drinks, the sort that stimulate insulin, the hormone of fat storage; experience repetitive high blood sugars and insulin from the amylopectin A of wheat, the complex carbohydrate in wheat that behaves more like a simple sugar. We gain and gain and gain.

Doctors blame us for gluttony, failure to exercise enough, too many snacks, etc., then thoughts of drugs and surgery start to be entertained.

Treating obesity as a disease allows this condition to be subsumed under the domain of healthcare. After all, “healthcare” is nothing of the kind: It has nothing to do with health. Consistent with much the way healthcare is conducted nowadays, I call the healthcare system “The system to maximize profit from sickness.” And so now it goes with obesity.

To the system, you are worth more obese than slender. You are worth more diabetic than non-diabetic. And you are worth more as a wheat-eater than as a non-wheat eater.

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Comments & Feedback...

  1. Neicee

    Dr. Davis, I’m so glad you rushed to comment on this. It will now be all the rage for people to innocently proclaim they’re at death’s door since obesity is now deemed a disease (and I’m sure disability or extended leaves of absence to follow). Rather than the medical personnel helping to council and guide them to altering their eating habits the new patients will simply be encouraged to be happy popping pills or being wheeled into surgery. Well, I refuse to be a victim and rely on others to help me sort out what I need and already know to make me feel terrific – no wheat/grains/carbs/sugar. It’s so simple and doesn’t cost a thing.

  2. Linda

    There could not be a clearer case study of how big pharma, big food and the current medical establishment screw with our health as they rob us financially. The question is how do we combat this? I know taking personal responsibility for my health is what’s available to me and that if enough of us stop buying non-foods there might be a ripple in the market. BUT is there nothing we can do to blow the whistle on these callous greedy people? Surely there are some muckrakers left in the media.

    Dr. Davis, I hope you can gather some power brokers and challenge them. Or at least protect yourself from the negative onslaught that is bound to occur as you keep pointing out the truth and showing thousands of people how to successfully regain their health without giving the surgeons one thin dime. I know your approach and knowledge has worked for me and I thank you.

  3. Jeanne

    When I read the AMA statement / proclamation ? on a medical website I wanted to just scream and pull out my hair! Utter flipping nonsense!!

    I agree with your assessment Dr. D, it is money driven, to our loss and detriment.

    A recent example of this was discovered in my own family- my mom reveals she has been taking Crestor, she has NEVER had high cholesterol and is a healthy 76 yr old, who still works 5 days a week!
    When prodded, she said the doctor told her that her tryiglycerides were too high and wrote the script. ARGHH, more hair pulling ( figuratively of course). I explained triglycerides were directly correlated to carb intake, and if she would lower her intake her tri’s would automatically drop. Cue pin drop.
    Her reply? ” Maybe by now she knows I won’t stick to a diet and prescribed this instead”.

    Is this message going to take a generation or 2 to be taken to heart?

    • Dr. Davis

      Wow, Jeanne: Crestor for triglycerides? Your mom needs a new doctor!

      Yes, it is going to take a while for the billions of dollars spent to market drugs to be counterbalanced by sobering up by my colleagues!

      • Neicee

        Dr. Davis, I’m sure you’re all over this revelation that hit the various websites this AM and noted that Dr. Steve Sauver of Mayo Clinic that 70% of Americans chow down on at least (1) prescription med. One-half of those take (2) and remaining 20% gobble up (5) or more. The article I read was on “The Chemical Hijacking of America”…..another great article by Dr. Keith Ablow, psychiatrist, on the A-team at Fox News wrote another that flatly stated alcoholism and obesity are not diseases – and that by declaring them such makes the work of psychiatrists even more difficult.
        Lastly: caught a blurb on one of the pop-ups that stated “An old saying warns the whiter the bread, the quicker you’re dead”…..
        Sir, methinks you’ve started a revolution and it’s only going to snowball unless stalled by the you-know-who’s that have something to gain from marketing the very items that are making us sick! Thank you for your willingness to take on this monster and it’s siblings – sugar and other grains.

        • Dr. Davis

          It is indeed a sad, sad situation we find ourselves in as a society, eh, Neicee?

          This is why our discussions in this and similar places is so important. I cringe to think what would happen if I didn’t have nice people like you to discuss these issues with!

  4. RenegadeRN

    Between the Wheatbelly and Paleo/Primal contingent , who both deliver basically the same dietary message, maybe we can exert changes via example. Revenge is a life well lived!

  5. Vivian

    What awful news. All I can do is be an example of the no-grain lifestyle and hope that people will see THE TRUTH! Gone is my pendulous “omentum”, the sleep apnea and the painful knee arthritis…..45lbs. gone in one year. How to fight this madness? I am so glad my eyes are open to this SCAM…but so many people are resistent…in LOVE with their killing BREAD etc. Sadly, now that obesity is now deemed “a DISEASE:” so much health care money will be directed to this area…when there are so many more worthy destinations.

  6. Cranberry

    The thing that sickens me most about today’s medical sytem is that it seems to have less to do with actual Healing than with labelling, medicating & dissecting humanity like a bunch of guinea pigs. It seems rather corrupt to continually promote disease rather than healing. Seems virtually any spectrum of symptoms that lend to the body being “not at ease” can be made into the next money-making “disease” (promoting illness as a static condition). What seems to be diseased, is the entire “modern” approach to life, health, & healing, particularly in North America (aka the petulant know-it-all youth in a world of advanced wisdom that would otherwise counsel respect for mother nature’s power). I am heartened to see that not every medical doctor falls for such mythological “science” (of worshipping the mighty dollar), that many naturopathic doctors & others interested in the Healing Arts courageously demonstrate a continually developing understanding in the body’s ability to actually Heal, & dare hope more will also.

    • Cranberry

      The arrogance & ignorance of those steering this vessel we call “modern medicine” (or is it modern “economics” or simply modern monkeying around with life?) reminds me of a once-“modern” ship called the Titanic. People had faith in it (and in the men who built it and bolstered it) as well, but Mother Nature proved more (devastatingly) powerful. It’s unfortunate that so many caught in the middle of the situation, paid the ultimate price, with their lives. Perhaps wheat belly is the tip of an iceburg. Let’s temper “advances” with humility, caution, and RESPECT for life, ensuring we’ve got enough life boats (contingency plans) to save from self-serving seedy greedy systems, and that we learn how to stay afloat when things go south. To me this means learning to row with *both* oars in the water; (not just mental but emotional too). I am pondering that the natural gift of Anger, when we embrace it responsibly, is Strength.

  7. Cindy

    Amen to all that’s been stated here. This decision to consider obesity a disease speaks directly to MONEY, MONEY, MONEY! In a perfect world, this wouldn’t be happening, but we all know life ain’t perfect. It will take a long time to change the mindset of most Americans about what they eat. We are in a hurry and want convenience, cheap, and good taste with no regard to what’s in the food we consume. Unless a person has health issues, it is easy to ignore the naysayers who regard our current quality of food as the underlying cause of these issues.

  8. fudgecake

    I was once at the home of a woman who was quite overweight and she was eating one of those frozen ice cream cones. When she finished she got off the couch, went to the kitchen, opened the freezer and took out another ice cream, and as she walked back to the couch said, “Everyone in my family is overweight. It’s an illness. I can’t help it.”

    This official recognition of obesity as an illness will allow some people to relax into their situation and indulge it, thus fattening them up for their nearly inevitable medical intervention.

    Go ahead, have another Drumstick, my dear. Your friend, fudgecake.

    • > This official recognition of obesity as an illness will allow some people to
      > relax into their situation and indulge it, …

      Absolutely, and the sponsors of the reclassification not only don’t care about that “unintended consequence”, they are counting on it for future business.

      The obese may also desire at some point to not be obese, and the reclassification gives them utterly false confidence that medical system now has solutions for them, which, of course, it does not. We’ve already discussed the downside of bariatric surgery on this blog. BELVIQ appears to have horrible side effects, and may itself be addictive. Naltrexone merely begs the question of what opiates are the root problem (wheat), and why not just address that.

      From the base article:
      > … identifying obesity as a disease may also help in reducing the
      > stigma often associated with being overweight.

      That is much more easily and effectively done by telling the overweight about the two agents in their diet that have done this to them: wheat and fructose.

      • Lynda (Fl)

        Declaring obesity a ‘disease’ scares me silly. ( I grew up thinking a disease was something contageous.) I haven’t seen any more sucess with alcoholism since they declared it a ‘disease’ and I have plenty of them on all sides of my family to judge the lack of sucess. This gives everybody an excuse so they can weep and wail their victimhood, instead of trying ways to improve themselves. This should work well for the obese nurses who I have stood beside while they encouraged patients to be healthy ‘like them’! In another generation, we may have no normal bodies to judge ourselves by and a medical communitee that promotes it. I see a huge divide in diet information: healthy grains on one side, low carb on the other. In my experience, this usually means somebody is seriously wrong on one side or the other.

        • > Declaring obesity a ‘disease’ scares me silly.

          Diseasification: Classifying the outcomes, caused by the choices people freely make, as illnesses, even when those outcomes are 100% avoidable, and 100% treatable without medical intervention.

          In 2017, diseasification will be added to the DSM-5 as a mental illness.

          Of course, ailments caused by toxins can be diseases. We arguably do have agents at work in obesity (wheat and fructose), but it would require way to much enlightenment to get consensus medicine to acknowledge that.

          • Lynda (Fl)

            >In 2017, diseasification will be added to the DSM-5 as a mental illness

            Boundless, you have such a way with words! I laughed till I had tears in my eyes. If I’m still around in 2017, I’m checking the DSM because I’m sure you’ll be right (and then I’m laughing again). This is truly a case of laugh or cry. Keep your posts coming, I love them. They are witty, well researched and so insightful.

          • by the way, Wiki has this to say about the DSM:
            “Another criticism is that the development of DSM-5 was unduly influenced by input from the psychiatric drug industry. A number of scientists have objected that the DSM forces clinicians to make distinctions that are not supported by solid evidence, distinctions that have major treatment implications, including drug prescriptions and the availability of health insurance coverage.”

            Sound familiar?

          • Lynda (Fl)

            Very familiar, Boundless. I, personally, have been in and out of that book so many times in my life that it’s ridiculous. Funny thing, my health is about the same no matter how they classify me! I used to watch the dr. I worked for throw that book around and that was way before #5. Wheat: it’s what’s not for dinner (along with sugar, etc, etc). I agree that DSM- (pick a number) is supported by the drug companies and I’ve seen a few drs staggering around on them, too. Frankly, I belong to the behavioral school.

        • Linda

          “I haven’t seen any more sucess with alcoholism since they declared it a ‘disease’ and I have plenty of them on all sides of my family to judge the lack of sucess.”

          A big thank you from this poster regarding that sentence! I have railed against that ignorant notion for years, watched my late ex-husband CHOOSE to hit the bottle again after 14 years of sobriety. I was asked not to return to ALON meetings because I would not buy into that “disease” concept in order to accept his evil behavior. [He became both verbally and physically abusive.]

          Now, here we go again with the obesity issue. Same old BS. With all the information and knowledge and research available to everyone, I just cannot understand why someone refuses to try giving up their wheat and sugar, if only for a month, just to see how it might help.My family is the same way, they are totally brainwashed into believing that they CANNOT live without it.

          • Dr. Davis

            We must therefore commit to educating people, Linda. Maybe your family won’t listen to you when you tell them, but if they hear it from a teacher, a friend, a colleague, a coach, well, they might finally listen.

            So spread the word!

          • Lynda (FL)

            I hear and understand your pain, Linda. I’m sure Al Anon would toss me,too. While I may not have as serious a problem with alcohol, nicotine, wheat, etc as others, I stll believe it’s it a choice one has to make to use or not use, to hurt oneself or others.

      • Lynda (Fl)

        I wonder how many of our younger members realize that our intestinal problems (IBS, etc) were considered to be mental problems less than fifteen years ago? A great many of us were written off as seriously neurotic for most of our lives. That was as helpful as feeding us grain. It was a great relief to first find a medication that helped and now to not have those problems anymore due to wheat elimination. It’s been a year and a half without that pain.

  9. oolichan

    “To the system, you are worth more obese than slender. You are worth more diabetic than non-diabetic. And you are worth more as a wheat-eater than as a non-wheat eater.”

    The brutal truth.

    • Emaho

      Yes, the brutal truth! About ten years ago there was a large three part article in the New York times about the cost of diabetes. OMG, they found that Belleview hospital in NY city had more than three floors of that massive hospital being used for complications of diabetes. One floor was for heart surgery at about $10,000 to $70,000 a pop; another for foot and leg amputations at a somewhat less cost than heart surgery; and a third floor for kidney problems again similar costs. The hospital made huge profits off of these floors. Verse the three or four rooms dedicated to diabetes education which paid about a $1,000 or less per patient. After a few years of their diabetes education program, it was closed as not profitable!
      I’d also like to point out that our insurance rates will go up to cover the insurance companies cost of paying for the obesity procedures and for the insurance companies’ profit on those cost.

      • Brian

        As an organ donor I’ve decided to include warning labels on my various organs such as: you have just received (type your organ in here) from a donor who for the sake of his health eliminated wheat, dairy and alcohol and as a result enjoyed a very active disease free life. Feed these organs any of the above and your life will be miserable” The idea of some big ass lout getting my organs makes me want to live to a point where I’m only good for compost!
        ps the liver can handle 1 bottle of wine per week.

        • RenegadeRN

          Ha Ha! Loved your post! I’m seeing the little labeled flags you see in a toothpick sticking in cheese on a appetizer table!
          Yeah, I’m warped. Occupational hazard.

  10. TJ the Grouch

    YEAH, I HAVE A DISEASE! It is so wonderful to have every duty and responsibility taken away from me. I can smoke, drink, over-eat, not exercise, shoplift, steal, cheat and lie with impunity, I HAVE A DISEASE! Not only that, since I have a disease, it is now somebody else’s job, no, duty and obligation, to take care care of me, to “cure” me. I need not be responsible for this, for it is somebody else’s job. What a wonderful world this is becoming. The slippery slope is no longer. We have, as a society,. arrived at rock bottom.

  11. Cindy

    The rising cost of insurance to cover these procedures more than upsets me. As a culture, we continue to lessen an individual’s responsibility to take control of their health. This decision to consider obesity a disease is absolutely ridiculous. I know from where I speak as I have a close family member who is morbidly obese and refuses to attempt a change in diet. Has had kidney stones, has been on BP meds for several years, is often sick, and does no exercising. His weight has nothing to do with a disease. It has everything to do with choice.

    • Dr. Davis

      Yes, I fear you are absolutely correct in many instances, Cindy: Those of us who understand and seize control over health will bear this burden!

      • LydTN

        Speaking from the standpoint of someone who has been overweight, and more recently obese, my whole life, it is absolutely NOT a disease, but there is so much more to it than choice, which I think is the positive message that Dr. Davis’s book has the potential to convey if used correctly. The addiction to bad foods – compounded by the constant media bombardment of carb-laden imagery – is a very difficult, and depressing, cycle to break. I am a “weight cycler,” losing and gaining the same 50 pounds since I was seventeen. The older I get, the harder the cycle gets to break. Thankfully, I am only 30, so I believe there is still hope! And belief has a lot to do with it. We’ve all seen dozens of weight-loss and health fads come and go over the years, and each time one fizzles we get more discouraged. Life is hard, and food is pleasurable and distracting. My boyfriend, who is in his forties with a severe “wheat belly” and a pack-a-day smoking habit just doesn’t believe the hype. My father is similar (minus the smoking habit). They simply have to see it to believe it. I could lecture them both all day long and they’d still run straight out to KFC. It’s not that they trust the medical industry any more than the rest of us; they like many Americans are completely suspicious of anyone telling them how to live. The compound problem of addiction and ideology, then, requires a lot more than pills and surgery to overcome, and certainly won’t be solved by telling them to make “better” choices.

        • Barbara from New Jersey

          Dear LydTN,

          You would be the perfect motivator for your parents and boyfriend. The longer you are wheat/grain/sugar free, the thinner you will be and the better you will feel. Your attitude changes for the positive when you aren’t eating foods that your body doesn’t like. Your family and your friends will certainly notice!

          Your “choices” are yours and no one elses. Whether your family and boyfriend agree or disagree, it is their right to determine what they eat just as it is yours. It has to be frightening for you to see your Mother immobilized at 63 and your Dad with a large wheat belly. This is not a terrific future for them. Even your boyfriend, who is part of the 20% of Americans who still smoke and has a wheat belly, is obviously compromising his health. BUT, this is THEIR decision and their life, not yours.

          No one likes to be lectured. You do your loved ones a great service by just becoming wheat, grain and sugar free and letting them notice the wonderful changes that are happening to you. Yes, it is difficult to ignore the endless advertising, the quick and easy food kits you find in the supermarket and all the sugary, starchy foods for snacks. Just remember that all these companies employ chemists working full time to have you choose their product so they make a lot of money.

          This wheat free diet phenomenom is worldwide. Most people are sick and tired of feeling sick and gaining weight while getting little help from their doctors who are more concerned about billable hours than your health. Big pharma, big food and big government have joined forces to further control your life and tell you how to live. So why isn’t your family suspicious of the food that is making them fat and sick?

          • LydTN

            I guess what I am saying about choices is that I think it is more useful to look beyond the choices to the reasons behind them. The “declaration” of obesity as a disease by the AMA does the same thing, stopping short of anything that could lead to a solution.

  12. scientist

    I agree with all the comments about the negative side of declaring obesity a disease and have found wheat belly to be a fantastic book that has really changed how I eat and hence, how I feel. I am a converted former carbo-holic.

    I am also a scientist, and so I see one potential POSITIVE outcome of declaring obesity a disease: There is research funding for diseases. Hopefully, scientists WITHOUT conflicts of interest will be able to fund research projects on the effects of wheat on peoples’ diets and therefore bring more scientific justification to the wheat belly cause. As further and further scientific evidence is put forward, the medical community will no longer be able to deny that wheat is a major factor in obesity. Here’s hoping.

      • Rebecca

        I was thinking the same about creating positive changes to our food ideals and healthy eating propaganda. I really think that even a poll or survey of wheatbelly followers may have the power to show some evidence and a need to invest in researching the validity of the heathy eating whole grain and carb information being peddled by health advisors. I know for my husband and myself we have both gone from larger sizes that would indicate being obese to slim average weights in just six monthes, with results like that it must be some sort of evidence. I know I have read the same from many on this blog, it maybe something to put out there.

  13. Shirley

    So what do we do? Create health insurance companies for the wheat-free? Billboards across the land? The WF movement isn’t growing fast enough to crush the AMA.

  14. anne

    I have been gluten free since I read the wheat belly book Sept. 7 2013. I have had amazing results.11 inches of fat gone from my hips and 8 inches off my stomach. When I read how declaring obesity a disease would give more fat people opportunity for the lap band surgery it is sort of ironic that a lady asked my daughter if I had gotten my stomach stapled because I’ve lost so much weight. She just gave credit where it is due. Gluten free by choice with all the health benefits.

    • Dr. Davis

      Ah, thank you, Anne: And you did it for essentially no cost, no long-term ill-effects, no hospital or surgery required!

  15. HB Desiato

    I’m curious if there is some legal reason to declare obesity a disease. For instance to prevent informed, but not medically certified people from giving advice on how to become non-obese. I seem to remember some legal babble about, “if it’s a disease it can only be treated with an approved pharmaceutical and/or by a licensed medical professional.”

    • Dr. Davis

      You raise a very disturbing question, HB. It could indeed be part of the push to “medicalize” obesity and thereby make it illegal to “treat” by non-dietitians or non-physicians.

      This is highly annoying!

    • Sharon B.

      I was just about to raise this question myself, HB Desiato, but I read through and saw your comment. With the medical community (Dr. Davis excepted, of course!), there always seems to be an ulterior motive.

      I fear the day when the black helicopters are hovering above as I make my wheat-free treats.

      Sharon B.

  16. LydTN

    I am so glad that you have commented on this, Dr. Davis. You took the words right out of my mouth. I find this news very disturbing, as characterizing obesity as a “disease” simply puts the cart before the horse and does absolutely nothing to address the core issue: obesity is nothing more than a warning sign that something is wrong. Whether it is poor diet or a slow thyroid, obesity is NOT a disease (I am sixty pounds overweight because of my life-long dependence on wheat due to from-the-cradle vegetarian diet; I am NOT diseased). While the traditional attitude of “put down the fork and get off the couch” approach (I once had a physician say this to me when I was eating 1500 calories a day and exercising five-seven hours a week) has obviously not been the solution, pills and surgery aren’t either. I have struggled with my weight since prepubescence. I have done crash diets, diet pills, medically supervised VLC diets – basically everything that my vegetarianism would allow. I think that the diet pills, prescribed to me by a well-meaning GP who was also obese, did more damage than anything else I have ever done to my body (perhaps apart from wheat) by scrambling my leptin receptors and confusing my body into constant hunger when no on the appetite suppressants. I have been wheatless now for less than a week, but I have already lost almost three pounds and, more importantly, a dramatic reduction in appetite. I have long held a serious mistrust for the medical community who would rather prescribe pills that have side effects more severe than the conditions they are intended to treat than actually try to identify the root issue. My mother, who has been overweight to obese her entire adult life, is now almost completely immobile at the age of 63 because none of the dozens of doctors she has consulted have been able to see beyond obesity as the thing that needed treating. This new declaration does not represented any change whatssoever at all.

  17. Neicee

    Lyd Tn, you’ve headed down a path that will not only take you out of the ‘medical loop’ but give you the body and mind you deserve. It’s not only liberating but empowering. When you can sit in front of an endo that needs to lose twenty lbs. but his assistant that needs to lose 80-100 lbs. and you’re the small one, you can lecture them! :) That day will come. Start slowly with your Mom. Plant one little seed at a time and pretty soon you’ll have a full harvest to present her with your new body/mind/spirit and she’ll get onboard too. Good luck on your journey.

    • LydTN

      Sadly, my mom is totally on board. It’s my dad that’s the problem, and he’s the one who has to make all the meals now because she can’t walk or even stand for more than a couple of minutes. She can’t even move her arms properly! Some idiot doctor a couple of years ago put her on pain meds and told her to stop exercising. Within six months she was on a walker and forced into early retirement. Now my dad is working 50+ hours a week, taking care of the house and pool, and making all of their meals. I am acting as their experiment. I also have some mild rheumatoid-like symptoms in my knees and ankles as well as gastrointestinal issues. Until recently I’ve just blamed it all on my weight. I think it seems more productive to see the joint problems, the GI problems, and the weight problem as consequences of the same problem, and hopefully that problem is wheat! If I am successful, then I know my dad will have to listen. Compromising on his meal planning for a few months could save him a lifetime of extra work taking care of her! He could use it himself, but he has a stubborn streak a mile wide about giving up his comfort foods. He would do it for her, I think, but probably not for himself, despite his high cholesterol, type II diabetes, and high blood pressure.

      • Neicee

        Lyd TN,
        Goodness, you have a lot on your plate and I truly wish you the richest blessings in your quest to get things right for both you and your family. I can identify with your dad doing the things that will make your mom more comfortable and viable, yet clinging to his own wishes for independence and food choices. I’ll keep fingers crossed that he’ll get on board when he sees you and your mother getting better. Please let us know how you’re doing from time to time.

        • LydTN

          I will! Fingers crossed! (Oh and did I mention I’m a full time PhD student working 30-40 hours a week + travelling for work and living five hours away from my parents?)

  18. mary

    Just had to have a barbecue hot dog tonight. Chose gluten free hornel’s and made thin buckwheat crepes to wrap around.
    For the mix I added stone ground buckwheat flour, an egg tbsp of oil and baking soda and buttermilk and added a bit more liquid to thin them out.
    Made this up myself. Wheat free for almost a year-lost 30 lbs.

    • I don’t think we have a full translation of the Swedish SBU report, but as I read Dr. Eenfeldt’s remarks, I sensed that the SBU was being extremely cautious about the whole matter. This is probably the prototype for how low-fat/high-carb will be overturned in the rest of the world.

      If you were expecting a statement like:
      “Today we announce that the consensus diet of the last half century has been a major disaster. Medicine’s failure to note the obvious, and detect the frauds, borders on malpractice. Almost everyone with an MD was an idiot.”
      Well, that’s not going to happen, due to legal liability, and the precarious position that organized medicine finds itself regarding simple credibility.

      The medical committees are going to try to be slow and subtle about this. This SBU report may appear low-key to most of the public, but it’s strident claxon to those in healthcare who pay any attention to it. What? Diet suddenly matters? And we had it upside down? Yep.

      I took an only slightly satirical look at this with:

      • Barbara in New Jersey


        At least this is a good start back to sensibility concerning our diet, foods and health status. I expect the seed companies to use every trick they can think of to increase their sales and dominance in the world of food, just like the tobacco industry did. A last ditch effort to keep everyone addicted and purchasing their products as much as possible while overall sales are diminishing.

        in Megatrends fashion, there will be much more print and publicity about this topic.
        The naysayers will be as vocal and flashy as big money can buy. It won’t change my mind about eating wheat again. It is my joints that don’t ache anymore and my acid reflux that is gone. My bp. bs and cholesterol that has normalized just by NOT eating grains and sugar. Monsanto and big pharma don’t care about me and don’t provide anything that will restore my health if I keep using their products. So why on earth should I continue to make myself sick? Their bubble is ready to burst.
        Shame on them for doing so much harm to people and our planet.

        • > At least this is a good start …

          It’s a start. We’ll soon see if it’s an effective one.

          > I expect the seed companies to use every
          > trick they can think of to increase their
          > sales and dominance in the world of food, …

          They may be about to lose key endorsements, and they also need to be mindful of future liability. Right now, both governments and medical guilds advocate low-fat (which implies high carb) diets with overdoses of the fraudulently named “healthy whole grains”.

          A strong message from the SBU report is:
          the data no longer support such advocacies,
          if indeed the data ever did.

          Those at future risk for having promoted grains are in many cases no stupid (can’t say for the government on that score). They know the First Rule of Holes:
          When you find yourself in one, stop digging.
          The medical community is apt to soon stop being shills for Big Grain.

          > My bp. bs and cholesterol that has normalized
          > just by NOT eating grains and sugar.

          That’s another nuclear footnote in the SBU report:
          Consensus lipid theory is probably incorrect, also upside down.

          We’ll need to see the complete report to see just how thoroughly they considered the matter of “cholesterol” – how it’s measured and how much the various metrics even matter.