Dr Mercola has posted a fascinating but worrying article on his site in which he suggests that alongside many of the normal associated health issues we expect from obesity, such as diabetes and heart disease, it is also related to one third of all cancers. He goes on to discuss the causes and gives some recommendations for over-coming obesity – most involving a reduction in consumption of grains and sugars. Here are some extracts, starting with a reference to the obesity documentary Killer at Large (20 min educational version included below)…
Killer at Large, a documentary film by Steven Greenstreet, tackles the topic of obesity, a problem of truly epic proportions where misinformation is a major driver. According to former Surgeon General, Richard Carmona, quoted in the film:
“Obesity is a terror [threat] within; it’s destroying our society from within and unless we do something about it, the magnitude of the dilemma will dwarf 9/11 or any other terrorist event that you can point out.”
Presently, a full two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. Childhood obesity has also skyrocketed, tripling over the past 30 years. One in three children between the ages of 10 and 17 is now overweight or obese, and 27 percent of young adults, 17 to 24, are too heavy to join the military.
As a result, today’s children may be the first generation whose life expectancy is shorter than that of their parents….
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 110,000 Americans die as a result of obesity each year, and about one-third of all cancers are directly related to it.
Data collected from over 60,000 Canadians also shows that obesity now leads to more doctor visits than smoking. One-in-four Americans is also pre-diabetic or diabetic, and heart disease and cancer, both of which are associated with obesity, top the mortality charts.
Clearly, the issue of how to achieve good health has never been more pertinent to more people. Yet despite the enormity of this problem, very little is being done to effectively combat obesity.
Dr Mercola then outlines four examples of areas of public health policy he believes contribute to the obesity epidemic…
- Cutting calories: Not all calories are created equal, and counting calories will not help you lose weight if you’re consuming the wrong kind of calories
- Choosing diet foods will help you lose weight: Substances like Splenda (sucralose) and Equal or Nutrasweet (aspartame) may have zero calories, but your body isn’t fooled. When it gets a “sweet” taste, it expects calories to follow, and when this doesn’t occur it leads to distortions in your biochemistry that may actually lead to weight gain
- Avoiding saturated fat: The myth that saturated fat causes heart disease has undoubtedly harmed an incalculable number of lives over the past several decades, even though it all began as little more than a scientifically unsupported marketing strategy for Crisco cooking oil. Most people (myself included) actually need at least 50 to 70 percent of their diet as healthful fats such as organic, pastured eggs, avocados, coconut oil, real butter and grass-fed beef in order to optimize their health
- Reducing your cholesterol to extremely low levels: Cholesterol is actually NOT the major culprit in heart disease or any disease, and the guidelines that dictate what number your cholesterol levels should be to keep you “healthy” are fraught with conflict of interest — and have never been proven to be good for your health
His key recommendations are cutting right back on sugars – especially fructose – and replacing carbs with healthy fats such as avocados, coconut oil, organic pastured egg yolks, raw grass fed organic butter, olives, and nuts such as almonds and pecans – none of which will come as a surprise to readers of this site.