Go, MeMe Roth, Go..! I Support Your Efforts..!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Burger King and Reebok Meaning of Christmas

Fantastic News! Burger King's offering Funnel Cake Sticks "served all day long" says the TV spot. That ubiquitous and creepy King suggests you might enjoy a "taste of the circus" anytime.

And no worries about those 300 calories, 11 grams of fat, and 7 and a half teaspoons of sugar. Just get yourself a pair of those Reebok EasyTone shoes... Wear 'em to bed like in their cheeky commercial, and Voila!

You still get to have a nice ass.

Hallelujah! Burger King and Reebok together deliver a real Christmas Miracle...

Friday, December 18, 2009

It's Friday Night. Do You Know Where Your Penis Is?

It's Friday night--Do you know where your penis is?

Obesity is robbing our nation of its manhood--literally.

Adipose tissue in those giant bellies is converting testosterone into estrogen. Yes, THAT estrogen. Obesity is emasculating our men. Man boobs, man-o-pause, manly night sweats?? Are we gonna let this happen?

It doesn't stop there. Our overweight boys on the cusp of puberty are awash in estrogen too instead of testosterone. Our obese little girls are getting breasts and their periods in 1st grade instead of 8th. We're a nation of women--but not in a good way. This isn't a feminist movement, but rather a feminizing movement. And that aint good.

Ah Men--their square jaws, broad shoulders, taut chests--they're my favorite. And I'd like to keep the world ratio about 50/50 men to women.

And yet our men are overly in touch with their feminine side, having eaten themselves limp. That's right. This excess estrogen lessens libido and bedroom performance. Forget that rock-hard, 130 degree angle of magnificence--this is castration by obesity. All-Eunuch-Can-Eat-Buffet Style...

Do this. Tonight in the shower, look down... Glorious sight or nothing but belly? No man should stand for an obscured view of his manhood. If I had what you have, I'd really like to be able to see it in person, not just in the mirror.

And Warning Ladies: A good man is hard to find... but a hard man is becoming nearly impossible...

Save the Manhood..!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Zero Weight-Gain Pregnancy- Blame the Baby?

I'm a straight-shooter, so I have zero tolerance for passive aggressive types. My least favorite are those who blame their children for making them fat.

How many times have you heard women talking about "pregnancy weight" they're carrying around years after their babies are no longer babies. I grew up with that silly rhetoric. Every woman in my family regularly claimed "baby weight." Luckily, I also had a look at what they ate and what exercise they didn't do...

What kind of message is it to blame our children for what we ate while pregnant..? Pregnancy doesn't make you fat. What you eat while pregnant does.

Thankfully and tragically, with the majority of U.S. women of child-bearing age already overweight or obese before conceiving, experts have adjusted pregnancy weight-gain guidelines. There's also a new "Healthy Moms" study suggesting the obese mother-to-be keep her weight in check by gaining no more than 3% of her starting body weight during gestation.

We know obesity increases the risk for pregnancy and delivery complications. We also know obesity is associated with a higher incidence of birth defects. Birth Defects. It simply has to be said more than once that we're eating ourselves not just into cancer, diabetes stroke, organ failure and incontinence, but also birth defects for our children.

If you're unwilling or unable to eat properly before, during and after pregnancy, then the socially unacceptable truth is you're unprepared to be a parent.

This isn't about "dieting" or "restricting calories" as the pro-fat bullies roar--this is about a fundamental obligation to an unborn child.

More info on this in New York Times, Tara Parker Pope's "Well" Blog...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Obesity Stuff You Want to Know...

Children Now and the FTC and other bigwigs are discussing "Marketing to Kids" this week in Washington, DC. Are we really still discussing this same topic since the Carter administration? It's wrong to bypass parents and market junk food directly to kids...wrong and also pretty skeevy.

If you can't be in DC Tuesday morning, December 15th, watch the FTC's "Sizing Up Food Marketing & Childhood Obesity" event live via webcast here. The super-fabulous Margo Wootan of the CSPI will be on the afternoon panel.

So General Mills is reducing the sugar content of the cereal it markets to kids. It'll go down to 9 grams of sugar per serving. That's more than 2 teaspoons for every 3/4 cup. Just buy high-protein, high-fiber, high-quality cereal that has ZERO sugar. Then let your little one add 1 single teaspoon of sugar. That'll be 4 grams. I don't like the idea of habituating kids to tossing sugar onto cereal, but I think it's better than the best of big brand's "candy for breakfast" offerings... Going with berries is a better option than sugar of course...

I loved Thomas Frieden when he headed up NYC's Department of Health, (now head of the CDC). And I love our new guy, Thomas Farley too. And I've always loved Cathy Nonas... She's busy rockin' out her campaign "Don't Drink Yourself Fat." The newest installment comes today as a gross-out tv spot.

Are we really serving this shit to our kids..?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Your Family Doctor...on Coke

Yep, it's true... The American Academy of Family Physicians is on Coke--Coca-Cola.

They decided to sell-out in a major conflict-of-interest and take cash from Coke. This kind of corruption is rampant in medicine, but it's true also of the American Dietetic Association (ya know, nutritionists / registered dietitians), who takes cash from Coke AND Pepsi, as well as the YMCA who takes cash from Pepsi, (to fund their Healthy Kids Day programs. Irony Alert..?)

Plus, schools across the country regularly sell-out children's health in "pouring contracts" for quick cash from the soft drink, sports drinks, energy-drinks and junk-food makers...

Enough already.

Ya got nothing if you don't have your health. But trading our children's health away to Coke and Pepsi..? Criminal.

UNC's Dr. Barry Popkin, my professional hero crush, can't fight these ethics battles alone. Get involved now by at least signing on in protest:



Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Hating Obesity is the Start...

I hate Obesity.

Obesity is not the Person--it's the cancer, diabetes, chronic disease eating away at the person you love the most--maybe even yourself.

Obesity robs people of all that they are and can be. It steals their dreams, their bodies, their manhood, their womanhood and their will to achieve their full potential. Obesity simply makes all aspects of life harder--so much harder.

Eventually, Obesity makes even getting out of bed too demanding. Staring out a single window year-after-year at the same hummingbird feeder--That is the view from Obesity.

Imagine shitting yourself in bed rather than making the full effort to get 5 feet to the bathroom.

That's Obesity.

I've seen it up close for decades.

Yes, I hate Obesity. Hating Obesity gives me some of the strength to maintain my own health and weight, and that of my children.

If we're to do anything about reversing America's Obesity Crisis, it has to start with hating the heinous monster Obesity really is.

Monday, December 07, 2009

See the New Food Label from CSPI..?

What do you think of the new suggested Nutrition Label from the Center for Science in the Public Interest..?

I Love it..!

(Full Disclosure: As president of National Action Against Obesity, I volunteer on several CSPI sub-committees, especially in the areas of school food and marketing food to children...)

CSPI can't be lauded enough for their tireless efforts over the past several decades...Michael Jacobson and Margo Wootan are heroes...

How about 1 more tiny change to the Food Label..?

2000 Calories as the suggested daily intake is hundreds more calories per day than most of us require... The average American adult is 5'7"...and, unfortunately, sedentary.

So the daily suggested calories should be something more like 1500 Calories...

Want to eat more? Great! Earn those extra calories with exercise... Every mile run will buy ya 100 more calories.

Either way, with all the wonderful improvements suggested by the CSPI, the Nutrition Label also should reflect a more realistic, healthy, daily calorie intake.

2000 calories works fine if 200 pounds would be an ideal healthy weight for ya--like if you're 6 foot 4.

Read more about the new Food Label in Tara Parker Pope's New York Times article...

Friday, December 04, 2009

The World Suckles Coca-Cola...

Does this image disturb you as much as it disturbs me..?

"Hello, we're Coca-Cola. Here's our business plan for the world."

Keep in mind, this is a TIME Magazine cover from 1950...

Thursday, December 03, 2009

What Do You Call Food..?

Let's loosely define "food" as substances ingested for the purpose of nourishment.

Close enough?

Now ask yourself:

What Percentage of What I Eat is Food?

And What Percentage of What I Serve My Children is Food?

Startling isn't it? I'm not saying we can never eat an indulgent treat. That's never been my point. My entire purpose is that we all be more mindful of just what we're putting into our bodies and those of our children.

Why? So we can compensate and remain healthy. We must meet the daily nourishment needs of our bodies so we may grow, heal and function properly. We also must exercise everyday to keep these magnificent machines working.

And should we enjoy a little "junk food" now and then... let's just be mindful that we need to offset those empty calories with extra exercise.

Also, make sure to go for the good stuff--you know, the treats made from wholesome ingredients. Exercise won't compensate for the deluge of toxins found in most "Frankenfoods."

And please be a hypocrite. Many of us are from the Pop-Tart Generation and we have a whole host of bad habits to set down. Even so, that's no reason to get our kids hooked. They deserve a fighting chance to grow up healthier than we did. (Full disclosure: I grew up in Atlanta and LOVE the taste of Classic Coke. It's true. Although it pains me to admit it. But no matter how much I enjoyed as a kid getting hooked on that fizzy food coloring and high-fructose corn syrup concoction, there's no way in hell I would serve soft drinks to my own children--no way. I realize when they become adults, they may well decide to drink soda. But by then they'll be able to fully comprehend the potential risks of obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, dental decay, short-term ADHD-type reactions, etc.)

You know there are things that "grown ups" do that our kids know nothing about. If you can't say "no" to a naughty nosh, just do your best to be a stealth hypocrite. You don't want to bring it into the house and make a big deal about how "these treats are only for Mommy and Daddy..."

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Buckle Up to Slim Down...

Happy Birthday, Seatbelts..! Well, not your real birthday, but the 25th Anniversary of when it became LAW to wear seatbelts--you know--when people actually started to use you so as not to be thrown missile-like through the windshield.

Knowing the threat didn't seem to work. Americans needed the whole "Buckle Up for Safety" campaign to convince us... And New York was the first state to make it law. Today, only New Hampshire finds the policy offensive to its "Live Free or Die" motto. No matter buckling up has averted incalculable human suffering and saves $3 Billion annually in costs associated with auto-related injuries and deaths that never have to be paid.

I have to confess I wasn't big on wearing seatbelts. My parents never buckled up my brothers and me--all the better for us to freely knock each other senseless on every roadtrip. And once I could drive that red hot Dodge 400 Convertible on my own, well, seatbelts would be waaaay too uncool. That is until not wearing a seatbelt crushed 14 bones in my little brother's gorgeous face, destroyed his lip, and stole many of his pearly whites--I mean perfectly straight teeth without the aid of braces--and not a filling among them. His wreck was 20 years ago, and I've buckled up ever since.

Funny how well seatbelts work when you use them. It's kinda like eating right and exercising daily. How many times do I have to hear intelligent people with PhDs lecture or write about the poor obese souls who, try as they might, "eating right and exercising daily just doesn't work for them..."


Oooooh, what you really mean is that doing those things didn't work because people didn't do them. Ya know, the data on unbuckled seatbelts isn't all that stellar either.

Yeah, I get it, it's easier to fasten a seatbelt than to eat properly and exercise everyday...

But come on people, buckle up and buckle down. It's your life and your kids in the backseat.

As for my brother, he's still super-gorgeous--and single. And he better be wearing his seatbelt.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving with President Obama, NFL's Play 60, and Peyton Manning's OREOs

You maintain a healthy body weight by eating right and exercising daily...

So you wanna indulge a little on Turkey Day..? Go for it..!

Enjoy your Thanksgiving..!

And when President Obama shows up during the game with his "United We Serve" Child Obesity PSA with the NFL's "Play 60" Campaign, the good news will be that the issue of child obesity is getting the attention it deserves. The bad news is that the Prez is apparently going along with Big Food and Big Beverage's talking points about "exercise."

The half-trillion-dollar food industry will say anything to get the attention off of improper eating as the primary cause of America's obesity crisis. (No matter studies show exercise hasn't changed dramatically in recent decades, yet compared to the 70s, the average American today consumes 150-350 more calories per day.)

Don't get me wrong. Exercise is vital. I knock out a 4-mile run everyday, whether I feel like it or not. Fat or fit, you can't be healthy without daily exercise. America's kids need an hour a day--and those are the kids who eat properly. Add in just 2 of NFL heros Peyton and Eli Manning's Double-Stuff OREOs, and that same child now needs to run an extra mile and a half to burn-off the empty 140 calories...

Think Obama will mention that..?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Lost Your Place in Line for Swine Flu Vaccine..?

Ho Ho Ho..! Santas want to be first in line for H1N1 shots. Should you get a lump of coal if Santa wants to cut in front of you in the vaccine line...and you say "no, no no?"

The W.H.O. says those with underlying health risks should go to the front of the swine flu shot line. That includes the obese and those with type 2 diabetes.

9 times out of 10, those who are obese or develop type 2 diabetes are suffering the consequences of habitual, improper eating. Typically we're talking too much of the right food, too much of the wrong food, or a combo of both. Does that mean they deserve to cut..?

In Santa's defense, he comes in contact with gobs of kiddie germs all holiday season long. Plus, he's a prime candidate for spreading swine flu...

A couple years ago I did several news appearances when the governing body for all mall Santa Clauses (yep, there really is such an organization.), having realized the majority of Santas weren't just obese, but dangerously, morbidly obese, asked their membership to lose weight. I mentioned that America's current depiction of Santa Claus is an incredibly successful marketing device of the Coca-Cola Company. They may not have invented Santa, but Coke spent millions embedding his larger-than-life image into our minds. Kris Kringle, Father Christmas, and St. Nick historically hadn't been portrayed so pervasively portly.

I wondered if maybe it was time for a more Jack LaLanne-like Santa, what with Santa having all those heavy gifts to deliver and circumnavigating the globe in one night... Since then, I've had to read all over the place that I called Santa "fat." No kidding. Even The New York Times reported that silliness... I got dumped from a speaking gig because of it. Talk about wrongfully being put on the "naughty" list..!

So Santa's obesity and non-stop cootie contamination put him in line for the H1N1 vaccine in front of whom? You? Your Kids..? Pregnant Women..?

And what about type 2 diabetics... Do they get their swine flu shots before you too..?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

$344 Billion by 2018. Stop the Pussyfooting...

If obesity really will cost us $344 Billion by 2018, as yesterday's stunning report says, where's our state of emergency?

Are we refusing to address obesity due to implications on the Economy? Food/Bev/Pharma would all suffer if Americans ate right. But the economics have shifted grossly when the rest of us have to pay a $344 Billion Obesity Bailout.

We're at the point where 75% of our youth are unfit for military service. It's time to stop debating a baked chip vs. fried. It's time to really do what it takes to reverse obesity...and nobody's gonna like it. But can we afford to continue letting industry decide? Big Tobacco isn't at the table determining how to curb smoking. Why are Pepsi, Coke and Kellogg's at the table when it comes to obesity policy?

We need the soda tax, we need calories on menu boards, we need School Wellness Policies enforced around the country, we need formula pushers out of the ob/gyn offices and breast-feeding perks in, we need junk food out of daycare centers, we need more obesity-related diseases classified as "elective," we need to finally stop advertising junk food to kids (debated since the Carter administration!), we need affordable and easily accessible produce, we need clean, safe and abundant public recreational facilities, we need to stop freshly minting new fat kids everyday...

And we DON'T need to give special legal protection to the obese, as they have in Michigan...and are demanding in Massachusetts. Why should employers be forced to hire expensive employees who are so predominantly by lifestyle choice? Harassment and Disability laws are already on the books. Obese is the dominant population in the U.S., followed by Overweight. So the overwhelming majority--a majority of habitual improper eaters--are now demanding special treatment from the measly minority of us who exercise daily and eat right..?

This is a crisis. Sorry the name isn't as scary as "Swine Flu," but yes, President Obama, this is a crisis we can't afford now, and certainly can't afford the price tag coming our way as the majority of us succumb to decades of obesity-induced chronic disease.

Stop pussyfooting around. We need an Obesity Czar, (I'm available). We need a member from every cabinet office with a plan on how to reverse this crisis right now. Not one single more child should become fat on your watch, Sir--OUR watch.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Candy for Lunch- mmmmm

What if I said I was gonna serve your kid 5 to 7 teaspoons of sugar for lunch..? at school?

And that's just the drink--not the sugary ketchup, sweetened applesauce, floating fruit, sticky teriyaki sauce or high-fructose-corn-syrup-laden bread...

In a tiny half-pint carton of school chocolate milk, that's exactly what kids are getting--22 to 28 grams of sugar, 130 to 170 calories. Your child will need to run an extra mile and a half during P.E. to burn-off that extra sugar. (What P.E.??)

Chocolate Milk is really candy. We all know that. And it's totally delicious. I loooove a tall, cold glass of fat-free chocolate milk. But I also know that it's an indulgence, and I'm going to have to figure out how to compensate for the empty extra calories and that diabetes-inducing sugar spike... It's certainty not something I'd want to serve my kids for lunch during the school day. (Now the OTHER kids maybe, especially bratty-mcbrat-alots, the bullies or the ones competing against my kids for coveted scholarships... THOSE kids should lap up all the sugary-sweet, artificially-flavored milk they can...)

So once again, industry thinks parents are dumber than dirt. This time it's Big Dairy-the brains behind the super-successful "Got Milk." Check out milk's food pyramid dominance if you're curious just how powerful the Dairy Industry is. No matter most people on the planet get gassy, bloated or suffer bouts of diarrhea from drinking cow's milk, Big Dairy has us convinced we'll spontaneously combust if we don't drink the stuff. Hey, it's a fat, sugar and protein--it's the perfect food! (for baby cows.) If the lactose doesn't trip us up as we age, then the casein might...

So MilkPep, the "Got Milk" folks, have enlisted the help of some B-list celebs and one-time-good-guy-R.D. Felicia Stoler of "Honey We're Killing the Kids" fame to launch a new campaign trying to convince us chocolate milk is a healthy choice for kids at school: "Raise Your Hand for Chocolate Milk." They have a little website full of slanted messages they're attempting to spread through "Mommy Bloggers" and a petition to sign.

In MilkPep's defense, milk has some protein. But it's also loaded with saturated animal fat. Not so good. (The Institute of Medicine (IOM) is pushing for fat-free or 1% milk at school.) And the gobs of high fructose corn syrup is just too much.

We're supposed to believe that the calcium and trace amounts of Vitamin D are supposed to be a fair trade-off for all the garbage in chocolate milk. Not so fast. First off, if you want calcium and strong bones, eat loads of leafy green veggies and do weight-bearing exercise like running and jumping--the stuff kids love to do during Recess and P.E.! As for the Vitamin D... Yeah, most of us are dangerously low in this vital bone-building, immunity-building, mood-stabilizing vitamin. Those of us living above the latitude running from Atlanta to Los Angeles can't possibly get enough UVB sun rays during the Fall through Winter for us to produce Vitamin D. But don't be fooled. The scant amount sprayed into milk is about 1/10th of what a child needs on any given day based on the most current recommendations. Check with your physician and see how much daily Vitamin D-3 supplement makes sense for you and your children.

So forget chocolate milk at school. Save the delicious concoction for special treats on the weekends or at a party. When at school? Water is your child's best choice. If you want to go with milk, make sure it's fat-free white. Would it surprise you to know that even a school-sized, half-pint carton of fat-free white milk has the equivalent of 3 teaspoons of sugar in it?? Somehow that message just doesn't come across on the food pyramid...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Dodge the War--Get Fat

Visited the awe-inspiring, billion dollar, U.S.S. New York yesterday. Some 7.5 tons of Twin Towers steel was used in its making...

There were Amphibious Assault Vehicles, tanks, JEEPs, shoulder-rocket-launchers, all kinds of big guns...

The military personnel had such pride as they demonstrated the munitions and toured thousands of guests around their ship--our ship. We were ever mindful of how young these kids in uniform are and the peril each serviceman and woman might face. We wished them all a safe return...

Yesterday was Veteran's Day, and I'm proud to say my brother served in Desert Storm, my father served in Vietnam and my Grandfather, Major Robert L. Clements, 101st Airborne, 502nd Division, G Company, served during WWII, including parachuting into Normandy on D-Day. He survived many battle wounds and was awarded 3 Purple Hearts, and most honorably, the Silver Star.

He never spoke of The War until his final years. I think it was all too much. If you've ever viewed the excellent "Band of Brothers" miniseries, you'll know where my grandfather was and what he and his fellow brethren did. While greatly-decorated, war also left him conflicted and well, mean.

My grandfather served his country with honor and courage. I feel proud to write that. I also feel compelled to write that I'm not much for war as a means to solve anything. And if the draft came about, I'd likely show little courage compared to my grandfather, father or brother. If it came to my son, would I consider Canada? Or maybe fatten him up like so many of today's youth who've eaten themselves unfit to serve...

75% of today's youth are unfit for military recruitment. The biggest factor? Overweight and obesity.

I keep thinking that the power and deep pockets of the Pentagon will step-in and do something material about reversing child obesity. While I see the pointed irony, I also see the history. When our youths were unfit to serve several decades ago due to undernourishment, Harry S. Truman enacted America's National School Lunch Act and said, "In the long view, no nation is any healthier than its children..."

So true. So true.

Happy Veterans Day. And our deepest gratitude for your service to our country.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Pls Help. Do You Have Advice for Me..?

I received an alarming email from family this weekend...

It was one of those shared photo album links... And as I clicked through the pictures, I became both mortified and sad...

My cousin, who'd always been **skinny as a kid, was now beyond emaciated--skin and bones. So too was her husband, who when they first married was a little underweight, but nothing like now. He was a whisper of his former self. And they're really still so young. Maybe early- or mid-thirties..?

And my other cousin was even skinnier than before, but thankfully not quite as bad off as his sister. Unfortunately his wife seemed to be in a steady decent into becoming stick-thin. And yet I know her to be conscientious about healthy food choices and a promoter of organic and natural ingredients...

I worried for the kids in the pictures. Children always pick up so much from their parents' modeling, especially when it comes to eating and exercise habits. There were little clues in the snapshots that hinted at a grim future.

All-in-all, my far-away but beloved family is becoming unrecognizable to me--stolen away by a dangerous eating disorder. And what's more disconcerting is that the evidence of their self-destruction is in plain sight. There they are all in a smiling group--Is it a family-wide state of denial..? That photo album email went out to everyone on all sides of the family. I have a distinct feeling that if I utter one word about it, I'll be permanently uninvited to every family gathering forevermore...

If the pictures showed other forms of bodily abuse, I might be able to intervene... And it's quite possible they're seeking professional counseling about which I'm unaware... Can I ask?

I don't know what to do. What can I do..? What should I do? What have you done when this has happened in your extended families..?

**(Does it make a difference that my family I describe is suffering not from an extreme withholding of food, but in actuality, an extreme excess of improper eating? Due to today's pro-fat-acceptance political correctness, I'm not allowed to express any of the worries above if the subject is overweight instead of underweight. But the feeling of alarm, fear and sadness is the same, as is the complete loss for what to do...)

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Snap, Crackle, Pop Immunity..?

Immunity in a box of breakfast candy..? You weren't fooled by this.

I appeared on FOX Business Network with Stuart Varney Wednesday to chat up the latest cereal box outrage...

Obviously Kellogg's figured American parents are dumber than dumb when they tried to claim Cocoa Krispies and Rice Krispies promoted immunity.

Spray on a few synthetic vitamins and that's immunity?

San Francisco city attorney, Dennis Herrera, said not so fast... Of course these claims should never have made it to the shelves in the first place. (hell-o, FDA? FCC? BBB?) How cavalier these junk food makers and marketers are...

So we-the-people said "no," and now the Snap, Crackle and Pop immunity nonsense is going bye-bye--just like the dumb "Smart Choice" program...

Want immunity for your kids..?

Mothers, breast-feed your babies. 6 months, a year...
Load your kids up on rich green produce and berries...
Make sure your child gets 10-12 hours of sleep every night.

And how about flu-, infection- and inflammation-fighting Vitamin D? If you live above the latitude running from Atlanta to L.A...you're too far north in the Fall and Winter for the UVB rays of the sun to work their magic converting cholesterol to Vitamin D. You need a supplement, and today's recommended doses are being upped upped upped. Check with your pediatrician first... I give my children 1000 IUs of D-3 every day... And the more I read, the better I feel about that decision.

Monday, November 02, 2009

You Have Diabetes

Happy American Diabetes Month..!

The price tag for this party? $217 Billion Annually...

Let's see, 24 million have it. 57 million pretty much have it. And the rest of us are well on our way...

1/3 of today's kids are projected to develop type 2 diabetes in their lifetimes. And 1/2, HALF, of our children of color are expected to...

How about this. Since most of us are at risk to develop diabetes, let's just pretend we already have it.

You have diabetes, I have diabetes, we all have diabetes...

Okay, so now what are we gonna do about it..?

Daily exercise is a MUST. I'd go for an hour. But come on, you pansy, your big toe, bedroom performance and clear eyesight are worth knocking out at least a half hour a day, right?

Next up, diet. What should we eat? Well we need to get cozy with the concept of Glycemic Load--not just Glycemic Index. Glycemic Index doesn't tell the whole story. Glycemic Load is a better indicator of how fast and furiously sugar will flood your arteries with the expectation insulin will rush in and save the day...

So you want to eat foods that are low on Glycemic Load.

This means you'll be enjoying loads of veggies, beans, lean proteins, water, berries, etc. You know, the good stuff. This also means you'll be avoiding the "ingestible entertainment" that activates dopamine dependency, releasees a cascade of opioids and also spikes your blood sugar--the stuff that sets you up for type 2 diabetes in the first place. You know... french fries, the bread basket, bagels, doughnuts, cupcakes, cookies, crackers, soft drinks... We're talking sugars and refined carbohydrates...

I've been thinking about Tracy Morgan of 30 Rock and Saturday Night Live fame. He's only 40 and yet nearly lost his foot by neglecting his type 2 diabetes. 30 Rock did a hi-larious send-up to the real-life tragedy/comedy of it all... Then there's funny-woman and The View cohost, Sherri Shepherd, who recently dropped 40 pounds and donned a bathing suit on-the-air, who was asked if she was doin' Weight Watchers, and she replied, "Nah, I'm doin' diabetes..."

When I hear that, first I feel sad. Then I think. What was it? When was it? When was the exact moment when the body said "no more," when it reached the blood-sugar and insulin-resistance point of no return? Was it a Valu Meal? An adorable little cupcake? Just one bite of dessert off someone else's plate? Or was it simply a day like we've all had when Tracy or Sherri said, "nah, I'm not up for a half hour walk..."

Imagine what Tracy Morgan and Sherri Shepherd and just about every type 2 diabetic in America would trade today to have that moment back...

That's it. If we start eating and exercising RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW like we already have type 2 diabetes...

Guess what..?

Friday, October 30, 2009

Marathoners, You're Here..! I'm So Glad to See You..!

It's Fall in New York City and Central Park is magical... the trees are brilliant yellow, there's a touch of romance you can just feel, and the breeze has an edge of chill to let you know winter will be coming soon...

And guess what?? A week ago the bleachers were going up. And this week?? Rows of bright orange flags and the finish line..!

Yes yes yes..! The marathoners are here--from all around the world. You can see them with their upright posture, striking features, and that look in their eyes that all runners share.

It's time for the ING New York City Marathon... and the energy is buzzing...

Running the marathon was a one-time thing for me. I knew it was something I had to knock-out in life, and I couldn't have been more elated when I crossed the finish line. (This is where most people boast about their times.) It's a long story and I sure could've used these tips, but suffice it to say that I finished well behind a guy dressed up as a giant pair of testicles...

Truly, people wear all sorts of costumes in the race. They're running and raising money and awareness for special causes... Since my own marathon, I can't help but go back year-after-year to cheer. It's amazingly uplifting... I dare you to spend five minutes on the sidelines without getting choked up. What about the running guides for the blind..? Heroes.

Hooray for all of your stories, your special motivation, your true grit..! I'll be just inside Central Park cheering, cheering, cheering for you this Sunday.

And congratulations in advance: 26.2 miles: You've gone the distance.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Hating on Halloween..?

I've been asked if I'm protesting Halloween...


I don't really have a problem, per se, with Halloween, Thanksgiving, Memorial Day Weekend or the special occasions during the year when food becomes a big focus. If Americans generally ate right and exercised daily, those days of indulgence wouldn't pose much of problem. But in 2009 with obesity and overweight as the American norm, it becomes a question of "more." How much more do we need of what's already making us sick..?

For instance, it can be fun to go out drinking with your buddies, but it takes on a dark hue when a friend has a drinking problem. Likewise, most of us have friends, family, loved ones suffering from the health effects of eating-related obesity, diabetes and heart disease, maybe even cancer--it colors the entire event. How can we enjoy overeating among friends and family on Halloween, Thanksgiving or Memorial Day when we look around and see that it's killing the people we love the most?

Even so, Halloween trick-or-treating and dressing up can be a blast for kids. If they're eating right and getting their hour of exercise everyday, the extra candy kick once a year is no big deal. We trick-or-treat, let the kids eat a couple pieces of candy a day for 2 or 3 days, and then toss out the bag of candy. The kids never even notice.

But after-school or weekend Halloween festivities are far different from the school day. Candy really has no place in school, especially treats with ADHD-inducing artificial food coloring. (The entire EU now has warning labels for artificial food coloring. MD tried and failed to make moves against artificial food coloring here in the US.)

Only the most outdated, uninformed principals still allow candy into their school buildings these days...

Every year, our family requests that our children's school ask parents and teachers to keep the candy at home, and every year our requests are ignored. It's one thing if you choose to send in a piece of candy for your own child. It's entirely different to send in 25 pieces--no matter how well-intended the gesture is--it's really outdated in this era of obesity and diabetes. No child should face junk food solicitations during the school day. Not to mention E. coli-contaminated cookie dough and the occasional defective or tampered with treats such as those Pokemon lollipops a couple years ago that had metal shards. Why would a school want to take-on that kind of liability? Best advice for principals: Keep the candy at home.

And if your trick-or-treater happens by our house this Halloween, expect glow-in-the-dark vampire fangs...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

We All Knew "Smart Choice" Was Dumb...

"Smart Choice"... and all those silly industry-sponsored food-labeling systems telling us what is "better for you..." Pepsi, Kellogg's, Kraft... Up till two years ago Kraft was part of Philip Morris, aka, Altria...

Fruit Loops, with its first ingredient being sugar, is a "Smart Choice." Thank goodness Smart Choice has been suspended due to pressure from the Yale Rudd Center, CSPI, Connecticut's Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, NAAO, and a whole host of nutrition, health and obesity experts.

It was big news this week in DC at the annual meeting of the Pharma-backed Obesity Society. Other big news was that most of the marketing money spent to promote cereal to kids is spent on the least healthy "boxed breakfast candy." No surprise, right?

I spoke about this today on the Fox Business Network with Stuart Varney. (Stuart always gives me hell on screen and off...maybe a hater crush??...) Check it out...

CSPI likes the idea of having the IOM suggest uniform labeling guidelines to the FDA... I also like what Yale's Dr. David Katz is doing with his NuVal system of grading food products on a scale of 1-100 based on nutrition value.

Whatever system is decided upon, we know we need a clear, concise, universally adopted food labeling system we all can trust. If we're gonna eat it, we should know what "it" is...

Monday, October 26, 2009

Gaby Wood Libels, Defames MeMe Roth

Gaby Wood wrote a smear piece. She got all sorts of attention for it, and plenty of bloggers and lesser publications cite the article daily. It served her needs. But did it serve the reader?

I made my career in public relations, I earned a degree in journalism, and I'm nothing if not a news junkie. I get it. Doing P.R. is a bit of a Faustian Bargain--I'm not naive. And with National Action Against Obesity being a non-partisan, all-volunteer organization, i.e., no money, P.R. is an efficient means for moving the agenda forward--but a means that comes with a degree of risk.

So working with the press over the years, I've taken my lumps...comes with the territory. False introductions on live tv, lazy reporters who just cut-n-paste from rumor blogs, aggressive license-taking with the truth...

But also I've had the pleasure working with real pros committed to getting it right, getting the facts, and substantiating those facts. In most cases, legitimate journalists stake their reputations on sound journalistic methods and ethics--the Journalistic Code.

(From Wikipedia)
While various existing codes have some differences, most share common elements including the principles of — truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness and public accountability — as these apply to the acquisition of newsworthy information and its subsequent dissemination to the public.

Gaby Wood of the Guardian/Observer conducted an interview with me early this year. As does any writer, she made choices. But in Gaby Wood's case, she chose to ignore much of the truth, was blase about accuracy, lacked objectivity and impartiality, and delivered a piece to the public that was not a fair and accountable example of journalism.

Gaby Wood decided I should look bad, and took every opportunity to deliver on her personal agenda, whether getting her jabs in about my maiden name, glasses and hair or reworking my answers into half-truths.

The truth is that I'm a national news pundit and nutrition counselor who regularly sees the damage of improper eating. That doesn't make me someone who hates food--far from it.

I grew up surrounded by the devastating effects of obesity's toll on those I love and respect the most. That is not an attack on my mother.

I believe the power of pop culture can be harnessed to influence positive change in nutrition. No, I didn't criticize Jennifer Love Hewitt--I defended her. Yes, I criticized Angelina Jolie for stuffing Cheetos down the throats of her beautiful children. Do her and Brad Pitt's kids not deserve better than transfat, artificial food coloring and MSG? If not, what's all that money and hired help for..?

I believe, just as we've done with littering, plastic bags and smoking, that we must stigmatize the products and practices associated with obesity-not the people.

I believe once we hold the individual responsible for his/her choices, we individuals will band together and force industry to make change. We've shown we can be swift and forceful. Look to the examples of transfat, bovine growth hormones and BPA.

I believe food makers and marketers knowingly harm their customers, and yet, justify their despicable methods by claiming customers "enjoy it."

I believe there's no need to fetishize food or unyieldingly pressure people to eat when nourishing one's body already delivers a cascade of pleasure chemicals.

I believe food should never be used as prize or punishment.

I damn sure don't believe harmful, food-like substances should be in daycare centers and schools.

And yeah, I'm a big proponent for the soda tax, testified for calories on menu boards, and volunteer on several sub-committees of the non-partisan Center for Science in the Public Interest. This makes me a frequent target of the food/beverage lobbyists.

I do not see obesity as a health and beauty ideal. For that, the pro-fat-acceptance movement wants to bully me into submission.

I seek to challenge cultural memes that have ushered in this era of obesity. That includes every business meeting having to involve eating, (I love eating and love meeting, but the combo diminishes the pleasure of both.), eating by the clock rather than the demands of one's day or needs of one's body, and falling into our culture of mindless, improper eating. My approach is mindful eating. And my results?

Gaby Wood wants you to believe the worst about me, when here I am fighting to stay healthy, defying a family history of obesity, and breaking the obesity cycle before it ensnares my own children.

She refused to report that I'm at a healthy weight for my height. Every item on my recent physical is healthy--from the mammogram and thyroid check to every single line item on the blood panel including triglycerides, cholesterol, glucose, etc. I've conceived, carried and nursed two healthy children. I'm on zero prescriptions. And quite frankly, I really dig my body.

It's true I've never been wild about breakfast. (Now, 3am at Waffle House is a COMPLETELY different story.) If I'm traveling or have back-to-back meetings, I do enjoy oatmeal with sliced almonds, raisins, a little skim milk and a pinch of brown sugar. As many of you know, I'm a "mostly-Vegetarian." And while I don't exactly count calories, based on my weight and exercise habits, I average about 1600-1800 calories per day. (Burrito Bowls from Chipotle are the best..! More on that in another post.)

And yeah, I do exercise about an hour everyday. And no, I don't like to run with food on my stomach. I found out a long time ago, like many runners, that's a total no-go. Two pregnancies only made it more true.

Gaby Wood made a point in our meeting that she has blood sugar problems in her family and they must eat more frequently than most. I don't have any blood sugar issues. More importantly though, I thought I was meeting her for a half hour, not 2 and a half hours. I had worked late into the night, slept in, rushed to meet her, and then had to rearrange my day on the spot as the meeting dragged on, including making alternate arrangements for my children to be picked up from school. Gaby didn't disclose any of the above in her article--it didn't help tell the story she was determined to tell.

Gaby Wood ignored my vast knowledge about obesity and the food industry. She simply didn't do her homework reviewing the many available resources to her, interviewing clients and colleagues I've worked with over the years, or contacting the world-renowned physicians who support my efforts. There are more than 1000 members of the NAAO community in the U.S., as well as a few members in the U.K., Australia, Canada and India. There's even a high school NAAO club in Florida. How many of you heard from Gaby Wood? Gaby Wood didn't even bother with basic journalist practices of follow-up questions or fact-checking. Creative writing doesn't require one to follow journalistic code.

That's exactly what Gaby Wood delivered in her smear piece. She took threads of truth to weave together a fanciful yarn of pure fiction. Her piece has done incalculable damage to my personal and professional reputation. Yes her work was libelous. Yes her work was defamation. Sadly, repeated requests for retraction and formal apology will be answered only with the aid of lawyers.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Don't You Dare Call Chris Christie the "O" Word

Politics have become so politically correct.

In New Jersey's heavy and heated 2009 governor's race, the mudslinging is dirty. And expensive. Democratic incumbent and former Wall Street tycoon, Jon Corzine, faces Republican U.S. Attorney for New Jersey, Chris Christie. There's an Independent in the race too, Chris Daggett. And who knows, voters might get fed up and go with him...

(For the record, I live in NY, so I don't get a vote and have no aim to endorse any candidate.)

So with all the hateful and ugly accusations--and they do get as nasty as deep-pocketed campaigns can get--the one thing nobody is allowed to say is the obvious.

Look at the photo and see if you can guess...

Chris Christie, 47, husband and father of four, successful prosecuter and candidate for New Jersey's highest office is morbidly obese.

Even though when polled, respondents' number one top-of-mind description of Christie is "fat," Jon Corzine is not allowed to say it. Political experts suggest that if he did, it might cost him his campaign.

We're a nation of predominantly obese people--34%. Second to that is our category of overweight citizens--33%. Then there's the rest of us falling into healthy weight and underweight... Those numbers are pretty outdated. There's probably fewer than 30% now who aren't overweight or obese.

Regardless, social taboos and America's limitless capacity for self-deception dictate that no one speak the "O" word. Remember when there was the "C" word so unspeakable that it could never be mentioned above a hushed whisper..? (What was that hi-larious movie scene at the dinner table??) Of course I'm referring to cancer.

Dr. Oz has said it numerous times. Someone who is morbidly obese has health compromised on par with someone who has been diagnosed with cancer--seems the word "morbidly" isn't just thrown in there for color. That extra 100 pounds puts a high risk and heavy burden on the body.

So imagine if Chris Christie had cancer. (Sorry Mr. Christie. Please know nobody in any way, shape or form wishes cancer or any ill health upon you... I do shudder to even write those words. I'm not particularly superstitious, but I NEVER take good health for granted...)

So let's say it was cancer instead of morbid obesity. Think the press or Jon Corzine would be allowed to suggest that health issue could play a part in performing the duties necessary as New Jersey's governor?

We found out without question something as basic as wearing a seatbelt was crucial to the task. So clearly morbid obesity is a reasonable issue to discuss? Social mores say no.

How are we possibly going to address our nation's biggest health crisis if we're not allowed to say it out loud??

And as a certified counselor for integrative nutrition, I can't help myself...

Here's a quick plan for Chris Christie:

At 6 foot something, you're going to want to keep your weight no higher than 200 pounds. That means your daily caloric intake should not exceed 2000 calories. (This would be a great time for New Jersey to mandate calories be posted on menu boards like we have here in NYC. It makes the whole thing so much easier...)

You'll want to keep to non-fried, non-starchy, mostly-Vegetarian fare. And whenever possible, stick with water. After infancy, our bodies aren't programmed for drinking our calories, especially the empty-calorie sweetened stuff. (Insert plug for soda tax here.)

That's it. If you want to eat more than 2000 calories a day, then earn 'em with exercise. (Every mile jogged rewards you with about 100 calories.) Just to be healthy, you'll want to exercise about an hour everyday anyway. And your kids need an hour of daily exercise too, so maybe that'll be a great opportunity to squeeze in a little family time while on the ever-demanding campaign trail.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

But We Can't Survive without Food..!

Have you heard that argument for obesity?

People say obesity is not like other substance abuse because you can survive just fine without cigarettes and alcohol, but you can't live without food.

That's true.

But here's how I see it:

You can't survive without inhaling air, but you can live just fine without inhaling tobacco.

You can't survive without drinking water, but you can live just fine without drinking alcohol.

You can't survive without eating food, but you can live just fine without eating junk food.

Look, I'm not saying we can't indulge sometimes. This is where the next argument comes in about "all things in moderation" or "it's all about keeping a balance."

Those truisms are great, but if you're already overweight due to eating habits, your body is telling you in every way possible that you're neither keeping it in moderation or balance. "Hell-o, Self?? This is your body talkin' to ya..!"

And there may be the point made that alcohol and tobacco are physiologically addicting. I don't think any of us would argue with that..! Let's all keep an eye on the expanding research on neuro-chemical dependency upon food. I'm starting to think tobacco, alcohol and junk food have more in common than we ever believed before.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Warning: Models are Better Looking Than You

Good grief. Do we really need warning labels on magazines telling us images have been photoshopped?

If so, please add all the fuss with makeup, lighting, hair weaves, and of course we'll need full disclosure on nose jobs, boob jobs and any tummy tucks.

Sheesh, How many of us would pose for a cover (not that anyone's asking) without the promise of photoshop? Those among you without stretch marks throw the first stone...

Here's what I had to say about it over at the New York Times...

I think we should stop being exposed to unrealistically smart people, absurdly talented people, child prodigies, and absolutely all professional athletes.

They just kinda make me feel bad...

Come on. What percentage of world leaders, captains of industry or Nobel laureates are sickly skinny or preternaturally beautiful? They too grace the covers at every newsstand, but we don't blame them for our bad self image.

Beauty is certainly a boost when it comes to natural selection. But healthy heterosexual humans find symmetry, good color, muscle tone, a man w/ broad shoulders, a woman whose waist is about 70-80% the size of her hips as indicators of positive reproductive opportunity--and therefore "attractive." Nowhere in nature is emaciated perceived as beautiful. Obesity doesn't typically fare too well either unless you're talking remote Mauritania where they're trading cows for teen brides to fatten up.

So accentuate the positive and stop fixating on physical beauty. (That means you too, Unilever/Dove/Axe and your bogus "campaign for real beauty" as you sell cellulite cream, guys solely in pursuit of sexual conquest, and a hyper-fixation on appearance.)

Yes, photos are photoshopped. But the real question is, "Why does that hurt your feelings so much..??"

And btw, it is perfectly "realistic" to have a healthy body within a healthy weight range for just about all of us if we eat right and exercise daily. That doesn't guarantee a Jessica Alba figure (natural or altered). But healthy looks good on all of us and delivers a great body image..!

Monday, October 19, 2009

No New Fat Kids..! It's All About Zero to 5 Year Olds

Let's look at the stats. And please don't email me about exceptions. Yep, there's always gonna be an exception to the rule. But when it comes to obesity, we're concentrating on the overwhelming majority, not the small percentage suffering rare medical conditions like Prader-Willi, Cushings Syndrome or Rx reactions.

Back to the stats:

Everyone who's fat now is going to stay fat.

I hate that stat. But it's true 95% of the time. It doesn't have to be. People are capable of making permanent changes to their lifestyle choices. But the numbers don't lie--they're not gonna do it. And we certainly aren't cocooning anybody in a health-affirming food culture to make it any easier.

It's also true that eating one's way up to obesity or starving oneself down to scrawny can have a lasting if not permanent physiological impact. The net effect is a metabolism less cooperative than before. Still doesn't mean anybody HAS to stay obese, I'm just sayin'...

So if we have limited resources, and this obesity crisis is genuinely a public health emergency, what do we do??

We refuse to allow even one more child to become overweight.

To reverse obesity in America, we're gonna have to concentrate on the pre-pregnancy to 5 year-old set--before their eating habits, exercise patterns and body compositions have been set. This has been my mantra for 5 years... Zero-to-5-yr-olds-Zero-to-5-yr-olds-Zero-to-5-yr-olds...

Try convincing one of our Rice Krispie-lovin' preschoolers that she's having an apple for dessert. Btw, 20% of America's preschoolers are already overweight or obese.

So what we need is an all-out marketing campaign and incentive program to convince parents-to-be to be healthy BEFORE EVER conceiving. (Fat dads are 6x more likely to have fat sons. Fat moms are 10x more likely to have fat daughters.) And of course we know that obesity results in a higher incidence of all sorts of health problems for the next generation--including birth defects. (Darwin, is that you calling??)

What in the world is junk food doing in our daycare centers and YMCAs? Again, if there's no crisis, please ignore me. But if child obesity is the health crisis of our lifetime, then maybe we don't need juice, Capri Suns, crackers, candy, cupcakes, cookies, and an entire array of high-sugar, refined carb, transfatty empty calories imbedded among our most vulnerable population.

Now, if we're conducting an experiment to see how quickly we can foster a generation of insulin-dependent, type 2 diabetic tykes, then we're lookin' good. Big Pharma smiles upon us...

But the objective is to give each kid a chance to grow up healthy--all part of the "pursuit of happiness" ideology outlined in our Declaration of Independence. Without health, there is no pursuit of happiness.

Let's start with the YMCA. It's the nation's largest provider of daycare with 500,000 children in their daycare centers and nearly 10 million kids in their recreational programs. I've begged and pleaded with the YMCA for 3 years now to establish a nationwide nutrition standard and to dump Pepsi as a partner. (Sign this petition along with America's most-respected physicians who echo my pleas to the Y.) But this plea for a safe and healthy environment goes out to all childcare centers: KinderCare (I keep calling. When will we meet??), you too Creme de la Creme, Bright Horizons, Goddard School, Primrose...All of you can make this change to safeguard children's health. Are you willing? Are people finally listening to me??

Obesity Prevention Checklist:

All ob/gyn offices must offer educational series on healthful eating.

Formula pushers must be pushed off the premises and quickly replaced by breast-pump perks.

New weight-gain guidelines for pregnant mothers must be finalized. (Hooray for the advancements so far!)

Daycare centers must submit to the highest nutritional standards as part of their licensing process. (Thank you, Dr. Lynn Silver of the NYC Dept of Health for all you've done so far..!)

Pediatrician offices must feel obliged to talk nutrition with their patients and their patients's parents. (Think about the Obamas. Michelle says it was their family doctor who tipped them off they had a child weight issue and needed to change the way the family was eating.)

Junk food has to be removed from all schools. Period. Pls don't talk to me about diet sodas, organic juice and baked chips.

Marketing junk food to children has to end--tv, magazines, food promos in school, Happy Meal tie-ins--all of it. We've debated the harmful effects of marketing junk food to kids since the Carter administration. Time to call the question?

Kids must have easy access to safe indoor/outdoor, year-round recreational facilities. All kids.

Produce must be accessible and affordable to all Americans. Gonna subsidize? Forget corn and go w/ broccoli and avocados.

Schools and Daycare centers must be graded on their compliance to "Wellness Policies" and administrators assessed and paid accordingly.

We gotta get kids hooked on water, not sweetened drinks. Pass that blasted Soda Tax too...so we can raise some cash while curbing consumption.

There's more to do, but this post is too long already. You get it. No NEW fat kids. Nada. We'll graduate ourselves out of this crisis within the next 10 years.

Imagine all the misery that never has to happen if we do this...

MeMe Roth- Without the Makeup- Without the Gay Magic

Tina Fey calls it "gay magic..." Ya know, the makeup, the lighting, the hair extensions... Of course the 30 Rock funny-woman was referring to all the behind-the-scene beautifying for her current cover photo on Harper's Bazaar Magazine.

When I show up at the news studios, it's amazing how much warp-speed, hyper-primping goes on. I usually arrive lookin' pretty plain, then the hair and makeup experts work their magic...

But sometimes ya gotta go right onto the air...

Here's me from Friday's CNN appearance sans any gay magic... No make-up, no powder, no lip gloss--not even a fluff of the hair...

Thank goodness it was online rather than HD..!

And isn't that Katherine Hobson from U.S. News & World Report really great?

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Jordin Sparks Lie...

Have you read what I've read? For about 2 and a half years I've read over and over--even been announced this way on live tv--that I called American Idol winner Jordin Sparks "fat" or "obese..."

Because of these rampant reports on blogs and in the press, I've had death threats and all sorts of horrible disease and misery wished upon my children. It's been pretty ugly.

Does it matter that I've never called Jordin Sparks those things? I challenge anyone to find any record where I've actually said it. Look high and low, but you won't.

The closest I ever came was agreeing that she had "extra weight on her..." which I stand by. Mostly I talked about cholesterol, diabetes and heart disease. Which is what we all should be thinking long-term when we see our youth already struggling with their weight. Visions of "un-health..."

So what was my beef with Jordin Sparks? She was being held up as a role model for tweens, especially when it came to body image. The problem was, when Jordin Sparks gave interviews, she boasted of over-eating, gorging on pizza, fries and burgers, and eating "two creme brulees instead of one." She said this was normal teen behavior...

I said, this is the wrong message at the wrong time. Not only wrong, but dangerous. Especially with a third of today's children projected to develop Type 2 Diabetes, (half of our children of color). This wasn't the message for an American Idol. This wasn't the message for any tween idol.

At first, I never thought anyone would believe the over-the-top sensationalism. But I couldn't have been more wrong. I still get hate mail everyday about it. While the pro-fat-acceptance bloggers never let up about it, and the food and beverage lobbyists play it up for all it's worth, the most disappointing is that reputable journalists cut-n-paste the nonsense right off the web and onto their "all that's fit to print" publications.

So right here right now...

Notice to All Bloggers and Journalists: If you report harmful, unsubstantiated rumors, you're committing libelous defamation.

I stand up against obesity heralded as a health and beauty ideal. I stand up against hazardous calories parading as food. I stand up against this garbage being shoved down the throats of America's children during the school day and while they're in childcare centers.

For this, I'm called all sorts of nasty names. I don't mind, as long as you criticize the truth. Making up lies about me scores you extra hits on your website, but it serves no one but yourself.

By the way, look at the latest talking points from today's Jordin Sparks. She's 100% about healthy eating, healthy body, healthy lifestyle. So hooray for Jordin Sparks..! She's talking like a real American Idol.

(Look for regular posts re: MeMe Roth: Fact or Fiction? There's just too much b.s. to ignore...)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Is the Boss Responsible for Your Fat..?

Employee Obesity is costing Employers $45 Billion annually...

Employers are in a bind, with costs of employee healthcare packages seeing 7, 8, 9% year-over-year price increases. Ouch! What's an employer to do?

Scotts/Miracle Gro doesn't want to employ smokers or improper eaters. Neither does the renowned Cleveland Clinic (Dr. Cosgrove, Do NOT back down. You're the voice of reason on this topic. Do not be bullied into submission).

Yet, in Michigan, the obese have become a protected class. Is that fair? Should employers be forced to hire a high risk high cost employee population? Remember, 9 times out of 10, obesity is due to lifestyle choices. Clearly, we already have laws for disability and harassment/bullying. Do the obese deserve special treatment?

And if employees refuse to make minimal efforts to stay out of hospital beds, should coworkers pick up the tab? Will lack of health compliance cause the elimination of employer-based healthcare benefits for us all..??

Talked this up with Brian Sullivan on FOX Business Network Wednesday... Check it out.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Monday, October 12, 2009

Columbus Discovers Fat Americans...

Native Americans today are one of our most obese populations, suffering from rampant type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Obesity is GENETIC, right?

Remember when Christopher Columbus, on an errand for Queen Isabella, stumbled upon the Americas..? Look back over all those dispatches and drawings--you know--all the detailed descriptions of how FAT the indigenous people were...

Happy Columbus Day...

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Good Samaritans in the Junk Food Aisle..?

40 Retailers are Joining Forces to Fight Child Obesity..!

They're gonna help kids "balance their energy..."

You know, run 4 miles if the kid eats a packet of Pop-Tarts... Run a mile and a half to cover the calories of 2 Girl Scout Cookies... Run 2 and a half miles for that 20 ouncer of Coke or Pepsi or whatever...

You guys, the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, are just so great, real Samaritans...

Looking over this illustrious list of retail do-gooders, something comes to mind. I don't want to be the master of the obvious, but uh, what if kids just didn't eat the shit you sell..?

Just for kicks, read over the list and add each company name to the template press release headline. And see if you can do it with a straight face. (Somehow Indra Nooyi can.) I couldn't.

"Company X" Joins Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation to Reduce Child Obesity...

Kraft? Kellogg? ConAgra? Coke? Pepsi? Nestle? Hershey? the Girl Scouts?

How Much Weight Do I Gain to Become REAL..?

Memo to Models: You are not real women.

We had a meeting and determined your lack of realness makes the rest of us feel bad.

Some of you puked or starved your way into making the whole lot look lousy. But the primary offenders are those of you born to be really really tall, with willowy legs and narrow hips. You piss us off the most.

So in a celebration of overwhelming mediocrity over rarefied beauty, we want you out of our magazines. And step away from the catwalk. We want to look at women who look like us--REAL WOMEN.

Don't give us your pity-party tales of being poked fun at growing up. "Bird Legs!" "Skyscraper!" "Skeletor..." So what if you were taller than every boy you ever had a crush on...

We're not impressed. We've been called FAT, ya know.

So here's to more "Dove Real Beauty" moments. Here! Here! (Pay no attention to Dove's sister brand: Axe. Hey Unilever, Axe guys aren't into real beauty??...)

Beauty is out. Obesity is in.

Next Week's Agenda: What to do with following troublemakers:

People with perfect teeth, perfect symmetry, pretty feet, nice hair, good posture, smooth skin, and all professional athletes.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

French Women DO Get Fat in McFrance...

As a follow-up to the diet best-seller, French Women Don't Get Fat comes the au-contraire hit "McFrench Women DO Get Fat".

Look for the title tucked in with the latest Happy Meals, now being served about a hundred yards from the Mona Lisa...

Mais Non..!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Bake Sales Be Gone..! NYC Bans School Bake Sales... Sort of.

Hooray for Eric Goldstein, Chef Jorge, Katherine Grimm, Chancellor Joel Klein, and the entire New York City Department of Education..! They want to make schools safe and healthy for all students... (I chatted this up on a couple MSNBC shows today...Here's the "Way Too Early" show with Willie Geist and here's "Dr. Nancy" with Dr. Nancy Snyderman and Greg Lukianoff.)

The School Food program already offers lunches with whole grain breads and without transfats and ADHD-inducing artificial food coloring. Now, as part of the NYC School Wellness Policy, they're saying "Bye Bye Bake Sales..." (Okay, schools can still have them once a month. why why why??)

40% of NYC's students are overweight or obese... 40%..!

These kids can expect worsening obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, orthopedic issues and fertility complications...

Think we should take this seriously? Thank goodness Mayor Bloomberg, the Dept. of Health, and the Dept. of Ed do.

Bake sales are an easy way to make money. True. (Actually, I can think of a lot of bad ways to make easy money...I bet you can too. Does that make it okay for the PTA..? Click Here for Dr. Joanna Dolgoff's list of non-face-stuffing moneymakers.) It's also true that the bake sale products compromise the health and well-being of kids, they contribute to obesity and diabetes, they create cravings and induce a false sense of hunger, and they habituate children to over-eating and consumption of non-nourishing, ingestible entertainment during the school day.

Hey, I'm all for enjoying a sweet treat now and then. And keeping those indulgences out of school allows them to be preserved for the weekends and special occasions. It should be a-okay for a kid to enjoy cake and ice cream at a Chuck-E-Cheese birthday party without worries of weight gain... But who keeps inviting Chuck-E-Cheese to school..?

During the school day, no kid should be confronted with constant junk food solicitations. Period.

And yeah, let's look to the intellect and ingenuity of today's students to conceive fundraising ideas that raise cash while causing no harm. In the era of the Internet, Walk-a-thons and Farmers Markets, I'm pretty confident today's kids will have loads of moneymaking ideas that don't involve stuffing their faces. We're only as limited as our imaginations...

And somehow because transfat, sugar, and enriched flour are agents of obesity and diabetes, which are conditions of habituation and progression, we ignore their seriousness at the peril of our own children's health.

If only baked goods caused lice...

**Big thank you to MSNBC's Willie Geist and Dr. Nancy Snyderman for having me appear today to chat up NYC's Bake Sale Ban on "Way Too Early" and "Dr. Nancy."**

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Gotta Love the Gays...

Gays, Heteros and Lesbians... Guess who's the fittest of them all..?

Homosexual Men are the leanest among us. Next comes our Straight friends. And the heftiest are the Lesbians...

Now, guess who has the most sex..? Who's scratching the intolerable neural itch? soothing the infinite ache? quenching the eternal thirst..?

You got it. Seems like those staying in the best shape enjoy the most sex... (Makes perfect sense, right??)

Gay Men are getting it on the most. Then comes the Heteros. And lastly are our buddies suffering the infamous Lesbian Bed Death...

And for the homophobes out there... No, staying in great shape will NOT turn you gay... Although, you never know who might get turned on by your ripped bod, steely guns and six pack.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Hate Food Porn--Not Food (Liars: You're on Notice..!)

On a day when a lot of people aren't eating for religious reasons, it got me thinking about some of the most gawdawful accusations made about me lately. (btw, I don't happen to be religious. I'm a big fan of Sam Harris and the Reason Project.)

For years, I figured people would never believe the hater posts about me, knowing they were the work of the food and beverage lobbyists, Center for Consumer Freedom, or their many offshoots. And of course the bullying, prolific, vicious pro-fat-acceptance bloggers (who now write for Jezebel, Salon and the New York Times, among myriad websites), never seem to tire of inventing false quotations, cartoons or twisted inferences about me. And of course--going against their self-proclaimed tenets of body acceptance--they sure get their jollies making fun of mine..!

Anyway, I've been accused of hating food. Besides being a stupid thing to say, it couldn't be further from the truth. I try not to add to the 24/7, non-stop fetishizing of food--it doesn't do any of us any good. But saying I don't like food because I herald the benefits of natural food over Franken-food is like saying I don't like sex because I'm not into porn. (my super-hot hubby can chime in on this one..!)

Look, I like food, really really like food. But I have to come up with tons of other life-affirming distractions, as not to overindulge and become unhealthy.

Working with many of my nutrition counseling clients, I ask that they come up with 2 lists to help them not hyper-focus on food: 1- Distractions and 2- Disgusts.

Distractions are all the wonderful things that make you high without hurting you in any way... Think regular exercise, sex, your favorite hobbies, kick-ass songs, time with your children, etc. (Pls don't email that you can injure yourself w/ exercise or have negative results from sex... You guys get the point.) The idea is to have a ready list to remind you of all the ways you can get a quick dopamine fix other than from food.

Disgusts. Obviously, I'm going for the easy-to-remember alliteration of Dis and Dis... Disgusts are all the results you might get from turning to excessive food or the wrong food to get you high. Think sluggishness, guilt, health complications, bloating, loss of libido, etc.

This Distractions and Disgusts device helps me, and maybe it'll help you.

As for all the crazy accusations made about me... I was wrong. I thought people wouldn't believe the b.s., but I've come to find that the b.s. is ALL people believe--Even to the point where otherwise reputable publications have started just picking up this blogger nonsense and using it in their articles too.

Well I've taken all I'm going to take. The First Amendment is a beautiful thing, but it gives no one the right to spread defaming and damaging lies. Period.

Look for later posts regarding MeMe Roth: Fact or Fiction.

You may be disappointed to find I'm far more boring than bloggers and rogue journalists would have you believe... But I think I'm plenty controversial without the help of lazy writers and liars...