Wednesday, September 30, 2009
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
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...
Friday, September 25, 2009
Tonight I participated in a Fox Business Network debate about healthcare... Is it or is it not a right..?
Live tv never really affords genuine debate. At least not in the world of news punditry... And try as I might, each appearance results in a failure to complete my thought, correct a false accusation, or make the point I intended to make. That's why it's so addicting..! I'm always certain I'll do better next time... Just gimme another chance...
So no, Healthcare is not a Constitutional right. However, the pursuit of happiness is a fundamental American ideal. It says so right there in the Declaration of Independence. And without health, there is no pursuit of happiness.
Yet we live in a culture that promotes obesity, chronic illness, and skyrocketing healthcare costs... and that's exactly the results we've got. Half of us chronically ill, 80% of our friends taking a prescription med last week, and most of us on our way to overweight or obesity (if we're not there already). Did I forget type 2 diabetes in that list?
Every American deserves easy access to affordable nourishing foods and safe recreational facilities. These are the attributes of a healthy culture and healthy people. Special considerations should be given to at-risk communities. And of course, every child in this country should receive top-notch medical care.
When it comes to us adults, we need to man up/woman up. If we take ultimate accountability for our health, that's the very moment we go Twisted Sister. We're not gonna take it..! If medical costs associated with our lifestyle choices start coming out of our own pockets, we'll be passive no more. We'll demand, DEMAND, that hidden sugars come out of our food, that sodium counts be cut in half, that crazy portion sizes be reduced to Mad Men-era restraint...and all the other hyper-dopamine-inducing formulations, packaging and marketing become above-board and honest. If we're held accountable, we're damn sure gonna hold Big Food and Big Beverage accountable too. It doesn't end there, but that's a start.
When you go back to the basics of health insurance, you land on risk assessment. The statistical risks of the Healthy are meant to offset the risks of the Unhealthy. Obviously risk ultimately equals costs... How is it possible to offset the costs when most Americans are sick? If 8% of us are eating right, exercising daily, not smoking and drinking moderately if at all, then how can we 8% possibly offset the lifestyles of the other 92%? Keep in mind, some in the 8%, even though we're doing just about everything right, will be met with congenital issues, accidents or other circumstances requiring medical attention.
We've all grown weary over the ongoing debate about healthcare. Obama, the House, the Senate...I don't know who will ultimately deliver the go-with plan. At its core is the need to ensure people have health, not necessarily a particular health care plan. It's about keeping each one of us out of the hospital bed.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Tulsa, OK husband, father, youth pastor, musician and funny-man, Sean Algaier says he's the world's greatest spokesperson for soft drinks...
He's 29, 6' 2" and started Season 8 of Biggest Loser at 444 pounds... (about 260 lbs above a healthy weight... Alone, he's the size of healthy father, mother and their teenage child.)
I have to confess my own weakness for the nasty elixir of death--casualty of growing up in Coca-Cola HQ Atlanta where the concern was drinking from the red can instead of blue, lest you put someone's dad out of a job...
Sean though, says he downs a full 2 liters of cola a day. That's 800 calories, 216 grams of sugar, or 54 teaspoons of sugar. Dr. Oz describes excess sugar in the blood as "broken glass tearing at the sides of the artery walls..."
Sean Algaier is taking in 292,000 empty and damaging calories a year. If he changed nothing else about his life other than swapping the soda for water, he'd lose 83 pounds a year. Sean would be at a healthy weight by Thanksgiving 2012. Go Go Go, Sean..!
Think there's a direct connection between obesity and soft drinks? Think a soda tax might be a decent way to raise a little cash while curbing consumption? I do. And so do most obesity experts.
Good luck, Sean, becoming the poster boy for America's obesity turnaround. Change your approach to eating for the rest of your life, and you'll be a role model for the entire country.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
I really like Tara Parker-Pope and her "Well" blog at the New York Times... But lately, the entire paper is leaning pro-fat, and that's not a good thing. One recent headline exclaimed we should all just throw out our scales... (Pls note that the scale is a great tool for keeping yourself on track, and well, honest. Delusion is rampant among the obese. More than 2/3 of Americans are overweight or obese, while 2/3 of Americans report to eat a healthful diet... Studies report that the majority of overweight fail to acknowledge the degree of their obesity or that of their children. hmmm. The answer may be found in the 6,000+ Dunkin' Donuts America "runs on...")
Today's article, based on the "Drop Dead Diva" tv show, really infuriated me. Its premise is that the show is realistic in its portrayal of the overweight because they have cravings for doughnuts and cheezwhiz while thin people do not. You know the mythology: If you're thin it's because it's EASY for you..!
Also, the big take-away is that maintaining a healthy weight has nothing to do with willpower.
I'm gonna tell you here and now that I personally call upon every atom of willpower I have keep myself healthy in this insane culture that does nothing but work against our health...
Here's what I had to say about the article...
Stop by and share your thoughts too.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Hell yeah they did..!
Why let the pizza makers have all the glory of OREO dessert pies, Cinnamon and icing drizzled Cinnapies and arks of pizza dough overflowing with pasta...
Noooo, McDonald's needed to get into the "4th Meal" action and knockoff that we-serve-salads-too halo.
I bring you the Mac Snack Wrap--as in Big Mac.
I always joked that Americans will eat anything repentance-free if you add the word "snack" to it--what with it written right there in junk food marketers' good book: "let there be snacking...!"
On your knees, America. Anything with 380 calories, (a day's worth of fat and a teaspoon of sugar), is a MEAL--quite possibly your last.
Meet me in hell, you red-haired, big-shoed, yellow-suited demon.
Friday, September 18, 2009
Let Me Spend that Money, Secretary Sebelius, Thomas Frieden, Commissioner Farley, Kelly Brownell, and Dr.s Ludwig, Popkin and Willett
We should be doing this--spending money on prevention.
I know the Congressional Budget Office isn't convinced, but my gut tells me that a predominantly unhealthy nation is less secure than a healthy one. Whether or not the CBO numbers add up on the side of prevention, it'll cost us dearly to continue condemning Americans to a purgatory of chronic disease--preventible--debilitating, disfiguring, demoralizing chronic disease.
You've heard me say that many of today's illnesses should be reclassified as "elective," meaning that they're a result of our lifestyle choices and unwillingness to be compliant to health, and therefore, we should be paying out of pocket for the costs associated. 100% or a partial contribution? I dunno. But if you willingly eat yourself into type 2 diabetes, cancer or heart disease, it's your right but not your employer's, neighbor's or fellow policy-holder's responsibility to cover those costs--or to subsidize by having their costs skyrocket.
At the same time, we need to offer folks assistance in making better lifestyle choices. Most importantly, a shot at being healthy should be available to all Americans, and that includes easy and affordable access to real food--whole fruits, fresh vegetables, lean proteins and reliably safe water.
But eating issues aren't just about access, they're largely a result of warped conditioning to food-like substances--I call "ingestible entertainment"--which overrides an instinctive appreciation for natural foods.
Our gawdawful eating habits are a result of affluence, abundance and corporate greed mixed with nonstop neuro-chemical euphoria. If we're gonna help people get healthy, it'll take more than just having them pay out of pocket for poor choices; it'll take free and easy nutritional counseling, exercise instruction, and maybe most importantly, behavioral psychology strategies. Be honest, you're not eating to excess because you don't know better, you're eating to excess because it feels good, really really good. Sex-like good.
Hitting the bliss-point with food indulgences reads on an fMRI a lot like reaching sexual bliss. Our pleasure-reward system lights right up. When something so wrong feels so right, it takes a little help from our friends to make a rational decision. Our friends possibly being strangers on the other end of a self-help line, webinar or community support group. Friends who are experts in offering counsel and friends overcoming the same challenge. (Look to models like the 12-Steps-inspired Overeaters Anonymous.)
This investment in education, outreach and counseling will be money well-spent by the Obama administration and local governments to offset the financial cost and human cost of so many of us being so sick.
Whether it's today's big announcement from the HHS and CDC committing $650 Million to the "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act" and the "Communities Putting Prevention to Work," or it's the potential $150 Billion to be raised over the next decade in soda taxes, the cash needs to go to keeping people well. Without our health, we have nothing. No matter how the CBO adds it up, America needs to avoid zero.
And Prevention adds up to everything.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
"Diets don't work!"
I hear that all the time... I've even said it. But the truth is, diets do work--generally speaking. Most diets, if you follow them, will result in weight loss. (Will they make you healthy is another story...)
Diets work. People don't.
The problem isn't "diet." Diet just means the way you eat. We all have a diet. The real pitfall is "going on" a diet. The implication is that at some point, you get off. And for many of these newfangled concoctions of lemonade, pepper and pixie dust--the sooner you get off, the better..!
The key is to find a diet, i.e., a way of eating, that you can live with forever. You may have to do some experimenting to figure out what works best for you. That's the idea behind bioindividuality. For example, for some people dairy is a godsend; for others, a complete no-go.
Generally, go for mostly-Vegetarian, non-starchy, non-fried fare with lean proteins like beans, fish and skinless chicken, and of course, plenty of water. Make sure your grains are 100% WHOLE. And look for heart- and brain-healthy fats you find in tree nuts, avocados and olive oil. Avoid sugar and refined carbs as best you can; they spike your blood sugar, induce urgent cravings and trick you into thinking you're hungry when you're not. (Read this awesome Sugar Shock! book if you need help kicking a sugar habit.) Same goes for diet sodas. Experts are making connections between artificial sweeteners and carb cravings...
It doesn't matter what time you eat. It matters how much and what. If you are still growing, or if you have a demanding schedule or a physical profession, that influences the way you eat. Most people benefit from a protein-heavy breakfast. A nice trick is to add straight egg whites to your breakfast to get that extra heft of protein.
If you have a blood-sugar issue, you may be someone who needs many modest meals throughout the day. Or you may be like me--I ignore the clock and social pressure altogether and try not to eat unless I'm genuinely hungry. (It's so hard to tell--what with the constant cues to eat eat eat!) My eating habits are driven by the demands of my day and the needs of my body. Period.
I also like to enjoy plenty of indulgences, (yeah, I have my vices.), so I have to kick-in some extra exercise to maintain my health.
How do I know if my diet is healthy? How does anyone know?
It doesn't much matter what people say about how they're eating; their bodies are nonstop confessors. Your body is constantly telling you how it's reacting to the food you're feeding it. Feeling and looking great? That's a pretty big hint you're on to something good. Maintaining a healthy weight and waistline? Your recent lab results from your blood panel are perfection? BP in the neighborhood of 115/76? More evidence you're eating right. How about mood, energy, concentration, libido, and no need for prescriptions..? Again, looks like you've found a "perfect" diet--for you.
Look for the foods you love that pack in loads of nourishment per calorie: Think Volumetrics. No matter who you are, you can't be healthy without daily exercise. So go for it..! And if you're looking to enjoy a little treat, just factor that into your workout.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Last month, the American Heart Association sounded the alarm that sugar is seriously bad news... (ha!, Corn Refiners and your nefarious campaign to make us feel silly for worrying about HFCS. "Aw, it's not any worse than sugar..." Exactly..!)
Just a few hundred years ago, a sugar indulgence would've cost ya 3 days' pay... Now we eat our weight in it every year... And to thank us, it's rotting our teeth, jacking up our LDL cholesterol, filling our arteries with triglycerides, wrinkling up our pretty faces, and keeping us chronically inflamed--not to mention the sugar-ignited, meteoric rise in type 2 diabetes.
Sugar is the New Transfat.
Monday, September 14, 2009
If we all did what Dr. Oz told us to do, we'd be in much better shape.
When it comes to the health-care debate, sure, tort reform is needed, defensive medicine has to stop, unnecessary medical procedures have to stop, corruption and capitalism-without-compassion among insurers have to stop... And what about Big Pharma? Only we and New Zealanders allow pharmaceuticals to be marketed directly to patients. Anything potentially resulting in a 4-hr hard-on is best suggested in a doctor's office, not peddled along with Cheetos and Chips Ahoy (although if you'd put down the junk food, you may well achieve rock-hard status w/out the aid of magic meds. Seriously, once a man goes soft in the middle, he quickly goes, well, soft down below...)
Back to Dr. Oz and healthcare...
With or without a public option, and all the other hotly contested components of health-care reform, our best bet in avoiding hospital-bill-induced bankruptcy is avoiding the hospital bed in the first place. I don't know about you, but my plan is to look great and feel great right up to the moment I drop dead. (Later is better than sooner.) I'm not the least bit interested in entering a purgatory of chronic illness--no thanks. Did you know half of us already suffer chronic illness..? HALF.
And the best way to avoid chronic illness is to follow the Doctor's orders--Dr. Oz's specifically. He and Dr. Michael Roizen of the Cleveland Clinic have authored a must-read series of "You" books that'll keep you as young and healthy as possible. And just today, Dr. Oz premiered his new Oprah / Harpo-produced daily tv show--"The Dr. Oz Show." Check it out.
And do yourself a big favor and follow his directions. Your body will thank you. Your insurance premiums will thank you. Your family and the rest of society (whom you won't be burdening), will thank you..! President Obama and the Congress have a lot to sort out when it comes to health care. But the biggest reform needs to happen with each an every one of us.
Also, go donate over at Dr. Oz's HealthCorps nonprofit. He has young adults talking up healthy living and eating in high schools across the country. Great idea to catch kids before sickness catches them...
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
It's gonna happen. Not much of a bold prediction since 40 states already tax candy, soft drinks, etc. But this newer, bigger tax on sweetened soft drinks is coming, and coming fast. Even the Congressional Budget Office is playing with the numbers and estimates a modest 3 cent tax per every 12 oz will yield $50 Billion over a decade...
We need help paying for this $147 Billion obesity bailout. Soft drinks are ubiquitous and nonessential--they're just ingestible entertainment. They also are linked to a whole host of health problems and they're the number one, single source of calories in the American diet. Gross.
The average man in the U.S. drinks 341 calories in sweetened drinks per day. If he'd dump the soft drinks and opt for water, he'd drop 30 lbs by this time next year.
As for kids. If you love them don't serve them soda. Period. Once they're adults, they can decide whether or not the consequences are worth it.
Just did an appearance on FOX Business Network with Brian Sullivan and Dagan McDowell an hour ago on this topic. (Check it out.) Seems the Libertarians are tired of picking up the paycheck for elective illness, and that's what many of today's leading illnesses have become. If you eat yourself into cancer, type 2 diabetes and heart disease, it's your right. It's also your bill.
As for me, I represent the 8% of us who eat right, exercise daily, don't smoke, and drink only moderately if at all. Our future health outcomes are unknown just like anyone. But our effort to live a life "compliant to health" increases our odds of enjoying just that--health. If not, we've done what we can and deserve top notch care and reasonable costs associated with that care.
But our piddly 8% can't offset the 92% not even trying. No health-care plan can.
Michelle and Barack Obama tell the October 2009 Men's Health, Women's Health and Children's Health magazines they exercise regularly, eat right and don't serve their children sugary soft drinks. How 'bout we start keepin' up with the Obamas..? (not that smoking part of course...)
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Seems like saying "no" to ooey-gooey, warm, crisp, chocolate-y S'mores should yield an immediate 5lb submission of the scale. Especially when everyone else around the campfire is delighting in the indulgence, and I dig to the depths of my self-restraint and manage a "no thanks."
Lemme confess, I've enjoyed plenty of delectable indulgences myself this Summer. Too many. And there's one thing I've learned in my personal battle of the bulge--after a string of "yes please!" always comes a much longer string of "no thanks."
Please don't utter "deprivation." I hear that term constantly mentioned by overweight and obese proponents of the fat acceptance movement who favor a particular sweet. Only in America could someone put the words "deprivation" and "Snickers" in the same sentence. Talk to me when water, shelter and education are uncertainties, not a candy bar.
Nope. Simple self-restraint is all it was around the flickering fire on Labor Day. And no, the scale won't be posting any change tomorrow as a badge of my rational thinking. But my clothes won't be pinching at the waist either.
Don't think I don't know how delicious those damn S'mores woulda been though.
Friday, September 04, 2009
Tonight on Alan Colmes' Radio Show we'll be talking about "Fat Hatred in America."
People don't hate fat people. They hate fat--and what it's doing to the people they love. Just like watching a smoker smoke himself into emphysema and lung disease and the terrible agony that comes with that, so too is it for those of us struggling to keep our own weight and health in check while loved ones are ensnared by obesity and all the horrors that come with it.
Watching my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and other family members eat themselves into type 2 diabetes, cancer, knee problems, hip problems, immobility, dementia, high blood pressure and other disabling conditions is heart-breaking.
Even with that front row seat to obesity-induced despair, I find it incredibly difficult to maintain a healthy weight myself. The non-stop food temptations affect us all. Whether we realize it or not, the sight, smell, even mention of food sets off an involuntary neuro-chemical response telling us to EAT EAT EAT..! We can thank evolutionary survival instincts for that. Our DNA never realized food would become so overly abundant. Our DNA never knew we'd be ingesting non-nourishing (possibly damaging), "edible entertainment" either.
We all need a break from America's culture of constant pressure to consume. Fat Hatred? I don't think so. Hate the Fat Culture? Yep.
Thursday, September 03, 2009
You see the news headlines: Cheating wife tricks hubby into kidney donation. Brooklyn businessman traffics impoverished Eastern Jews for their organs. Mount Sinai duped in not-really-cousins kidney swap. China's black market for organs. The organ mafia. And there's Apple CEO Steve Jobs' speedy liver transplant done in Tennessee rather than his home-state of California.
Anderson Cooper is doing a special CNN 360 segment on this growing medical crisis--"Secret Harvest."
An estimated 10% of the 16,000 annual U.S. kidney transplants are illegal--meaning the donor is being paid up to $20K for his precious "gift." What two consensual adults decide to do with their bodies, or body parts, is up for ethical debate. But what's clear is that the need for organs will be skyrocketing.
The worldwide escalation of obesity and type 2 diabetes will increase the demand dramatically as hearts and kidneys fail from improper eating. And who will supply healthy replacements? Remember, only 8% of Americans eat right, exercise daily, don't smoke, and drink moderately if at all.
The excellent reality program "Hopkins," based on Johns Hopkins hospital in Baltimore had a wrenching moment when a heart specialist flew to make a life-saving transplant pickup only to discover the heart was unusable--the donor was obese and his heart encased in fat. Heartbreak for the eagerly awaiting patient and family back in Baltimore.
Even on the popular TV show "House," Dr. House quipped that 80% of the time, organs from the obese are unusable...
I'm sure the new CBS drama about a transplant hospital, "Three Rivers," will be all over this
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
The Institute of Medicine wants more local action when it comes to fighting child obesity... I was talkin' this up on CNN today:
Check it out...
I'm on Delta heading from Atlanta back to NYC... The Coca-Cola-emblazoned screen on the seat in front of me reads: "Open Happiness."
Coke makes the further promise of "Deliciously Uplifting."
There's no mention that colas are linked to obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, ADHD-type reactions to the food coloring, tooth decay or any other health horror. Not so "happy" I guess.
Meanwhile, Cathy Nonas and the NYC Department of Health and Human Hygiene are rockin' a new campaign to curb cola consumption (along with all those other fat-inducing sweetened beverages). Their sign reads: "Are You Pouring on the Pounds?" And follows up with "Don't Drink Yourself Fat."
Remember, dump 1 soda a day and opt for water instead, and you'll drop 14 pounds of fat by this time next year. Drinking 2 or 3 soft drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks, syrupy coffees or sugar-filled smoothies a day today..? Imagine your shrinking waistline if you go with water instead...
Now if we can just convince parents to hook their kids on water instead of this liquid candy...