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journal of the american medical association tackles obesity


Doctor Obesity

The most recent issue of JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) is devoted entirely to America’s “Obesity Epidemic“.  What does the AMA have to offer us as far as new and effective approaches for dealing with this growing problem (no pun intended)?  You’ll have to read the post to see the answer to that question.  What I will tell you from the outset is that many in the AMA seem to be advocating for the government to take an increasingly larger role in providing and regulating healthcare.   Here are the studies with “My Take” underneath.

  • The Role of Government in Preventing Excess Calorie Consumption:  The Example of New York City

MY TAKE:  This is yet another plea for expanding Big Brother‘s policies concerning the practice of medicine.  But then again, when the American people vote for socialized medicine, they essentially vote for governmental policies that supposedly regulate your health (i,e. New York’s no more Big Gulp program).   Farley writes, “The balanced and most effective approach is for governments to regulate food products that harm the most people, simultaneously encourage food companies to voluntarily produce and market healthful products, and then provide information to consumers in ways that facilitate their choosing healthful products.”  This sounds well and good until you start making a list of what constitutes “healthy” food.  Is making soda pop more expensive a good thing?  Maybe.  The problem is that the regulation will not stop there. 

For instance; even though the SNAP Program continues to pour money into Junk Food (HERE), our government continues to redefine what vegetables are as far as school lunches are concerned.  The USDA says that a meal of Frozen Pizza, French Fries, and Ketchup counts as four (4) servings of vegetables.  Huh — are you joking me?  Nope (HERE).  And who could forget the not-so-distant past (for many, those days are still here) when RED MEAT, SALT, real butter, and eggs were really really bad for you; and lots of REFINED CARBS, BREAD, MARGARINE, and milk were really really good.  Sorry; I don’t trust the government to provide any sort of viable answer to this problem, although I do expect to be lied to and increasingly taxed while they try.

  • The Next Generation of Obesity Research:  No Time to Waste  

MY TAKE:  This study gets part of it right by saying that, “Americans spend more than $60 billion annually on weight-loss programs and products, yet scant evidence exists that these expenditures translate into lasting weight loss.”   However, their solutions are mostly off-base.  They want more research dollars (i.e. tax dollars) so that we can find the, “basis” of obesity.  Sorry; that’s already been done.  And once again their ideas are based on ever-increasing government control and the, “development of better weight loss medications“.   The authors state that, “To address this need, research must proceed swiftly on 2 parallel fronts. The first is to devise practical and effective strategies for intervention, with special emphasis on preventive strategies that can be rapidly implemented in health care and community settings. The second is to evaluate community-based efforts that will soon be launched or are already under way, to gather data about their effectiveness, and to use that information to develop evidence-based interventions that can be applied on a wider scale.”  I have already shown you that despite EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE being where we are increasingly headed, it is largely a farce.  I can sum up this article with a quote pulled directly from their paper.  Admittedly, these goals are elusive.  And the truth is, there is nothing new here.  It is all the same old hash and rehash served up cold —- over a slice of white bread.

  • FDA Approval of Obesity Drugs:  A Difference in Risk-Benefit Perceptions 

MY TAKE:  This article can be boiled down to doctors whining about having what they feel is a viable option for Obesity taken away from them; drugs.  The authors want their drugs back and state, “Drugs provide an important therapeutic option when lifestyle modifications are insufficient for achieving weight loss goals.  But it begs the question as to why.  Why were weight loss drugs like Fen Phen removed from the market in the first place?  It’s simple.  They were /are not only addictive and dangerous, they were / are deadly.  And I can assure you that drugs do not motivate people to change their lifestyle for the better.  They demotivate.  I see it all the time.  Uncle Joe takes that extra insulin so that he can eat whatever the heck he wants without sending his blood sugar to the stratosphere.  Aunt Sally says, “Doc, I don’t care too much about taking care of myself.  It’s just too durned hard.  Besides, I got me some of that good government insurance that will take care of me.” 

Does unlimited access to healthcare motivate most people to live a healthy lifestyle?  Like I just said; it actually does just the opposite.  And just so you know, this study stated a weight loss drug is considered effective if people can lose 5% more than the placebo.  Wow? 5% better than sugar pills.  Where else can you provide such crappy results and make billions of dollars doing it?

  • Cardiovascular Risk Assessment in the Development of New Drugs for Obesity 

MY TAKE:  Here’s what’s interesting about this study.  The AMA’s doctors actually tell us why these drugs are dangerous — and even deadly —– as well as why they cause a myriad of ugly side effects.  “Stimulation of sympathetic activity is the principle mechanism of action of several anti-obesity drugs approved by the FDA during the past 50 years.   These drugs have the potential to increase blood pressure, heart rate, or both, thereby contributing to increased cardiovascular risk, possibly off-setting the clinical benefits of weight reduction.”   If you understand these two sentences, you will understand why the amphetamine-based (“speed“) weight loss drugs of the past do more harm than good.  Fen Phen is a great example of this.  But to really understand why this is true, you have to first understand what the Sympathetic Nervous System is and what it does. 

There are two parts of your Nervous System —- the Sympathetic and the ParasympatheticThe parasympathetic has a calming effect on your body.  It lowers blood pressure.  It lowers heart rate.  It opens airways.  It increases digestion and bowel motility.  On the other hand, the sympathetic nerve system is your “Fight of Flight” response.  It increases heart rate and blood pressure, shuts down bowel motility, and constricts airways.  While it’s a great thing to have these things when they’re needed; if you live in a constant state of SYMPATHETIC DOMINANCE, I will assure you that you will have about a jillion seemingly unrelated health problems.  The heart problems they are worried about in this study are just the tip of the iceberg of what goes on in a person lining in Sympathetic Dominance!  To better understand this issue, take one minute to visit the link above “The Battle for your Brain:  Sympathetic -vs- Parasympathetic“).

  • Exercise Dose and Diabetes Risk in Overweight and Obese Children:  A Randomized Controlled Trial

MY TAKE:  Did we really need to spend more public monies on another study like this one?  The study concluded that, “after 13 weeks, 20 or 40 minutes per day of aerobic training improved fitness and demonstrated dose-response benefits for insulin resistance and general and visceral adiposity (fat midsection) in sedentary overweight or obese children, regardless of sex or race.”   Come on people.  We already knew this.  Sedentary children are more likely to be fat children.  It’s a no-brainer!  And likewise, kids that exercise will lose weight in proportion to the amount of time they exercise.  The problem is that fat kids grow up to be fat adults. 

  • Association Between Urinary Bisphenol A Concentration and Obesity Prevalence in Children and Adolescents 

MY TAKE:  Out of all the studies in this issue, I would have to say that this one is the most insightful. The problem is that while it tells us that BPA is bad, it does not really tell us why it’s bad.   Bisphenol A (BPA) is a plastic-like, clear polymer that is used in the manufacture of plastics.  If you will go HERE and take just a few minutes to read about “Estogens & Xenoestrogens” you will  begin to understand why this is the case (and you’ll probably wonder why you have not heard of it before this).  BPA is one of thousands of similar compounds with hormone-like effects (estrogen).  This is an issue that the FDA recently looked at and blew off, but has been coming to the forefront for years.  If you value the health of your daughters and sons, you need to take the two minutes it will take and read about Xenoestrogens — something I have been warning people about for at least a decade.

  • Health Benefits of Gastric Bypass Surgery After 6 Years

MY TAKE:  I am not going to spend any real time on this.  There are a lot of health risks to having this procedure done, and truthfully, I do not see many people it works well for over the long haul.  This is a different group of people than I typically deal with, although the same principles that work for those who want to lose 25 lbs will work for those who want to lose 250 lbs (HERE).  In a similar study, JAMA said that, “Compared with controls, surgically treated patients used more inpatient and non-primary outpatient care [hospitals and specialists] during the first 6-year period after undergoing bariatric surgery but not thereafter. Drug costs from years 7 through 20 were lower for surgery patients than for control patients.”  Take it for what it’s worth.  Is Gastric Bypass Surgery worth it?  Maybe.  It depends on your situation.  Are the cost savings over the final years of the study enough to offset the cost increases over the first years of the study?  Not sure, but I would be suspicious if the savings were overwhelming. 

  • Surgical vs Conventional Therapy for Weight Loss Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea:  A Randomized Controlled Trial

MY TAKE:  Not that all snorers are obese, but we do know that obesity makes people snore (HERE).  This sort of snoring is associated with Sleep Apnea (people never get to a deep sleep because their airway obstructs).  “Among a group of obese patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea, the use of bariatric surgery compared with conventional weight loss therapy did not result in a statistically greater reduction in AHI…”  By the way, the AHI (Apnea-Hypopnea Index) is an index that measures Apnea (stoppage of breathing for at least 10 seconds) against hypopnea (shallow breathing).  In other words, having your stomach stapled or banded will not help you with breathing issues while you sleep.

  • Progress in Obesity Research:  Reasons for Optimism 

MY TAKE:  Doctors are frustrated by the fact that they have little (nothing really) to offer obese patients short of drugs to deal with the diseases caused by obesity, or the radical and invasive stomach stapling / banding surgeries that are taking place today.  What does Dr. Livingston and his crew think of this?  They use an identical word as was found in the second study we looked at —– “elusive“.   “Treating obesity has proven elusive. Changing lifestyle is difficult and usually ineffective. Few drug options for weight loss exist, and bariatric surgery, while effective, is reserved for the morbidly obese.”  What does he say works?  “Prevention is the best treatment. Successful prevention requires disentangling the factors responsible for the obesity epidemic.”  Here is the thing people.  Even though the medical community is loathe to admit it, science has already untangled these factors (HERE).  The problem is, we all want the easy way out.  Personal responsibility; personal reschmonsaschmillity!  We want someone to do it for us — and better yet, we want some one else to pay for it all as well.  Give me a pill doc.  Staple my stomach doc.  Hey doc, you heard of that new product that lets you eat whatever you want and still lose weight?  I saw it advertised on TV the other day.  No, no, no doc; I cant’ do it myself.  I need someone else to do it for me. 

What can members of the AMA take away from their “Obesity Issue”?  Frankly, not much.  Oh, they claimed a big victory in the arena of bariatric surgery, but beyond that, what do they have to offer their overweight patients?  They can give you all sorts of pill, potions, and lotions once you get sick; but as far as preventing these things……..  Forget about it!   The medical community READILY ADMITS that the vast majority of the profession is as clueless as they ever were about REAL NUTRITION.  And on top of that, there’s no money in it.  The practice of medicine is now known as “Corporate Medicine” for a reason.  The big money is in drugs and surgeries — and that is exactly where the AMA and medical research is stuck.  Trying to figure out what they can do to make people lose weight via drugs and surgery.  It’s a shame really. 

If you want to lose weight, you need to read two things.  You need to sit down and read my OBESITY POSTS, and you need to read my posts about, HOW TO CURE JUST ABOUT ANYTHING.  Just remember that since Big Medicine and Big Pharma view you as a commodity; if you leave your health solely to your doctor, you are in deep trouble.


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