Disease Proof

Fat Profits

In Eat to Live Dr. Fuhrman insists obesity is the number one health problem in the United States, costing society more than $100 billion per year.1 Plus, Americans spend $33 billion annually trying to lose weight. Deborah Hastings of the Associated Press reports that there's big money to be made in fat:

From the cradle to the grave and most points between, obesity has found its niche in American marketing. Make that a wide berth. Baby seats, doorways and caskets are but a few examples from a long list of life's accoutrements that are getting much bigger to accommodate much bigger people. There are also vacation resorts for those embarrassed to be seen in a bathing suit.

That's just the tip of the iceberg. Don't forget the untold millions that are made selling unhealthy food and drinks to people to make them fat, and the billions and billions people make treating their disease once they are overweight.

Healthcare, big food conglomerates, grocery stores, restaurants... we'd probably have a slimmer population if more effort were put into changing people's bad habits. Oh wait, there's not nearly as much money in fruits and vegetables!

1. Bender, R.,C. Trautnet, M. Spraul, and M. Berger. 1998. Assessment of excess mortality in obesity. Am. J. Epidemiol. 147(1):42-48; Wolf, A.M., and G.A. Colditz. 1998. Current estimates of the economic cost of obesity in the United States. Obes. Res. 6(2):97-106.

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Comments (3) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Pat - April 17, 2006 2:14 PM

I have just finished reading "Eat to Live". I enjoyed the book and fit the profile of so many that are described. I have a question considering that the book was written a couple of years ago. I think that I remember reading recently that some diets (Dean Ornish's was specifically sited and perhaps Pritikin as well) are so restricted in fat intake that some people experience vitamin deficiencies, I think because of the implication of fat soluable vitamins. Is my memory correct and does Dr. Fuhrman's plan pose that same hazard. Thank you.

anet - April 17, 2006 3:21 PM

Fuhrman doesn't really eschew fats for anyone that isn't trying to lose weight. He just wants you to eat the whole food (the avocado, the cashew, the olive) so that you get the nutrients in the whole food. And he advises AGAINST loading up on some refined oil which is devoid of most of the actual nutrients that's in the whole food--nothing is left but the calories.

Joel Fuhrman - April 18, 2006 8:07 AM

Thank you Anet, you are correct, I do not generally recommend a diet low in fat. There is a wide range of acceptable fat intake for healthy people, based on their individual needs. This has nothing to do with vitamins. This question is already answered on page 133 of Eat To Live. It explains that thin people do require more fat in their diet than the menus in Eat To Live which are designed for people who are overweight. It also explains that because of the large amount of stored fat on the body of overweight people they are already on a diet high in fat, living off the fat on their body as they lose weight. It then goes on to state that when you add more fats from whole food, such as avocado, seeds and raw nuts, you get a balance of micronutrients that are important for health excellence. All this was discussed in the book already, but some people looking to knock it will try to search for something to criticise. The dietary and menu guidelines in Eat To Live are designed for people who are desirous of losing weight, they are not designed for the thin athlete who has higher fat requirements.

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