Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Fed up? Find out more about 'America's Killer Diet'
Obesity is the second leading cause of preventable death in America -- Do you know why?

Could America's diet be structured in such a way that we're set up to fail?

Make sure to tune in Saturday and Sunday, September 22nd and 23rd at 8pm, 11pm and 2am to catch "Special Investigations Unit - Fed Up: America's Killer Diet."

In the meantime, get an exclusive look at the trailer on the Paging Dr. Gupta podcast.
Dr. Gupta I am interested in finding solution to relieve chonic neck pain that I have had after 2 year old accident that has devistated my life. The doctors have said that it seem to be torocliis (Spl?). Is there any chance that with pt this will ever go away ? I take pain killers morphine dailey. Pain mangement has began protherapy injections. I can not hold my head up and when trying to speak I get choked and strain to talk. No one with all their degrees has been of any benifit. The best relief I have had was with a real Chinese accuputure doctor and as you know insurance does not cover it. He also prescribed herb tea that taste like you know what and he said that the issue is with inbalance in the liver.As he has been most successful of all the doctors is the liver thing a real possiblity ??
Dear Matt Sloane...

Thank you for sharing a matter of
grave concern with us.
I'm not an American. But maybe it's
the biggest problem throughout the
world, and it's a big problem here
in Korea.

A recent Korean government's study
reveals that the percentage of
obesity children of the population
has doubled in the past decade.
Finally Korean doctors warn about the increasing of obesity children.
We, as a nation, should be very
concerned about this.Being serious obesity has become increasingly
commonplace, and it is often thought as just
'a cosmetic problem'. Well, it turns out, not surprisingly to be
much more than that.

We are eating more fatty foods than ever before, also overeating
is surely the main cause of obesity. Yes,it really is...

My bad habit is to read while eating. --;;
I know I must stop this bad habit.
I'm trying to lose some weight so I
cut down on the amount of junk food I eat. I will stick to my plan
this time. :)
The key to a healthy diet is eating
proper food and doing regular
exercise....

Thanks again for your warning about obesity. Take care ^^
Matt/Dr. Gupta:
Starbucks. Pure and simple for me......Venti Cafe Mocha no Whip. I cannot start my day without it. It has become so much a part of my life that I might as well just take it in intravenously.

I think I am addicted to Starbucks coffee. And I believe they like it that way.

I don't even want to think how much money I have invested in coffee every morning.

What am I afraid of? The migraine of withdrawing from caffeine, and not having the buzz every morning to get my brain started. Sounds like my brain is a car engine.

Any suggestions, Dr. Gupta?
The killer American Diet is all the chemicals and additives that the food industry puts in our foods. It is the food industry that is killing us. If we just ate REAL food - food with no other ingredients added, and drank water instead of all of the junk we are told are "health" food, low fat, low carb, etc... Just eat fruit, vegitables, rice and grains, fish and meats... foods our grandparents and great-grandparents ate we'd all be better off.
Dr. Gupta,

There is much about soda causing obesity these days. What with the high calorie count in most sodas. So I did a little experiment at work, at the soda vending machine.

What I did was to grade those using the machine into subjective categories, viz. "overweight", and "regular". Pretty subjective, I know but interesting results!

The "overweight" category virtually all bought diet soda from the machine. Some "regular" category people also bought diet soda. The only regular soda sales were to "regular" sized people.

The conclusion is one of two:
1. Diet soda increases weight of people.
2. Soda calorie content has nothing to do with obesity.

Lets see some good scientific study done on this issue!
I see that there is a 'Quick Vote' question about sugar and sodas.I don't dispute that excess sugar and fat contibutes to obesity, but why doesn't anybody discuss the sodium content in sodas and foods?

Just a quick thought from a caffeine freak about the 'Starbuckee' thoughts above. If it is the caffeine, why not just do the coffee without the fru-fru and eat a banana with it?
I think the comment about real food is really where we need to focus in regards to health. Perhaps if we spent more money on studying the effects of all nutrition, not just specific foods on health and disease, we might see some real benefits.

I know personally, I feel far worse when eating and drinking processed foods. My stomach cannot handle overly processed foods any more and I'm reverting to more and more a whole foods diet. I've also gone to a vegan lifestyle (far easier and cheaper than some may realize).

Add to that an active lifestyle by doing long distance bicycle touring, and life is pretty good. I look forward to seeing what conclusions you come to and hope that all avenues are looked at, not just the ones that various food lobbyiests want us to see.
I've had CFS and FMS for 14yrs. I am now 64. It's suppose to be my time in life but now that not a option for me. I would love to enjoy my grand children like i'm suppose to but right now thats not possible. I pray someone will listen to us. I just don't understand what happen to me. Help
I feel the overwhelming culprit in our obesity problem in this country is "high fructose corn syrup". It is in most everything we consume that is processed in any way. Just check the labels on the shelf. You will be amazed how many products contain high fructose corn syrup. Why? I understand that insulin is a component ingredient in high fructose corn syrup. Insulin! Do we really need this in our diets???
Dr. Gupta:
The science related to the nutritive value in corn for the human being is actually dated. I learned in 4-H over 35 years ago that the only nutritive value of corn is to fatten cattle. This is direct from an Iowa farmer's daughter.
We will never, ever, ever, ever solve the obesity issue until we provide people with a meaningful incentive to exercise, similar to the incentives that drove our ancestors from the dawn of man up to the industrial revolution. Yes we do need to make better dietary choices but consider for thousands of years most humans had little choice but to engage in continuous physical activity in the pursuit of shelter, food and clothing.

Yet now for most of us acquiring the basic essentials for survival only requires a minimum of physical activity: sitting a car for the drive to and from work then sitting virtually motionless at a desk for 8 hours or more. You can lecture, berate, and cheerlead us into exercising as much as you like but for many of us our age-old instinct to conserve energy and store fat for leaner times will be the voice most of us will listen to more often than not. Because it is that voice which has meant the difference between survival and extinction for our species and perhaps for most life on the planet.

Therefore government and business must provide meaningful incentives to exercise that once again place exercise as the means to a necessary end before we can begin to make progress on the obesity issue.
I just caught a portion of a program by Dr. S.G. It's incredible to me that we would require certain restaurants to put caloric content and also the banning of trans fat in fries, etc. I'm more concerned with the ingredients as a vegetarian...are the fries cooked in animal fats? We all know fries are fattening!!! Why on earth are we not focusing on the pesticides in foods that appear to be so innocent and healthy for us. I'm just so baffled by all of the weight issues in this country...I'm about 35 lbs. overweight myself...and you know why...I eat too much and don't exercise enough...for heaven's sake sometimes it's just that simple. I wish we could all spend one year in Italy (the last time I lived there while I was not heavy at that time) I came back in the best shape ever. I ate delicious and "fattening" foods but I was satisfied after each meal because it was delicious, fresh. I also did not sit around watching tv. I got out and moved around. None of my Italian friends or relatives were overweight. They said they don't snack like Americans and they consume "normal" sized portions. So I thought I was only going to discuss the pesticide issue but I've gone off on another tangent and I'm sure if I sit here longer, I'll go off on something else...Yes, I'll close with this. So many Americans have dogs...let's get out and walk them instead of leaving them in the back yards or home all day! Thanks for listening.
I think that americans are obese today because we have too many (wrong) choices. I believe that we as Americans should be more aware of what we eat and the choices we make, so that less of the population will be obese and that we will lead healthier life styles.
Dr. Gupta,

I just finished watching "America's Killer Diet". It was such an eye opener to me. I gave up meat 6 months ago and now when I try to eat it I get sick to my stomach. I've given up other things such as coffee, cigarettes and alcohol in the past and my next thing, starting tomorrow, will be a whole foods diet. It won't be easy but I'm so sick of seeing all of us take the wonderful food that god has provided us for life and turning it into food that is literally killing us one by one. I too am addicted to sugar, fat and salt like a lot of people but this time I'm kicking the habit for good.
Thank you so much for this program. You and your colleagues have certainly outdone yourselves this time!

Diane Schulz
East Islip, New York
Whenever I have overeaten, nauseau is felt, not happy nor good. Least of all is it comforting. My family is the same. Why don't all people experience this? It is definitely a deterrent to gluttony !
Dr. Gupta,

I enjoyed your special on Diet and it is long over due. However, you fail to mention how our food is adulterated by how it is raised. A recent article in Mother Earth states eggs from confined birds have 1/3 the Omega-3s of pastured birds. Similar findings exist for all factory raised animals and organically raised vegetables are far more nutritious than chemically raised ones. Even a "healthy diet" is not what our grandparents ate.
One very important factor which was not addressed is "Preservatives" which are added to food. These extra ingredients have no nutritional value and they live up to their names...preserve...they accumulate in the fat and do there jobs of preserving...their existence, fat...by promoting obesity.
How can I view CNN's "Special Investigations Unit - Fed Up: America's Killer Diet" that aired on 9/23/2007? Will this video be available to watch on CNN's website?
I enjoyed the Special on America's Killer Diet. I would like to show it to my students... Will it be available on DVD?
Thank you CNN and Dr. Gupta for bringing such an important subject matter to the attention of the American Public. As an RN and Diabetes Educator, everyday I witness first hand the effects of poor lifestyle choices on those that I counsel. With just a few weeks of education and support, along with small lifestyle changes (e.g. Supersize meals to kids meals, no soda, increase in fruit and vegetable servings, choosing high fiber carbohydrates) my patients see immediate results in their lab values, weight, and feeling of overall wellness.
The epidemic of obesity is reaching such proportions that my children's generation is expected to have a lower life expectancy than that of mine. Given this, I believe that everyone in the health care field has an obligation to make nutritonal counseling a part of their daily interactions with their patients, family, friends, and yes, even co-workers. Kudos!
While I enjoyed the "America's Killer Diet" special I feel there are other important issues that need to be brought to the public eye as well.As mentioned on other posts,pesticides,food additives,and growth hormones just to mention a few.I think the scene of the crop dusting plane hosing down the field with pesticides pretty much says it all.We are continually told to add more fresh fruits and vegetables to our diets but unless you have access to organic produce(which many of us do not and for those that do many cannot afford them)everything we put in our bodies is toxic and we are NOT getting the vitamins and nutrients our bodies need.These toxins accumulate in our livers and over time,combined with high fat/high sugar diets can cause serious health problems.Much of our produce is grown in other countries where pesticides,etc that have been banned in our own country are allowed.I would very much like to see a special addressing these issues.The old saying,"you are what you eat" is indeed true.It's criminal that we don't always know!While we can read the ingredients on a box of cereal we are not given that option on an apple!
After seeing the Chicago neighborhood that has no veggies or fruits I was wondering if the study that says Omega 6's that cancel out omega 3's has ever been studied with incarcerated black men. I was curious if any studies on incarcerated people have been done?
Great work on Killer Diet. There is so much farther we can go on this. One person in the show said food additives were "almost addictive." Really? I think that is a profound understatement. I'd like to see a review of how a substance is determined to be addictive. I would intuitively guess that many of these sugared or flavor enhanced foods are right up there with cocaine or heroin in addictive potential. Alcoholics can learn to avoid places where alcohol is served; drug addicts can seek new company. Few, however, are equipped to avoid food products. Please drill down into this aspect of the story and the legalities involved in addictive substances. I believe this is a major addiction that requires huge personal strength to overcome. How many health practitioners and health system/product promoters hide behind blaming the patient when results don't occur because the patient cannot comply with the dietary requirements? Is it possible to come up with more powerful tools and measures to overcome food addictions? Much more needs to happen with regard to this aspect that is sabotaging our wellness so severely.

Lee Nielsen, CDP
Chemical Dependency Professional
Dr. Gupta:
I totally agree with you and thank you for bringing this important issue up to our country and to the world. It is a globing problem now.
I am also a physician in rehabilitation and I have seen patient who are already 400 lb and keep on getting heavier. Some of them can't even walk, we have to increase their motorized wheelcahir size every two years to keep up. One of my patient is 439 lb and her mother has to tie her shoes for her.
One of the solutions is what you are doing: increase education and awareness. Prevent obesity when kids are young.

Thank you and I totally support your effort.

K. Yan
It seemed to me that the individual who represented the restaurant industry in its action against NYC food legislation served to foster the cities argument for government intervention. He stated that the government instituted food labels to try and educate consumers on what we eat to enable us to make better choices. But this has lead, he states, to even higher levels of obesity and the associated health risks. To me that signifies how attempting to educate is a miserable failure and direct action must be taken to protect ourselves from both our own inability to police our diets and the food industries unyielding assault on our bad habits. People are like water, we flow inthe direction of least resistance. Food is one of those areas that best exemplify this tendancy in humans. If it is close, and ready, we eat it.
MY FOURTEEN YEAR OLD GRANDSON BEGAN SHOWING "INAPPROPRIATE" BEHAVIOR WHEN HE WAS ELEVEN. HIS PARENTS,WHO ARE BOTH EXTREMELY BRIGHT PEOPLE, SOUGHT TO HELP HIM THROUGH SEEKING GUIDANCE FROM CHILD PSYCHIATRISTS. THESE DOCTORS PROCEEDED TO PLACE HIM ON DRUG AFTER DRUG. WHILE ON PROZACK, HE ATTEMPTED SUICIDE AND WAS DIRECTED TO A PATH OF MORE AND MORE DRUGS. ALTHOUGH THIS WAS A BOY WHO ATE EVERY JUNK FOOD IMAGINABLE, WAS SUPER ACTIVE IN SPORTS AND BRIGHT AS CAN BE, HE FELL INTO A VERY DIFFICULT DOWNHILL SLIDE. AT THIS POINT, HE HAS BEEN DIAGNOSED AS "BI-POLAR" AND HIS LIFE, HIS PARENTS LIVES AND HIS SIBLINGS LIVES ARE A DAILY NIGHTMARE.
I WONDER WHETHER A GOOD NUTRITIONIST MIGHT HAVE BEEN THE BETTER ROUTE TO HAVE FOLLOWED. I WATCHED YOUR "AMERICAS KILLER DIET " PROGRAM AND A RAY OF HOPE ENTERED MY BRAIN. COULD IT HAVE BEEN THAT THE SUGARS ETC. MAY HAVE BEEN THE CULPRIT WHILE HE WAS STILL AN ACTIVE, ORDINARY CHILD? THE DRUGS HAVE CREATED AN OVERWEIGHT, SOMETIMES ALMOST COMOTOSE TEENAGER.
IT WOULD BE MOST APPRECIATED TO RECEIVE SOME GUIDANCE FROM YOU. I HAVE ADMIRED YOU AND YOUR EFFORTS FOR MANY YEARS AND FIND THAT THIS AREA MAY BE ONE WORTH YOUR ADDRESSING. THE DRUGS ARE NOT ONLY ON THE STREET CORNERS, THEY ARE IN THE DOCTORS OFFICES AND I RESPECT THE FACT THAT MUCH OF THE DISPENSING IS STILL VASTLY EXPERIMENTAL.
Dr. Gupta I have heard great feedback on your program. I teach health at a University and am wondering how I can view this program to show to my class? Is there anyway I could find it online to download or purchase the program?
Dr. Gupta,

I was amazed that Senator Harkin would implicate farm subsidies as a reason that obesity is such a problem in America. The overwhelming majority of corn is fed to livestock which supplies the protein that is so cheap in the American diet. We in America spend a smaller portion of our consumable dollar on food than any other country in the world...EVER. THAT is why we have the money to spend on all of those tasty treats and soda that we love too much. It would be MORE logical to suggest that if we took away most of Americans wealth we would no longer be obese but I doubt that would be as well received as criticizing the very abundance of food that we take so for granted.
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