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Cellulite Solution?; Fight for "Fair Food"

Aired May 5, 2012 - 16:30   ET


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, HOST: Today, we have food for the body and the mind.

And fit or fat: More than 80 percent of all women have cellulite. We're going to show you the first now FDA-approved long-term treatment.

Also, a new idea to get better food on all of our plates -- how to make better choices available for everyone.

But, first, I want to tell you about an incredible experience that I just went through. You know, it began when Henry Louis Gates Jr., Skip, he asked if I would be part of his television series called "Finding Your Roots" on PBS. I, of course, said, "Sure, absolutely."

You see, I was born in Michigan, but my parents were born and they grew up in India. And like a lot of immigrants, they thought they'd never be able to learn their whole family history. That was lost, they thought, in the old country.

But I always wondered, and so I gave Professor Gates the names of my immediate relatives, along with a cheek swab of my DNA. Here's some of what he found.


HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR., HOST, "FINDING YOUR ROOT" (voice-over): To dig even deeper, we sent Sanjay's cousin to Haridwar, located on the Ganges River. Haridwar is a place of tremendous genealogical importance to Hindus. Pilgrims come Haridwar to consult with family priests, who have record their gotrus (ph), the male lineages on their family trees.

We arranged for Binud (ph) to meet with two priests who have devoted their lives to writing down family history. We're hoping that we'll discover other details about Sanjay's extended family hidden in these cryptically encoded scrolls.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Madan Gopal Das, Hamam Das, is this the one?


This is our family.


He is Sanjay's great-grandfather.

GUPTA: It's all written down?

GATES (on camera): That's your family history, my brother.

GUPTA: Amazing thing. I have to go.

GATES: Oh, you have to go.

GUPTA: Have to go see this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Son of Lala Molarchand, who was the son of Lala Patram Das.

GATES (voice-over): The scrolls contain information going back incredibly eight generations on Sanjay's father's line -- cousins, grandparents, grade grandparents and beyond. They're all here, a symbolic gathering of generations of ancestors. Family members that Sanjay never even knew he had.


GUPTA: I'll tell you, it was an incredible experience. And you can see the rest of the story, "Finding Your Roots," Sunday at 8:00, on most PBS stations.

Now, being a part of that was incredible, and when Professor Gates was here in Atlanta, we had a chance to sit down and talk more about what it all means.


GUPTA: One of the things that comes out of this and you and I have done today was had this long co conversation about my family, my ancestry. I had the privilege of having you help me -- give me some astonishing information about my family.

GATES: I was -- I was moved for you. I mean, at one point, I had tears in my eyes that your family records would be kept by a cast of priests and written -- inscribed in code with the vows they live, and they're assigned to your family. We talked to some genealogists when I picked you from this series and think, forget it, you know, the Indians, what do we know? They don't care about genealogy?

You know what, Sanjay? Everybody cares about genealogy. Because what's your favorite subject? The favorite subject of every human being all across the world, no matter what the color, is of themselves. In genealogy, it's ultimately all about yourself.

GUPTA: Your name has obviously become synonymous with people tracing their roots and finding out about their ancestry. I'm curious, I mean, have you done this?

GATES: My father looked like a white man and my grandfather was so white, Sanjay, we called him Casper behind his back.

So, we always wanted to know why -- we know why that Gates, we're a family of mulattos, but where this white man came from.

And we know he fathered Jane Gates. Jane Gates was slave. She's born 1819. She died in 1888. She had five children and she wouldn't tell them the identity of their father. She only told them that they had the same father.

One of my motivations for doing the PBS series was to use genealogy and genetics to find out more about myself. And we found out two very interesting things.

First off, we found out that my admixture, which is a percentage of ancestry from Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia and Native America over the last 500 years. And mine, to my astonishment, revealed in the middle of the shoot for the first series was that I am 50 percent white and 50 percent black.

The director of the Du Bois Institute for African-American Research at Harvard is half a white man. This is an identity crisis for me.

But the other thing was that white man was definitely Irish.

GUPTA: If you could go back and visit perhaps anybody in your book or books or just in history, is there somebody you would really like to see that you never had a chance to meet?

GATES: My great, great grand father. I would like to see him in the company of my great, great grandmother Jane Gates to see if they had an equal relationship, if it was a relationship no matter how odd it might strike us, that was based on love? A fact that she told her children that he fathered all of her children, all of their siblings, suggests some sort of attachment.

In 1865, she is a slave. In 1870, she pays $1,200 cash for a house in a predominantly white neighborhood. Obviously, that came from him. I'd like to know about my Irish roots.

GUPTA: It would be pretty amazing to be able to do that, to go back and see who your ancestors were.

GATES: Yes. And also understand what it means for my identity as an American and African American to be of equal proportions Irish or Anglo Irish and Sub-Saharan African.

And I know a lot about Africa. I've been to 20 African countries. I'm a professor of African-American studies. My great mentor Wole Soyinka, introduced me to Yoruba -- religion and mythology, and language when I was graduate student at Cambridge.

I love Africa, but I also want to know, I wasn't conscious of having a white identity or an Irish identity when I was growing up. And I would be interested in exploring up. I mean, I like Guinness.

GUPTA: So, that explains that.

GATES: We used to go to Catholic Church and see pretty Irish girls. I grew up in an Italian-Irish paper mill town, with just a handful of black people. So, you know, all of the girls we like, they went to the Catholic Church. So, I would go over there.

GUTPA: Guinness beer, is that your favorite beer?

GATES: The black man's beer, brother.

GUPTA: Is that the beer you had at the summit?

GATES: No, Indian beer.


GUTPA: I've got some suggestions now, if you watch something like this, and you're interested in finding your own roots. First, talk to your family. Have a conversation, and get specific names, grandparents, great aunts, distant cousins, as many as you can find.

You can also get a lot of information for free online. Birth certificates and the like.

And if you want a detailed family tree, you might, in fact, hire a trained genealogist, a specialized historian. Now, I warn you, it's not cheap. You're probably looking at about $1,000 at least. A more complicated search like the one that was done overseas on would obviously be more.

Another approach, an interesting one, is simply testing your own DNA. Now, it's not to find relatives, but with the DNA test, you can learn about your real ethnic background, what part of the world your distant ancestors hail from. A few companies would do that testing. It starts at about $200.

Again, just a remarkable experience for me.

Coming up, though, 80 percent of women have it, 100 percent of women hate it. We're talking about cellulite, and also, the first FDA- approved long-term treatment. I'm going to show you.


GUPTA: Under the microscope: two different treatments to combat cellulite were recently approved by the FDA.

The first is already on the market. I'm going to show you how it's supposed to work. But I do want to warn you, you're about to see some graphic images of surgery.


DR. JAY KULKIN, WOMEN'S INSTITUTE FOR HEALTH, ATLANTA: These are actually areas of fat that are protruding through the skin.

GUPTA (voice-over): Cellulite. More than 80 percent of women develop it. And they spend millions of dollars on over-the-counter creams as a temporary fix.

SHEKIA RICHARD, 33-YEAR-OLD CELLULAZE PATIENT: I have been working out my entire life, very athletic, have been forever, used to be in the military. I still have issues.

GUPTA: Shekia Richard chose to get Cellulase. It's a new FDA- approved procedure that targets cellulite from under the skin.

KULKIN: And there are fibers in the fat that are actually pulling the skin down. And what we're going to do is we're going to release those fibers.

GUPTA: According to a small peer reviewed study of 10 women, with funding by the company, with just one treatment, cellulite is gone. And results last a year or more.

The patient uses a local anesthetic, and is awake the entire time.

KULKIN: You feel a little needle there.

GUPTA: Once numb, a laser is inserted under the skin.

KULKIN: Right this moment, I'm melting the fat that is causing the bulges up in her skin. So, remember, cellulite has two things. It has bulges and dimples, that cottage cheese appearance everyone complains about. So, what I'm first doing is melting the bulges.

All right, so we've done all of our green circled areas. So, now, we're going to go after those things that are pulling down the skin.

GUPTA: Here what is Cellulase looks like from the inside. First, the laser goes in, melts the fat cells that cause bulges. Next it cut and vaporizes the fibers under the skin which cause the dimples. And then the laser heats the skin which the company allows new collagen to form.

KULKIN: This is not something that happens overnight. You know, it's a dynamic process. I mean -- and we get people who want the quick fix and we can't deliver that.

GUPTA: It can take three months after the procedure to see the full results. But it's too soon to say how long these results will last.


GUPTA: Also, it's a cosmetic procedure. So not covered by insurance, and it's quite expensive -- $2,500 for a single area on both legs. We also talked to several doctors who were not affiliated with the study and they said the biggest risk is a possible infection.

Now, especially what's something new, it's important to work with a doctor who's experienced with the procedure. You want to consider this or anything cosmetic.

Best advice: weigh the pros, the cons, do it with your own doctor.

Still ahead, though: one of New York City's bravest, a former firefighter and self proclaimed fitness junky struck by a bus and nearly killed. Now, he's back on this feet, he's back on his bike as well. But, first, how many times have you gone about your day and then, bam, a great idea pops into your head. A new way to solve a problem, or perhaps make a household chore a little bit easier. For most of us, the next thought is -- well, that's never going to happen, but that's where a start-up called Quirky comes in.


BEN KAUFMANM, FOUNDER & CEO, QUIRKY: It's human nature to invent. It's human nature to try to make your life better. It's human nature to try to make the world around you a better place. And what stops people is to actually do that, and to execute on all those ideas, is really freaking really hard.

Good ideas shouldn't find their ways on to shelves because they're the ideas of people without the right circumstances. They should find their way onto shelves because they're just great ideas. That's it, plain and simple.



GUPTA: Back in 2005, Matt Long was a New York City firefighter and just an accomplished athlete. In fact, he was training to race the Boston marathon, wanted to do it in less than three hours.

But in the blink of an eye, it all changed for him. He was riding his bike up Third Avenue when he was struck by a bus. And the road back from that was long one.


GUPTA (voice-over): December, 2005, New York City is in the grips of a massive transit strike. Public transportation is completely shut down.

New York City firefighter Matt Long has no choice. He must hop on his bike to get across the city to the fire academy.

GUPTA (on camera): So you needed to -- I mean, this wasn't just training. You needed to get somewhere.

MATT LONG, NEW YORK CITY FIREFIGHTER: I needed to get to work and, yes, I made it four blocks.

GUPTA (voice-over): Four blocks and then disaster.

(on camera): Do you remember being hit when --

LONG: Yes, I remember putting my left arm up and just going under, and that's it.

GUPTA (voice-over): A bus that had crossed multiple lanes of traffic made a right turn, and, in the process, slammed directly into Matt Long. LONG: Either they didn't seem me, you know, didn't know I was there or whatever, and took me right under the front wheel.

GUPTA: In an instant, the self-described fitness junkie had gone from dominating race courses to barely surviving.

LONG: From my left leg, every bone, compound fracture, tib fib femur. My right side of my pelvis was shattered and open fracture as well. And my right shoulder was crushed. But the worst part was the bike and I became one and it severed my abdominal wall, severed my femoral artery. So I basically was bleeding out.

GUPTA: Long stayed in the hospital for six months and eventually underwent more than 40 operations. He had survived physically but mentally he was battling nearly crippling depression.

LONG: Right at a table after a doctors appointment, I just said, you know, I'm glad you prayed for me to live and I wish you had prayed for me to die, because I can't do this.

GUPTA: Learning how to live in his new body became Long's biggest challenge.

LONG: I didn't think about things I couldn't have any more. I didn't think about how I would no longer run as fast as I used to run. I just started out saying, I will. And I will get back on the bike. I will get back out on the run course and I will live my life the best I can.

GUPTA: Now retired, Long coaches and regularly shares his story to motivate others to transform themselves.


GUPTA: I'll tell you -- it gets even better. After recovering, Long created the I Will Foundation. That's to help other athletes who suffered life-altering illnesses or traumatic injuries. And in case you're curious, Matt is back to racing as well. He's got several races lined up this summer and he says his dream of racing the Boston marathon, well, it's bigger now than ever before. Good luck, Matt.

Up next, though, how to beat the system when it comes to the best food for less. We'll explain.

Stay with us.


GUPTA: You know, my next guest says our food system is broken. It's in fact endangering what's most precious to us -- our environment, our health, and our future. Pretty strong words, but the question is, how do we fix it?

Oran Hesterman is the author of "Fair Food: Growing a Healthy, Sustainable Food System for All."


GUPTA: So, what is a fair food system?

ORAN HESTERMAN, PRESIDENT & CEO, FAIR FOOD NETWORK: When I think about a fair food system, I think about a system that's producing food that's healthy, good for our bodies, green or grown in a way that's healthy for the environment. Fair means nobody in the system is getting exploited so everybody gets a piece of the economic pie. And affordable -- everybody has access to that healthy food.

GUPTA: Healthy, green, fair, and affordable.

Is there some body or some thing that's wearing a black hat in all this? I mean, is somebody doing something wrong the way things are -- to make it unfair?

HESTERMAN: Yes, I really don't believe it's anybody's blame the way the system is now. We have a food system in place today that I believe is broken in many different ways, but it's largely based on decades and decades of public policy that has driven our system in this direction. When most policies were put in place, they were put in place for good reason. It's just our context has completely changed.

For example, when we first started putting federal subsidies in place to subsidize the production of corn, soybeans, wheat, other crops, we needed a lot of cheap calories in this country to feed a growing population. Well, now, we're in a situation where we've got an obesity epidemic. We need to shift the policies in our food system to take care of the current context that we find ourselves in.

GUPTA: Subsidies do allow some of the foods to be cheap. And if you're somebody who doesn't have lot of money, you want to buy as many calories as you can for as little money as possible. If you make it -- if you do some of these things where you make it more equitable, does it make some of these foods more expensive? Will it be harder for people to get those calories at the same price?

HESTERMAN: Well, you know, we've got -- what I think about is what it's going to take to help create affordability for those foods that we know are healthier to heat. We know most of us need to be eating more fruits and vegetables, especially our low income families.

So, you know, we've got this program happening in Michigan, I mean, talking about a solution called Double Up Food Bucks where we are incentivizing folks to bring their food assistance dollars to farmers markets and buy fresh fruits and vegetables, and we know it's working, and it's not preventing them from getting the energy dense and caloric foods they need.

GUPTA: If people are watching and they say, look, I'm not necessarily someone who lives in a food desert, but I am someone who has a hard time getting healthy foods for myself and for my kids, it's just not easy. It's more expensive than I would like. What would you tell them right now, leaving behind a larger societal message, for the individual, what can they do? HESTERMAN: I would tell them right now, there's nothing more important than your health. Nothing. There's nothing more important to creating greater health than eating the right foods so that -- you know, we'll spend money on lots of stuff in our society that we think are necessities. My belief is the first necessity is a healthy diet. And there are ways to get a healthy diet, to buy the healthy food you need, and not spend an incredibly large amount of money.

GUPTA: Not break the bank?

HESTERMAN: Not at all. There's a myth that when you purchase food at a farmer's market, it's going to be more expensive than a supermarket. And I say it's a myth because research has been done looking at prices of fruits and vegetables at farmer's markets, comparing it to supermarkets in the same area, and, in fact, the prices are usually either comparable or many times less at the farmer's market.

So, you know, my belief is that don't believe the myths. Get out there and spend some effort to find the foods you need to keep your family healthy.

GUPTA: And supporting your local farmers as you point out as well. You'll appreciate this. We have a little vegetable garden outside of our kitchen. I have three kids, 6, 4, and 2. And we grow things like tomatoes.

And what is amazing to me, Oran, is that people -- other kids will come over, and it's literally a magic trick.


GUPTA: They see these tomatoes and like, wait a second, it comes out of the ground?

HESTERMAN: Right. GUPTA: And I think -- you know, my kids eat healthy. It wasn't because we preach to them, but I think they just have access to it now. Something they grow their own.

HESTERMAN: And they taste the tomatoes and carrots from the garden and know they're going to taste great.

GUPTA: Yes, it's amazing. I appreciate it. Like I said, we're really interested in this. It's something we're going to stay on top of.


GUPTA: The book is fantastic. I hope everything gets a chance to read it.

HESTERMAN: Great to be here with you. Thank you.


GUPTA: You know, we're chasing life today in the produce aisle. Pesticides, a lot of conversations about this -- they have been linked to disorders, even cancer. But good organic produce is sometimes hard to find and sometimes expensive.

So, the question is, when is it worth the big effort to buy organic, or maybe even grow it yourself? Well, here's my grocery list. Produce like apples, celery, strawberries, they typically have the most chemical residue. So, I think to buy them organic. Onions, corn, avocado, those are typically going to be safer. So I might save a little bit money and buy the conventional versions.

And easy rule of thumb to follow is if you're going to eat the skin, go organic. That's where a lot of residue of the pesticides lives.

Unfortunately, our office hours are up. But stay connected with me at Let's keep the conversation going on Twitter @SanjayGuptaCNN.

Next weekend, incidentally, we're going to be teaming up with our sister network, HBO, for a look at the weight of the nation. An issue we follow a lot here in SGMD. We're going to confront America's obesity epidemic right on the program.

So, make an appointment, come back, see us next Saturday at 4:30 p.m. Eastern, and on Sunday, 7:30 in the morning.

Time now, though, to get you a check of your top stories in "THE CNN NEWSROOM."