Posts Tagged ‘Obesity’

As we are ready to wrap up the holiday season, I wanted to share with you some advice I often share with patients: fat serves a multitude of purposes in the diet – there is no need to avoid it – eat the right kinds and in moderation. That sounds great as a sound bite but what does that statement really mean? Well, I came across a great article from my good friends at the International Food Information Council that has some slick (pun intended) information about the health benefits of healthy fats.

The Truth about Fats and Oils and Health.

In this article, you will find the statement “People who do not feel satiated [full & satisfied] by the food they’ve eaten, either because the flavor was missing or the food was not filling, may be more likely to continue eating in search of those sensations, likely offsetting any caloric deficit created by removing fats from foods.” This is EXACTLY why I don’t espouse low-fat eating. I find that my patients don’t get the same satisfaction as they do when eating full flavored, full fat original versions of recipes when they eat “liposuctioned” versions of the original. They key with eating fatty foods is to enjoy them in LIMITED portions.

As always, olive to skim your thoughts on this heavy subject. Sorry…couldn’t resist!

The Guyatitian

I’m very excited to introduce to you the first video in a series produced in partnership with the International Food Information Council. They’re an incredible organization that creates reliable and sound nutrition communications for both health professionals and the public alike. Here is the press release about our partnership:

As the U.S. continues to deal with the obesity epidemic and families around the country struggle with incorporating healthful eating and physical activity into their lives, the International Food Information Council Foundation, which has been focused on childhood obesity for nearly a decade, continues to develop a variety of helpful resources to help families learn healthy habits.  

Today, the Foundation is releasing its new video “Foods for Health: Building Healthy Kids &Families,” produced in partnership with registered dietitian David Grotto, also known as the “guyatitian” and author of “101 Optimal Life Foods.” The video and accompanying materials are filled with quick tips for kids and families to incorporate healthful foods and physical activity into their lives.

“Good nutrition is so important for developing bodies and minds,” says Grotto. “As a parent of three growing girls, I’m particularly focused on keeping them healthy and there are many easy steps parents can take to ensure their kids live healthful lives.”

Here are a few simple tips that parents can use today:

Breakfast Boosts Brainpower: Parents and kids can start their day off right with the “traditional triplet”: Whole grain ready-to-eat cereal and fat-free milk plus 100 percent fruit juice.

Bone Up on Bone Health: Low-fat and fat-free milk, yogurt and cheese are good sources of calcium that can promote bone health, but you can expand your calcium intake by choosing foods that have been fortified with calcium like orange juice, soymilk, and ready-to-eat cereals.

Make Meals a Family Affair: It can take time before children learn to enjoy the taste of certain foods, especially fruits, vegetables, and fish. Getting kids involved in family meal preparation can help get them excited about what will be served on the dinner table. 

The video is the first in the Foundation’s “Foods for Health” series featuring David Grotto to be released over the next several months. Future topics include weight management, immune health, digestive health, heart health, and healthy aging.

In addition to the video, the Foundation also recently created a healthy kids and families section of its website The section features more tips and guides for parents, health professionals and educators—who can all serve as role models in children’s lives. It supplements, the Foundation’s childhood obesity prevention initiative launched in 2002, which provides activities that get kids up and moving while playing online.

These new resources are part of the International Food Information Council Foundation’s effort to complement First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Campaign as it moves forward.

For more on the International Food Information Council Foundation’s efforts to help families live healthful and active lives, and any other questions, please contact the Foundation media team at 202-296-6540, or

The International Food Information Council Foundation’s mission is to effectively communicate science-based information on health, nutrition, and food safety for the public good.  Additional information on the Foundation is available on the “About” section of our Web site.  For interviews with experts or other questions please, call (202)296-6540.

Dear Guyatitian:

Where do you stand on BMI? Is it an accurate gage of health?

Cathy L.


The use of Body Mass Index (BMI) as a tool for assessing health remains controversial though it may have a role in estimating health risks. BMI alone does not always accurately reflect lean mass and does not take into account where weight is carried. If you haven’t received “the memo” yet, carrying weight around the mid section is far more riskier to your health than carry extra weight through the butt and hips. In fact researchers from Pettis VA Medical Center found that factors affecting adoposity (fat accumulation)  is separate from those that affect overall body size meaning that a high weight is not necessarily directly associated with a high percentage of fat.

And what gets my undies in a bundle is where BMI is used in the workplace as an incentive for insurance premium discounts. Case in point. I recently worked with a lady who got her BMI down from 32.9 to 25.0. In order for her to get a discount on her health care premium, she needed to be at a BMI of 24.9. They denied her when she weighed in at her screening!! Though we also showed her employer that her body fat was low (18%), she was still denied. They didn’t even take into account that she was fully clothed! THAT is a classic example of BMI gone wrong!!

BMI is ONE tool in assessing someone’s health, NOT the be all and end all. Sorry you asked? 🙂


The Guyatitian

I had mixed reactions when I received a press release today from Cici’s, a pizza chain based in Texas. They are celebrating their 25th anniversary by offering an all-you-can-eat buffet for $3.99. One side of me thinks this is a great value for families who are trying their best to put a decent meal on the table during tough economic times. And Cici’s does offer a salad bar and some healthier choices of pizza, according to the authors of Eat This, Not That. But I also know that those same authors aren’t giving their “thumbs-up” to never-ending amounts of those healthy versions. Here in lies the rub.

Buffets lead to overeating…and overeating, regardless of how healthy the offerings, is still overeating.

So what’s the solution? I’d love to get your feedback on this. Should there be a plate limit or a pay-by-the-ounce requirement to limit overeating? I can only imagine that this will be next intervention in New York city in their “endless” war against obesity. What say you???

Ever wonder why you eat more than you should? Believe it or not, it can be something as simple as the size of the plate that you eat off of!

I had the pleasure of interviewing Brian Wansink, Ph.D author of Mindless Eatingwho is the director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab. He is a Fulbright Senior Specialist in food marketing and nutrition, and in addition to writing Mindless Eating, he is author of the books Marketing Nutrition, Asking Questions, and Consumer Panels. His award-winning  research on food has been published in the world’s top marketing, medical, and nutrition journals. It has been presented, translated, reported, and featured in television documentaries on every continent but Antarctica.

His research findings have also contributed to the introduction of smaller “100 calorie” packages (to prevent overeating), the use of taller glasses in some bars (to prevent the overpouring of alcohol), and the use of elaborate names and mouth-watering descriptions on some chain restaurant menus (to improve enjoyment of the food).

Click here for more information and to take the “Mindless Eating Quiz” !