|Back to Back Issues Page
Everyone is talking about weight loss drugs
July 14, 2023
Everyone is talking about weight loss drugs
Everyone is talking about weight loss drugs; "Not I," said the Little Red Hen.
There's an old French proverb that states "there are none so blind as those who will not see." Selective vision is now so entrenched that we simply are unable to perceive what is staring us in the face. We have travelled so far from the foods that our ancestors ate, that we do not even recognise them.
Folk laugh at the old tale about children in New York City who think that milk comes from a bottle and don't know that it is chickens that lay our eggs.
But this week I have gained a profound insight into the unprecedented spike in weight gain over the last forty years. One that has top scientists scratching their heads and lamenting "how little they know about obesity." Two highly educated women did not know what these two foods are.
The one a white woman who eats and bakes bread daily; and the other a Zulu for whom cornmeal is a staple.
Little Red Hen found a grain of wheat. "Who will plant this?" she asked.
"Not I," said the cat.
"Not I," said the goose.
"Not I," said the rat.
"Then I will," said Little Red Hen.
- Mother Goose's Treasury.
The McGovern CommitteeThe McGovern Committee was established almost exactly fifty years ago to examine concerns about hunger and malnutrition in the United States; and got it so wrong that they catapulted America and the world into an even worse crisis.
They made two fatal mistakes.
1. They did not reckon on how difficult it was going to become to purchase whole grains.
2. They thought that fat was the cause of the sharply rising rates of heart disease.
To which I would add a third.
3. They also did not consider the powerful influence of millers, chefs and cookery shows that set about convincing the world that cake flour and sugar are today's wonderful treats. And that colas and energy drinks are the future; not tea, coffee and plain old-fashioned water.
Add to that highly-refined cornmeal and polished white rice; in July, the month of Wimbledon, we would say "game, set and match." Within two decades, Dr George Campbell's 20 year diabetes rule was completely vindicated.
Our taste buds and the mechanical receptors on the tongue just love sweet, highly-refined foods that slide deliciously down the throat; and start the unerring pathway to obesity and type 2 diabetes.
So Little Red Hen took the wheat to the mill where it was ground.
Who will make me some bread from this flour?" she asked.
"Not I," said the cat.
"Not I," said the goose.
"Not I," said the rat.
"Then I will, said Little Red Hen.
You no longer can buy bread like this, made from 100% wholemeal flour and leavened with sourdough. The irony of it is that it is light as a feather; but one slice is quite sufficient to bring satiety. Occasionally another half would do no harm. More will make you feel bloated.
Chronic over-consumption of carbohydrate, the cause of T2D is almost impossible when enjoying whole grains.
"More than 40 percent of American adults live with obesity. Sixty years ago, that number was 13%. In some ways that's the medical failure of our time. $11 billion has been invested in research in the last decade, yet there is no evidence to suggest we can halt or reverse the trend."
Everyone is talking about weight loss drugsOur blinkered world, unwilling to go back and look at the facts, is seemingly unaware that the obesity and diabetes pandemics began in 1977 when the McGovern committee gave its guidelines.
Refined carbs and sugar are the devils; not fat. And they are now so entrenched in our minds that we no longer even recognise whole grains and cornmeal; nor can we readily buy them.
Researchers claim that Americans are in fact eating relatively less and there's little evidence that physical activity has changed. Graphs of calorie intake are astonishingly flat; yet obesity is soaring.
It's not about calories; the counting app is a complete waste of time.
Nor is it about how much you consume; rather it concerns what you eat.
Instead, everyone is talking excitedly about weight loss drugs. "Not I," says Dr Bernard Preston, DC.
A new class of drugs known as GLP-1 agonists have certainly proved promising. But will these new meds change the course of the obesity pandemic? I am a Doubting Thomas and WebMD concurs; most experts agree.
Side effects can be severe; nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. Stomach pain is common. They are extremely expensive.
It's not just about whole grainsResearchers are divided. Some like Roager et all publishing in Gut 2019; 68(1) report that a group eating whole grains lost a significant amount of weight as compared to those enjoying an equivalent refined carb-rich diet.
Yet others claim that whole-grain consumption does not affect obesity measures.
Sugar consumption too comes drastically into the equation.
Whole-fat dairyNo one was surprised when the PURE study found that fruit, vegetables and legumes were protective against cardiovascular disease and premature death; nor the fish.
What has blown us all away is that "mainly whole-fat" dairy is also protective; and the Heart Association is recommending we eat eggs. I wonder what McGovern and his committee are thinking about that, looking down from Cloud Nine?
This is consistent with the diabetic doctor who reported that her wholegrain breakfast cereal caused her blood glucose to soar if she ate it with skim milk; but not if she enjoyed it with full-cream.
The incretin effectScientists have found that when we eat sugar then the pancreas secretes more insulin than if the same amount of glucose is given intravenously.
When receptors in the gut are stimulated by sugar they release hormones called incretins that give the pancreas a prod to start producing insulin; even before that glucose reaches the blood stream.
That is very helpful; unless you are insulin resistant.
UAB researchers have found that 40% of young Americans are insulin resistant.
GIP and GLP-1 are two of these incretin hormones that influence the pancreas and many other tissues; in the brain they help control appetite. These new weight-loss drugs extend the period during which they are active.
The cost of these new medications comes as a shocker; around $1,000 per month. Health insurers do not pay.
Cost of a mill + a bread-machineFolk often exclaim that the combined cost of a wheat mill and a bread-machine is far more than they can afford; but together they would set you back less than one month of Semaglutide.
Plus there are many other added benefits; the vitamin E in the wheatgerm that acts as nature's own anti-coagulant and the lignans in the bran that give more than 50% protection against malignant breast tumours, for example.
Is obesity not a lifestyle issue? Or is it a disease and if so, why did it suddenly become so prevalent in the last few decades?
Is that why suddenly everyone is talking about weight loss drugs?
Treat the cause not the symptomsDr Robert Lustig, MD, an endocrinologist is critical; these new drugs are not treating the root cause of the obesity pandemic. "They are bypassing the real problem," says he.
They curb hunger so we eat less but folk are not losing just adipose tissue but also lean body mass; that means early frailty and osteoporosis.
"If you're continuing to not exercise, nor eat nutritious foods and take a medication, is that success? Have we won when people are at a lower weight but not doing a healthy behavior?"
- Dr James Hill, Nutrition Obesity Research Centre
Sold a bill of goodsOne thing is certain, we've been sold a bill of goods.
None of the diets deliver on their promises, though some of them have good points.
"Eat less and move more" is far too simplistic.
Americans are consuming less and not exercising for shorter periods compared to two decades ago. So why is their weight surging to unprecedented heights?
Calorie counting apps are a total waste of time.
And it's got nothing to do with will power. So fat-bashing is unkind and unwelcome; we have been hoodwinked.
The bill of goods that we've been sold by McGovern and company is that we should eat more carbs and less fat; then all will be well.
Lined up against us are whole groups of formidable companies whose only motive is profit. The millers who extract the best parts of the grain so they can sell it elsewhere. The pharmaceutical firms who are making obscene profits from weight loss medications. The foodie websites telling us how wonderful their sweet treats are; and that we deserve to spoil ourselves. Those peddling an array of diets that are totally unsustainable.
Can you really give up bread for ever? Do you actually need to? Well, that from the grocery store probably yes.
Then there are lying researchers like Ancel Keys who cooked the books about cholesterol; and the misguided people on the McGovern committee.
With all of these self interest groups and those that were simply misguided, lined up against us, it's little wonder that we have fallen under their spell.
The way forwardsThere is a way forwards. It's to get back to the food that our great-grandparents ate.
Fruit needs to be on the table every morning; and the meal should be low in carbs if you are obese. It should have plenty of protein, both from animal sources, unless we are vegetarians, and plants; that means some legumes.
Extra fat would not go amiss, particularly if it were olive oil or an avocado.
Eggs Florentine is rich in fibre, nutrients and protein; the perfect breakfast. Pop in a few green beans or peas. And it's low in carbs. Give the toast a miss if you are struggling with unwanted pounds.
Enjoy a large green salad with many colours and an added legume for protein; like hummus. A generous drizzle of olive oil to increase satiety, absorption of important phytonutrients like lutein and the many anti-oxidants such as oleocanthal would be helpful.
One slice of wholegrain bread perhaps with cheese, unsweetened peanut butter or a teaspoon of natural honey.
Dine like a pauper at night; then you will sleep far better. No dessert except on high and holy days. Nothing more than a few sips of water to drink after dinner if you suffer from heartburn.
Brother AssChristians and I understand other religions too believe that our bodies are the temples of God; and as such it is our responsibility to care for the dwelling place of the Almighty.
Yet even saints, mystics and effective Christians have found that the body is a very stubborn creature. St Francis for example described his frame as Brother Ass; with whom he had an eternal struggle. Can we expect any less?
Whilst everyone is talking about weight loss drugs, we believe rather in feeding Brother Ass well; lest he turn around and bite us. We need good food, not medication, to both avoid and treat obesity.
If just one family were to invest in an electric stone mill and start grinding their own grains, my whole year would be made!
OsteoporosisTrue whole grains incidentally are an excellent source of calcium; you are far less likely to suffer from osteoporosis.
It's well known that both calcium supplements and the drugs that purport to strengthen our bones increase the risk of heart disease.
A new study on the drug Evenity, an injectable osteoporosis medication which acts by inhibiting the cells that produce sclerostin, an important protein in bone formation, proves that it has very dangerous side effects.
Meddling with the natural processes in our body we believe is very dubious. Rather, follow the edict of Hippocrates; let your food be your medicine. And daily take at least a short walk; longer over the weekend.
Exercise incidentally does not help with weight loss; but it has been proven to help keep those unwanted pounds from returning, often with many of their fellows.
Then you too will be able to enjoy a life largely without medication.
To sum upHealthy old age is attainable for most of us; the chances are made up roughly by 20% from our genes that we have little control over though they are shaped by what we eat, but 80pc by lifestyle.
Shedding those unwanted pounds, not weight loss drugs is central to that change of lifestyle if it is your heart's desire to live long in the land.
And don't be hard on yourself. Brother Ass' tongue can be retrained. I know because I have done is successfully. You can too.
Don't feel all alone; no one can escape the difficult decisions that must be made if we want to enjoy long and healthy lives. Brother Ass is indeed very stubborn; but a lovable beast too!
Till next month,
Create a cyan zone at your homeClick here to return to the home page and subscribe to this newsletter, if you have not already done so. Care for the world, look after your family.
It is simple to unsubscribe if you later find it boring or irrelevant.
Don't spam, but please forward to a few selected friends who you think might be interested in sitting under the trees they once planted, sipping tea and watching the great-grandchildren growing up; and still be able to take long walks.
x Pull the sweet tooth
x If you suffer from heartburn plant a susu
x Refined maize meal and stunting
x Should agriculture and industry get priority for electricity and water?
x Nature is calling
x Mill your own flour
x Bake your own sourdough bread
x Alternative types of water storage
x Wear your clothes out
x Comfort foods
x Create a bee-friendly environment
x Go to bed slightly hungry
x Keep bees
x Blue zone folk are religious
x Reduce plastic waste
x Family is important
x What can go in compost?
x Grow broad beans for longevity
x Harvest and store sunshine
x Blue zone exercise
x Harvest and store your rainwater
x Create a cyan zone at your home
|Back to Back Issues Page