Dr. Oz had a fellow doctor on the show who claims that Dr. Oz is presenting misinformation about health and weight loss on his show. His name is Dr. Glenn Gaesser, and he is the director of the Health Lifestyle Resource Center in Arizona.
First off, Dr. Gaesser refuted the idea that there is an epidemic of obesity in America today. He claims that since the rise in obesity has started to level off, we have an “obesity crisis,”, not an “obesity epidemic.”
Since two-thirds of Americans are now overweight or obese, isn’t just a matter of so many people have become overweight that most people who are going to become overweight already are? In other words, there’s hardly anyone left that isn’t overweight, so of course the rate of increase is leveling off.
Next, Dr. Gaesser claims that being overweight is simply a marker of poor health habits, and is not by itself a health risk.
That’s like saying “wearing a 54 inch belt does not mean you are at risk for heart disease and diabetes, it just means you probably eat too much and exercise too little.” (both of which just happen to predispose you to heart disease and diabetes…)
Later, Dr. Gaesser said that exercising is not an effective way to lose weight, but it’s an excellent way to maintain weight once you have lost it by any method.
He goes on to say that as the percentage of carbohydrates in the diet goes up, body weight goes down. Also, a higher intake of sugar was associated with lower body weight. (eat more sugar, lose weight…)
If you have ever taken a statistics class, you know that you can prove pretty much anything with a set of numbers. But this guy seems to really be pushing the envelope…
Of course, Dr. Oz is animatedly disagreeing with Dr. Gaesser, and this reminded me of the show featuring Gary Taubes. Most physicians are pretty strongly opinionated, and it can take quite a bit to make them change their mind (or even consider another opinion as having merit).
What do you think? Is exercise useless for weight loss? Is obesity something that we needn’t worry about so long as we exercise and eat healthy food? Should we eat more carbohydrates (and sugar) because Dr. Gaesser says a higher dietary intake of both is associated with lower body weight?
Please send me a comment and tell me what you thought of this show if you watched it.
Robert J. Stone