Eating Ourselves To Death | Honestly With Bari Weiss

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Key Takeaways

  • The healthcare system is an engine designed to make money when more people are sick and remain in the system
  • We’ve gone far away from doctors actually restoring the health of the body as a whole and digging into its connectedness
  • We are flat out neglecting the root cause of disease – we’re eating 25x more refined sugar than we were 100 years ago, among many detrimental changes to our diet
  • “Right now, we are eating ultra-processed nutrient depleted crap.” – Dr. Casey Means
  • The social messaging has completely changed – instead of trying to prevent poor health and diseases that are within our control, we’re telling people there’s nothing wrong with being fat, your weight doesn’t matter, and foods are not ‘good’ or ‘bad’
  • There’s substantial evidence today that chemicals in our food are “obesogens”, causatively lead to obesity – additives, and fillers such as microplastics, pesticides, coloring, and much more
  • Have no double about it – the healthcare system is a for-profit business; disease prevention & health would lose money
  • Success criteria in most hospitals: (1) in and out of exam room in 15 minutes; (2) new medication prescription; (3) charting that could be billed for; (4) rule out anything life-threatening; (5) patient is compliant with medication – notice the absence of improving health
  • “40% of the American Diabetes Association budget comes from pharmaceutical industries.” – Dr. Casey Means
  • Top tips to attaining better metabolic health: (1) eat real, unprocessed, clean food; (2) stick to the outsides of the grocery store where there are no processed foods; (3) get quality sleep; (4) manage stress; (5) move your body; (6) get sunlight; (7) avoid toxins in food and environmentally

Introduction

Dr. Casey Means (@DrCaseysKitchen) is a Stanford-trained physician, Chief Medical Officer and Co-founder of metabolic health company Levels, and Associate Editor of the International Journal of Disease Reversal and Prevention. Her mission is to maximize human potential and reverse the epidemic of preventable chronic disease by empowering individuals with tech-enabled tools that can inform smart, personalized, and sustainable dietary and lifestyle choices

Bari Weiss and Dr. Casey Means evaluate the goals and challenges of the past 15 years of the obesity epidemic its evolution over time. Currently, 73% of Americans are overweight or obese and the social dialogue has shifted to “healthy at any size.” Dr. Means breaks down what’s wrong with our system and how we can fix it.

Host: Bari Weiss (@bariweiss)

Our Healthcare System Is Set Up For Failure

  • “Every single year, patients in America are getting sicker, heavier, more depressed, and life expectancy is going down.” – Dr. Casey Means
  • Physicians have no time and no training to dig into why people are showing up heavier and less healthy – they’re only treating what’s acute
  • Success criteria in most hospitals: (1) in and out of exam room in 15 minutes; (2) new medication prescription; (3) charting that could be billed for; (4) rule out anything life-threatening; (5) patient is compliant with medication
  • There’s no incentive and no time or training to figure out how symptoms are connected and how to heal the whole body
  • Billing systems are set up for individual symptoms, not root causes – you must code in the chart for separate systems
  • Nutritional interventions are looked down upon in traditional medical cultures as woo-woo, pseudoscience
  • Social shift: it became “elitist”, “racist” or “ableist” to talk to patients about diet and exercise because not everyone has equal access to everything

The Unfortunate Health Profile Of American Adults

  • 74% of Americans are overweight or obese – of this percentage, 42% are obese
  • In some ethnic groups, over 50% of the population is obese
  • 52% of American adults have preventable type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes (90% don’t know they have it)
  • Diabetes matters: our cells are not making energy properly – it can show up and look like almost anything from infertility to erectile dysfunction and heart disease, migraines, low sperm count, high blood pressure, and so much more
  • Metabolism: the process of the body converting food to energy – it’s screwed up in the majority of American bodies
  • “90% of American bodies have at least one biomarker of metabolic dysfunction.” – Dr. Casey Means
  • Based on standard levels of testing, it could take a decade for type 2 diabetes to show up in blood work
  • The Endocrine Society of America “If you are older and have diabetes, try to eat better but don’t worry”
  • The biological reality is that we’re unhealthy in every size
  • 93% of American adults have metabolic dysfunction – there are a lot of normal-weight people who still show dysfunction in core biological processes

Today’s Food

  • Food is different today, it doesn’t contain the same nutrients it used to
  • 50 years ago a dinner plate would consist of starch, protein, and vegetables – today, dinner is ultra-processed and the food has been radically transformed
  • Food processing strips food of nutrients and often covers it in chemicals known to be harmful to human health (e.g., pesticides, artificial sweeteners, colorings, preservatives, etc.)
  • The food chemical industry is relatively unregulated
  • There’s substantial evidence today that chemicals in our food are “obesogens”, causatively lead to obesity – additives, and fillers such as microplastics, pesticides, and much more
  • Many of the things in American food aren’t even legal in other countries
  • Spikes in blood sugar put you on a roller coaster of fatigue, moodiness, depression, hunger, etc
  • Food portions: if you are eating nutrient-dense rich foods, you will not overeat because your satiety cues will be working properly
  • High fructose corn syrup tricks your body into not feeling full – and remember, corn is government subsidized
  • High fructose consumption has been linked to aggression, violence, anti-social behavior

Lifestyle

  • Muscle needs a lot of glucose from the bloodstream
  • The more muscle you have, the more you get your body on a more stable track
  • If you walk or move after meals, you can improve glucose regulation and blunt elevation

The Incentive For People To Be Unhealthy

  • The two largest industries of private employment are food service and hospitals  
  • Healthcare groups spend 3x more on lobbying than any other industry; healthcare spending is growing at double the rate of GDP
  • The healthcare system is a business
  • The messaging from pharmaceutical industries is essentially, ‘why change your lifestyle when you can just take this pill’
  • “40% of the American Diabetes Association budget comes from pharmaceutical industries.” – Dr. Casey Means
  • The USDA rejected the recommendation to lower added sugar ‘requirements’ in foods (worth noting you do not need any added sugar

COVID

  • “Let’s not mince words here, we missed a generational opportunity to help people improve their health in a fundamental way during COVID by using the overwhelming science that underlying metabolic issues like obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure were the factors that created a biologic reality in our body that worsened our outcomes to the virus.” – Dr. Casey Means
  • There were several papers published about the correlation between high blood sugar and worsening COVID outcomes because your body is already in a pro-inflammatory state – but we heard nothing about it from public officials

The Social Nuance

  • Doctors have shied away from being vocal about promoting individual responsibility because some perceive it as shaming people for where they are or discriminating against groups
  • Social media: if you post about exercise, people will criticize you for being an ableist; if you post about healthy food, it’s elitist because some people don’t have access
  • Medical education does not train doctors to leverage nutrition and exercise to avoid disease or improve health
  • Deans of medical schools are often financed by pharmaceutical industries to sway medical education
  • As a consumer, you’re getting the easy way out by just taking the pill instead of doing the work

Solutions

  • Address conflict of interest: get the money out of the hands of people writing guidelines
  • Change campaign financing laws
  • Change farm bill subsidies: sugar, wheat, corn, and soy are subsidized by the government
  • Advertising: budget for networks largely comes from pharmaceutical adds
  • Change outcome metrics in hospitals and for physicians
  • Tips: (1) eat real, unprocessed, clean food; (2) stick to the outsides of the grocery store where there are no processed foods; (3) get quality sleep; (4) manage stress; (5) move your body; (6) get sunlight; (7) avoid toxins in food and environmentally

Levels

  • Closed loop biofeedback which shows you how food affects your health in real-time using a continuous glucose monitor
  • Mission: to reverse the metabolic disease epidemic
  • Understand how your choices affect your health in real-time and learn how your body responds to food
Honestly with Bari Weiss : , , , , , ,
Notes By Maryann

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