WatchingDrOz is a fan site and is not associated with Dr. Oz or The Dr. Oz Show. Advertising featured on WatchingDrOz does not imply an endorsement of the product by WatchingDrOz, Dr. Oz, or The Dr. Oz Show. Links to products mentioned on the show or are related to topics discussed are provided as a service to readers. Clicking on advertising links supports WatchingDrOz and allows the blog to remain a free service.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Watching Dr Oz 11/28/11: Fit yet Fat? Dr. Oz Weight Loss Information Challenged, Skinny Yet Obese?, Acupuncture Face-Lift, Hill Harper's Health and Wealth, Brain Power Boosters

The Dr. Oz Show
Air date: November 28, 2011
The Dr. Who Believes Everything Dr. Oz Says About Weight Loss is Wrong

  • Is dieting and exercise harmful to your health?
  • Three ways to determine if your skinny yet obese
  • Hill Harper shares three steps to health and wealth
  • Acupuncture as an alternative to surgery
  • Game Show Time! Healthy, Wealthy and Wise

Physiologist Glenn Gaesser thinks that being over weight has no harmful effects on the heart or over-all health. What if everything Dr. Oz says about weight loss is wrong? Dr. Gaesser visits Dr. Oz to discuss his beliefs. Find out what he thinks about diet and exercise.


And stay up-to-date with


Dr. Glenn Gaesser, PhD is an exercise physiologist and author of three books including his most recent, Big Fat Lies: The Truth About Your Weight and Your Health. He is a professor and runs the Healthy Lifestyle Research Center at Arizona State University [as well as part of the advisory committee to the Grain Foods Foundation.]

Dr. Gaesser posted a video on YouTube [about 5 months ago] with a rebuttal to a Dr. Oz Show discussing the dangers of carbohydrates.

[Dr. Oz said the video has gone viral. The video had received 322 views when I clicked on it after today's show. In the video Dr. Gaesser took on some specific points made on a recent Dr. Oz Show.

First, he said that the belief that carbohydrates are as addictive as cocaine is not true. If, says Dr. Gaesser, cocaine is as addictive as carbohydrates then you would see cocaine addicts give up their drug for Wonder bread. He says there is no research showing the addictive qualities of carbs.

Second, he took on the idea the carbohydrates are responsible for diabetes and obesity. One guest on that episode said she was addicted to pasta. Dr. Gaesser says, again, there is no correlation to pasta consumption causing weight gain. His example is that Italians eat three times more pasta than Americans yet their obesity rate is only 1/3 that of America.

Third, another guest on the show said she was addicted to french fries. Dr. Gaesser clarified that half the calories in french fries comes from fat and that they contain a lot of sodium. Fat + carbohydrates + sodium = yum. Most cravings are for fat, salt and sugar – the ingredients of every snack food. These are the culprits, not the carbs.

Four years ago Dr. Gaesser published an article on the relationship between carbohydrate intake and weight gain. His research found that as carbohydrate intake increased, weight decreased.

He shared that research from the Farmingham Cohort showed that eating two servings a day of refined grains and three servings a day of whole grains brought about a reduction in belly fat and are consistent with public health recommendations.

In conclusion, Dr. Gaesser stated that the notion of good carbs and bad carbs is misguided. All foods can fit within a healthy diet and that we should embrace carbohydrates for overall health.]

Dr. Gaesser says that as a country we have lost weight over two billion times and if dieting works then we wouldn't have to diet again and again. He says that weight is a poor predictor of ones health. Dr. Oz wants to know then, what have we gotten so wrong?

Looking to weight, explained Dr. Gaesser, as a predictor of health is leaving out activity and cardiovascular health. Fitness is a better predictor of health then weight.

Opposing Views On Three Health Issues

Health Issue #1 - Dr Oz says obesity is an epidemic.
Dr. Gaesser says the crisis of obesity is causing obesity. Looking at data of body weight from the last several decades, as American's obesity and weight both increased. Yet in 2000, weight has leveled off. Dr. Gaesser believes that the focus should not be on weight but on how people got so big.

Dr. Oz showed a graphic using numbers from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) showing that, yes, the level of weight and obesity has leveled off. He noted that an increase in the over weight or obese numbers by just one small percent would represent one million people. If so many people are over weight and obese, it is a sign that we are not dieting smart, according to Dr. Oz.

Those CDC numbers were self-reported weights, says Dr. Gaesser, alluding to possible inaccuracies. There is an epidemic of inactivity and not eating well. The weight number tells us only about weight, according to Dr. Gaesser, but changing lifestyles will change the weight. He says that every weight related health problem – libpids, glucose, blood pressure – can be improved with activity and healthy eating which may not effect weight.

Drs. Oz and Gaesser both agree that yo-yo dieting creates problems. Dr. Gaesser explains that blood pressure, cardiovascular health and poor blood vessel health are attributed to the weight cycle, or yo-yo dieting and that these population group is more likely to die from cardiovascular diseases. He says that the key predictor of weight gain after dieting is the number of previous diets. [The more times someone has dieted, he believes there is an increased chance of gaining back the weight.]

Dr. Oz demonstrated that yo-yo dieting is equivalent to blowing up a balloon over and over. Blowing up the balloon when we gain weight, letting out some air when weight is lost. That weight loss is often comprised more of muscle than fat. So the end result is lower weight but a greater proportion of fat. Over time, yo-yo dieting creates more fat and puts greater stress on the gall bladder and heart. Over time the balloon gets so large is pops.

The next subset here, Dr. Oz wanted to talk about carbs, specifically the idea that cars make us fat. Dr. Gaesser explained that as carb intake goes up weight goes down which is opposite of conventional wisdom. Further, he says that simple carbs are not bad. Half our calories come from carbs and the best carbs are clearly fiber-rich foods but that doesn't mean other carbs are bad.

Dr. Gaesser went so far as to say that while sugar is being vilified, all the relevant literature shows that sugar intake equals to lower weight. While he is not advocating loading up on sugar, he says the notion to cut back on carbs, including sugar, for weight control is off target and we should embrace carbs.

[Dr. Oz seemed surprised by Dr. Gaesser's comments on carbs contributing to weight loss. I was surprised that he was surprised. On the October 10, 2011 episode of The Dr. Oz Show, Chris Powell discussed and showed Dr. Oz how he utilizes carbs as a weight loss tool with great success, even with super-obese clients. Chris Powel provided a menu plan, called the carb cycle, that switches between carb-heavy and carb-light meal days. Dr. Oz was pleased with Chris Powell's discussion of carbs consumption linked to weight loss but, on today's show he was surprised. Hhhhmmmmm...]
[Dr. Oz was shocked by the sugar comment. Oh, yeah he went there. However Dr. Oz has discussed a sugar in a similar capacity. On the October 4, 2011 episode of The Dr. Oz Show, Dr. Oz stated that artificial sweeteners are the number one bad habit that causes weight gain. Why? Because artificial sweeteners are not satisfying to the body and the do not satiate hunger, desensitize the taste buds. Dr. Oz and his team conducted a study to see if people would eat more cake that was made with sugar or with artificial sweeteners. The artificial sweetener group ate twice as much as the sugar group which equates to fewer calories. In truth, Dr. Oz actually confirmed eating sugar could lead to lower calorie intake and lower weight. While I can't say that this is the idea behind Dr. Gaesser's statement, I can say that Dr. Oz made the same correlation with regard to the artificial sweetener vs. sugar issue.]

Health Issue #2 - Obesity causes deadly diseases.
Dr. Gaesser says obesity or being over weight does not mean you're health risks are greater. Looking towards cardiovascular health is a greater predictor of over-all health, not weight.

Dr. Oz says that he has operated on may over weight people with plaque-related inflammation that goes together with hypertension, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Gaesser says that it's diet and a lack of exercise that leads to obesity but obesity is not the underlying cause - it's the food and lifestyle. A better diet doesn't mean weight loss.

To give an example, Dr. Oz questioned that a person who is 250 pounds can eat better and improve their health numbers but not reduce their weight.

Dr. Gaesser said that with two weeks of healthy eating and exercise, he can take a diabetic and get them off medications. He says that good health is in the grasp of everyone in a matter of weeks.

Health Issue #3 - Exercising is key to sustaining weight loss.
Another startling statement, Dr. Gaesser says that exercise leads to weight gain. How can, Dr. Oz asked, a professor of physiology send out the message that exercising doesn't help with weight loss? It will only lead to people sitting on the couch. Dr. Gaesser clarified that overall exercise is a good means to maintain weight but not a means to lose weight. He says that women who start to exercise alone tend to gain weight. [Crazy talk, right?] A possibility is that the women end up doing less activity – they will exercise but opt out of other activity – and they tend to eat more once they start exercising.

Dr. Oz asked Dr. Gaesser to run up and down the stuido stairs. He felt great. Then Dr. Oz asked him to run up and down the same studio stairs but with an 80 pound vest. Dr. Gaesser had to slow way down especially on the down route as his risk of falling was quite high. He said it was a challenge but shouldn't mean that overweight people not exercise.

The main concern Dr. Oz wanted to call out is that Dr. Gaesser is an expert in exercise physiology sending out a message to a large audience that they do not need to lose weight. It's a dangerous message.
Dr. Gaesser countered with how likely is a fat person going to lose and maintain weight? He says it's better to get fat people fit – throw weight out of the equation. Dr. Oz wants people to be both fit and thin.

Can Skinny Be Obese?

TOFI stands for Thin on the Outside Fat on the Inside. What is that you ask? It is the idea that someone who is thin may have a larger percentage of fat than how the visual appear and that fat may be putting their health at risk.

We are made up of muscle, bone, water, fat. It is possible to have a good BMI but actually have a higher ratioof fat and be considered obese when looking at a true fat measurement. [The reverse also holds true. People who body build may have a greater weight than what is considered normal for their height and therefore an unhealthy BMI but when their fat is measured is is lower than normal. On paper then it would appear that they are overweight and fat but the truth is that they are heavy with muscle and extremely low on fat. I'm not saying that is necessarily healthy, just giving an example.]

Secret Sign of Obesity #1 - Have an immediate family member who died suddenly of a heart attack.
First audience contestant: BMI 23, which is ideal, normal but her actual fat measurement is 30%. She has family members that were thin that died suddenly of a heart attack.

Secret Sign of Obesity #2: Exercise less than three times per week.
Second contestant: BMI 25, not a bad number but, she had 27% fat. A lack or activity or genetics or yo-yo dieting could all be contributing factors to her high level of fat.

Secret Sign of Obesity #3: Eat junk and fast food more than once a week.
Third contestant: BMI 18, considered under weight but her body fat measured 22%. Her boyfriend says that she is a junk-food-junkie. She admits that she eats lot of fast food.

Dr. Oz asked how important is eating junk food to fat. Dr. Gaesser answered that there is no relation to a high carb diet and weight. [But that didn't answer the question. Fast food isn't just about carb intake it's about fat intake and calorie intake.]

Dr. Gaesser said he would like to know about their lifestyle as a better determinate. Dr. Oz says it's important to know body fat percentage as a better predictor of health. Even if you look slim you may not be healthy. Being thin does not equate to better health.

Acupuncture Face-Lift

Dr. Oz says there is a natural face-life alternative that doesn't require surgery and can even happen during your lunch hour.

Licensed acupuncturist Janet Tasi, says that acupuncture can help to regulate body functions and regulates chi, or energy. Cathy from the audience has volunteered to get an acupuncture treatment in the studio.

Dr. Tsai says that the face is a map that can show us the health of our internal organs. That deep line between the brows can tell you about the liver. Smile lines are a view into the health of the ovaries and the intestines.

For a facial treatment, the acupuncture needles need to needle up into the skin to raise the skin. The needle is as thin as a hair. Screwing the needle into the skin stimulates blood flow and the puncture to the skin stimulates the growth of collagen.

This alternative to the knife treatment will cost around $125 per treatment. Several treatments per week may be needed initially, lasting about 30 minutes each. A total of 10 treatments may be required for desired results. From there, younger patients may need to return for a treatment every six months and older patients may need a monthly tune-up. After one treatment, patients may notice a glow to the skin.

Dr. Oz showed an after photo of Cathy [through the magic of television] 30 minutes after the in-studio treatment and another photo of Cathy a week after. She looked great [but the week after photo was brighter which can hide wrinkles, just sayin'.]

Three Steps to Health and Wealth

Hill Harper is an actor, Harvard trained lawyer, author, and now completely cancer free. While writing a book on finance, Mr. Harper was diagnosed with cancer. Going through his cancer treatments he saw that methodology for cancer treatment could be applied to financial health. His current book is The Wealth Cure: Putting Money In Its Place.

An audience member wants to lose 100 pounds and get rid of $30,000 of debt. Both the weight and debt were accumulated through medical issues, raising her 3 year old son. She puts everything else and everyone else first. Mr. Harper explains that the number one reason for personal bankruptcy in this country is catastrophic medical expenses.

Mr. Harper takes her through his three step program to health and wealth.

Step #1 - Rule of 15
Mr. Harper recommends to walk 15 minutes per day to lose 15 pounds in one year, in addition to whatever exercise you may already be doing. Preferably do the walk in the morning to ramp up the metabolism.

Shave off $15 per day from expenses. She is buying breakfast and lunch out everyday she works. [Gadzooks! Really?] Bringing a bagged lunch every day will shave off $13 and buying generic brand coffee, which is probably the same coffee in the name brand, will help to shave off $2 per day.

Adding up a $15 per day savings brings the annual amount to just under $5500.

Step #2 - Skinny food equals fat wallet
Some people say they can only save money by eating value meals at fast food restaurants. Mr. Harper says that whole wheat pasta, eggs, canned tuna and frozen broccoli can all be purchased for around $2. Put them together and you have a nutritious meal for a small price.

Dr. Oz has put a recipe for canned salmon burger on his website that fits into the skinny food category.

Step #3 - Serve yourself and serve others
People who volunteer are happy, their service has fed them. Happy people binge less in terms of both spending and food. Mr. Harper suggests to give two service days a month to someone else.

Finally, Mr. Harper shared his affirmation strategy for feeling happy, to remember how wonderful you are: I'm FINE. Fantastic. Interesting. Necessary. Exceptional.

Healthy, Wealthy and Wise
Game Show Time!
$500 health drop

Which supp helps boost brain powerhouse? Willow bark, St. John's Wort, or Bacopa?
Bacopa is recommended for anxiety and poor memory.

What activity boosts brain power? Meditation, Acupuncture, or Massage?
Meditation supports the growth of new neuro-pathways which effects lasting memory and helps keep you younger.

Which tea boosts brain power? Hibiscus, Rooibos tea, Black tea?
Dr. Oz says that black tea improves memory, caffeine stimulates the brain and black tea contains antioxidants.

Thank you for making Watching Dr Oz a success!

Place your vote for this week's quiz
and be sure to visit on Saturday for the answer
along with more information to empower your health.