The Obesity Epidemic Lecture

Recorded on 7 February 2012 at an open public lecture at Cardiff Metropolitan University, Wales.

You can also listen to the audio only here…

You can also listen and download it from iTunes here

Or in a new tab and download here (It’s a big file!)

And you can download the slides from the presentation here

Posted in Research, Talks
10 comments on “The Obesity Epidemic Lecture
  1. Peter Downey says:

    I take your point about being a vegetarian. Nevertheless, I am a ‘sentimental’ vegetarian and I do not propose to stop. Equally, I might add that at 65 I am extremely fit and do regular intense workouts. Now, I also understand that this not the whole story as there are other things that you need to take care of. Finally, I do have eggs, whey protein and full fat milk,(unless I’m in one of many upmarket cafes that only have semi skimmed, “Would you like some cake with your coffee sir?”)
    So, my question is; is there owt this stubborn chap can do or am I just doomed?

    • zoe says:

      Hi Peter
      You’re not doomed at all – there are many studies showing vegetarians do well relative to non veggies, but the overall veggie lifestyle is such a huge confounder…

      Vegetarians tend to be healthier all round – non smoking, non drinking often (wine involves fish scales all too often etc), no sweets (they contain gelatine), far few processed products/junk – they too contain nasties – and so it’s difficult to say what benefit comes from not eating meat/fish (which are very nutritious) and what benefit comes from not eating junk and all the other good lifestyle choices.

      This may not be on open view – – but it’s a newsletter I did for our club on the topic. Eggs and full fat milk are great but you need 39 eggs or 200g sardines to get 15mcg vitamin D – so sunbathe and/or take supplements. Other nutrients can be harder to obtain without meat/fish…

      This one is on open view – – I was veggie for 20 years, so I do understand the attraction. However I have come to realise that the planet and humans need ruminants and so the sentimentality has been replaced by practicality.

      Best wishes – Zoe

  2. eric serret says:

    Hello Zoe, your presentation was very powerful and agree with the analysis.One question though you have a strong view that carbohydrates provide no nutritional value! Is that been backed up by studies and also the omplied notion that you achieve sustainable weight loss on a high fat and protein diet. Are you able to send through your references.
    Thank you eric

    • zoe says:

      Hi Eric – please can you provide the time reference from the hour? I wouldn’t say that carbs have no nutritional value. I would say that sugar (sucrose) has no nutritional value and that this is the only 100% carb. I would say that there is no essential carbohydrate (i.e. one that we must eat). Very different things.
      On the sustainable weight loss point, I can’t provide evidence for something that I didn’t imply!
      Best wishes – Zoe

  3. Pauline says:

    I’ve just listened to your fascinating lecture, it does make sense! I lost 1 1/2 stones by cutting out carbs including fruit, (which I’d always eaten a lot of!).
    I was interested in the diabetes part as my husband is insulin dependant & needs to eat carbs to maintain his blood sugars. However he struggles to gain weight, at 6ft 3ins he weighs 79kgs, & at times his blood sugars are all over the place.Do you have any theories on this & suggestions as to how he can improve his blood sugar control?

    • zoe says:

      Hi Pauline – many thanks for your kind words & well done on a great weight loss.

      Hubby’s BMI (21.8) is in the middle of the normal range, but I bet he doesn’t look ‘normal’. 79kg on a 6’3″ male will look tall and thin.

      The sugars one is difficult as hubby needs to find a doctor open to ditching the current public health diet advice. He may like to get a book called “The Diabetes Revolution” by Charles Clark. I don’t agree with Clark on fat and cholesterol (he’s unnecessarily worried about both), but his carb advice is good.

      In my view diabetics generally should be consuming as little carbohydrate as possible. They only need insulin to remove the glucose from the bloodstream that got in there because they ate carbs – so reduce both. The less carbs/glucose/insulin, the more chance he has of keeping his blood glucose level stable. Because glucose is toxic in the blood stream (that’s why the body is designed to remove all but a teaspoon kind of level) – many of the complications suffered by diabetics (heart disease, eye problems, limb circulatory problems etc) are related to this issue. Hence, normal advice to diabetics should be to minimise carbs and the insulin needed to mop them up (we’re talking about insulin dependent diabetics here although the carb advice applies to non-insulin dependent also).

      On the weight, usually diabetics find gaining weight all to easy. My top tips to hubby to achieve the opposite would be:
      1) Eat real food – this should be the same for every human being – meat, fish, eggs, dairy, veg, salad, nuts, seeds etc
      2) Do mix fat/proteins and carb/proteins at the same meal. I advise slimmers to do the opposite in “Stop Counting Calories & Start Losing Weight”, but this should help hubby to store fat while insulin is present.
      3) Don’t fear fat – if he is avoiding cheese, red meat, cream etc because of ‘base your meals on starchy foods’ diet advice – stop! This is where the fat soluble vitamins are found and fat is to be embraced.
      hope this helps!
      Best wishes – Zoe

  4. Les Serff says:

    Hi, I am very hard of hearing. Is there any possibility of getting a transcript of this presentation? About 16% of the population are classified as having hearing problems, so it would be a great service to us to get transcripts.

    Best wishes,

    Les Serff

    • zoe says:

      Hi Les – there’s a high quality (free) audio version on itunes – I don’t know if that will be any better. We sadly have no transcript of the presentation and sadly no funds or resource to help us do this. However, the presentation comes from my book The Obesity Epidemic: What caused it? How can we stop it? Hence there is a much longer and more detailed written version of the ‘presentation’ in book form!
      Hope this helps
      Very best wishes – Zoe

  5. Colin Deans says:

    That lecture was immense, is there anybody with “power” actually listening and do you have any friends in high places as yet?

    “All truth passes through three stages. First it is ridiculed. Secondly, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”

    Arthur Schopenhauer

    Well done Zoe

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"The Obesity Epidemic is the most comprehensive demolition job on the arrogance and ignorance of the health profession I have ever read".
Barry Groves Author of Trick and Treat: How 'healthy eating' is making us ill