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« The Girls (and the Guys) Just Wanna Have Fun - Square Dancing Has It All: Joy, Fun, Friendship, Music, Laughter, Exercise & More | Main | Sad News at the Heart Attack Grill - John Robbins' Huffington Post Essay on "Being Fat in America" »

March 25, 2011


Ken Leebow


I read and listened to this yesterday. It's just more reason and incentive to leave the Western diet. Since you quoted Michael Pollan, he also states: "You can leave the Western diet without leaving civilization". I have found that to be very true.

He also says this: "The American diet is a catastrophe. We don’t have a health care crisis. We have a food crisis. 75% of our health care costs are spent on chronic disease linked to the diet…and that is bankrupting us."

Change is easy when you take a critical look at the American food system.


Ken Leebow


I almost sent you this link too since I, of course, thought of you when I saw it; I figured you'd already seen it though. I knew you'd have to post on it.
Have a good weekend, DIL

Gael in Vermont

Yep, I heard this as well. One interesting thing Dr. Patterson said to Terry was...and I'm paraphrasing here, "Your body will forgive your dietary woes if you exercise enough." From what we know from Drs. Esselstyne and Campbell...not so much. Although we need to move, I think what the docs say is "diet trumps exercise." Right?
I have Michael Pollen's quote on the refrigerator. Love that.

The Healthy Librarian

Hey Ken, Great Pollen quotes! Thanks for the link, too.

Les--Yep, you definitely know where my reading & listening interests lie!

Gael--Have to agree with you on the exercise part--diet does trump exercise--but the two together--and you've got an unbeatable combo! IMHO. BTW: Why am I not surprised that you are also a square dancing fan?

wendy (healthy girl)

I listened to this immediately when I saw a link to it, IRONICALLY, provided by Chef Michael Symon (of Eat More Pork fame) on Facebook this morning. You are one speedy woman! Did you catch when Patterson says that there is a movement in the Inuit community to get people back to eating the traditional foods like whale fat? He also said that you could eat whatever you want if you were moving constantly throughout the day. So if the Inuits, who are now on computers all day, start to eat whale fat again, that IS NOT going to help them unless they throw their computers in the trash and start hunting all day. It's not the whale fat that kept their bodies lean, it was their incredibly active lifestyle. Whale fat + sedentary lifestyle = disease. Did anyone else catch that?


Thank you, yet again. But for your posting, I would not have know of this interesting story. Great photo at the top of the posting.

Wendy - When I read about the movement in the Inuit community to get people back to eating the traditional foods, I simply thought they need to read the China Study. Campbell addresses diabetes at length. And he makes a distinction between high levels of animal fat (which is intermixed with animal protein) and plant-based fats. I agree with your observation that they need to exercise like their ancestor if they are going to eat like their ancestors.

When I read this posting my thoughts jumped to the heart disease in Korean war veterans that Esselstyn talks about as a disease of affluence. Americans just ate too many animal products. There was very little type 2 diabetes during the Korean war.

Patterson's book is entitled ""Diseases of Affluence,". However in this NPR interview, Patterson is talking about type 2 diabetes as being a disease poverty. Heart disease and strokes are major complications of diabetes and so there is considerable overlap in the complications from eating at either extreme end of the economic spectrum.

The US subsidizes the raw ingredients of fast food to such an extent that real food can not compete with fast food. This posting makes it abundantly clear to me that US food politics is having a worldwide impact. The junk food sprawl has spread into the artic circle but its tentacles has not yet reached into Afghanistan. Give it time. :-(

It is not just the poor who are becoming overweight and diabetic. Everyone is trying to stretch their food dollars. It is easy to buy refined and processed foods. They taste good and are less expensive than real foods. It is easy to disconnect the food you eat everyday from your chronic health problems. This fits in with our willingness to stay in the 'buy-now pay-later' mentality.

The impact of junk food is so pervasive in our society that being overweight seems normal. I am 6 foot 1 and I weigh 148 pounds. All of my co-workers consider me to be healthy but underweight. Their observations about body weight are skewed because being a normal weight in the US is atypical. The online BMI calculators tell me I am the correct weight for my height. see

For years I weighed 163 pounds. I mention my weight because I use the chart in the link below to help me visualize my BMI movement. Incidentally, my weight loss was not the result of starvation, it was adopting an unrefined-and-minimally-processed plant-based diet.

One short story, an overnight house guest recently asked me if I had a food processor. My response was 'I don't need one, I am a food processor."


Another great post! I am an avid reader of your blog.

My husband just retired unexpectedly (we're in Wisconsin) and he plans on having a bigger garden than last summer, which was our first in years. I wish everyone had the opportunity and desire to grow their own veggies!

Cathy Marlow

Hi. I just found your blog after reading Dr Esselstyns book and love it. Sorry this is off topic but I'm wondering your thoughts on green smoothies and the buzz that blending fruit is not optimal and is thought to be damaging to cells. I think it is Esselstyn who has researched it but I'm not positive. . I read a little bit about it on a vegan blog. Thanks!

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