England’s Top Doc Doesn’t Understand Obesity

Dame Sally Davies, Engand’s Chief Medical Officer, rightly identifies obesity as a huge threat to our health.  She wants to tax sodas and ban ‘2 for 1s’.  I disagree. 

Obese woman looking for answers
Looking for answers in all the wrong places.

A summery of her position is here featured on BBC News.   In order to fix something you have to understand how it comes about, you must identify its real cause.  History is littered with mistakes that demonstrate this.  If you think witches cause crop failure and rouse the townsfolk to burn the witches, you shouldn’t be surprised that nothing good happens. Historically when we’ve not manifested the result we want, we step-up the number and variety of witches that need burning.  This, of course, will not improve the situation yet this is exactly what the Government and Dame Sally are doing.

Dame Sally, and the government that pays her wages, wags her finger at food and shouts ‘burn the witches’.  Actually it’s worse than that, she points the finger a cheap sodas, ‘2 for 1’ offers and others supermarket marketing; that’s just moronic.  Food, even so-called ‘junk food’ is not the cause of obesity, if it was everybody that ate junk food would be obese and clearly they are not.  (It fails both the ‘necessity’ and ‘sufficiency’ requirement to be called a ’cause’.)  Go into McDonalds and actually take a look.  This is something that politicians, doctors and journalists aren’t doing.  There are no trails of fat people queuing out the door, yet we still believe this must be epicentre of the obesity epidemic.

Obesity is caused by chronic over-eating.  Over-eating is taking in more calories than you burn each day (as an adult).  It’s the unchecked imbalance between ‘calories in’ and ‘calories out’ that is the cause of obesity.  If you want to eat more and stay thin you have to burn more calories to stay the same.  It’s simple physics and people in authority should understand that physics trumps poor research, surveys and propaganda.

But what, I hear you say, is the true cause of ‘chronic overeating’.  Simple, it’s eating when you’re not physically hungry.  It’s emotional eating rather than eating for for fuel or nutrician.  We have a biological/neurological system in place to tell us what we need to eat, when to eat and when we are full.  Everything we do to ignore these internal clues will sabotage our ability to stay at a healthy weight.  That’s why ‘finish your plate’ or ‘you must eat five a day to be healthy’ threatens and corrupts a system that been working well for millions of years.  When you add to this the fact that we use food as treats and the cultural acceptance of eating to feel better instead of addressing problems, you see how things have gone so wrong.

Obesity is an emotional disorder, not a nutritional one.  The idea of banning or taxing sodas will not address the county’s increasing problem of obesity, nor will banning 2 for 1’s.  How is it possible for England’s top medical authority to not get this?  That’s another good question.  I think the answer is the old adage, if you’re looking for help and go to a surgeon, he’ll cut you, go to a doctor, he’ll give you pills, go to a leech guy and he’ll bleed you.  Unfortunately, doctors are claiming to be experts on emotional issues when they make such pronouncements and the government listens.  The same applies to depression and anxiety which is why doctors medicate rather than address and treat these issues.  Why do people even go to doctors for such issues?  It’s because of the NHS and the whole socialisation of medicine – don’t get me started on that!

Our emotional mechanism is there to keep us happy and healthy.  When we ignore it or medicate the signals out of our awareness, we lose the motivation to resolve what’s wrong in our lives.  We end-up carrying on as if nothing is wrong – for years and years.  We tread water and stop living life as it’s meant to be lived.

The government and its appointed spokespeople are also nagging us about nutrition but the more I hear these media reports, the more I’m convinced Nutrition is a Pseudo-Science.  See my post on Inner Wisdom vs. the Nutrition Nazis.

When England’s top doc learns how to personally treat emotional disorders (not mask them) she might say something worth listening to; until this time we’ll keep burning witches and the crops will keep failing.

Obesity is an emotional issue, we address this correctly by identifying the cause of the emotional issue and fixing it.  I don’t know how many people I’ll see this year for weight issues but I know I’ll have far more success that England’s top doc.  Unfortunately the Government, the NHS and all the associated health quangos will continue to demand that the witches must be burnt.  Don’t listen.

Inner Wisdom vs. the Nutrition Nazis

I’ll admit that this is more of a rant than a blog post about hypnosis but sometimes I just get so mad with government experts, it makes me want to give Michael Fabricant a list.

I hate hypocrisy, I really do. I especially hate having to pay for it via my taxes; it really burns. I’ll also go on record as a ‘fussy eater’ i.e. a child that was victimised and bullied by an endless stream of adults who clearly knew what was good for me in terms of what I should be putting in my body. As a matter of principle, it is always wrong to bully people on this point – no exceptions. The stress this induces, I am sure, is responsible for a huge proportion of the neurotic eating disorders we see today coming through the clinic doors. Let me be clear, government advisors posing as health experts are no different than the catholic priests being the moral authority on sex. The more I hear these media reports, the more I’m convinced Nutrition is a pseudo-science.  I thought I was the only one until I did a Google search….

The more I hear these media reports, the more I’m convinced Nutrition is a pseudo-science.

Now, the reason for my rant was seeing our Government’s ‘Obesity Advisor’, Professor (no less) Susan Jebb on Breakfast Television calling out parents for the sin of allowing anything other than water on the dining table. Bread and water was the message. Heaven forbid they should ever develop a fondness for turkey twizzlers  or have a soda when they wanted one. What a joy her household must be.

Firstly, we are not a nation of obese people. Stand outside any McDonalds and count the obese people vs non-obese people. (If you can’t do this by eye, then clearly, the term obese, as used by government, has lost any connection to reality.)  If you get 5% obese in McDonalds I’d be surprised, yet governments blame fast food for a creating a nation where they claim 1 in 4 adults are obese. Now, if these islands of corporate greed were creating such a problem, clearly far more than 25% of their adult customers would have to be obese, it’s just simple maths.  If they are right, McDonalds should be the epicentre of obesity! Frankly, it’s a lie; it’s what researches tell governments when they want more funding. What really worries me is how, in this information age, people can be so deceived, replacing the evidence of their eyes by media reports from authority figures. As a hypnotist, telling the nation that “we’re are a nation of obese people – getting fatter by the day….” is a shocking suggestion. I wish experts would watch their language and stop lying for financial gain and prestige.

Certainly, there are many people that have problems with their weight but the answer is not listening to an external prescription of recycled mantras. This can only lead to a growing separation of mind and body. Listening to one’s internal wisdom and dealing with the cause of emotional eating is the only real way we will ever learn to eat more appropriately. Forcing children to eat anything against their will will only lead to neurotic behaviour. I’m not alone in believing this, a 2002 study found that:

“What is most interesting is the internal conflict the forcees experienced — 31% experienced strong conflict, 41% moderate conflict and 29% slight conflict. Forty-nine percent said they cried, 55% experienced nausea, and 20% vomited. Most of the responses to the experience were negative with feelings of anger, fear, disgust, confusion and humiliation. The forcees also experienced feelings such as lack of control and helplessness.”

Batcell et al (2002).

Is forcing Jimmy to eat his greens really such a success when the cost can be instilling the above emotions around food? Despite very little evidence for the necessity of a ‘balanced diet’ – the government still says yes – and parents listen.  We should be more used to lies from authority figures by now.  Let’s not forget, the whole ‘make sure your children drink milk everyday’ has nothing to do with milk being necessary (it certainly isn’t) it was just a way to begin reducing the huge european milk mountain created by milk subsidies.

I’m a huge fan of ‘listening to what your body needs’ following your inner wisdom. And if that’s ice cream – so be it.

Hominids have evolved over millions of years to be able to live off whatever is in the environment by synthesising almost all the nutrients we need for a healthy life from whatever’s available. In fact with the exception of vitamin C and vitamin D (from sunshine) we are almost entirely self-sufficient as long as we eat something. Don’t believe me? Take an extreme example; for thousands of years Chinese farmers lived to a ripe old age with little more than a paucity of rice each day and an occasional chicken. True, they weren’t giants due to calorie restriction but they were healthy enough. Imagine giving them the dire warning of eating a ‘balance diet’ and ensuring on pain of bowel cancer, they get their ‘five a day’? Imagine a authority figure preaching that to the farmer. Eat our way or you’ll die from disease – the science says so! False and certainly likely to induce neurosis. Please explain to me how our government policy is any different from this?

It’s not just food.  The government’s war on salt again causes us to embrace tasteless unsatisfying food and ignore our appetite. They’ve demonised salt despite its health benefits. This war on salt is despite meta studies indicating no risk between higher salt intake and cardio vascular disease. Where was the government retraction when this report came out? There was just tumble weed because that would mean they got it wrong yet again and all the millions wasted ‘educating’ people and harassing the food industry into making bland food was all for nothing. But let’s face it, governments are nothing if they have nothing to do – so let’s scare the chickens and create more jobs for the boys. (The good news is also that finally some experts seem to be back-peddling against the ‘eat low-fat foods’ craziness. For a decade the advice has been to reduce the fats, thus making people eat less filling, less tasty, sugar enriched foods, which only leads to spikes in glucose levels. Madness!)

Does this woman look well nourished to you?But back to Professor Jebb.  If you’re going to put out an expert on TV to tell us about nutrition, wouldn’t you find somebody that looked vital and healthy? Professor Jebb looked pasty and ill – probably enduring being covered up by layers of factor 50 inspired by another government expert; that and a diet of mungbeans and water. In this sense only, it appears that she follows here own advice.

This brief clip was just one of the many over the years trying to feed our nation another toxic version of philosophic Asceticism. Essentially their advice is no different than wearing a religious cilice, the war against authentic sex, and that old favourite ‘medicine and food must taste bad for it to be good for you’. Clockwork Orange has got nothing on Professor Jebb. Some academic fields are really messed-up.  They pretend correlation is causation and have no respect for context or rigorous scientific method. Nonetheless, they then write a scary report which finishes with ‘these findings are conclusive, yet more work needs to be done’ – in order to ensure they get the next round of finance.  And how did dietary advice get to be a proper function of government? That’s insane!

We are the only thinking animal. The only animal that can really be programmed to act against our self-interest and inherent wisdom. There are no anorexics aardvarks or bulimic beavers. It takes people of Profeessor Jebb’s expertise to create this stress based neurosis by launching an attack against our endogenous signals for appetite and hunger.

For most overweight people (and anorexics) it’s this inner signal we want to encourage as the guiding wisdom – not the obliteration of it altogether. Obesity is a problem for some but Professor Jebb is stuck in effect not cause. As a hypnotist my job is to find out why my client suddenly put on 10 stone when they hit 15 years of age. Once the ‘why’ of their obesity is resolved – the ‘how’ flows naturally. Significant over-eating is an indication of addiction – an emotional disorder. But as any decent addiction specialist will tell you, the object of the addiction (food) is not the problem, it’s the addict’s attempt at a solution to their problem.

Obesity is a problem for some but Professor Jebb is stuck in effect not cause.

Let’s be honest here, when an obese person goes to a nutritionist – they prescribe a food diet, a psychiatrist prescribes SSNRI’s, a surgeon makes holes in their chest and cuts out 90% of their stomach. Experts fight for control of the waterfront. As a hypnotist, I’m doing the same. But before the leaches make a comeback, can’t we at least admit chronic over-eating (comfort eating) is an emotional problem not a dietary one or surgical issue?  People don’t eat themselves to death because they don’t know about wholemeal bread.

But before the leaches make a comeback, can’t we at least admit chronic over-eating (comfort eating) is an emotional problem not a dietary one or surgical issue?

Beware of experts – they want your soul – and if you understand what I mean about listening to that inner wisdom, you’ll see that I mean that quite literally.



p.s. I received several critical posts against my comments of Professor Jebb (some may be by her paid colleagues) pointing out her rigour and integrity would always trump my personal remarks against her. So without wanting to create a new twitter storm (5 tweets against me is a personal best) I’ll just say nothing apart from pointing out another report which lists Professor Jebb having previously having worked for CocaCola and the slimming industry. So I could end this post on explaining what integrity means but some people are just too far gone. As judge Judy often says, ‘Byrd, you’ve always got to follow the money.’