Obesity, diet and the CEO of the American Heart Association

Still no electrical power in Stonington; so here I am at my favorite Mystic Starbucks — with fresh coffee, electricity, music and the all-important internet connection. For those of you who still haven’t seen the CNN Special, I provided a link to the entire piece in my post yesterday. 

Leading up to the “heart attack” special on CNN, I referenced several online articles in my blogs; one by Dr. Sanjay Gupta and the other by David S. Martin of CNN. In the latter one, he quoted the CEO of the American Heart Association who boldly stated that:

Ms. Brown doesn't seem to understand that what we eat might have something to do with the obesity epidemic sweeping the Western world.

“Diet alone is not going to be the reason that heart attacks are eliminated” says Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association….”Other key factors include physical activity, cholesterol, blood pressure and weight,” she says.

In this statement, she seems to make no connection between what we eat and 3 out of the other 4 factors she says are necessary to eliminate heart attacks. Clearly even the least educated and the least informed among us already realize that what we eat definitely has something to do with our cholesterol, blood pressure and weight. And, almost everyone knows that we need to eat more fruits and vegetables in order to improve our numbers in all three.

Your mother probably told you a million times that you should eat more fruits and vegetables, your doctor has probably told you the same thing. But the problem is that we have steadily eaten less and less of those healthy foods for the past 60 or 70 years. And, like over 90% of our population, it is very likely that even your mother and your doctor are now eating meat and/or dairy three meals a day. What’s going on here?

It all gets back to confusion over clarity. And we love to hear good news about our bad habits. We also like to have someone or some “disease” to blame for the problems of high cholesterol, high blood pressure or obesity that we have created for ourselves. We like to think of obesity as a “disease” that struck us randomly and there was nothing we could do about it.

When are going to accept the fact that obesity is NOT a “disease;” it’s the direct result of eating the wrong foods that we have learned to crave — foods that our FDA, USDA, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society and all of the other members of the “system” are still telling us that those foods are part of a healthy diet? We now know that they are not. See related post:

Michelle, it’s time to tell the world about “meat & dairy.”

What’s the latest on obesity? Here are a few stats that I just lifted from the CDC website (See link below):

Not sure if this is a man or a woman; but I can tell you there are many of these poor souls walking around out there these days.

  • Obesity is common, serious and costly. About one-third of U.S. adults (33.8%) are obese.
  • Not a single state has met the nation’s Healthy People 2010 goal to lower obesity prevalence to 15%.
  • Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of death.
  • In 2008, medical costs associated with obesity in the USA were estimated at $147 billion; the medical costs paid by third-party payors for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight.
  • Non-Hispanic blacks have the highest rates of obesity (44.1%) compared with Mexican Americans (39.3%), all Hispanics (37.9%) and non-Hispanic whites (32.6%).

If our adults don't care about themselves, maybe they will care about what is happening to their children.

The Bottom Line. It is time for our government to start telling the innocent public exactly what they should be eating to promote health and prevent/reverse chronic disease. While most of them won’t follow that advice until they can no longer afford the toxic foods they crave, we should be telling our citizens the truth. We should also be telling them that their obesity is a direct result of their own eating habits.

One more thing, of the five factors (mentioned by Ms. Brown) affecting our ability to eliminate heart attacks, only one of them is not driven by what we eat: our level of physical exercise. But Dr. Esselstyn has proven that we can eliminate with a change in diet alone. Read on…

This book tells you "exactly" what you need to do to reverse heart disease.

For all of the hundreds of patients that have reversed their heart disease following his guidelines, none of them were advised to change their exercise habits. While he encourages exercise as a part of a healthy lifestyle, he did not make it a measurable part of the formal regimen. When he began his initial study in 1980 with 17 terminal heart patients, he was carrying a full surgical workload at the time and wasn’t equipped to monitor a second variable like exercise.

Back to Ms. Brown and her statement that “Diet alone is not going to be the reason that heart attacks are eliminated.” As long as her own agency and our own government continue to tell us that meat, cow’s milk, cheese, eggs, oil and fish can be included as routine parts of a healthy diet; she may very well be right.

But imagine what would happen if ALL of those “system” agencies started endorsing a 4-Leaf type of diet-style, with over 80% of our total calories coming from whole, plant-based foods. Like I said earlier, the masses would still not change overnight but a lot more people would heed the advice. As a result, millions of lives would be saved and the cost health-care in this country would go down by the billions overnight. Once again, kudos to Dr. Sanjay Gupta and CNN for opening the door of change.

By opening that door, the traffic to my website hit an all-time high yesterday; with almost triple the normal amount of traffic. And at least half of the articles viewed were related to heart disease — specifically the CNN special and the prospects of seeing “last heart attack” in our future — in the USA and throughout the world.

J. Morris Hicks, working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.


If you like what you see here, you may wish to join our periodic mailing list. Also, for help in your own quest to take charge of your health, you might find some useful information at our 4-Leaf page. From the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.

If you’d like to order our book on Amazon,  visit our BookStore now.

—J. Morris Hicks…blogging daily at HealthyEatingHealthyWorld.com

PS: Occasionally an unauthorized ad may appear beneath a blog post. It is controlled by WordPress (a totally free hosting service). I do not approve or personally benefit whatsoever from any ad that might ever appear on this site. I apologize and urge you to please disregard. 

About J. Morris Hicks

A former strategic management consultant and senior corporate executive with Ralph Lauren in New York, J. Morris Hicks has always focused on the "big picture" when analyzing any issue. In 2002, after becoming curious about our "optimal diet," he began a study of what we eat from a global perspective ---- discovering many startling issues and opportunities along the way. In addition to an MBA and a BS in Industrial Engineering, he holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, where he has also been a member of the board of directors since 2012. Having concluded that our food choices hold the key to the sustainability of our civilization, he has made this his #1 priority---exploring all avenues for influencing humans everywhere to move back to the natural plant-based diet for our species.
This entry was posted in Activism & Leadership, Heart Disease, Medical Experts, Obesity and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s