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The role of the failed food pyramid in causing obesity, insulin resistance and diabetes

Fast Facts On Obesity„„


Since the early 1960s, the prevalence of obesity among adults more than doubled, increasing from 13.4 to 35.7 percent in U.S. adults age 20 and older. Currently, 68.8% of all adults in the United States are either overweight or obese!

The rate of rise of obesity, unfortunately, correlates with the misguided recommendations from the USDA in the form of the now withdrawn and failed food pyramid. Although the intention of the food pyramid was to promote healthy eating and weight loss, it in fact, did the opposite of what it intended to do by contributing to a new problem – insulin resistance or metabolic syndrome.  Before we look at how this happened, let’s take a look at the staggering Obesity Numbers.

Alarming Statistics Of Obesity

More than 2 in 3 adults are considered to be overweight or

    „„More than 1 in 3 adults are considered to be obese„„
    More than 1 in 20 adults are considered to have extreme obesity
    „„About one-third of children and adolescents ages 6 to 19 are considered to be overweight or obese„„
    More than 1 in 6 children and adolescents ages 6 to 19 are considered to be obese.
    • More than two-thirds (68.8 percent) of adults are considered to be overweight or obes


    More than one-third (35.7 percent) of adults are considered to be obese.„„
    More than 1 in 20 (6.3 percent) have extreme obesity.„„Almost 3 in 4 men (74 percent) are considered to be overweight or obese.„„
    The prevalence of obesity is similar for both men and women (about 36 percent)   „„
    About 8 percent of women are considered to have extreme obesity.
    Source: Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2009–2010 2,3


What really caused this enormous rise of Obesity?

While the Government might want to make you believe it is your fault you are overweight or obese, as a physician trained in Obesity Medicine, I will show you the contribution by the Government to this problem. Obviously, there are multiple reasons for Obesity but here are the most important in my opinion.

In 1992, The USDA made a nice looking food Pyramid. old-and-failed-food-pyramid-from-usda

In May 2011, the USDA released a graphic called “My Plate” to help people choose what foods to eat. This new guideline is meant to replace the old “Food Pyramid” that many people grew up with. Remember the triangle shape with the bread, cereal, and rice at the bottom and the fats and oils to be “used sparingly” at the top? This useless and misleading food pyramid, which has been confusing consumers for over 25 years, has advocated a philosophy of eating more grains and other less “fatty” foods.

What the Food Pyramid failed to do was to differentiate simple versus complex sugars. It also placed undue importance on grain-based products. Grain-based “simple carbohydrates” such as breads, potatoes, rice, cereal and pasta, although often low in fat, also rate high on the glycemic index. That means that they break down quickly in the body, overwhelming the blood with sugars and potentially leading to a phenomenon called “insulin resistance.” 

Affecting up to one in every three Americans, insulin resistance is very common and can lead to difficulty losing weight, pre-diabetes, or type II diabetes, heart disease and other long-term health problems associated with obesity. With the new “My Plate” guidelines and some other tips, more Americans may be able to avoid these unhealthy complications.

What is Insulin Resistance? adam

Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body produces insulin, but does not use it properly. Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, helps the body use glucose (natural sugar) for energy. When people are insulin resistant, their muscle, fat, and liver cells do not respond properly to insulin. As a result, their bodies need more insulin to help glucose enter cells.

The pancreas tries to keep up with this increased demand for insulin by producing more. Eventually, it becomes overworked and may no longer be able to meet that demand. Excess glucose builds up in the bloodstream, setting the stage for diabetes.

Many people with insulin resistance have high levels of both glucose and insulin circulating in their blood at the same time. Learning about insulin resistance is the first step toward making lifestyle changes that can help prevent diabetes and other health problems.

Read this related and well written article on why the new MyPlate from the USDA is a ‘”Lipstick On A Pig

By advocating a grain based, low fatty diet, over a protein based hunter gatherer diet that we evolved on, the USDA’s food pyramid contributed to insulin resistance. Unfortunately, up to 71 percent of the population has insulin resistance that leads to compensatory increase in the production of this hormone in order to keep the blood sugars under control.

This compensation is what makes you gain weight especially in the belly and upper part of the body as insulin is an “anabolic” or body building hormone. It also leads to a new problem called metabolic syndrome that one in three adults have. Thanks to USDA, all our understanding about healthy foods was skewed as we look at fat as unhealthy although there are many people groups such as those in the polar regions that eat up to 80 percent of their diet as fat and they do not get the cardiovascular diseases we do. This is because, although fat can make you gain weight, it would not lead to insulin resistance or metabolic syndrome.

Why I think the food pyramid contributed to your increased weight gain? obesity graph bySex

By advocating foods high in carbohydrates in the name of “low fat” foods, it directly contributed to our misguided views about fat which does not cause the problems they accuse it does. For example, our views about cholesterol and fat were heavily influenced by this food pyramid but the truth is that up to 70 percent of the body’s cholesterol is made in the liver and only 30 percent comes from the diet. By going “low fat”, low cholesterol in the diet, we were steered to a more grain based diets that cause insulin resistance over time. Since insulin resistance means we compensate by increasing the production of this hormone called insulin, we not only gain weight due to the anabolic effects of insulin, but it can also make our cholesterol profiles worse.

Why high insulin levels leads to cholesterol problems?

Insulin is an inducer of the enzyme in the liver called HMG coA reductase, which is a key enzyme in the production of cholesterol in the liver. Since up to 70 percent of the body’s cholesterol is manufactured in the liver while only about 30 percent comes from the diet, high levels of insulin induce this key enzyme called HMG CoA reductase leading to worsening of the cholesterols – this happens despite the patient eating a low fat, low cholesterol, so called “healthy diet”. (The popular cholesterol medications such as Lipitor inhibit this enzyme HMG C0A Reductase.)

How we evolved as Hunters and Gatherers

We were hunter and gatherers used to a diet rich in lean meats, eggs, vegetables, nuts, fruits, roots, and other naturally grown foods without the grain based agriculture products.  Agriculture is only about 5,000-10,000 years old it is a relatively short period for us to adapt to this type of diet that is poor in nutritional quality and has many deficiencies.

Read this excellent paper titled “Cereal Grains: Humanity’s Double-Edged Sword” by Loren Cordain, PhD

In this paper, the author points out that cereal grains lack a number of nutrients which are essential for human health and well-being; additionally they contain numerous vitamins and minerals with low biological availability. Furthermore, the inability of humans to physiologically overcome cereal grain antinutrients (phytates, alkylresorcinols, protease inhibitors, lectins, etc.) is indicative of the evolutionary novelty of this food for our species. This genetic maladaptation between human nutrient quirements and those nutrients found in cereal grains manifests itself as vitamin and mineral deficiencies and other nutritionally related disorders, particularly when cereal grains are consumed in excessive quantity.

More disturbing is the ability of cereal grain proteins (protease inhibitors, lectins, opioids and storage peptides) to interact with and alter human physiology. These interactions likely occur because of physiological similarities (resultant from phylogenetic commonalities) shared between humans and many herbivores which have traditionally preyed upon the gramineae family.

Sleep disorders and weight gain go together!

Since weight and sleep go together, most of the W8MD centers are able to address sleep issues such as snoring, obstructive sleep apnea, narcolepsy, insomnia and restless leg syndrome to name a few.

Limited Acceptance in the Insurance Physician Weight Loss Program
Due to popular demand for the insurance weight loss program, we can only accept about 10 new patients per week at this time in our New York City or Greater Philadelphia medical weight loss offices.

W8MD Medical Weight Loss Center’s Insurance Physician Weight Loss Program  has helped patients achieve their goals by using a proven four-step method for safe weight loss:

  • a physician-supervised diet and weight loss medication,
  • a personally structured and administered exercise program
  • a comprehensive behavior therapy, and
  • ongoing weight maintenance support.

We can help you achieve long-lasting weight loss without feeling constantly hungry and deprived. When you resent your weight loss plan because you feel constantly hungry, it is much more difficult to maintain any significant lifelong changes. When you feel hungry, you are biologically driven to eat, and diet plans that force you to fight that biological impulse can be difficult to maintain. At W8MD Medical Weight Loss Program, we want to help you achieve lasting weight loss results and make changes that will keep you healthy for a lifetime.

W8MD Medical Weight Loss Program is dedicated to individualized, affordable treatment and as one of the very physician supervised medical weight loss programs to accept most health insurances for the weight loss physician visits.  Our non-surgical medical weight loss program is based on the latest medical research and utilizes proven methods to lose weight rapidly and keep it off for a lifetime.

Our Medical Director and Weight Loss Doctor
Dr. Prab R. Tumpati is a highly trained and respected physician with training in Obesity Medicine, in addition to being board certified in Internal Medicine and Sleep Medicine, and is well versed in the medical treatment of overweight and obesity. Dr. Tumpati oversees all our patients and helps customize their individual weight loss treatments. We are committed to helping you lose weight as safely and efficiently as possible. dr-tumpati-in-poly-tech-929

Prab R. Tumpati, MD, FASBP, is a member of the American Society of Bariatric Physicians(ASBP) with considerable interest and expertise in managing patients with obesity and metabolic syndrome. Having extensive education in the field of Bariatric Medicine, Dr. Tumpati also passed a written board Bariatric Medicine.

While any licensed physician can offer medical weight loss to patients, as a well trained Bariatrician, Dr. Tumpati sets himself apart from other physicians through extensive medical education and training programs, acquisition of specialized knowledge, tools and techniques.

Because of his extensive training in the treatment of obesity, Dr. Tumpati offers the highest qualification to design individualized medical weight loss treatments tailored for each patient, in addition to offering life-long weight loss maintenance plans.

Dr. Tumpati is passionate about educating the public on the metabolic effects of weight and has appeared on many Radio and TV interviews. Dr. Prab R. Tumpati and the entire staff at W8MD Medical Weight Loss centers are committed to offering a comprehensive and individualized approach.

Dr. Tumpati partners with each patient to develop a custom weight management program to best meet their individual needs. His programs take into account lifestyle, medical history, medicationstaken on a regular basis and also special dietary needs. Dr. Tumpati teaches each patient about a healthy approach to weight loss, while offering the very best strategies bariatric medicine has to offer.w8md-pudding-shake-chocolate

A very important part of the program is his partnership with the patients to achieve long term healthy eating habits through comprehensive dietary education, teaching about behavior modification and lifestyle changes to achieve long term success. In combination with reduced calorie diets, behavior modification, exercise and nutritional education, Dr. Tumpati is also able to prescribe certain weight loss medication to eligible patients.

Dr. Tumpati’s weight loss program, unlike so many other “fad diets” and “gimmicky quick weight loss programs” that offer unrealistic outcomes, offers each patient a real life solution. Dr. Tumpati receives a large number of referrals from satisfied patients, as well as referrals from other physicians.

Because of Dr. Tumpati’s extensive training in obesity, he is able to provide the best possible solution in the treatment of metabolic syndrome and obesity. At W8MD Medical Weight Loss Centers, we only partner with our patients for the metabolic syndrome (Insulin Resistance) and work with our patient’s primary physicians to ensure long term improved health of the associated health problems that accompany obesity.

W8MD weight loss, sleep and medspa W8MD weight loss, sleep and medspa

The primary or  the patient’s treating physician will manage the associated medical conditions, such as high cholesterol, while our role is to reverse the underlying insulin resistance and reduce inflammation caused by the abdominal fat to improve overall health and well being.

Dr. Tumpati has an incredible passion and takes a personal stake in each one of his patients. Dr. Tumpati’s partnership with each patient to combat the chronic illness of obesity begins with the patient and ultimately perpetuates into the household. Because of his personal stake in each patient’s success, his efforts can be far reaching beyond the patient. What W8MD Wellness Centers of America and Dr. Tumpati offers to his patients, is truly an effort of passion to overcome obesity and an attempt to make a difference.

Start with a knowing where you are with a body mass index calculator, a measuring tape, a copy of the last blood work, if have any and understand where you stand.

How can W8MD help?

W8MD’s insurance physician weight loss program is unique in many ways with a comprehensive multidisciplinary approach to weight loss that addresses all the complex issues leading to weight gain, both in adults and children. Since its inception in 2011, W8MD has successfully helped thousands of patients succeed in not only losing weight but also keep it off with an ongoing maintenance plan. Call 800-W8MD-007 to learn more.

Tired of being overweight?

W8MD weight loss can help

W8MD Weight loss centers that accept insurance for visits

Philadelphia Weight Loss

1718, Welsh Rd, Philadelphia, PA, 19115 Ph: 1-215-676-2334 

King Of Prussia Weight Loss

: 987 Old Eagle School Rd, Ste 712, Wayne, PA, 19087 Ph: 215-676-2334 

NYC Weight Loss

2632 E 21st St Brooklyn New York 11235

Ph: 1-718-946-5500. 

W8MD weight loss program New Jersey.

W8MD weight loss, sleep and medical aesthetics

140 E Evesham Rd Cherry Hill New Jersey 08003