Participants: Margot Marshall (Host), Dr. Eddie Ramirez
Series Code: HL
Program Code: HL000019A
00:15 Welcome to "Healthy Living!"
00:16 I'm your host Margot Marshall.
00:18 Most of the world's population live in countries
00:22 where overweight and obesity kills more people
00:25 than underweight.
00:26 What are the causes and what can we do about it?
00:30 Stay tuned for practical, doable solutions.
01:10 My guest today is Dr. Eddie Ramirez who will be sharing
01:14 research and practical solutions he presented at the
01:17 "International Congress on Obesity" in Vancouver, Canada.
01:22 Welcome Eddie! Thank you very much.
01:24 Lovely to have you on the program.
01:25 Now you've described obesity as an epidemic, just how bad is it?
01:31 This is a huge public health problem not only here
01:36 in Australia, but in many areas around the world.
01:39 In fact, the latest statistics for Australia tells us that
01:45 2 out of 3 people in Australia either are overweight
01:50 or obese, and you know the problem gets even more
01:55 complicated if in Australia there were only Caucasian
01:59 people, (white people), that wouldn't be - I mean it still
02:03 is a problem but that wouldn't be such an emergency.
02:06 But the problem is that there are people from all over
02:11 the world in Australia and obesity affects certain
02:16 minority groups worse than others. Is that right?
02:20 So when I went to India, I was doing a series of conferences,
02:25 in fact, I'm involved in a few research projects with them.
02:28 I don't know how you do all you do?
02:30 It just seems we keep hearing about the research you do,
02:32 and I'm really, really pleased.
02:34 I want to say this - that we have you on our program
02:36 because you do have really good cutting edge information
02:39 to share on a lot of subjects including this one,
02:42 so tell us more. That's right!
02:44 So I learned there something fascinating -
02:46 See, in India, what we consider normal weight, we use a
02:52 measurement called "body mass index," if you're interested
02:55 in getting yours, just Google "body mass index,"
02:57 the little formula is there, you take into account your
03:00 height and your weight.
03:01 In the Western worlds, the normal body mass index,
03:06 the top part - what is considered normal is 25.
03:11 That formula gives you a number and you put it in there.
03:14 In India the top number is actually 23 because
03:21 somebody from Indian origin above 23 of body mass index
03:28 it's too much for him and the doors for diabetes, heart
03:32 disease, hypertension and many other problems open up as you
03:38 go above that 23.
03:40 And that's not only unique for people from India,
03:44 this guideline also is very applicable to people
03:48 of Asia, many of the Hispanic world also and people
03:54 from Africa.
03:55 So many times in measurement, what we may be using here,
03:59 may not necessarily be the optimum for them.
04:01 Okay, you know I once heard a doctor give a - or a dietitian
04:06 actually, and he gave a good way to find out whether you're
04:09 overweight or obese because the body mass index
04:12 some people would do that and it's like - "Oh, a bit
04:14 complicated," but he said, "I've got a really, really
04:16 simple way for you to know.
04:18 He said, "What you do is, you take your clothes off,
04:20 you stand in front of the mirror and if you look
04:22 fat, you probably are."
04:23 And I thought, "Oh, that's really cruel." Laughter.
04:26 But it's a starting point anyway.
04:29 And that's exactly why you need some sort of measurement
04:33 because especially if somebody that is 24 body mass index,
04:39 it doesn't look too overweight and it can be tricky.
04:47 In fact, in Latin America where I have done many clinical
04:50 consultations, there are people that you would not suspect
04:55 that they are overweight, yet they're numbers
04:59 indicate that and also the type of health problems
05:03 and so forth that they have.
05:04 That's interesting, so we're setting ourselves up
05:07 for health problems without that
05:08 visible evidence that we talked about.
05:10 So it can be tricky; in fact, it's interesting.
05:13 I don't know how many times mothers bring me their
05:18 children to consultation and they say, "Doctor, I
05:21 need you to check my child. I think my child has worms!
05:27 Look at him, how thin he is.
05:29 He doesn't look very healthy."
05:31 So we go ahead, you know, there are some standardized tables
05:33 in which you take the height and the weight, and you compare
05:36 to the rest of the population, everything is normal.
05:39 Why does the mother think that?
05:43 Because when he is being compared to the rest
05:47 of his peers, he actually looks thin compared to the other
05:52 ones that actually may be having some weight issues.
05:55 In fact, statistics in Australia tells us that one
05:58 out of 4 kids in Australia are overweight or obese.
06:05 One in 4, that's a really... because it's so hard
06:10 once weight has been gained, it's hard to get on top of that.
06:16 Yeah, what about the extent of this problem overseas
06:19 and everything like that like, you know,
06:21 it really spreads doesn't it?
06:22 This is a worldwide crisis; in fact, just yesterday
06:28 I was reading a research paper that came out in the literature.
06:32 It was showing how around the world metabolic problems
06:38 are increasing even in third world countries. Oh really?
06:42 So high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes,
06:46 and obesity are increasing dramatically when compared
06:51 to just a few years.
06:53 See, I used to go to Hawaii to
06:59 help there with a "Lasso Program." Oh, okay.
07:01 And you see something fascinating there.
07:04 There are a lot of Japanese people that like Hawaii,
07:09 and even some signs in the roads
07:11 are in Japanese and so forth.
07:13 But when you go to a restaurant there,
07:15 you see something interesting.
07:17 You can quickly tell who is first and second generation,
07:22 who is third and fourth generation.
07:24 You can tell that just by -
07:26 Just by looking at the people you see that the third and
07:31 fourth generation - those tend to be obese or overweight.
07:36 While the first and second generation tends to be
07:40 thin and have their normal weight.
07:44 And how do you actually know that they are
07:47 third and fourth generation?
07:49 By the language they speak.
07:51 The first and second generation, they're not comfortable
07:55 with the English, so they speak the Japanese, while the
07:58 third and fourth generations, those are actually losing
08:02 their Japanese and they are more
08:04 comfortable talking in English.
08:07 So as being somebody that is interested in languages,
08:10 you can quickly see there how... the genes didn't change,
08:14 but the diet and the habits changed.
08:17 Speaking of languages, I just have to put this in,
08:21 I asked you how many languages you speak and you were very
08:23 modest and you said, "Ohh, I don't speak but a little bit."
08:26 Was it 6 or 7 languages? Somewhere there.
08:28 That's very impressive and it has actually inspired me,
08:31 and I'm actually thinking about learning a language. Very good!
08:34 Just on the basis of that but go on,
08:36 I just...
08:37 So we have this pattern in which obesity is increasing.
08:43 In America, they did a fascinating study.
08:46 Back in 1985, the Public Health Organization of the country,
08:52 called the "CDC," realized they were having a big crisis
08:57 on their hands as obesity and overweight
09:00 was increasing in the country.
09:03 So what they decided to do, they decided to map the problem
09:07 to see in which areas of the world this problem was
09:12 prevalent and common.
09:14 And we can see on the screen, one of the graphics that
09:19 they released and you can see here that using color codes
09:24 that the dark blue color - it means that from 10 to 14%
09:30 of the people living in that state, they had a problem
09:38 with obesity in that state, so you can see what is
09:41 called "the South" in America, started to have an issue there.
09:46 So let's walk through time so we can see how this advanced.
09:50 ... 87, 88, 89, 90, we continue with 91 and you can see
10:00 that a new classification was put on.
10:03 Now that very dark blue color is where 15 to 19% of the
10:09 people were overweight and obese.
10:12 And we continue, 96, 97, a new classification,
10:19 now more than 20% of the people in those states are obese.
10:26 2000, 2001, a new classification, now more than
10:35 25% of the people are obese.
10:39 2004, 2005, 2006 and a new classification
10:48 again in more than 30% of the people are obese.
10:53 2009 and the latest one that we have is from 2010.
10:57 Now I want you to see the pattern.
11:00 The area in America where you find the most obesity,
11:06 it has the name "the Bible belt" because you find the highest
11:12 amount of evangelical Christians in that area - yet it is
11:19 the most sick area of America.
11:23 And the reason why, I speak very frequently in evangelical
11:28 circles and so forth, unfortunately some of the
11:33 evangelical people have ignored the principles that the Bible
11:39 teaches about health and you can quickly see the results.
11:43 In that area of America where you find that highest density
11:47 you find the most heart disease, the most diabetes, the most
11:52 obesity and the list goes on and on and on.
11:56 And the beauty of this is that in the Bible, we find
12:01 the solution to this problem.
12:04 From the very beginning, God gives a diet to human beings.
12:09 At the time of Noah, God introduces a new element,
12:14 yet He put some rules depending on which
12:17 animals you're supposed to eat and which
12:19 animals you're not supposed to eat.
12:21 Before there were Jews and things, so people say,
12:23 "Oh because on the cross these things were done away?"
12:26 Not necessarily, this was a principle
12:28 for human beings. Go ahead.
12:30 Just in case not everyone is familiar with what God
12:32 recommended right there at creation, what foods
12:36 did He recommend for human beings
12:38 right at the beginning there. That's right.
12:39 At the beginning, God introduced the fruit type
12:45 of foods with some nuts.
12:49 Then after that, after sin came into the picture,
12:53 God allows people to eat the herbs of the field.
12:57 So you had a full plant vegetarian diet from the
13:01 very beginning, that was the vision that God
13:04 had for humans to eat.
13:06 Not until the time of Noah when vegetation was destroyed
13:10 God gives permission to eat animals and with special rules
13:13 that still, if you are still eating animal products,
13:17 it still applies for today.
13:19 It's interesting, Jewish people actually are the
13:23 ethnic group in the world that has gotten
13:27 the most Nobel prizes.
13:29 See, because when you partake of those animals that are not
13:33 on that list, actually your IQ decreases - we don't have time
13:37 to talk about that, but actually it has a negative effect
13:40 in the brain such as the partaking of pigs,
13:43 meat and so forth.
13:45 So there's a connection with brain health?
13:49 Now females tend to have more of a problem with their weight.
13:55 The reason why is because they tend to be small,
13:59 usually the type of work they do - they are less active,
14:03 and also because of the biological purpose
14:06 that God had for them.
14:08 They need to have the baby developing inside of them,
14:14 so the body tries to have enough reserves in order to
14:19 help that baby grow properly.
14:23 That's the reason why females tend to have a little bit more
14:26 of a problem, while males have muscle mass and muscle mass
14:31 tends to burn more calories.
14:33 Quite a lot more calories.
14:35 Muscle burns a lot more calories than fat, doesn't it?
14:37 That's right. So concentrate on that
14:40 if you want to have some help.
14:42 In a minute, we'll tell you the method.
14:44 I also presented some research on the latest "Obesity
14:49 World Congress" that happened in Vancouver, Canada.
14:52 I presented three papers and we can see the first of them
14:56 on the screen.
14:57 We're finding out that regularity in eating
15:00 and sleeping was helping with weight control and was also
15:06 improving mental health.
15:09 So that was a very good finding.
15:13 You need to have order in your life.
15:15 That's interesting - so eating at regular times? That's right!
15:19 And sleeping at regular times. That's right!
15:22 Even on the weekends. Even on the weekend.
15:24 Then the second paper I presented there - it was about
15:30 how plant-based diets are one of the best ways.
15:35 And please notice in little graphic on the bottom right,
15:39 it was showing that full plant vegetarian nutrition
15:44 will actually - if you are normal weight or underweight,
15:48 it won't affect your weight, but if you are overweight
15:52 or obese, it will actually help you lose weight
15:57 in a natural way without suffering which is something
16:00 I'm against.
16:01 Isn't that incredible how it doesn't make you lose weight
16:05 if you're underweight or normal,
16:07 but it helps you if you're overweight.
16:08 The body is a marvelous thing and it does regulate
16:11 a lot of these things.
16:12 It's a bit like getting vitamin D from the sun,
16:14 it will only produce as much as the body needs.
16:17 You don't get an overdose that way.
16:20 Exactly! So it's better to work with physiological
16:25 type of approaches.
16:27 And then a third one that we presented showing that
16:31 these also apply to pediatric participants.
16:36 So young people that partake of this method are able
16:41 to lose weight in a natural way again without
16:45 suffering and so forth.
16:47 So let's go a little bit about how this method works.
16:50 This is actually from what is called "The NEWSTART Program."
16:52 If you Google about the NEWSTART Program
16:54 in Weimar, you can see if you are interested in even coming
16:59 and being one of these patients in our place.
17:03 So there is something that is called,
17:06 "The Point Theory," that's the name of it.
17:08 The Point. The Point Theory.
17:10 It says that you usually tend to maintain a certain equilibrium.
17:17 If you are of a certain weight and you quickly lose weight,
17:21 you're probably going to bounce back to that point.
17:24 If you gain weight very fast, you will actually come
17:28 down to try to approximate to that point.
17:32 Now there are two specific ways that you can use
17:38 to lower the point so that you lose weight.
17:44 Like a set point. Yes, like a set point.
17:47 #1 is very, and I'm talking about very intensive exercise.
17:54 Let me tell you just so you can picture it in your head.
17:57 One-half a kilo of fat in your body is approximately
18:04 3,500 calories - that is a lot.
18:09 See, if you go running at race speed, you will probably
18:15 burn about 500 calories from that 45 minute run or so.
18:24 So that is just 600 calories, we said you need 3,500
18:33 calories to lose just half a kilo.
18:36 That means that you can lower the point with exercise,
18:40 but you would have to invest 4 or 5 hours a day of exercise,
18:47 something that is not practical for most people,
18:50 and most people actually don't have the fitness to handle that.
18:54 So a better strategy if you want to tackle this problem long-term
19:00 is to change the composition of your diet.
19:05 In that way, you don't suffer!
19:08 Again, I am totally against those methods that say,
19:12 "Oh you just have to eat two portions of this and one portion
19:15 of this," and the person is all hungry
19:18 and suffering throughout the day.
19:19 Look, you can do that for a week.
19:21 You can do that for 2 weeks, but long-term?
19:24 That is just not acceptable.
19:26 No, it's just unsustainable, isn't it?
19:29 In the study that we were presenting, the way that our
19:34 patients ate - it was buffet style.
19:38 Patients just served themselves what they wanted.
19:42 Of course encouraged in moderation and automatically
19:46 their bodies started to lose that weight.
19:49 Now, we need to understand that fats increase the point.
19:55 So foods that have too much fat like free oils - that one
20:03 will increase the point while starch and vegetables
20:07 will decrease the point.
20:09 So what you need to do, you need to change
20:13 your plate and you need to make sure that you're eating
20:17 one-third of your whole plate needs to be raw fruits
20:24 or vegetables - the rest of it needs to be cooked food.
20:28 If you want this process to be even faster,
20:32 switch it to half - half of your plate it's going to be
20:38 raw fruits or vegetables.
20:41 And by doing that, you will see the advantage.
20:45 And see, some people are afraid of starches
20:48 and these type of foods - those foods are fabulous!
20:52 See, as I travel around the world,
20:54 I've seen this with my own eyes!
20:55 What's the staple food in Japan, for example - it's rice.
21:00 What's the staple food in Papua New Guinea - it is
21:03 these roots, these yams - this type of foods.
21:07 What's the staple food in Mexico - it's beans and rice.
21:12 What's the staple food in Peru - it's potatoes.
21:15 What was the staple food in Europe - it was bread!
21:21 That was what they based their food on.
21:24 So the problem is not these foods,
21:27 the problem is what we put on them.
21:29 That's right - yes, often bread is just a vehicle (That's right)
21:34 for things that would raise that set point.
21:37 And see, when you eat foods in its most natural state,
21:42 what it does is it fills your stomach and there are
21:46 sensors in your stomach that sends the signal to your brain
21:49 and say, "Okay, you had enough, okay."
21:51 But when you're eating concentrated foods such as
21:55 animal products, they have a lot of calories
21:58 and absolutely no fiber.
22:01 Animal products are deficient of fiber.
22:04 Fiber only comes from vegetable products.
22:08 So you ate some cheese; you ate some milk,
22:11 and still your stomach is not full enough and he says,
22:14 "What else are you going to feed me, you know I'm
22:16 still hungry."
22:18 And you end up increasing the number of calories and you
22:22 end up moving that point towards the top.
22:25 So let's review some of the most common mistakes
22:30 people make while trying to lose weight and I'm sharing
22:34 this with you from my clinical experience what my patients
22:37 give me input on.
22:38 #1. They eat too much high fat foods.
22:44 See, "oil," that is not good for you.
22:49 If you are marathonist and you have to train 3 hours a day,
22:53 please use oil in your food, you need it.
22:56 But if the type of work that you do is just sitting down
23:01 in front of a computer, low level of activity with just
23:07 30-45 minutes of exercise per day, you don't need
23:13 that excess oil.
23:15 In fact, I would actually encourage you to eliminate
23:18 it from your diet and use something like "Pam,"
23:21 that spray - so that your food doesn't stick to your plate.
23:25 And I'm talking also about olive oil - some people say
23:29 "Oh it's olive oil, you know, it must be healthy,"
23:31 and here it comes on the salad!
23:33 You're putting a bomb of calories there,
23:36 so - oils, be careful.
23:38 #2. Be careful with sugars.
23:41 Sugars are concentrated food, sugars increase a very
23:47 important hormone in your body called "insulin" and insulin
23:51 helps you gain weight.
23:53 And beware, honey also has that effect.
23:56 Even the Bible says, "A little bit of honey is good for you."
23:59 Follow that counsel.
24:01 Not because it's honey, it doesn't mean that it's
24:04 not going to do that reaction when it's eaten in the excess.
24:06 I remember reading through the Book of Proverbs which was
24:09 written by the wisest man who ever lived, King Solomon,
24:12 and he even wrote a couple of proverbs about honey
24:15 which kind of surprised me the first time I actually saw it.
24:18 And one of them says, "If you find honey, eat just enough,
24:21 too much and you'll vomit." That's right, very true!
24:24 That's very graphic, very true, yes.
24:27 So be careful with ingredients that end in "ose,"
24:31 fructose, glucose, maltose, all those things are sugars!
24:37 Next problem - Blenders, beware of blenders.
24:42 People right now are very much into smoothies and juices.
24:48 These things are concentrated calories!
24:52 Once in a while, you eat this, no problem.
24:55 As an everyday thing, if your goal is to gain weight,
24:59 go for it, but if your goal is to lose weight, beware
25:04 of blenders as they destroy the fiber, increase the
25:07 glycemic index of the food, increase the insulin response
25:10 in your body and encourage gaining weight.
25:13 Another problem - alcohol. Huge problem alcohol!
25:17 Alcohol by two problems affects you.
25:19 #1. Empty calories.
25:21 #2. Affects your frontal lobe.
25:24 So just one glass of wine, you probably have determined,
25:29 "You know, I'm not going to overeat today,"
25:32 but when alcohol is onboard, then those breaks don't work
25:38 and studies show you're going to end up overeating.
25:41 And the next thing, very important - dry fruit.
25:44 Beware of dry fruit.
25:46 Dry fruits are bombs of calories.
25:51 Once in a while you eat this, and it's no problem.
25:54 But I see people have this big bag of dried fruit,
25:59 those things are just bombs of calories.
26:01 And finally - exercise.
26:03 You need to increase the amount of exercise
26:07 so that it can help you have a healthy appetite and it
26:11 actually encourages self control.
26:14 So put those vegetables to work for you and lose weight
26:19 in a natural nonpainful method.
26:22 Something that's sustainable, something that you could see
26:24 yourself doing for the rest of your life.
26:26 If it's something you can only do for a short term
26:29 whatever that term is, that's not going to achieve
26:33 what you want to do because you just can't sustain it.
26:36 That's right and that's why I like the "CHIP" programs
26:39 that are taking place here, what does "CHIP" mean?
26:42 Yes, we better straighten that out.
26:43 "Complete Health Improvement Program." That's right!
26:50 It's not the fried ones.
26:51 So go ahead and Google one of those programs
26:54 in your locality and try to see where is one of those
26:58 programs - they have cooking classes and so forth.
27:02 They are nonprofit programs and I would definitely
27:05 encourage you to participate in one of them.
27:07 Make sure that you use all the food groups that will
27:11 help you lose weight which are the fruits,
27:14 the vegetables, the legumes and the legumes we're
27:17 talking about the peas, the beans and lentils,
27:20 whole grains and a little bit of nuts in quite moderation. Yes.
27:27 So that's really good.
27:28 I actually was speaking to someone who did the
27:31 "CHIP" program - he needed a kidney transplant,
27:35 they couldn't do it until he lost weight,
27:37 and he wasn't able to.
27:39 He went to "CHIP" and in a short time - I just don't
27:42 know how many weeks it was, he had lost enough weight
27:45 to have the operation but he didn't need it because
27:48 his kidney function was normal.
27:50 Incredible program! Absolutely incredible!
27:53 He had a few other good outcomes too and I could
27:55 tell you many of the outcomes that people have when they do
27:59 that complete health improvement project
28:01 as the community-based thing, so really a brilliant
28:05 way because often people do need support to make
28:09 lifestyle changes and that does it because it's done
28:11 over a period of time.
28:13 Well, we want you to have the best that life has to offer,
28:18 so keep tuning in for more encouragement and strategies
28:22 for healthy living.
28:24 And if you'd like to watch our programs on-demand,
28:26 just go to our website: 3abnaustralia.org.au
28:30 and click on the watch button.
28:32 We'll see you next time.