I am always amused by how people make decisions.  The decision about what to eat is a complicated one.  I will admit to having made and changed the decision multiple times in my own lifetime. I am a scientist who goes by data–and I will admit that my most recent choice reversed my diabetes as well as my high blood pressure and myriad evils, so that I am medication free for the first time in several years. There is, however, a subculture devoted to diets that can’t work, don’t work, or probably don’t work.  I don’t expect people to make rational choices — I’ve been a psychiatrist too long to believe that one, even for an instant.  I do know that there is more distance than anyone would imagine (some estimate it at 30 years or more) between science and medical practice.  Add that to the amount of “emotional baggage” people carry around about what they love eating, what they hate eating, and why. Put it all together and the best you can usually do is pseudoscience.  This means there is lots of space for humor. The demands on people to get thin or thinner in the entertainment industry are indeed often “unachievable.”  I am convinced most people resort to simply not eating, or “fasting.” This is maybe not the worst thing possible, for both ancient tradition and modern scientific research have validated it, for brief periods with plenty of water.

Read more on Most Diets Are At Least Good For A Laugh…


This is an update of a previous post:

Science keeps changing and moving forward so quickly that even an avowed knowledge addict like me can sometimes do little more than hang on for the ride.

Back when I wrote my earlier post, I already knew for sure that I wanted to live for as close to forever as possible.  Calorie restriction had been touted as one possible way to do do so, and change in the gut flora was one possible mechanism. Read more on Update On Calories and Longevity…


He was known by the whole clinic as a tough patient.  He missed appointments, saying he was “busy,” but never explaining with what.

He looked like an obese surfer dude; blond, blue-eyed, always tanned.  He was quiet and polite and said little, very little.  His long-standing diagnosis was schizophrenia.

pledge to end hungerWe knew that he lived with his mom.  She had once monitored his medications, but now she was ill. He did not take well to home visits, so there had been none for a very long time. Most anti psychotic medication makes folks put on weight.  I had seen many obese schizophrenics in many clinics, but his elusive nature made us wonder how sick he really was, what his life was like.  We even wondered if he sold the medicine on the street to make ends meet, as some folks do.

He lumbered in, if irregularly, to get his injection.  He always took it quietly. Mention him at a staff meeting, at least within the last three months during which I had called in to consultant, and every case manager turned their eyes heavenward, groaning.  Everyone agreed, he was frustrating, at the very least. Nothing could be done for him; he wouldn’t listen.  He told contradictory stories about his life. People told me he was a substance abuser –crack, cocaine, pot.  I saw no clinical signs of substance abuse when I visited with this patient.  However, I had only seen him twice, for he did not come to appointments often. “I am a busy guy.  I drive around; I do things.” He couldn’t tell me what.  “For my mother.  Sometimes, I like to be with my girlfriend.” Read more on The Starving Surfer…

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