Fat News Anchors and Health Nuts

I had my regular appointment with my endocrinologist today. She fired me…in a good way. “You don’t need to come here anymore” she exclaimed with a chuckle. “If you keep doing what you are doing, I don’t need to see you again.” Those aren’t the words you expect to hear from your doctor when you tell them you haven’t been taking your diabetes medication for over a year.

Okay we get it, Lathe was overweight, he “found the lord” and has become a health nut. He runs 20 miles a day, he eats berries and grass. He is one of THOSE people.


I did change my diet. It was hard at first, but that’s it. I actually weigh the same that I did before I was diagnosed with Type2. I try to get exercise when I can. I’m not a health nut, although, I guess that is a relative term. My diet when compared to the standard american diet might appear like health nuttery. But lets face it the standard american diet isn’t exactly a beacon of healthy eating. That fact of the matter is that I saw first hand SCIENTIFICALLY that a better diet can change my health for the good.

People on both sides of the scale have arguments for what makes skinny people skinny…and fat people, fat. The way we eat is always going to be a water cooler topic. It can be a constructive discussion about what works for one person, or it can be a nearly fanatical tirade about one side of the issue or the other. I try really hard not be a zealot. I live by the old saying “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still”. I TRY…not always successfully.

We all know “that guy” that has found some miracle diet or food that makes them feel great and so they feel a responsibility to tell the world, whether the world wants to hear it or not. I get it. Let’s call a spade a spade, thats what Carb-Loaded kind of is. I go to great pains to make sure that my opinions are based solidly on science. Good science…not quackery. However, people don’t care what I say, but if Michael Pollan or Robert Lustig says it, then it carries “weight”.

You might have heard about the news anchor, in Wisconsin, Jennifer Livingston. One of her viewers wrote in and complained that she isn’t a very good role model because of her weight. This resulted in the web doing what it does best. Rushing over to one side of an issue and standing on sanctimony. I think we all lose when this happens. Is Mrs. Livingston over weight? Yes. Did the viewer have a point?…I happen to think so. Is there a danger of Mrs. Livingston and others like her now feeling justified in eating the way they eat? Maybe. I would LOVE to know in detail what her diet consists of. Could a low(er) Carb diet help her? After experiencing what I have over the last two years, there isn’t a shadow of doubt in my mind that it WOULD help her.

I see this a lot in the Type2 diabetic community. I am always amazed to hear how people defend their unhealthy eating habits (and ill-health) by saying that Type2 diabetes is unavoidable for them. This in many cases (NOT ALL) is like saying “Well I work at Chernobyl, so my cancer is unavoidable” DON’T WORK AT CHERNOBYL IDIOT! That is to say You DON”T have to eat the standard american diet! I understand that the letter written by the viewer probably hurt her feelings. But a “Jennifer convinced against her while is of the same opinion still”. So while I sympathize with Jennifer Livingston, (and I hope she enjoys her 15 secs of internet fame) I hope she doesn’t take all of the support she is getting to mean that she’s right. She is getting support to tell her story and keep thinking the way she has all her life.

And here lies the snag. If she loses weight it might give the appearance that the jerk viewer is right. If she cannot have that it will be a pyrrhic victory…she will win this battle (with the internet at her side) and lose the war of healthy living.

So when the dust settles and everyone runs off to the next battle, I hope Jennifer can take an objective look at her health and consider making a change for the better.

You can change your health for the better by changing your diet and your mind. I did it and so can Jennifer.

Lathe Poland is one of the creators of Carb-Loaded a documentary film that examines the causes of the diabetes epidemic.

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