Updated March 31, 2016
The Obesity Medicine Conference will be held on April 6 to 10, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency in San Francisco. On the morning of April 7 a discussion of various treatments of obesity by three experts with three very different viewpoints on diet was scheduled: the low-fat, high carbohydrate, starch-based diet (John McDougall, MD), the Mediterranean Diet (Michael Ozner, MD), and the low-carb Atkins Diet (Eric Westman, MD). The so-called “Mediterranean Diet” is a multibillion-dollar global brand and in the distant past was healthier than the usual Western diet, because it was once abundant in starches, vegetables, and fruits. The diet was healthy in spite of the olive oil and nuts that are now promoted as the miracle components of the diet. Currently, children and adults living around the Mediterranean Sea are among the most obese in the world. Low-carb diets are based on meat, poultry, cheese, eggs, fish, and vegetable oils, foods that are the polar opposite to my beliefs for achieving good health.
BTW, I invited both, Michael Ozner, MD and Eric Westman, MD, to speak at the next McDougall Advanced Study Weekend, September 16 to 18, 2016, in Santa Rosa, California. Dr. Ozner has already accepted, but Dr. Westman’s response is still pending. I also plan to show the slide presentation I built for the Obesity Medicine Conference at this September’s Advanced Study Weekend – don’t miss it.
Unfortunately, the conference organizers and I had different agendas. They requested that each of us present scientific research to support our positions. This meant my two published observational studies and one unpublished randomized trial would have been pitted against hundreds of multimillion-dollar, industry-funded studies designed to demonize the low-fat diet. My guess is the audience would have been overwhelmed by the fact that my opponents’ extensive research, published in the “big five medical journals,” was far more convincing. (Although my friendly personality may have won them over—joke.)