Dr. Fitness & the Fat Guy

Dr. Fitness and the Fat Guy

Earlier this month, Dr. Pretlow was a guest on a radio show, where he talked about childhood obesity and his book, Overweight: What Kids Say. So you may be thinking, “Now, the Childhood Obesity News blog returns the favor by promoting Dr. Fitness & the Fat Guy.” Well, cut it out. The only reason you’re hearing about this today is because these two live up to the promise made in their mission statement,

Making healthy living fun for everyone.

The radio show isn’t the only thing going on. There is a blog too, replete with information about obesity and many other health and fitness topics, where the Fat Guy wrote,

The kids seem to intellectually understand that eating healthy and exercising is the way to go but they are addicted to making poor choices — and that’s why you have to treat them like you would a substance abuser to get them on a healthier path.

Just so there is no misunderstanding, we’re not spotlighting Dr. Fitness & the Fat Guy out of the enlightened self-interest. Absolutely not. We like them because they really seem to “get it,” and because of their skill in eliciting answers that lead the listening audience to get it too. And because they believe laughter is the best medicine.

Dr. Fitness is also known as Dr. Adam Shafran, who was “born to be a health and fitness expert.” He has treated the sports injuries of many top athletes, and has earned the respect and gratitude of those who accepted his tutelage as a strength and conditioning coach. He writes articles, talks to groups, serves on advisory boards, and interviews celebrities and experts in any field connected with health and fitness. The Fat Guy’s alias is Lee Kantor, and he is, among many other things, a radio producer.

We would never set out to gratuitously flatter Dr. Fitness & the Fat Guy just because they are a couple of very intelligent and engaging talk show hosts who had the good taste and discernment to invite Dr. Pretlow to their show. We are fans because they interview people like Dr. David Katz, Michael Pollan, Rory Freedman, and Dr. David Kessler, and because they address such interesting topics as,

‘Does Sitting on An Exercise Ball Improve Your Posture?’

‘Relax — Your Bra Does Not Cause Cancer,’

and

‘Fat Guy’s Favorite Healthy-ish Snacks.’

So, to recap, we are not urging you to tune in to Dr. Fitness & the Fat Guy because they spontaneously offered these very kind words:

Overweight: What Kids Say is a must read if you have an overweight child in your life.

We simply think they are very cool, and after listening to the lively interview, you will too. (The interview is a Flash file, so no download time is required to play it.)

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “Founder of Weigh2Rock Dr Bob Pretlow Helps Overweight Kids,” Dr. Fitness Blog, 12/14/10
Source: “About Dr. Fitness and the Fat Guy,” Dr. Fitness & the Fat Guy
Screen capture of Dr. Fitness & the Fat Guy graphic used under Fair Use: Reporting.

Comments

  1. Elyse Schneiderman,Ph.D says:

    I have recently published a book for 3-8 year olds called Jelly and the DOnuts. It deals with eating healthy, making good food choices and self esteem. My son , one of four children was classified as morbidly obese at age 10 at Georgetown Hospital. Since he was 14 he has proven that obese children do not have to remain obese. With lots of family co-operation and exercise he overcame his problem . He is tested everyday. Part of the problem was the amount of sugary beverages he drank( 4 plus cokes a day) outside of the home. Children need support and food education. They need to learn about what good choices they can make. Families can help but the children spend many hours outside the home.

  2. Robert A. Pretlow, MD says:

    Thank you for your comment about your wonderful book, Dr. Schneiderman. Efforts such as those of Jelly and the Donuts are crucial to combating the childhood obesity epidemic. The challenge is how to meld such noble approaches as your book’s with emerging new evidence on what’s really causing the childhood obesity epidemic. Based on what tens of thousands of overweight kids have posted on my website over the past 11 years, I’m firmly convinced that actual addiction to certain foods, especially highly pleasurable foods such as junk food and fast food, is the main cause of the childhood obesity epidemic. Furthermore, these kids are in real pain from effects of obesity on their lives, yet they are unable to resist eating those foods, knowing that such will result in further weight gain. These kids say that they are overdosed on healthy eating information, which they get in school, that it really doesn’t help them much, especially once they are significantly overweight or obese (addicted). They desperately ask for help in how to resist cravings, i.e. breaking their addiction.

    There is substantial resistance to the idea of food as an addictive substance, both from mainstream medicine and the lay public. Unfortunately, obesity science is funded in large part by the food industry, as are many childhood obesity initiatives. I wrote a blog article this week about the glaring conflicts of interest.in childhood obesity

    To deal with the underlying food dependence/addiction we need to help obese kids get unhooked from highly pleasurable foods and prevent healthy kids from becoming hooked to begin with. Healthy, fun foods, such as those promoted by Jelly and the Donuts, are ideal for preventing healthy weight kids from becoming addicted to begin with, and possibly weaning obese kids off of addicted foods, and subsequently avoiding those foods to which they were previously addicted. Your book is geared for 3-8 year olds, an age where the addiction to highly pleasurable foods is just starting in some kids but is not firmly entrenched. Again, there is resistance to this concept on many fronts. Sarah Palin just made the news by protesting a new Pennsylvania regulation forbidding unhealthy foods, such as cookies and cupcakes, from being brought into schools. Ms. Palin brought cookies to all the kids in a private school in Pennsylvania, as a protest against the “nanny state.”

    Sarah Palin’s protest would likely engender support from a large (pun intended) segment of the population. Highly pleasurable foods are deeply a part of our culture – 70% of our population is overweight. Plus, the food industry has enormous financial incentive to perpetuate this. I did a poster presentation on “Food Addiction in Children” (PDF) at the Obesity Society’s 2010 scientific meeting in October. Food company representatives, e.g. Unilever (Ben & Jerry’s, Breyer’s, Good Humor, Klondike) and Hershey, did not challenge my presentation at all and talked to me at length about how the food industry might ameliorate this problem in children. I told them that they needed to regard their products like “booze,” with warning labels and controls in regard to children. They should instead market foods such as Jelly and the Donuts promotes.

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