A great article about Six Weeks To OMG appeared in the Metro newspaper today. It was well balanced, and responsibly included the views of a doctor.
But is a doctor qualified to comment in the first place?
For the record, I don’t know the particular doctor in question, and it’s possible they have qualifications and experience beyond a standard medical degree.
If they don’t, then my answer to the question above is this:
A doctor spends a lot of time studying, usually between 5 and 6 years. Some of the time is dedicated to the basics, anatomy and physiology. There’s even a bit of psychology. The massive majority of the syllabus concentrates on pharmacology, i.e. learning about drugs, how they work, what and when to prescribe them. To be fair, this makes sense, as a doctor doesn’t know what’s going to pass through their surgery doors.
Unfortunately, this means that very little time is spent on diet, or indeed exercise, and the relationship between the two. In simple terms, doctors are the mechanics who patch things up when they go wrong. I’m extremely grateful for the job they do, and have fond memories of doctors visiting me as a child, and making me better again. But in terms of preventative advice, they can’t be trusted. In terms of cutting-edge advice, they’re even more behind the times.
Let’s take an example from the particular article I mentioned. The good doc suggested that caffeine raises cortisol (a stress hormone), and that made people fat. Caffeine can raise cortisol, and cortisol can make people fat (I even covered this in the book), but to conclude that caffeine makes people fat, isn’t correct. PubMed, the US government’s health database has hundreds of studies that report on caffeine’s effectiveness in terms of fat burning. These are the very same world class science journals that get read by professors who teach our doctors.
What happens, is the journals get glanced at, and then put down on the coffee table, and ignored. And that is crazy. Being ‘chubby’ almost sounds cute, but the cold reality of seeing someone keeled over from a heart attack is no joke. I’ve broken down a locked door and witnessed it myself.
Anything that helps us get healthier, must not be dismissed by voicing out dated thinking. We must use everything we can to improve physical and mental health.
Hippocrates, the ancient Greek father of Western medicine, thought this way, and yet somehow his message has become diluted. I urge everyone to take an interest in their health, and become an expert at the one thing we all have (a body and a mind). If that means confronting the medical establishment, or even teaching your own doctor a thing or two, then so be it.