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"No rational argument will have an… effect on a man who does not want to adopt a rational attitude."

Karl Popper (1902 - 1994; regarded as one of the greatest philosophers of science of the 20th century)

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    Friday, October 05, 2012

    CARBS

    What Does “Carbs” Mean?

    ​People are confused about the meaning of words such as "carbs" and "metabolism". The confusion is exploited by advertisers, so let me explain. The word "carbs" was originally a shorthand for "carbohydrates", i.e. molecules containing only carbon (C), hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O). A pretty useless term since the definition included molecules that had nothing in common. What biochemists meant, in practice, by the term was sugars or chains of sugar as opposed to protein or fat.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Fri, Oct 05, 2012 9:35 am | [0] comments

    Thursday, September 27, 2012

    CAFFEINE

    Phentermine Users Should Reduce Caffeine

    ​I do not want my patients on phentermine to drink large cups of regular coffee. It is too much stimulation. A small cup would be okay, but since most Americans have no idea what "small" means–a major reason for their obesity–it is safest to tell them to avoid regular coffee, i.e. coffee with caffeine.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Thu, Sep 27, 2012 12:33 pm | [0] comments

    Monday, September 24, 2012

    ​Lessons or Doctor’s Orders

    Recently, in my office, I changed the Eight Lessons to the Eight Doctor’s Orders, because I was bothered by the number of people treating my lessons as guidelines or recommendations, instead of as express orders. Patients such as Katelyn whom I saw a month ago, losing over 40 lb in two months, ALL learned the Eight Lessons by heart, word for word, in order–not that the order matters. Such people take life seriously and get real results. Everyone else is just fooling around.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Mon, Sep 24, 2012 7:56 pm | [0] comments

    Friday, September 14, 2012

    NO SNACKING

    Doctor, What’s A Healthy Snack?

    ​Anyone who asks me this question after hearing or reading The First Visit Speech has missed the point. A major point of the speech is that I don’t want you snacking. Keep your insulin LOW between meals–in mid-morning, mid-afternoon and during sleep. Insulin is allowed to be high–not too high–only in the hour or two after each of the regular meals of the day.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Fri, Sep 14, 2012 10:18 am | [0] comments

    Thursday, September 06, 2012

    TV INTERVIEW

    ​Dr. Anchors’ TV Interview

    ​Here are my planned concluding remarks for "Forward Motion" with Karen Allyn, being taped September 11. I will post dates, times and channels as soon as I know them. If you miss the show, don't worry--MCTV re-runs everything many times . . .


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Thu, Sep 06, 2012 9:38 am | [0] comments

    Wednesday, August 29, 2012

    ​The One Thing Men Sacrifice For

    ​My long experience with teaching people how to lose weight has given me some insight into people. I have identified the one thing most important to men. They will sacrifice everything for it. Independence. They will say stupid things in public, OVEREAT in front of everyone, make bad jokes and be (quietly) sorry for it later. Men turn down good offers, refuse good advice and fail to read instructions, ALL to show they are independent.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Wed, Aug 29, 2012 10:13 am | [0] comments

    Sunday, August 26, 2012

    Qsymia (phentermine plus topiramate)

    ​Qsymia

    The Vivus Company, maker of Qsymia, offered me a plane ticket, hotel room and $2500 cash to attend their "Speaker Training Program" in Dallas. I won't go. It is a bribe to get me and other doctors to prescribe Qsymia. I can't be bought.

    Years ago I attended the kick-off of Meridia in Phoenix to take advantage of the free ticket to Phoenix where my daughter lives. I spent the time with her. I went to only one meeting, the evening Q&A session. We had to write our questions down on index cards. The cards were screened by company reps before being given to the expert panel. Having no patience with fools, I stood up and asked my questions aloud regarding some misleading data. You know that Meridia was withdrawn a few years later for its ineffectiveness and substantial risk.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Sun, Aug 26, 2012 10:04 am | [0] comments

    Tuesday, August 21, 2012

    MY NEW BOOK

    ​Why Good Writers Can’t Sell Books in Bookstores

    ​This Saturday, Aug 25, 2012, I will be giving a talk about my new book Medical Myths Doctors Believe at Books-A-Million in Bethesda, but I will not be allowed to sell the book in the store and the store will not carry the book for sale. Why? because Medical Myths is a print-on-demand book published by Amazon. The parent company of Books-A-Million has decided that their stores, as a policy, will not carry print-on-demand books.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Tue, Aug 21, 2012 9:31 am | [0] comments

    Saturday, August 18, 2012

    EGGS

    The Egg Story

    Many of you, if you were watching the wrong channel, which was most channels, saw a story in the last two days with the headline "Egg yolks almost as dangerous as smoking". Anyone who has heard me talk, or traveled to foreign countries such as France where people eat a lot of eggs but outlive us by 4 years and have a lower risk of heart attack, or anyone who has read my new book Medical Myths Doctors Believe which teaches in plain terms how to evaluate evidence, or anyone with common sense, will know there is something wrong with the egg study.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Sat, Aug 18, 2012 10:09 am | [0] comments

    Monday, August 13, 2012

    How Does Phentermine Work?

    ​The main effect of phentermine is to reduce hunger, but there is a second way in which the med helps dieters. It causes them to feel more awake at night after dinner, so they are less likely to cheat on their diet. If you read The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty by Dan Ariely, you know that stress and fatigue are the enemies of conscience and good sense.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Mon, Aug 13, 2012 2:37 pm | [0] comments

    Monday, August 06, 2012

    NOISEY RESTAURANTS

    Noise In Restaurants Promotes Obesity

    ​Please read the following blog:

    http://tomfoodery.blogspot.com/2012/06/goddam-noisy-restaurants.html

    I endorse everything Tom wrote. I have carried a sound meter into American and European restaurants and notice a big difference. American restaurants with entrees under $30 are all, extremely (illegally) NOISY.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Mon, Aug 06, 2012 12:07 pm | [0] comments

    Monday, July 30, 2012

    WEIGHT MAINTENANCE

    ​My Patients Seldom Gain Weight Back

    ​My patients seldom gain weight back. I know, because every July I get my secretaries to randomly pull 100 charts of patients who were in my office for at least three visits and had not returned in over a year. We call the patients and have long conversations with them. We find that with few exceptions the patients kept the weight off or continued losing. When we do see an exception, it is almost always because of (1) a new major life-stress or (2) the patients never learned or forgot the Six Lessons. [As readers of this blog know, there are now Eight Lessons.]


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Mon, Jul 30, 2012 2:50 pm | [0] comments

    Sunday, July 29, 2012

    Wishful Thinking Versus Positive Thinking

    Eleanor Roosevelt said, "The besetting sin of America is wishful thinking," and boy, isn't that the truth? We think of wishful thinking as bad, and it certainly is. We think of positive thinking as good, but what's the difference? The most important difference is that positive thinking is about what we want to do ourselves, and wishful thinking is about what we want other people to do.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Sun, Jul 29, 2012 12:57 pm | [0] comments

    Saturday, July 28, 2012

    Obesity And Social Diversity

    I suspect that a big part of the increasing obesity of Americans is due to ethnic diversity. It's a paradox, right? Think of Hispanic families having a picnic or Asian families taking an after-dinner walk. You would think the inclusion of such family-oriented cultures into America would increase socialization and reduce obesity?


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Sat, Jul 28, 2012 8:57 am | [0] comments

    Friday, July 27, 2012

    ​Increasing Protein/Reducing Curbs Works

    Several authors recently have misconstrued the meaning of Sacks FM et al: Comparison of weight-loss diets with different compositions of fat, protein, and carbohydrates. N Engl J Med 2009;360:859--. The authors said that the NEJM study shows there is no difference in weight loss between a high-protein diet and a high carbohydrate diet, implying that Atkins and the rest of us got it wrong.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Fri, Jul 27, 2012 10:06 am | [0] comments

    Thursday, July 26, 2012

    MEN AND WEIGHT LOSS

    Men and Talking

    ​When I meet new patients, I can't tell who will be a weight-losing star and who a flop... except with men. I can always tell with them. The men who come in talking and don't stop will be flops. The silent ones, if they aren't angry, will be stars. You can tell if men are angry--they broadcast it with their body language. The only reason men can enjoy playing poker is that they can't read body language. Any woman, if she deigned to play such a trite game, would beat the men, because women can read body language.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Thu, Jul 26, 2012 10:20 am | [0] comments

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

    ​The Reason for the Difference between Men and Women

    ​The male species :-) evolved from stone age hunters practicing persistence hunting in midday in hot Africa. Working as a team, shouting, the men would flush a large animal. The animal would easily run away, a distance and stop. The men would catch up and flush the animal again, persisting until the animal, unable to lose heat except by panting, developed heat exhaustion and stopped trying to escape. The men did not overheat because they, unlike every other animal on earth, lacked body hair and sweated on their whole body surface. Persistence hunting is the reason human beings lack body hair and sweat.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Wed, Jul 25, 2012 9:06 am | [0] comments

    Tuesday, July 24, 2012

    CARBS

    Carbs And Obesity Reduce Height

    One hundred years ago the Dutch were 2" shorter than the Americans. Now they are 2" taller. Indeed, west Europeans in general are taller than Americans. The NPR story today correctly identified our crappy health care system as one of the causes, and the fact that a few American children don’t get enough to eat, but the story completely missed the most important cause–the new American emphasis on carbs.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Tue, Jul 24, 2012 11:57 am | [0] comments

    Monday, July 23, 2012

    REASON TO EAT

    ​The Only Three Reasons To Eat

    My daughter Rachel, a competition-dancer and motion-picture-animator, taught me that in good dancing and good animation, there is an illusion of continuous motion, but what we really see and remember is a series of poses. The brain does not easily remember smooth motion itself.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Mon, Jul 23, 2012 10:50 am | [0] comments

    Sunday, July 22, 2012

    Zen And The Art Of Losing Weight

    I re-read Eugen Herrigel's wonderful 1953 book Zen and the Art of Archery, an 80-page gem about learning Zen through the process of learning to shoot arrows accurately in a relaxed, mindless manner. At one point Eugen asked the Master why he watched him as he shot, but the Master did not look where the arrow went. The Master gave two answers.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Sun, Jul 22, 2012 12:31 pm | [0] comments

    Saturday, July 21, 2012

    SCIENCE

    ​The Healthy Survivor Effect

    You are constantly seeing articles about studies showing that if you do X, then Y happens. Last week the Press made too much of an epidemiologic study in BMJ Open "showing" that...

    1. Cutting TV viewing to less than 2 hours per day extends life by 1.4 years.
    2. Sitting 3 hours less each day adds 2 years to lifespan.

    It may be true or it may not, but the study did not SHOW it. Epidemiological or population studies cannot prove such a thing; only prospective randomized controlled trials can. Read my book Medical Myths Doctors Believe, available on amazon.com or Kindle, to learn the difference.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Sat, Jul 21, 2012 12:27 pm | [0] comments

    Friday, July 20, 2012

    HOW TO LIVE A LONG TIME

    How to Live a Long Time

    When you talk to very old people who are doing very well, ninety years old, ninety-five, a hundred, you discover they have three things in common. They are not obese. Obese people die young, but the body can handle a moderate degree of overweight pretty well. We are not as delicate as false experts claim.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Fri, Jul 20, 2012 12:19 pm | [0] comments

    Thursday, July 19, 2012

    Not All Opinions Are Of Equal Value

    ​Scene. A call-in radio talk show in which an interviewer questions a thoughtful, qualified guest. People speaking fifth grade English call in. "Uh, I believe that… " yak yak. The interviewer asks the caller to formulate an actual question for the guest. They never do. Their opinion is baseless, usually irrelevant and always unoriginal. You'd rather listen to the guest.

    Thomas Jefferson wrote, "All men are created equal."  He surely did not mean the statement literally. He meant "equal before the law", or maybe "entitled to equal opportunity". But even if he meant it literally, he would have conceded that men don't remain equal.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Thu, Jul 19, 2012 10:26 am | [0] comments

    Wednesday, July 18, 2012

    ​Change My Shingle?

    My approach has continued to evolve. At this point I'm not as focused on weight-loss as I used to be. I want my patients to lose some weight, but more than that, I want them to stop thinking like Americans. If they continue to be materialistic and distracted, there is no way they will keep weight off, no way they'll be happy.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Wed, Jul 18, 2012 8:21 am | [0] comments

    Tuesday, July 17, 2012

    DENTAL DIET

    The Dental Diet

    ​The obese people I examine tend to have more dental caries and gum disease than the lean people I see. No surprise--fat people eat more sugar and more often. So how about the Dental Diet! Get compulsive about brushing and flossing after every time you eat. You would be less likely to snack then. And even if the "diet" didn't lead to weight loss, it would sure lead to healthier teeth.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Tue, Jul 17, 2012 2:40 pm | [0] comments
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