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    Monday, August 21, 2017

    WHERE’S THE EVIDENCE?

    The Duty Of Smart People

    ​On NPR I saw that the American Heart Association recommended against drinking coconut milk. I assure you, reader, this was done on the basis of no evidence whatever. The thinking was that coconut milk is high in saturated fat, and saturated fat is used in the synthesis of cholesterol. All true, but (A) reducing saturated fat in the diet has never been shown to reduce blood cholesterol, and (B) reducing blood cholesterol has never been shown to reduce heart attacks or deaths. In my office are posted 23 articles in major journals, JAMA and Lancet, showing that the higher the blood cholesterol the longer people live. And there is nothing on the other side. If you think the august doctors of the American Heart Association would not make such a basic mistake, you are a dreamer. It’s as though when you get your MD degree, you get a license to say anything you want and it will be deemed true.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Mon, Aug 21, 2017 5:58 pm | [0] comments

    Saturday, March 05, 2016

    Methuselah ate what he found on his plate

    Methuselah ate what he found on his plate,

    And never, as people do now,

    Did he note the amount of the calorie count;

    He ate it because it was chow.

    He wasn’t disturbed as at dinner he sat,

    Devouring a roast or a pie,

    To think it was lacking in granular fat

    Or a couple of vitamins shy.

    He cheerfully chewed each species of food,

    Unmindful of troubles or fears

    Lest his health might be hurt

    By some fancy dessert;

    And he lived over nine hundred years.

    —Anonymous


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Sat, Mar 05, 2016 10:32 am | [0] comments

    Thursday, February 25, 2016

    SPORTS ILLUSTRATED MODELS

    ​Reflections on the cover of Sports Illustrated

    The cover of Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition this year features plus-size model Ashley Graham on all fours in the surf. I’m not sure which sport this photo is intended to illustrate, but my first guess is . . . swimming :)

    I had to get that joke out of the way. In fact I use the magazine the following way. Next to the Sports Illustrated, there are copies of Self magazine and a Barbie doll. I tell female patients there is no reason they have to look like Barbie. None of the models in Self magazine has visible breasts or buttocks. I point out that the women in men’s magazines have those features. Witness buxom Ashley. Women don’t have to be skinny to be attractive.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Thu, Feb 25, 2016 4:42 pm | [0] comments

    Friday, January 15, 2016

    ​What I Wish I Had Said

    The other day a nurse working at a weight loss clinic called me on behalf of the doctors running her clinic to find out what I do that makes me so successful with the group I am so successful with, i.e. motivated smart people mostly women with a BMI of 25-35. This group constitutes the majority of the people coming to my clinic. Of course my view is that the people with a BMI of 25-30 don’t need help at all, since that group has the longest lifespan, lowest mortality, NOT the skinny people (Flegal 2005). My other view is that we should not be using BMI, but instead some measure involving abdominal girth, waist-hip ratio or body fat percentage.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Fri, Jan 15, 2016 12:17 pm | [0] comments

    Wednesday, December 02, 2015

    OPINION

    ​Train Your Dog

    Everyone of you has a dog, and that dog is you. You have to train your dog. One of my patients complained that she could not lose weight because of poor sleep. She would lie awake for hours in the middle of the night, then get up and get something to eat figuring that "she was awake anyway."

    But I pointed out that she was not eating because she was awake, but rather staying awake so she could eat. Picture her as a dog, I said. Stay awake, girl. Stay awake... stay awake... good girl. Now you can have a treat.

    When she looked at the problem in this way and stopped putting treats in the refrigerator, she returned to sleeping through the night.

    You can think of many ways in which you train yourself to do things you don’t want to do. Take control. Especially parents. You can’t train your kids if you make no effort to train yourself.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Wed, Dec 02, 2015 12:28 pm | [0] comments

    Wednesday, November 11, 2015

    OPINION

    ​Health and Wellness

    While I was growing up and even when I was in medical school, the word "healthy" meant simply ‘not sick’. It was the opposite of "sick". Now and unfortunately, the word has evolved to mean a zen-like state of wellness. Another funny new word–wellness. The reason this is all bad is that it gets people to think badly about themselves, to worry, reducing the quality of life and spoiling the fun. For no benefit to the person. The idea only makes money for doctors, drug & insurance companies and lawyers.

    The mutation of the word "healthy" began with the idea that real disease could be prevented by doing the right exercise, taking the right vitamins and supplements and getting an annual check-up at the doctor. All this began in the sixties on the basis of no studies at all. Please don’t think American doctors have anything to do with science; they are interested only in money.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Wed, Nov 11, 2015 10:14 am | [0] comments

    Friday, May 23, 2014

    GETTING IT WRONG

    Most of What You Know is Wrong

    Most new patients assume they already know about fat and weight loss; their only concern is to score more diet pills. As long as they remain in that frame of mind, they won’t learn what I teach. So I try to open their minds by saying...


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Fri, May 23, 2014 6:06 pm | [0] comments

    Wednesday, April 23, 2014

    ​The Highest Value

    What is men’s greatest value? What do they value above all else? The answer is independence, i.e. the fact or the illusion that they control something external to themselves. Men will give up everything else to preserve this. When a wife or a government steps on their sense of control, men bite back.

    What is women’s number #1 value? Connectedness–to family, friends, teachers, place and tradition. Women will give up everything to keep these connections. If a husband steps on his wife’s sense of connection to friends or family, he is in trouble.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Wed, Apr 23, 2014 2:13 pm | [0] comments

    Monday, December 23, 2013

    LOVE

    ​The Dialectic of Romantic Love

    As said before, I use stereotypes a lot in the office. It’s okay as long as (1) they are mostly true, (2) the use is helpful and (3) I am aware there are exceptions. I also use stereotypes in life. Here is one.

    (A) Most men fall in love inspirationally, in a flash, then later search for logical reasons for their choice. They fool themselves into believing it happens the other way around.

    (B) Most women choose mates logically, taking their time to do so, then later “find love”. They believe it happens the other way around. 

    This way of men and women is ideally suited to propagate the species.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Mon, Dec 23, 2013 1:15 pm | [0] comments

    Monday, December 09, 2013

    RACE

    ​A Christmas Message

    I have never done a Christmas message among my Messages of the Week, but this year I will do one. About race. What has that to do with obesity? Nothing. Since race does not exist, it has nothing to do with anything. There is no biological definition of race. It is an illusion that continues to shame the United States. 

    The French purposefully make no public recognition of race, don’t ask about it, don’t keep statistics. When recently a right-wing newspaper called Minister of Justice Mdm. Taboura a monkey, there were huge counter-demonstrations all across France. I was proud of the French for that.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Mon, Dec 09, 2013 1:29 pm | [0] comments

    Friday, November 15, 2013

    When Good Advice Is Bad

    Eighteen years ago when I began in bariatrics, I did not know what to tell people. I knew that the existing nostrums were all wrong. So I made up stuff. In my defense, I always checked the results of my advice and discontinued it when it wasn’t working. 

    For example, I used to tell people to eat when hungry and stop when full. Sounds right, doesn’t it? But it was a disaster. People started gaining weight. I quickly snuffed out the advice. In postgame analysis I realized that fat people assume they are always hungry and feel full only when the overfull stomach is stretched. My advice had given them permission to snack and eat huge suppers, the very things I now oppose.

    I’ve got it straight now. All of my advice is battle-tested.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Fri, Nov 15, 2013 2:25 pm | [0] comments

    Friday, November 08, 2013

    THE NEED TO BE CONSISTENT

    Why Doctors Seem Stupid

    My best friend Larry Hobbs persuaded me to read Influence: Science and Practice by Robert Cialdini. A boring title, but a life-changing book. It has already allowed me to understand something that had puzzled me. Earlier this year, I prepared some large posters containing the super-abundant evidence that cholesterol has nothing to do with causing heart attacks and statin drugs such as Lipitor cause harm for no benefit, a fact I have testified to, as an expert witness, in court.  If you don’t already know about this, watch Heart of the Matter Part 1 - Dietary Villains. I loaned the posters to a large number of doctors including cardiologists. None of them ever commented on the poster or showed any evidence they had read it. Their office staff, nurses, PAs and patients read it. They told me so. 


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Fri, Nov 08, 2013 10:47 am | [0] comments

    Thursday, October 17, 2013

    CYNICISM

    ​American Cynicism

    When I was shopping for vegetables at Whole Foods to please my daughters, an overweight woman walked over and asked whether beets can be eaten raw.

    "Do I know you?" I wondered why she picked me out.

    "No."

    "Well it happens I do know, but why do you want to eat vegetables raw?"

    "I’m on a raw diet. I heard that most vitamins get cooked out in the water."


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Thu, Oct 17, 2013 9:23 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

    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

    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

    Sunday, February 06, 2011

    A Class About Class

    ​Some of my friends have accused me of being a socialist, which is of course completely accurate and perceptive. And they wonder how I could possibly be one after the fall of Communism, to which I reply that Communism didn't fall. In the Soviet Union then and in China now, a wealthy class of party-members exploits the workers. Uh, that's not what Karl Marx proposed. I bet my friends never read the Communist Manifesto. If they ever do, they should read the new annotated version by Phil Gasper, especially pages 93-117 "Is the Manifesto Still Relevant?"


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Sun, Feb 06, 2011 11:22 am | [0] comments


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