Obesity by Ted Bacharach MD (retired)

Our problem with obesity has reached a point where it is becoming obvious that all of us are eating too much and a change is needed. More food has saved us from starvation and many of the diseases associated with malnutrition have disappeared. In their place we have gotten fat and diabetes has become a national problem.

How best to solve this problem? The time available to most families for cooking has diminished and with husbands and wives both working, the food industry has been trying their best to provide us with tasty easily prepared foods. The better tasting foods are usually higher in calories but they have made it easy to find tasty calorie rich nourishment. In addition to the ready and easily prepared foods we also have a beverage industry that does their best to provide calorie rich drinks. All of us as well as our kids are getting more to eat than is required to sustain them. Solving this problem is a difficult one and we can go at it two ways. We can try to cut the food intake by trying to regulate what can be sold and if more is needed taxing some items. Taxing is not easy. When times are good the government collects more taxes than they need and very easily find the means to spend all that comes in. It has probably been of some help in cutting cigarette smoking, but the tax on alcohol has not changed our intake. The other means of providing some relief from the obesity problem is to increase the activity that each individual does. Marathon runners can eat large quantities and remain fit. In our daily lives we have managed to avoid walking and we park as close to the stores as is possible even if we have to circle the parking lot three times to get closer. School children usually are sport spectators and are not involved in any activity that requires physical motion. Rather than taxing soft drinks,  it might be better to limit television and computer games. Physical activity is a valuable tool in weight management. The way we live as well as the way we eat are major factors in the obesity problem.

All us as physicians who still have some contact with their patients could help this problem. Unfortunately our contact with our patients precludes this type of activity although in the long run it might do more to help our population than addressing the problem with legislation and taxation.


Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  3 comments for “Obesity by Ted Bacharach MD (retired)

  1. big picture doc
    July 4, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    Oh please. Another good ol boy older doc trying to blame women who work, and defending the private sector. The private sector is giving us factory farming and Altria [big tobacco] makes most of our “food” such as the Oscar Meyer Lunchables. And private sector docs are sitting on their big fat butts prescribing drug like candy [steroids, atypical antipsychotics, antidepressants, TZDs etc etc]. “We have met the enemy, and he is us!” Pogo. See first post regarding greedy physicians.

  2. July 4, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Unfortunately, it is not only the fault of the patients. A large group of doctors, led by the hand by the pharmaceutical industry and their patsy friends, the American Psychiatric Association, are handing out drugs like candy which nearly always have the effect of disabling the brain’s ability to produce the necessary biochemicals which allow the body to process the food which is eaten, leading to obesity and, in many cases, diabetes, all chemically induced.

    I took myself off some powerful drugs in late 2003. I have managed to maintain my mental health much better than I had been doing with the “medications”. In the process, I have dropped from 305 to 230 (so far), and my waist size has gone from 50 back to 36.

    Health care should be returned to doctors who treat patients, not collections of symptoms and diagnoses, and ultimately is in the hands of the patients themselves.

  3. July 1, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    How about doing away with all farm subsidies and encouraging more “real market” -based food subsidies?

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