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The weight of obesity

Life on the scale

From Monday's Globe and Mail

Last July, Juliann Sliwa walked into the Wharton Medical Clinic, weighing 481 pounds. Her goals: To cross her legs. To tie her shoes. To dance. To live past 47. Reporter Hayley Mick and photographer Kevin Van Paassen document a year of struggle ...Read the full article

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  1. David Gold from Canada writes: What a load of crap!

    Dr. Wharton's clinic sells Optifast (an all liquid diet) and it's from the proceeds of those sales that he can pay his staff.

    If you don't believe me, why not have a peek at Dr. Wharton's comments on

    He's just another guy out to make a buck on the backs of the obese.
  2. david ha from Toronto, Canada writes: Obesity is a complicated disease requiring a multi-faceted treatment. That said I disagree with what Dr. Wharton says; the bottom line is that all the associated treatment diagnosis and counseling won't do anything if the patients don't also change their ways and eat less and exercise more.
  3. Wind Songs from Canada writes: In our present system, my wait times to receive cancer treatments have exceeded the extended wait times that were relayed in Dr. Wharton's rating comments. Those frustrating comments are understandable but the circumstances are not unusual in many medical offices in Canada.

    The doctor has been deemed as rude, condescending and uncaring as per these few, yes few comments. What is the percentage of unsatisfied to the satisfied?

    My oncologist also received a slam in one of these sites on the web. He has seen thousands of patients, including me, and is one of the most celebrated pioneers of his study concerning thoracic issues. It seems Dr. Wharton may be needing an overhaul or review of his office procedures if these comments are valid.

    I cannot surmise what happened in the office with Dr. Wharton and his patients but I can say he may be frustrated with trying to help when the patient has not reciprocated. Perhaps his tough love does not work with everyone.

    Are these people, who have had such a hard time with Dr. Wharton 'really' tried one hundred percent with him? I would like to hear his side before making any judgments. There is always both sides to consider.

    True percentages of failures and successes in his career is making me very curious.

    What about it Dr. Wharton?
  4. Hart Oldenburg from winnipeg, Canada writes: It will only get worse! Idiotic food guides, check their performance, have , with the help of monster food portions at restaurants promote weight gain.
    Not much of this had to happen if only a viable prevention message had educated the public. A message to outline the function of food, its relation to physical comfort, all supported by discipline.
    It did not happen because obesity has not been defined by the 'expert' as yet. Go
  5. new beginning from Toronto, Canada writes: David Gold from Canada writes: What a load of crap! Dr. Wharton's clinic sells Optifast (an all liquid diet) and it's from the proceeds of those sales that he can pay his staff. He's just another guy out to make a buck on the backs of the obese.
    Sorry, David, but that chip on your shoulder is showing.

    They have to eat to live and they have to diet to get the chance to live. Dr. Wharton is offering them that chance. The supermarket has the foods that got them into trouble. This may get them out of it. Do you have a better solution?
    That said, government has an obligation to its citizens to keep its costs down where possible. The idea of sending Ontario patients to the US for surgery that costs more than double the Canadian rate boggles the mind. A second such obligation is to reduce the ill-effects of some less than optimum foods by reducing or eliminating ingredients that impact health, and ultimately, costs to OHIP. Transfats and high fructose corn syrup contribute to needless weight gain and health problems coming from obesity and poor diet. There is no such thing as eating transfats or HFCS "responsibly." These have no redeeming qualities to human life except for the profit margin improvement to the companies that use them in our food products.

    The people profiled in this article have more problems than just these two ingredients. They need much more help than most of us, just to survive. The rest of us need some re-education or some basic education about food, our bodies, and our responsibilities to ourselves.

    Government will move to protect its finances by cutting back some programs in order to continue others. If obesity and its related illnesses continues to impact OHIP's bottom line, either taxes will rise to cover it, or more medical programs will be cut, or both. When are we going to see some positive action from government to deal with a progressive problem with escalating costs, both human and financial?
  6. new beginning from Toronto, Canada writes: I went to a men's weight loss program in Toronto to lose 50 pounds of fat and regain my life. It took me a year to get there. I have maintained that loss for five more years. People pay to go there. Some succeed, others don't. The rate of success of weight loss programs generally is not great. The one I went to has a better success rate that most because of its formula of ongoing support. When I am asked what the failure rate of this program, I reply that it works 100% if you work it 100%. That's the truth. The other part of the truth is how honest and diligent you are in your desire and actions to lose the weight. There's no magic bullet, pill or wand. It takes work.

    Some people need a formula- eat two of these with one of those and none of that. Some people need guidance to understand their complex connection to food in order to break the habit and build a new healthier one. Some need firmer controls in their lives. But, at the end of the day, the truth is that if you don't change your attitude to food and exercise, you will fail to lose, or to maintain the loss.

    Bottom line, if you don't know how to do it, find someone who does who can instruct, educate, and encourage you. Hey, even Tiger Woods has a coach. Are you any better than him?

    Here's one answer-
  7. Jane Smith from Hamilton, Canada writes: Despite the efforts of those who want to create careers out of medicalizing obesity, the fact is that exercise and diet i.e. "calories in-calories out" is the only real answer. One has only to look at average body weights of, say, 50 years ago in our country to recognize that a more sedentary lifestyle and the advent of "junk" food has had a devstating impact on the health of many.

    I speak as one who can gain weight very easily. It takes self-discipline and self-restraint. Exercise is critical and although starving oneself is not necessary and, indeed, is counterproductive, cutting out the junk is essential.
  8. Nick Rivers from Canada writes: My wife has recently reached the mark of 50-lbs. lost (through her/our own methods). She is beginning to elicit remarks from her co-workers on the amount of weight she has lost and "how good she looks". One day a group of women that work with her in her office, in casual conversation, asked her how she lost all that weight, no doubt looking that for that magic easy bullit like Atkins, The Zone, or even stomach surgery. All women were described as "large", including one that is morbidly obese, in the 350-400-lb range. Her response was that it is not a diet she is on, but a complete lifestyle change (for the both of us). "For one thing", she remarked, "we do not eat fast food anymore. No McDonald's, no Wendy's, no Arby's, no Taco Bell, nothing. Never." The overwhelming response was, "Oh, I couldn't give that up." The small crowd quickly dispersed, and my wife noted that at least one of the women immediately went for a not-so-nutritious snack from the vending machine. They didn't even stick around to hear about the 45 min. of intense exercise every day, and the phasing out of all processed foods from our diet. I honestly don't know how to feel about it. We're talking about a sweeping 100% response: giving up fast food and processed junk foods is not worth the prospect of losing weight and a healthier self. It was a bit startling to me - not even one single woman was even "pretend-interested" in trying.
  9. Chris Edwards from Greater Sudbury, Canada writes: Overwhelmingly negative responses. Not surprising. Obesity truly is the last frontier of bigotry. There are few subjects about which people will be so judgemental and sanctimonious. It is the very antithesis of what is required for obese people to arrive at a healthier weight, why so many are depressed, and why so many aren't able to find real happiness even if they lose the weight without psychotherapy to get over the many years of bullying they endure.

    I would rather be "morbidly" obese than suffer an emaciated soul.
  10. B H from Toronto, Canada writes: quote: "Despite the efforts of those who want to create careers out of medicalizing obesity, the fact is that exercise and diet i.e. "calories in-calories out" is the only real answer." While this is technically true, the vast majority of thin people I know, including myself, don't have to make a conscious calculation to have the calories add up right. It's something our body does for us: our body doesn't seem to tell us it's hungry unless it actually needs food... And if we sit still too long we get restless and start figiting. I can't honestly take much personal credit for the fact the the calories add up well for me. And I have seen little evidence to suggest that previous generations fought a constant daily battle to stay at a healthy weight either, (perhaps because many simply didn't have enough food, especially junk food, and spare time available to get so overweight, for one thing??) ... But I think it would be very difficult to get myself to 500 lbs even if I was trying hard to do so -- I would have trouble eating that much without feeling sick, for one thing, let alone keeping it down in the long run. I tend to think that even though the 'calories in, calories out' thing is literally true, there's more than that going on to explain why most people have no clue how many calories they eat a day and yet just unconsciously stay at a healthy weight, while others have so much trouble, and seem to have to fight their own bodies to make it happen.
  11. Alistair McLaughlin from Ottawa, Canada writes: A big problem is the advice we've been given. How many years now have commercials been running telling us that "20 minutes of moderate exercise three times a week is all you need". What a load of crap that is. Unless you're an octogenarian, 20 minutes of "moderate" exercise is almost worthless. Sure it's better than nothing, but nothing isn't working so well. People need to get off their a$$es and do some high-intensity workouts. That requires real discipline and commitment. A 20 minute walk three times per week and taking the stairs once in awhile is an abhorently low level of activity for a species that - not to many generations ago - was chasing down its own wild game for supper.
  12. Tracy Bracy from Toronto, Canada writes: I think people would be surprised at what medical people consider clinically obese. There are a lot of people 25 to 30 pounds over weight and a doctor would consider this a medical issue.
  13. Chrissy Simon from Canada writes: I found this article interesting, but I still don't get how someone lets themselves reach 481 pounds in the first place. I would think it must be hard work to eat enough to put on that much weight, and I have to wonder why anyone would let themselves get to that point before seeking help. For instance, why didn't Ms. Sliwa realize she had a big problem when she hit 200 pounds or 250? Surely it must take some time to balloon to almost 500 pounds. I wish Ms. Sliwa all the best, but it seems like a lifestyle issue to me. She's going to need to change her habits to keep off any weight she manages to lose with the help of the clinic.
  14. rethink it from Canada writes: i signed up for this 100 day mountaineering school program in my 20's. The first exercise of the course was to spend one day and evening in the wilderness with no food just water by yourself. Then the instructor showed up to see how you did? i always remember this he took this pinecone and picked a seed out of it and ate it and said something to the effect that even the smallest amount of food can make you feel satisfied in the wilderness. he asked me if I wanted to eat one of the pine cone seeds- i said no and thought he was nuts!! however, i've always remembered the conversation
    I think it was preparation for the remaining 99 days which were mostly `10 day trekking sessions in groups of 12 over long and high distances where weight was a factor and therefore, we only had one bowl and one cup of food and drink at each meal. You learned to savour your food and there was simply no more.
    i was never fitter or better in my life and wish i could have spent the rest of it living this way- when restaurants serve up their giant portions to myself after a day of no activity its hard to justify eating it.
  15. A. B. from Toronto, Canada writes: Ms. Sliwa, if you happen to be reading this, let me say that your courage and achievements have really impressed me. Good luck, and don't give up!!
  16. Keating Gun from Canada writes: It's absurb for Ontario to spend $28,000 on US surgery that could be done here for $16,000 (only $6,000 if they do outpatient 40-minute removeable gastric banding) but spend nothing on highly skilled psychologists to help patients to mediate stress in healthier ways. When patients are confident that they can deal with their emotions minute-by-minute and recover their equilibrium quickly, they won't want to eat unless they are actually hungry. It's also appalling for doctors to do nothing before patients reach such drastic weights. Weights of 300 pounds in men and 250 in women should signal a medical emergency.
  17. Laura B from Toronto, Canada writes: God bless her, I hope she achieves her goals and gets her life back!
  18. Keating Gun from Canada writes: Western medicine or Allopathy (symptom removal) is the problem here. Obesity is the main symptom of a compulsion to eat to mediate stress. Cure that compulsion with more appropriate coping strategies, mastery of anxiety and stress, and new social habits to maintain equillibrium and the rest is unnecessary. The obese need to overcome this compulsion with highly skilled help, not to endlessly be left to their own devices and a little doctor encouragement. For major obesity, wouldn't a six or 12-month scenic camp experience be best and cost less than $28,000? With campers doing as much upkeep, cooking, serving and marketing as possible, such a camp would be a life changing experience that could cost $200 or less per week. The neediest could sign on for two years and work for camp fees as soon as possible. Giving people a real chance is far more useful than quick surgery with no guarantees of sustainability. Ontario has lots of deserted camps close to cities that could be refurbished for this use.
  19. Mrs. T from Canada writes: The issue is consumption. Stop overeating. Critical in the overeating is the processed foods/fast foods of our day. The chemicals added to "improve taste and flavour" are also addictive in that you crave more of the same. Elimination is the only way to avoid those processed foods. The saddest, and most frustrating thing that I witnessed on a program of a 600lb obese man trapped in his own room, was his family bringing him 8 fast food hamburgers with fries for lunch. Hello?? How is this helping? I wish Ms. Sliwa the best on her way to her goals and hope she has a good support network to help her.
  20. My eyes are open, Are yours? from Canada writes: I find it interesting that though Ms. Sliwa lost more weight than either of the other two patients mentioned, they were considered a success and she was not?

    Also, why does no one recommend swimming for patients of this stature? Surely that is a better form of exercise than lifting weights, when each of their arms weighs something like 100 lbs already? At least they could move around, do some water aerobics type thing, which would be more rewarding than struggling around when you are that heavy.

    No point criticizing how they got like that, just move forward. Don't dwell on what you did before, change it.

    Try adding nutritious foods, water and multivitamins to you diet, you may find you eat less of the other stuff naturally.

    Beware of optifast, look what happened to Oprah.
  21. D K from Canada writes: To quote Mr. Gold from Canada: "What a load of crap! Dr. Wharton's clinic sells Optifast (an all liquid diet) and it's from the proceeds of those sales that he can pay his staff. If you don't believe me, why not have a peek at Dr. Wharton's comments on He's just another guy out to make a buck on the backs of the obese." I find it funny how people are so quick to make negative comments about rarely hear of a job well done. Mr. Gold, I'm not sure if you had a bad experience with Dr. Wharton or just didn't get along with him, but those are some pretty strong comments. Yes, he does sell Optifast, but the last time I checked, he wasn't forcing patients to buy is one of the many tools that he has made available to his patients fight this disease. In a perfect society people would work for free and have no expenses or bills to pay. What other type of business do you know of that gives things away for free? The comments on the rate your MD site go back to my first statement about people making negative comments only - most doctors on there have them if you haven't noticed. Dr. Wharton is one of the few out there who are trying to treat and manage obesity, and is probably one of the most passionate about his cause. Perhaps it would help not to blame other people for your problems and work together with him in trying to fight this. In response to Keating Gun regarding surgery...the reason why patients are flocking to the US to have gastric bypass is because wait times are much shorter for surgery (a few months as opposed to a few years here in Canada) - this is a big deal if your health is on the line. From what I know, lap band is not covered by OHIP (whereas bypass is), so that $16,000 you mentioned is out of patient pocket - a lot of these patients cannot afford this. If this has changed, please let me know.
  22. Kim Philby from Canada writes: While I have no doubt Ms. Sliwa would really like to change, I think she needs to be a bit more honest with herself. She spends her free time napping, scrapbooking and messaging friends? She claims she's too stressed to concentrate on her diet? It sounds like, rather than put in all the required effort, she's looking for some kind of magic bullet to solve her problem.
  23. Northern Girl from Iqaluit, Canada writes: Nick Rivers - I think your post hit the mark 100%. I speak here as someone who has lost 50 pounds and put about 20 of it back on (through my own stupidity and slack eating habits) AND as an on again/off again smoker. I see the EXACT same excuses from both smokers and obese people. Yes, I realize that nicotine is an addicitive substance but what we don't often look at is addictive PERSONALITIES. This acticle hit the nail on the head that very obese people see food as a comfort vehicle. Same with smokers. Unless you REALLY want to change, you will not. So, how do you make people really want to change? Good question. For me, with food, I went on the Atkins diet because me hubby got Type II Diabetes and I wanted to be supportive. Once I lost 15 pounds and started looking better, I started seeing junk food and cookies and cakes and (you name it) and they just looked GROSS to me! I didn't want them any more because I was feeling SO good about myself. When it comes to smoking, its when I start coughing and coughing and people are staring and I start feeling like a total freak that I actually WANT to stop and then am able (although not forever yet but hopefully some day). So, I think its a matter of finding that trigger in a person that makes them WANT to stop their self-destructive/self-indulgent behaviour. I'm sure its different for each person. Having said this I'm still 20 lbs over weight and only stopped smoking (yet again) three days ago. BUT I'M STILL TRYING!!! :)
  24. Nick Rivers from Canada writes: Good luck with quitting Norhtern Girl!

    Interestingly enough, I also was a smoker (quit 7 years ago).

    You know, it's funny. People say I have great willpower to be able to give up smoking, and then to be able to stay away from fast/junk food so completely. Funny thing is that that willpower wasn't anywhere to be seen while I smoked myself towards a wheezing cough and ate myself to a blood pressure scare.

    I wish I could say we should all be able to quit these temptations before comprimising our health, but it ain't that easy. Nicotine is a lovely goddess, and fried chicken tastes too good!
  25. B H from Toronto, Canada writes: quote: "For instance, why didn't Ms. Sliwa realize she had a big problem when she hit 200 pounds or 250? Surely it must take some time to balloon to almost 500 pounds." Did it say somewhere she didn't? It certainly seemed to me she had been trying various diets for most of her life but never managed to make them work, or would lose some then gain it right back.
  26. Edward Eh from Bathurst, Canada writes: Looking for support from co-dependant friends and enablers is just another cop-out!

    The problem AND THE SOLUTION is in their heads!

    Spend $1000 on Tony Robbins and Obesity will be gone!
  27. victoria m from Canada writes: What I think people who are extremely critical of people like Ms Silwa are missing is that morbid obesity is a mental health and sometimes genetic problem that manifests physically in overeating and lack of physical exercise. Telling someone who is morbidly obese to just stop eating so much is like telling a depressed person to "cheer up", telling someone with chronic fatigue to just "be more energetic" or someone with schizophrenia to just shut out any voices in their head. Obesity is compounded by self-esteem issues leading to a vicious cycle. Support groups and therapy are often essential to get the person on the road to better health, both mentally and physically. Also, I don't think Ms Silwa was considered a "failure" but they did make her situation seem more dire than the other two despite her larger weight loss. I think this is because the other two have good momentum, are still committed to their diets and were feeling better about themselves whereas Ms Silwa seemed to have slid back into depression and and sense of hopelessness. Ms Silwa's situation just further showed that it's not necessarily about current weight and pounds lost, but how you feel about yourself that makes you feel like a success. Good luck to all of you!
  28. Chrissy Simon from Canada writes: Victoria M, Do you have any theories on why the disease of morbid obesity has suddenly appeared? Look around, and you'll see so many fat people now. Even many children and teenagers are seriously overweight these days. Why is it that suddenly (say over the last twenty years) this disease has struck people in all aspects of Canadian society? I find it particularly troubling that children are suddenly "catching" this illness, too. (There was one girl in my son's swimming class last spring who was huge. I doubt if she can cross her legs or tie her own shoes. The only other person at the pool anywhere near as large was her mother, so perhaps it's passed through families.) If obesity is really a disease, then researchers need to study the reasons why, a generation ago, hardly anyone suffered from the disease of obesity and now in Canada, it's unsusal not to have it.
  29. B H from Toronto, Canada writes: quote"If obesity is really a disease, then researchers need to study the reasons why, a generation ago, hardly anyone suffered from the disease of obesity and now in Canada, it's unsusal not to have it." They do study it, actually, and theories abound. For me the point about the rapid change is that I completely don't believe, and have seen no evidence, that a generation ago people had fundamentally different personalities. So, I suspect that either some environmental difference has triggered an actual physical change (e.g. in hunger control mechanisms or whatever), or as likely as not, it's only recently that people (especially in some families) have really been put in a situation where there was too much food available and where physical movement wasn't necessary to day to day life (to holding down a job or even making a meal or getting anywhere). For almost all of human history, a strong drive to eat as much as possible and rest whenever possible would have been a good thing and given people a greater chance of survival. For almost all of human history, not being quite physically active most of day just wasn't an option.
  30. Chrissy Simon from Canada writes: BH, I find it hard to believe that "some environmental difference has triggered an actual physical change (e.g. in huger control mechanisms or whatever.)" It just seems like a pretty big co-incidence that this mysterious physical change in some people has occurred at exactly the same time Canadians have been exposed to junk food and cut back their activity levels. I also find it odd that this physical change in some people only seems to occur in Western societies with sedentary lifestyles and access to McDonalds and other fattening junk food. I think your second theory is more likely: people are now in situations where there is too much food available and where physical movement isn't necessary for day to day life. Unfortunately, some people choose to overeat and under exercise. I disagree that making unhealthy choices like this is really a disease, and I'd go so far as to suggest that parents who feed their unsuspecting children into obesity as so many seem to do these days are guilty of child abuse.
  31. K M from Canada writes: I have been to Dr. Wharton's clinic, and from my perspective, he is the first doctor who treats obesity as "the disease". Bringing your weight down, understanding why you weigh what you weigh, designing a diet specifically for your needs, and getting you help from other specialists...his approach is mind blowing in its totality of its attack on this disease. There was no pressure to use any products - I chose to use some because when you are on a calorie controlled, high protein high fiber diet, it is hard to get the appropriate mix of foods. Besides, the fact is that one of the reasons we are unhealthy today is because we don't take the time - or have the time - to cook from scratch. Hence the popularity of fast food restaurants. Looking at what it cost to use some of these products - with no waste whatsoever - it's not much more costs than buying a fast food lunch. I believe so much in the approach that Dr. Wharton has, plus the support his clinic gives you, that I have lost over 45lbs in just a few months. Yes, he is a doctor that tells you straight out what you have to do to succeed; there is no pussyfooting around going on with him! But he knows what he is doing. In the last 4 months, I have seen a number of specialists and GPs about my weight. I can tell you, that, as Canadians, we need to be consumers of our own health care - the conflicting opinions I have from Drs was tremendous. Right now, Dr. Wharton, his staff, and his clinic to me have the best care and approach I have seen. This article was great. Not everyone will succeed with weight loss - their minds have to be in it. They need a good support network from friends, family, coworkers. For someone like Ms Sliwa, who I met the first day I went to the clinic, it's harder. She is at home a lot, doesn't get out - though she seems to have a great time at curvacious events - but she still is not just out in the real world.
  32. jammin t from Canada writes: Nick Rivers...I could not agree with you more! What you and your wife have done is exactly what more people need to do!

    Juliann - I want to applaud YOU for taking steps to own your health and your life! You deserve to dance again - do not give up - it will be really hard but you CAN do this!
    It's complicated at first but eventually, the healthier food choices will give your body the nutrients it needs to function better, including to help with depression.
  33. Tracy B. from Home, Canada writes: life is hard you gotta move. no matter how sick you are.
  34. Joyce Bernadette from Canada writes: I was watching a show about a morbidly obese woman on TLC and the one thing I noticed was how many times she said, "I can't." I can't stand up, I can't get in the van, I can't walk" was an endless cycle of her saying to herself "I can't." There are so many times in my life where I think to myself, "How the heck am I going to do this?" and that is when I start my mantra, "I can do this. I can..I can...I can..." I say these words until I find success. Yes, there are days when I would rather eat chips than eat my veggies, there are many days when I would rather lie about than go for a walk or a bike ride, there are many more days when I would love to start smoking again - but I believe that I am capable of changing my behavior for the better. I can do it - I have proved it again and again to myself. Change has everything to do with your mind. If you believe you can create change - you've got a fighting chance. The second you defeat yourself mentally - forget it. No pill, no diet, no doctor will help you. It starts and ends with your mind. Your subconscious is a powerful beast - speak positively to yourself - change those inner tapes - tell yourself you can do whatever you want to do - and understand that if you believe it - it will be. Everything starts with your attitude and your mind. You can do it!!!
  35. My eyes are open, Are yours? from Canada writes: We must all be very cautious about situations that leave us bedridden for any length of time, which I think was one issue in Ms. Sliwa's case. I was hospitalized for 1 week, during which I ate nothing (it was a GI issue) and in that time, in spite of being made to get up and walk around a bit every day, I lost a huge amount of muscle mass. By the time I got home, I could hardly walk to the end of the driveway. It took a good two years to get back to 'normal', because you are starting from such a low level of fitness that you can't even do the simplest exercises. Fortunately for me, I was fit going into it. Even so, that first month back it was like psyching up for a marathon just to go take a shower.

    So when a morbidly obese person says 'I can't', maybe they're telling the truth. Still have to try though, but they probably need help to figure out what the first step can be (because even taking a step can be difficult).
  36. Susan Martsch from New Westminster, Canada writes: More power to her! Maintaining an acceptable weight on (society's scale) has always been an issue with me. Many things contribute to this condition and we get "stuck". Whatever works for you as long as it isn't detremental to your health....Go For It! Good Luck!. Sumart.
  37. stephen ottridge from vancouver, Canada writes: Food portions are even bigger in the US. If you are dining out as a couple choose a dish you both like and ask for an extra plate. Or eat 2 appetizers for your dinner as I did recently in Chicago. My wife did the same. One of the appetizers was moules et frites. I've nevered been served frites with moules as an appetizer in canada, as a main dish yes. My Chicago appetizer was almost as big as a main course in Canada.
  38. Kat Wilson from Canada writes: Chris Edwards from Greater Sudbury, Canada writes: Overwhelmingly negative responses. Not surprising. Obesity truly is the last frontier of bigotry. There are few subjects about which people will be so judgemental and sanctimonious. It is the very antithesis of what is required for obese people to arrive at a healthier weight, why so many are depressed, and why so many aren't able to find real happiness even if they lose the weight without psychotherapy to get over the many years of bullying they endure.


    Overwhelmingly negative responses. I'm not seeing any. Not seeing any bigotry in this comment thread either. But your post is chock full of rationalizations, blame and excuses for avoiding the obvious. What are you going to do? Wait until every human being on the planet learns some manners? Yes there are m-o-rons in clown shoes out there who bully others but for you to actually say - and think it makes sense - that you would rather be morbidly obese than suffer an emaciated soul tells me you're making excuses. People who say they are a better person for being morbidly obese are just as full of it as the bullies who pick on people. Morbid obesity isn't a sanctuary, it doesn't make you closer to Godliness; but it is a living hell for your body and your soul. Don't kid yourself. Excess fat kills. If you want to turn that into something religious, you're an idiot.
  39. Jay Wortman MD from West Vancouver, Canada writes: B H, you are asking the right questions. To find the answers, read Gary Taube's book, "Good Calories, Bad Calories".
  40. susy q from Canada writes: I greatly empathize with Ms. Silaw's problem - but she has always had the opportunity to make a choice- to eat or not to eat. This is similar to the situation I find myself in - Type1 diabetes diagnosed almost 56 years ago [as a toddler]. I've had choices to make as well- perhaps that is why I'm still here and at this point in time requiring only minimal medical outpatient vists [and I currently drive / walk myself to these]. The part about Ms. Silwa's story I find absolutly disgusting though is that the taxpayer may be on the hook for a $16,000 / $6,000 surgery because she can't even at this stage say 'no'. I currently understand the taxpayer / government won't help with the cost of my insulin [ one of the newer ones availble in Canada but used for much longer in Europe / USA] - cost is about $80 / bottle / month - 6 weeks. So I repeat - we all have choices - even the taxpayer - it looks right now as if the taxpayer is more interested in the glass that is half[?] empty rather than half full.
  41. Little Bear from Canada writes: Here is what I know

    I am male and 67 years old and have been heavy all my life and about 40 years ago started on just about every diet you can name including the bought food type the group type and every program I can think of.

    With all the programs and sensible eating and watching calories I became morbidly obese and weighed 303. Yes I exercised and the Dr.s told me that when the famine came I would be the last guy standing as my metabolism was so slow.

    About 10 months ago I started doing more reading and decided to restart the low carb. (virtually no carbs) and am exercising 6 days a week.

    I am down just under 50 lbs and feel great. Raw veggies and meat that is what works for me and is the only thing that works. About a ton to go, but a start. Friends say I am still ugly but less of me, so everybody wins.
  42. Karen Cheyne from Campbell River,BC, Canada writes: By far, the easiest way for this lady, Juliann Sliwa, to lose weight is to buy the book 'The Carbohydrate Addict's Healthy Heart Program' written by Drs. Richard and Rachael Heller and Dr. Frederic J. Vagnini...and to read it and follow it. You don't have to buy special foods or diet pills. All you have to focus on is eating only one meal per day that contains high carbs ( in equal proportion to protein, low carbs and a veggie salad). The other two meals should only consists of low carbs and protein foods. Simple as that. You don't weigh food or measure it ( only roughly...1/3,1/3,/1/3 will do). Your appetite will automatically decrease as your insulin production decreases due to the reduction in high carbs. Don't believe me? Read more on their website ...type in the the above book's name...and you'll reach it.
  43. R OBryan from ottawa, Canada writes: Ms. Sliwa, go for it. We are given one life down here and too often you don't make the most of our time. Go take that full dance with your Mr Burke and use that as your cardio that leads you down a fulfilling path.
  44. Karen Cheyne from BC, Canada writes: Actually, you can now buy this book (Carbohydrate Addict's Healthy Heart program) on for $.01, yep, for a penny and shipping, you can make a profound change in your life. Not one single doctor ever tells you that the reason you continually crave snack food and fattening foods (which are all high carbs) is because these products make your body create excess levels of 'insulin' ...and insulin is what makes you hungry; insulin burns up the sugars and starches in the food you eat and turns them into blood glucose which provides your body with stores all the excess glucose your body doesn't need to provide energy as blood fat in your fat cells for future needs. Eventually, your body becomes insulin resistant; your body cells won't accept all the glucose being created and goes directly to your fat cells around your stomach. If you eat only one meal a day with high carbs, the insulin is produced as I've said, but the effects of insulin dies down in 24 hours and the hormone, glucagon, kicks in and uses up the stored glucose from those fat cells ( in proportion to the energy your body has burned during activity). Insulin facilitates the storage of fat; glucagon helps to eliminate the stored fat. You can only eat high carbs at one meal a day....the more you eat high carbs, the higher the level of insulin you produce. Following this plan, you will lose the cravings in a few days. You must eat your meal within one hour as the longer it takes you to eat, the longer your body thinks it has to keep producing insulin. Following this new method of eating will, most likely, alter your need for diabetic medications. Advise your doctor if you decide to do this...and monitor your blood sugars. This concept will definitely help all three to attain their weight loss goals. For $0.01 just buy this book; you'll be glad you did.
  45. R Smith from Vancouver, Canada writes: If your taking excessive supplements exersizing way too much, obessing about your weight and body image chances are you proably have an eating disorder, you know who your are. Trust me your not alone chances are you know tons of alcoholics maybe some that have attended a 12 step group that have now been are sobre for years. Its no different with food or people that eat compulsively. Once they hit bottom and stop reaching for quick fix (expensive) body altering procedures or pay to lose programs, and admit there not in charge anymore, they can heal. Problem is the medical community and the media is out too lunch. This aint rocket science, people eat crap because some little voice from years back says there not good enough. Its simple you wouldn't feed poison to a baby, why feed it to yourself, your worth it. It all starts with the willingness to change and ask for help.
  46. bill lamoure from Canada writes: Once again we hear from the unknowlegable negative fear of the unknown critices,no research,just jump on the old soap-box and spout off. I am a 60lb overweight patient of Dr. Wharton's. The first thing he said to me was, that there was no magical way of doing this program of his, not once was i forced into or told that i had to purchase any products that he was associated with. Any feedback i recieved was meant with great attitude, professional,and positive input by him and all his medical staff. The man is showing us a new way of life, not a diet ! He tells me if i am willing to be honest with myself, i will suceed, I believe that is the key, I gave 100% to get this way and i must give 100% to achieve my goals. To the know all critics who have answers to what ever the subject is and always negative, never positive in thier comments.When is the last time if ever did you do anything to help another person change thier life around for thier betterment.?? The image that i put forward of myself to myself is very importat to me. But the image that you have of me is unimportant, i personnelly don't care to worry about your sick comments. You negative people really don't serve any purpose in this life. Dr Wharton is changeing lives in a positive enviroment with a proven program. and the by product of it all is a longer,happier, positve lifestyle. He's not selling clothing for the thin, he's not selling gym equipment, he' not pushing pills, but what he is selling, is a better me, a better image of myself, an honest me, and a positive way of life through better eating habits.Dr Wharton has my gratitude for teaching me to understand Calories, protien, Fats, Carbs,Fibre, items i failed to understand before, and didn't care to until i met him and his professenal staff. Keep up the excellent work,so many of us need more like you to enter into our lives. so that we may have lives.
  47. Margaret Gunning from british columbia, Canada writes: I was alarmed to read that Ms. Sliwa spends her days watching soaps, texting and scrapbooking. It would be unrealistic to expect her to do vigorous aerobics, but can't she do upper-body calisthenics or at least some limited walking? A morbidly sedentary lifestyle is an addiction every bit as much as overeating. It's kind of like being in a hospital. "I can't move; I need to be taken care of" - like a terminal patient, or even a helpless infant. I think the underlying needs and emotional problems of extremely obese people are very serious, and almost never addressed. Meantime, we have grotesque things like Wendy's "Baconator": SIX slices of bacon, two quarter-pound beef patties and two slabs of cheese on a huge bun, no doubt slathered with mayonnaise. Add a massive order of fries and we're up to several thousand calories, casually washed down with a supersized Coke. What a strange way to commit suicide.

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