This is an excerpt from a interview conducted between Dr. Daemon Jones and a sophomore from the Marietta College's McDonough Leadership program. She was asked to give her perspective on the following questions for an educational video focused on childhood obesity with an emphasis on how to use personal lifestyle change to effectively address this problem. Question:
What food groups/classifications are the worst contributors to obesity? Fatty foods? Carbohydrate and Lipid combinations like pizza, chips, etc? Meats? Desserts? Or really just processed/refined foods as a whole? Anything you can say here is appreciated.
Answer from Dr. Daemon Jones:
The worst contributors to obesity are foods that are high in fats and sugar and don’t have any nutritional value. Examples of these types of foods are frozen dinners, desserts, cookies, cakes, pastas, white rice, white breads, sugary drinks, sodas, fast food and the like. Fried foods like French fries, fried chicken or fish are also culprits. In the medical community there is a term called the Standard American Diet or SAD Diet. This refers to a diet that is mostly comprised of fast foods, pizza, hamburgers, French fries, soda and sugary drinks. This diet contains high amounts of sugar in the diet, whether it is hidden in processed foods or from cookies, candy, pasta and pastries eaten each day.
Portion sizes are also a determinant of obesity. Many of my patients have no idea about normal portion sizes. Most restaurants serve meals that are much larger than the USDA recommended serving size. As a result, people are eating more food than their body needs and storing it as fat cells all over their body. The lack of exercise is a third key component contributing to obesity. In general Western society has moved to a more sedentary lifestyle because we sit in front of our desks, TV and computer screen.
Is it true that you find that the healthier a person's diet is the better their life will be in ALL areas?
Answer from Dr. Daemon Jones
There have been several medical studies that show the more a person focuses on a healthy or a whole foods diet, the healthier they begin to get on all levels. Physically, as people eat better and lose weight in the process, they start to have better health outcomes. Their risk for heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other chronic diseases decrease. These people have better blood test results, improved blood glucose levels, lower cholesterol levels, lower inflammation markers in the blood and more normalized hormones, including female hormones. Mentally, as people begin to have healthier food lifestyles and more normalized weight, focus and concentration improve, self-esteem and body image levels are higher and people are more confident. Many patients also experience higher levels of energy on a daily basis and they can get more projects, exercise, personal and professional activities completed. Creating behaviors that create health in sustainable ways is a transformative process.
Dr. Daemon Jones