How the Food Network is making Americans fat

Many of you may not be aware of this but I am a huge fan of popular culture. I don’t live under a rock like some busy doctors. And I really think that’s part of what makes my approach so effective.

It helps me have a better understanding of what my patients might be thinking. And it helps me determine the best way to intervene and help them where necessary.

Case in point: Just last week, I saw a patient who has done extremely well under my care. He has lost 30 pounds, he’s dropped his cholesterol numbers by 45 points, and he’s no longer taking statin drugs or blood pressure meds.

I mean, this guy really hit a home run with his lifestyle changes. (Which is something anyone can do if they just follow my New Hamptons Health Miracle—but more on that later.)

Anyway, we were talking and we got on the subject of television. He was telling me which shows were his favorite, and I noticed a predictable trend. They were all on The Food Network.

Needless to say, this didn’t surprise me at all.

To me, The Food Network’s programming is tantamount to food porn. It’s enticing, alluring, electrifying, and most certainly stimulating. And this is especially true for people who have a tumultuous relationship with food.

So it only makes sense that my patients–along with so many other Americans–would gravitate toward it.

This isn’t so bad in itself, really. I’d rather you watch someone baking on television than have you sit down and eat a dozen cupcakes. But the part about it that really bothers me is most Americans are probably watching other people cook on TV as opposed to actually cooking for themselves.

Basically, cooking has become a spectator sport–while Americans keep getting fatter on processed food that comes from a factory.

That’s the real tragedy of this trend. Especially because real, practical, everyday cooking is easy. All you need are a few basics to whip together meals that are nourishing and delicious.

Another patient came to see me this week because she simply wanted me to provide recipes and a set meal plan for her. It’s not an uncommon request from people who are just starting their weight loss journey.

But I generally tend not to comply. Instead, I’ll give patients lists of foods that they can choose from. And then it’s up to you to create your own meals.

Why? Because I want people to see how easy it is to navigate the menu selection, shopping, and cooking on their own .

Of course, this particular patient was a woman of a certain age who had also never cooked in her life. Understandably, she was fed up with trying to find healthy foods from a takeout menu. (Talk about a challenge.)

So, I made an exception for her–and boy was I glad I did.

I sat down and went through all of my books with her. We leafed through literally hundreds of recipes–about 200 per book, in fact–all of which are quick and simple. Even the more gourmet options are still easy.

After all, I created these recipes. And I have no formal training in cooking–just what I learned from my mother and father.

Anyway, I could see her head was spinning when she left my office. But I had faith. And you know what? That little bit of time we spent together paid off.

She called me two days later to say that she had gone to the grocery store and had created an entire day’s worth of food from the recipes. And she was thrilled. Because for once, she was in control–of the quality of her meals, of the quality of her nutrition, and of the quality her health.

And if you ask me, that’s the real joy of cooking.