Hangin’ with the Bariatrics

April 19, 2010

ASBPLogo I mean, how silly can you get. I’m spending a perfectly glorious, warm, sunny Sunday morning/afternoon in Seattle (yes, I said ‘sunny’ and ‘Seattle’ in the same sentence – in April, no less) indoors with a those who are inclined to attend an obesity conference convened by the American Society of Bariatric Physicians (ASBP). This I did of my own volition and with specific intention. I did not simply stumble upon this crew while rollerblading the Burke-Gilman Trail. If the term ‘weirdly obsessed’ comes to mind, no worries. Gary Taubes used those exact words to describe me.

But there I was. Loving it, and regretting that I hadn’t had the opportunity to spend more time with this group during their time in Seattle. For one, I had the opportunity to meet a whole host of authors whose works have greatly contributed to my thinking about diet, nutrition and wellness – without whom my current state of health and fitness would have been considerably less. I certainly would not have started this blog. The ASBP is a medical professional association (physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, clinical researchers, etc.) focused on treatment and management of overweight patients. In addition, however, it has become a magnet for those who are actively seeking to re-orient our dietary priorities world-wide.

The majority of the (admittedly self-selected) clinicians who I heard speak and with whom I spoke directly, are convinced that significantly-restricted carbohydrates is the ‘front line’ of obesity treatment and prevention. This is not to say there is not a diversity of thought on many issues. One issue that engenders a great deal of discussion is the extent to which pure ‘energy balance’ contributes to lipogenesis. My sense this is an issue that will continue to rage, but I was very surprised to see a near consensus that restriction of easily digestible carbohydrates (sugars/starches) is a major contributor to obesity (more specifically, lipogenesis). Before you go ‘well, duh!’ a scant few years ago this view was literally scoffed at by anyone with a string of initials behind their name (save the very few and proud), so don’t start with the ‘everybody knows this’ stuff.

I had an opportunity to meet and speak with meet Michael Eades (missed Mary Dan by a whisker), Eric Westman, , Mary Vernon (both principles in IMS along with Gary Taubes), James Wortman, Stephen Phinney, Andreas Eendfelt (careful, it’s Swedish), Jimmy Moore and Nora Gedgaudas. Wow, that’s a lot for one day! Even got an opportunity to experience some sloppy ‘Protein Style’ burgers at the local Red Robin with Jimmy and Christine Moore, Andreas and friends. A very fun group!

… and that’s not all. Owing to the ongoing bizarre activities of a certain Icelandic volcano, Andreas gets to enjoy a bit more of our hospitality. Perhaps a super slow/Body by Science workout this evening. Stay tuned.

Thanks to all of you for your warmth and hospitality. This weekend was just the inspiration I needed to step up my efforts. Watch out!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s