The Thrifty Gene Theory: Survival of the Fattest

The Thrifty Gene Theory: Survival of the Fattest
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Rather than being some kind of disorder or failure of willpower, weight gain is largely a normal response, by normal people, to an abnormal situation.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

It’s been said that “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.” The known genetic contribution to obesity may be small, but in a certain sense, you could argue, it’s all in our genes. The excess consumption of available calories may be hardwired into our DNA.

We were born to eat. Throughout most of human history and beyond, we existed in survival mode, in a context of unpredictable scarcity. So, we’ve been programmed with a powerful drive to eat as much as we can, while we can, and just store the rest for later. Food availability could never be taken for granted, so those who ate more in the moment and were best able to store more fat for the future might better survive subsequent shortages to pass along their genes. So, generation after generation, millennia after millennia, those with lesser appetites may have died out, and those who gorged may have selectively lived long enough to pass along their genetic predisposition to eat and store more calories. That may be how we evolved into such voracious calorie-conserving machines. Now that we’re no longer living in such lean times, though, we’re no longer so lean.

What I just described is the “thrifty gene” concept proposed in 1962: the proposal that obesity is the result of a “mismatch” between the modern environment and the environment in which we evolved. It’s like we’re now polar bears in a jungle. All that fur and fat may have given them an edge up in the Arctic, but would be decidedly disadvantageous in the Congo. Similarly, a propensity to pack on the pounds may have been a plus in prehistoric times, but can turn into a liability when our scarcity-sculpted biology is plopped down into the land of plenty. So, it’s not gluttony or sloth. Obesity may simply be a normal response to an abnormal environment.

Much of our physiology is finely tuned to stay within a narrow range of upper and lower limits. If we get too hot, we sweat; if we get too cold, we shiver. Our body has mechanisms to keep us in balance. In contrast, our bodies have had little reason to develop an upper limit to the accumulation of body fat. In the beginning, there may have been evolutionary pressures to keep lithe and nimble in the face of predation. But, thanks to things like weapons and fire, we haven’t had to outrun as many saber-tooth tigers for about two million years or so. This may have just left our genes with the one-sided selection pressures to binge on every morsel in sight, and stockpile as many calories onto our bodies as possible.

What was once adaptive is now a problem––or at least so says the thrifty gene hypothesis that originated more than a half century ago. It provides a simple and elegant explanation for the modern obesity epidemic and was quickly embraced by scientists and lay people alike. Although Neel later distanced himself from the original proposal, despite remaining mostly theoretical, the basic premise remains largely accepted by the scientific community. The implications are profound.

In 2013, the American Medical Association voted to classify obesity as a disease (against the advice of their own Council on Science and Public Health). Not that it necessarily matters what we call it (a rose by any other name would cause just as much diabetes), but disease implies dysfunction. Bariatric drugs and surgery are not correcting some anomaly of human physiology. Our bodies are just doing what they were designed to do in the face of excess calories. Rather than some sort of disorder, weight gain is largely a normal response, by normal people, to an abnormal situation. More than 70 percent of Americans are now overweight—it’s literally normal.

A body gaining weight when excess calories are available for consumption is behaving normally. Efforts to curtail such weight gain with drugs or surgery are not efforts to correct an anomaly in human physiology, but rather to deconstruct and reconstruct its normal operations at the core.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Video production by Glass Entertainment

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

It’s been said that “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.” The known genetic contribution to obesity may be small, but in a certain sense, you could argue, it’s all in our genes. The excess consumption of available calories may be hardwired into our DNA.

We were born to eat. Throughout most of human history and beyond, we existed in survival mode, in a context of unpredictable scarcity. So, we’ve been programmed with a powerful drive to eat as much as we can, while we can, and just store the rest for later. Food availability could never be taken for granted, so those who ate more in the moment and were best able to store more fat for the future might better survive subsequent shortages to pass along their genes. So, generation after generation, millennia after millennia, those with lesser appetites may have died out, and those who gorged may have selectively lived long enough to pass along their genetic predisposition to eat and store more calories. That may be how we evolved into such voracious calorie-conserving machines. Now that we’re no longer living in such lean times, though, we’re no longer so lean.

What I just described is the “thrifty gene” concept proposed in 1962: the proposal that obesity is the result of a “mismatch” between the modern environment and the environment in which we evolved. It’s like we’re now polar bears in a jungle. All that fur and fat may have given them an edge up in the Arctic, but would be decidedly disadvantageous in the Congo. Similarly, a propensity to pack on the pounds may have been a plus in prehistoric times, but can turn into a liability when our scarcity-sculpted biology is plopped down into the land of plenty. So, it’s not gluttony or sloth. Obesity may simply be a normal response to an abnormal environment.

Much of our physiology is finely tuned to stay within a narrow range of upper and lower limits. If we get too hot, we sweat; if we get too cold, we shiver. Our body has mechanisms to keep us in balance. In contrast, our bodies have had little reason to develop an upper limit to the accumulation of body fat. In the beginning, there may have been evolutionary pressures to keep lithe and nimble in the face of predation. But, thanks to things like weapons and fire, we haven’t had to outrun as many saber-tooth tigers for about two million years or so. This may have just left our genes with the one-sided selection pressures to binge on every morsel in sight, and stockpile as many calories onto our bodies as possible.

What was once adaptive is now a problem––or at least so says the thrifty gene hypothesis that originated more than a half century ago. It provides a simple and elegant explanation for the modern obesity epidemic and was quickly embraced by scientists and lay people alike. Although Neel later distanced himself from the original proposal, despite remaining mostly theoretical, the basic premise remains largely accepted by the scientific community. The implications are profound.

In 2013, the American Medical Association voted to classify obesity as a disease (against the advice of their own Council on Science and Public Health). Not that it necessarily matters what we call it (a rose by any other name would cause just as much diabetes), but disease implies dysfunction. Bariatric drugs and surgery are not correcting some anomaly of human physiology. Our bodies are just doing what they were designed to do in the face of excess calories. Rather than some sort of disorder, weight gain is largely a normal response, by normal people, to an abnormal situation. More than 70 percent of Americans are now overweight—it’s literally normal.

A body gaining weight when excess calories are available for consumption is behaving normally. Efforts to curtail such weight gain with drugs or surgery are not efforts to correct an anomaly in human physiology, but rather to deconstruct and reconstruct its normal operations at the core.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Video production by Glass Entertainment

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

Doctor's Note

If weight gain is largely a normal response, by normal people, to an abnormal situation, what exactly is that abnormal situation? Calorie-Rich-And-Processed Foods (I’ll let you work out the acronym!). That’s the topic we’ll turn to next.

This is the third in an 11-part video series on the history of the obesity epidemic. If you missed the first two, see The Role of Diet vs. Exercise in the Obesity Epidemic and The Role of Genes in the Obesity Epidemic.

There are eight more coming up:

And if you really want to watch them all now, you can grab a digital download from the webinar I did in January: What Triggered the Obesity Epidemic?

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

169 responses to “The Thrifty Gene Theory: Survival of the Fattest

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  1. Wow, a magic pill! And made in the USA. I’ll have to buy a year’s supply.

    Hey, by the way, anybody want to buy a bridge in Brooklyn?

  2. It says there are 2 responses to this thread (where Dr. G. is looking all-animated while he tosses a sexy bra into the air — can’t see the left strap, though.

    Where are they? Let’s see if this one takes.

    1. YR, Reminds me of the old joke:

      A says to B: Do you know how you can tell whether a chromosome is male or female?

      B: No, how?

      A: Pull down their genes

      Everyone: moans, groans and … boo’s

      I know, I know, I’ve been quarantined in isolation too long :-(

      1. So you were one of the little boys behind the garage who said to the little girl, “You show me yours, I’ll show you mine.” :-)

      2. Overeating is a response to way too much stress. The ending of this video was totally lame and unhelpful. This was not one of your better videos.

        1. Mia,

          “Overeating is a response to way too much stress.”

          Evidence, please? Come on people… Yes, SOME people stress eat and SOME people eat when they’re depressed and SOME people eat when they’re bored. It’s not a why over the broad spectrum of humans overeating. Personally, I can’t eat when I’m stressed but back before I went WFPB, I used to want to eat when I was bored.

          There are so many reasons someone might overeat.

          1. S,

            Bored into addiction:

            Sorry, I don’t have any data to back this up at the moment. I would still like to say that I was surprised to learn that a good amount of addiction gets started from being bored and not having much else to do. Not because parents got divorced, the dog died, a car wreck, evil corporations or other bad things. Sometimes an addicting substance (alcohol, food, cigarettes, drugs. . .) is yet a new thing to try, like grape bubble gum, blowing bubbles or Air-Jordan athletic shoes.

            1. Dan,

              I don’t find that hard to believe. I mean I know it isn’t always the case, obviously, and you weren’t implying that. But I know of lots of people who tried drugs, etc. out of boredom. And like I said, I used to tend to want to eat when I was bored.

        2. Bit harsh, and not everyone overeats due to stress Mia. With the prevalence of easy to get and eat processed foods and processed sugar, which most people find very tasty, it’s extremely easy to get overweight fast. No stress required :)

  3. Clean your plate. Don’t waste food. There are children starving in China. Hurry up the bus is coming. We all have heard these encouragements to eat more than we actually wanted to. We are taught to eat until stuffed is ‘normal’ when we as kids eat only until SATIATED which is not the same thing. Many medical professionals recognized this a long time ago and recommended eating only until 80% full and slowing down when eating so signals to the brain that enough has been eaten have time to work. This is why the ‘French Paradox’ is food works. The typical French cuisine has all kinds of fatty rich food, but it is served in small portions (courses) stretched out over time, not gobbled in a mad dash to an American all you can eat buffet.

  4. I have followed you, Dr. Gregor, for many years, and bought your book How Not to Die. Even registered for one of your webinars. I respect your worldview of how humans came to be, but I cannot give credibility to your conjecture about how we evolved over millions or however many years and that we had to eat what we could when we could because we did not know if there would be more food tomorrow blah blah blah. Why is it so hard to believe in a creator and that the creator provided everything the creation needed to live and thrive. We did not evolve from something, we were created to become something. I believe that we were created to eat all the seeds, nuts, berries, roots, fruit, of all the plants that were created for us. Our bodies were created to best digest and thrive with plants as our food. Your view that our bodies evolved to best digest and thrive with plants is so flawed that I could not even begin to give the science behind the flawed reasoning. We believe the same about how we should eat plant-based, but we are coming from completely different beliefs about how and why we should be plant-eaters.

    1. This site has always been about just trying to follow the science and expand our knowledge. Beliefs in things like a creator or other magic are fine on the individual level usually (looking at you crusades) but can’t be expected to be worked into these conversations.

      1. What you need to understand is, this is the very place these conversations should be worked in. The science of creation is the reason human bodies need what they need – plant-based eating.

        1. Debbie,

          “the science of creation”

          Creationism is not a provable thing, but then neither are evolutionary theories–though they’re easier to trace down and make sense of. My point is, though, is that science is more man’s way of understanding what is as opposed to “what is” actually BEING science. So it’s not as though creationism is a science. However, I still think you have a point because in the search of how we came to be, it’s kind of remarkable that creationism isn’t even addressed as a theory. Many would scoff at that, but it’s an unjustified scoff. No one can prove how we got here or why, so to pretend we can omit that as a theoretical possibility in our thinking closes in the box of thinking. So you’re right, why shouldn’t it be worked in a conversation about evolution.

          But to skip over any debate, the bottom line is all that really matters in regards to nutritional science–what is good for us now; what does the science have to say. It already tells us.

    2. Good for you, Debra.

      This TGH is by far one of the dumbest hypotheses I’ve heard in a long time.

      Dr. C’s Hypothesis (DCH):

      There are two sides here. On one side is the over-indulgence, lack of self-discipline, and indifference of consumers. On the other side is the greed of the food manufacturers, who for maximum profits, engineer processed foods that create dependencies and over consumption by their customer base.

    3. … one can search the whole book [Origin of Species] in vain for any real scientific evidences of evolution – evidences that have been empirically verified and have stood the test of time. No proof is given anywhere – no examples are cited of new species* known to have been produced by natural selection, no transitional forms are shown, no evolutionary mechanisms are documented. Actually the whole book is most notable for its complete lack of documentation. It is all speculation, special pleading, ad hoc assumptions. None of the Origin’s evidences or arguments have stood up under modern critical analysis, even by other evolutionists. One can only marvel that such a book could have had so profound an influence on the subsequent history of human life and thought. Dr. Henry Morris, The Long War Against God, Master Books, New Leaf Publishing Group, Inc., p. 156

      * Here, Morris is referring to a macro-evolved, unique species
      —————————–

      The basic pattern it fails to explain is the apparent uniqueness and isolation of major types of organisms… it strikes me as being a flagrant denial of common sense to swallow that all these things were built up by accumulative small random changes. This is simply a nonsensical claim, especially for the great majority of cases, where nobody can think of any credible explanation of how it came about. And this is a very profound question which everybody skirts, everybody brushes over, everybody tries to sweep under the carpet. The fact is that the majority of these complex adaptations in nature cannot be adequately explained by a series of intermediate forms. And this is a fundamental problem. Common sense tells me there must be something wrong. Michael Denton, PhD, interview with Access Research Network
      ———————————-

      Of all the so-called scientific evidences of evolution, the most disreputable is surely this pseudo-science of paleoanthropology, which parades one “missing link” after another to try to prove human evolution, only to see them denied by other anthropologists, if not eventually rejected altogether in great embarrassment (e.g., Piltdown Man, Nebraska Man). Dr. Henry Morris, The Long War Against God, Master Books, New Leaf Publishing Group, Inc., p. 63
      ——————————–

      And the salient fact is this: if by evolution we mean macroevolution… then it can be said with the utmost rigor that the doctrine is totally bereft of scientific sanction… There exists to this day not a shred of bona fide scientific evidence in support of the thesis that macroevolutionary transformations have ever occurred. Wolfgang Smith, professor, Oregon State University, Teilhardism and the New Religion (Rockford, IL: Tan Books, 1988), p. 5

          1. You mean “creationist “science”? No, this is not the place. I’m trying to be polite here but you are making it difficult.

        1. Dr G brought the topic up in the video. He mentions evolution twice in the transcript and alludes to it at least twice more. The “hypothesis” is based on Darwinism.

          If I am disallowed from commenting on specific elements of the video discussion, I am being unfairly denied a right to participate.

      1. Perhaps you need to educate the US National Academy of Sciences about science since you clearly know far more about it than they do.

        They put out a book (free to download) years ago about science , evolution and creationism. Water off a duck’s back apparently.
        https://www.nap.edu/catalog/11876/science-evolution-and-creationism

        And perhaps also educate mainstream religious denominations that don’t just reject science because they don’t like it, unlike science denying cults
        https://www.nationalacademies.org/evolution/science-and-religion

        “Is Evolution a Theory or a Fact?
        It is both. But that answer requires looking more deeply at the meanings of the words “theory” and “fact.”

        In everyday usage, “theory” often refers to a hunch or a speculation. When people say, “I have a theory about why that happened,” they are often drawing a conclusion based on fragmentary or inconclusive evidence.

        The formal scientific definition of theory is quite different from the everyday meaning of the word. It refers to a comprehensive explanation of some aspect of nature that is supported by a vast body of evidence.

        Many scientific theories are so well-established that no new evidence is likely to alter them substantially. For example, no new evidence will demonstrate that the Earth does not orbit around the sun (heliocentric theory), or that living things are not made of cells (cell theory), that matter is not composed of atoms, or that the surface of the Earth is not divided into solid plates that have moved over geological timescales (the theory of plate tectonics). Like these other foundational scientific theories, the theory of evolution is supported by so many observations and confirming experiments that scientists are confident that the basic components of the theory will not be overturned by new evidence. However, like all scientific theories, the theory of evolution is subject to continuing refinement as new areas of science emerge or as new technologies enable observations and experiments that were not possible previously.

        One of the most useful properties of scientific theories is that they can be used to make predictions about natural events or phenomena that have not yet been observed. For example, the theory of gravitation predicted the behavior of objects on the moon and other planets long before the activities of spacecraft and astronauts confirmed them. The evolutionary biologists who discovered Tiktaalik predicted that they would find fossils intermediate between fish and limbed terrestrial animals in sediments that were about 375 million years old. Their discovery confirmed the prediction made on the basis of evolutionary theory. In turn, confirmation of a prediction increases confidence in that theory.

        In science, a “fact” typically refers to an observation, measurement, or other form of evidence that can be expected to occur the same way under similar circumstances. However, scientists also use the term “fact” to refer to a scientific explanation that has been tested and confirmed so many times that there is no longer a compelling reason to keep testing it or looking for additional examples. In that respect, the past and continuing occurrence of evolution is a scientific fact. Because the evidence supporting it is so strong, scientists no longer question whether biological evolution has occurred and is continuing to occur. Instead, they investigate the mechanisms of evolution, how rapidly evolution can take place, and related questions.

      1. Sydney, that is sheer stupidity and literally the rebuttal would be “I do believe in a creator because there is a creator.” These things can neither be proven nor disproven. Too bad people aren’t intelligent enough to be respectful of one another.

        1. Why should anyone be respective of aggressive stupidity? Especially when it is not respectful of those who are not similarly deluded.

          Not believing in a creator because there isn’t a creator seems the most intelligent reason for not believing nonsense obviously invented by priests and conmen. After all it is the reason why Jainism and Buddhism don’t believe in creator gods either. Even the higher reaches of Hinduism don’t seem to accept this idea of creator gods leaving gods to the naive and ignorant masses who take comfort from such things. It’s also hard to believe that the Jewish/Christian god could have created anything since he was impotent against the Philistines. As gods go, this one sounds distinctly puny.

          Judges 1:19 King James Version (KJV)
          19 And the Lord was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.

          1. Mr. FF, “Aggressive Stupidity”? As I found out posting here as a newbie, you are an arrogant, opinionated person who puts down anyone who says anything you disagree with.
            You are the reason I rarely visit this site.
            And, btw, although I don’t know that much about nutrition, came here to learn, I have a PhD in Aeronautical Engineering, and am a Christian.

            1. Bully for you, Marty.

              It’s true that I challenge people who think that their own opinions are more important than the evidence and promote claims that will damage the health of people who are taken in by them. It’s called an exchange of ideas. If you don’t want people to critique your opinions, don’t post them. and if you don’t like my posts don’t read them.

              Post things in a public place and expect to be challenged on them. it’s a bit much to complain later that somebody was mean to you because they didn’t just agree with you or let false claims just slide by.

              This is a site about nutritional science. It is not a site for people to their parade religious beliefs or promote science denying anti-evolutionism. even if they have PhDs. Try being a bit more grown-up about these things.

              1. “This is a site about nutritional science. It is not a site for people to their parade religious beliefs or promote science denying anti-evolutionism. even if they have PhDs. Try being a bit more grown-up about these things.”

                And evolutionary theories are theoretical. Just because someone believes in creationism doesn’t mean they’re denying the role of evolution and I don’t recall seeing that happen here. But rather just implementing the belief that we came from a creator and things were designed with a purpose and not just evolved due to circumstances. I agree with Debbie in that this is a totally legit topic to share that under and it’s disappointing how intolerant otherwise intelligent people can be.

                1. S

                  This is ridiculous. The US National Academy of Sciences has clearly explained what a scientific theory is. I have even posted a quote form the Academy detailing this explanation. And a link to its publication on this very issue. Yet here you are stating ‘And evolutionary theories are theoretical.’

                  Then you continue

                  ‘Just because someone believes in creationism doesn’t mean they’re denying the role of evolution and I don’t recall seeing that happen here. But rather just implementing the belief that we came from a creator and things were designed with a purpose and not just evolved due to circumstances. I agree with Debbie in that this is a totally legit topic to share that under and it’s disappointing how intolerant otherwise intelligent people can be.’

                  Totally unbelievable. How can anyone write such things and still expect to be taken seriously.?

                  Perhaps if I could do so, I too would believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster

            2. Incidentally Marty you clearly had no problem with S’s ‘sheer stupidity’ comment but you chose to take offence at my ‘aggressive stupidity’ comment.

              Are we to assume that it’s therefore OK for Christians to describe posts by non-Christians as stupidity but when non-Christians describe posts by Christians as stupidity it is arrogant and opinionated?

              1. Tom,

                I could be wrong but I believe the issue was not the use of the word stupidity, but where it was directed. My comment was directed at an illogical phrase (and I know you would argue my description of that phrase) stated by someone with a sharp and impolite tone so it was kind of even playing ground. But what you called “aggressive stupidity” was just someone opting to share their spiritual beliefs and place that in the discussion which comes off as intolerant and then some. You’ve also I think more than implied that you think Christians are stupid for being Christians.

                I have no problem with rough talk or calling people out for reciting false information (provable false information that could physically harm e.g we need to consume cholesterol).

          2. Fumbles,

            Wow, I’ve never seen you come off so biased. This subject is clearly a pet peeve of yours.

            Stating your beliefs is neither aggressive nor stupidity… C’mon. Yeah you might not agree with her point of view but she said absolutely nothing disrespectful and she wasn’t being aggressive, just engaging back and forth in conversation.

            “Especially when it is not respectful of those who are not similarly deluded.”

            You’re clearly coming from a place of bias. What is it about her belief that you find deluded? That she believes in a creator? Because that is not delusion, that is a disagreement you happen to have with her. Or that she’s saying it should be discussed here? I still don’t see how that is deluded, but rather a person sharing their perspective. In any case, there’s no reason to actually be disrespectful. But I wasn’t saying Sydney was being disrespectful in that he should only respond with compliments and agreeability, but rather that he took the sheer belief in God or a creator and mocked it childishly.

            “Not believing in a creator because there isn’t a creator seems the most intelligent reason for not believing nonsense obviously invented by priests and conmen.”

            That is the most ignorant I’ve ever heard you sound. Provide scientific evidence that proves there is no God or no creator and no spirituality and that you know how we got here, why we’re here, and all the other mysterious of the universe. Until then, on the contrary, it seems the most UNINTELLIGENT assumption to take an aggressive stance on. Belief (such as not believing in a creator) is one thing, but insulting through mockery and calling others’ beliefs “nonsense” when you have no capability of providing proof and only an argument, is disrespectful and not a very intelligent way of being. Not believing in something you cannot prove does or does not exist, Fumbles, is also having faith and a belief.

            1. As it might be easier to get what I’m saying, saying “I don’t believe in a creator because there is no creator” and saying “I believe in a creator because their is a creator” is as valuable as a debate between anecdotes e.g. “banana make you fat because I got fat eating bananas” vs. “bananas do not make you fat because I did not get fat eating banana.” The whole thing, is bananas…. (couldn’t help myself)

                1. I understand your point S but as a Christian you yourself are also biased. So your remarks on that are very much a pot calling the kettle black

                  As for Sidney’s comment, it’s obviously shorthand for I don’t believe in a creator god because there is no (evidence whatsoever for the existence of a) creator god ……………… let alone the christian creator god. That’s why I thought your response was unnecessarily harsh (a bit rich coming from me I know but …..).

                  Also, it’s worth pointing out that you and others here appear to be unaware of the scientific meaning of the word ‘theory’ which may account for much of the confusion evident in some of the posts about the theory of evolution.. Further the posts that attempted to lecture us on what good science is – creation ‘science’ – deservedly merit the description ‘stupidity’ Perhaps I should have just limited myself to calling them obviously incorrect statements made with a forthrightness that that they definitely do not deserve but I admit to being sparked by your ‘sheer stupidity’ comment.

                  Your argument that I need to prove that there is no creator god is fairly typical of some religious apologias. You will perhaps understand why this argument is widely considered laughable when I respond that you need to prove that there is no Easter Bunny, or Loch Ness monster or fairies or leprechauns. Or phlogiston or ether. Or mother goddess.

                  As for ‘Not believing in something you cannot prove does or does not exist, Fumbles, is also having faith and a belief.’ No it isn’t. It may be a belief that falls short of absolute certainty because it is simply impossible to prove that something doesn’t exist. But that’s not the same thing as ‘faith’. As Paul says “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” [Hebrews 11:1] . Christians have a faith, atheists don’t. We are agnostic on the point of whether there is a creator god but we choose not to believe in one because there is no evidence of one nor is there any scientific (or philosophical) reason to postulate one. Big difference. And we challenge believers to provide evidence or a t least a good reason.

                  In any case, the other argument that there is a creator god therefore evolution can’t be or at least isn’t true is obviously nonsense. There is a huge logical gap between the proposition that there is a creator god and the proposition that evolution isn’t true. The latter does not automatically follow from the former. I make no apologies for describing a number of such propositions made in some posts as nonsense because they literally do not make sense. For example, mainstream christian denominations and even Roman Catholicism seem to have no trouble reconciling a creator god with evolution. The idea that a creator god, assuming it exists and has an interest in a single lifeform on an obscure planet in an insignificant galaxy, would work through evolution and suchlike mysterious ways, doesn’t seem that hard to grasp. It’s a lot simpler than the doctrine of the Trinity for one thing.

                  I have recently been enjoying the Yale courses on the old and new testaments as well as the lecture by famous new testament scholar Bart Ehrman. People with an interest in christianity might also find them interesting

      2. I don’t believe in a creator because there is no creator.
        —————————————————————————
        Pfffftttt! Next you’ll be tellin’ me there’s no Krypton planet! ‘-(

    4. I find it ironic than a plant-based advocate like Dr. Greger would deny the Bible’s creation account when the first mention and promotion of plant-based eating in in the creation account, in Genesis 1;229-30

        1. I mean Genesis 1:29-30. Got a problem with this keyboard- or maybe my fingers. Anyway, perhaps I should take what I said back in light of the transcript: ” “Our bodies are just doing what they were DESIGNED to do…” If they were designed, then they didn’t evolve by random chance. So it seems that Dr. Greger is giving an unconscious nod to creation in spite of himself.

    5. Debra, I agree with you that our bodies have not evolved to eat the junk that we now consume. Our bodies were designed to eat plants, berries, nuts, seeds and legumes but we are also able to eat other foods such as animal products when we need to do so to survive. The creator made a wonderful machine (our bodies)which can endure all kinds of abuse and still live and thrive. Unfortunately, the abuse that our bodies receive on a daily basis now is way above anything that could have ever been imagined. The body is designed to store calories so that if food is unavailable, we are able to live and sustain ourselves until we have more food. This mechanism is what makes the body so perfect at storing excess calories and, since most people consume way more calories than we need, the body stores those calories for a time when there will be no food. Unfortunately, there is always lots of calorie laden food and very few opportunities to burn those calories so the excess is constantly stored as fat. Yes the body is perfectly designed to be healthy and strong and sustain itself on little food if need be. The problem is we don’t live that way anymore, we all overeat and eat chemically designed, calorie processed food. Yes, the problem is not the design of the human body, it is the amount of junk eaten on a daily basis. Eating a whole food plant based diet eliminates that equation and restores the body to vibrant health and desirable weight.

      1. Rhonda,

        “but we are also able to eat other foods such as animal products when we need to do so to survive. The creator made a wonderful machine (our bodies)which can endure all kinds of abuse and still live and thrive.”

        Scientifically, that is untrue… our bodies cannot thrive on the consumption of animals, it can simply survive for a time.

        Speaking from the view of creationism, if you’re going by Christianity, there is actually a story where God sent the people manna (a heavenly bread) but the people demanded quail, so God let them have the quail they demanded and with it came pestilence. So from a Christian prospective, consuming the lives of others which we have no need to consume, causes disease. Scientifically, this is backed up–the consumption of animal products is linked to all major diseases and the consumption and exploitation (so that is to say, also using horses for labor, etc.) of animals is shown to be the cause of viruses which was presented by Dr. Greger here: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/pandemics-history-prevention/

    6. Debra, I believe in creationism too and probably am on the same page as you in regards to how and why we should be plant-eaters, but not everyone believes this and it’s not the scientific consensus so you should expect to hear things from a strictly evolutionary perspective in most scientific discussion. And even in my personal knowing that all life was created, I personally think there is also something to be said about evolution so you can take what you want from it. In any case, the bottom line is all that really matters, so a theory you don’t agree with doesn’t matter all that much for the purpose of the video.
      If you want to speak from your truth, your beliefs, you totally should but I wouldn’t complain about others not presenting the information according to that.

    7. I agree with you on being created to eat plant-based. The point of evolving over millions of years is the only point I disagree with when I here the Dr. speak. It’s not even based on evidence, which makes me wonder why he would keep referring to it, as if it’s been proven. The millions of years could be dropped from the video’s and make his message more creditable. Otherwise, I just love you Dr. G.

  5. The Creator made us to eat raw WFPB, which would make us all lean. Many people reject their Creator because we want to follow our own destructive desires, rather than trust and obey God, allowing the Holy Spirit to control our thoughts and actions, including what, when, and how much we eat. Even those of us who had an upbringing that encouraged eating whatever we desired, whenever we wanted to, can overcome this learned behavior, and change with the Lord’s power.

    1. Thanks, Betty. It will cost you to say that, as I’m sure you are aware, but thank you anyway.

      I’d say the quality of this website is taking a definite turn for the better. =]

    2. This really isn’t the place for religious or spiritual debate, but in no teaching of any religion have I ever heard that God or a higher being controls our thoughts or actions or would like to, literally the opposite is true in Christianity… he gave us free will and all that. Pretty sure the same for Hinduism given the whole karma thing. Also, we know enough to know for a fact that eating cooked foods is fine depending on the food and eating all raw is actually not optimal. Remember, guys, you can have any spiritual belief you want, but don’t lay it down like a fact especially when the science shows otherwise because it makes those who believe in God or a higher power come across as stupid. And even though it’s not like a collective–all atheists nor all Christians nor all agnostics nor all Jews, etc. think the same–it still leaves an impression whether or not it should.

  6. I never fell into the obese category until I started eating WFPB. Every video I watched or book I read said not to worry about calories, eat as much as you want, until you are satisfied. I don’t eat loads of nuts or avocado or tofu. I don’t cook with oil. I eat salads the size of my head for lunch. I am never happy with one bowl of brown rice or potatoes and veg or beans for dinner; night time is when I want to eat my largest meal. No medications, over 50, I haven’t been sick in years. I don’t want to give up this lifestyle. I have no idea what category I fall into, but if I had to last through a famine, I would be very unhappy but I would survive! I am who I am, sadly so.

    1. Patty, Dr Greger’s Daily Dozen does include suggested serving sizes. There are several videos describing the plan, and a free downloadable app that also lists servings sizes.

      As you probably know, “How Not to Die” also lists servings sizes at the beginning of each chapter for each food group. They are not large. I dont bother cooking rice because it isnt worth the trouble for a 1/2 cup serving.

      If I was a 6’2″ man who runs 10 km /week, I would be eating larger portions (maybe daily doz x 2), but Im not.
      Being 5’5″, and active, the approx 1450 cal from Daily Doz is perfect. Less activity would mean less calories required. Whole foods, no grain products. And after watching Dr Greger’s videos about breakfast , I switched, and now make an early small supper.

    2. Patty, I do watch my weight and have been eating WFPB for eleven years and lost 45 pounds over the years. If I eat any processed Vegan food, cheese, meat, etc. I will gain weight. And, if I eat too many carbs, I can also gain. But, the biggest thing I have found is how much I eat at night. I try not to eat after 6 and sometimes have a huge meal around 4 and that is it for the day. If I do that, I can eat just about anything and not worry about gaining. But, I can eat a stalk of celery after 8 and gain a pound. I advise you to eat vegetables and potatoes for breakfast, have a huge salad with lots of raw veggies, greens, beans, oil free dressing and few nuts for lunch and have steamed veggies for dinner and try not to eat after 6. You will lose weight!

      1. Thank you, Rhonda. I understand Dr Greger says eat like a pauper at night. I just don’t want to. I love a full belly at night. Not so much when I am running around during the day. I will give your suggestion a try! Be well…

    3. I’m in the same boat. We (DH and myself) ate vegan for 5 yrs. he lost 15 lbs and I found them…on my belly and hips. One day, out of curiosity I took one of his test strips and tested myself. I panicked at what I saw and had an A1c done, which came in at 5.9. I reviewed our eating patterns, looked for traces of animal products and found none since a birthday celebration 5 months earlier. Went keto, lost the 15 lbs easily, got my AM sugars down to the 80s and life was good again for about 4 yrs. Now we are back in veganville and again I’m seeing increasing weight and higher AM sugars. I haven’t been below 100 for two weeks. Not sure what to do. Glad this works for others, however.

      1. Lauren

        This site doesn’t advocate ‘vegan’ diets. It advocates whole food plant based diets which may or may not include small amounts of animal foods. If people eat whole plant food diets 9ie no animal foods whatsoever), Dr Greger advises people to take some supplements for optimal health
        https://nutritionfacts.org/2011/09/12/dr-gregers-2011-optimum-nutrition-recommendations/

        Actually, Dr Greger has been saying for years that many so-called vegan and vegetarian diets are unhealthy, eg this video below uploaded in 2017 but filmed in 2003
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ibPqDPEF4U

        As for keto, that is yet another iteration of the low carb diet with a cool new name

        “This study prospectively examined the relationship between low carbohydrate diets, all-cause death, and deaths from coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease (including stroke), and cancer in a nationally representative sample of 24,825 participants of the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) during 1999 to 2010. Compared to participants with the highest carbohydrate consumption, those with the lowest intake had a 32% higher risk of all-cause death over an average 6.4-year follow-up. In addition, risks of death from coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, and cancer were increased by 51%, 50%, and 35%, respectively.

        The results were confirmed in a meta-analysis of seven prospective cohort studies with 447,506 participants and an average follow-up 15.6 years, which found 15%, 13%, and 8% increased risks in total, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality with low (compared to high) carbohydrate diets.”

        https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/08/180828085922.htm

        Good luck to you but it seems to me that your dietary choice carries some significant long term health risks.

    4. Patty, that is hard to believe and don’t think that I do. But if it is true, I would go to a doctor and get your thyroid checked and perhaps other things that could be the cause.

      About the daily dozen, Dr. Greger himself said that the portions suggested are the MINIMUM suggestions. They’re not to imply that we should be portion controlling. Some like myself eat a lot more than that and others eat less. The point is, it’s there to suggest making that the minimum daily intake but also he’s not saying stuff yourself.

    5. Hello Patty,

      It sounds like you’re doing a lot of things right! However, there may be more strategies that you can implement. I would first suggest reading Dr. Greger’s book, “How Not To Diet.” It breaks down all the latest science on weight loss. I would also suggest downloading the “Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen” App and looking through the new “21 Tweaks” section, which are 21 additional strategies, to a whole foods, plant-based diet, that may accelerate weight loss.

      I hope this helps,
      Dr. Matt

      1. Dr. Matt, Thank you. I also own How Not to Die and How Not to Diet. I am only 1/3rd thru How Not to Diet. I will make sure to work on finishing it up!! I do have the app but have not accessed it in over a year. I appreciate this website and all the additional education received in the comments. Be well…

  7. In the 60s and 70s there was much less obesity, in grade school there were a handful of kids that were over weight in the entire school. I see kids getting out of grade school now and most are over weight. The atrocious American diet is solely to blame for that, not genetic adaptions acquired over the eons. Where ever the American diet is adapted, obesity becomes prevalent along with all the detrimental health side effects.

    1. James you are so right! I was the heaviest in school in the sixties and I weighed 135 pounds but most of the girls were around 100. Nowadays, it is just heartbreaking to see how overweight most of the kids are in school. I also watch “My 600 pound Life” and it is very obvious how they got in that shape.

    2. You are probably right although I wonder whether increasing portion sizes are also part of the problem.

      “Our data indicate that marketplace portions of foods that are major contributors of energy to US diets have increased significantly since the 1970s and exceed federal standards for dietary guidance and food labels. This trend can be attributed to multiple causes, some of them economic. Since the 1970s, the food service industry has grown larger, and people have been eating out more; marketing has become more concentrated, and larger numbers of new products have been introduced.32 Widespread price competition has induced manufacturers to introduce larger items as a means to retain and expand market share; profits for most food items rise consistently when manufacturers increase product size.33,34 From a marketing standpoint, oversized packages draw attention to a new product, as research has shown for beer, soft drinks, and fast food.35–37 Concern about value also drives the food service industry to offer larger products; many restaurant owners report that customers want more food for their money,38 and consumers increasingly choose restaurants on the basis of the sizes of food portions.39 Large portions often seem like a bargain: 7-Eleven’s 16-oz Gulp costs just under 5 cents/oz, but a 32-oz Big Gulp is 2.7 cents/oz.”
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-thrifty-gene-theory-survival-of-the-fattest/#comment-600873

  8. I think both divine creation and evolution theories are credible, as we cannot prove or disprove either one. I just disagree with the assertion that God created us to be vegetarians/vegans. First, there is no evidence to that; second, our teeth #6 and #11, also known as canine teeth are perfect for tearing flesh. Carnivores have them pointed for a reason and we do too. If God had created us to be vegetarians or vegans, He would have given us another pair of incisors or molars, instead. Being vegan/vegetarian or any other nutrition option is a matter of choice.

    In our current western society, it seems to be healthier to eat little or no meat and dairy. I am not sure how the Eskimos would have survived throughout the ages, though. And all those peoples and civilizations centuries ago, when agriculture was not as developed and the elements could just destroy a whole harvest. Just my opinion.

    1. Why must it be assumed this “God” must be a “he”? Do people think this entity has something dangling in front of it?

      1. YR, that is so vulgar and disrespectful and you should be ashamed talking that way as a person. But “why must it be assumed?” Um, it mustn’t, who said it must? Christians have a male God and Christ is obviously male and Catholics also have The Blessed Mother. But there are many other religions or even independent beliefs. I know that in some pagan religions god or gods are female. So the answer is it mustn’t be assumed, but is in preexisting religions, obviously. No one said you had to have that belief along with them. You can even believe the toilet paper thing if you want.

        1. Down girl, down! I grew up a Roman Catholic, and was left with an awful lot of questions. There are zillions of people who never even heard of the word God, much less Jesus Christ.

          You’re always scolding people.

          1. Not really, but when people spew out false information like fact or when people make vulgar and disrespectful comments to others or in this case about others’ beliefs, I say something and I’m not going to apologize for it. You’ve rooted me on when I’ve “scolded” or rather expressed myself thusly, when you’ve agreed, but if it should happen to be a disagreeable comment to you, you try to make it out like I’m “always scolding people.” Whatever gets you buy in the day…

            Nothing you responded with has anything to do with what I said to you. What does people “never even hearing the word god” have to do with what I said? I simply said that specific religions have specific beliefs in God, holy spirits, gods, and whatever else I might be missing. Your comment needed to be called out because it was disgusting and horrifically disrespectful and unimpressive to anyone but yourself I suspect.

              1. Dr. J,

                You know that people have serious faith in God, so to make a vulgar comment about the subject of another’s spiritual belief is, I would say, definitively disrespectful. It should be obvious I wasn’t calling her question about the gender of God disrespectful, but the vulgarity attached to it. If you can’t see that just because you were amused by it, then fine, but I would never make fun of someone’s religious or spiritual beliefs especially with vulgarity and that is a simply awful thing to do.

            1. Oh come on S.

              It’s a bit much to criticise YR for being frank about the problems with some of the absurd beliefs posted here. How on earth can some supposed one and only god be male? It makes absolutely no sense and in fact it’s an insult to everybody’s intelligence. YR is quite right to make fun of it and you are quite wrong for chiding her for pointing out that the Emperor has no clothes..

              The real reason is of course that there were once many gods (elohim) and this particular deity (El/Yahwah/Jehovah) had a wife or consort called Ashera, She was the mother goddess. Presumably the Jehovah priesthood didn’t want to share the loot, power or influence and she and all the other gods were eventually written out of existence. But Jehovah remained male.

              Yale has a very interesting course on the Old Testament
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mo-YL-lv3RY&list=PLh9mgdi4rNeyuvTEbD-Ei0JdMUujXfyWi

                1. For what it’s worth, I also thought your comment lighthearted and amusing, and makes a good point. There is far too much political correctness being crammed down throats these days. Some are riding around on such high horses that if they were to fall, it would be like Humpty Dumpty.

                  1. gengo, that is not political correctness, that is real disrespect. God is precious–for lack of better word–to those who believe. To make vulgar comments about God is absolutely a knowingly disrespectful thing to do. Now it seems that when something is truly disrespectful, because of the insane political correctness going on in the world, people can’t decipher between the two. There actually used to be such thing as legit offensiveness and legit disrespect of others, must we let political correctness dumb us down to the point that these things are no longer within our mental capacity? Mind you, you have the right to be disrespectful and I was never saying she didn’t, but I was just calling it for what it was.

                    1. Reason and intelligence are precious to the rest of us too. The idea of a one and only omnipotent god which is male is totally absurd and an affront to reason. No wonder believers don’t want to think about it and make accusations of disrespect to try to prevent others from confronting them with it. Categorise it as ‘disrespect’ and the issue magically goes away. You hope.

                      If you guys want to parade your beliefs here, so be it. But by the same token, others are allowed to present their views also. Attempting to quash opposing views and prevent others from presenting their case by silly accusations of disrespect, vulgarity, crassness etc,, won’t work and shouldn’t be allowed to work.

                  1. So pathetic. Get off my back, little girl! Did you feel unloved as a child? Which is why you are so controlling today? Is it hard for you to keep friends?

                    Never mind, don’t answer. I’m outta here.

                    1. Calling out an offensive comment isn’t being controlling, don’t be ridiculous. I wasn’t even commenting to you anymore, I was responding to others. Why are you upset, anyway? Yours is the supported comment here. Look, if you’re gonna be confrontational in making a possibly offensive joke about someone’s religious beliefs, at least be tough enough to take on a disagreeable reaction.

              1. Fumbles,

                the discussion of the gender of higher powers was never my issue with YR… I thought I made that pretty clear in both of my responses. It was obviously about the vulgarity about the subject of others’ serious beliefs. Just because you can’t understand the weight of that, doesn’t mean it isn’t a disrespectful and childish thing to do.

                Again, many religions have many didn’t subjects of belief, they’re not all male. But specific religions and specific bibles have these specific beliefs.

                “It makes absolutely no sense”

                Well why do you give a flying crap about that, Tom? You already think the belief in any creator makes no sense so why should the genders of them suddenly throw you for a loop?

                You know, I have to say, say what you want, but there are a lot of atheist who can’t even be intelligently respectful of others’ spiritual beliefs and it isn’t the Christians I see here trying to push their beliefs aggressively onto others. They were just sharing and they have every right to and yes, you have every right to stomp your feet about it, but it doesn’t do you any favors.

                  1. I don’t believe that this forum is the place for vulgar, crass, or otherwise objectionable comments/inuendos. This website was or is trying to cultivate a global community, and there will be many visitors who could be seriously offended by comments like we sometimes see.

                1. This is 2020 internet discussion board not a tea party in Victorian polite society.

                  It is perfectly OK to acknowledge and even mention the fact that people (and even deities apparently) have sex organs.

                  Calling comments that illustrate the absurdity of certain beliefs vulgar, disrespectful or crass is an obvious tactic to avoid engaging with, and shift discussion away from, the key point that those comments powerfully and amusingly demonstrate why certain beliefs are flawed.

                  I for one hope that YR will continue to call a spade a spade and continue cracking jokes.

                  1. Some people manage to find a way to make vulgar, crass or unsuitable inuendos no matter WHAT the topic. That is my point. And I hope people grow up and take it elsewhere.

      2. Someone in high school asked what is a dangling participle.
        I said I am not sure but in the dictionary divorce comes before marriage.

    2. Let’s not conflate the informal/ill-defined notion of a theory (essentially the same as speculation, idea, belief, story, dream) with the well-defined notion of a scientific theory. Once you do that there is no point in further discussion as it’s apples and oranges. Without getting mired in philosophy of science subtleties, the key point about any scientific theory is not that it can be proved, but rather that it is, at least in principle, testable and so could be disproved (in practice, this can be tricky).
      Outside of the formal sciences (math, logic), scientists talk about confirmation/disconfirmation, not proof. It’s true that some theories are so empirically secure that most scientifically minded people would consider them “proved”, but that’s really an informal and in my mind, unfortunate use of the term (after all we could be simulated beings and everything we observe could be fake).

      1. “the key point about any scientific theory is not that it can be proved, but rather that it is, at least in principle, testable and so could be disproved (in practice, this can be tricky).”
        This, absolutely. If you posit that all swans are white, you don’t spend your life pointing out white swans. Look there’s one, aha another one over there, I must be right. You spend your whole time doing the best you can looking for a black swan. As far as I know, no one has ever found a black swan regarding evolution. Yes, there are gaps, but so far, no black swans.

        Also, can we please stop with the ridiculous canine teeth argument for the support of eating meat. Yeah, you can rip apart animal flesh with them right after it is marinated and barbecued. Eat all the meat you want, just recognize how you are not really that big bad lion.

      2. (after all we could be simulated beings and everything we observe could be fake).
        —————————————————————————————————————-
        I’ve often wondered if there aren’t more than one God… and they choose different cultures here on earth as their game pieces that they bet on while watching us make our moves.

        If true, we must hope that they have no concept of time, allowing the game to go on for eons. Otherwise, if one of them is a chronic loser, he/she might grab a meteor and kill all the dinosaurs. ‘-)

        Oh, and this would explain the different sexes of the Gods since during game breaks they could then have sex.

        1. Lonie, When you are good, you are good. But when you are bad, you are very bad.
          If you believe in the multiverse or even a single infinite one, there would be plenty of locations for such games. It would be sort of like grandmasters playing simultaneous chess games. There is absolutely no reason to think we are alone.

          1. Lonie, When you are good, you are good. But when you are bad, you are very bad.
            If you believe in the multiverse or even a single infinite one, there would be plenty of locations for such games. It would be sort of like grandmasters playing simultaneous chess games. There is absolutely no reason to think we are alone.
            ———————————————————————————————————————
            Heh, Gengo… I agree our ruling Deities could multi-task, but my thinking is they only sit on the thrones in our Galaxy. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to learn there is one true God of the Universe, or maybe a single Deity in charge of a bunch of Universes.

            To be honest, I quit worrying about that unknowable stuff the first time I heard Peggy Lee sing the song “Is that all there is?” ‘-)

              1. Lonie, You do realize I was joking around, right?
                ———————————————————————–
                ‘-) Indeed I did… I assumed that you, like me, were just using a bit of absurd humor to try and change the direction of the discussion that was becoming way too heated. Hell! we’ll be talking politics next and that’s when we will REALLY become divided… ’cause everyone has a political opinion.

                I could probably start such a discussion right now by sayin’ something like “Richard Nixon was one of our greatest presidents because he got us off the gold standard… making it possible for the current president to give us a 2+more trillion dollar stimulus packages using fiat money!” ‘-)

    3. Caroline,

      “I think both divine creation and evolution theories are credible, as we cannot prove or disprove either one.”

      Agree.

      “I just disagree with the assertion that God created us to be vegetarians/vegans. First, there is no evidence to that; second, our teeth #6 and #11, also known as canine teeth are perfect for tearing flesh. Carnivores have them pointed for a reason and we do too. If God had created us to be vegetarians or vegans, He would have given us another pair of incisors or molars, instead. Being vegan/vegetarian or any other nutrition option is a matter of choice.”

      You are completely wrong. There is a plethora of evidence to this. The science is resoundingly clearly and overwhelmingly so… was that redundant? doesn’t matter, because it can’t be overstated.

      1) The science is the evidence; the way we actually function is the evidence. There is also evidence if you’re looking for it, as to how the science so remarkably aligns with morals and ethics… it’s uncanny. It even aligns with the biblical story of when God sent the people manna (bread) and they demanded quail, they got the quail but they received pestilence along with it. And indeed, as the science shows, not only is the consumption of animals linked to all of our major diseases, but the science shows that the exploitation of animals for consumption or other uses, is where viruses come from including the common cold: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/pandemics-history-prevention/

      2) Most mammals have canines, including herbivores. In fact, the animal with the largest canines on land is the herbivorous animal known as the hippopotamus. Good thing they’re not off trying to eat lions because their teeth are big. Our canines are super tiny, they’re almost cute. And they are not perfect for tearing flesh, that’s ONE of the reasons why humans can neither properly chew (and humans are designed to chew their food unlike carnivores) raw flesh and ONE of the reasons humans cannot tear apart a live or un-skinned, etc., animal let alone catch and kill one without weapons. Like in other herbivores, these teeth are very useful for ripping and tearing plants and biting into fruit such as apples.

      “I am not sure how the Eskimos would have survived throughout the ages, though. And all those peoples and civilizations centuries ago, when agriculture was not as developed and the elements could just destroy a whole harvest.”

      Well eating twinkies is a healthy alternative compared to dying of famine. But the eskimos have very poor health to this day and a short lifespan. Dr. Greger has a video or article on that somewhere around here.

      As for civilizations centuries ago, most of these people lived primarily off of plants. Grains, for example is what soldiers would take to war in a lot of cultures. I know that north eastern Native Americans actually very rarely hunted and rarely fished and mostly lived off of the agriculture of crops and it was the natives’ awesome ability to grow crops that saved the first settler’s lives.

  9. It’s senseless to wage war against God because you can’t win. It isn’t even a”good fight “. I ENCOURAGE the lucky people with the gift of faith. Something undeniable.
    On another subject more specific (If not spiritual) to this site, I can eat like a pig ((or possibly neanderthal like) WFPB style and not fall below 163 (my fighting weight). Plant Strong! PS Not actually a fighter

    1. “I can eat like a pig ((or possibly neanderthal like) WFPB style and not fall below 163 (my fighting weight). Plant Strong!”

      Same!! I eat as much as I want until I’m full and I eat when I’m hungry, but it’s all WFPB. If people would just read “How Not To Diet” they would understand why it’s a completely different story when you’re eating plants.

  10. Dr Greger,

    That one meal may have cost humanity 1 trillion dollars and a million lives.

    Not exact, but it was exactly what I was thinking.

    1. I was happy today because where I live, the curve seems to be flattening a whole month earlier than expected. It is only a week, but the models changed so much in this week that they revised the death estimates by 1500 people.

      I post this video again.

      Watch the hand washing and going to a grocery store sections – maybe particularly the central hub – going to a grocery store section.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxAaO2rsdIs&t=1015s

  11. Thank you Debra. I’ve been wanting to tell Dr Gregor that our creator gave us all the plants that our body needs. No evolution. A creator only. One can look up in the heavens and see everything is I perfect alignment and we have all things needed here since creation to survive. Thank you.

  12. Won’t humans be shocked when they find out we’ve been put here by aliens from other planets. An experiment that’s still ongoing….a work in progress, y’might say.

    *_*

    1. Won’t humans be shocked when they find out we’ve been put here by aliens from other planets.
      ———————————————————————————————————————-
      Yeah, right… and an old clunker like the Millennial Falcon (they had falcons in outer space?) held together with baling wire, was able to travel at Warp Speed? And what is Warp Speed… the speed of light? ITBT, then it would only take hundreds of thousands of light years to reach earth.

      Anybody with any sense of how things work would know we came from sub-terranian moon people… and the moon is not a planet! ‘-)

  13. I think the super abundance of food today is a major cause of obesity. As a child, I remember my grandparents talking about food shortages back in the Old Country (Central and Eastern Europe) and here in America every day was a feast day, Look at an old cookbook and see how the ingredients have changed as in more of everything and bingo, a simple meal of of past generations is a supersized caloric feast. Few of us do hard physical labor. Calories have a way of sneaking up on most people.

    For those discussing creator remember……God made man and Sam Colt made men equal.

    1. I think the super abidance of cheetos is a major cause of obesity.

      Evolutionary theories aside, we already know the science. When we eat whole plant foods, we can eat in abundance and even lose necessary weight just be eating. The science shows it’s what we eat. Yeah, true, when people thought that red meat was a health food they still didn’t get it as readily as today. But it’s not an issue to have all the food you can eat when it’s the right food. In fact, it’s so not an issue that it’s quite literally a solution as these foods work as preventative and even curative medicines. Like Hippocrates said, “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

    2. Wolf,
      Your position makes some sense. There have been times of feast and famine (See Pima Indians, north and south). Feasts are easy to survive. Famines are the worst case scenario and our bodies have a program to survive them. Flood the carbeurator with too rich a mixture and you get wheezing and sputtering.

  14. Applause to Dr Greger for the longest webinar ever.

    And thank you for the promise that the longest Q&A ever is to come.

    I paused respectfully that you named your new book without the word die in it.

    Good call.

    1. The webinar filled up before I got around to registering. Can someone summarize Dr. Greger’s top recommendations (for someone who’s already WFPB)?
      Thanks!

      1. Michael,

        When he got to the part of what helps the immune system, he said that he wasn’t running down that rabbit hole because we don’t know which arms of the immune system need to become stronger versus weaker.

        He said that not getting it is the most important thing.

        Boy, he talked about so many things, it was very long, but when it came to every question about whether vegans get it or which foods might help build up the immune system, he said things like “Keep eating healthy foods” That isn’t his exact wording, but close enough.

        He will be having an extended Q&A next week and a normal size Q&A the week after (I think that was what he said)

        He gave information on hand-washing and said that people don’t need to use hot water and that will help preserve the skin of your hands. He gave information that hand-sanitizer only needs to be 30% for what the researchers have tested so far with COVID-19.

        He talked plainly that if an elderly person gets it and goes to the hospital, the doctors have a system where whether you get medical care will be done based on age and whether they think you will live or not. So elderly people need to be more careful the older they get. He said that they will flip a coin if people are the same age, but doctors are not wanting to have to play God, so age will be one of the biggest breakdowns.

        I will say that if you are black or other dark skin, there is a much higher death rate and that might be because of Vitamin D, but I will tell you that the doctors have to sometimes choose who lives and dies and poor people and minorities and less attractive and less charming people will likely be chosen to die. That is just reality, but people tend to prefer “similar to themselves” and if you are a foreigner you have to be more careful. If you are a transgender or obese or any other factor that people look down on, now is the time to take this so seriously.

        I was just talking to my brother who has chest congestion caught on a scan and he is only worried about whether he exposed anybody else and that doesn’t surprise me at all. I watched the doctor from NY who asked a patient if they wanted to be intubated and they said, “Yes” but if someone else needs it, give it to them. That will be my brother and I hate that we are going to lose the most precious, heroic, altruistic, selfless people. I hate that so much.

        He said that no matter how much you touch surfaces that have COVID on them, you can’t pass it to yourself unless you touch your mouth, pick your nose or rub your eyes. Goggles, gloves and masks help you not to do that. Fitbit has an app already which tells you whenever you move your hand toward your face. Apple watch will have one soon. Might already. They also have other devices out there.

        If you go out, come back and change your clothing and wash your hands.

        If you get a package delivered, assume it has the virus on it and put on gloves or pick it up with a towel or just wash your hands after handling it.

        Not touching your eyes, nose and mouth is the most important thing. Gloves make it easier to not pick your nose or bite your fingernails, but those of us who rub our eyes still do it even with gloves.

        People touch their faces subconsciously at least 19 times in 2 hours and I think he said that 40% of people pick their nose within that time period and some of us rub our eyes. I needed to use safety goggles shopping because I rub my eyes even more when I wear glasses.

        I think he may have gone back to his nutrition hat at the end, but he gave way more historical and scientific and practical information.

        I am going to include this video from YouTube which models certain behaviors because hand-washing and not going to the grocery store are 2 of the biggest factors.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxAaO2rsdIs

        1. Zinc.

          I believe he said that Zinc had some basis but not nasal zinc.

          And it had to not be paired with…. citrate… boy, I can’t remember why even, but I take a zinc capsule daily.

          1. And if you make your own hand sanitizer, don’t add aloe gel.

            He said, “Yes” to masks, but gave the statistics that some of them only protect you from the virus by 10%.

            But still, if everybody uses masks there will be less of the virus in the air and that protects more people.

            There are some fabulous videos on YouTube on how to make masks using house air filters and re-usable shopping bags.

            Amazon still is selling procedural masks and they still are also selling masks that outdoor people use and those often have N99 filters in them. Etsy has the triple-layer quilted masks and those block something like 75% which is better than surgical masks, but not as good as respirators.

            1. Regarding vaccines, he said that they have never succeeded at a coronavirus vaccine yet and that flu vaccines take 6 to 8 months to make even though we make them every year.

              There are 60 groups working on them and they had started that process way back at least back to SARS1 but ran out of money.

              1. Oh, I forgot, he will be having ANOTHER webinar on COVID-19 and that one will be with videos. This one was him talking for quite a long time. I really enjoyed listening to it lecture style. Next time will be video style and he will be adding in whatever new research there is.

                I am sure he will tell people not to eat their dog’s heartworm pills.

                I am also sure that thousands of people already will have.

                For those who don’t watch the news, today they declared social distancing to be seriously effective. Instead of 100,000 to 200,000 deaths in America, we are down to closer to 60,000 deaths expected. If we keep being vigilant. It might be fewer deaths than that because the studies might actually work.

  15. This is one of the strangest videos I’ve been heard from Dr. Greger. We may be genetically predisposed to gorging, but man did not evolve on processed food and junk food. Gorging is not the problem. Gorging on the wrong kinds of food are the problem. You can do a lot of gorging on WFPB food, and if you are very active like ancient man, avoid gaining much weight.

    1. Exactly. The science shows us clearly that it’s what you eat first and foremost. I eat so much on a WFPB diet, my body just burns through it–my body just functions so much better in general.

  16. I recommend Dr. Greger return to his previous video format, using reference documents, graphs, animations, and illustrations. I found that format was easier for me to focus my attention on his important message and advice. But having a live and very animated person in the forefront, moving around and waving his arms, is both distracting and tiring for some audience members.

  17. Hello,
    My name is Sona Hakobyan.
    I have been recently diagnosed with lichenoid dermatitis. The dermatologist I have performed a biopsy, and the results showed the diagnosis. The flares are mist prominent on lower part of my body.
    Sometimes the patches become brownish, but never disappear. It seems like it has its own cycle. I looked up some studies that suggested Oxalator Diet, but not sure if there is anything else that can help.
    I really need your advice, because this condition really concerns me.
    Thank you in advance

    1. It might take a while for him to do the topics because he is in the middle of pandemic information.

      I saw this PubMed article about exposure to too much nickel.

      For the person they were treating, they had them remove an IUD, had them avoid contact with any metal items. Avoid stainless steel – or use low nickel versions. Use things like cast iron, ceramic, and glass cookware. Use wax and parchment paper instead of aluminum foil and to watch out for skincare products because many of the natural products have things which are high in nickel. They also said to follow a low-nickel diet.

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6653115

      I looked at the list of low-nickel foods and if the nickel is in the soil, I am wondering if some foods could be grown without soil or in a low-nickel soil?

      Well, I found an article about low-nickel gardening.

      https://nickelfoodallergy.com/low-nickel-gardening/

      1. There are a lot of ways to grow things without soil.

        I was just looking at fence gardens and hydroponic salad garden kits and they have piping with holes.

        Google it. There are tons of different setups horizontal, vertical, grow walls, aerogardens.

        Lots of choices.

        1. A sentence that interested me from the growing beans hydroponically was that calcium reduced the toxic effect of nickel especially at the low dose (5 ppm). It was found that calcium reduced the uptake of nickel by roots and enhanced the synthesis of proteins, which form metal-binding proteins.

          I don’t know if that would be helpful enough for you, but calcium reduced the uptake of nickel by the roots seems like a good sentence if you do try growing things.

          1. Also, they say to harvest things younger so that the plants absorb less nickel. That is easier with all of the baby lettuces, microgreens, broccoli sprouts, etc.

            1. A dermatologist online said that you can take a vitamin C supplement with each meal to slow the body’s absorption of nickel from the food you eat.

              1. I am wondering about Modified Citrus Pectin and Fiji Water (silica). They say that it decreased heavy metals in some cases by an average of 74%

                https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/109829

                https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/19443994.2012.691704

                I am not a medical person. I am a brain-stormer who just tends to think about things, but 12-weeks of Fiji water helped my brain considerably. It was based on a study where they removed aluminum from people’s brains with 1 liter of Fiji water per day taken in one sitting for 12 weeks. Expensive, but it got rid of my hallucinations and night terrors and other things and they never came back.

                1. I saw something else interesting.

                  Low BMI people often test low in Nickel and that surprised me because people often blame plant-food that vegans eat on nickel-sensitivity.

                  This study associated high nickel levels with metabolic syndrome and fatty liver and obesity.

                  https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0123265

                  In that study, the women of menopausal age lost weight when they went on a low-nickel diet.

                  It is interesting.

                  Anyway, it is just interesting that the people lost weight so easily going off nickel.

                  1. Today, I saw this advice on a website to add to the concepts.

                    They said to eat food containing sulphur, e.g. garlic, onion, eggs, and legumes, which bind heavy metals.
                    Also, to eat seaweed (chlorella or kelp) which has a protective effect against heavy metals.
                    They also said to avoid dairy products, cheese, sugar, alcohol, coffee, black tea, chocolate, tobacco, beer, and sodas, which usually only create further physical and mental problems and prevent the excretion of heavy metals.

  18. Dear Dr Greger, I am a huge fan of your work, have a copy of your book and watch your regular video newsletters. As an MSc nutritionist, AND a formerly obese person who now enjoys excellent health and lives in a lean, healthy, fit body I consider myself to know a considerable amount about this topic and wish to add this important issue to the discussion.
    The one gaping hole in this otherwise valuable discussion is the issue of ADDICTION.
    Sugar is a highly addictive substance. Its in almost every food sold in the supermarkets.
    Fat mixed with sugar is even more addictive than sugar alone and packs on the calories, and comes with more than just a delicious taste, it calls a siren song from deep in the fridge. If it’s in the home you cannot resist.
    Food manufacturers employ laboratories full of scientists whose job it is to make their products as ADDICTIVE as possible.
    They even have a term for these foods: “bliss point” ie the formula that provides a totally blissful experience. How to go about resisting these foods?
    As a specialist who works with food addicted people, there is one common thread in the early life experience of the majority of those people I work with: ABUSE in early childhood. Frequently that abuse was emotional or sexual involving a parent, step parent or relative. Neglect, alcoholism and narcissism are other common features that they went through in early childhood. The way those children survived these dire childhoods was to turn to sugar or other high calorie foods as comfort. They end up hard wired to reach for sugar or high fat snacks to soothe painful feelings.
    What is the answer? There are many recovery communities that are free to access as they are all run as a charity. These recovery communities are part of there ANONYMOUS movement (and evolved out of Alcoholics Anonymous …and is called Overeaters Anonymous.
    Simone from London UK

  19. This doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. Not all cultures are obese; some nations manage to avoid the glut, despite prosperity (and without unique genes). And in the decades before the obesity “epidemic began” there was plenty of food and money in most people’s budgets to eat to abandon. But they didn’t. Several things changed, including habits and a culture of self restraint, as well as the makeup of the food supply and choices.

    1. Deb, I’m doing the same thing. I discovered winter gardening with a hoop house, in addition to my normal gardening. I am still picking salads from plants I started last summer.

    1. Mike,
      I take frozen blueberries from the bag and put them right on my oatmeal-to-be-microwaved. Even frozen, the berries seem to melt in my hand.

  20. Survival of the fattest. TGH, TGT.
    If passing on one’s genes is the biolgical success marker, then, historically, weight gain (thriving) would be beneficial. Average mortality may have been reached by age 30, or younger—not enough time for the complications of added weight and succombing to advanced age.

  21. Jesus Christ what is this discourse about and what does it have to do with the vacuum left at the end of the video?
    See what I did there?

  22. Dr. G. you are looking really slim, are you getting enough calories? Wish you lived close and I could supply you with endless amounts of Kale, Spinach, Bok Choy and more.

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