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Dieters need biochemists, not GPs

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As the wife of a GP, I know that most GPs know very little about diet and nutrition. This isn’t a criticism, just a fact of life – I’m sure that most GPs would admit that their training simply doesn’t cover biochemistry to any great level of detail in relation to food. General medical training is by necessity broad, and biochemisty is a very specialist field.

What’s surprising is that we don’t see more biochemists involved in the obesity debate. All sorts of specialists from nutritionists and dieticians, to epidemiologists and nurses speak out publicly, but their training rarely involves studying biochemistry to the level truly required to understand how our bodies process carbs, proteins and fats.

Why all the emphasis on biochemists? Well, when I first started looking at the issue of weight control in depth, I found them to be the only people that could answer my difficult questions on how our bodies react to different food groups. Biochemists showed me that when the body takes in too much glucose it will turn that glucose into saturated fats, and that the foods that turn to glucose easily are starch and sugar. The ones I spoke to found it obvious that the levels of starch and sugar in our diet are directly impacting on obesity.

Basing the Go Lower programme on the advice of true experts seemed a basic principle to me. But when it comes to weight loss, it can seem revolutionary!

24 September 2008

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