The Bites Debate is all Wrong: How WSJ slanted recent article on Counting Bites
“How Many Bites Do You Take a Day? Try for 100,” published today in the Wall Street Journal ignores the fact that this concept was developed almost 30 years ago by Meredith Luce MS, RD LN and Joan Breibart, President of the PhysicalMind Institute and it has been publicized in the New York Post (2004), Self Magazine (1987), Vogue, the Today Show and elsewhere.
See New York Post Coverage here.
In addition, the ‘Bite Watch’ in the article is a direct copy of our 2005 bite watch which is actually referenced in the Bite Technologies/ Clemson patent. We abandoned our prototype in favor of app technology (80Bites app) when we saw the issues: people use their phones and don’t wear watches; bite counting is just a temporary informational tool and not something to be done for months; plus there are accuracy issues with recording hand/mouth activity.
Obesity is a moving target and the copiers who don’t work daily with actual people aren’t able to see the shifts. Overeating while sitting down to three meals a day at home is not really the prevalent pattern of consumption which is why vibrating forks or talking plates aren’t so helpful. For the majority, particularly people under 40, the pattern is grazing on ‘healthy’ well-marketed foods in public and then binging privately or drinking too many calorically dense beverages. With a U.S. population that is over 55% obese, these new bite products will just be more failed solutions leading Americans to just give up.
Meredith Luce MS RD LN is a bariatric dietician who uses 80Bites with actual patients including the morbidly obese. Even though in the past decades, we tried to make our program focus on both quantity and calories, the reality is that they are not really compatible. Bites address volume and stomach size which directly affect hormones. Overeating drives up leptin so much that eventually a resistance develops so that the threshold increases. Thus it takes more and more eating (thus more leptin) to finally get the “stop eating” message. This is why leptin resistance should be the focus of weight loss efforts and why almost everyone in America is hungry all the time.
Since the information in the article is misleading and inaccurate, we and your readership would appreciate a correction indicating who are the true authors of the ‘bites’ concept.
Joan Breibart and Meredith Luce RD MS LN
Wellness Industry Thrives while 55% of Adult Americans are Obese
Wellness Industry Thrives
Majority of Americans are Obese
New York, N.Y. – June 3 2014- On the heels of the wake-up call from ‘FED UP’, the just released documentary on obesity, it is no surprise that the CDC’s (U.S. Center for Disease Control) obesity statistics are grossly under reported. Meredith Luce RD, MS, LDN and Joan Breibart, two veteran diet and exercise professionals, have converted the data with the Hamwi Method used by dieticians: Adult America is 55% obese, not 35% (LINK to pages with all the data and other charts)
Worse, even the higher estimate may be too low: self-reported obesity data has a minimum 21% error rate: (http://www.bls.gov/osmr/pdf/ec1400020.pdf). With this adjustment the CDC number jumps to 43% and 55% sizes up to a whopping 66%. And it’s easy to verify the stats now that it’s summer and people are out and uncovered. Fifty percent of the bodies will be without waists or looking like they are in the third trimester. No other conclusion is possible when the CDC’s website has an average American woman at 5’4” and 163 pounds and her male counterpart at 5’9” and 196 pounds.
“America has morphed from normal sized to obese in just 50 years. And business is booming: today we have thousands of diet companies and a global Wellness Industry that we created growing at 12% annually with a Trillion in sales,” says Joan Breibart.
How did we get so big in sales and size? Numerous nutrient manipulations and each builds business: sales of gluten free foods are estimated to reach $16 billion by 2016. “Eating healthy” changes constantly: butter; coffee; alcohol; fat; sugar; salt meat have all been demonized and then resurrected, causing millions to change their diets and experiment with their bodies. Pseudo-science solutions make for huge sales growth while simple, free, common sense and obvious strategies fail to gain the media’s attention.
Food companies are happy to accommodate the latest food war as long as the public buys huge quantities– perpetuating the limitless American stomach. We know that the simple, commonsense solution: eat and drink less can succeed even after decades of dieting failures. The public message should be reduce food consumption as the first goal –even before caloric reduction—because digesting less food lowers insulin production, an accepted contributor to excess body fat. “Keep in mind, it is the repeated stretching and over-stretching of the stomach which unbalances our ghrelin/leptin hunger regulating hormones leading us to eat too much, too often,” says Meredith Luce, MS, RD, LDN.
‘Fed Up’ tries to rally support so the food industry immediately removes sugar from thousands of products and our government taxes sugared beverages. What can American consumers do? Pressure these corporations with the best weapon—our purchasing power. Our national mantra should be, “Close the Mouth Sooner & Open it Less Often.” Bite by bite we can beat back obesity. And for the kids, give them what they enjoy: a rap and a cartoon character: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOrmBQFgi_s. After all, kids are not just short adults.