How the NY Times keeps you fat, tired and sick

I have been a fitness & nutrition professional in NYC since 1994. Unlike most doctors and the vast majority of writers, journalists and editors — I actually work with people weekly helping them improve their health, fitness and wellness.

So when an article from a well-known NY Times ‘health’ writer is printed and purports to be the truth YET, actually is spreading more confusion and misinformation, I tend to get a bit annoyed.

I get annoyed because one of the biggest problems most people face – in terms of health and fitness – is deciphering through all the confusion and misinformation and straight-up GARBAGE that inundates the media today.

So today I am going to cut through the confusion and first off would like to thank the NY Times and Jane Brody for making more people confused about health & wellness thereby helping to make Americans sicker, fatter and more tired than they already are.

On July 22, the NY Times and Jane Brody reported: ‘Health ‘Facts’ You Only Thought You Knew’

A more appropriate title could have been ‘Health ‘Facts’ I Know Nothing About’

Over the next few weeks Im going to have a little fun and show you how the media plays a huge role in the mass confusion and poor health of Americans.

Let me show you how this article, and many similar ones printed in many well-known papers, are what we here in the Big Apple call WACK! (that’s NY slang for bullshit).

To be fair, not all of her ‘facts’ were crap – there was one about poison ivy which I dont know if its true or not, because I live in a concrete jungle and the parks and beaches I play at don’t have poison ivy. The last time I knew someone who got poison ivy, I think I was in 4th grade. I don’t even remember how old I was in 4th grade….So congratulations Ms Brody, your article is not only irrelevant to many people, its also full of bogus information.

Here is one of her main ‘facts’ that I would like to have a little fun with….

DRINK EIGHT GLASSES OF WATER A DAY I had long believed that eight glasses of plain water or caffeine-free beverages a day were important to keep the body hydrated and to prevent constipation. Perhaps the toilet paper manufacturers were behind this notion. Researchers have been unable to find scientific support for it.

The Institute of Medicine recently noted that you can meet your body’s need for liquids in many ways, including drinking coffee and tea (with or without caffeine) and eating fruits and vegetables with a high water content. Two clues that you may need to drink more are thirst and the color of your urine, which should be clear like, well, water.

If you are physically very active, especially in hot weather, repeatedly sipping cold water is helpful. But beyond two quarts, you may need to also replace the salts lost in sweat — for example, by drinking a diluted sports drink or eating foods with salt and potassium.

My Response –> So you can get your water from caffeinated coffee and tea? Drink sports drinks?

Researchers have been unable to find scientific support that water keeps you hydrated?

Water does not prevent constipation or dehydration – what?

You must definitely be constipated to have come up with that one.

A good majority of people, especially New Yorkers, are chronically dehydrated AND constipated because they are not drinking water and drinking too much coffee and tea.

If you understood how our nervous and digestive systems worked, you might understand this. But your a writer, not an expert in health, nutrition, metabolism or human physiology so I really shouldn’t expect you to.

By the way, your conclusion that toilet paper manufacturers constructed a myth to sell more TP is brilliant. The reason you were peeing too much is because your nervous system was overstimulated and you couldn’t manage water. Ironic, don’t you think.

While you were out at Starbucks with your doctor friends sipping your lattes, I was working with clients. One of the first issues I help my clients deal with is giving up their addiction to caffeine. Make no mistake – caffeine is a drug. Its speed. It speeds up your metabolism and anytime you speed up your metabolism, you will also have a crash.

This is hormonal volatility.

You don’t need a major Institution to clue you into that one. There is a metabolic consequence of taking drugs…even the ones that are popular and generally acceptable in this society such as coffee.

Coffee will damage the delicate mucosal lining of your digestive system and since many people ALREADY suffer from constipation and other digestive dysfunctions – adding more fuel to the fire is not wise.

Caffeine also stimulates your ‘fight or flight’ nervous system (SNS) which makes all your muscles constrict, including your rectum. Yes, its true. Drinking caffeine will help you get constipated.

For the people out there that are saying ‘I need my coffee just so I can poop in the morning’…..that’s another can of worms that I will cover in a future newsletter and share lessons about pooping…it can be quite funny actually.

Listen, you got serious problems if you are using coffee to poop. That means you are already constipated and just piling up your health problems with your emergency pottie system. But don’t sweat it, i will tell you how to break free.

Caffeine puts you into a chronic ‘fight or flight’ and this is also known as ‘stress.’ Gee, do you think we need more stress producing stimulants in our busy lives?

New York is known as the city that never sleeps. Partly because it has a thriving night life – and partly because many people are jacked up from too much caffeine and sugar all day long.

Congratulations Jane, while your at it, why don’t you go ahead and tell the children and teens who hang out at Starbucks after school that Red Bull or their grande caramel cappuccinos are a good substitute for water as well.

Fruits and vegetables are good sources of water?

Well, yeah actually, if they are non-organic, commercially produced. Fruits and vegetables are supposed to be full of nutrients, not water.

Clearly you have been buying your produce at the corner deli.
All those fluorescent colored fruits and veggies are not normal. And the reason they taste like water, is because they are mostly water.

Listen people, industrialized agriculture grows produce in the cheapest way possible to produce the most amount of products. This produce is covered with poisonous pesticides and synthetic fertilizers that are loaded with salt.
Anyone get bloated from eating too much table salt??? Well the same thing happens to your produce when they are loaded with salt.

Fruits and veggies that are loaded with water are nothing more than commercially produced, artificially colored non-organic bags of water…but hey, when your tweakin from coffee all day long who cares, right?

Instead of blindly following the advice of any newspaper, magazine or celebrity – try these guidelines and PAY ATTENTION to the results you get. Only your body will tell the truth:

Drink half your body wight in ounces of clean water each day.
Drink room temperature water – esp. first thing in the morning.
Don’t drink while you eat.
Don’t read the NY Times while you eat.
Wait an hour after you eat before you start drinking water again.
If you are peeing a lot, try adding a small pinch of Celtic Sea Salt to your water bottles (you should not taste it).
Human beings (that’s us) are designed to drink nothing but water, regardless of what any writer, editor or journalist (who is not a nutrition expert) or what some crusty old doctor who doesn’t work out tells you.
Try this for yourself and you will see.

Have a great weekend and see you soon!

To see the whole article, click this link:



7 Comments on How the NY Times keeps you fat, tired and sick

  1. Antonio Valladares, CHEK, CPT, LMT // July 25, 2008 at 4:19 AM // Reply

    Feel free to comment…you can have fun, just be respectful.

  2. please leave your comments and let me know your thoughts…

  3. After getting your newsletters and others and just having some intelligence myself, I tend to take with a grain of salt what is printed in newspapers about health & fitness..I tend to find that most is usually inaccurate. It is through you and your peers in the field that we all will learn the right stuff! Thanks for all you do.

  4. Yo Antonio!

    Funny and informative post, in top, sarchastic AV form. It’s Erin, your favorite neighbor, just droppin by to show you some love.

    Peace and health!

  5. TheIndieKid // July 25, 2008 at 7:42 PM // Reply

    What is the significance in waiting an hour after eating to resume drinking water?

  6. Antonio Valladares, CHEK, CPT, LMT // July 29, 2008 at 8:58 PM // Reply

    It takes about an hour to digest your meal so if you drink or eat you will ruin the digestive process – its like pouring water on a fire…..just do the experiment yourself, eat a regular meal and then wait 20 minutes and then eat or drink something and you will feel your meal will sit there for hours and give you heartburn bloating, gas, etc…you wont make that mistake again….

  7. I’ve seen/heard this study quoted throughout various forms of media lately, on some fairly well respected programs…I can’t help but wonder who the people at the Institute of Medicine are funded by, and why this particular study is getting so much publicity. It’s always interesting to dissect studies, and see what actually went on, rather than just look at the results released to the media (usually what the companies sponsoring the studies want the public to hear, results which don’t support their products are not publicized). Unfortunately there isn’t enough time in my day to research everything I come across…

    I disagree with you somewhat on the coffee thing, I think one cup of black coffee a day can have some benefits for some people, especially diabetics. One study showed it was more effective than statins for diabetics (don’t get me started on statin studies in the media) There is an issue with overuse of caffeine though, with many in our society, people looking for that quick fix kick when they really need good nutrition and sleep…

    Thanks for the thoughtful posts.

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