Here are some answers to questions we are frequently asked.
Q: Why is obesity such a significant concern today?
A: Two-thirds of Americans are overweight, with emotional and economic costs estimated at $90 billion annually due to obesity-related healthcare, lost productivity, earlier onset of lifestyle diseases, and premature death.
Q: What are the primary contributors to the increase in calorie consumption since 1975?
A: 1975 marks an inflection point in our national weight gain cycle. The primary contributors are high fructose corn syrup and corn and seed oils. These two food products have increased the most in the American food landscape, along with grains to a lesser extent.
Q: What role does the environment play in our eating habits?
A: The manufactured and commercial food environment, especially the availability and variety of hyper-palatable hyper-processed foods, plays a significant role in our cravings and hunger.
Q: What are some false claims related to weight loss that consumers should be wary of?
A: Claims such as losing more than two pounds a week without diet or exercise; a program causing permanent weight loss even after stopping; or losing substantial weight by wearing a product or rubbing something onto the skin are patently false. Likewise, no foods magically “melt off pounds” or “accelerate your metabolism” in a way that “burns fat while you sleep” beyond what would naturally happen under caloric restriction.
Q: What are some of the hardwired biological reasons we eat?
A: Dr Roberts teaches about the 5 food instincts that control the behavior of all living creatures. We eat for hunger, because food is available, for the pleasure of eating, when food is exceptionally calorie-dense, and when stimulated by variety of available foods. The iDiet controls all these controlling master factors, to make weight loss easier.
Q: What role should the government play in addressing the obesity crisis?
A: We believe the government should take a more significant role in changing the food environment, such as introducing a federal junk food tax, regulating restaurant portion sizes, and subsidizing weight loss programs. But until it does, we will need to take actions individually.
Q: What are the potential risks of very low-carb diets?
A: Very low-carb diets can artificially inflate the appearance of rapid weight loss by causing excess water excretion in the short term. They might seem like a quick, miraculous fix, but do not support long-term health.
Q: How do low-carb diets impact lifespan?
A: A large-scale study found that people who consumed a moderate amount of carbohydrates lived longer than those on low-carb diets. The very long-term use of very low-carb diets is yet unknown, but responsible research predicts that moderate carb diets promote longer lifespan and health.
Q: Are all low-carb diets the same?
A: No, people in a low-carb group who consume a lot of meat and animal fats have a higher mortality risk. In contrast, those who pursue and more moderate approach, with proteins and fats that also include plant-based sources fare better. Note that iDiet is not a very-low-carb diet. We emphasize slow carbs and high fiber — not very low carbs.
Q: What is the significance of carbohydrates in our diet?
A: Carbohydrates, especially those from whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, are essential sources of fiber. There is not valid evidence to suggest it is possible to pursue a no-carb diet in a way that supports long-term health.
Q: What are the benefits of carbohydrates from plants?
A: Plant-based foods — fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and seeds — provide essential vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients, as well as being the only sources of fiber. Fiber promotes intestinal health, prevents a variety of cancers, lowers cholesterol, and promotes fullness.