Back to Back Issues Page
CHIROPRACTIC HELP #16: Obesity in the Chiropractic clinic
July 15, 2010


  • This newsletter is not going to be a diatribe against all you overweight people. Promise. Like smoking, you already know what's coming, so there's no point in me adding grist to the mill.

    However, talking to patients who at my goading lose significant amounts of weight, they always seem to be saying that it was not that difficult. So I started to make a list of the innovative things they did. You too can profit from their collective wisdom.

    But the first step is to decide whether you have a small problem of a few extra pounds, a serious problem, or are you a time bomb waiting to go off? The way to do that is via the simple calculator at our free weight loss programs page. Simply add your weight and height, and out it pops.

    BMI less than 30: Okay, so you're a bit overweight, and your weight continues to edge up... fiddle with that calculator and work out at how many pounds you will reach a BMI of 30. Promise yourself faithfully, cross your heart, hope to die, that you won't cross that boundry. Ever.

    BMI greater than 30: Yes, you already know you have a problem, I'm not telling you anything you don't already know. You feet are probably starting to ache after a long day, the stairs are getting more difficult, and you are getting some little stabs in your knees and/or hips. Are there really some little things that will make a difference? Yes!

    BMI over 35: Your doctor has already warned you that there is a heart attack or stroke waiting in the wings. Adult onset diabetes is a cert, and you'll probably be injecting yourself four times a day before too long. (The pills do work for some). HEART ATTACK ...know the signs?


    Health is additive. And subtractive. If you are obese, BUT you work out regularly so that your muscles have good tone, then you are less likely to have serious back pain. If you are obese, AND smoke, then the chances of cardio-vasular disease begin to soar...

  • By different mechanisms both obesity and smoking lay down layers of plaque in your arteries. That's why both smokers and obese, separately and singularly, almost always end up on blood pressure tablets.

    You can't lose weight and give up smoking simultaneously. Chose one or the other, or you'll go crazy. Smoking is by far the harder, but it's also the more pernicious. Together they are killers. I've seen it so often... my own family too.

  • Separately, both obesity (because it changes your posture, increasing the lumbar lordosis as pregnancy does) and poor muscle tone greatly increase the chance of slipped disk. Interesting Australian medical research found a direct correlation between the number of hours of TV watched and disease in general. More heart disease, more back pain... L4 Low back pain disease ...

  • EXERCISE AND CHOLESTEROL ... More about cholesterol.

    Just because you are overweight does not necessarily mean that you have a poor fatty acid profile in your bloodstream. But if you are obese AND you have raised Low Density Lipoproteins in your blood stream, then there's trouble coming. Bad trouble. Heart attack and stroke.

  • Being overweight is not necessarily associated with poor muscle tone. There are plenty of people out there who love life, love food, work out regularly; they eat good food, just too much of it. There is an increased likelihood of backache because of the increased lumbar lordosis but, unless severely overweight, it's not usually a big problem.

    But if you are overweight AND have poor ABS then there is most likely severe backache awaiting you.

    Of caterpillars and butterflies and things...

    Better health comes at a price. But if you want to study butterflies, you have no option but to put up with some caterpillars crawling about in your life.

    Stepping up to that place where you will have less pain and a greater likelihood of seeing your grandchildren grow up is actually not that difficult. Really, is a glass of water between your beers so painful? A leaf of lettuce on your peanut-butter sandwich...?

    Here are three gems for this month.

    1. Start taking a walk (or cycle, or swim) five-six days a week. Better still all three. Leave the mobile phone at home, and within a month you'll be wondering why you haven't done it for years. Walking benefits are profound.

    2. Double or quadruple the amount of fruit and vegetable fibre you are eating. So easy, so delicious. No more rabbit pellets, haemarrhoids, bowel cancer... that old line about the apple diet is now scientifically proven many times over. It does keep the doctor away.

    3. Change to olive oil, avocado and fatty fish for your main source of fat. The fish, by the way, don't make the Omega-3 fatty acids themselves - they get it from the seaweed they eat.

    APPLE DIET ...

    Olive Garden Salad dressing ...

    "I have to put up with two or three caterpillars if I want to know butterflies."

    Antoine de Saint-Exupery


  • I've listed these in no particular order.

    1. Mrs S has lost 8kg over the last two months since I've been prodding her. "How did you do it?" I asked, amazed. "I simply stopped snacking between meals."

    2. Mr P had a massive coronary bypass op two months ago. And decided to lose weight at his cardiologist's prodding. He also has a severe low back condition. Mr P has lost 10kg in two months. "How?" I demanded to know. "I just stopped eating cheese," he said. "My backpain is also much less, you know."

    3. Mr T has lost 14 kg in three months. He had an enormous belly, back pain that responded well to chiropractic, but it keep re-occuring, and he is also diabetic. "How?" I asked, intrigued. "I started drinking a glass of water between every beer, and a walk every morning," he said. "Amazing, but I now shoot myself with half the insulin that I needed three months ago." I presume he's drinking less beer. An average 12 ounce beer (355ml) contains about 150 cals, nearly 10% of a man's daily calorie allowance.

    4. Mrs Z has lost 6 kg. "I increased the fibre in my diet. I now slip a leaf of lettuce into my favourite, peanut-butter sandwiches, and when I make my mutton stew I follow your recipe, and add lots of vegetables. I've also started eating an apple every day. My doctor is astonished at the improvement in my cholesterol. She has now allowed me to decrease my Lipitrol too." MUTTON STEW ...

    5. Mrs B lost 43 kgs. An enormous lady with a very horrid back (and a smoker) so I had been prodding hard. "How?" I demanded to know. "I joined one of those clinics where you buy most of your food from them. It was very expensive but it was worth every cent. I am having far less back pain." Alas, the diet was based on high protein shakes, and last month after an extended holiday 22kg are back. I do not recommend these shakes diets. You'll lose the weight, but it comes straight back. Unhealthy way to become more healthy.

    6. Mr van der T lost 7kg in two months. "I made a point of never having a second helping of dinner, and one less slice of bread for lunch."

  • "In a 2006 study, researchers at Colorado State University found that people who ate the widest variety of fruits and vegetables had the most DNA protection."


    This month we feature FLAX SEED.

    It's that time of the year when the fields of Kent in England are usually covered with fields of bright blue flowers. Only this year they are all white, a new hybrid of flax seed. I wonder if it's really better? Blue is so pretty...

    Flax is grown mainly for animal feed, and it seems that we humans have forgotten that we too are animals. What's good for the pig is also good for the human body. So, what so good about flax seed?

    Omega-3 essential fatty acids are food nutrients that we cannot survive without. They form the basis of many tissues in the body including the brain and nerves; in particular a deficiency has been associated with a high level of heart and blood vessel disease and premature memory loss. Losing your marbles? Flax seed.

    Most humans get their Omega-3 from fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, herring) but if you are a vegetarian, then this's not an option. Thus it comes as no surprise that vegetarians are big into a healthy spoon of ground flax seed every morning with their oats muesli.

    Why ground? Because the tiny flax seed will go straight through your digestive system untouched. But... once ground they must be consumed within a few days or the fat will oxidise (= go rancid). Don't buy ground flax seed unless it's frozen, quite useless, and possibly harmful.

    Every family needs a small cheap grinder for pepper, herbs... and flax seed. Grind enough for a week, freeze, and next week grind some more. My Tristar grinder (just a spinning blade) cost me less than $10.

    Growing butternut squash is another (less good, but very delic) option for Omega-3. It's all about balance, and eating as many food sources as possible.

    The fields of Kent are "white unto harvest". With flax.


    Until next month then. Promise not to fill your Inbox with information overload.

    Should you have found this email helpful, feel free to forward to family and friends. Your doctor?! Our readership is rising in leaps and bounds, 97 000 page impressions at CHIROPRACTIC HELP last month, but for the considerable work put in, I would love this letter to go to 10 000 people!

    Yours in Better Health. Plant two butternut seeds this summer, and some parsley. They are particularly rich in the anti-oxidants that protect the cells of your body, omega-3 oil and vitamin K.

    Till next month then.

    Bernard Preston, DC.


  • Chiropractor Hilton
  • Back to Back Issues Page