Concerned? Get Your Ticket Now to Dr. Weil’s Fascinating NYC Nutrition Conference

For members of the public and forward-thinking medical professionals interested in learning about cutting-edge health and nutrition information, you’ll want to check out the upcoming 3rd Annual Nutrition & Health Conference from April 30 to May 3, in New York City.

This year’s conference is sure to be an exciting one, if last year’s event is any indication. You see, for the 2005 conference, I hopped on a plane to Arizona for the amazing gathering, which is the brainchild of Dr. Andrew Weil and the University of Arizona’s Program in Integrative Medicine. (It was exciting for me — while there I interviewed Dr. Weil, Dr. Walter Willett and Dr. David Ludwig for my upcoming book, SUGAR SHOCK!)

Anyhow, this fabulous nutrition event — which is co-sponsored by Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons and the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine — features a fascinating line-up of panels and speakers, as you can see in the event’s brochure.

If you’re a physician, nurse, dietitian and other health care professional, you’ll have a chance to attend talks about the following subjects during the May 1 to 3 program:

  • "Omega 3 Fatty Acids: A Major Tool in Health and Disease"
  • "Breast Cancer: Nutritional Strategies in Prevention and Treatment"
  • "Nutrition for Children"
  • "Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergies"
  • "Vegetarian Nutrition in Practice: Big Blunders, Simple Solutions"
  • "The Nutritional Management of Diabetes"
  • "Evaluating Popular Diets"
  • And much more…

If you’re just a concerned citizen and want a program geared toward members of the public, you can go to the Public Forum, which includes talks from the following:

Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis to the sure-to-fill-up public event so if you want to go, I highly recommend that you register right now for the Public Forum.

By the way, if you go, look for me and make sure to introduce yourself. I’d love to meet some readers of this blog.

Dr. Andrew Weil Founder & Director, Program in Integrative Medicine

Dr. Marion Nestle, Professor, New York University, Department of Nutrition and Food Studies

Dan Barber, Organic Chef and Owner, Blue Hill Restaurant and Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture

Dr. Joan D. Gussow, Mary Swartz Rose Professor Emeritus of Nutrition and Education, Teachers College, Columbia University

Obesity & Diabetes on the Rise in Massachusetts

The Boston Globe reports that both obesity and diabetes are on the rise in Massachusetts.

Actually, I defy anyone out there to find me one state in the U.S. that isn’t experiencing a sharp rise in obesity and diabetes.

Sometimes, the spate of news accounts about our soaring amounts of adipose tissue and diabetes just get so depressing…

But while one can dwell on the dismal news, reporter Stephen Smith ended his piece on an up note. (Kudos to him for doing that.)

Journalist Smith tells the story of a 5-food-9-inch man, David Arnold Ackerman, who used to weight 222 pounds and who used to include in sweets — cakes, cookies and ice cream.

”But when they told me I was borderline diabetic, I stopped the sweets cold turkey," he told the Globe. ”It was a terrible addiction for me."

Ackerman did exactly what I recommend: He began to eat more veggies, spend time on a treadmill, and he kicked the sweets.

He’s now a trim 165 pounds. Cool, eh?

CSPI & Other Health Advocates Call on Senate to Reject “Reckless,” “Wrongheaded” Food-Safety Laws

What the heck is going on? Why would members of Congress even think of passing a bill that cuts back on food-safety and labeling requirements? Why threaten our citizens by not requiring critical laws that provide for such things as shellfish safety and restaurant hygiene?

The Center for Science in the Public Interest and other groups are alarmed about this state of affairs.

In fact, leading food safety advocates — responding to the U.S. House of Representatives passage of the National Uniformity for Food Act of 2005, H.R. 4167 — are calling for a boycott of the big food companies that wrote the legislation and lobbied Congress to secure its passage.

Now the U.S. Senate is considering this bill, which would wipe out more than 200 state and local food-safety and labeling requirements that would protect consumers from infected, toxic and carcinogenic food. This act would eliminate ways to alert us about health hazards in our food and water such as mercury in fish, arsenic in water, genetically modified ingredients in common foods, carcinogens in processed foods, and pathogens in raw and undercooked foods.

But at least some lawmakers are smart enough to realize that this potential legislation is horrific. In the last week, 39 State Attorneys General and seven Governors have urged the House of Representatives to reject this wrongheaded legislation.

Even former USDA insider Dr. Luise Light, nutritionist and food safety activist, is outraged.

"At a time when we know that there are 72 million bouts of illness, 325,000 hospitalizations, and more than 5000 deaths each year as the result of food poisoning, what justification can there be for destroying the minimal food safety protections now in place?" says Dr. Light, author of What to Eat; the Ten Things You Need to Know to Eat Well and Be Healthy (McGraw Hill, 2006), "As we import more food from third world countries with poor food sanitation, we need more and better regulations, not fewer and weaker ones," adds the former USDA insider, who is one of a number of activists calling for a big food brand boycott to drive home the anger of many consumers and food, health and environmental professionals to the legislation passed in the House on March 8, 2006, without public input.

Other groups who’ve also opposed this legislation include the Association of Food and Drug Professionals, the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, Consumers Union, Consumer Federation of America, the Organic Consumers Association, and numerous other consumer and environmental groups.

All of them are urging the Senate to vote to undo the damage done by the House.

Please join alarmed citiizens and write to your legislators now to prevent this dreadful proposed legislation from being passed. Here’s how to take action.

Special thanks to Pam Killeen, investigative consumer reporter and real food activist, for alerting me to Dr. Light’s involvement in this important issue.

Calling Moms, Dads, School Administrators & Other Concerned People: Boot Junk Food Out of the Schools And Donate to Two Angry Moms Important Film Project

If you’re concerned about the foods served to children nationwide in their schools, then you need to know about the Two Angry Moms Amy Kalata and Susan Rubin, who both appeared last night in my the final official call of my Fast-Track, Kick-Sugar Countdown Program™.

If you missed their articulate, impassioned remarks — they really were wonderful interviewees and guests — then stay tuned here, because we will let you know soon when a replay/MP3 is available.

Amy and Susan talked about a number of exciting programs across the country, some of which they are featuring in their documentary in the making.

Art_two_angry_moms_index_04Here’s where you come in: These very talented and committed ladies need your lunch money, so I urge you to take my lead and donate now to Two Angry Moms (yes, I contributed this week to this very worthwhile project). you can view some clips here.

Just think about how powerful such a film can be!

Armed with a movie camera, Amy and Susan are visiting school cafeterias nationwide to see what foods are on the menu and what the kids are eating. They’re speaking to food service vendors, teachers, health experts, politicians and parents, as well as officials from the USDA and the FDA.

They’re even analyzing the contents of school lunches and they’re examining the nutritional content. They’re addressing what’s gone wrong with our School Lunch Program. And they’re coming up with some viable strategies to get real food into our nation’s school cafeterias.

If you’d like to get a flavor for what they’re doing, check out some preview clips here.

Sure, Amy and Susan are just two moms. But when Agricultural Secretary Susan Coombs said that it will take 2 million angry moms to change the school lunch program, the two committed women got an idea. They’re now looking for 2 million angry moms.

This is where you come in! If you’re here, you probably agree that our nation’s kids should be able to choose wholesome, nutritious food in schools instead of all that processed, sugary, nutrient-lacking crap. Any and Susan like to say that "It’s a mom. It’s a movement." And they’re right on.

So I invite you to donate now to Two Angry Moms. If you help them make the film, Amy and Susan will even show it in your school district.

Just think about it: Given Amy’s extensive film credits and Susan’s impressive background, you could be in on the ground floor of the next Super Size Me.

That’s right. I’m completely convinced that these 2 million moms could make this film a huge hit. But that’s just part of what all these women could do.

These 2 million moms, led by Amy and Susan, could change what’s served in our nation’s schools. Isn’t this exciting?

So, again, I urge you to become one of the 2 million Angry Moms. (Hey, join even if you’re not a mom.) We have to serve kids better foods or they could continue to gain weight, get diseases such as type 2 diabetes (formerly called adult-onset diabetes), have difficulty learning in school, have mood swings, and ultimately die at an early age.

If you are completely new to this whole subject and you’re wondering why nourishing, wholesome foods should be served in schools, then listen to this wonderful quote, which I took from the website for Susan’s organization, Westchester Coalition for Better School Food:

The actress/activist/junk food opponent Marilu Henner said:

"Research has shown that even small amounts of processed food alter the chemical balance in our brain and cause negative mood swings along with noticeable drips in energy."


Fascinating Tele-Seminar With Two Angry Moms & Active Activist For Last “Official” Night of My 10-Week Fast-Track, Kick-Sugar Countdown Program (More Tele-Seminars to Come)

Perhaps you were on tonight’s last official tele-seminar, which was part of my 10-week Fast-Track, Kick-Sugar Countdown Program.

If not, you missed an interesting call tonight with Two Angry Moms and the head of Commercial Alert, who are doing tremendous work to boot junk food out of our nation’s schools and to build this into a very strong movement.

If you missed the call, I urge you to look into these two very worthwhile groups.

The Two Angry Moms — Amy Lalafa and Susan Rubin — are doing a very important documentary, where they’re actually going into cafeterias around the U.S. to see what our nation’s kids are eating. You can learn more here. (I’ll update you from time to time, too, on their activities, because these women are role models for moms — and dads, if they have time — everywhere.)

Commercial Alert, headed by Gary Ruskin, is another valuable organization, whose mission is to keep the commercial culture within its proper sphere, and to prevent it from exploiting children and subverting the higher values of family, community, environmental integrity and democracy. Here’s how you can learn to Take Action

If you can, I urge you to consider making a contribution — even if it’s a small one to one or both of these groups.

Here’s how you can donate to Two Angry Moms or contribute to Commercial Alert.

“Two Angry Moms” Tell You Wednesday Night How to Throw Food Out of Our Schools and Get Healthy Fare Served Instead

Are you furious because of all the nutrient-lacking junk food being served to your children at school?

Are you fed up enough to want to take action?

Join us Wednesday night in this week’s free tele-seminar and listen to "Two Angry Moms." (Make sure to sign up now for this exciting program.)

Who are these two women?

They are Amy Kalafa, H.H.C. and Susan P. Rubin D.M.D., H.H.C. — two pioneering, go-getting women, who became irate enough that they decided to find a way to shed some light on the abysmal, nutrient-lacking foods kids are served and do their part to get nutritious fare fed not only to their kids, but to millions of school children across America.

To achieve their goal, the industrious Amy and Susan are currently hard at work on a documentary that asks the question: “What happens when two feisty suburban moms try to change the school lunch program?"

You’ll be in for a major treat Wednesday night to be able to listen to these two do-gooder moms. Take a peek at what these active ladies are doing:

Amy Kalafa is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, who’s produced numerous health education films and TV shows, including Dr. T. Berry Brazelton’s parenting show, “What Every Baby Knows”; as well as PBS specials, “Our Nation’s Health: A Matter of Choice” and “Healthy Aging." She’s also produced the Reiner Foundation’s, “The First Years Last Forever” and segments for "Martha Stewart Living.”

Amy also is a lecturer at the Yale School of Medicine and Psychiatry, a holistic health counselor, Lyme Disease consultant, certified Kripalu Yoga teacher and an organic farmer. She and her husband Alex have two teenage daughters who “bring” their lunch to school.

Susan P. Rubin D.M.D., H.H.C. is director of A Better Way Holistic Health, a private health counseling practice in Mount Kisco, New York. She takes a unique approach with her clients and brings in-depth knowledge to help people arrive at effective drug-free solutions for a wide range of health related concerns. She also teaches cooking classes and conducts workshops and programs on many aspects of food, public health advocacy and holistic healing.

This year, Susan brought together educators, parents and health professioals to create the Westchester Coalition for Better School Food, whose mission is to increase awareness of the importance of feeding our children health supportive foods in school. She and her husband, Ron, have three daughters.

As the dynamic duo point out on their Angry Moms website, Amy and Susan are now visiting school cafeterias — armed with a movie camera — to find out what foods are on the menu and learn what kids arde eating.

Just call in Wednesday night to this free tele-seminar — which is part of the Fast-Track, Kick-Sugar Countdown Program™ — you will learn about Amy and Susan’s conversations on film with food service vendors, teachers, health experts, politicians and parents, and even officials from the USDA and the FDA.

You’ll get a chance to hear Amy and Susan talk about what schools across America are serving for lunch. You’ll also learn about what has gone wrong with our School Lunch Program. And you’ll even get some tips on viable strategies to overcome roadblocks and get real food into school cafeterias.

To attend Wednesday night’s free tele-seminar, visit and your private phone number and pass code will be sent to you.

As mentioned previously, this exciting tele-seminar also will feature the articulate activist Gary Ruskin, executive director and co-founder with Ralph Nader of the well-recognized Commercial Alert, an organization that seeks : "to keep the commercial culture within its proper sphere, and to prevent it from exploiting children and subverting the higher values of family, community, environmental integrity and democracy."


Gary is an expert on commercialism in schools, government and culture, and the effects of advertising on children and public health. He’s quoted regularly in major newspapers across the country, such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and the Wall Street Journal, and he’s appeared often on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and CNN. He is also director of the Congressional Accountability Project, which opposes corruption in the U. S. Congress.

Like the Two Angry Moms Amy and Susan, Gary of Commercial Alert seeks to expel junk food from our nation’s schools and more.

Tell your friends about Wednesday’s exciting, free tele-seminar.

Take action to get better food served in our nation’s schools! Join Gary and the Two Angry Moms Wedenesday night to learn more.

A very special thanks to my new buddy, Glen Colello of Catch a Healthy Habit, for first alerting me to the awesome work of the "Two Angry Moms" Amy and Susan. Glen, like Amy and Susan, all attended the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where I’m now studying to get my certification as a holistic health counselor.

Exciting Activists on Wednesday’s Tele-seminar

Just wanted to give you a heads up about this week’s tele-seminar.

It’s Wednesday night at 8:30 EST (5:30 PST), and it will feature some people who are taking action to get more nutritious meals served to our children, to boot soda and other junk foods out of the schools, etc.

For the first part of the tele-seminar, we will hear from the articulate activist Gary Ruskin, head of well-recognized organization Commercial Alert.

This is an organization whose mission is: "to keep the commercial culture within its proper sphere, and to prevent it from exploiting children and subverting the higher values of family, community, environmental integrity and democracy.

This group is dedicated to expelling junk food from schools, supporting a parent’s bill of rights and more. 

Shortly, I’ll announce others joining us on this exciting call.

Spread the word.

To attend for free, just go to

Florida Kids Protest Candy Sale

This has to be one of the most impressive examples of student activism on behalf of good heatlh!

A dozen-plus students at North Side Elementary in Fort Lauderdale, Florida flat out refused to sell chocolate bars and potato chips to raise money for an upcoming trip.

Their reasons: The fourth and fifth graders learned in school that snacks such as these are dangerous to your health.

What’s amazing is that the kids stood their ground even they they only have until the end of the month (February) to raise the remaining $12,000 they need for a weeklong trip in May to Williamsburg, Va., and Washington, D.C.

One child, 10-year-old Daphnie Auguste, admitted that she hadn’t raised even one dollar toward her personal $455 goal, but that isn’t deterring her from speaking out.

"I’m happy because people won’t get fat. But I’m sad because how are we going to get the money to go on our field trip?

"If they tell us to don’t eat junk food and then after school we sell it, that disobeys what they said."

Hurrah for these defiant, responsible children!

Let’s reach out and help them. I, for one, will donate something to the school so these kids can take their trip. Join me, please.

Swim Across Hudson for Diabetes — Donate Now!

Congrats to Brian Friedman for swimming handcuffed across the Potomac and Hudson rivers last week to raise money to raise public awareness about diabetes, a clever, attention-getting event that I announced here.

As I mentioned previously, Brian is a member of my free, online KickSugar group, and we’re proud and happy to have him setting an example to others about the joys of exercise — but please don’t do his handcuffed-swimming stunt!

Brian reports to fellow KickSugar members:

"Yes, I did it! Well sort of. I swam across the Potomac. But for traffic reasons, I swam a mile on the Hudson waterfront. Yes I was handcuffed. No I didn’t get any strange skin rashes.

"I swam to raise the public’s awareness of the epidemic of diabetes. We are all at risk. Our lifestyles and eating habits are what is increasing the occurrence of this disease. That is why groups such as this one are so important.

"My thing is exercise and [finding food] along the edges of the grocery store. You do what you have to. I swam handcuffed. Not a useful skill, nor very difficult. But if one person saw or read about it and got out and exercised then it was worth it. I wish you all the best in your fight to Kick Sugar."

Well done, Brian. I just contributed to the ADA now myself in honro of your tremendous feat and your efforts to raise people’s awareness about diabetes.

My blog readers, join me. Donate to the ADA, too, in honor of the very-much-alive Brian! Then, tell him about your donation on his blog or e-mail him directly.

Handcuffed Swimmer Tackles Hudson River To Fight Diabetes

Brian Friedman — a member of my free, online KickSugar group — is swimming handcuffed Friday morning across the Hudson River to fight the diabetes epidemic.

Why handcuffs?

Well, Brian, 43, wants to get the point across that people with diabetes “feel shackled by the disease.”

Earlier this afternoon, Brian casually announced his intentions via e-mail to my group, when Myra, my astute KickSugar Assistant Moderator, quickly alerted me to how he’s using his athletic prowess to raise money for the American Diabetes Association. I immediately tracked down the swimmer through his EscapeFromDiabetes website and reached Brian on the phone.

He was recuperating from another swim — this one across the Potomac — on Tuesday morning.

‘Course most folks won’t be able to tackle such a rigorous exercise regime, much less without the handcuffs.

But Brian has experience testing the waters. In fact, he’s a fitness trainer, who, last year swam handcuffed from Alcatraz to San Francisco in 54 minutes and 20 seconds (a world record, he says).

If you want to see Brian swim, go to either Weehawken Harbor in New Jersey at 7 a.m. Friday or to Surfside 3 Marina at Chelsea Piers (23rd Street and the Hudson River) in New York at 8 a.m. (when he expects to arrive).


Brian is crossing the Hudson River in honor of his grandfather, “who developed type 2 diabetes in the 1960s and, had both legs amputated in the ’70s and that’s the way he lived the rest of his life until he passed away in 1989.

“I remember visiting my grandfather when I was in high school, and he couldn’t be an active person any longer. It was a major production for him to even go to a restaurant.

“The sad part is that when my grandfather got successful he loved to eat and pretty much his only exercise was going to Giant games,” says Brian, who believes that his grandfather’s poor lifestyle habits helped trigger his diabetes.

Brian — who notes that diabetes is the # 1 cause of non-traumatic amputation — is now horrified that young people are getting diabetes in record numbers.

“I just want to do some small thing to motivate people to change their lifestyle — to get outside and work out, whether it’s running or hiking, and eating better,” adds Brian, who claims that he’s a “below-average athlete” — that’s pretty hard to believe when you look at his photo.


For those of you into sugary foods, Brian says that exercising banishes his desire for them.

“When I’m exercising a lot, I don’t have sugar cravings. When I do get a sweet tooth attack, I am happy with an apple or a banana.