DR. HOOK- Fat complex: 2007 was year of the pig

Weight sucks! This is how I would sum up 2007. Yes, it's true that patients fondly refer to me as "The Weight Nazi" ("No soup for you! Or donuts!"), but weight sucks because we get psychotic messages about weight.

Look at Kirstie Alley. She walked in a bikini on Oprah because she'd lost some weight. On one hand, we should not be critical of the way she looks when she's fat. Beauty does not come in a size 2 dress, as Tyra Banks showed us when she told the paparazzi to kiss her fat... well, you can figure out the "end" of the sentence. On the other hand, there are so many health consequences related to obesity. 

The media needs to make up its mind about anorexia and obesity. Tabloids and TV shows flash anorexic stars on the screen and newspapers, like Inside Edition's tasteless stories on the anorexic twins. But the next minute they flash other celebrities with cellulite and shame them for not being in Linda Hamilton Terminator shape.

I don't know how I would feel to be on the cover of every tabloid with my derriere ridiculed as too bootylicious or too liposuctioned. (Hmm, actually at this stage of my desperate media career, does anyone have a camera?)

Anorexia nervosa does exist and is a very serious illness. I lost a classmate to it. I have patients who have medical consequences from it that include osteoporosis to chronic GI problems. So to see the majority of Americans' weight balloon faster than home mortgage rates doesn't help their psyche. On the flip side, two-thirds of Americans are obese or overweight. I have also lost friends and family to complications of diabetes, heart disease, vascular disease, and cancer related to obesity.

I believe in moderation. For most things, moderation makes everything fall into harmony (except for using crack, heroin, and watching Bill O'Reilly). But many of us have come to embody the Billy Joel song, "I Go to Extremes."

Most of us in the real world are working long, long hours. Speaking for myself, after working a 12-hour day and then adding an extra 1.5 hours to work out and shower, I don't feel like cooking a healthy balanced meal for supper. (So I eat toast or cereal! Yes, I know, bad bad bad... but at least I don't eat fast food.) I do try to eat organic food because I do believe that added growth hormone, steroids, high fructose corn syrup, etc. make us fat.

I can't count the number of people I see eating fast food in their cars. I bet if we eliminated all the fast food restaurants it would look like a nuclear bomb cleared the land. I wonder if planting trees in every fast food restaurant lot would end global warming? (Hmm, Al Gore, if you're reading this, will you share your Nobel Peace Prize with me? Or at least let me hold your Oscar?)

I think Americans have always been lazy. Wasn't it in the '60s they advertised the weight-loss machine that jiggled your waist to lose fat? I know some folks who had a person pinch their bodies till they were black and blue to "pinch off the fat." (Where then did the fat go to? Their heads?)

My patients, my TV viewers, and my readers always ask me if a certain advertised pill will help them lose weight. My response to them is, "If it really worked, don't you think we would be a nation of skinny little witches?"

I like to focus on living a health lifestyle: plenty of fruits and vegetables, routine physical activity for the heart and soul, and doing things in moderation. It's something I think cannot weight... er, wait.

Dr. Hook cracks a joke or two, but he's a renowned physician with a local practice. Email him with your questions.