What the Good Morning America Audience Thinks About Diet


During a Live Chat session following an appearance on Good Morning America  last week, I received a number of good questions from the audience about food products, ingredients and their impact on diet, health and obesity. While my focus was on simple ways to help lower caloric intake for those who are struggling with their diet, the most common questions raised were concerns about the “toxins” in our foods and beverages, particularly as it related to

diet drinks and weight management ingredients. Here follows a sampling of the dialogue:

Q. I feel that anyone recomending chemical sweeteners over natural ones is, at best, misleading the public, and is causing more harm than good. Recent studies have indicated that chemical sweeteners are part of the problem and are contributing to the obesity epidemic, because they stimulate the appitite and cause people to eat more. (not to mention the harm these unnatural chemicals cause to the human body. People should stick to natural sweeteners, such as agave nectar, which does not cause a spike in blood sugar, and avoid soda and soft drinks altogether, if they want to weigh less and be healthier. Posted by: gypsyrose2009

A. Hi gypsyrose: Thank you for your comments. Your points are well taken. However, most of the top research nutritionists, while not fans of aspartame sweetened diet drinks, are even more against sugar sweetened beverages (no matter the source of the sweetener) given their high caloric load. My point of view is not that soft drinks, etc. are good for you, but that most Americans consume them in such high quantities that the first pragmatic step is to wean them away from consuming as much as they do without trying to push them too far. That’s the reason why most diet plans fail. 

Q. Does Hank realize that the diet or no calorie drinks that have few or no calories use fake sugars which trigger an insulin response and cause us to crave sugar. Studies have found that people that use these sugar substitutes are heavier than those who don’t. Melissa Posted by: coretherapies

A. Hi Melissa: The jury is still out on the issue of the effect of artificial sweeteners. Some of the most reputable obesity and sweetener researchers have stated that they would (reluctantly) go along with aspartame sweetened beverages over regular sugared drinks given their concerns about the latter. Bottom line, the solutions I espouse are not perfect, but they represent actions that frequent consumers of soft drinks, high calorie snacks, etc. can adopt today to start them on the right path. 

Q. apartame and msg is what is killing us. excitotoxins. google it. and look up the definition of artificial and natural flavors. hidden sources of more msg and aspartame. these poisons are in every thing from our packaged, canned baked foods and medicines and baby food. look for it its there. Posted by: lucy4grace

A. Hi lucyforgrace: The issue of toxins in our foods is certainly a concern. My position is not to “push” people to eat more cookies, soft drinks, etc. Rather, NOTHING has worked so far and the first step to engage us erstwhile consumers is to GO SIMPLE. Except for those among us who are most disciplined, asking a consumer to go cold turkey on their eating habits is a stretch – witness that diet plans have failed and that even after adding nutritional labels on packages in the early 90’s, the rate of obesity has risen from 14% to over 30%. My approach is not perfect, but I believe it’s a necessary step. Ultimately I will champion the cause that food companies market only foods that are good for us.

As you can see, there is a huge gap in perspectives about what the best course of action is to overcome our poor eating habits. Stay tuned.

15 Responses to “What the Good Morning America Audience Thinks About Diet”

  1. Liza Gonzalez says:

    Hello Hank,
    Noel turned me on to your book and can’t wait to read it. I’m always looking into good information on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I’ve made mention of your book and royalties donation on my blog and have urged my audience to get on board.
    Continued success on your publishing endeavors.

  2. David Cardello says:

    Most people I know try to stay healthy by eating well and exercising on a regular basis. But there has also been a major shift in concepts revolving around local, sustainable living practices that tackle the problem from a different angle. As we see, healthy eating is only one piece of the puzzle.
    And where are our healthy foods coming from? Most of us would like to say the backyard or neighborhood and community farmers, but regretfully most of us rely on standard manufacturing and distribution methods that are cause for concern. In the end, the harm that is done to the environment in addition to the shameful waste of precious natural resources will not keep up with the demands of an exponentially expanding human population on Earth.
    It’s clear these questions surrounding ‘toxins’ are simply an adjacent puzzle piece – products of a now-defunct system that is in desperate need of an overhaul. Fortunately, there is hope on the horizon.
    If standard manufacturing and distribution methods are revolutionized through technologies currently being developed in the R&D sector, many of the ‘toxins’ and other issues concerning ordinary Americans would disappear.

  3. Would you happen to know if it’s’s safe to lift weights while making an attempt to lose weight? I have made it my new years resolution so I’m trying to stay with it.

  4. Very informative blog on nutrition and weight loss. I think many could benefit from reading your blog therefore I am subscribing to it and telling all my friends.

  5. I completely agree with the above comment, the internet is with a doubt growing into the most important medium of communication across the globe and its due to sites like this that ideas are spreading so quickly.

  6. ED Med says:

    Nice blog post – I found your site through Yahoo.

  7. Enrayack says:

    Yo there bro , nice site there. I yahoo your articlekeep it up .I honestly heart to read your site.Last of all have great night thumbs up

  8. What’s up? I just wanted to say that I really love your blog.

  9. Please, can you PM me and tell me few more thinks about this, I am really fan of your blog…

  10. Chalice says:

    Alli is fundamentally a fat blocking agent. It functions by keeping the body from absorbing the fat from the foods that we eat, and it is the one freely available drug that has FDA backing for its claims to assist weight loss. You might believe you could consume all the fat nutrients you liked and then take alli to nullify the outcome but sadly that is not typical. It should always be used in alignment with a low fat diet plan. Get alli starter kit.

  11. Lyda Hegland says:

    My girlfriends and I have been getting a great new weight loss supplement at this website, Has anyone tried it so I can add some feedback. It’s at Acai Berry Diet. Please let us know what you think. thanks!!

  12. Excellent post! I might actually listen to what you are saying. Overall your entire blog is great… I am having fun with it. Thanks!

  13. Glad the blog is proving useful.

  14. click here says:

    I like the valuable information you provide in your articles. I will bookmark your weblog and check again here regularly. I’m quite sure I’ll learn a lot of new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!

Leave a Reply