Obesity is now the greatest health crisis in the world, so what can we do about it? Chef and presenter Simon Gault cuts through the myths around obesity and uncovers the facts, talking to leading experts to learn what causes the ever-increasing epidemic. Also putting himself forward as a guinea pig, Simon uses the latest, most cutting-edge science to see exactly what health problems he’s facing. He gets nutritional advice and is put through some intense exercise to try and make a change and improve his health for good, and to help other Kiwis through this process.
New Zealand is the third fattest nation amongst developed countries. One in three adults are obese in NZ. But it’s not just our country that is facing this endemic health problem. Our neighbours across the ditch, Australia, are spending $15 billion a year on obesity related medical costs. It’s an international phenomenon – there are now more overweight than underweight people in the world. Over the last 35 years obesity rates have more than doubled.
Living life as a busy chef has meant a not-so healthy lifestyle for Simon. He consistently gained weight over the years but the real bombshell came a few years ago when he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. He realised for the first time that his bad habits were killing him, and he needed to make a drastic change. Although he has lost some weight, he learns from Dr William Ferguson that he still falls into the obese category.
Research shows processed food and added sugar is a large contributor to the world’s obesity epidemic. This becomes evident when Simon goes shopping with a regular Kiwi family and examines what they are putting in their trolley. The idea that sugar is addictive is still controversial in the nutritional world, but in the first part of this documentary series some of the experts will argue that sugar is just as addictive as alcohol.
Simon puts himself through other medical tests including finding out his fat to muscle ratio in the “bod pod” at Massey University and using an MRI machine to gauge how much of his fat is visceral fat. Shocked to learn the true state of his health, Simon commits to making some serious changes so he can live longer and overcome his diabetes.
Professor Wayne Cutfield – Paediatric Endocrinologist, Auckland, New Zealand
Professor Jennie Brand-Miller – Charles Perkins Centre, University of Sydney, Australia
Gary Taubes – Journalist and Author, Co-Founder of Nutrition Science Initiative, USA
Professor Neil Mann – Retired Professor of Nutritional Biochemistry, RMIT University Melbourne, Australia
Dr Robert Lustig, MD – Professor of Pediatrics, University of California San Francisco (UCSF), School Of Medicine, USA
Dr Lynda Frasetto – Clinical Professor of Medicine University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), USA
Dr William Ferguson – Kumeu Medical Centre, Auckland, New Zealand
Owen Mugridge – Research/Technical Assistant, Massey Institute of Food Science & Technology, Auckland, New Zealand