Episode 2

Episode 2

In part two of Prime’s documentary series, Why Are We Fat?, Simon tackles one of his most-hated activities – exercise. First up, a cardio-vascular fitness test so the team at AUT’s Millennium Institute can prescribe the most appropriate exercise for Simon – short, sharp resistance training and high-intensity interval training.

Back at Dr William Ferguson’s office, Simon receives the results of his gene tests, which provide some valuable insights into his weight struggles and will help him carry on his journey to better health in a more targeted way. Shockingly, he learns that his body is 800 percent more likely to gain weight from carbohydrates than someone without that gene.

Simon has heard what can happen to those with diabetes that is not properly managed, but at Auckland’s Middlemore Hospital he meets Dr Murray Cox to see the effects of this disease in person. He meets patients who are suffering from blindness, kidney failure, and loss of limbs as a result of their battle with diabetes.

In America, Dr Stephan J. Guyenet explains how through the release of dopamine while eating, people become addicted to calorie-dense, high-fat and high-carbohydrate foods. Meeting up with Dr Gerhard Sundborn (who has a special interest in the health and diet of Pacific Island people) at the Otara Markets in South Auckland, Simon learns about the groups within New Zealand that struggle with obesity more so than others – Maori and Pasifika. Research shows these communities are eating diets high in fat, sodium and sugar, with a lot of food consumed from takeaway shops and dairies. One in four Pacific Islanders have diabetes. One school in South Auckland didn’t wait around for health problems to come to them – they acted. Yendarra Primary in Otara, South Auckland, have made major changes when it comes to food. When Susan Dunlop took over as principal she found that the kids’ lunchboxes were full of junk food and the children were suffering for it. The school went ‘water-only’ in 2006, and kids are encouraged to bring healthy lunches to school. Not only has their physical health improved dramatically, but truancy is down and attention levels are up.

Later, Simon gets a visit from nutritionist Dr Mikki Williden, who arms him with an eating plan that combined with his exercise routine will put him well on his way to a healthier lifestyle.

Experts featured:
Matt Wood – Lecturer & HPC Clinic Manager, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand
Nigel Harris – Senior Lecturer, Exercise Science, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand
Dr William Ferguson – Kumeu Medical Centre, Auckland, New Zealand
Dr Murray Cox – Vascular Surgeon, Middlemore Hospital, Auckland, New Zealand
Dr Stephan J. Guyenet – Obesity Researcher and Neurobiologist, Seattle, USA
Dr Gerhard Sundborn – Epidemiologist, University of Auckland, New Zealand
Susan Dunlop – Principal, Yendarra School, Auckland, New Zealand
Professor Kerin O’Dea – Nutrition and Population Health, School of Health Sciences, University of South Australia, Australia
Associate Professor Felice Jacka – Psychiatric Epidemiologist, Deakin University, Australia
Luke Sniewski – Personal Trainer, Auckland, New Zealand
Dr Mikki Williden – Nutritionist, Auckland, New Zealand