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Doctor Curmudgeon® Waiting for the Next Fad Diet


By Diane Batshaw Eisman MD FAAFP

In curmudgeon-land, it is 2 AM

I put down my British crossword puzzle, unfinished of course, place the cap on my old fashioned fountain pen, satisfied that my brain has had some exercise.

But…wait…there is another sensation. Brain is replete. But my stomach gurgles. It is sending a message to my brain to hit the kitchen.

Instead, I prudently access my Inner Curmudgeon.

I think of a few patients who are convinced that the next diet will work and they will morph into Angelina Jolie or Brad Pitt or any combination thereof.

There was Ms. Inever eet: “Oh, Doc, I just eat fruits, vegetables, a little yogurt and some fish. It’s my metabolism and you keep saying it isn’t. Well you’re wrong. I’m going to start the cookie diet and you just watch me lose weight?”

I lean back carefully on my little stool and just look at her. More talk is useless. I’ll wait until her next visit. And maybe, just maybe, says my inner optimist as it tries to push the curmudgeon aside…maybe she’ll listen to me

If only that cookie diet worked, I would find my desk littered with the crumbs of cookies, stuffed with dark chocolate chips and macadamia nuts.

Two for breakfast.
Another for a mid-morning snack

Several oatmeal cookies for dinner…and the universe of cookies is so huge…unlimited…

I can only imagine my bed time snack cookie!
And MR.Justin BigBones: “Listen Doc, it’s just big bones. I’m not really fat. And I don’t care how much fat you think you can pinch. You are wrong. But because you’re such a nag, I’m gonna do that hormone thing my friends are doing.”

My inner curmudgeon is now roaring, and I list all the dangers in that one. I do this carefully, gently, just praying he will listen.

There was Ms. Tenna Pounds: “Doctor, I just feel so obese, so I’m starting the ice cream diet. I know it will be just perfect for me.”

And for all you out there who believe Doctor Curmudgeon is not doing her job.
I listen

I discuss the risks of obesity

I discuss the risks of poor food choices

I explain how to keep a food diary which we review together

I talk about ways to increases physical activity in daily lives.

I refer to registered dietitians

I refer to Psychiatry

And so I await the morning and the next patient who comes in with the latest fad diet.

Doctor Curmudgeon® is Diane Batshaw Eisman, M.D., a physician-satirist. This column originally appeared on SERMO, the leading global social network for doctors.

SERMO www.sermo.com “talk real world medicine”

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