'You: On a Diet' -- Experts Speak Out

In their best-selling book, "You: On a Diet," Drs. Mehmet Oz and Michael Roizen approach weight loss from a scientific perspective.

In short, they say that if dieters can understand how the body processes and stores fat, they will be better able to identify why they gain weight -- and take steps to control these factors.

But how do the experts view this new offering?

Dr. Dean Ornish

Clinical professor of medicine

University of California, San Francisco

Sausalito, Calif.

"'You: On a Diet' is a wonderful book -- science-based yet entertaining. It takes a thoughtful, comprehensive approach rather than focusing only on food. I've known Drs. Oz and Roizen for many years; they are highly respected in the academic world and also gifted communicators and health educators for the general public. They bring together the best of all weight-loss approaches and give it their own unique perspective."

Dr. Dan Bessesen

Associate professor of medicine

University of Colorado Health Sciences Center

Denver, Colo.

"This is a very interesting book, not so much because of the content, but what it demonstrates about what has happened to the 'diet book' as a format. I think this book is troubling because it may well be a marketing tool from a number of drug companies and food companies 'disguised' as a diet book."

Dr. Jana Klauer

Physician

Author, "How the Rich Get Thin"

New York, N.Y.

"The Oz-Roizen team is a winner; their advice is medically sound (as would be expected) and understandable to the general public. The importance of this weight loss plan is that Drs. Oz and Roizen primarily focus on waist size. Waist size is the single best predictor of the most dangerous fat -- fat around the middle -- and they simply and clearly explain how this hurts internal organs."

Dr. Fred Pescatore

Physician

Author, "The Hamptons Diet"

New York, N.Y.

"The only reason that book is the No. 1 best seller is because it speaks to you like you are a child and Oprah tells you to buy it. There is no new medical information or weight loss information in this book."

Mary Beth Kavanagh

Instructor

Department of nutrition

Case Western Reserve University

Cleveland, Ohio

"'You: On a Diet' would be better titled 'You: Living a Healthy Lifestyle.' The pros are that it is a non-diet approach to living and enjoying food, it emphasizes that dieters should not expect perfection, and its moderate caloric restriction reduces hunger and deprivation. But the 20-minute workout is totally inadequate to produce weight loss; some people need 45 to 60 minutes of aerobic exercise to lose weight. And recommending nicotine patches and caffeine for weight loss is very dangerous, especially in younger, older or hypertensive people; I am especially shocked by this section."

Dr. James Anderson

Professor of medicine and clinical nutrition

University of Kentucky

Lexington, Ky.

"This will appeal to the highly-educated consumer because of the complexity. They use current hot buzzwords in obesity research in a pseudoscientific manner. I think it is unlikely that many consumers will find it effective for weight loss or weight maintenance. Time will tell, but this will not have lasting impact, in my opinion."

Keith-Thomas Ayoob

Associate professor

Department of pediatrics

Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Bronx, N.Y.

"About this, [Dr., Oz] is right on: the long-term battle is more likely won by changing things 100 calories at a time. However, the downside of that is that it amounts to about 10 pounds a year. Most dieters want it faster than that. There is also the emotional issue about overeating. If obesity were just about controlling hunger, we would have far fewer fat people. People overeat for a variety of reasons, and hunger is only one of them."

Jean Harvey-Berino

Chair and professor

Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences

University of Vermont

Burlington, Vt.

"I have been doing obesity treatment research for over 16 years. As far as I know there is no evidence to support the notion that any particular type of diet can help you reduce body fat more in one area that another.

"In fact, the real issue I have with most of these plans is that there is never any empirical evidence provided to support they are any better than our currently available techniques -- such as calorie restriction, exercise and behavior modification."

Brian Wansink

Director, Cornell Food and Brand Lab

Cornell University

Ithaca, N.Y.

"'You: On a Diet' is one of the most reader-friendly diet books on the market. Very simple and very clear. My comment on it could be summarized in the sentence: For most Americans, the answer might be less 'waste management' and more 'environment management.'"

Dr. Steven Heymsfield

Professor of medicine

Obesity Research Center

St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital

New York, N.Y.

"No new ideas; sprinkle in a little science with good marketing and an articulate Columbia heart surgeon, and you sell a lot of books, especially when there is nothing else out there. Finding approaches that really work is extremely hard and well beyond whatever these two authors tout in their book. Fancy package, but nothing inside."

Jackie Newgent

Nutrition consultant

New York, N.Y.

"I'm a big fan of the authors' ability to explain the complicated, science-based whats, whys and hows of weight loss, in such consumer-friendly language. While I'd definitely recommend this book, I would suggest skipping the part on supplements. My experience is that people who believe in even the slightest benefit of a supplement, often try that route -- or over-try that route -- as an easy way out for weight loss. Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts."

Joanne Shearer

Team leader

Hospital food and nutrition services

Sioux Falls, S.D.

"Drs. Oz and Roizen's diet plan is not 'the new biology of fat,' but common sense nutrition guidelines that registered dietitians have been teaching for years."

Dr. Richard Feinman

Co-editor-in-chief

Nutrition and Metabolism

Brooklyn, N.Y.

"Well, I guess that pretty much takes care of the obesity epidemic. I suggest for their next book: 'You: In Iraq.'"

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