Internist, former director of the New Orleans health department and celebrated bon vivant Dr. Brobson Lutz wants to see everyone get healthy in the new year. He says don't blame our fabulous local cuisine for weight problems.
Is it so hard for New Orleanians to eat healthy? Or are we just really good at making excuses? People are not obese from eating shrimp Creole and jambalaya. That's a big myth. They're fat from eating greasy fast food. It's the intrusion of fast food into our culture. I think that fast food is going to be like the lead in the wine glasses that was the downfall of the Roman empire.
What can people do if they resolve to get more exercise in the new year? I believe in purposeful exercise: walking to places you need to go or riding a bike. Going to a gym and pedaling some stationary bicycle is the most boring thing you can think of. I recommend a FitBit - it's like a pedometer. It counts your number of steps, and it gets you to compete with yourself. ... I've had one for months. It's greatly increased the amount of walking I do.
What about losing weight? The big problem I see with folks in my practice who are overweight, invariably they do not eat breakfast. You start hungry, you send a message to the brain that there's a famine in the land. Also: water is God's beverage of choice. If all the Cokes and soda drinks disappeared tomorrow, we'd have a healthier world.
You're known as a bon vivant. How do you stay fit? The real key to health is something you can't do anything about, and that's genetics. I've got good genes. I was blessed to have a father who lived to be 100, and my mother is 91. She went fishing last week and caught about 18 bream, up in North Alabama. She says, "I've really gotten old. I can't clean them any more."
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