[From the Introduction]
Can We End the Overweight Epidemic?
It is a question that health and medical experts all over American think about—and try to find answers for—every day. One of those experts is Robert P. Heany, M.D., an endocrinologist and professor of medicine at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. Dr. Heany has conducted dozens of scientific studies on osteoporosis, the bone-thinning disease. Recently, he analyzed the data on several hundred women he had studied, probing for an association between calcium intake and weight gain. (He instigated this research based on studies of calcium and fat cells that my colleagues and I had conducted at the University of Tennessee—studies that show a low-calcium diet causes weight gain and a high-calcium diet increases the rate of weight loss. I discuss these studies in detail in Chapter 1.) Dr. Heany wanted to quantify the impact on the obesity epidemic if everyone in the United States got the amount of calcium recommended by the government: 1300 milligrams (mg) daily for adolescents and young adults 9 to 18 years old; 1000 mg daily for adults 19 to 50; and 1200 mg daily for adults 51 and older. He summarized his results in the Journal of Nutrition: “The prevalence of obesity (or weight gain) could be reduced by 60 to 80% by the simple stratagem of ensuring population-wide calcium intake at the currently recommended levels.”
Dr. Heany’s bold assertion is linked to the proven promise of The Calcium Key: any person who follows the Calcium Key Weight-Loss Plan can potentially double his or her body’s ability to lose weight and fat.
It’s important to point out that the Calcium Key Weight-Loss Plan (presented in practical detail in Chapter 2) does a lot more than increase your intake of calcium. It delivers most of its calcium via dairy foods, which my studies show increase fat burning and decrease fat making and fat storage by 50% more than obtaining calcium from nondairy sources. It also emphasizes foods scientifically proven to satisfy your appetite and reduce hunger, which are crucial elements in any weight-loss plan. It recommends an easy-to-achieve level of calorie-cutting, which is a must for any diet that is actually going to work. And it shows you how to burn calories with easy exercise and daily activities. I’ve included all of those features in the plan, because they’re all necessary for successful weight loss.