Habits & Health episode 38 with Robert J. Davis, PhD, a.k.a. The Healthy Skeptic. He is an award-winning health journalist whose work has appeared on CNN, PBS, WebMD, and in The Wall Street Journal. The author of three previous books on health, he hosts the “Healthy Skeptic” video series, which dissects the science behind popular health claims. Davis holds an undergraduate degree from Princeton University, a master’s degree in public health, and a PhD in health policy.
In this episode, we discuss some of the myths often repeated around weight loss, carbs, fat, etc.
by John Carreyrou
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This video is related to an older episode featuring Devin Burke
Habits and health episode 38. Welcome to the habits and health podcast, where we believe creating healthy habits should be easy. Brought to you by an educator and coach for anyone who wants to create a healthier life. Here's your host, Tony Winyard.
Tony Winyard 0:20
Welcome to another edition of the podcast where we give you ideas to improve your health in various ways. Today's episode is Robert J. Davis, PhD who's known as the Healthy Sceptic. He's an award winning health journalist whose work has appeared on CNN PBS WebMD. And in the Wall Street Journal, he's an author with three previous books on health. He hosts the Healthy Sceptic video series which bisects the science behind popular health claims. And he holds an undergraduate degree from Princeton University, a master's degree in public health and a PhD in health policy. And we have a really good chat about some of the myths that have prevail around health. And we dig into some of the biggest ones. And some of the research he did around his current book, which was just released a few months ago. Hope you enjoy this episode. habits and health and my guest today is Robert Davis. How are you, Robert?
Robert Davis 1:19
Tony, I'm great. Great to be with you.
Tony Winyard 1:21
It's good to have you here. And you're the author of a very new book. It's just been released a few weeks ago.
Robert Davis 1:27
Yes, a book called Supersized Lies and the subtitle is How myths about weight loss are keeping us fat, and the truth about what really works. So it's it's a myth busting book, I tried to look at sort through all the many claims, we hear confusing and conflicting claims about weight management, and look at the science and actually dig into the science, using my background in public health and epidemiology. And to lay out what's true, what's not true, what's half true, so that readers can make better decisions for themselves?
Tony Winyard 2:00
Well, I think this is gonna be fascinating going into some of that. So just before we get into that, so where are you both?
Robert Davis 2:07
I'm in Los Angeles, California.
Tony Winyard 2:09
Is that where are you a native of
Robert Davis 2:11
I'm not I'm a native of the other side of the US, but I've lived here for a few years.
Tony Winyard 2:17
What was it that got you where did you get into health first or journalism first, or what was your background?
Robert Davis 2:22
You know, I have had a passion regarding health, nutrition fitness since I was in college. And so I've also had a long interest in journalism, I was a high school journalist. And so I have combined those passions working as a health journalist throughout my career. I also have training, as I mentioned, in public health, and academic training, I've a PhD in health policy, Master's Degree in Public Health. And so I've tried to bring to bear all those things in my work, my passion, my personal passion, as well as my academic training and my work. I've written several previous books, I also produce videos and write things. And so what I try to do in all my work is actually look at the science. And as I say, sort of do things that most people either don't want to do or don't have the training to do to actually look at the studies lay out the science as clearly and thoroughly and honestly as I can. And so my brand is called the Healthy sceptic, and that is sort of a science based approach to all these claims we often get around health.
Tony Winyard 3:22
So what was the first book you did?
Robert Davis 3:24
The first book is actually called the Healthy sceptic. And that name is obviously I use for my brand. And that book looked at a number of different health claims, everything from dietary supplements, the things in the US that are sold, they're unregulated herbs, and vitamins and minerals, and so forth to claims about cholesterol to diets. I focus somewhat on diets in that book as well. A number of different health and wellness claims and try to look at the story behind the stories who is responsible for these claims. We hear who's responsible for this advice, whether it's the government interest groups others, and what often are their hidden motivations? What is driving them to put out this information? And how are those motives often distorting the information that they put out and misleading us? So it was a sort of a general look at health advice, and the various forces including money that often distort the information we get. And when was that published? That was published in 2008?
Tony Winyard 4:24
Okay, so you've had what 12 or 13 years of writing your book writing experience?
Robert Davis 4:29
Yes, yes. And several in two and three since then, this being my fourth the most recent
Tony Winyard 4:35
and has it got easier,
Robert Davis 4:37
it does not get easier. I wish I could say that it does. Each one has its own challenges. I love the process. But when I finish each one I say, you know I'm not going through this again. This has been difficult and then I for whatever reason, I decided to do another one. So but no, it has not gotten easier, but each one I've enjoyed doing.
Tony Winyard 4:57
So how long was it for this one? How long did it take you to do the research and everything around it/
Robert Davis 5:02
A little over a year. So and I will say maybe it was faster than I might have done otherwise, because I happen to start it right before the pandemic hit. And so I was writing it during the last year 2020. And so I didn't have many other distractions. And so that's always helpful when you don't have when you don't have much else to do you just stay at your desk, it actually turned out to be a good thing, because not only did I not have many other distractions to keep me from my writing, but also it was a good distraction to keep me focused on this and maybe pay less attention to all the terrible things that all of us were dealing with during the pandemic. So it turned out to be a blessing that the timing actually.
Tony Winyard 5:41
And what was the inspiration in the first place?
Robert Davis 5:43
The inspiration was that I have family members and friends who struggled their entire lives with their weight. So certainly I've seen firsthand what they've gone through and continue to go through. And also just in my work over the years and seeing the numbers of claims, misleading claims and misinformation that's out there when it comes to weight loss. I mean, perhaps this, this issue affects more people than anything else, because so many people, certainly the United States, and I know in the UK, other countries have struggled with their weight. And we know that the obesity epidemic is a growing problem, despite all kinds of efforts to try to address it. And so I thought that, number one, it's a very important issue from a public health standpoint. But also it's such an important issue for so many people personally. And given what I do, which is try, as I say, trying to look at the science and set the record straight. I just thought this was a very important issue for me to focus on exclusively in one book.
Tony Winyard 6:41
I imagine in the course of the research that you did, there's a few things that probably surprised you. Can you think of any particular surprises when you were doing research?
Robert Davis 6:49
Yeah, well, you know, there were a number of surprises a lot of these things, as you can imagine, I've reported on in the past, I think, you know, one is that in the US, we rely on a measurement, often called BMI body mass index. And that's standard in many countries. It's it's sort of the standard for determining whether somebody is obese or normal weight or somewhere in between and whether their health is jeopardised as a result. And what I found is that this measurement, I always knew that there were problems with the measurement. But I think the reporting for this book really brought home to me just how inadequate this measure is and how misleading it is in terms of labelling people as obese and at greater risk of metabolic disease, when in fact, they're not. And conversely, labelling people as normal and quote, okay, when they're not. And so how, how how distorting this can be not only in the way that we label people, but also have people perceive their own risk. And again, I talk about I have an entire chapter focused on this. But I think that was one issue that I think I gained gained an even greater appreciation for the problems that we have.
Tony Winyard 7:58
And can you see that ever changing? Why? Why do people still use BMI?
Robert Davis 8:03
That's a great question. I think it because it's simple and involves only height and weight, and it's easy to calculate. That's number one. Number two, is there's not a great alternative that's easy to use. Now people can there methods that are available to measure body fat, that are far more accurate, underwater, weighing, and so forth, but they tend to be more difficult to do, they're not as convenient, they can be expensive. And there are other things that people sometimes use for including measuring waist circumference. That's one thing that's sometimes proposing an alternative. The problem with that is that sometimes the people I know when someone measures my waist, I tend to suck in my stomach. So that's not foolproof either. It can be effective people have eaten recently, and there are questions about where the cutoff should be about what level is, is dangerous. So I think that it may be better, but it's not perfect either. So the short answer, the question is we don't have great alternatives. And so because of that, because there aren't great alternatives, which sort of inertia is just resulted in our sticking with a BMI.
Tony Winyard 9:05
The book is called Supersized Lies, which of the lies do you think most people really believe?
Robert Davis 9:20
I'd say a couple. One is this idea that weight loss is simply about eat less and move more, it's sometimes called and and that to me that's perhaps the biggest myth because weight loss is far more complicated than that. It involves psychology and involves genetics and evolves environment involves biology, hormonal and metabolic issues that vary from person to person, in addition to what we eat, and and so and how we move our bodies and so there are a number of factors. And I think that when people are told simply, all it involves eat less, move more exercise, watch your calorie intake and you'll lose weight. It's a gross oversimplification, obviously if that were the answer Then people, more people would be succeeding in their efforts to lose weight and they're not. And not only are they not succeeding, they're gaining weight. So I think that that's, that's a huge factor. And it's a problem. And the other side of that is that often when people fail, they're so Okay, well, I'm trying to, I'm trying to eat less, I'm trying to exercise more, and I'm not losing weight. They blame themselves, and they think of themselves as failures. And that's one of the terrible side effects of this misinformation, because the problem is not their efforts, necessarily. The problem is the advice.
Tony Winyard 10:32
When I first saw the cover of the book, and I saw supersize, I seem to remember a documentary a few years ago called Supersize Me or something?
Robert Davis 10:42
Tony Winyard 10:44
Thoughts go to McDonald's and some of the misinformation I suppose you could say that companies like that spread?
Robert Davis 10:51
Right? Well, that's where the name came from. Because I want to do a play on that not not to steal from that documentary. But it was that name that supersize came originally from when I don't believe they do it anymore. McDonald's would have with label, they're the sizes, they went, you know, meat, small, medium, large, Supersize Me to get even larger size fries, or whatever. And so I think that, if that, if that adjectives can apply to French fries, or fries, it can also apply to the myths and the lies that we hear.
Tony Winyard 11:25
What's the reaction been so far?
Robert Davis 11:27
I've been very gratified very happy with your action, particularly from people and think what matters most to me is when I hear from people and read reviews from people who've struggled with their weight, who are exactly the kinds of people I'm trying to address, who, in some cases, lifelong struggles with their weight and gone through many different diets, and many different plans to reduce and not found success. And they say that this book is helpful to them, and trying to help them cut through all the hype and all the misinformation to get to what really may help them. And so it helped them understand also, it's not their fault. So again, that's been very gratifying to hear from those folks, especially to find that they find the book helpful.
Tony Winyard 12:06
Have people cited any particular sort of stories or examples that have really resonated with them?
Robert Davis 12:11
Well, you know, I, in the book, I do have a number of stories that I include, and some of the people have commented on the stories from the real people who've experienced this and telling about the struggles, they went through trying different approaches, and then discovering what worked for them. Because, you know, that's a big part of this is figuring out what works for you, instead of following some one size fits all diet. And, and but but it's showing the process some of these folks how their efforts over and over and over to try these one size fits all approaches, really were harmful to them, that there they would cause not only physical harm, but also emotional harm. And so I think those stories, people can identify with those stories who've been through this.
Tony Winyard 12:55
Can you recall any of the stories offhand that you could maybe give?
Robert Davis 12:59
Well, you know, just one small example I taught I tell the story of a woman who struggled with her weight for many years, she would go on low calorie diets lose the weight for some event or some occasion. And or she just had a goal, she wanted to lose the weight, would lose the weight, and then gain the weight back and then go on another diet, a low calorie diet, lose the weight and gain even more. And she talks about how this obsession with calorie counting. And these very low calorie diets prevented her from living her life. She said she would look at menus, people invite her to dinner and she would look at the menu beforehand, and see if there was some low calorie item on the menu. If there wasn't she would find an excuse not to go to dinner with people. She would dread going to weddings and events like that they weren't sources of of pleasure and enjoy. They were pleasures, they were sources of dread, because she would hate the thought of what am I going to eat cake, what what's going to happen here. And so I think that kind of thing can really, I think drive home the point that this struggle against weight and in some of the methods that we've been told we're supposed to follow the damage they can cause and really interfere with people's quality of life.
Tony Winyard 14:03
When you sat down to write the book, did you have a particular type of person in mind?
Robert Davis 14:08
Yeah, I think I wanted to appeal to people who and this is a broad wide swath of people who struggled and with their weight that may be some people who struggled to lose 10 or 20 pounds and haven't been able to and that also made people who've been struggling to lose more than 100 pounds. But people who've, who've had trouble figuring out what to do when it comes to their way and have have been confused about different what to do or maybe have tried different things and found that something doesn't maybe works in the short term and doesn't work in the long term. So yes, I wanted to appeal to people who struggled in whatever way both men women, young old, who have found that the traditional approach is things they've been told they should try. Don't work for them.
Tony Winyard 14:54
So we've discussed them and you just talked about how so often And so called experts, talk about a particular diet is going to work for everyone, which is clearly not true. And you've spoken about BMI. Is there anything else you think that people who are maybe not so familiar with health or not so knowledgeable, may be quite surprised by in your book?
Robert Davis 15:16
maybe something else is this idea that and this is an idea behind so many of the diets we encounter is that it's simply about villains getting rid of whatever particular villain that diet labels as a corporate. So we see we go back several decades when fat was the villain, at least in the US, and I think other countries as well. So the conventional thinking was, if you cut out fat, fat is bad, if you'll cut out fat from your diet, that it'll help you lose weight. Well, that turned out not only to be false, but some argue that it made the problem worse, because we ended up having not only people getting fatter, but we had an epidemic of diabetes that occurred. And then the next culprit was carbs. So the thinking was that if you just cut out carbs, carbs are the enemy, then that will be the solution. And that obviously, it's far more complex than that. And then since then, we have other villains, whether it's gluten, whether it's sugar, whether it's you know, detox diets, whatever the case may be, we have a number of diets that identify specific villains. And I think that is an idea. That is misleading and even dangerous. Because what happens is not only is it very difficult for people to sustain those diets over time, because they're depriving themselves, but also in the process, they can deprive themselves have certain nutrients they need, if for example, they go say on a keto diet long term, they're going to not be able to eat certain fruits, vegetables, whole grains that are necessary for good nutrition. So that's not to say a keto diet never worked. Not to say nobody should do the keto diet. But it is to say for many people, it's certainly not optimal. And And yet, people are led to believe that that diet or some other diet is the way to go because it bans some particular food or category. So
We hope you're enjoying this episode of the Habits and Health podcast where we believe creating healthy habits should be easy. If you're looking for the fastest and most effective way to transform your energy and wellbeing, we invite you to join Tony for an upcoming habits and health workshop. This five week group workshop will empower you the tools to disrupt unwanted habits and make positive changes easy. You'll enjoy sound asleep, better energy, less stress, and a happier mood Workshops begin on the first week of every month. And you can sign up now at Tonywinyard.com. Now back to the show.
Tony Winyard 17:47
So what would you say to to a person who's not knowledgeable in health, and they meet a so called expert or someone maybe a coach or someone who's selling some kind of a service. And without knowing anything about the person's metabolism, about their health history, straightaway recommends? Oh, this is how you should be eating? What would you say to someone who gets that kind of advice,
Robert Davis 18:09
I would say they should be very sceptical. They should be a healthy sceptic. And the reason they should is that is we said this is a highly individualised thing when it comes to weight management. And that in that somebody who's making a recommendation to you should understand a lot about you first should understand what your lifestyle is you understand what your preferences are, when it comes to food, to understand what you're eating? Where are you starting? Are you starting from place you're eating all junk food? Are you starting in a place where you're eating more healthful diet? What are your family obligations? What you know, what is your time frame, like in terms of your ability to focus on your diet? And then also what is your metabolic health? What kind of health are you when it comes to your blood sugar and your cholesterol and your heart health overall. So I think those are all factors need to be considered. And there plenty of others as well. But the point is that we need to, we need to look at all those factors as we're considering what to do. And I lay out in the book some general principles that people that everybody can follow. But these are principles that can be tailored to each individual, based on your preferences, your lifestyle, your situation.
Tony Winyard 19:13
What would you hope that most people get from this book?
Robert Davis 19:21
A couple of things. First of all, I hope that they will be more sceptical and more discerning when they encounter this advice, whether it's from the internet, or whether it's from the news stories, or whether it's from other people about this advice, particularly these, you know, this is the secret to weight loss, this diet is something you have to follow number one, and number two is I hope it will also make them more hopeful and not give up because sometimes people just throw up their hands and say, I've tried all these things, nothing works. I'm just going to eat whatever I want. I'm not going to worry about it. And that's not a good approach either. So I think that I hope that it will help dispel that idea and help people know that there are science backed principles that they can follow and that there is a road to finding Success, if you have the right expectations, and if you follow the right advice, and so I hope it can provide some hope to people.
Tony Winyard 20:09
Do you have any thoughts on how you see in the next few, maybe 5, 10 years? The field of health and, and the way that food is sold and marketed in general, not just food, but also diets and so on? How do you think things might progress?
Robert Davis 20:29
I'm hopeful we're not there yet. And sometimes people say we are, but we're not. But I'm hopeful that we can move more toward what's called precision medicine, with a greater understanding of the genetics and metabolism and various features of each individual to be able to tailor diets in a way that can really help individuals based on their own biology. You know, sometimes we see, oh, well, if you're this type of person, or you have this type of blood type, or you have this genetic profile, then you should follow this diet right now, that's not believable. We just we're not there yet with the science, but but legitimate science is moving in that direction. So I hope I don't know how many years over 510 years, whatever it is 20 years, we can certainly move in that direction more. And I think that ultimately may be the answer.
Tony Winyard 21:14
Something that you've kind of touched upon anyway, but I want to highlight it is something I hear a lot is a lot of people I often see on social media, especially Facebook, where someone will ask what supplements should I be taking, what supplements do you take, that would be really good for me? And I was thinking well, do these people who are giving you recommendations know anything about you? How should people go about trying to find the right supplements for themselves?
Robert Davis 21:41
Yeah, that's a hard thing, at least in the US, they're very poorly regulated, there's only loose regulation. And so in the US, manufacturers can claim pretty much anything they want, they can use certain wording to get around the law and imply that their supplement helps you lose weight, or whatever it is, and and there's no testing for safety beforehand that's required. So the only way to find out if something's dangerous is actually when it starts causing harms to people and then it can be taken off the market. But even then, it's difficult. So my advice to people is that for certain things, whether it's cholesterol or vitamin, mineral deficiencies, supplements can be helpful. And there's certain supplements, certainly that are, have been proven to be helpful and can can, and I think can benefit health. And there, and there are honest sellers, on the other hand, when it comes to weight loss, which is what obviously we're talking about here, despite the fact there's so many supplements, none is really proven to be effective. Many companies contain a combination of ingredients that have never been tested together. So even if one ingredient may in some studies show some benefit, we don't know what's going to happen when you can combine those ingredients, and whether even that's safe. So I would advise people when it comes to weight loss to be very, very cautious of supplements, because not has been proven to be effective or safe. In general, though, if people are interested in supplements, there's certain websites consumer lab being one consumer lab comm that actually test supplements to make sure they actually contain what's listed on the label. And they actually present the evidence for various conditions around certain supplements, lab, a lab door, I believe is another one that have this service. So I would suggest that people are considering purchasing supplements, to look to serve to services such as those rather than just believing claims they read on the internet.
Tony Winyard 23:35
There's a lot of tests being offered to the public nowadays, various sort of genetic test DNA tests, and so on. What do you think about those?
Robert Davis 23:42
Yeah, I think for the most part, again, this research is in its infancy, in many cases, these tests promise to deliver more than they actually can. So I would say that people should view those also with great caution, and to do some more research on their own to determine whether the test that's being offered really has the science behind it, that the you know, the the the people selling these tests claim.
Tony Winyard 24:09
You talked before about after your previous books, you thought, I'm not going to do anymore. So is this going to be your last one?
Robert Davis 24:17
Well, you know, you maybe should ask me the question in a year. I don't know, I would say that there are plenty of other subjects I would like to tackle. There's no shortage of subjects that require, I think more scrutiny of the claims that we hear certainly when we just talked about dietary supplements. You know, I thought maybe about tackling that one because there's so much misinformation and again, I'm not anti supplement. I think supplements can be beneficial in certain cases, but it's a matter of figuring out what those situations are. And so that's certainly one that I think would be appropriate to look at in the future in a book.
Tony Winyard 24:51
Is there a book that has really moved you for for any reason that you can remember?
Robert Davis 24:57
I read a book, a couple of years ago by a Wall Street Journal reporter named John Carew and and that's a book that's gotten a lot of attention for, at least people in the US are familiar with what the subject is. A woman named, Elizabeth Holmes, who started a company called Theranos, here in the United States. And this was a company that promised to revolutionise blood testing. And so it was became the darling of Silicon Valley, she raised hundreds of millions of dollars from all kinds of smart, sophisticated investors. And it turned out it was just a fraud, that she, the technology wasn't there. And yet all these people were fooled. And so this book, details how this fraud was perpetrated. But it also shows how the reporter went about uncovering this. And the reason the book really resonated with me, and because it's really relates to my life's work. In First of all, just how easily we can be deceived, including people who were very smart and very well educated and how a bias can take over this. In this case, groupthink and the bandwagon effect that everybody believes something. And so everybody jumps on it, other people believe it. So have very smart people believe that this kind of testing was possible, just because somebody who was charismatic, and attractive and smart said it was true. And so it carries over to the work I do, because I'm trying to point out constantly to people just because somebody you believe says this, just somebody who seems impressive says this about your help, don't take it at face value. And that's a lesson I repeat over and over and over to people. And so that, and this was, I think, a fantastic example of how, how this idea can happen on a mass scale, the way that people really made her a darling and believe what she was saying. And the second thing, I think the reason the book really resonates with me is the power of journalism and good reporting to help dispel these narratives and and and help people see the truth and why no journalism, rightly so has taken a beating in recent years. And there are all kinds of problems with journalism. So I'm not one to defend all the the the the issues in journalism, but certainly I think journalism at its best, and reporting at its best, serves a vital role, to help us see the truth and to help us get closer to the truth. And again, to cut through these narratives, and the stories that are misleading.
Tony Winyard 27:17
One thing I'd like to get your thoughts on would be on the various wearables that are available now. There's so many different wearables. And there's many more on the horizon, like continuous glucose monitors and various other things. Do you have any thoughts on any of that kind of thing?
Robert Davis 27:33
Yeah, well, I can speak to at least when it comes to tracking weight, so that that's something I wrote about in the book, tracking calories, and so forth. I'm a generally the wearables, people use them to track their calories. They're not good for that. So I think people need to be cautious of any calorie counts in terms of you burn this many calories today from your workout, that their studies that showed that they're not necessarily accurate. So people should take that with a grain of salt. However, there are other things they can tell you, for example, they're accurate of counting your steps. So if you're counting your steps, that can be a good thing. Certainly, the technology is getting better. But there are plenty of things that they don't do so well. For example, they don't do so well, at recording sleep. I know, there's some that people use to sort of look at their sleep, and they don't really measure how much you slept, they look at things like how your heart rate and how much you move during the night, which may or may not be good indicators of the quality of your sleep. So I think this again, the technology is getting better. But the basic things such as counting steps, I think we have the other things, in some cases not so if we need to do more work.
Tony Winyard 28:35
Has anyone given you any indications of wearables that may really develop in a good way over the next few years, in the near future?
Robert Davis 28:48
You know, I think that one area could be and it's certainly being pushed for this now is to help people monitor their own health. So it's whether it's monitoring their blood pressure, your blood sugar, other markers of metabolic health more easily, and communicating those with their doctor so that those kinds of things, rather than people finding out they have a problem. Further along in the course of a health issue, they can get early indicators, early warning signs of a problem, and that information can be conveyed to their health care provider early on, so that action can be taken to prevent something worse from happening. So I think that's an area where the technology could be very useful in the future, just to help prevent serious conditions.
Tony Winyard 29:34
If people want to find out more about you, where's the best place to look?
Robert Davis 29:38
Go to my website, which is healthysceptic.com and there I have information about my books, how to purchase them. Also, I have a number of videos I've created I create short videos under the Healthy Sceptic brand name on some of the topics we've talked about today and other topics, looking at various claims and say and looking at dissecting the science showing what the science really says. So those are short videos. So invite people were interested to go look at those videos on healthysceptic.com
Tony Winyard 30:04
If any of the listeners are sceptical about a story they read, or if they were to write into you, Are you able to do either a video on a hot topic of the moment? For example?
Robert Davis 30:20
Sure, and I welcome that. And if people do have questions and have suggestions for videos, I've done a number of my videos I've done as a result of people writing in and saying, what about this? In some cases, I didn't know about it. So it was important for me to learn that it was a thing, it was a trend. I try to keep up with that. But there certainly are plenty of things I'm not aware of. And so that's helpful if people say they've heard about something or wondering about something, and it gives me an idea. So by all means, I encourage and welcome that.
Tony Winyard 30:46
And is there a blog on your site?
Robert Davis 30:51
So it's just it's a website, but there's a way to contact me on the site, you just go to contact me on the site, and you can write a note to me, and I will get it and respond.
Tony Winyard 30:59
What is your big passion in life? Is there something that you're most passionate about?
Robert Davis 31:07
I would say, you know, obviously, I'm passionate about health. But I think within that, you know, there's an aspect of health many people don't think of as falling into the category of health, but I do. And that is the idea of connecting with other people. And I know that may sound trite, but I think that's not only important part of just life in general. But I think again, I think it's studies show that people who are able to form connections with other people are healthier and lead longer lives than people who don't. And that's something that I try to focus on every day. Because I see it as a way to enhance my own well being, and to improve the quality of my life. And so it's something that requires work, we all know that it requires staying in touch with people reaching out to people, and that's family members and friends. And it's something that has greatly enhanced my life. I have friends that go back all the way to my childhood, a number of friends, but it's something I've worked at, but it's something that's just very, very important. And I would say it's number, it's my number one passion in terms of enhancing the quality of my life.
Tony Winyard 32:05
And lastly, David, is there anything I didn't ask? David!? Robert! is there anything I didn't ask you about your book that you think would be really useful for people to know?
Robert Davis 32:17
I think that, one area, we didn't discuss that I would just say to people, we have this idea that you need to eat less and exercise more, we didn't talk about exercise, one thing I would just add, because, again, I'm an avid exerciser. And I want people to know that, despite all the great things that exercise can do for you, I think it's the closest thing we have to a fountain of youth. And so I encourage everybody to move your body in whatever way you can. The one thing exercise doesn't do so well is to actually result in weight loss. And I think too often people look to that as the main reason for exercising and they end up quitting and being frustrated. Because exercise doesn't result in weight loss. And so I say to people, by all means exercise, but just go in with the right expectations. It's going to help you feel better, it's going to enhance your well being it's going to reduce your stress, it's going to help you live longer, reduce risk of heart disease, all the rest, but it's not necessarily going to help you lose weight. And I think if people can go in with those expectations, then they're more likely to over time. Enjoy exercise and stick with it.
Tony Winyard 33:19
I wish you all the best success for this book, because it's a book that clearly a lot of people need to read because there's so many terrible myths going around on these topics.
Robert Davis 33:35
Thank you so much, Tony. It's been great talking to you.
Tony Winyard 33:38
Thank you. Next week is episode 39 with Dr Miles Nichols, who is the founder of the Medicine of Heart Clinic and the Medicine with Heart Institute. He is a functional medicine practitioner. And he grew up in a family with his father was a medical doctor focusing on public health. And one day when Miles was 15, he got a call from a family friend said he needed to go to the hospital right away and discovered that his father had suddenly and unexpectedly died from a heart attack. And that changed some of his thinking around medicine. And we're gonna hear a lot more about that, and about how he helps patients now and his views on medicine and behaviour change and many other areas. So that's next week with Dr. Miles Nichols. Hope you've enjoyed this week's episode. And if you know anyone who would get some value from some of the myths that Robert Davis passed in this episode please do share the episode with them. And hope you have a great week. See you next week.
Thanks for tuning in to the habits and health podcast where we believe creating healthy habits should be easy. If you enjoy this episode, please subscribe and leave us a review on your favourite podcast app. Sign up for email updates and learn about coaching and workshop opportunities at Tonywinyard.com See you next time on that Habits & health podcast
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