Review: Dean Ornish's 'The Spectrum'
What the Experts Say
James Hill, PhD, co-founder of the National Weight Control Registry and
author of The
Step Diet, applauds The Spectrum's individualized
"It is a very reasonable stepwise approach, based on solid science, that
moves individuals along the spectrum, offering choices, trying different foods,
and suggesting alternatives if they don't work," he says. "We need a
wide array of different strategies to offer people that must be individualized
in order for them to work."
He still believes that a low-fat diet should be the template, which can be
modified according to the individual.
Experts agree that we'll be hearing much more about nutrigenomics in the
future, but say more research is needed.
Hill's research has also recognized the significance of genetics. "We
have found in some people exercise is more critical than in others, and
confirmed findings that it is not just your genes but how the environment
affects the way genes are expressed," he says.
Ruth DeBusk, PhD, RD, geneticist and author of Genetics, The Nutrition
Connection, says you can think of genes as a blueprint that turns on and
off depending on what is encountered in the environment, she says.
"Food acts as information for the genes, and it conveys a message to the
DNA on what to do with the food," she says.
Food for Thought
The Spectrum merges science with
alternative medicine, offering an array of choices suitable for anyone who
wants to be healthier, lose weight, or ward off disease. Your challenge is to
figure out where you belong on the spectrum and figure out -- through your
doctor or weight loss -- if you are on the right point.
This plan is based on years of research and is also very doable. If you cut
through the clutter of diet books on the market and give this flexible
lifestyle approach a chance, it may be the last "diet" plan you'll ever