I come from a family of contrasts in body weight-a bean pole dad and an obese mother. My dad could eat anything and stayed thin, while my mom, in eating to keep up with him, started packing on the pounds shortly after their marriage. Both ate a healthy, traditional American diet in front of my sister and me, but packets of cookies and other goodies mysteriously disappeared from the cupboard. How could I not be fascinated by eating behavior growing up in such an environment? The fascination turned to concern, and ultimately a desire to understand and help obese people. Because of her obesity my mother developed diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and she died too young-in her early 70s. My dad is still going strong in his 80s.
With this background, my first career goal was medical school. But after I was accepted to medical school, I had the opportunity to go to Cambridge University in England to do research. I loved it, and decided to go on to a Ph.D, rather than an M.D. My first studies were on thirst-I was getting my (research) feet wet! Eventually the lure of eating behavior drew me in. I have been fortunate. While in England, I was well-funded by the Medical Research Council. Back in the States, The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (part of the National Institutes of Health) has provided continuous funding for my studies of eating behavior and weight management.
As it became clear that using energy density as a guide to food choices leads to both enhanced satiety and nutritious eating, I decided it was time to give back. Taxpayers had paid for my research and I wanted to tell the public about our exciting findings. Hence we had The Volumetrics Weight-Control Plan. But before deciding to write it, I had to wrestle with what it might do to my scientific career. After all, diet books are not usually written by scientists who are in the trenches doing the research. I decided to take the risk, and am happy to report that Volumetrics was well received among my colleagues. It was also well received with health care professionals and the public. They have asked for more-particularly more practical advice on how to eat for weight management. I give them that with THE VOLUMETRICS EATING PLAN.