⭐ Order Shann's best selling book How to Start A Business on Your Kitchen Table and receive two free gifts! ⭐
Live Chat 8am - 8pm
FREE Delivery
FREE lifetime support

Open letter to Boris Johnson RE: Obesity

Dear BoJo, 

It’s great that you’re trying to tackle obesity in the UK. 

You’re quite right that obesity is a risk factor for Covid-19.1 A recent government review found that scientific evidence consistently suggests that people with Covid-19 who are overweight (a BMI of more than 25) or obese (a BMI of more than 30) are at an increased risk of severe complications and death. 

However. 

Under your new plan, the NHS is promoting bariatric surgery as the best and cheapest fix for the obesity problem. 

A few problems with that approach: 

  1. Almost 1 in 5 children are overweight or obese when they start primary school, rising to 1 in 3 when they start secondary school, according to the Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health.2 Are you going to give all those kids gastric bands?
  2. Surgery is risky. Abdominal surgery represents a high risk for hospital-acquired infections and complications that may compromise the surgery outcome.3
  3. Surgery – and the antibiotics that accompany it – damage the gut microbiome. Patients with recent abdominal surgery have an intestinal dysbiosis.4

Here’s the thing. The science on obesity is in. I have no idea why you’re not taking it into account – because it opens a treatment option that is safe, easy, natural and child-friendly. Here’s what you need to know about obesity: 

Obesity is a problem of the gut microbiome. 

We now know for a fact that obesity can be predicted by, and could be controlled by, the bugs that live inside your gut.5

In fact, scientists can even “transfer” obesity from one organism to another.6

Scientists have shown that microbial communities from the gut can transmit lean or obese traits. We even know the specific strains that influence obesity; a bacteria called Bacteroides has been observed at increased levels in the microbiota of lean individuals. 

What does the science say? 

Researchers at Washington University’s School of Medicine took samples of the microbes that were living in the guts of human fraternal and identical twins. For each pair of twins in the study, one sibling was lean while the other was obese. The researchers then transplanted the discordant twins’ gut microbiota into the guts of germ-free mice that had been raised under sterile conditions, without any microbes of their own.

What the astounded researchers observed in these mice, which were consuming a standard mouse diet, was that the recipients of the obese twins’ microbiota gained more fat than the recipients of the lean twins’ microbiota. This wasn’t attributable to differences in the amount of food they consumed, so there was something in the microbiota that was able to transmit this trait.7

Fact: Gut bacteria impacts obesity. 

What exactly is the human microbiome and how does it work? 

Your microbiome is a collection of trillions of living organisms that live inside your gut, weighing around 2 kg. This mass is so important to human health that scientists now consider it to be another “organ.” 

Imagine these bugs as an Amazon rainforest – a collection of biodiverse living organisms that exist in their own ecosystem. 

Like any ecosystem, the one inside your gut is fragile, and can be damaged. The things that damage are what I call the “4 Horsemen of the Gut Apocalypse” : sugar, antibiotics, stress and environmental toxins found in pollution, personal care products and household cleaners. 

Once the balance of the gut bacteria is thrown out of whack, it creates a condition known as gut dysbiosis. Gut dysbiosis has been firmly connected to obesity, independent of diet.8

What do antibiotics have to do with it? 

Antibiotics, particularly, are great at killing off bacteria. The problem is that they also kill off the good bacteria  inside your gut that prevent obesity. In fact, researchers have now concluded that the rise of obesity around the world is coincident with widespread antibiotic use.9

For decades farmers in Britain and around the world fed low doses of antibiotics to cattle, sheep, pigs and chickens because the drug caused the animals to gain weight.10

And what works on animals, appears to work on children as well. A  study of more than 10,000 children in the Bristol area, published in the International Journal of Obesity, found that giving babies antibiotics before they are six months old appears to increase their chance of being overweight three-year-olds by almost a quarter.11

So what’s the obesity solution that is cheaper, less painful and easier than surgery? 

Improving gut health. 

This doesn’t just mean eating fewer pies. There are specific steps you can take to improve your gut health, which has to do with putting the right kind of gut bacteria back into your microbiome, and then providing those bacteria with the right kind of fibres. 

It looks like this: 

3 STEPS TO GUT HEALTH: 

  1. Take probiotics.12
  2. Take prebiotics.13
  3. Eat a gut-healthy diet.14

Dearest Mr. Johnson – we can sort out the gut health of the British public, and we can do it without antibiotics or surgery.

Consider this – the risk of dying from COVID is doubled by comorbidity with certain health conditions:15 hypertension being the most common (30%)  followed by diabetes (19%) and coronary heart disease  (8%).16

All these issues are firmly linked with gut dysbiosis.17 18 19

Are you seeing a pattern here? Because we do. 

Sort the gut – and you sort the obesity…as well as the other issues that contribute to increased fatality risk from COVID 19. 

If you’d like more info, just get in touch with one of Nutritional Therapists at Chuckling Goat. We’re always happy to help! 

Fondly,
Shann Jones 
Gut Health Expert 
Nutritional Advisor 
Director, Chuckling Goat LTD 

References

  1. AHA Journals - "Obesity Is a Risk Factor for Severe COVID-19 Infection ". Written by Naveed Sattar MD, Iain B. McInnes MD, John J.V. McMurray MD on July 7, 2020
    link to articlehttps://www.ahajournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.120.047659
  2. Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health - "About childhood obesity".
    link to articlehttps://www.rcpch.ac.uk/key-topics/nutrition-obesity/about-childhood-obesity
  3. Acta bio-medica - "Post-surgical intestinal dysbiosis: use of an innovative mixture (Lactobacillus plantarum LP01, Lactobacillus lactis subspecies cremoris LLC02, Lactobacillus delbrueckii LDD01).". Written by Bonavina, L., Arini, A., Ficano, L., Iannuzziello, D., Pasquale, L., Aragona, S. E., Ciprandi, G., & On Digestive Disorders, I. on December 9, 2019
    link to articlehttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6776165/
  4. Acta bio-medica - "Post-surgical intestinal dysbiosis: use of an innovative mixture (Lactobacillus plantarum LP01, Lactobacillus lactis subspecies cremoris LLC02, Lactobacillus delbrueckii LDD01).". Written by Bonavina, L., Arini, A., Ficano, L., Iannuzziello, D., Pasquale, L., Aragona, S. E., Ciprandi, G., & On Digestive Disorders, I. on December 9, 2019
    link to articlehttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6776165/
  5. Nutrition Today - "The Gut Microbiome and Its Role in Obesity". Written by Cindy D. Davis, Ph.D. on July 1, 2017
    link to articlehttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5082693/
  6. Scientific reports - "Heritability and genome-wide association of swine gut microbiome features with growth and fatness parameters". Written by Bergamaschi, M., Maltecca, C., Schillebeeckx, C., McNulty, N. P., Schwab, C., Shull, C., Fix, J., & Tiezzi, F. on June 23, 2020
    link to articlehttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7311463/
  7. American Association for the Advancement of Science - "Human gut microbes alter mouse metabolism, depending on diet". September 5, 2013
    link to articlehttps://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130905142804.htm
  8. Journal of diabetes research - "Obesity-Linked Gut Microbiome Dysbiosis Associated with Derangements in Gut Permeability and Intestinal Cellular Homeostasis Independent of Diet". Written by Nagpal, R., Newman, T. M., Wang, S., Jain, S., Lovato, J. F., & Yadav, H. on September 3, 2018
    link to articlehttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6140100/#:~:text=Our%20study%20established%20a%20close,dietary%20ingredients%20like%20high%20fats.
  9. The Telegraph - "Livestock antibiotics 'could have contributed to human obesity'". Written by Nick Collins on August 22, 2012
    link to articlehttps://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/9493178/Livestock-antibiotics-could-have-contributed-to-human-obesity.html#:~:text=Farmers%20may%20have%20played%20their,with%20antibiotics%2C%20a%20study%20suggests.&text=By%20altering%20the%20fine%20balance,rates%20to%20rise%2C%20researchers%20claim.
  10. The Telegraph - "Livestock antibiotics 'could have contributed to human obesity'". Written by Nick Collins on August 22, 2012
    link to articlehttps://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/9493178/Livestock-antibiotics-could-have-contributed-to-human-obesity.html
  11. The Telegraph - "Giving antibiotics to babies 'raises obesity risk'". Written by Stephen Adams on August 22, 2012
    link to articlehttps://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/children/9490140/Giving-antibiotics-to-babies-raises-obesity-risk.html
  12. Healthline - "8 Health Benefits of Probiotics". Written by Mary Jane Brown, PhD, RD (UK) on August 23, 2016
    link to articlehttps://www.healthline.com/nutrition/8-health-benefits-of-probiotics#section9
  13. News-Medical - "Health Benefits of Prebiotics". Written by Ratan-NM, M. Pharm on October 21, 2018
    link to articlehttps://www.news-medical.net/health/Health-Benefits-of-Prebiotics.aspx
  14. Healthline - "10 Ways to Improve Your Gut Bacteria, Based on Science". Written by Ruairi Robertson, PhD on November 18, 2016
    link to articlehttps://www.healthline.com/nutrition/improve-gut-bacteria
  15. The Conversation - "Coronavirus: the puzzle of why the risk of death is greater for men and for the elderly". Written by Jeremy Rossman on April 20, 2020
    link to articlehttps://theconversation.com/coronavirus-the-puzzle-of-why-the-risk-of-death-is-greater-for-men-and-for-the-elderly-135176
  16. The Lancet - "Clinical course and risk factors for mortality of adult inpatients with COVID-19 in Wuhan, China: a retrospective cohort study". Written by Fei Zhou MD, Ting Yu MD, Ronghui Du MD, Guohui Fan MS, Ying Liu MD, Zhibo Liu MD, Jie Xiang MS, Yeming Wang MD, Bin Song MS, Xiaoying Gu PhD, Lulu Guan MD, Yuan Wei MS, Hui Li MD, Xudong Wu MS, Jiuyang Xu MD, Shengjin Tu MD, Yi Zhang MD, Prof Hua Chen MD, Prof Bin Cao MD, on March 11, 2020
    link to articlehttps://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30566-3/fulltext
  17. The Lancet - "Clinical course and risk factors for mortality of adult inpatients with COVID-19 in Wuhan, China: a retrospective cohort study". Written by Fei Zhou MD, Ting Yu MD, Ronghui Du MD, Guohui Fan MS, Ying Liu MD, Zhibo Liu MD, Jie Xiang MS, Yeming Wang MD, Bin Song MS, Xiaoying Gu PhD, Lulu Guan MD, Yuan Wei MS, Hui Li MD, Xudong Wu MS, Jiuyang Xu MD, Shengjin Tu MD, Yi Zhang MD, Prof Hua Chen MD, Prof Bin Cao MD, on March 11, 2020
    link to articlehttps://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30566-3/fulltext
  18. Frontiers in Endocrinology - "Evaluating the Causal Role of Gut Microbiota in Type 1 Diabetes and Its Possible Pathogenic Mechanisms". Written by He Zhou, Lin Sun, Siwen Zhang, Xue Zhao, Xiaokun Gang and Guixia Wang on March 24, 2020
    link to articlehttps://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fendo.2020.00125/full
  19. Physiological Genomics - "Dysbiosis signatures of gut microbiota in coronary artery disease". Written by Qi Zhu, Renyuan Gao, Yi Zhang, Dengdeng Pan, Yefei Zhu, Xiaohui Zhang, Rong Yang, Rong Jiang, Yawei Xu, Huanlong Qin on September 7, 2018
    link to articlehttps://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30192713/#:~:text=Gut%20microbiota%20dysbiosis%20has%20been,gut%20microbiota%20in%20the%20disease.

12 thoughts on “Open letter to Boris Johnson RE: Obesity

  1. I have an issue with the telegraph articles as they are incorrect. Uk farmers cannot use antibiotics for growth. Their use are strictly controlled to use in disease management and the restrictions on their use of becoming greater.

  2. Another brilliant, clearly explained, easy to understand article. Maybe you should post this on change.org and get the nation talking about this?

  3. Excellent information here for us all to take on board. Even more research should be channelled into this area.
    I don’t think the government has ever promoted exclusivity for bariatric surgery, however. This will have been promoted by the NHS because it makes more money for them and the somewhat discredited Public Health England will have their massive input into it. Whether Dido Harding will do any better remains to be seen. I was once a TalkTalk customer until they lost my details to the dark web twice in one year caused by lax digital security in their accounts depts. Probably much better to rely on goats.

  4. Great letter, would be even better to get on TV as more people seem to take notice of ‘news’ than common sense these days!
    Perhaps more of the medical profession could be influenced to avoid harmful products which they distribute on a regular basis
    often unnecessarily, and give advice to parents regarding feeding children, and encourage children to grow and prepare food for themselves.

  5. Hi Shann,
    The higher risk link with hypertension was identified quite early on. If I recall tho, at that time there was insufficient analysis to determine whether the higher risk was to actively treated or untreated hypertension. As we know many people have it very well under control with medication, whilst many many others are walking around with this silent killer.
    Are you aware of any updates to this pls?

    1. We are currently working closely with an oncology department head inside the NHS, drafting a clinical trial for our kefir. The research linking all the conditions that pre-determine COVID fatality to microbiome damage is set to be included. So watch this space, Lorraine!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *