Re-broadcast of My Big Fat Diet

If you missed seeing it the first time, contact the CBC and let them know you would like the documentary to be re-broadcast. I am sure they will respond if enough people ask. You can make your request by filling out the web form at:

14 thoughts on “Re-broadcast of My Big Fat Diet

  1. Hi Dr. Jay,
    We really enjoyed watching the documentary last night and were inspired by the commitment of the people of Alert Bay. My husband’s grandmother was from Kingcome Inlet and went to residential school in Alert Bay. We have transcripts of a CBC radio interview with her from the 1960s. She talks so wistfully of the foods she ate traditionally with her family, the oolican and salmon, etc. and how she missed them when she went to residential school.

    I teach Aboriginal literature and have read and heard a number of residential school stories and have noticed how many people talk about the change in diet and how difficult that was. I was intrigued by the idea, mentioned in the documentary, that this change in diet could become a factor in land claims.

    The First Nations University in Regina holds the transcripts of the CBC interviews with Aboriginal elders that took place across Canada in the 1960s, mainly in BC and SK, I think. Might make an interesting study.

    Thanks for your thought-provoking work.

    Dr. Jay’s Reply:

    Thank your for your thoughtful comments.

  2. Hi Dr. Jay,
    As someone who has struggled with food and eating disorders in the past, I found your documentary very interesting. I wonder if I might be able to pass on the name of OA (Overeaters Anonymous) to you; it’s a 12-step program that helps people who compulsively eat. Judging from some of the diet participants (who identified as recovering alcoholics) I thought that it might be useful to some in following your foodplan. The website is if anyone is interested.

    Dr. Jay’s Reply:

    Some of the people in the study talked about a 12-step approach to complying with the diet. They are familiar with this kind of approach as it has been useful for many First Nations people in their struggle to overcome alcoholism. I don’t see why it wouldn’t be compatible with resisting the carb cravings some people have experienced when restricting carbs. As I said in the documentary, the neural pathways may, in fact, be the same. Thanks for the suggestion.

  3. My father was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes 3 years ago. After researching the subject both my father and I under took a low carb diet about two years ago.
    Things couldn’t be better.
    My father doesn’t take any of his medication anymore, and I myself have lost weight and kept it off.
    We’ve found you have to be a little creative and not let yourself get hungry, but the low carb diet is manageable and tasty.
    I love that you’ve done a real life scale experiment. I was banned from a diabetic web site for pushing this as fact.
    Fantastic work.
    The old diets, are the best diets.

    Dr. Jay’s Reply:

    Congratulations to you and your father for your success and thanks for sharing your story.

  4. Hey Dr. Jay
    As an educator very interested in reducing the risks of diabetes and related kidney disease I was very pleased to see the work you are doing being available through CBC. Congratulations on the ongoing research.
    I work with a community that has very high diabetic and obesity related health issues. A Dialysis unit was recently opened in the community and although very beneficial to those with renal failure, I hope that building more of these facilities will not be necessary.

    I look forward to keeping in touch with this site.

    cheers from Winnipeg

    Dr. Jay’s Reply:

    The increasing incidence of kidney failure among Aboriginal people is a tragic consequence of this epidemic. It underscores the need to find measures that can prevent or reverse type 2 diabetes. Keep up the good work.

  5. Thank you for the information about rebroadcast. My husband, a physician and I watched it the other night, and we were impressed. I am wondering if the program will be available as a DVD for the CBC or yourself in the future. I do outreach in Bella Bella, and Bella Coola, and soon in the Hazeltons via Telehealth, and in person re Diabetes and Obesity. It would be wonderful to have this doc. available as incentive for the communities to work together. I only see individuals and often they have difficulty cooking in a different way. You have made it easier for me to persist with other medical staff re low carb management instead of the traditional dogma. Thank you. And congratulations!

    Dr. Jay’s Reply:

    Thanks for your support. I don’t know what the marketing plan is for distribution beyond broadcast. If I learn of anything, I will post a comment here. You might also want to bookmark Mary Bissell’s website, Mystique Films (see link) and watch it for developments.

  6. Hi Dr. Jay:,

    I enjoyed watching your documentary the other night and was not at all surprised by the results your participants discovered as a result of their change in diet. As someone who was born with an inherent “primitive” metabolism, my obesity began in early childhood. I began my self-guided nutrition, exercise, and dieting programs in grade school. Along the way I have attempted to try to understand what was seemingly out of whack with my body. I have come to know that our understanding of endocrinology is in it’s infancy. Nevertheless, there are people out there, like yourself who are beginning to be enlightened on a practical scale. I couldn’t help but write you and ask if you were familiar with additional information that is out there about conforming to a low or controlled carb diet. There is often reference to Atkins whenever low carb talk comes up. I have many reservations about that particular program and have not found it helpful personally also. There are others out there that I think are doing amazing work yet don’t seem to be recognized. These individuals seem to be the only ones addressing important concepts like the FREQUENCY with which carbohydrates are eaten, and understanding theTIME FRAMES in which the body operates in regard to insulin release, and REGULATION of insulin production, in response to carbohydrate consumption etc. These are important because they do allow some carbohydrate consumption on a daily basis whilestill keeping one’s hormones in balance. As I have of course experienced very low carb diets myself I applaud your participants staying power as it is a hard thing to do. I just couldn’t help wondering if you were familiar with these concepts ? what you thought of them? I think it would be wonderful to see them implemented on a large scale also. I have used them and have been truly amazed how they have calmed my troubled hormonal waters, while still allowing carbohydrate consumption.

    Dr. Jay’s Reply:

    Thanks for you comments. I don’t claim to have any expertise with the techniques you describe. I do agree that there is more to this than just carbs, ie that the endocrinology of fat metabolism is complicated and there are probably a variety of approaches that will work better for some people than others. However, from what I’ve seen, I think carb-restriction works for most people if they are compliant. Sticking with it is the key and that is not always easy to do (see previous posts on this).

  7. I caught the show on Tuesday, and I’m hoping I can get my fella to watch it with me on Saturday. He’s slim, but has Native ancestry and a family history of Type 2 and obesity, among other things. He also has issues with both alcohol and sugar – a connection I was so glad to see brought up in the film.

    I hope people watching make the connection that it isn’t just a traditional diet for First Nations, but for all of us. We evolved on various foods, depending on geography, but they all included meat and its fat, and certainly low to no sugar/starches.

    Dr. Jay’s Reply:

    The question of a link between a high-carb diet and addictive behaviour is an interesting one. When I quit carbs it felt like I was going through some kind of withdrawal. I didn’t have an alcohol problem but, although I still like a glass of wine with dinner, I have noticed that my tolerance for alcohol is quite low since I started avoiding carbs. Good luck with your fella, there.

  8. Jay,
    Congratulaions on your piece. Sitting here in Northern California I have do not have access to the content. Will
    the CBC be posting the documentary on line? I am hopelessly cut off from most things Canadian down here. I remember you well from my doctoring days in Victoria and BC and am glad to see how you have put your intellect and education to the best possible use.


    Ken Hoffman
    Los Gatos, Ca

    Dr. Jay’s Reply:

    Hey, thanks for the note and nice to hear from you. Good to see your intellect hasn’t been wasted, either (BTW – I am a cat person). I don’t know if there is a plan to make it available on the web or whether there is a broadcast planned for the US. The producer is talking to American broadcasters. She may also make the DVD available to purchase on her website (see link). I will post information here if anything developments on that front, as well.

  9. Thank you for letting me know you lost my comment. I don’t remember everything I said but I remember mentioning several things.

    I have been doing low carb, though not as strict as Atkins, since 2004, my A1c has stayed 12% at dx.

    I highly recommend the website, Blood Sugar 101 (What they don’t tell you about diabetes) at: and her blog at:

    Her articles on LADA and MODY may be helpful to the thin guy on insulin, whose name I don’t recall.

    I also recall mentioning that I use 2-3 dozen eggs per week. I often eat them for breakfast or lunch. I usually keep some deviled in the fridge to go with dinner. I also make meatloaf, substituting shredded parmesan for the bread crumbs, that I keep sliced in the freezer to nuke for breakfast when I don’t want eggs. Once in a while I have meat leftover from dinner at breakfast or make a protein shake.

    If you get hungry or lack energy while on low carb you probably need more protein or fat, depending.

    Dr. Jay’s Reply:

    Thanks for your comment. The websites you have included look like they are recommending reducing carbs as the primary way to control blood sugar and minimize the need for insulin. This is consistent with what I have observed and what we found in the study. I like eggs, too. I often say that they must be the perfect food as they have everything you need to make a baby chicken. In terms of protein or fat, you have to make sure you aren’t eating too much protein and should try to increase the fat if you are getting hungry. Olive oil and the animal, dairy and marine fats and oils are the best.

  10. I often have the impression that nutritional “professionals” in North America are literally muzzled by the POLICY statements of their professional organizations and affiliations, rather than free to publicly comment on or even acknowledge — never mind support — emerging solid research supporting carbohydrate restriction (or as I like to label it, in a more positive terminology, the Original Diet).

    Congratulations on your perseverance and a job exceedingly well done, in a living community. It gives me great joy, and some hope! I’ve been waiting since the depths of 2004 for a resurgence in carbohydrate sense — the work you have done and have instigated (and the teams you have pulled together) is impressive! I am a fan.

    I myself have been a nutritional heretic since 1998, when I could not deny the logic in what I was reading, and have the great cholesteral ratios to prove it…

    Thanks again for the very public boost to what I firmly believe to be a healthful lifestyle.

    Victoria, BC

    Dr. Jay’s Reply:

    Thanks for your supportive comments. It is interesting that there seem to be lots of people like you (and me) who have been following a low-carb diet for many years with good results but nobody has done the research to follow people over the long term. The lack of long term studies is still the primary criticism of low-carb.

  11. my A1c has stayed 12% at dx.

    Should have said it has stayed below 6% since 2004 and was higher than 12% at dx. I guess the ‘less than’ and ‘greater than’ signs messed it up.

  12. Dear Jay,

    As a biologist, I was fascinated with the weight loss and blood chemistry results I could influence with my diet, by reducing specific carbohydrates. Going way, way back to my undergrad days in environmental physiology, where I learned of how business have exploited our ability to digest this food source. I still wonder what role carbs played in “our” ability as a species to migrate great distances during adverse climatic conditions?

    Cheers, Lawrence

    Dr. Jay’s Reply:

    I think that our ability to eat a variety of plant and animal foods gave us a survival advantage. Having said that, it appears that some foods were better than others for the long haul. It seems to me that fats were central to early diets and that, insofar as primitive technologies allowed, early man tried to collect and store fats, rather than carbs, for use during activities that involved travel and migration. The Inuit come to mind. Also the Sami who migrated with the reindeer herds and lived on reindeer meat and fat. The development of pemmican to fuel the fur trade in early North America is another example. Carb loading gives you burst energy but for jobs requiring stamina and endurance, I think fats might be better.

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