Paleo Diet Risk Assessment

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Normally we have a testimonial on Mondays, but I have something to share with you that is important enough to break tradition a little. If you’ve listened to the podcasts you might have heard me mention a risk assessment program sponsored by the City of Reno. I did a radio show talking about this program, a little about it’s history and where we need to steer our collective boat if we are to avoid the looming economic catastrophe that is type 2 diabetes and obesity. You can listen to that show here, just click on the link for the April 14th show.

That’s a good overview of what we are up to, how this program came to be, but I’d like to go more into the history of the program and really explore the implications if programs like this are broadly embraced. I try not to hype things too much but folks, this could be world changing.

Cops Were Dying

About 10 years ago 3 officers from the UNLV police force (30 officers total on the force) nearly died due to cardiac events.

In the span of about a month.

If a police officer, fire fighter or similar city worker has some kind of major medical event while on duty, the state of Nevada considers that a workman’s comp issue. Dealing with the initial medical expenses can run upwards of $1 million while the medical claims to retire that same individual average $1.2 million. That is a serious chunk-o-change out of the city coffers to say nothing of the trauma experienced by the person who suffered this event, their families, co-workers etc. These events were not unique to UNLV. Anyone in the police/fire scene was well aware of the health of our service personnel and knew something should be done to help these people. I want to get this story on video and include the key players to describe their part in this story, so I’m just going to supply a 30,000 ft over flight for now. But here are the nuts and bolts:

Key players in the local police, fire and medical scene got together to try to figure out how to save lives, and money. A risk assessment program monitored by Specialty Health was born. In the early years a high carb, low-fat diet was the recommended nutritional protocol. Framingham scores were the risk assessment benchmarks. An exercise program was implemented. Early on, the program did not work that well. True disease risk was flying under the radar. People who appeared to be at low risk of problems were getting sick, the program as it was being implemented was not really modifying CVD risk factors. The folks involved did not give up, did not stay entrenched in the standard ADA/AMA fantasies, and continued to learn and evolve the program. Eventually a low carb paradigm worked it’s way into the program, connections with the National Lipid Association were forged. Risk profiling and dietary recommendations changed and not surprisingly, the results improved dramatically. Let me share a little bit of how they used to assess risk (which is largely standard of care at present) and how that changed over time.

Specialty Health looked at 2 public safety agencies with a combined population of ~750 Police and Fire. Routine testing found the following:

Total Cholesterol: 9% high (% of the total group)

Blood pressure: 11% high

BMI: 26% high

LDL: 29% high

Glucose: 1% high

Tobacco use: 11% high

Framingham Score 1% Classified as “high risk for CVD”

ATPIII Score 2% classified as “high risk”

This represents Standard of Care in most programs.  Individuals at “high risk” were told to lose weight (standard high carb, low fat protocol) might be put on statins, were told to exercise. Folks with blood glucose over 100 but lower than the overt “diabetic range” (160+) were (and still are in most situations) overlooked for what they are: pre-diabetic time bombs.

A theme you will see that emerges from this program can be boiled down to the following: Standard of care will kill you.

When Specialty Health included testing for parameters such as metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance a much different picture emerged:

19% were at high risk for metabolic syndrome

22% were INSULIN RESISTANT.

26% were at high risk due to 3 ore more risk factors: BMI, BP, tobacco, Cholesterol, LDL, HDL Blood glucose. Yes, I know and they know BMI is to be taken with a grain of salt. Stay with me.

In the Standard of Care model 1-2% of these folks trip the system and are considered “high risk.” Most however are considered “normal.”The “high risk” folks are given a dietary protocol that consistently fails to improve CVD parameters and are provided little in the way of education, support or encouragement.  Additionally, Standard of Care misses the point that “normal” (what we see day in, day out) is in fact, not healthy. Using the insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome categorizations we now have close to ¼ of the population properly categorized as sick and at risk.

I’ll talk later about what exactly we are doing with the current program but I want to share some more stats, in this case a group of 196 officers were not only assessed by the methods described above, but were also screened for LDL-P, and LDL particle size. With these additional screens it was determined that 92% (180 officers) were actually at high risk of CVD. Standard of Care does not look at these simple to track biomarkers, nor does it recognize the connection between insulin resistance, systemic inflammation and the development of  undesirable LDL-P nor LDL particle size.

Something worth mentioning is that Specialty Health has a risk assessment database of ~1.5 million people, so they can precisely forecast risk based on these metabolic parameters and blood work. These are not numbers pulled from neither regions, but statistically robust findings. The projected savings of properly managing this group of 196 officers is $215 million. Program cost: $324,000. In a small pilot study 35 officers were found to be at high risk of CVD. These folks were put on the integrated program (which I’ll get to in a minute) and given the changes in risk markers, this three year pilot study is estimated to have saved the City of Reno ~$25 million. Given the program costs this is about a 6000 to 1 return on investment. Those are the best odds you can get anywhere in Reno!

What the current program consists of

At present the program consists of a risk assessment as I’ve described above. Folks who are at risk are put through a comprehensive program of paleo/low carb nutrition*, exercise (mandatory strength & conditioning) , help with managing sleep issues and continued monitoring. Police and Fire are not simply told “go lose weight” they are actually guided through an effective program.

Why this program works

There are some critical pieces to this program that if any one element were missing, it would not exist, lives and money would not be saved. Here are the players:

Chiefs of Police and Fire-Critical to this piece, the LEADERSHIP (Police and Fire Chief’s) are 100% behind this program. There is NOT resistance from leadership, this is NOT a grassroots phenomena. The LEADERSHIP understands this is saving the lives of their people.

Prominent City Council members-Several members of the City Council have gone through the program and benefited from the risk assessment. they saw the value of “An ounce of Prevention” and have  saved the city millions of dollars.

A well established risk assessment program (Medical community)

This program was born of a need to save lives and money. Screening was initiated, interventions recommended,  (high carb low fat at first, low-carb paleo became the dominant paradigm) outcomes were tracked and that provided feedback to further modify the program. No one needed “faith” for this program to work, they just needed to have their priorities straight (save lives) and to keep tinkering with inputs and outputs. So long as people were not dogmatic about what the program “should” be the program was allowed to grow and learn and ultimately find the “right” or at least better answer.

*One of the largest hurdles the program has faced would be funny if it did not indicate what a battle we have ahead of us: By and large, the Registered Dietitians employed by the program have refused to follow the MD prescribed low-carb diet. Even when the medical directors showed these individuals the lab changes wrought by a paleo/low-carb, the RD’s were often discharged as they were unwilling to educate the officers how to eat a low-carb, paleo type diet. Let me say this more directly: these RD’s refused to believe the data before their eyes. Not all, but most and it’s been a hell of a problem as the MD’s say one thing to the officers, the RD’s say ‘high carb, low fat.” The program will (I suspect) have even better numbers as we get the right RD’s on the bus.

Where the program is going

Since I’ve become a part of the group the paleo/anti-inflammatory/gut health message has been ramping up. As good as the results have been with the current intervention it was clear when I started looking at lab work that many of these folks were still suffering from autoimmune/systemic inflammatory issues. Tightening the message about grains, getting vit-d levels up and tackling the sleep/shift work issues in a more aggressive way has already produced impressive (but not surprising) results. I’ll share that info as it is made available. Our Chief of Police is presenting at a huge law enforcement conference later in the month and he will be sharing this information to several hundred key personnel. People who are in the position to make policy and affect change. Keep your fingers crossed.

Get In the Ring

It’s tough to describe how excited I am about this program and I think it’s almost impossible to overstate the importance. We have a risk assessment program with “a lot” of people in the database (over a million people) that we can use to track the efficacy of this or other programs. The Standard of Care has failed like building a rocket out of Balsa wood. It has cost lives and is contributing to an impending economic situation that if you really look at the implications should absolutely terrify you. As with most things, the economics have finally caught up with this health-care problem. Bad food, bad meds and a lack of accountability have run their course. We now have a large and ever growing data set indicating a much better way of doing things. This also creates the opportunity for market based competition. If a Berkeley based risk assessment program wants to run a Dean Ornish vegan intervention, go for it. In a matter of a few years we will see which program works better, which saves more lives, which costs less money. Perhaps several viable options will emerge. Let the numbers speak, not some goofy notion of “consensus”, which I’ll be talking about in a future piece.

Patient Zero

In an epidemic scientists try to find “patient zero”, the first person to introduce a contagion to a population. I suspect this program, the City of Reno and Specialty Health will effectively be “Patient Zero.” This is where a city with leaders in the Police, Fire and Medical community united to make a change. They did not know where the program would go, they just knew they had to do something and they were not afraid to try protocols outside the Medical Orthodoxy. That is nothing short of amazing.

I’ll leave you with a few videos from Specialty Health.  The first is a documentary presented to the National Fire Fighters association. The others are a few of yours truly.

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  1. Jim Keenan
    April 16, 2012 at 4:58 am

    Wow! What a great resource. I am a LEO Manager. Here in the UK we’re on the cusp of having health related metrics imposed as a condition of service. Your provision of this information couldn’t have been more timely for me.

    Thank you.

  2. Dasher
    April 16, 2012 at 5:25 am

    Great stuff Robb, really looking forward to seeing where this leads!

  3. David Fisher RD
    April 16, 2012 at 6:01 am

    The first thing that comes to mind with this is the Bob Dylan quote “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.” By that he meant that change is coming. There is some real momentum building behind this thing.

  4. Mark
    April 16, 2012 at 6:41 am

    This is fantastic news for the Paleo/Primal “movement”. Would this be considered a scientific study that Matt Lalond would accept the results from?

    • Robb Wolf
      April 16, 2012 at 8:51 am

      Well, it’s a non-blinded intervention…so you take it for what it is.

  5. Crunchy Pickle
    April 16, 2012 at 9:04 am

    Very cool! So glad to see this!

  6. Hi Robb,

    Great news and great stuff today. I was looking for my call to action but didn’t see how little ol’ me in Minnesota can help other than getting the word out among family, friends and social media. Is there something specific your community can do here to help?

    • Robb Wolf
      April 16, 2012 at 10:42 am

      I don’t know amigo! it all depends on connections, who you know. this came about in part because many of these people have been friends for 20+ years and just knew things needed to change. this is the market based piece of this…only you kno where you can best affect change.

    • Chuck Charbeneau
      April 17, 2012 at 6:39 am

      I started with my self, and got my family to change just through example. By continuing to show improved health and fitness I have continued to influence others into trying this crazy little thing called lov…er, Paleo. :)

      Where in MN are you? Depending on were you are, I know several people to potentially put you in touch with to at least grow your community of one.

  7. Matthew Caton
    April 16, 2012 at 10:58 am

    I remember a health screening I went to a few years ago that was hosted by my employer.

    I had just started following a low-carb diet, to lose some weight, and the results of my blood work showed everything good. BMI 25.1, but I was around 18% BF, BP 120/80, Glucose 70, Triglycerides 45, HDL 55, except my LDL was 170. Because of my BMI and my LDL they put me just below a high risk category. I was 22 years old.

    So I do some digging later on and I find that the calculation they use will overestimates LDL (they don’t even directly measure LDL) if your triglycerides are lower than 150, which mine were a long shot. According the to study I looked at my LDL was overestimated by 25%.

    Then I look at a study that shows that HDL to triglyceride ratio is a better predictor of heart disease than anything else. Keeping that ratio below two is ideal, and mine was below one.

    So, based on a BS BMI and a BS LDL number I was apparently close to being high risk for a cardiac event, at age 22. So much for the medical community be anywhere near competent or, for that matter, right about anything.

    A year later I have a similar encounter with my doctor, whose nurse tells me my heart is “filling up with fat”. Word for word that is what she said to me. Unbelievable.

    I’m glad your giving some great advice to people who be otherwise misled. Keep up the great work, and hopefully you’ll ignite a revolution in the medical community.

    • Robb Wolf
      April 16, 2012 at 3:13 pm

      The calculated blood values are a waste of your time…too bad they ran that way.

      thanks for the kind words!

  8. Frugal Portland
    April 16, 2012 at 11:10 am

    Wow, this is awesome. Great work.

  9. Jordano
    April 16, 2012 at 11:58 am

    “You don’t want intestinal contents in your person, keep you poop where it belongs”. HA!

  10. luke
    April 16, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    What type of blood work or testing should we have done to see if we are at risk?

    • Robb Wolf
      April 16, 2012 at 3:09 pm

      I list all that in the book. the stuff mentioned in the article is a good start too.

  11. Amy B.
    April 16, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    It’s nice to see you excited and kind of re-invigorated, Robb.

    Seems like you’d been a little down for a while with all the resistance to this stuff and feeling like you’re banging your head against the wall in trying to get people to save their own skins. Hopefully as the results start coming in from this, it’ll remind you that what you do is nothing short of saving lives and giving people back their futures. (Make that futures free of chronic pain, 20-pill cocktails every morning, and struggles just to get up a flight of stairs.)

    Maybe the police chief’s presentation will really speak to some people at that conference. They might not be ready to believe the “pseudo-science,” but in the end, it’s the money that talks, and with cities everywhere literally going bankrupt, maybe the money saving angle is what’ll turn the tide somewhere. (Might not be the angle we think is most important, but whatever works!)

    • Robb Wolf
      April 16, 2012 at 3:09 pm

      Amy-
      yea…I’ve been doing this for nearly 15 years. I LOVE doing it but some of the back and forth get’s old.

      • Joe
        April 17, 2012 at 6:54 am

        Don’t be frustrated Robb – you’re teaching a new skill. It takes time, even more so because you’re debunking conventional wisdom. This will be the breakthrough you need.

        Thank you for leading change.

  12. Evan
    April 16, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    Hi Robb,

    Very interesting to see estimated financial costs/savings expressed when discussing healthcare (definitely a way to argue for preventative care).

    Assuming all goes well and improvements are made across the board for the 196 officers – do you know if any of this information will be made available to the public and/or other cities/counties/municipalities (I don’t see any mention of this program in a quick google search)? Long story short, I’d love to see this type of program utilized in the police/fire departments where I live (Hawaii) – I’m 99.9% certain my brother, an officer, would fall under the high-risk category.

    Regardless, amazing stuff!

    • Robb Wolf
      April 16, 2012 at 3:07 pm

      Evan-
      We’ll be rolling out the specifics. The contract was only signed about 2 weeks ago to put the whole of Police/Fire ont he program. big stuff.

  13. Sean
    April 16, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    Absolutely fantastic program! Look forward to hearing more about the inevitable success of this – nice Robb!

  14. Jennifer
    April 16, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    This is really neat! I was wondering about a couple of things. One is how you’re addressing the difficulties of shift work. As a nurse, I had a really hard time adjusting to night shifts–everyone says “you get used to it,” but no matter how tired I was at 4 and 5 a.m., once the sun rose, my brain was wide awake and I was unable to get anywhere near enough sleep. For a while I had to do mixed shifts–one night and 3 days in a week, which was a common requirement of the job in my town. How do you help people who have to do shift work?
    Also, you seemed to emphasize that this program is working so well because of support from the leadership and that it is not a grassroots thing at all. Do you think it couldn’t work as a grassroots thing with pressure going in the other direction? Maybe we just have to wait for the economic benefits to become clear and then the leaderships of other places might get on board.
    I have sympathy for RDs who learned the wrong material. As a nurse I used to counsel my patients wrongly, too, and with the best of intentions. I’ve known several obese nutritionists who really worked hard at the diet/exercise thing–avoiding fat, eating a low calorie diet (hard to do!), exercising faithfully, blaming their weight on the occasional lapse. I wonder how many people are capable of understanding scientific data–I feel like our schools don’t do a good job of teaching what science is, but rather encourage people to think of science as just rules that other people tell you (fat is bad, calories in/out, PUFAs good, etc).
    Anyway, this is exciting news and I look forward to hearing more updates about your project! How cool if Reno becomes the epicenter of good health, and a model for the rest of the nation.

    • Robb Wolf
      April 17, 2012 at 9:31 am

      Jenn-
      The shift work is just all the stuff we alway talk about here and on the podcast. I think it was weird for them that when i showed up the “food guy” was mainly talking about what to do about sleep.

      Grassroots works great, and if that’s what we have, well we un with it. BUT, if we have leadership that can affect policy from the top down, we can affect remarkable change almost overnight. Grassroots usually means a few Police, Fire fighters, doctors and nurses working to get info out to the folks they are associated with. they experience massive push-back. threats, pressure. the program progresses at a snails pace and under duress. That’s not happening here.

  15. Mark
    April 16, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    Quick clarification – you reference Reno and UNLV, which aren’t in the same location. Was this work done in Vegas and Reno, or just at UNR?

    • Robb Wolf
      April 17, 2012 at 9:26 am

      Cops almost died at UNLV, this perked up the ears of the folks here in Reno to look at our Police & Fire.

  16. willson
    April 16, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    This is all fantastic for Reno, but pisses me off since I can’t find a way to get much of any of this testing. MD’s don’t find it on a specific page in their lawsuit safe protocol book. So forget it. Especially if you are over 70 and must be senile and what does it matter anyway at that age.
    Rockford IL A top 10 obese city in the USA………..

  17. Dr.Michel
    April 17, 2012 at 2:44 am

    Hello Rob, how exactly does the program work. How did you get the police force to join in? What do you charge?

    • Robb Wolf
      April 17, 2012 at 9:25 am

      Doc-
      Specialty health is making a landing page to talk about stuff like that.

  18. Sonya
    April 17, 2012 at 6:13 am

    My Dad is a retired Lieutenant from FDNY and I grew up around guys who would fit into this “experiment” perfectly. I myself became an EMT in NYC/NY State after undergrad and I remember one of the medics I worked with actually diagnosing his on MI while on shift. It was scary to be working with some folks who you knew might keel over from “the big one” just by looking at them.

    Robb, this program could save lives and change the advice that medical professionals give out! I can’t wait to see how this unfolds! Excellent work and thanks for sharing!

    • Robb Wolf
      April 17, 2012 at 9:22 am

      Sonya-
      This is just so big. Not only do we have the ability to track blood work, but we have a huge data set to compare interventions. Witha given group of 200 peeps we can pretty precisely predict CVD, stroke etc. When we do these interventions, IF the program is really affecting change, we will be able to detect that. Very easily, very precisely.

      • Sonya
        April 18, 2012 at 6:16 am

        This is so exciting. Hey, if you guys need a Physician Assistant do to assesments you know where to look ;D I’m trying to be a part of this in the smallest way by being a resource for my patients now. To have even more solid data and easy assessments…well that’s plain exciting!

  19. Kristin
    April 17, 2012 at 6:39 am

    I’m just starting my coursework to become an RD, and I’m sending good vibes for the success of this program, not only because it is awesome but also because working for a program like this would be a dream job for me. :-)

    • Robb Wolf
      April 17, 2012 at 9:19 am

      We need you Kristin!!

      • Shanti
        June 29, 2012 at 6:52 pm

        I am just finishing up my internship in Reno and will take my RD exam in August. If there is anything I can do to help, then I am all for it. I had an opportunity to work for the insurance company for the state working with the Police and Firefighters to improve their health outcomes but wasn’t a RD back then. This is definitely the kind of work that I would love to do.

  20. Arlo
    April 17, 2012 at 8:46 am

    Man, I think it’s great people are having awesome results, but I think everyone’s body must be different. I tried paleo for 3 months, no energy brain fog all the time, carbs or no carbs same deal. Spent a hundred(kind of obsessive i know) hours reading about it and tinkering too, no dice. Just gotta put it out there. There’s all sorts of space to tell how much good it did but where do we go for a non-biased view of all the people it did and didn’t work for and the in-betweens. JUst saying. Not trying to bring it down, just a little frustrating is all.

    • Robb Wolf
      April 17, 2012 at 9:16 am

      Arlo-
      I ALWAYS wonder about the selection bias. how many people tried it, did not get solid results and jsut felt bad and did not comment to that affect? I have no idea.

      to your situation though, are you saying that grains removed brain fog, sweet potatoes did not?

      • Arlo
        April 17, 2012 at 10:53 am

        No I don’t think it is one food specific, more how a diet plays into the general landscape of the body. After being on a paleo diet for a few months, I just couldn’t get any energy. (I want to say my digestion has been best on a paleo diet, but soaked and cooked gluten-free grains don’t give me much if any grief). Taking out gluten and dairy, eating organic w/ lots of veg is some thing I did 2 years prior already, I think that’s the biggest thing. Still trying to get back to health, still struggle w/ energy and brain fog. Worth noting too I had these issues to a much lesser degree before doing paleo, but it was getting a lot better(along side TCM). Point being: going paleo made these issues way worse, denfitely didn’t improve them. To be fair digestion is better and I find too much starch can be irritating. I’m kind of weston price style now, but still trying to get better.

        • Arlo
          April 17, 2012 at 11:17 am

          Congratulations on your success btw, and thanks for helping so many people get healthy.

  21. Birgitta Bella
    April 17, 2012 at 9:45 am

    As a former Truckee resident I am proud! As a PA and Health Coach I am impressed! I will be looking for further information on this Rob. Thank you!

  22. Kelsey
    April 17, 2012 at 9:49 am

    So awesome! Congrats on this, Robb – what an accomplishment. We need more things like this out there so us paleo RDs can be employed saying what’s right!

  23. Alan
    April 17, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    Hey Robb – Great work!…trying to get the word out in the worksite wellness/health insurance/consulting world that I work in…and the corporate conservatism where I work is huge.

  24. Joe
    April 17, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    This is awesome, Robb! Sheer awesome! I shared this with my senator.

  25. Patrick
    April 17, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    Great stuff! Just a quick observation: I don’t know how long that interview was, but I swear your beard grew. Next time, you should mention how being Keto Adapted leads to bestial caveman facial hair propagation.

  26. Brad Chase
    April 17, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    “Given the program costs this is about a 6000 to 1 return on investment. Those are the best odds you can get anywhere in Reno!” – haha. Nice.

    Robb, I just emailed our mayor and city council and sent them the link to this article to see if this is something Boise could adopt…so you may be getting a call soon!

  27. Ty Fyter
    April 17, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    This is exciting stuff Robb :)

  28. Dana
    April 17, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    How about the looming economic disaster that is type 2 diabetes? You did know slender people are getting type 2, right?

    I’m tired of this. I’m still fat, right? But last time I got labs (over a year ago–I’m overdue for an annual), they were pretty good. Trigs were below 100; HDL was at least not in the danger zone. I’m eating considerably better now than I was then. Last time I got my BP, in March, it was in the 100s over 50s.

    But I’m still at 200 pounds and 5 foot 6 or 7 (not sure, they measure me in my shoes).

    The fat-bashing! It’s not necessary! You cannot judge someone’s health by their weight! No one could tell, looking at me, that I’m getting healthy–because the weight DOES NOT go away overnight, especially not for women!

    If you could kind of brand this into your brain for future reference, I’d appreciate it. Thank you.

  29. Dana
    April 17, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    That said. You should be proud that you are helping with this. We need to see this start happening all over the country. Thank you.

    • Robb Wolf
      April 17, 2012 at 6:10 pm

      So..which is it. Do I need an ass paddling for being insensitive or an attaboy for trying to plug the holes in this sinking ship?

  30. Ruth
    April 17, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    Yeah Robb!!!
    So excited Reno is leading the way… in something positive! As a resident, I’m SO proud of our community for embracing Paleo and this program. Please let me know when you find some Paleo friendly MD’s in the area.

  31. willson
    April 17, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    Nice going . Keep up this groundbreaking work
    Willson

  32. David
    April 17, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    This is great stuff to hear. Now if you can get the rest of the country to follow along. I’m a LEO like my dad before me, and my brother and his sons are fire fighters. I watched my dad have 2 heart attacks and finally die from complications from type 2 diabetes. I saw myself heading down that same road. My sleep was horrible, my stress was through the roof, and the crap I called food that I shoveled into my mouth was the worst. Once I hit 250(and I’m only 5’9″) I quit weighing myself. I found Loren Cordain, which led me to you and Mark Sisson, and I have completed changed my life. So thank you for that. But I did find one hidden cost to the departments when someone implements a paleo diet. There is the the cost of replacing all the uniforms as you drop all the fat(from a 40 waist to a 30).

  33. Tom
    April 19, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Robb,

    Again, this is just too awesome. I’m adding it into my senior project’s “Paleo diet applied” section, right in there with Lindeberg’s trials.

  34. paleoslayer
    April 19, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    my word!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCRkAbaQCdI

  35. Kristi
    April 19, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    I’ve just started my own personal paleo journey and am completely fascinated. I am a pharmacist by trade (night shift hospital pharmacist) and am so interested in preventative medicine, health and wellness. I’m eager to see where you go with this study and how it can be applied. I’m also of course interested in the shift work issues (but would love to come off nights myself and do work like what is done in this study!!! I finally feel like my career as a pharmacist can be used for good!

    • Robb Wolf
      April 19, 2012 at 4:33 pm

      Glad to have you aboard! the night shift is tough, just really protect that sleep you do get.

  36. Lori
    April 20, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Hi Robb:
    I just forwarded this to my brother, a cop…. I appreciate your concern for shift workers. I am not one, thank goodness, however I work with people that are RN’s & emergency responders (to hospitals in our community that have referred a patient as a potential Organ Donor). As a former bio major with only basic observation skills, its not difficult to notice the physical changes in new staff that join us looking slim and trim ( even if they worked only night shifts in their prior job) and then within a year they are burnt out, taking Lexapro and 25 pounds heavier, and have taken up smoking to deal with the stress on their bodies!! I’m telling you the world of Organ Procurement Organizations would be the PERFECT experimental environment to observe metabolic changes due to crazy and punishing schedules! (Our staff can be “paged” any time day or night, and sometimes work up to 24hours + ( DAY & NIGHT). Until all this sleep-deprivation research becomes better known, I wish I could better help my colleagues that are enduring this constant barrage of cortisol and stress, thrashing their own bodies while helping to save the lives of others through organ transplantation. ( AND yes, its ironic because most of the people waiting for an organ transplant are waiting for a kidney — due to ….ta-da … kidney failure CKD from obesity, HTN, and diabetes– truly a vicious circle of hell.) I am hopeful that the Reno pilot study demonstrating huge savings in Health Care costs might make many companies’ HR and Senior management pay attention to these workplace/worklife issues and the toll they really take on their employees! The health care community should be all over this like white on rice,…. er, oops ,… orange on a sweet potato ;-)

  37. Melanie
    April 20, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    Robb,

    Wow, good for you; this is truly an exciting development and I am curious to see how things play out. I’ve spent my life working for the government, and right now the Bureau of Land Management (well, actually, the entire Department of the Interior) is desperately trying to cut costs; I’d venture a guess that one of our biggest expenditures is on health care-both through our insurance coverage and on sick leave/disability/fixing-broken-people type of thing.

    I will watch with interest how this plays out in Reno; I don’t have great faith that the government big dogs would listen to anything like this right now and be willing to adopt some sort of similar approach, but maybe sometime in the not too distant future. There is certainly desperate need for it.

  38. JD
    April 21, 2012 at 10:29 am

    Robb, I think this is an epic event. My guess is that this will be a major milestone in the Paleo/Ancestral Health movement marking the first step in legit, widespread adoption. Best wishes for you as the program moves forward. As you know you have a ton of support in your community so please reach out to us if there’s anything you need.

    Great job!

    JD

  39. Alexandra
    April 21, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    Hi Robb, what a great project. You and the others involved in this project will save and improve many lives. Being lean and healthy as a firefighter and police officer can mean the difference between life and death while on duty ( for themselves and the public) It’s pure genius to start with this important group of people for this experiment.

    To the officers involved: go for it all the way, I have been low carb for 4 1/2 years and low carb paleo for 1 1/2… I have never felt better, I am healthy, I am hungry only when I should be and I have great energy for life…. 120+ lbs off…for good!

  40. Maryann
    April 22, 2012 at 8:00 am

    This is nothing short of amazing… sharing this info all over the interwebs!

  41. Galina L.
    April 22, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    I am really glad somebody started to use paleo-approach to improve the health of employees. At my husband’s job they are pushing since recently some sort of wellness program based on ADA advice, people have to listen to lectures and be tested. After the lectures my husband started to argue with me about my LC diet which I follow for almost 5 years with great result. I feed him with good home-cooked food too, with no sugar, but he eats bread and sometimes pasta. Your post gave me a hope that the mass-stupidity will be over some day in a future.

  42. Beth@WeightMaven
    April 23, 2012 at 6:22 am

    Hasn’t Chris Masterjohn gone on record (I think in his cholesterol series with Chris Kresser, but maybe it was his blog) that the tests for LDL particle size are problematic? One test consistently shows small dense particles, the other shows large buoyant? Bet I can get which test the Reno folks used!

  43. Stephanie- Nutritionist
    April 26, 2012 at 7:41 am

    Robb– This is wonderful and as a nutritionist who is encouraging fellow employees, customers, clients, and family to change their lifestyles to a more Paleo style– this is going to be great proof to show them that it is working. Like someone else said “if it takes a village” so true. And to those RDs I’d say “open your eyes”!

    Thanks for all you do– this was definitely worth breaking the tradition.

  44. Kevin
    April 28, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    I just want to pass along my congratulations to you Robb. This is great news.

  45. Russ
    May 5, 2012 at 11:04 am

    Finally got a chance to read this well after hearing it mentioned on the podcast a while back. Congrats! Nothing more powerful than actual data connected to real money. I am in a position to be able to possibly trigger something similar in a very large multinational corporation. Something you might be interested in, or perhaps you would prefer I contact Specialty Health?

    PS: …and also a very big congrats on the beautiful new baby girl! I hope all is settling in well with little sleep but lots of smiles :-)

  46. Erin
    May 9, 2012 at 11:36 am

    Wow… what we need is a private school (forget the legalities of a PUBLIC school) to take on a challenge like this. I’d LOVE to see what happens with learning disabilities, behavioral problems, and childhood obesity. I WISH I was in a community that was more accepting of logic.

  47. Greg
    May 17, 2012 at 12:20 am

    Robb,

    Have you come across Allostatix before? It’s the risk assessment strategy developed from the work or Dr Bruce McEwan, the guy who developed the model of allostasis and allostatic load. Seems like it might be able to add some value to your offering.

    Greg

  48. Pat Shenofsky
    May 21, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    I love this presentation. It just seemed to get better and better, although it was a long time to sit and watch, (too much blue screen near bedtime) but entirely worth it. The last thing you spoke about was protein thermogenesis and I had a head slap moment, I haven’t needed layers of clothing at work since dedicating myself to closely following the paleo diet. And also decreased the amount of Armour thyroid I have been on for years.

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