Article Text

Download PDFPDF

‘Reversing type 2 diabetes starts with ignoring the guidelines’: education from Dr Sarah Hallberg’s TEDx talk
  1. Sarah Hallberg1,2,3
  1. 1 Clinical Medicine, Virta Health, San Francisco, California, USA
  2. 2 Medically Supervised Weight Loss, Indiana University Health, Lafayette, Indiana, USA
  3. 3 Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sarah Hallberg, Clinical Medicine, Virta Health, San Francisco, CA 94105, USA; hallbers{at}

Statistics from

When I was preparing this talk for TEDx Purdue in 2015, I had no idea it would be viewed over 2.8 million times. I firmly believe the reaction to this talk is an expression of people being fed up. Fed up with the status quo. Fed up with listening to the advice they were given only to get worse. Fed up with yet another prescription bringing another side effect and more costs. Fed up and looking for advice that is not only evidence-based,1–11 but also doable. Fed up and searching for a way to escape the progressive cycle of type 2 diabetes. Here it is. A solution that goes back to the basics and remembers that we can and should use Food as Medicine .

I have the best job in the world. I’m a doctor… believe me that’s not why. I am an obesity doctor. I have the honour to work with a group of people subject to the last accepted prejudice…being fat. These patients have suffered a lot by the time they come to see me - shame, guilt, blame and outright discrimination. The attitude most people take, including those in healthcare, is that these people are to blame for their situation. If they could just control themselves they would not be overweight. They are not motivated to change. Please let me tell you; that is not the case. The real blame, if we need to assign some, has been our advice and it’s time to change that. 

Obesity is a disease, not something created by lack of character. It is a hormonal disease. There are many hormones involved, and one of the main ones is a hormone called insulin. The vast majority of obese individuals are resistant to insulin and …

View Full Text

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.