The Christian Broadcasting Network

The 700 Club with Pat Robertson

Manny Alvarez
Featured Book
The Checklist
(Harper Collins 2007)

Dr. Manny Alvarez: What Are Fast Food and Stress Doing to Your Body?

The 700 Club


Fast food originated because we needed to feed ourselves and move on with our lives. Fast foods are made tasty, "stable", cheap. They are made to have a long shelf life so they won't spoil. There are a lot of transfatty acids and oils altered by companies. This causes clogged arteries and the highest incidences of heart disease, but fast food is a multi-billion dollar industry. The sodium/salt content in these fast, processed foods are high as well. Companies make large batches of food with lots of salt, which is one of the main ingredients of fast food. The amount of 2500mg should be the average daily intake of salt by an individual per day, and these foods have double or triple that content. Too much salt overworks the kidneys and can cause hypertension and other health problems. Caloric content and sugar are disproportionate to natural food. For example, there are 700 calories in a Big Mac. A person only needs to have 2500-3000 calories a day. Sugar and calories go hand in hand. Empty calories (calories that you don't use) can turn into sugar, which turns into fat.


How people handle stress is also an indirect way of how people handle their weight. Hormones are affected. When a person is stressed, metabolically cortisol and blood pressure increases. The body is expecting something to happen, through thoughts or emotions, and the body reacts. The body tells itself to create cortisol. The body continues to make cortisol. When nothing happens - like an injury or change in the situation to "tell the body to stop" - the body makes sugar and the body deposits it as fat. Dr. Manny says that prayer helps. It is clinically proven that the stress and coritsol levels go down when a person prays. Dr. Manny has his own story about how prayer helped him through a stressful time. His middle son didn't speak at the age of two though he could walk, crawl, etc. like other toddlers his age. One day, Dr. Manny had his son tested. They found out his son was autistic. He prayed and was really candid with God about the situation. Prayer really helped Dr. Manny through that trying situation.


Dr. Manny was born in Cuba, the oldest son of a middle income, Christian family. He was growing up during the Cuban revolution and the Cuban government took everything from his father. His parents made the decision to put him in a program where families put their children in foster homes overseas with families with religious backgrounds. Dr. Manny was sent to Spain with this program when he was about twelve-years-old. Meanwhile, his father was placed in a concentration camp. Dr. Manny was reunited with his family about four years later in New York. His father built a business and bought property. Dr. Manny continued to work hard in and out of school. He eventually went to medical school and specialized in obstetrics and gynecology. He became successful in his field. In 1996, he became the Chairman of the Dept. of Obstetrics & Gynecology & Reproductive Science at Hackensack Univ. Med. Ctr, NJ. Through everything, Dr. Manny says his energy and strength comes from God and his faith in God has helped him.

Are you seeking answers in life? Are you hurting?
Are you facing a difficult situation?

A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.