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Peter  Attia

Peter Attia

President, Nutrition Science Initiative

Peter Attia

President, Nutrition Science Initiative


Driven by personal experiences, Dr. Peter Attia is on a mission to help the world understand how to live longer – and better. And along the way, he’s challenging all we’ve been taught about the interaction of health, human performance and medicine.

Dr. Attia is the founder of Attia Medical, PC, a medical practice with offices in San Diego and New York City focusing on the applied science of longevity and optimal performance. He is the co-founder and former president of Nutrition Science Initiative (NuSI), a non-profit dedicated to reducing the economic and social burden of obesity and obesity-related chronic diseases. A former Johns Hopkins Hospital surgical resident, Dr. Attia is focused on helping to minimize the risk of chronic disease onset while simultaneously improving healthspan. He educates on the myriad related issues through direct patient care, his popular blog, The Eating Academy, and through inspiring and engaging lectures on influential platforms around the world, including TEDMed.

The recipient of the 2012 French-American Foundation Young Leader’s Fellowship, which recognizes the most promising leaders under 40 in the U.S. and France, Dr. Attia also received several prestigious awards and authored a comprehensive review manual of general surgery while completing his surgical residency at Johns Hopkins, followed by two years at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD as a surgical oncology fellow at the National Cancer Institute. A change of heart – tired of the notion that doctors did little to keep patients healthy – led him to leave medicine; Dr. Attia joined renowned consulting firm McKinsey & Company where he worked on healthcare and financial system problems.

A relentless self-experimenter and endurance athlete, Dr. Attia is also personally dedicated to his cause. He is one of only a dozen to swim the Catalina Channel (the body of water between Los Angeles and Catalina Island) in both directions and also the first person to double-cross the Maui Channel (from Maui to Lanai and back in one swim). Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, he holds a B.Sc. in mechanical engineering and applied mathematics from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, where he also taught and helped design the calculus curriculum. He earned his M.D. from Stanford University.

Speaker Videos

2014 Milken Global Conference

Healthcare Cost Containment

Readdressing Dietary Guidelines

Speech Topics

How to Live Longer and Better: Optimizing Lifespan and Healthspan

When it comes to life, quantity is equally important as quality, according to Peter Attia. More than ever, people want to know what they can do to increase their chances of living longer and healthier. Dr. Attia believes he has the answers. We face about a 75% chance of dying from one of four diseases, he explains. And any effort to reduce aging – to maximize longevity and performance – begins with an understanding of the individual risks and susceptibilities and the tools necessary to combat them. To delay death and simultaneously optimize life, one must have clear command of the longevity toolkit.

Dr. Attia discusses his eight “drivers of longevity,” all of which depart from the concept of preventing the onset of chronic disease and are proven to improve length and quality of life. These include optimal nutrition, exercise, sleep habits, hormone optimization, stress management, sense of purpose/social connections, medications, and avoidance of harmful behaviors. Attendees of this highly interactive session walk away understanding how to apply the longevity toolkit to their life, and can differentiate between maximizing and optimizing with respect to lifespan and healthspan.

It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times

The American healthcare system is broken. At one end of the continuum, the most intimate interactions with patients – the human elements – appear broken. At the other end, there is a structural elephant in the room; the root cause of why the U.S. is the only country spending 18 percent of its GDP on healthcare, despite not getting the value we’d expect.

How do we fix healthcare in this country? Dr. Peter Attia asks – and answers – this provocative and ever-relevant question.

Dr. Attia weaves a double narrative within one story – two ends of the same book. The first narrative describes what he calls the two “best, worst experiences” of his life, telling of a string of personal events that no one would ever want to relive, though in retrospect, you’re better for having endured. These events changed the way Dr. Attia thinks about – and manages – human interactions.

The second narrative takes a stark look at the flow of money into and out of the U.S. healthcare system, and comes to a startling conclusion: there is no system on earth that would ever function properly with the incentives underpinning this system.

Our healthcare system can be fixed, but to do so, we must change the way we approach it from both ends of the spectrum.

Trigger Innovation and Change by Questioning the Status Quo

Breakthroughs are often born from a question – from someone asking, “What if?” or even more simply, “Why?” It’s fairly well understood that we must question assumptions in order to innovate. In fact, according to recent research, which studied some 3,000 creative executives, those who don’t stop asking questions are more apt to become our top innovators and business leaders. So why are so many of us reluctant to challenge conventional wisdom? Drawing from past personal experiences and a current impassioned mission to upend a long believed medical certainty (the relationship between obesity and diabetes), Dr. Peter Attia offers a compelling case for confronting the status quo from which every business and leader should learn. And by examining the path from question to breakthrough, he shares an inspiring story about the power of questions to trigger innovation and change.

Is Obesity Really the Problem?

By 2030, half of all Americans will be obese and nearly 80 percent will be overweight or obese, according to the Center for Disease Control. It’s an epidemic, and the social and economic consequences are dire. Dr. Peter Attia believes the root of the problem doesn’t lie with people who don’t care about their health, are too lazy or eat too much. Rather, he challenges the science behind today’s mainstream diet and wrong (or at least unproven) information given to us by the “experts” – doctors. The good news is that it’s entirely solvable. Drawing on his background in medicine, his personal journey of self-experimentation and his passion for improving human health and performance, Dr. Attia discusses how.

We Aren’t What We Eat

Most of us have been told countless times that we shouldn’t eat saturated fat or cholesterol. But how convincing is the evidence that saturated fat and dietary cholesterol are harmful? Surprisingly, most of the dietary recommendations made in the U.S. are not firmly grounded in well-controlled science, and the implications are profound. In this presentation, Dr. Peter Attia takes a close look at one of the major pillars of dietary dogma – saturated fat and cholesterol as causes of heart disease – and explores the ethics of making wide-reaching policy changes with incomplete and inaccurate information.