Remembering Adele Hite, PhD, MPH, RD
It is with profound sadness that we share the news of the death of our brilliant Diet Doctor colleague and friend Adele Hite, PhD, MPH, RD. Adele passed away, much too soon, Friday, April 22, 2022, from metastatic breast cancer.
Adele, 58, is deeply mourned by her husband, Greg Bower, three adult children — Grayson Hite, Zenik (and his wife, Courtney) Hite, and Jakob Bower — and many loved ones, colleagues, and friends.
She will be sorely missed by everyone at Diet Doctor, where she was a shining presence for the last three and a half years as a senior writer and editor. Her loss will also be keenly felt by the entire low carb community, in which she played a core role for more than 15 years.
“Adele was an amazing champion for all patients who can benefit from carbohydrate restriction,” said Diet Doctor CEO and founder, Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt. “From the first time I met her, it was clear she was supremely knowledgeable and a tireless fighter. Getting the privilege to work with her during her final years, almost to the end, was an honor.”
Diet Doctor medical director Dr. Bret Scher expressed the entire company’s grief at her untimely passing. “It’s hard to believe Adele is gone. She was such a force and accomplished so much to advance the field of low carb and metabolic health. She will be greatly missed, but her work will live on in all she has done and all she has taught us,” Dr. Scher said.
A video tribute to Adele
Adele had a long and varied career. Earning her first degree as an English major, she went on to get a master’s in teaching and taught high school English. Later, she trained as a registered dietitian, earned a master’s in public health nutrition, and then obtained a doctorate in rhetoric, communications, and digital media.
Her PhD dissertation examined the historical, political, and social context of the US Dietary Guidelines. She successfully wrote and defended her thesis in 2019.
Her skill in writing and expression extended to a personal blog as well as penning lyrics for songs that she wrote with her musician husband. During one 2019 trip to the Diet Doctor head office in Stockholm, Adele quickly wrote the lyrics to an impromptu song that was performed by a rag-tag group of Diet Doctor musicians at a staff party.
In 2018, she co-wrote and published the creative mix-and-match cookbook Dinner Plans: Easy Vintage Meals with Diet Doctor colleague Jenni Calihan.
“Working with Adele was a delight,” said Calihan. “She was open to my ideas and could always make them better. And funnier! Our collaborations on the book and at Diet Doctor were infused with mutual respect and a fun, creative energy. She was an amazing colleague and friend.”
In 2020, Adele shared her 22-year experience with the low carb diet with Diet Doctor readers. In it, she described how in 1999, she was trying to lose the pregnancy weight she gained after her third child. Her doctor’s advice to eat less and move more was not working for her. Success finally came when she happened upon the book Protein Power by Drs. Michael and Mary Eades.
The need to consume enough protein on a low carb diet remained a strong focus for Adele for her entire career. She was highly influential in getting Diet Doctor to create higher protein recipes and strengthen its message that eating enough protein at every meal is required to prevent lean muscle loss and promote healthy aging.
It was her work in 2006, in the clinic of Dr. Eric Westman at Duke University in North Carolina, that spurred Adele to make therapeutic carb reduction the focus of her career. Adele helped coach and educate patients with obesity and type 2 diabetes about how to make successful, sustainable changes in lifestyle, diet, and health. She then went on to get her degrees to add to her expertise and credentials.
Earlier this year, the Society of Metabolic Health Practitioners recognized Adele for her “unprecedented contribution” to furthering the acceptance of low carb nutrition by health professionals.
The award honored how she led a global effort to create a general protocol to guide health care professionals in using therapeutic carbohydrate reduction to treat metabolic disease. The guidelines have now been translated into nine languages. Adele felt this important work was her gift to the world and she credited the concepts behind it with enabling her to help her own father manage his type 2 diabetes.
Wherever she went and whatever she did, Adele gained friends and admirers who were always struck by her kindness, integrity, intellect, and bravery.
Says her husband Greg:
In 2019, while writing and defending her PhD thesis and beginning her work at Diet Doctor, she learned her breast cancer had returned after more than five years of remission.
Adele credited the low carb, high protein diet for giving her better health and energy during her illness and treatments. Earlier this year, she was asked by a colleague how she kept such focus, humor, and positive spirit in light of a terminal cancer diagnosis, living fully without fear or anxiety.
She responded: “I’ve let go of anything that does not bring joy and meaning in my life, so therefore my life is now full of joy and meaning.”
Adele continued to attend and contribute to Diet Doctor meetings up until two weeks before her death. She could always be relied upon to provide a brilliant insight or a trenchant conceptual framework that helped shape the company’s products and activities.
She was keen to participate, right until the end. As she said in her success story: “I love the people I work with, and I love our company’s mission. Every day is another chance to give people all over the world the best information possible about how to improve their health — what could be more inspiring than that?”
Adele inspired and motivated us all. She will be sorely missed but never forgotten. She will live on in all that we do.
Adele’s family has created a tribute site to her memory. They welcome interested individuals to visit, explore, and contribute memories of Adele.