Dr. Mennen received his BA from New York University and his MD from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. He completed his pediatric residency at Albany (NY) Medical Center finishing as Chief Resident and then practiced as a board-certified pediatrician in upstate NY for five years. Recovering from four back surgeries (needed for an old rugby injury) and six months of hospitalizations, he decided to leave practice and enter the pharmaceutical industry.
During Dr. Mennen’s 30-year career in the pharmaceutical industry, the largest portion of his time was spent in four main areas: diabetes, cardiovascular, weight loss, and nutrition. This experience helped prepare him for his practice.
In addition to his clinical and industry experience, Dr. Mennen has always been interested in human evolution. What further sparked this interest was learning about the “thrifty gene hypothesis,” which tied in aspects of our previous lifestyle as hunter-gatherers and the high incidence of obesity and diabetes in modern populations (99% of our time as humans on this Earth was spent as hunter-gatherers). He was so intrigued by this that he began researching the ‘natural’ diet for humans. He was thrilled to have been given special permission by a Yale anthropology professor whom he knew to attend a three-day Gordon Research Conference in 1984 in Oxnard, CA, entitled “Diet and Human Evolution.” This conference was critical in the launching of the Paleo (caveman) Diet movement.
Combining this interest in medical aspects of nutrition along with his growing understanding of paleo-nutrition and his medical knowledge in diabetes, obesity, nutrition was the perfect foundation for treating patients who needed to lose weight. After researching Michael Anchors, MD, PhD‘s patented approach, Dr. Mennen met with him and was asked to join his practice. He practiced with Dr. Anchors for one year.