You can watch theextendedinterview with Dr. Chung by clicking on thevideos on the left side of this article.
ATLANTA -- It began as soon as Dr. Andrew Chung arrived at 11Alive's studio.
Jaye Watson introduced Chung to her photographer John Kirtley who said, "How are you?"
That's when Chung replied, "I'm wonderfully hungry. Are you able to eat? Are you able to eat John?"
A bit taken aback, Kirtley replied, "Yes," to which Chung said, "That's wonderful. We're both looking forward to our next meal."
Chung's reply to a common greeting is what allows him to stay on message at all times, to share what he says is the truth, not his opinion, that people should eat 32 ounces, two pounds of food a day.
Chung, an Emory trained cardiologist, says hunger is wonderful. He says the amount, 32 ounces, was arrived at empirically.
"The right amount is 32 ounces of food a day," he said.
His belief that people should eat two pounds of food a day, and carry a food scale everywhere with them -- Chung had his with him during the interview - is a belief he convinced Ebony Berry was true. "Even though I only met her in person once and that was four years ago back in 2008," Chung said.
Dr. Chung says he met Ebony Berry at a health fair in their shared hometown of Mableton four years ago. He says he remembers her vividly because she disagreed with him. He says she said to him, "I still won't believe it unless it's in the Bible. She said that, and I remember she had on blue jeans and she had verses of scripture written on her blue jeans."
But in Dr. Chung, Berry had found a fellow believer and Chung shared scripture with her that supports his belief. The two became Facebook friends.
And after her June arrest for allegedly starving her 16-year-old daughter Markea to death, Chung visited her in jail.
Watson asked Chung, "Did you talk to her about Markea, her daughter?"
Chung replied, "It was not my place to ask. I went there not to ask purposely. I was not going to say anything, however the stuff she offered, she just talked about it, all recorded, for those of us who are doctors or physicians, anyone would know that she did not starve her daughter. Her daughter did not die of starvation.
Chung would not give details of what Berry told him. Police have said that Markea told them she often ran away from home to the Walmart because she was afraid to go home, and a DFCS caseworker says Markea was extremely thin and she was worried she was not being fed. Chung still believes Berry didn't starve her.
"She died from something that caused her to become malnourished," he said.
As for suggestions that his two pounds a day theory could have influenced Berry to withhold food from her daughter, Chung replied, "If that is true, that Markea is getting 32 ounces of food a day and she died because of that reason? We would say, she's got other siblings and a mom too, doing the same thing. Why did they not die?"
When we asked Chung about Markea weighing 43 pounds at her death, this is what he said.
"That child may have been 40 pounds and this high,"he says,gesturing to a few feet off the floor.
Watson replies, "Tell me that number doesn't concern you for a 16-year-old girl. Tell that me that 40 pounds is notOK for 16-year-old girl."
Chung replied, "I need to know the height, Jaye. That's how we calculate the BMI (body mass index)."