The obesity epidemic

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lisab

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This morning I passed from class 1 obese to merely overweight. That is, according to the bmi calculation.
Woot :approve:!
 
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I just weighed myself. I'm 64.7 kg, but that's while wearing clothes, a thick winter jacket and shoes.
 
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Today I fell below 29 BMI. As we near the quarter pole, I am in the lead.
 

Borek

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Go, Jimmy, go! :smile:
 
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This issue may be solved the hard way, as the essential commercialized food production and distribution systems become too expensive with the general collapse of much of the rest of industrial civilization. Within thirty years people will be a lot thinner, as much more food will be grown locally and transportation fuelled by petroleum will become too expensive for most people. (for anyone confused by this, google "peak Oil" or look for the work of M.King Hubbert, Colin Campbell Colin (2002 “Petroleum and People” Journal of Population and Environment Vol.24, No. 2, pp. 193-207) and Albert Bartlet. Bartlet wrote a neat paper on the timing for the decline in world wide oil and other fossil fuels in the journal of Mathematical Geology in 2000(Alfred Bartlet, 2000, An Analysis of U.S. and World Oil Production Patterns Using Hubbert-Style Curves “ Journal: Mathematical Geology Volume 32, Number 1 / January, 2000 Pages 1-17 Springer Netherlands ISSN 0882-8121 (Print) 1573-8868 (Online); see also Bartlett, Albert A. 1978. “Forgotten Fundamentals of the Energy Crisis.” American Journal of Physics 46: 876-888). Bartlet also gives a great lecture on the whole issue we are facing in our civilization: see his video lectures on this subject, such as: http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3y7UlHdhAU&feature=related
See also Youngquist, Walter. 1997. Geodestinies: The Inevitable Control of Earth Resources Over Nations and Individuals. Portland, Oregon: National Book Company.

This is not to minimize the agony of the many who suffer from overweight today. I think one thing that has hardly been mentioned is the role of infant feeding practices. It is known that the ultimate size of the adipose organ in humans is influenced by the degree of over (or under-) feeding in the first year or so of infancy. Breast feeding is the best for babies, although not jest for this reason. Mothers who bottlefeed often overdo the amount of infant formula fed, as they tend to want to "finish" set amounts in a bottle etc. A newborn's stomache is the size of a marble (ordinary) and only gets to the size of a shooter marble at about 10 days. That is TINY. And it needs to be refilled quite often (sometimes every twenty minutes) during the first month of life. Many parents do not know this and insist that baby is not getting enough, so they charge in with extra bottle feeding packed with more nutrients than is really optimal. the result is often a baby that gets quite plump (and oh so praised for being a big healthy looking baby!). Buyt the target size for the fat organ is being set in this period, by the rapidity with which the fat cells must reproduce to store all the extra nutrients. Some adults who are obese wind up with 2-300% more fat cells than a normal person!!
When they diet, each of these fat cells shrinks down to the point where, in a normal person, their situation would be reaching some critical limit of fat storage, and the cells starts sending hormonal emergency messages to the brain to motivate greater interest in food. this makes a fat person very unsuccessful at dieting.

So, as far as I recall, this is another factor to consider when talking about the epidemic of obesity.
 
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And what are some examples of these cheap high calorie foods? Because the vegetables I make my salads out of and the fruit I eat is pretty cheap. Same with my cans of beans.
Are you serious? When gauging the cost of food, look at calories per dollar. Buying raw pasta will net you ~2000-4000 Calories per dollar so roughly a dollar for most of your days calorie intake and after that just add a bit of meat and vegetables and you are set with ~3 dollars a day. Also note when they say calorie dense they must include things like beans, potatoes, bread, nuts etc. By skipping all of those you would have to get your daily intake of calories from things like tomatoes or lettuce and that would get extremely expensive.

Calories is the most important of the nutrients you eat, without it you die. So you got to get up to that calorie intake each day, that is highest priority, things like vegetables are just not cost efficient to do that.

My BMI is 22 now. When I was younger, I was borderline underweight (BMI of 18.1).
Um, measuring underweight using BMI is just as faulty as measuring obesity with it. If you are lean the most healthy place to be on that scale is roughly around "borderline underweight". The numbers where it starts to matter is around ~12-14 BMI, putting underweight that high is just to scare people and allows people to call all models underweight anorectic cases even though they are really not at all. I guess that you could find some cases which are really underweight at 18 though but it must be very rare.



As for this discussion, I think that the best way to fight it is to stop being so dandy with the issues. World smoking and such have dropped like a rock after all the campaigns, why not do the same thing for obesity? Well, I think the main issue is that people are like "Oh no, that can't be done! That would make all obese people feel bad about themselves!". But I don't really get that, why not show the kids how gross people can get who are not tending themselves? You need pictures and stories, not diagrams and health advice like we currently have since most people don't understand those things. Force the stores to mark up unhealthy food with skulls or something like that.

Maybe not all of that but something in that direction would help.
 
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Skyhunter

What are the steps the medical system takes nowadays to raise awareness in the public regarding obesity epidemic who rages through the western world , and to put an end to it ?
Is there a concerted effort to put it at an end ?

Should governments, through their healthcare policies, get involved in this issue ?
Yes.

The first step is to stop subsidizing commodity crops that are fed to livestock or processed into sweet empty calories to be sold back to unsuspecting consumers through the magic of marketing.
 

Evo

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I don't know what more we expect the government to do. There are clear labels on every item of processed food that we buy. There is a ton of information available about nutrition. Anyone in the US that doesn't know that eating more calories than you burn, is living under a rock.

I think it's time that people take responsibility for the lifestyle they choose. No one is to blame but themselves.

It's American popular culture which favors anything sweet. It starts with infants with sweeteners added to their formulas, Gerber adds fruit sweeteners to their meat dishes for babies. No reason for it. We're training our children from birth to crave sweet foods.

You would be hard pressed to find any processed food that doesn't have sugar added, for no reason other than to make it taste sweet.

All of the cooking shows on tv are telling everyone "sweet is good". You see it all of the time "adding sugar gives the meat/vegetable/anything that sweet taste we crave". The tv cooks add sugar to everything, extoling the wonderful sweet flavor.

No wonder we have so many problems. The average American eats the equivalent of 22 teaspoons of sugar a day, with many eating over 50 teaspoons a day. It's in everything, pasta sauce, mustard, chips, salad dressing, even pickles, dill pickles, not the sweet pickles.

Here is a list of ingredients on my Hunt's Classic Italian spaghetti sauce "tomato puree, water, high fructose corn syrup, soybean oil, salt, corn syrup, carrot powder, sugar".

It only gives total grams of sugar, which comes to 1/3 of the calories. What I would like to see is the amount of unnecessary "added" sugar. It should be reported apart from natural sugar in the food, so I can tell how much added calories there are that shouldn't be there.

I just tend now to make everything from scratch because everything I buy lately tastes sickeningly sweet.
 
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I have a BMI of 19.0 and I am stunningly handsome. Any takers?
 

mgb_phys

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All of the cooking shows on tv are telling everyone "sweet is good". You see it all of the time "adding sugar gives the meat/vegetable/anything that sweet taste we crave". The tv cooks add sugar to everything, extoling the wonderful sweet flavor.
Who uses sugar in cooking anything except cakes/cookies?

Here is a list of ingredients on my Hunt's Classic Italian spaghetti sauce "tomato puree, water, high fructose corn syrup, soybean oil, salt, corn syrup, carrot powder, sugar".
And HFCS is worse than sugar
 
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Yes, the addition of sugar, but especially of corn syrup, is very dangerous. they have been implicated in the development of heart diseases, high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, and a host of other systemic illnesses, most of which are connected to overweight. Children in this culture stand almost no chance of having normal weight if they are raised on processed foods. There is a reason many commercial food products have long been known as "junk" food.

I guess we need more studies of the effects of these foods on the neurochemistry, for surely they must create cravings or even addictive effects. Could this be linked to the high rate of drug addictions (legal and illegal)? As well as obesity?
 
Evo said:
my Hunt's Classic Italian spaghetti sauce
Hunts? :yuck:

mgb_phys said:
Who uses sugar in cooking anything except cakes/cookies?
There are plenty of uses for sugar. Teriyaki sauce is made with sugar or Mirin, which is extremely sweetened sake. Sugar is added to tomato sauces and bases to cut the acid taste which is probably why there is so much in Evo's spaghetti sauce. They probably use cheap under ripe tomatoes and need to cut the acid, sour, and bitter tastes (probably also to mask the amount of salt they add). If they use good fully ripened tomatoes they probably wouldn't need the sugar, or only just a very small amount.
 
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I don't know what more we expect the government to do. There are clear labels on every item of processed food that we buy. There is a ton of information available about nutrition. Anyone in the US that doesn't know that eating more calories than you burn, is living under a rock.

I think it's time that people take responsibility for the lifestyle they choose. No one is to blame but themselves.
Evo, what I expect governments to do is education. An aggressive education towards healthy lifestyle.

Sure, no one is to blame but themselves for the lifestyles they have. However, lack of education is a major part of the issue IMO. In a word full of deceiving marketing, companies
which would do anything for profit, including killing millions (it may seem like an exaggeration, but take the case of smoking. I believe it accounts for killing a very big number of ppl yearly, and even the government benefits indirectly from this, because of the very large taxes on tobacco products), a minimal education would enable to end user to see through deception.

It's not the intelligent and rich who are most exposed to those issues, but the poor and uneducated .
 
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Today I fell below 29 BMI. As we near the quarter pole, I am in the lead.

Awesome. Remember to always correlate your waist circumference with your BMI, though, for a better picture. For a male that would be the widest part of your abdomen.
 
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Awesome. Remember to always correlate your waist circumference with your BMI, though, for a better picture. For a male that would be the widest part of your abdomen.
Just this morning my wife said there was visible improvement there. She said I no longer look pregnant.
 
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Just grazing (lol) over the posts in this thread I haven't seen much about the addictiveness of fast food.
Time and time again from all the lower income people I've met, they all eat fast food and don't know why.
It's a combination of convenience and natural urge which I've found to be the primary reason that many people are overweight.
There was this one guy that I met when I was in welding school, he was addicted to cocaine, pot, cigarettes, alcohol and other stuff and managed to kick all of that, but he said that no matter how hard he's tried he can't kick fast food. The access is just far too overwhelming, "everywhere you go" he said "it's like cheap, legal crack shoved in your face, it's relentless."

I know personally that it feels addicting. But once I was able to control myself from going there and started eating healthier, then going back because of xyz, it just tasted awful...can't even finish the stuff.
 
The only drive I have ever had to eat fast food is that it is easy. I have never really cared for the taste much it was always about being able to just stop somewhere for five minutes and have my meal ready for me when I get home so I can just relax. When I make food myself it always tastes better and I enjoy it more. I still like to go out for chinese, thai, or hawaiian food occasionally though.
 

Evo

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For me, fast food was a non-healthy "treat". I love the taste of fast food, but rarely eat it.
 
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I have little sympathy for people who say they 'don't have time to cook and eat healthily'. What the HELL are you cooking every day that takes more than 20 minutes to prepare? I'm in classes from dawn till dusk, work out 4x a week, and work a job on top of that and I manage to cobble together a stir-fry, salad, wrap, or whatnot everyday. Sure, it takes more time than ripping open a box of mac and cheese but it's not like it's incredibly prohibitive.

If you keep eating too much, you will gain weight. Fact. Boohoo, you have a tendency to put on weight or you 'really don't eat that much'. Calories don't come from the air so it ultimately comes down to what you stick in your craw, no matter what people protest.

Sorry for the mean tone but jesus, I am tired of silly excuses!
 
I have little sympathy for people who say they 'don't have time to cook and eat healthily'. What the HELL are you cooking every day that takes more than 20 minutes to prepare? I'm in classes from dawn till dusk, work out 4x a week, and work a job on top of that and I manage to cobble together a stir-fry, salad, wrap, or whatnot everyday. Sure, it takes more time than ripping open a box of mac and cheese but it's not like it's incredibly prohibitive.

If you keep eating too much, you will gain weight. Fact. Boohoo, you have a tendency to put on weight or you 'really don't eat that much'. Calories don't come from the air so it ultimately comes down to what you stick in your craw, no matter what people protest.

Sorry for the mean tone but jesus, I am tired of silly excuses!
Three days out of the week I work 12 hour shifts. Currently my car is dead and I need to get a new one so I have to take the bus for now. On these particular days I wake up three hours before work and have about half an hour to get ready before I need to get out to the bus stop. It takes a minimum of two hours to get to work, I work a 12 hour shift, it takes another 2 hours to get home. So by the time I get home I have less than eight hours before I have to wake up and get ready to do it all over again. Fortunately for me I don't have kids. I usually make a big pot of spaghetti and portion it out for lunches on those three days before hand but it does get tiresome eating the same thing and that does not take care of the rest of my meals. I usually just have cereal when I get home or maybe some cottage cheese and celery sticks with peanut butter because its quick and easy. But that gets tiresome too.
 
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Sorry for the mean tone but jesus, I am tired of silly excuses!
While I do agree with what you say, just wait until you have your own household , 2 kids and a stressful job. Life will be suddenly a little bit more complicated than having classes all day. Especially if you are a women.
 
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Why not eat at work? If there are many people with the same problem, you could arrange for affordable catering at work.
 
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While I do agree with what you say, just wait until you have your own household , 2 kids and a stressful job. Life will be suddenly a little bit more complicated than having classes all day. Especially if you are a women.
Yet many people have a career, kids, and a house and still find time to sit and marinate on the couch watching garbage. Almost everyone HAS time, they just don't make health big enough of a priority to turn off America's Next Top Model and actually do something about it. Still no sympathy.
 
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Yet many people have a career, kids, and a house and still find time to sit and marinate on the couch watching garbage. Almost everyone HAS time, they just don't make health big enough of a priority to turn off America's Next Top Model and actually do something about it. Still no sympathy.

Like I said, talk to ya in 20 years :P
 
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Yet many people have a career, kids, and a house and still find time to sit and marinate on the couch watching garbage. Almost everyone HAS time, they just don't make health big enough of a priority to turn off America's Next Top Model and actually do something about it. Still no sympathy.
Psychology is not trivial, "time" do not always refer to the physical quantity measured by atomic clocks but instead in layman terms it often refers to "mental energy".

When people say "I don't have the time to do that" they mean "My mental energy is not sufficient to do that task plus all tasks of higher priority order".

Things like watching dumb TV shows are basically free in terms of mental energy and as such can be seen as the psychological variant of sleeping. You can't just scratch that time and add a demanding activity instead.

Also personal differences are huge here and not much is known about this at all.
 

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