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Video: "There is no obesity crisis "  RSS feed

 
David Livingston
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http://www.bbc.com/news/av/magazine-40505399/think-again-there-is-no-obesity-crisis

Interesting talk on obesity . and why the problem may not be as bad as stated

David
 
Jim Fry
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There may or may not be an "obesity crisis" according to the video. But, in my experience of observation, there is a mechanical "crisis'. Our human bodies are not made, did not evolve, to carry a morbid amount of weight. Mechanically, evolutionarily, our bones, our muscles, our tendons, the bottoms of our feet, are not suited to carrying a great deal of extra poundage. Our livers, and kidneys and hearts are not made to effectively serve great extra mass. ..And they break down and become much less useful under the stress of time and use. Carrying some extra weight may possibly be good for us. Being "obese" really is not.
 
William Bronson
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I work construction. Being fat isn't really looked down there on as long as you can pull your own weight-and then some.
If you cant, THEN you are derided.
Functionality is king.
Of course if you're a woman,all bets are off,but that's another story...
 
William Bronson
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And here is a study contradicting her findings:

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/obesity-healthy-not-possible-fat-fit-study-coronary-heart-disease-stroke-birmingham-university-a7739891.html

Now I reference that not to bolster any conclusion or demean any position,rather as grist for the mill.

I think the question of healthy fatness is mostly a moral one.
Societies ask,"do fat people deserve our disdain for mistreating their bodies,or not?"

If they can be fat and healthy, we can't publicslly shame them that might seem shallow­čśĆ

.
If fat equals poor health, then we as a society feel fine shaming them.
This leads to denying or resisting treatment for what are considered weight induced maladies.

As individuals we struggle with our self images and our health.
 
Peter VanDerWal
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A large part of the problem is that they use "BMI" to define "Overweight", BMI has numerous problems including the fact that it doesn't work for tall people.  Tall people at a healthy weight will have a high BMI.  American's are taller than average so that alone will cause an increase in BMI on a national scale.
Then there is the problem that people that exercise regularly will tend to have a high BMI, because BMI doesn't measure fat, merely weight, and people that exercise regularly ted to have higher muscle mass.
These are a sampling of photos from the "BMI Project" showing what "Overweight" looks like










Obese

 
Todd Parr
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Peter VanDerWal wrote:A large part of the problem is that they use "BMI" to define "Overweight",...


That's all well and good, but anyone that thinks the US doesn't have a serious obesity problem is walking around with blinders on, and no one should need a study to prove it.  The number of people that are seriously grossly obese shocks me every time I go to a place that has a large number of people.  I went to school in the 70s and 80s and I can tell you that the number of children in my school that had serious weight problems could be counted on one hand.  Now it seems to be the norm.
 
Dale Hodgins
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I remember 20 years ago, Oprah Winfrey and other talk-show types, were very keen on selling the pablum of body acceptance, to people who weren't willing to eat properly or exercise. Apparently, those people ate that pablum along with everything that Denny's had to offer. The problem is worse now.

We have an event in Victoria called the Victoria Day Parade. It draws marching bands from all over. I am able to predict with relative accuracy, where groups of students are from, based on their weight. Many of the American kids are shockingly fat. We wouldn't keep our pets or livestock in that condition, and I don't see any reason to accept it as the new normal for children.

I have known a few people, who stayed relatively fit while being quite heavy. This worked while they were young. But eventually, they developed mechanical  problems as stated earlier. Being hugely overweight can lead to a sedentary lifestyle, when feet and other body parts break down to the point where the person has no choice, but to remain stationary most of the time. My friend's mother is 82. She ate relatively healthy and did get exercise, up until her mid-sixties. But she was always too heavy. For the last 15 years she has been nearly immobile, due to foot problems. She hasn't turned up in any early death statistics. But she also isn't one of those old people who live like teenagers, playing tennis, sailing and otherwise enjoying retirement. She does it alone, in front of the television, because it hurts to get up.
 
Stacy Witscher
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Very good video. Thank you for that. I agree wholeheartedly. I don't think that anyone thinks that being grossly overweight is good, but the overweight category is extremely low. I would move overweight to ideal, obese to overweight, etc.

As a mother, I was always happy to have my babies/children on the heavier side so they have that to fall back on should they get sick, same with pets.

Studies tend to require all other things to be equal, but, of course, in life we know that all other things are never equal. Science tends to be reductionist.
 
Kate Muller
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The frustrating thing about all of this is there is no one size fits all option for people to prevent or correct excess weight.   There are so many factors that vary form person to person in terms of what is too much for an individual to carry.  For some people it is easy they are genetically lucky to be well constructed and thrive on good food and exercise.  The general common recommendations work great for these people and many of them can get way with far less proper care and still not have many problems.  I envy these people. 

Here in the have big AG lobbying big government and big food manufactures marketing to everyone all the time.  How do you get an entire culture to stop what they are doing and spend the time and energy to figure out what works for them. How do you get millions of people to experiment with new foods, cooking form scratch, cutting out the easy to store, prepare, and eat on the go foods that all happened to be affordable thanks to big AG and big gov.  If there isn't a pressing health issue most people won't even think about let alone do anything about it.

Finding what works when you are not one of the genetically lucky people is a painfully hard and extremely difficult and many people who do develop a medical condition give up because the mainstream advice is not enough.   Yes there are many people that could be making much better choices and it is easier than ever to research different options but it isn't easy to find help when the standard options don't work.  How do get a an entire culture to start researching, experimenting, and building a healthier lifestyle? I mention this because of my own situation and mainstream medical/nutritional advice has not been very helpful in my path to not falling apart before I reach old age. 

I have a connective tissue disorder that most doctors don't know what it is let alone how to treat.  It means that my digestive system mechanically doesn't work properly, I am very prone to joint injuries and deterioration, my nervous system is going haywire and they are not sure why.  While is am still on my medical mystery tour to try and deal with all of this my blood work is great and I am still 60 pound overweight.  I have a quarter acre garden that I tend with all hand tools, I eat a very controlled diet full of grass fed meats, pasture raised eggs, lost of organically or better grown fruits and veggies, high quality fats, very low in fructan sugars, and very low in inflammatory carbs.  I don't eat out and bring my own food with me including family events.   I do need more exercise but it is hard to increase it when you keep fainting doing it and are predisposed to major joint damage from what would normally be a minor injury. People like me are more common than you would think and I came to permaculture to improve my health and design a lifestyle that I can adapt and keep doing as my body continues to deteriorate. I am all about finding hacks and being creative to solve my problems but it isn't easy or successful.  I am lucky that I have spent my whole life designing and making things.  I can't imagine how hard all of this would be if I wasn't some who built things.
 
Todd Parr
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Kate, I'm sorry to hear about your health problems.  I can't imagine what you must be going through dealing with that.  It sounds horrible.  It does sound like you have your diet on the right track from an "eating healthy" perspective.  It sounds much like the paleo diet, and I feel better when I eat that way than anything else I have tried.  I hope it helps with your issues.  It has certainly helped many people with a wide range of conditions.  I disagree with this statement:  "The frustrating thing about all of this is there is no one size fits all option for people to prevent or correct excess weight."  The one size fits all option for everyone is eating less calories than you burn in a day, however many that may be.  If a person has joint/mobility issues, the number of calories burned in a day will necessarily be lower than a person that is more active, but lowering calories to below maintenance levels will always result in weight loss.  It has to.  To maintain a certain size it is necessary to eat a certain number of calories.  If a person eats less calories than that, they will lose weight.  For all the smoke and mirrors that the "diet gurus" throw at you about nutrient partitioning, insulin resistance, etc. to sell the latest fad diet they concocted, that rule will never change.  Good luck on your journey.  I hope you find health.
 
Todd Parr
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David Livingston wrote:http://www.bbc.com/news/av/magazine-40505399/think-again-there-is-no-obesity-crisis

Interesting talk on obesity . and why the problem may not be as bad as stated

David


My thoughts are that she twisted the facts quite a bit.  One thing she says is that if underweight people get diabetes, they don't live as long as overweight people that get it.  Was anyone saying that being underweight is healthy?  Let's compare to people of "normal" weight instead and see how that stacks up.  Here is a quick quote from obesity.org "However, the single best predictor of type 2 diabetes is overweight or obesity. Almost 90% of people living with type 2 diabetes are overweight or have obesity."  So even if the "underweight" people, which no one is even talking about, don't live as long with diabetes, the chance of them getting it is very small.  She admits in the video that people that are overweight get diabetes and heart disease more often.  The truth is, they get it MUCH more often according to every statistic I have ever read.  In addition to that, how long you live isn't the only issue.  Quality of life is drastically different for people that are obese.  This is another thing I don't need a study to prove.  Even if I didn't have overweight people that I care about, and I do, it is common sense that it is harder on your body to move around carrying 50 or 100 or 150lb extra.  Anyone that doesn't believe it should strap on an 80lb backpack and then go for a walk or work in their garden for an hour.
 
Kate Muller
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Todd Parr wrote:Kate, I'm sorry to hear about your health problems.  I can't imagine what you must be going through dealing with that.  It sounds horrible.  It does sound like you have your diet on the right track from an "eating healthy" perspective.  It sounds much like the paleo diet, and I feel better when I eat that way than anything else I have tried.  I hope it helps with your issues.  It has certainly helped many people with a wide range of conditions.  I disagree with this statement:  "The frustrating thing about all of this is there is no one size fits all option for people to prevent or correct excess weight."  The one size fits all option for everyone is eating less calories than you burn in a day, however many that may be.  If a person has joint/mobility issues, the number of calories burned in a day will necessarily be lower than a person that is more active, but lowering calories to below maintenance levels will always result in weight loss.  It has to.  To maintain a certain size it is necessary to eat a certain number of calories.  If a person eats less calories than that, they will lose weight.  For all the smoke and mirrors that the "diet gurus" throw at you about nutrient partitioning, insulin resistance, etc. to sell the latest fad diet they concocted, that rule will never change.  Good luck on your journey.  I hope you find health.


Thank you.  I tried paleo and didn't feel better and didn't lose weight.  It wasn't controlling my low blood sugar swings or my joint pain.  It didn't find relief till I did a full blown elimination diet and added foods back in one at a time to see what did and didn't work for me.   The snowflake that I am found that  oligosaccharides, polysaccharies, and lactose are really big problems for me and they are in so many foods and food additives. The calories in compared to the calories burned gets complicated by malabsorption issues and food fermenting in your digestive system.(rare snowflake problem not gut flora problem)   I have spent my whole life either under weight or overweight and the research that has helped me find a path was publicly released last year.  So after decades of struggle I am on a much better path.
 
Todd Parr
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Kate Muller wrote:
Todd Parr wrote:Kate, I'm sorry to hear about your health problems.  I can't imagine what you must be going through dealing with that.  It sounds horrible.  It does sound like you have your diet on the right track from an "eating healthy" perspective.  It sounds much like the paleo diet, and I feel better when I eat that way than anything else I have tried.  I hope it helps with your issues.  It has certainly helped many people with a wide range of conditions.  I disagree with this statement:  "The frustrating thing about all of this is there is no one size fits all option for people to prevent or correct excess weight."  The one size fits all option for everyone is eating less calories than you burn in a day, however many that may be.  If a person has joint/mobility issues, the number of calories burned in a day will necessarily be lower than a person that is more active, but lowering calories to below maintenance levels will always result in weight loss.  It has to.  To maintain a certain size it is necessary to eat a certain number of calories.  If a person eats less calories than that, they will lose weight.  For all the smoke and mirrors that the "diet gurus" throw at you about nutrient partitioning, insulin resistance, etc. to sell the latest fad diet they concocted, that rule will never change.  Good luck on your journey.  I hope you find health.


Thank you.  I tried paleo and didn't feel better and didn't lose weight.  It wasn't controlling my low blood sugar swings or my joint pain.  It didn't find relief till I did a full blown elimination diet and added foods back in one at a time to see what did and didn't work for me.   The snowflake that I am found that  oligosaccharides, polysaccharies, and lactose are really big problems for me and they are in so many foods and food additives.


Can you tell me specifically what paleo foods gave you problems (or that you suspect may have)?  I have a person very close to me that is struggling with digestive issues and even with the paleo diet she has some problems.  Following the "strictest" paleo diet, Whole 30, works great for me, but if some of the foods on it contain the components you mentioned, that may be worth looking in to.
 
Kate Muller
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Todd Parr wrote:
Kate Muller wrote:
Todd Parr wrote:Kate, I'm sorry to hear about your health problems.  I can't imagine what you must be going through dealing with that.  It sounds horrible.  It does sound like you have your diet on the right track from an "eating healthy" perspective.  It sounds much like the paleo diet, and I feel better when I eat that way than anything else I have tried.  I hope it helps with your issues.  It has certainly helped many people with a wide range of conditions.  I disagree with this statement:  "The frustrating thing about all of this is there is no one size fits all option for people to prevent or correct excess weight."  The one size fits all option for everyone is eating less calories than you burn in a day, however many that may be.  If a person has joint/mobility issues, the number of calories burned in a day will necessarily be lower than a person that is more active, but lowering calories to below maintenance levels will always result in weight loss.  It has to.  To maintain a certain size it is necessary to eat a certain number of calories.  If a person eats less calories than that, they will lose weight.  For all the smoke and mirrors that the "diet gurus" throw at you about nutrient partitioning, insulin resistance, etc. to sell the latest fad diet they concocted, that rule will never change.  Good luck on your journey.  I hope you find health.


Thank you.  I tried paleo and didn't feel better and didn't lose weight.  It wasn't controlling my low blood sugar swings or my joint pain.  It didn't find relief till I did a full blown elimination diet and added foods back in one at a time to see what did and didn't work for me.   The snowflake that I am found that  oligosaccharides, polysaccharies, and lactose are really big problems for me and they are in so many foods and food additives.


Can you tell me specifically what paleo foods gave you problems (or that you suspect may have)?  I have a person very close to me that is struggling with digestive issues and even with the paleo diet she has some problems.  Following the "strictest" paleo diet, Whole 30, works great for me, but if some of the foods on it contain the components you mentioned, that may be worth looking in to.



For more information check out FODMAP elimination diets.  Monash University is Australia has been doing great research on fructan sugars and IBS patients.  While my issue isn't IBS the research on the fructans was a game changer for me.  They have a good phone app and I have found it to be worth the $9.00. It even has a decent selection of perennial food crops data.  http://www.med.monash.edu/cecs/gastro/fodmap/

Fruits and grains are easy ones to figure out they have sugars in them and can cause inflation issues.  What surprised me was the veggies and nuts that are very common in paleo recipes. 

Oligosaccrides are found in garlic bulbs, onion bulbs, wheat, beetroot, almonds, cashews, pistachios, and beans, 

Mushrooms are both high in oligosaccharide and polysaccharide which makes me sadder than the garlic and onions. 

Cauliflower and  sweet potato are high in polysaccharides. 

Then there are the hidden additives that an elimination  diet  really helps you find.  I had no idea that dextrose and locust bean gum are some of the worst foods for me to eat and they are in so many foods. 

 
Stacy Witscher
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I don't think shame is a good motivating factor. We shame people quite enough.

I actually don't see a lot of morbidly obese people. I see a lot of people like the pictures above, all reasonably healthy looking.

While I agree that calories in vs. calories out works, if you explore how those numbers are derived, it becomes much less clear. I think that we have to keep in mind that these are complex issues. People have more to care about than counting calories in a day. When my life gets hectic, certain concerns fall by the wayside. It's generally not just I don't care if I'm fat, but rather, all of my emotional energy is being taken up by whatever, a sick child, a lack of money, etc. and have nothing left for anything else.
 
Ryan Hobbs
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I always ate pretty good growing up, mostly rice and beans, eggs; meat and dairy once in a while when we could afford it. But I developed a nagging and frequent heartburn that I eventually accepted as normal. One day I ended up with excruciating pain in my chest and was rushed to the hospital by an ambulance. I was put through all kinds of tests and even puked while I was there. They collected and tested my vomit. Next day we get the results of all the tests. Turns out my stomach contents did not include the enzymes needed to break down meat and dairy. Another test the next day confirmed this, and the stomach specialist put me on a strict vegan diet. Have only had heartburn once since then and it has been 5 months. I've lost 60 lbs of fat, and as I dropped the stuff, I got more and more active and have gained 20 lbs of muscle now walking about 20 miles a week and doing other activity like cutting wood and practicing martial arts. I got an e-book on vegan body building and have been eating and working out better than ever. I try and try to encourage my neighbors, but even with heart and breathing problems they refuse to change their diet. And a kid down the street looks like hunny booboo's twin. The rotundity of my fellow Americans is frightening. Their unwillingness to change it even when deathly ill even moreso.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Stacy Witscher wrote:
I actually don't see a lot of morbidly obese people.


I see a lot of morbidly obese people at the grocery store.  Location is important.  When I asked my husband where someone might live where they don't see a lot of morbidly obese people, he immediately said "San Francisco."

 
Stacy Witscher
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I have found that a lot of people would say that mostly beans and rice isn't a good diet, if nothing else, it isn't varied enough. It isn't uncommon to lose the ability to eat something because it isn't needed anymore, that isn't a reason for others not to do so.

I'm not sure why SF would be so different. It's a big foodie town.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Stacy Witscher wrote: It isn't uncommon to lose the ability to eat something because it isn't needed anymore, that isn't a reason for others not to do so.


I can't make sense of that sentence, can you restate it?

 
Tyler Ludens
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Stacy Witscher wrote:

I'm not sure why SF would be so different. It's a big foodie town.


SF is an affluent area.  Obesity at this time in history tends to be a poor person's disorder.

 
Stacy Witscher
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Sure, sorry about that, it made sense in my head, but that's a place others might not want to go, LOL. For instance, lactose requires an enzyme to break it down, and if/when someone stops consuming dairy, that enzyme stops being produced. The longer away from it, the harder it is for the body to start up again. I see a lot written about lactose intolerance, but this is acquired, through different ways, but breast milk contains lactose. While I'll acknowledge the possibility of lactose intolerance at birth, realistically, any genetic predisposition to this would have died off when there weren't other options. Genetic mutation is still possible, but statistically unlikely. Similarly, when one stops eating meat, one loses the ability to digest it properly. But it seems obvious that someone else not being able to eat dairy or meat has no effect on my ability.

I hope this makes it clearer. I feel like I'm rambling.

 
Tyler Ludens
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I agree with you that diet is extremely individual.  A healthy diet for one person might be very bad for another person, as far as I can tell.  That's why I have trouble with broad, sweeping pronouncements about diet.  The only broad pronouncement I've seen that seems appropriate is that it is difficult to eat too many fresh vegetables.  They are in general healthy for everyone.  Some people have gotten in trouble by juicing fresh vegetables, but just vegetables on a plate seem universally healthy.  However, it is almost impossible to survive just on fresh vegetables, as far as I can tell from my own research.  It is almost impossible to obtain enough calories, iodine, and B12 from such a diet.

 
Stacy Witscher
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I agree as well, more vegetables is generally a good idea.

SF is affluent, as is a lot of the Bay Area. I actually lost a fair amount of weight working in fine dining in SF, eating risotto, beef tartare and foie gras, go figure. For me, eating things I don't like is never going to help me lose weight because they will never satisfy me. I'd rather eat less amazing food, than more boring food.

That being said, I try to judge a little less, and empathize a little more. Life is hard.
 
Tyler Ludens
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I don't know how people with impulse control problems manage in the grocery store.  Our regional grocery, HEB, has huge stacks of unhealthy products out on display every day.  If I had less impulse control, I would be loading up on these.  I have empathy for people with impulse control problems because it is a personal issue for me with which I battle.
 
Thyri Gullinvargr
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Kate Muller wrote:
Todd Parr wrote:
Can you tell me specifically what paleo foods gave you problems (or that you suspect may have)?  I have a person very close to me that is struggling with digestive issues and even with the paleo diet she has some problems.  Following the "strictest" paleo diet, Whole 30, works great for me, but if some of the foods on it contain the components you mentioned, that may be worth looking in to.

For more information check out FODMAP elimination diets.  Monash University is Australia has been doing great research on fructan sugars and IBS patients.  While my issue isn't IBS the research on the fructans was a game changer for me.  They have a good phone app and I have found it to be worth the $9.00. It even has a decent selection of perennial food crops data.  http://www.med.monash.edu/cecs/gastro/fodmap/

You might also have her have her try AIP or a combination of AIP and low FODMAPs. Here's a simplified explanation: http://gutsybynature.com/2013/10/02/low-fodmap-and-paleo-autoimmune-protocol-what-can-i-eat/. Like other elimination diets, eat strictly for about a month, then try reintroducing foods slowly and in the particular order. See http://asquirrelinthekitchen.com/reintroducing-foods-on-the-paleo-autoimmune-protocol-aip/, for example, for reintroducing foods in AIP. Hope it helps.
 
David Livingston
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Wow that got some responce !
I dont totally agree with the video but I thought it interesting . One thing I did like was to differentiate between disease, symptoms , and causes .
Obesity is a symptom to me you cannot catch obesity like the common cold Its a symptom of something else ,  life style choices , wrong diet for your body , poor exersize regime or something else  and unless you find out what , and for many folks but not all frankly its painfully obvious nothing will change
Myself I was at one point 115 Kg and am now below 90Kg I did this using the radical method called a garden ( how does one apply for a trademark ?) I go there a couple of times week its a great work out plus I get free food that contains no added sugar
After reading this in the Guardian yesterday I did wonder if people would now be healthier after Walmart left https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jul/09/what-happened-when-walmart-left
 
Todd Parr
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Stacy Witscher wrote:I don't think shame is a good motivating factor. We shame people quite enough.

I actually don't see a lot of morbidly obese people. I see a lot of people like the pictures above, all reasonably healthy looking.

While I agree that calories in vs. calories out works, if you explore how those numbers are derived, it becomes much less clear. I think that we have to keep in mind that these are complex issues. People have more to care about than counting calories in a day. When my life gets hectic, certain concerns fall by the wayside. It's generally not just I don't care if I'm fat, but rather, all of my emotional energy is being taken up by whatever, a sick child, a lack of money, etc. and have nothing left for anything else.


I didn't see anything that I thought was shaming anyone anywhere in this thread.

It's interesting that you don't see a lot of morbidly obese people where you live.  Here it is the opposite.  I can go to the local Walmart which is the major food store here, and literally 1 of 10 people aren't morbidly obese.  Many, many are above 300lbs.  I don't think I ever really noticed it until I lived in Iceland for a year.  When I came back to the States, I was shocked at the number of truly obese people here in comparison. 

I don't understand your statement about how the numbers are derived being less clear? 

David Livingston wrote:
...and unless you find out what...


the answer is always the same, unless you truly have a medical condition like Kate's.  Take in less calories than you use in a day.  How you arrive there is different of course.  Some people may choose to eat less, to work out more, to switch from pizza to vegetables,... but regardless of how you do it, the answer is the same.

It is important to note that what foods you eat make an enormous difference in your health, especially if you have specific food allergies or sensitivities, or some other underlying medical condition.  If your only concern is to lose weight though, less calories is the answer.  Google "twinkie diet" if you have trouble believing that.  A nutrition professor went on a diet of what can only be described (at least in my mind) of shit food, and lost 27lbs in 2 months.  Twinkies, Dorito's and other assorted garbage, but he kept his calories below maintenance.  It's as simple as that.  As an aside, his health markers all improved from losing weight as well.

 
William Bronson
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I brought up shaming,but descriptively not prescriptively.

Food is subject to abuse yet necessary for life.
Unlike some other such substances the most easily abused foods are the most readily available.

The health that comes from proper nutrition takes a while to arrive. The sensation that comes from fast food is immediate.
Some research indicates that poverty reduces the brains ability to think long term.
This has been q
my experience.
 
Deb Rebel
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Ryan Hobbs wrote:I always ate pretty good growing up, mostly rice and beans, eggs; meat and dairy once in a while when we could afford it. But I developed a nagging and frequent heartburn that I eventually accepted as normal. One day I ended up with excruciating pain in my chest and was rushed to the hospital by an ambulance. I was put through all kinds of tests and even puked while I was there. They collected and tested my vomit. Next day we get the results of all the tests. Turns out my stomach contents did not include the enzymes needed to break down meat and dairy. Another test the next day confirmed this, and the stomach specialist put me on a strict vegan diet. Have only had heartburn once since then and it has been 5 months. I've lost 60 lbs of fat, and as I dropped the stuff, I got more and more active and have gained 20 lbs of muscle now walking about 20 miles a week and doing other activity like cutting wood and practicing martial arts. I got an e-book on vegan body building and have been eating and working out better than ever. I try and try to encourage my neighbors, but even with heart and breathing problems they refuse to change their diet. And a kid down the street looks like hunny booboo's twin. The rotundity of my fellow Americans is frightening. Their unwillingness to change it even when deathly ill even moreso.


My condolences on what happened. Glad you turned it all around. I am also a medical vegan, my doctor ordered me onto it to combat cholesterol issues. With celiac, casein can trigger a reaction (but not the total havoc of a gluten reaction but still NO FUN). So that is also controlled by a vegan diet. A lot of people have little to no willpower and things like sugar are addicting. Going through sugar withdrawal is intense-this is what causes that effect you see when someone is diagnosed as a diabetic and they develop a never ending thirst and a sweet tooth the size of a bus. And they have snuck sugar (corn syrup) into so much of the commercial food. Sigh. In Italy, they have switched to a 'western' diet, and childhood obesity and diabetes is soaring there.

Pay attention you are getting enough vitamins, especially B12, and you may find your dietary need for protein is more. I WAS a meat and potatoes gal. I'd still love to be one.

I will say since childhood, going to a store like Walmart, there are far more 'big people' than ever. I used to live in one of the 'healthiest' states and there were still plenty of people who were toting more than they needed to be. It is our diet and our lifestyle. I'm definitely better for no more corn syrup...
 
Stacy Witscher
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Maybe that's the key, don't go to Walmart, LOL. Seriously though, it could very well be a location thing, I don't travel so I have no idea what it's like elsewhere.

With the calorie thing, those numbers are all averages. The best way to know if you are eating lower than your using, is monitoring weight, which is merely reactive, not prescriptive. Too many people are locked into those numbers and it's not working for them.

I was referring to William Bronson's statement about the shaming. Not that anyone here is shaming anyone, but rather the idea that we, as a society, should shame people.
 
Deb Rebel
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Tyler Ludens wrote:I don't know how people with impulse control problems manage in the grocery store.  Our regional grocery, HEB, has huge stacks of unhealthy products out on display every day.  If I had less impulse control, I would be loading up on these.  I have empathy for people with impulse control problems because it is a personal issue for me with which I battle.


They purposely lay out the stores to give you the most temptation so you will buy more, and yes, often the junkiest food and greatest profit is at eye/cart level (so tempting to small kids) and the checkouts are set up that way on purpose to encourage impulse buying. As for those with control problems... my spouse has little willpower. I usually do the shopping WITHOUT him so we can stay near budget. Just the way it is. They do advocate never go in the store hungry, eat before you go. Our local small grocery store uses a crockpot to slowly simmer some meat so it smells GOOD in there especially by the meat counter. Then they shred it and deli container pack it for batchelors and construction workers who will buy it. Sneaky, yes. Legal, yes.
 
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Stacy Witscher wrote:
With the calorie thing, those numbers are all averages. The best way to know if you are eating lower than your using, is monitoring weight, which is merely reactive, not prescriptive. Too many people are locked into those numbers and it's not working for them.


My understanding is that calories are simple units of energy.  Protein and carbs are 4 calories per gram.  Fats are 9 calories per gram.  If you are "locked into those numbers", and eat less than you burn, it will work.  For everyone.

Deb Rebel wrote:
They purposely lay out the stores to give you the most temptation so you will buy more, and yes, often the junkiest food and greatest profit is at eye/cart level (so tempting to small kids) and the checkouts are set up that way on purpose to encourage impulse buying.


My rule of thumb for that is, stay out of the aisles.  Generally, all the good food is on the perimeter.  Fruits and veggies, meat and eggs, are all found on the outside "loop".  Going into the aisles without a specific thing is mind can be a recipe for disaster.  Can't help with the checkout though.  They always have junk there.  Your advise to eat before going to the store is dead-on. 


 
Stacy Witscher
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I used to think that about calories as well. But that's not how they determine that. A calorie is a unit of energy, but how our food is labeled is determined by how the body uses it. Humans do not extract nutrients perfectly, so that number would be even less useful than what they do. I didn't want to get into this, that's why I suggested that you look into it.
 
Todd Parr
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Stacy Witscher wrote:... that's why I suggested that you look into it.


Maybe you could point me in the right direction?
 
Dan Boone
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Todd Parr wrote:The answer is always the same, unless you truly have a medical condition like Kate's.  Take in less calories than you use in a day.  How you arrive there is different of course.  Some people may choose to eat less, to work out more, to switch from pizza to vegetables,... but regardless of how you do it, the answer is the same.

It is important to note that what foods you eat make an enormous difference in your health, especially if you have specific food allergies or sensitivities, or some other underlying medical condition.  If your only concern is to lose weight though, less calories is the answer.  Google "twinkie diet" if you have trouble believing that.  A nutrition professor went on a diet of what can only be described (at least in my mind) of shit food, and lost 27lbs in 2 months.  Twinkies, Dorito's and other assorted garbage, but he kept his calories below maintenance.  It's as simple as that.


As simple as that.

Carl von Clausewitz, the famous military strategist, is often quoted as saying something like "War is very simple.  But in war, the simplest things are very difficult."

Anybody who does not think this is a war has never been obese.

Todd, I don't fundamentally disagree with you, and I do believe you're a sympathetic voice in this discussion, but speaking as an obese person I don't think it's actually as simple as you imagine.  I live in Walmart land and you're not wrong about the "heft" of the problem -- plus I live in a community with a lot of resulting diabetes and amputations, so large people with missing limbs on battery chairs are a frequent sight when I'm shopping.  It's a problem all right.

One thing that undermines the simplicity is that it's not *quite* as simple as the thermodynamics would suggest.  Virtually everybody eats more calories than they burn or store, leaving some "fudge factor" for undigested calories that pass.  It's common for obese people to discover that they have to reduce calories down to concentration-camp starvation levels before meaningful weight loss is achieved, because, for whatever reason, our bodies are greedier about storing all the calories that come into range.   This is not an "excuse" but it is a thing that makes the simple thermodynamics less simple. 

Another thing is that, statistically speaking, long-term weight loss for morbidly obese people is impossible.  As in, it "simply" doesn't happen.  It does not appear in the statistics in meaningful numbers.  Everybody knows somebody whose sister lost 100 pounds a year ago and looks wonderful.  Hell, I lost 200 pounds a few years back by switching to plant foods and I've kept about half of it off myself, with substantial accompanying health benefits, but...  The statistics do not lie.  Long term weight loss does not happen in statistically significant amounts for morbidly obese people.  There's something going on there, something profoundly not-simple.  Even if the thermodynamics are simple, something more complicated on the psychology/behavior side is undermining that simplicity.  I'm philosophically committed to the notion of free will, but the dominant thinking among philosophers is doubtful about it these days, and the biologists who study human nutrition don't offer a lot more hope. 

Does that mean it's all pointless and an obese person shouldn't try to eat smarter/better/less?  Of course not.  But it does mean that, in my opinion, that word "simple" is carrying a lot of freight when we see it in these discussions.
 
Dan Boone
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Stacy Witscher wrote:Maybe that's the key, don't go to Walmart, LOL. Seriously though, it could very well be a location thing, I don't travel so I have no idea what it's like elsewhere.


Stacy I live out here in Walmart land and your joke about not going there is funny here too, but probably for a different reason.  You are open and honest about not knowing what it's like out here, so let me tell you!

I live near a small town with two dollar stores and an ancient IGA supermarket.  Only one of the dollar stores sells any  "fresh" stuff, and that's bagged produce from Mexico.  The supermarket stuff is always expensive and at the very end of its dates (or past them) and brown/wilty, like that one old bag of carrots or celery you might find in a corner liquor store in the Tenderloin in San Francisco (I haven't been there since 1995, probably it has changed). 

10 miles away there's a small Walmart (no produce section), a discount grocery (think "all supermarket brands", also with old/stale produce, but cheaper), and a modern small-town grocery store with decent produce, but very expensive (four or five bucks per pound for almost anything, nobody shops there but little old ladies who get three different pension checks and like having a bag boy). 

20 miles away there's another discount grocery (again, old/stale produce) and a modern superwalmart, which is the only reasonable place to go for a broad selection of reasonably fresh produce. 

An hour away there is one huge discount grocery with slightly better old/stale produce, a bigger superwalmart, a bigger modern "old lady pricing" supermarket with decent produce, and an Aldi (produce quality highly variable, but sometimes very good and cheap).

Two hours away in two different directions there are large cities with Whole Foods, luxury supermarkets, organic groceries, Sprouts Markets, ethnic groceries, and pretty much anything else you could want and expect to find outside of coastal America. 

I define "a healthy diet" as "plant based, no added oils" right now, so for me, Walmart has little to offer.  I can buy produce at the one twenty miles away, but it's not as cheap as the dollar/discount stuff that's closer and it's not as good or as cheap (when I shop loss-leader sales) as the premium/organic stuff that's two hours away.  So I pretty much buy all my staples at the discount stores and all my fresh stuff based on whatever loss-leader sales are happening, and I do my distant shopping when business takes me to those places.  Walmart sells very little that's a whole plant food (whole wheat noodles, some dry beans, some canned and frozen vegetables) and almost all of those items are cheaper at one or another discount grocer that is competing hard with Walmart on price. When I shop at Walmart, it's often because they can be relied upon to stock things like whole wheat noodles that come and go in the discount-store inventories.  

But I've got broke-ass-vegan-shopping-in-a-red-state-food-desert down to a science.  The reality for most people is that Walmart is closest and cheapest.  If they didn't have my freedom to shop loss-leader sales in a 150-mile radius, they wouldn't have a smarter choice than buying their shit at Walmart.
 
Stacy Witscher
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Todd Parr - the Gastopod podcast "The End of the Calorie" has some very good information condensed into an easy to understand format.

Dan Boone - I understand, I'm very spoiled here. Sometimes I forget that. On top of all the great markets, we have year round farmer's markets. California grows so much food. One market in Berkeley has a discounted produce section, if you are willing to cut away the bad bits, you can get amazing deals.
 
A Walton
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Only someone not living in the US would really think there is no obesity crisis.
 
Ryan Hobbs
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I live in a food desert myself. Without my 600 sq ft garden and periodic trips to import stores in Columbus for big cans of sesame oil, huge bags of brown rice, and organic soy beans, I'd be screwed. I make my own fermented seasonings and pickles. Cherries reduce the sensation of hunger if you eat one or two fresh ones between meals. I hear tell that we're getting a big kroger with a big vegetable and organic food section. The little one down the street and walmart are the only options at the moment.
 
David Livingston
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A Walton
The author of the video lives in the USA

David
 
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