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The Fat Drug

IF you walk into a farm-supply store today, you’re likely to find a bag of antibiotic powder that claims to boost the growth of poultry and livestock. That’s because decades of agricultural research has shown that antibiotics seem to flip a switch in young animals’ bodies, helping them pack on pounds. Manufacturers brag about the miraculous effects of feeding antibiotics to chicks and nursing calves. Dusty agricultural journals attest to the ways in which the drugs can act like a kind of superfood to produce cheap meat. But what if that meat is us?
posted by brenton on Mar 13, 2014 - 71 comments

 

Punished by Reward

Neurobiologist Stephan Guyenet provides two video introductions to his intriguing hypothesis about the cause of obesity: frequently eating highly palatable processed foods (foods with high "reward" effect in the brain) alters the hypothalamus, raising the body's homeostatic set point. [more inside]
posted by overeducated_alligator on Mar 5, 2014 - 23 comments

The real reason Ben & Jerry's released their new 'Core' flavors

There Is No Childhood Obesity Epidemic Paul Campos in TNR reviews the latest report from the Journal of the American Medical Association. [more inside]
posted by MisantropicPainforest on Feb 27, 2014 - 53 comments

The Obesity Myth.?!?

Study may bust myth of 'fat and fit' healthy obesity. Being healthy and obese is a myth, researchers say. People who are obese and have normal blood pressure, cholesterol and blood-sugar readings will still be unhealthy and die sooner compared with people who have a normal body weight, according to researchers. [more inside]
posted by MisantropicPainforest on Dec 6, 2013 - 226 comments

What No One Tells You About Losing Lots of Weight.

What No One Tells You About Losing Lots of Weight. For at least some newly thin people, there’s a meta-dissatisfaction in feeling that significant weight loss has made life anything other than perfect: Any discomfort you may feel with your body is compounded by a sense of shame at not feeling unmitigated pride at a moment you expected to be triumphant. [more inside]
posted by Drinky Die on Nov 11, 2013 - 178 comments

It's because you only went for 6 minutes.

Myths, Presumptions, and Facts about Obesity, from the New England Journal of Medicine. Among the myths discussed: Small sustained changes in eating or exercise make a big difference in weight; losing big amounts of weight quickly is less effective long-term than slow and gradual loss; that PE classes help reduce weight; and, tragically, that "a bout of sexual activity burns 100 to 300 kcal for each participant." But take heart! The authors point out that presumptions around the badness of snacking and yo-yo dieting are not supported! (There is also a correction to the original article, because the issue of breakfast remains contentious.)
posted by mittens on Oct 14, 2013 - 163 comments

This Is the Average Man's Body

This Is the Average Man's Body
posted by anazgnos on Oct 14, 2013 - 138 comments

Fat in the Fifties

In 1954, Life magazine published an article entitled "The Plague of Overweight" with a series of photos of a woman named Dorothy Bradley. The story features some now-familiar tropes about fat people ("197-pound Dorothy ... covered up embarrassment by being jolly and gregarious"; "Dorothy envies slim girl's milkshake"). It is also notable as an early appearance of the concept of an obesity "epidemic".
posted by dontjumplarry on Sep 29, 2013 - 109 comments

An animal obesity epidemic?

In a remarkable paper Allison et al. (2011) gather data on the weight at mid-life from 12 animal populations covering 8 different species all living in human environments. Dividing the sample into male and female they find that in all 24 cases animal weight has increased over the past several decades.
posted by bookman117 on Aug 8, 2013 - 36 comments

Another thing to blame your parents for

A layperson-friendly analysis of a seminal (1100+ cites) study on obesity that found no correlation between environment/upbringing and obesity, whilst finding very strong correlation between genetic heritage and obesity. To sum up: adopted children's body weight matches their biological parents, not their adoptive parents.
posted by seanmpuckett on Jul 29, 2013 - 67 comments

If another nation was doing this to our children, we'd be at war.

"The story of American families facing food insecurity is as frustrating as it is heartbreaking, because the truth is as avoidable as it is tragic. Here in the richest country on earth, 50 million of us — one in six Americans — go hungry. More than a third of them are children. And yet Congress can’t pass a Farm Bill because our representatives continue to fight over how many billions to slash from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as food stamps. The debate is filled with tired clichés about freeloaders undeserving of government help, living large at the expense of honest, hardworking taxpayers." Bill Moyers spends an hour with two of the creators of the documentary "A Place at the Table." [more inside]
posted by jbickers on Jul 3, 2013 - 76 comments

Obesity Reclassified as a Disease

The A.M.A. has officially recognized obesity as a disease. [more inside]
posted by astapasta24 on Jun 19, 2013 - 339 comments

...our ears, our voices, our hands, our pills and our scalpels.

Fat City. Physician Karen Hitchcock writes eloquently in The Monthly on obesity in Australia and the obesity-as-disease paradigm.
posted by nicolas léonard sadi carnot on May 28, 2013 - 105 comments

Weight x Distance = Flight Cost.

Samoa Air announces it will start charging passengers by weight.
posted by modernnomad on Apr 2, 2013 - 81 comments

Bunny Bounced

The true secret of Easter - but are toys replacing candy (or, more awfully, live animals) as the traditional Easter gift? And is that a bad thing?
posted by Artw on Mar 31, 2013 - 31 comments

Robert Lustig girds for war.

Everyone's favourite shit-disturbing pediatric endocrinologist recently became a published author of popular science. He's not doing it for money, and given the upturned noses of some of his brethren, probably not for love, either. The parade of overweight kids passing through his clinic at UCSF's Benioff Children's keeps getting longer, and the man is angry. So angry, he's going to law school to help quarterback the fight against the processed food industry himself. Previously.
posted by rhombus on Mar 28, 2013 - 58 comments

291 diseases and injuries + 67 risk factors + 1,160 non-fatal complications = 650 million estimates of how we age, sicken, and die

As humans live longer, what ails us isn't necessarily what kills us: five data visualizations of how we age, sicken, and die. Causes of death by age, sex, region, and year. Heat map of leading causes and risks by region. Changes in leading causes and risks between 1990 and 2010. Healthy years lost to disability vs. life expectancy in 1990 and 2010. Uncertainties of causes and risks. From the team for the massive Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2010. [more inside]
posted by hat on Dec 14, 2012 - 11 comments

"Look At Me Now"

American paratrooper Arthur Boorman suffered debilitating injuries during the first Gulf War. Doctors told him he'd never walk unassisted again. 15 years later.... [more inside]
posted by zarq on Nov 27, 2012 - 16 comments

I would have come up with a better title if I could bother to lift my chubby fingers to the keyboard

Rapid Increase of Worldwide Laziness as Global Physical Activity Levels Decline. According to this study, most of the world just sits around getting fat now.
posted by twoleftfeet on Jun 18, 2012 - 79 comments

Why the British are on average 3 stone (42 lbs) heavier than in the 60s

Why our food is making us fat (Guardian article by Jacques Peretti): [more inside]
posted by peacheater on Jun 15, 2012 - 146 comments

No soda for you

NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg has proposed a ban on the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks at restaurants, movie theaters and street carts. Mr. Bloomberg’s proposal requires the approval of the Board of Health, a step that is considered likely because the members are all appointed by him, and the board’s chairman is the city’s health commissioner, who joined the mayor in supporting the measure on Wednesday.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on May 31, 2012 - 349 comments

The Weight of a Nation

Consequences, Choices, Children in Crisis, Challenges. HBO’s multi-part research documentary The Weight of the Nation examines obesity in America in four parts, marshaling leading doctors, epidemiologists, economists, researchers, and community leaders to understand and explain the individual costs and public solutions to a multi-faceted social and individual problem. The documentary both explores large picture statistics, while giving voice “to those that often too seek to be invisible: members of the nearly 70 percent of Americans currently diagnosed as overweight or obese. (AV Club Review)” [more inside]
posted by stratastar on May 16, 2012 - 42 comments

One Big Mac plus another Big Mac....

That the conventional wisdom of 3,500 calories less is what it takes to lose a pound of weight is wrong. The body changes as you lose. Interestingly, we also found that the fatter you get, the easier it is to gain weight. An extra 10 calories a day puts more weight onto an obese person than on a thinner one. [more inside]
posted by Ruthless Bunny on May 16, 2012 - 125 comments

This Week In 'What Is Wrong With Black Women'

Nichelle Gainer (whose Vintage Black Glamour blog was seen previously on MeFi) responds insightfully to a NY Times editorial by author Alice Randall called "Why Black Women Are Fat."
posted by hermitosis on May 7, 2012 - 44 comments

"Maybe we should call it a food swamp rather than a desert."

The food desert has been a regular topic here on MetaFilter, posts about which often highlight a particular narrative about the effects of meager food choices for poorer urban communities, negatively affecting health and choice among low income people. Though not always. Some new studies indicate the situation in the US might be more like the latter, not quite as dire as is usually asserted. [more inside]
posted by 2N2222 on Apr 19, 2012 - 63 comments

Baloney Mass Index

A new study conducted by Dr. Eric Braverman, president of the nonprofit Path Foundation in New York City, and Dr. Nirav Shah, New York State’s Commissioner of Health suggests that the Body Mass Index significantly underestimates the rate of obesity in America, especially for women. Based on BMI, about one-third of Americans are considered obese, but when other methods of measuring obesity are used, that number may be closer to 60%. [more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus on Apr 4, 2012 - 118 comments

Why the Obesity Issue Might Be More Complex Than We Think

The Link Between Adult Obesity and Childhood Trauma (Time magazine article) Felitti wondered if there was something similar barring weight loss in other patients — or causing obesity itself. In the late '80s, he began a systematic study of 286 obese people, and discovered that 50% had been sexually abused as children. That rate is more than 50% higher than the rate normally reported by women, and more than triple the average rate in men....
posted by The ____ of Justice on Feb 27, 2012 - 111 comments

STOP BEING SKINNY AND TIRED!

Ask for Amazing WATE-ON. Retronaut's collection of dietary supplement ads offers some historical perspective on the obesity epidemic. [more inside]
posted by nangar on Jan 20, 2012 - 17 comments

The Widening of the American Commuter

Transit Agencies Face the New Calculus of Broader Backsides
posted by Renoroc on Jan 16, 2012 - 51 comments

My Big Fat Environment

As discussion rages over what to do about rising obesity rates, scientists study environmental toxins called obesogens. Last night, Canadian program The Nature of Things aired Programmed to Be Fat? The documentary admits the fatty pitfalls of Western living, but asks that if this is the only factor, why has infant obesity risen 73% in the past 20 years? Babies aren't terrific Big Mac consumers. [more inside]
posted by mobunited on Jan 12, 2012 - 102 comments

"My doctor says I have something called hypertension," she says. "I'm really scared."

Stark billboards and television commercials that feature overweight kids are part of a controversial anti-obesity campaign in Atlanta. The goal of the "Stop Sugarcoating It, Georgia" ads is to shock families into recognizing that obesity is a problem.
posted by edguardo on Jan 10, 2012 - 241 comments

Fat: The Gift that Keeps On Giving

The Fat Trap (NYT pop review): Overweight individuals in Western nations (and, increasingly, beyond) face interpersonal and institutional stigma for their bodies*. Oftentimes, these stigmas are predicated on the belief that being overweight is a moral failure, that being overweight is usually a result of laziness, decadence, and/or characterlogical poor impulse control. However, an emerging consensus among obesity researchers points toward strong, common physiological and individual genetic factors as causative for heightened BMIs in the modern world and the general failure of dieting to produce BMI outcomes. A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine (paywalled) adds to this body of evidence, suggesting that chemical messengers held to contribute to altered "efficient" metabolism and increased hunger in the wake of low-calorie dieting are (on average) significantly elevated up to a full year (if not longer) following a substantial drop in weight from dieting. [more inside]
posted by Keter on Dec 28, 2011 - 173 comments

"The Fat Just Walks Away"

Obese monkeys lose weight by new drug that kills off fat cells. Adipotide is the newest weapon in the war on obesity. Unlike other weight-loss drugs that try to suppress appetite, boost one's metabolism, or block the absorption of fat, Adipotide blocks the blood supply that feeds fatty tissue. Studies show monkeys lost 11% of their body weight after 4 weeks of treatment.
posted by 2manyusernames on Nov 12, 2011 - 103 comments

Fit 2 Fat 2 Fit

Fit 2 Fat 2 Fit "My goal is to inspire people to get fit, teach them how to do it and give them hope that it IS possible to get fit and stay fit. " [more inside]
posted by Sassyfras on Nov 5, 2011 - 175 comments

Have a Coke and a Smile (assuming you have any teeth left).

You know those Coke Freestyle machines? Where you can make your own combos? Like, 127 of them? [more inside]
posted by ga4ry on Oct 19, 2011 - 96 comments

"Believe it or not, Twinkies have an expiration date. Some day very soon, Life's little Twinkie gauge is gonna go... empty."

Taxpayers in the San Francisco area spend $2,762,295 each year in junk food subsidies, but only $41,950 each year on apple subsidies. [LATIMES] A new report released this week has found that, among the billions of dollars spent each year in federal subsidies for commodity crops, a steady flow of these taxpayer dollars are going to support high fructose corn syrup and three other common food additives used in junk food. The report, “Apples to Twinkies: Comparing Federal Subsidies of Fresh Produce and Junk Food” by CALPIRG and the U.S. PIRG Education Fund, studies the interesting question of whether the nation's problem with obesity is fueled by farm subsidies.
posted by Fizz on Sep 23, 2011 - 38 comments

The cost of healthy food

Food Fight: Does Healthy Food Have to Be More Expensive? In which the blog Get Rich Slowly chronicles an argument about nutrition vs cost and then invites readers to chime in.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Sep 23, 2011 - 129 comments

"We've built inactivity into our lifestyles. We've designed communities around cars,"

Obesity Epidemic Grows: [CNN.com] "Two-thirds of all adults and about a third of all children and teenagers in the United States are overweight or obese according to a report release Thursday by the Trust for America's Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). According to "F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future 2011,"[PDF] adult obesity increased in 16 states during the past year and rates soared to 30% or more in these 12 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia. Four years ago, only one state - Mississippi - had an adult obesity rate of more than 30%. No state showed a decrease in it obesity rate in Thursday's report."
posted by Fizz on Jul 7, 2011 - 231 comments

Why Diet Sodas Are No Benefit to Dieters

A recent study shows that people who drink diet soda tend to have larger waist circumferences over time. But is there an actual link? [more inside]
posted by reenum on Jul 1, 2011 - 83 comments

Hello, I am fat.

Hello, I am fat. This is my body (over there—see it?). I have lived in this body my whole life. I have wanted to change this body my whole life. I have never wanted anything as much as I have wanted a new body. I am aware every day that other people find my body disgusting. I always thought that some day—when I finally stop failing—I will become smaller, and when I become smaller literally everything will get better (I've heard It Gets Better)! My life can begin!
posted by fernabelle on Feb 12, 2011 - 580 comments

Buy-N-Large Pledges to Promote Healthier Foods

Why Wal-Mart Is Making Our Health Its Problem - "So what's behind the [healthier-eating] initiative? In a word: scale. In a recent article in HBR, Chris Meyer and I argued that we'll see companies taking more and more ownership of externalities they could ignore because of changing sensibilities and better sensors (meaning detection and reporting of impacts by third parties). But we also identified a third driver: the scale of modern business. Whereas in the past, a single grocer could not have much impact on society, in today's highly consolidated market, Wal-Mart touches a significant percentage of the nation's food intake. Once you reach a scale where your decisions have ramifications for millions, it is hard to pretend that the impacts, even as distant ripples, are not your problem."
posted by kliuless on Jan 24, 2011 - 75 comments

Shamelessly Courting the Fat Vote

Michelle Obama promotes an anti-obesity campaign, telling her children that "dessert is not a right." Sarah Palin takes a shot at her on a reality show, making s'mores and saying, "This is in honor of Michelle Obama, who said the other day we should not have dessert." There's hooting and hollering from all sides. And then there's this -- is Sarah Palin courting the fat vote?
posted by Cool Papa Bell on Jan 7, 2011 - 248 comments

The Paradox of Metabolically Healthy Obesity

From Obesity Panacea, a blog is written by two obesity researchers: a 5-part series delving into the fascinating and seemingly paradoxical research on people who remain metabolically-healthy despite being obese: 1) Introduction: An Oxymoron? 2) Prospective Risk of Disease 3) Lower Risk of Mortality? 4) Is Weight Loss Detrimental? 5) Is Weight Loss Beneficial? [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco on Sep 17, 2010 - 40 comments

being a conscious and ongoing victim of yourself is maybe worse than being someone else’s

How downloading music has literally saved my life: a lightly punctuated personal essay about obesity and compulsion.
posted by rollick on Sep 10, 2010 - 26 comments

Ending the Hurf Durf

About-Face aims to provide women and girls with skills to critically examine media messages that affect their positive self-image. Their website is a one-stop shop for simple, direct, teen-friendly educational materials about female self-esteem and body image. [more inside]
posted by emilyd22222 on Jul 20, 2010 - 65 comments

Death of the Last Sideshow Fat Man

Weighing 607 pounds, Bruce Snowdon was a sideshow fat man from 1977 to 2003, billed as "Harold Huge". His death on Nov. 9, 2009, at the age of 63 marks the end of a long tradition dating back centuries. [more inside]
posted by gman on Apr 16, 2010 - 40 comments

HURF DURF 1000 CALORIE EATERS

The health care bill requires chains with 20 or more restaurants to post calorie counts on their menus, as is already the law in New York and Philadelphia. A study published last fall suggested that the labels didn't change the eating behavior of low-income New Yorkers. A recent study at Yale, conducted under laboratory conditions, found the opposite. Corby Kummer at the Atlantic says calorie labeling works -- once you understand the point is to change the behavior, not of the consumer, but of the vendor. Will calorie labels lead the way to a healthier America, or a part-skim socialist dystopia? Or is the call of the Thickburger just too strong for mere numbers to dispel?
posted by escabeche on Mar 24, 2010 - 119 comments

The Sixth Sense of Taste

Sweet, sour, bitter, salty, umami, and.... fat? Dr. Russell Keast, an Austrailian scientist who studies "perceived flavour, consumer acceptance and preference of foods and nutrition," has conducted research exploring humans' apparent sixth taste perception: fat. The kicker? Sensitivity to the taste of fat was negatively correlated with fat intake and BMI. Dr. Keast discussed the results of his latest research with Slashfood, and The Sydney Morning Herald. (via) [more inside]
posted by sentient on Mar 11, 2010 - 31 comments

Too much of a good thing?

Pellagra is an awful disease. Its symptoms are the four D's -- diarrhea, dermatitis, dementia, and death, unpleasant by anyone's standards. Caused by a deficiency in niacin, pellagra is uncommon in developed nations thanks to the fortification of bread products with niacin. But could excess niacin be causing the rapid rise in type II diabetes? [more inside]
posted by greatgefilte on Dec 26, 2009 - 31 comments

Fructose Alters Human Metabolism

New research: Sweeteners like high-fructose corn syrup alter human metabolism, digestion
posted by jefficator on Dec 15, 2009 - 151 comments

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