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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
"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 -
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 -
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 -
, Children in Crisis
. 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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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
, and The Sydney Morning Herald
. (via) [more inside]
posted by sentient
on Mar 11, 2010 -
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 -