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]
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]
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
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....
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]
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.
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.
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."
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!
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."
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]
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?
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]
Sugar: The Bitter Truth.
Robert H. Lustig, Professor of Pediatrics at UCSF, discusses the biochemical properties of fructose and makes the case for why it should be considered, essentially, a poison. [Youtube, 1.5 hours] [more inside]
David Kessler Knew That Some Foods Are Hard to Resist; Now He Knows Why.
Former FDA commissioner David Kessler
goes dumpster-diving to investigate the neurological impact of eating junk food. [Via]
can be “caught” as easily as a common cold from other people’s coughs, sneezes and dirty hands.... As many as one in three obese people may have become overweight after falling victim to the highly infectious cold-like virus, known as AD-36.
Obesity has been called an epidemic in the United States.
Looking at an interactive statistic [CNN, flash]
of the state-by-state numbers is sobering mf
64% of adults are overweight and approx 25% are obese
The usual suspects have so far been a culture of low-exercise mf
high-consumption (due to urban sprawl, driving
, TV, ... ),
and bad diet
(the ubiquity of
with its high levels of fat, sugar and salt. Recently the high fructose levels in the common American diet has also been noted.
Fructose comprises 50% of table sugar and up to 90% of high-fructose corn
syrup (HFCS), both ingredients found in copious
amounts in most American 'convenience' foods.
[Wikipedia: Fructose#References, Wikipedia:HFCS]).
Now it seems that a
is a common virus, the
, which may really make obesity
an actual epidemic. [Int. Journal of Obesity
Cheap Donuts and Expensive Broccoli: the Effect of Relative Prices on Obesity. Using data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) for the period 1982-1996, we find that individual BMI measures, as well as the likelihood of being overweight or obese, exhibit a statistically significant positive correlation with the prices of healthful relative to unhealthful foods.
Obesity and Diabetes
- another free supplement by Nature
Can microbes make us fat? Of the trillions and trillions of cells in a typical human body — at least 10 times as many cells in a single individual as there are stars in the Milky Way — only about 1 in 10 is human. The other 90 percent are microbial. These microbes — a term that encompasses all forms of microscopic organisms, including bacteria, fungi, protozoa and a form of life called archaea — exist everywhere.
New evidence suggests microbes in our bodies can determine how efficiently we process food and affect our hunger centers.
is a free and very useful website for detailed nutrition information, including the in-vogue Glycemic Index
; their own Fullness Factor
, a measure of how filling foods are per calorie; and others
. Their Better Choices Diet
makes use of the Fullness Factor to make consuming less energy than you use
easier to do without going hungry.
Previously mentioned in response to this
Another touching, sad, chilling account of obesity in America.
The story of Anamarie Regino, a 3-year-old who was abnormally large for her age. Anamarie was taken out of her parents' custody because, it was determined, her life was in jeopardy because of her size. This despite a 550 calorie/day diet and obvious signs that "too much food" wasn't an issue.
Scientists know that being fat reduces your lifespan,
making you more susceptible to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and a host of other bad things. However they are only beginning to understand why. "Fat tissue is now recognized to be the body's biggest endocrine organ," producing 25 known signaling compounds and a variety of proteins.
All This Progress Is Killing Us.
"Increasingly, Western life is afflicted by the paradoxes of progress. Material circumstances keep improving, yet our quality of life may be no better as a result - especially in those cases, like food
, where enough becomes too much."
To eat three meals a day for 30 days at McDonald's and document the impact on his health. "It was really crazy - my body basically fell apart". Spurlock charted his journey from fit to flab in a tongue-in-cheek documentary which he has taken to the Sundance Film Festival.
US and Big Sugar challenge WHO Obesity Plan
William Steiger, of the US Department of Health and Human Services sent a 28-page letter to the World Health Organization on January 5th. On behalf of the Bush Administration, he writes "rigorous scientific studies do not clearly show that marketing fast foods or high calorie foods to consumers increases their risk of becoming obese. Nor do scientific studies definitively link particular foods, such as soft drinks or juices, or foods high in fat or sugar, to a higher risk of obesity." Attacking the science, protecting the status quo, it's a familiar tactic.
The WHO's efforts to combat worldwide obesity, and the reactions of US Sugar and Food Manufacturers were already discussed here
last year. Now that the plan is outlined, after 3 years of work, it recommends "advising people to limit sugar and refined foods, restricting junk food marketing, improving food labeling and raising prices on unhealthy foods". The US, however, is demanding strong changes before it signs off.
McDonald's launches global campaign featuring Justin Timberlake
in an attempt to target kids and teens. Forget the "Smile" campaign, it's "I'm lovin' it" now. (NYT account required)
Kraft announces plans to stop marketing in schools and to make products healthier
Sure, maybe they're only doing it because they're being sued
, but it's nice to see a company taking responsible steps without being forced to. Now if only all other junk food makers would do the same, or schools stopped allowing the junk foods in.
American cultural hegemony strikes again.
(NYT reg. req.) Asian children exposed to an American-made high-sugar, high-fat, pre-processed, fast-food diet now seem to be coming up with American diseases: obesity, diabetes, things like that. My fascination with the article is caused not so much by its content as it is by its tone, though:
Known in Chinese as "xiao pangzi," or "little fatties," these roly-poly children seem to be everywhere, the pampered victims of cultures that prize them as emblems of affluence and well-being.
Do I sense a certain smugness in this article? Is the author sarcastically reading this as a triumph of American values?
Obesity may not be unhealthy after all A careful survey of medical literature reveals that the conventional wisdom about the health risks of fat is a grotesque distortion of a far more complicated story. Indeed, subject to exceptions for the most extreme cases, it's not at all clear that being overweight is an independent health risk of any kind, let alone something that kills hundreds of thousands of Americans every year.
[The New Republic online, free reg. required]
Couch potato lifestyle is worse for your health than smoking
Poor diet and lack of exercise cause more illness than smoking, new figures show. The lifestyle of couch potatoes has overtaken smoking as the major cause of ill-health in EU countries for the first time, the World Health Organisation says. Great, now reading Metafilter is bad for me.
The Bush administration announces the slogan for the campaign to combat adolescent obesity: "Verb: It's what you do."
I am totally confused. The website suggests I make a paper airplane
(PDF) to get started on burning off those fat rolls. (via Slate
Fat versus Carbs
NYT Magazine takes an deep look at the issues of the low fat diet and the modern obesity epidemic.
That is McGross
Man eats 18,000 Big Macs.
TV's reality: Everyone is thin, and fat people are often ridiculed Overweight characters on TV are less likely to date and have sex than their slimmer counterparts, and they are more likely to be the butt of jokes and be seen chowing down, fueling possible bias against the heavyset, according to research being presented today.
The question is: Is television reflecting reality?
The worlds heaviest people.
And by god they are heavy.
Eric is fat!
After a month of gorgeing himself for The Fat Project, Eric has finally achieved his goal of 30 lbs. in 30 days. Nicole, on the other hand, isn't faring so well. Updates every few hours today.
Another chink in the armor of anti-fat bigots, haters and discriminators: Scientists discover common virus appears to cause obesity.
Interestingly, it also seems to lower cholesterol at the same time.