How Obesity Became a Disease [The Atlantic] And, as a consequence, how weight loss became an industry.
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]
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]
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.)
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]
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 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]
A graphic yet poignantly written first-person account of what it is like to weigh 530 pounds. The author of this account is unflinchingly brutal in her candor, which, although it makes some graphic moments in her narrative difficult to read, also brings you deeply into her world and her perspective. (A July 2008 update.)
Struggling British biotech firm Vernalis reports "striking" weight loss among patients taking its new obesity drug, "V24343".
NutritionData.com 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 AskMe question.
The Great Citizens Campaign to Lose Three Kilograms. Okinawans have closely adopted the U.S. lifestyle of cars, suburban malls and fast food, and have become Japan's fattest people?
This is the true story of what happens... when seven strangers... are picked to live in a house and have their lives taped... to see what happens when people stop being
polite fat and start being real skinny. America's obsession with weight loss continues on ABC. It's the anti-Fat Project.