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  #1   ^
Old Wed, Aug-15-18, 01:51
Demi's Avatar
Demi Demi is offline
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Plan: LCHF/IF
Stats: 217/192/160 Female 5'10"
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Location: UK
Default We’re in a new age of obesity. How did it happen? You’d be surprised

Quote:
From the Guardian
London, UK
15 August, 2018

We’re in a new age of obesity. How did it happen? You’d be surprised

George Monbiot

It’s not that we’re eating more, that we exercise less, or that we lack willpower. The shaming of overweight people has to stop


When I saw the photograph I could scarcely believe it was the same country. A picture of Brighton beach in 1976, featured in the Guardian a few weeks ago, appeared to show an alien race. Almost everyone was slim. I mentioned it on social media, then went on holiday. When I returned, I found that people were still debating it. The heated discussion prompted me to read more. How have we grown so far, so fast? To my astonishment, almost every explanation proposed in the thread turned out to be untrue.

Unfortunately, there is no consistent obesity data in the United Kingdom before 1988, at which point the incidence was already rising sharply. But in the United States, the figures go back further. They show that, by chance, the inflection point was more or less 1976. Suddenly, at around the time that the photograph was taken, people started becoming fatter – and the trend has continued ever since.

The obvious explanation, many on social media insisted, is that we’re eating more. Several pointed out, not without justice, that food was generally disgusting in the 1970s. It was also more expensive. There were fewer fast food outlets and the shops shut earlier, ensuring that if you missed your tea, you went hungry.

So here’s the first big surprise: we ate more in 1976. According to government figures, we currently consume an average of 2,130 kilocalories a day, a figure that appears to include sweets and alcohol. But in 1976, we consumed 2,280 kcal excluding alcohol and sweets, or 2,590 kcal when they’re included. I have found no reason to disbelieve the figures.

Others insisted that the cause is a decline in manual labour. Again, this seems to make sense, but again the data doesn’t support it. A paper last year in the International Journal of Surgery states that “adults working in unskilled manual professions are over four times more likely to be classified as morbidly obese compared with those in professional employment”.

So how about voluntary exercise? Plenty of people argued that, as we drive rather than walk or cycle, are stuck to our screens and order our groceries online, we exercise far less than we did. It seems to make sense – so here comes the next surprise. According to a long-term study at Plymouth University, children’s physical activity is the same as it was 50 years ago. A paper in the International Journal of Epidemiology finds that, corrected for body size, there is no difference between the amount of calories burned by people in rich countries and those in poor ones, where subsistence agriculture remains the norm. It proposes that there is no relationship between physical activity and weight gain. Many other studies suggest that exercise, while crucial to other aspects of good health, is far less important than diet in regulating our weight. Some suggest it plays no role at all as the more we exercise, the hungrier we become.

Other people pointed to more obscure factors: adenovirus-36 infection, antibiotic use in childhood and endocrine-disrupting chemicals. While there is evidence suggesting they may all play a role, and while they could explain some of the variation in the weight gained by different people on similar diets, none appears powerful enough to explain the general trend.

So what has happened? The light begins to dawn when you look at the nutrition figures in more detail. Yes, we ate more in 1976, but differently. Today, we buy half as much fresh milk per person, but five times more yoghurt, three times more ice cream and – wait for it – 39 times as many dairy desserts. We buy half as many eggs as in 1976, but a third more breakfast cereals and twice the cereal snacks; half the total potatoes, but three times the crisps. While our direct purchases of sugar have sharply declined, the sugar we consume in drinks and confectionery is likely to have rocketed (there are purchase numbers only from 1992, at which point they were rising rapidly. Perhaps, as we consumed just 9kcal a day in the form of drinks in 1976, no one thought the numbers were worth collecting.) In other words, the opportunities to load our food with sugar have boomed. As some experts have long proposed, this seems to be the issue.

The shift has not happened by accident. As Jacques Peretti argued in his film The Men Who Made Us Fat, food companies have invested heavily in designing products that use sugar to bypass our natural appetite control mechanisms, and in packaging and promoting these products to break down what remains of our defences, including through the use of subliminal scents. They employ an army of food scientists and psychologists to trick us into eating more than we need, while their advertisers use the latest findings in neuroscience to overcome our resistance.

They hire biddable scientists and thinktanks to confuse us about the causes of obesity. Above all, just as the tobacco companies did with smoking, they promote the idea that weight is a question of “personal responsibility”. After spending billions on overriding our willpower, they blame us for failing to exercise it.

To judge by the debate the 1976 photograph triggered, it works. “There are no excuses. Take responsibility for your own lives, people!” “No one force feeds you junk food, it’s personal choice. We’re not lemmings.” “Sometimes I think having free healthcare is a mistake. It’s everyone’s right to be lazy and fat because there is a sense of entitlement about getting fixed.” The thrill of disapproval chimes disastrously with industry propaganda. We delight in blaming the victims.

More alarmingly, according to a paper in the Lancet, more than 90% of policymakers believe that “personal motivation” is “a strong or very strong influence on the rise of obesity”. Such people propose no mechanism by which the 61% of English people who are overweight or obese have lost their willpower. But this improbable explanation seems immune to evidence.
Perhaps this is because obesophobia is often a fatly-disguised form of snobbery. In most rich nations, obesity rates are much higher at the bottom of the socioeconomic scale. They correlate strongly with inequality, which helps to explain why the UK’s incidence is greater than in most European and OECD nations. The scientific literature shows how the lower spending power, stress, anxiety and depression associated with low social status makes people more vulnerable to bad diets.

Just as jobless people are blamed for structural unemployment, and indebted people are blamed for impossible housing costs, fat people are blamed for a societal problem. But yes, willpower needs to be exercised – by governments. Yes, we need personal responsibility – on the part of policymakers. And yes, control needs to be exerted – over those who have discovered our weaknesses and ruthlessly exploit them.

https://www.theguardian.com/comment...erweight-people
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  #2   ^
Old Wed, Aug-15-18, 02:09
PilotGal PilotGal is offline
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Plan: Maintenance since 2007.
Stats: 206.6/178/178 Female 5'7
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Progress: 100%
Location: USA
Default

Quote:
Sometimes I think having free healthcare is a mistake.

As Americans read that.... we weep.
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  #3   ^
Old Wed, Aug-15-18, 05:12
Jools16 Jools16 is offline
 
Plan: Atkin
Stats: 147/131/110 Female 60 inches
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Wow. Thanks for that article, Demi. Very illuminating.
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  #4   ^
Old Wed, Aug-15-18, 05:14
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JLx JLx is offline
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Plan: Eat less, less often
Stats: 242.5/213/207 Female 66
BF:High wt, 276, 255
Progress: 83%
Location: Michigan U.P., USA
Default

Quote:
more than 90% of policymakers believe that “personal motivation” is “a strong or very strong influence on the rise of obesity”. Such people propose no mechanism by which the 61% of English people who are overweight or obese have lost their willpower. But this improbable explanation seems immune to evidence.


I'd like to hear an explanation from the personal responsibility crowd about this collective loss of willpower (don't have time right now to read the Guardian comments). I've heard some stats before about how we don't actually exercise less, or eat more than we did back then; it's about what we eat. And now we know, perhaps it's about when we eat.

We were just talking on the semi-low carb board about how we grew up, when we had parents with not-so-much money, eating a lot of carby things to stretch that dollar. And in my family, because my ever-thin dad had a big sweet tooth, we always had desserts. What we didn't do was eat many times a day or eat a lot of processed foods. On the very rare occasions when my parents would go out, TV dinners overseen by my older sister were an exotic treat.

And we're just starting to get a clue about epigenetics and obesity.
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  #5   ^
Old Wed, Aug-15-18, 06:34
teaser's Avatar
teaser teaser is online now
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Plan: mostly milkfat
Stats: 190/152.4/154 Male 67inches
BF:
Progress: 104%
Location: Ontario
Default

So the food scientists are working hard at derailing our appetites, but we're not eating more than than people did in the 70s? Or which is it? Gotta say, while type of food has been a better approach for me than just eating smaller amounts of the same old stuff that got me fat ever did, personally I did eat an awful lot when I was getting and staying fat.
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  #6   ^
Old Wed, Aug-15-18, 07:15
GRB5111's Avatar
GRB5111 GRB5111 is offline
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Plan: Ketogenic (LCHFKD)
Stats: 227/186/185 Male 6' 0"
BF:
Progress: 98%
Location: Herndon, VA
Default

Quote:
"So here’s the first big surprise: we ate more in 1976. According to government figures, we currently consume an average of 2,130 kilocalories a day, a figure that appears to include sweets and alcohol. But in 1976, we consumed 2,280 kcal excluding alcohol and sweets, or 2,590 kcal when they’re included. I have found no reason to disbelieve the figures."

"More alarmingly, according to a paper in the Lancet, more than 90% of policymakers believe that “personal motivation” is “a strong or very strong influence on the rise of obesity”. Such people propose no mechanism by which the 61% of English people who are overweight or obese have lost their willpower. But this improbable explanation seems immune to evidence."

These weak musings and rationalizing of reasons for obesity are based on pure speculation. In the first quote, there can be no way a comparison of calories consumed in the time periods referenced can be accurate. This is nonsense, as it can only be based on highly inaccurate epidemiological evidence derived from questionnaires, and that's only the first issue.

As for "personal motivation," I find that today's environment is death for good health for anyone who doesn't spend the time researching nutrition with the objective of taking control of one's lifestyle emphasizing healthy food consumption. The majority of the population is not willing to do this and exists in an environment where the constant drumbeat of commercial messages for food that is "heart healthy" (it even states this on labels of instant oats) is confusing at best and deadly at worst.

And so we come to this statement:
Quote:
"The shift has not happened by accident. As Jacques Peretti argued in his film The Men Who Made Us Fat, food companies have invested heavily in designing products that use sugar to bypass our natural appetite control mechanisms, and in packaging and promoting these products to break down what remains of our defences, including through the use of subliminal scents. They employ an army of food scientists and psychologists to trick us into eating more than we need, while their advertisers use the latest findings in neuroscience to overcome our resistance."

which on the surface appears to be a horrible conspiracy that is victimizing the defenseless population. This is nothing more than excuses and the wake up call with an article like this is the realization that people need to stop behaving like lemmings and take control of their own behaviors and lifestyle. Yes, it requires effort, but even if the world were a healthy place since the 1970s with no obesity, T2D, CVD/CHD, and cancer epidemics, people still must manage their lives and not leave it up to governments and manufacturers to define and deliver a lifestyle model where consumer welfare is the last thing (if at all) that is considered. It's a tough world out there, and while human life stresses have changed over our time on earth, they simply take on different forms against which we must always remain vigilant.
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  #7   ^
Old Wed, Aug-15-18, 08:12
cotonpal's Avatar
cotonpal cotonpal is online now
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Plan: very low carb real food
Stats: 245/128/135 Female 62
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Progress: 106%
Location: Vermont
Default

Rob - I can't disagree that a strong sense of personal responsibility is necessary in order to determine what constitutes healthy eating and then to put it into practice in one's life. However it is also obvious to me that different people have different abilities when it comes to figuring this stuff out. I try to remain grateful that I am able to do the research and to trust enough in my own authority so that I am not swayed by the official stance on what constitutes healthy eating. Economic factors also make a big difference. It's harder to be poor and eat a healthy diet than it is to have sufficient income to easily afford quality foods of the correct kind. There are so many circumstance that go into why people make the decisions that they make around eating and around health in general. I try to quiet my judgmental mind and generate a mind of compassion for those who stay mired in bad choices and unhealthy living. Sometimes I am successful at this and sometimes I am not. Dr Eric Westman and Dr Tim Noakes are 2 people who seem to get how poverty intersects with eating choice and therefore adjust their recommendations to take economic circumstances into account.
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  #8   ^
Old Wed, Aug-15-18, 08:42
GRB5111's Avatar
GRB5111 GRB5111 is offline
Posts: 2,303
 
Plan: Ketogenic (LCHFKD)
Stats: 227/186/185 Male 6' 0"
BF:
Progress: 98%
Location: Herndon, VA
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by cotonpal
Rob - I can't disagree that a strong sense of personal responsibility is necessary in order to determine what constitutes healthy eating and then to put it into practice in one's life. However it is also obvious to me that different people have different abilities when it comes to figuring this stuff out. I try to remain grateful that I am able to do the research and to trust enough in my own authority so that I am not swayed by the official stance on what constitutes healthy eating. Economic factors also make a big difference. It's harder to be poor and eat a healthy diet than it is to have sufficient income to easily afford quality foods of the correct kind. There are so many circumstance that go into why people make the decisions that they make around eating and around health in general. I try to quiet my judgmental mind and generate a mind of compassion for those who stay mired in bad choices and unhealthy living. Sometimes I am successful at this and sometimes I am not. Dr Eric Westman and Dr Tim Noakes are 2 people who seem to get how poverty intersects with eating choice and therefore adjust their recommendations to take economic circumstances into account.

Jean - I hope my post did not imply that people who don't take action are at fault. My hope is that those who can and do take action starting at the grass roots will help to lift everyone. We can't afford to worry about the government/ food manufacturer/ pharmaceutical machines who don't focus on individual interests and welfare. I am being judgemental about the article and its claims, as these statements haven't helped over the past several years where we've seen the increased societal polarization from politics to food choices:
Quote:
"Just as jobless people are blamed for structural unemployment, and indebted people are blamed for impossible housing costs, fat people are blamed for a societal problem. But yes, willpower needs to be exercised – by governments. Yes, we need personal responsibility – on the part of policymakers. And yes, control needs to be exerted – over those who have discovered our weaknesses and ruthlessly exploit them."

I don't agree with the above statement from the article's summary in total, certainly there are elements of concern, but personal responsibility on the part of policymakers (politicians) is the difficult part. Due to the increased polarization among political parties where winning issues and elections has become more important than making good on campaign promises, support of respectful dialog, and, ultimately, public welfare, I'm not counting on policymakers to assume the type of personal responsibility it would take to resolve the issues cited. At some point, those who can must step up and become a positive voice in these issues as well. In this way, we have the ability to help those who can't.
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  #9   ^
Old Wed, Aug-15-18, 09:30
cotonpal's Avatar
cotonpal cotonpal is online now
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Posts: 4,094
 
Plan: very low carb real food
Stats: 245/128/135 Female 62
BF:
Progress: 106%
Location: Vermont
Default

I did misunderstand you Rob. I agree that leaving it to the government to enact policies that promote health is not going to work. A grassroots effort is certainly necessary with the hopes that it will lift everybody up. We are all effected by the ill health of the general populace. Moving beyond concern for our own health and expanding our efforts out so that we might help others is beneficial to everyone, ourselves incuded. Many people here, in different ways, are engaged in doing that. It's one of the things I like about this forum
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  #10   ^
Old Wed, Aug-15-18, 10:33
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deirdra deirdra is offline
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Posts: 3,842
 
Plan: HF/vLC/GF,CF,SF
Stats: 197/136/150 Female 66 inches
BF:
Progress: 130%
Location: Alberta
Default

Personal motivation is required to follow a diet, but super-human willpower is necessary to follow the typical low-fat, low-cal diet recommended by most doctors, nutritionists and dieticians. White-knuckling it through every meal, hungry & obsessing about food for the rest of your life is what they are requiring of people with more than a few pounds to lose.

It is high time that they understand that it DOES matter WHAT you eat. Atkins Induction, LCHF, and Keto diets are the only types of WOEs that remove hunger, cravings & food obsession for most of us with insulin resistance, making it possible to eat like a "normal" person and get to and maintain a good weight.
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  #11   ^
Old Wed, Aug-15-18, 12:43
Meme#1's Avatar
Meme#1 Meme#1 is offline
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Posts: 9,060
 
Plan: Atkins DANDR
Stats: 210/183/160 Female 5'4"
BF:
Progress: 54%
Location: Texas
Default

That year Soy came out as the new protein, fat became the enemy then grain was supposed to save our heath with whole grain magical bars and cereals aka livestock feed.
Soda had been introduced in the 60s but was really being pushed everywhere in the 70s.
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  #12   ^
Old Wed, Aug-15-18, 18:11
Grav Grav is offline
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Posts: 842
 
Plan: Banting
Stats: 302/185/187 Male 175cm
BF:
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Location: New Zealand
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Quote:
After spending billions on overriding our willpower, they blame us for failing to exercise it.

This is as accurate as it is concise. It cuts so close to home for me that it actually made me wince when I first read it.

Regarding policymakers, I'm not so sure that the fault lies entirely with them, but more with the people that they rely on for official advice. Most of the response to my earlier proposal to the Health Minister here came not from the man himself, but to his ministry advisors that he deferred to. His team of "experts".

I think the best chances of making the most progress on this issue quickly is to actually have a discussion with these "experts" face to face. It's easy for the two sides of any argument to snipe at each other across the internet, but to get the right people in the same room together is where meaningful advances can really be made. We saw this with the recent Swiss Re conference in Zurich where there were just as many lowcarbers as there were traditionalists. Hopefully we'll see more of these sorts of meetings in the future.
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  #13   ^
Old Wed, Aug-15-18, 21:45
Meme#1's Avatar
Meme#1 Meme#1 is offline
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Posts: 9,060
 
Plan: Atkins DANDR
Stats: 210/183/160 Female 5'4"
BF:
Progress: 54%
Location: Texas
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I remember going into a convenience store with friends in 76 and all of my friends getting a coke and me just standing trying to figure out what to buy for a drink because I hated soda. I even said, I wish they had water in cans/bottles, then laughing and saying, who would pay for water.

I remember going on a field trip with my girl Scout troop and we went to the Coca-Cola bottling company. A group of adults in suits were handing out bottles of Coke to all of the girls. Twice they kept offering me Coke and then asked why I didn't want one, it was free!
I replied, No Thank You I Hate Coke...GASP!!!
I was 6 years old and had to fight the forcing of sugar on a child, alone!
Then I asked if I could have some water

Last edited by Meme#1 : Wed, Aug-15-18 at 22:47.
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  #14   ^
Old Wed, Aug-15-18, 22:04
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BillyHW BillyHW is offline
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Posts: 378
 
Plan: Keto + IF
Stats: 260/300/165 Male 5' 6"
BF:
Progress: -42%
Location: Alberta, Canada
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I liked how the article debunked the "sedentary job" theory of obesity. Those with more physical labour jobs are actually more obese than those with sedentary jobs!
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  #15   ^
Old Wed, Aug-15-18, 22:52
Meme#1's Avatar
Meme#1 Meme#1 is offline
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Posts: 9,060
 
Plan: Atkins DANDR
Stats: 210/183/160 Female 5'4"
BF:
Progress: 54%
Location: Texas
Default

Those years were when the Saturday cartoons advertised cereals non-stop and even put prizes in the box and games on the carton to entice children.

It was the beginning of fast food. Before that people would bring food with them on trips.
Remember bringing your food and having a picnic? A thing of the past.

In my state they've closed down all of the roadside parks that people use to stop at on trips to eat their food while traveling. They've been replaced with fast food restaurants, no need to roadside parks anymore....I kid you not, that was the reason for closing the little parks.
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