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The obesity epidemic
Old 09-28-2006, 11:28 AM   #1
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The obesity epidemic

I had dinner with a bunch of friends and acquaintances at a higher class all you can eat Chinese restaurant.* One of the men there was *extremely* obese.* When he returns from his first trip to the food, he has two plates instead of one, and each is piled high with deep-fried items.* He also got a big bowl of some kind of sauce that he dipped the egg rolls in.

He has a nice wife (moderately overweight), and a cute and intelligent 12-year-old daughter that looks up to him.* At one point he said something like "I'll be 50 in a few months, if I make it."

What the heck is this guy thinking?* Is he ignorant?* Committing suicide??

I am sure that some people are obese because of some medical condition, but I will never forget the image of that guy's two plates of heart attack.
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Re: The Atkins Cancer Revolution - Dr. Joel Fuhrman
Old 09-28-2006, 11:45 AM   #2
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Re: The Atkins Cancer Revolution - Dr. Joel Fuhrman

To expand on what TromboneAL said, I have heard at times that obesity can often be blamed on genetics. But if that is so, the "genetics" is that they're programed to eat more, not store more. Yes bone structure can account for minor variations at given heights (see the old 1950s tables for weight in 3 categories), but one cannot blame 75-100 extra pounds or more on genetics (at a given height).

My personal experience in 34 years of living, is that every big person Ive known and "shadowed"; if you watch what they eat during the day or when you go to restaurants, they'll always eat more than their fair share. My best frient has a BMI past 30, and i know for a fact he eats an UNBELIEVEABLE amount.

But physics simply cannot be denied. Calorie is the unit of energy. If you take in 1500 calories and burn 2500 calories, you simply must lose non-water mass, which will be translated into weight loss over time. (taking water out of the equation).
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Re: The Atkins Cancer Revolution - Dr. Joel Fuhrman
Old 09-28-2006, 11:57 AM   #3
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Re: The Atkins Cancer Revolution - Dr. Joel Fuhrman

Back when I was working we used to go to a restaurant for lunch that had an all-you-can-eat salad bar. It was very entertaining to watch all of the overweight folks come back from the salad bar with their plates piled so high that they left a trail of food behind them. Then they would go back for seconds. I guess they were fooling themselves that if they only ate prodigious amounts of salad with all kinds of toppings that they really weren't overeating.

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Re: The Atkins Cancer Revolution - Dr. Joel Fuhrman
Old 09-28-2006, 12:12 PM   #4
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Re: The Atkins Cancer Revolution - Dr. Joel Fuhrman

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
Tangent on obesity in general...

I had dinner with a bunch of friends and acquaintances at a higher class all you can eat Chinese restaurant.* One of the men there was *extremely* obese.* When he returns from his first trip to the food, he has two plates instead of one, and each is piled high with deep-fried items.* He also got a big bowl of some kind of sauce that he dipped the egg rolls in.

He has a nice wife (moderately overweight), and a cute and intelligent 12-year-old daughter that looks up to him.* At one point he said something like "I'll be 50 in a few months, if I make it."

What the heck is this guy thinking?* Is he ignorant?* Committing suicide??

I am sure that some people are obese because of some medical condition, but I will never forget the image of that guy's two plates of heart attack.
He's thinking about the same things as the person standing out in 10 degree weather smoking cigarettes. Just a different type of addiction.
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Re: The Atkins Cancer Revolution - Dr. Joel Fuhrman
Old 09-28-2006, 12:57 PM   #5
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Re: The Atkins Cancer Revolution - Dr. Joel Fuhrman

Haven't any of you here ever have an addiction? To cigarettes? Food? Gambling? Horse?

For some people, impulse control is a very very difficult thing. Twenty years ago I was a smoker. It took many attempts to quit and I wonder if I every would have quit if nicotine gum hadn't come along. My asthma was so bad I spent law school sleeping sitting up. It was still damn hard to quit. I spent a couple of months with every joint in my body hurting, turning orange from eating carrots. I am not so egotistical to say "if I can quit, you can."

We spend little effort it seems to me in helping this epidemic of impulse control. Instead, fat people are told to lose weight and smokers told to quit smoking and then left hanging. Well this is hard, so hard that even when people know they are killing themselves with these habits the habits are still nearly impossible to break. Shame and ridicule doesn't help.

So, what I recommend is having a major public health inititive to combat obesity and other addictive disorders. A five year plan to help people become healthier. There could be many aspects to the plan. Tax deductions for weight loss programs (that are based on evidence) and exercise programs. Free nicotine substitutes from your public health nurse. Dramatic changes in school lunch programs. In schools, I remember the clutzy and chubby kids shamed in gym class. The shame didn't help. Instead, help kids find waht they enjoy doing so long as it is moving around. Spinning if nothing else.
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Re: The Atkins Cancer Revolution - Dr. Joel Fuhrman
Old 09-28-2006, 01:00 PM   #6
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Re: The Atkins Cancer Revolution - Dr. Joel Fuhrman

All funded by the tax payers of course.

Until the person decides to do something about their problem no amount of "education" is going to help them. they must be willing to do what is necessary to change. You did when you quit smoking, I did when I quit smoking. I bet if you think back nobody made you quit you decided that you've had enough of whatever was the worst part of smoking for you and you decided to quit.

All the doctors I've had in the past had no problem helping quiting smoking with whatever drug they could prescribe, but what do you prescribe for overeating? The person must decide to change their life and then do something about it. There is plenty of free information out there about proper eating and diet without resorting to some fad plan.
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Re: The Atkins Cancer Revolution - Dr. Joel Fuhrman
Old 09-28-2006, 01:02 PM   #7
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Re: The Atkins Cancer Revolution - Dr. Joel Fuhrman

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
Tax deductions for weight loss programs* (that are based on evidence) and exercise programs.
I'd lose 20 pounds for a tax deduction!* Should our motto be "Will work out for less food"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lets-retire
All funded by the tax payers of course.
Heeeeyyyy... waitaminnit... if we eat less and pay fewer taxes, then how are the farmers going to sell all their corn and get their subsidies?
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Re: The Atkins Cancer Revolution - Dr. Joel Fuhrman
Old 09-28-2006, 01:26 PM   #8
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Re: The Atkins Cancer Revolution - Dr. Joel Fuhrman

Quote:
Originally Posted by lets-retire
All funded by the tax payers of course.

Until the person decides to do something about their problem no amount of "education" is going to help them. they must be willing to do what is necessary to change.* You did when you quit smoking, I did when I quit smoking.* I bet if you think back nobody made you quit you decided that you've had enough of whatever was the worst part of smoking for you and you decided to quit.*

All the doctors I've had in the past had no problem helping quiting smoking with whatever drug they could prescribe, but what do you prescribe for overeating?* The person must decide to change their life and then do something about it.* There is plenty of free information out there about proper eating and diet without resorting to some fad plan.
What is wrong with taxpayers funding it?* *Poor health is costing us all already.* Invest money to save money. We fund cancer research.* We fund Aids research.* Let's fund the fight against one of the biggest health problems we have in the US.

I am not talking about education.* Education is for kids.

Nicorette doesn't take education.* Since it went over the counter poor people can't afford it anymore. Make it free for goodness sakes, dispensed by a public health nurse.* That will reduce smoking.* Look at Sweden.* Europe and Scandinavia have huge smoking problems.* In Sweden, they have pushed smokeless tobacco as safer (which evidence shows it is much safer than smoking).* Smoking rates have declined tremendously in Sweden.

For eating, I said nothing about a fad plan.* A visit with a nutritionist and a prescription to a health club for obese people (not a meat market health club) could go a long way to helping people become motivated and stick with a calorie reduction plan. If prescribed, make it deductible.* If you can't afford it, have payment based on a sliding scale.* Geez Louise, there is much we can do beyond saying the usual unhelpful statement that people won't change until they decide to change.* Come on, let's give a hand to help motivate people.* *Right now we have too many obese children and adults, to wait for self motivation is giving up. We can do better.*

I am very serious about this.* Why do we form societies and communities if not to help each other out?* I am so tired of the "rugged individualist" attitude of I'm fine, screw you.
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Re: The Atkins Cancer Revolution - Dr. Joel Fuhrman
Old 09-28-2006, 01:51 PM   #9
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Re: The Atkins Cancer Revolution - Dr. Joel Fuhrman

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
What is wrong with taxpayers funding it?
Is there any evidence that incentives work better than disincentives?

Smoking has dropped fairly significantly in this country, and we didn't pay smokers a dime to quit. We just made it too expensive for them.

Bring on the fat tax!
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Re: The Atkins Cancer Revolution - Dr. Joel Fuhrman
Old 09-28-2006, 02:00 PM   #10
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Re: The Atkins Cancer Revolution - Dr. Joel Fuhrman

Quote:
Originally Posted by lets-retire
All funded by the tax payers of course.
The inevitable results are already funded by the taxpayers via Medicare: diabetes, kidney failure, heart disease, arthritis, etc.

Doing some preventon work is just pragmatic, since any successful programs will save mucho dinero in the future in healthcare costs.
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Re: The obesity epidemic
Old 09-28-2006, 02:02 PM   #11
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Re: The obesity epidemic

Quote:
Originally Posted by wab
Is there any evidence that incentives work better than disincentives?

Smoking has dropped fairly significantly in this country, and we didn't pay smokers a dime to quit. We just made it too expensive for them.

Bring on the fat tax!


I would rather work for money than work not to be fired.

Basic psychology: *rewards work better than punishment. *

And besides, it is good to be nice rather than to be mean.

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Re: The obesity epidemic
Old 09-28-2006, 02:38 PM   #12
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Re: The obesity epidemic

Quote:
I am very serious about this.* Why do we form societies and communities if not to help each other out?* I am so tired of the "rugged individualist" attitude of I'm fine, screw you.
I agree with everything you said, and then some, Martha.* When I get angry with the rugged individualists, though, I remember an incident from way back...

My brother always wanted to be a cop.* When he was a cadet he idolized his mentor, Al, a seasoned police officer.* He went on ride-alongs, spent time at the guy's house with his family, got hand-me-down uniforms as gifts from the guy, etc. etc.* He wanted to be just like him.

One day his mentor answered a standard call to the home of a legless Vietnam vet who had raised a little hell in the past - nothing serious.* On this day, in the grip of a flashback, the vet killed Al with a high-powered rifle as he stepped out of his patrol car.* Right through the "bullet-proof" vest.

The first thing my brother said was that "Al got stupid."* I was amazed at this -- I'd expected more anger at the vet, more rage at the fates, or... something.* The last thing I was prepared for was a "blame the victim" comment.*

Since then I've mulled this over and have come to the conclusion that my brother and others like him NEED to believe that it was the victim's fault, so that they can believe that if they do everything right, they won't be victims themselves.* It's magical thinking, but if you're a cop, maybe its necessary.

Why am I relating all this?* Because I think we all do it.* I think that if I can point to an overweight person / smoker / overspender / etc. and blame them for their predicament, then I don't have to worry so much myself.

And when others (like yourself) argue that there's a VAST industry in this country dedicated to pushing food on consumers / getting smokers addicted / selling unnecessary consumer goods / etc., (not to MENTION the other industries selling weightloss programs / quit smoking programs / retirement savings programs / etc. to help them repair the damage), I have to pooh-pooh your point of view, and go back to attaching 100% blame to others to keep my fears at bay.*

A few months ago my sister came within a few milimeters of being killed by a guy who ran a red light.* If I allowed myself to REALLY dwell on and realize the sheer randomness of death, I probably couldn't function.* Better to think I am completely in control of it.

Like I say, magical thinking.

When I think of rugged individualist as small, confused, and fearful humans, I can be a little less angry at them... most of the time.* I can convince myself that what looks like cruelty and heartlessness is, maybe, something else.

P.S. My most heartfelt congratulations on your having stopped smoking.
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Re: Re: The obesity epidemic
Old 09-28-2006, 02:44 PM   #13
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Re: Re: The obesity epidemic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caroline
When I think of rugged individualist as small, confused, and fearful humans, I can be a little less angry at them... most of the time. I can convince myself that what looks like cruelty and heartlessness is, maybe, something else.
Caroline, that is a great post, and expresses my feelings on the matter beautifully. In particular, I have met many an "off the grid" type along the way. When you get to know them, as I have through my work, the only thing they have in common with one another is fear.

We are social beasts, like it or not. It takes more energy being independent of others than it does to partake in the exchange.
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Re: The obesity epidemic
Old 09-28-2006, 03:01 PM   #14
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Re: The obesity epidemic

Martha--For the most part the obese are that way because they, don't want to do what it takes to lose the weight. Just like the smoker is a smoker because they don't want to be a non-smoker. I should not have to pay for a person to go receive education, that is already available for "free", so they can learn how to eat and that it is bad to be overweight. It is already "free" by the funding of the tax payers. So now you want to pay for the same information two times because the person refuses to pay attention to it the first time. They won't pay attention to it the second time either. The comment about the fad diet was intended to point out that those seem to be what most overweight people turn to, not eating the proper foods in the proper proportions.

Caroline--You brother's response sounds like a typical response. With that said, the only thing protecting officers on the street are themselves and other officers. Your brother's response is typical, because Al didn't take steps taught from day one to protect himself. He had gone to this house in the past and become lax in his personal safety. It happens and it serves to act as a reminder for the rest who are patrolling to keep their safety in mind when doing anything. It is true that if someone wants to hurt an officer they will hurt them, but that is why we have all of the toys.
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Re: The obesity epidemic
Old 09-28-2006, 03:11 PM   #15
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Re: The obesity epidemic

Caroline, that was a very good post. I agree with what you say. But today I am not very forgiving of apparent cruelty and heartlessness. I am tired of hearing JG talk about whiners and lets retire talk about how fat people and smokers are that way because they dont want to do what is necessary to lose weight, so screw them.

I am too personally wound up about this. Azanon says this isn't real life. I treat it like it is. So I am taking a break for a while.
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Re: The obesity epidemic
Old 09-28-2006, 03:16 PM   #16
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Re: The obesity epidemic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
I am too personally wound up about this.* Azanon says this isn't real life.* I treat it like it is.* So I am taking a break for a while.*
Yaaaah! Don't leave us, Martha.
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Re: Re: The obesity epidemic
Old 09-28-2006, 03:16 PM   #17
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Re: Re: The obesity epidemic

Quote:
Originally Posted by lets-retire
For the most part the obese are that way because they, don't want to do what it takes to lose the weight. Just like the smoker is a smoker because they don't want to be a non-smoker.
Lets-retire,

Help me understand why an obese person would want to be obese, or why a smoker would want to be a smoker, in your assessment.

Why would someone think in such a blatantly self-destructive way. Just curious as to your take on that.

Cheers.
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Re: The obesity epidemic
Old 09-28-2006, 03:23 PM   #18
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Re: The obesity epidemic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
Basic psychology: *rewards work better than punishment. *
The problem is that food is a reward.* *If I had to guess, I'd say that the root cause of obesity is serotonin.* *If it feels good, we do it.

So, we either have to provide a more satisfying reward (some people can focus on the long-term) or add an obvious short-term cost to that food=reward equation.

OK, so we don't tax fat people.* *Make it a calorie tax.* * $5 candy bars and cokes.
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Re: The obesity epidemic
Old 09-28-2006, 03:26 PM   #19
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Re: The obesity epidemic

Rich I'm not saying they want to be obese or a smoker, only that they don't want to do what is necessary to lose weight or stop smoking. *I've been there and done that. *Eventually, to paraphrase the 12-step programs, they (me) hit bottom and decide to change our behaviors. *Bottom is different for each person.
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Re: The obesity epidemic
Old 09-28-2006, 03:27 PM   #20
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Re: The obesity epidemic

Quote:
Originally Posted by wab
The problem is that food is a reward.* *If I had to guess, I'd say that the root cause of obesity is serotonin.* *If it feels good, we do it.

Yep. *This probably explains why SSRI type of antidepressants cause weight gain in most people.
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