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Old 12-07-2011, 12:42 AM   #21
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Under normal conditions, with the kind of foods that animals have evolved to consume, the organism's weight is regulated, without conscious input, to an extremely fine degree.

It's hard to imagine that this regulation can be thrown off to such an extent simply by more food on the plate or larger drinks that someone could grow to weigh 300 or 400 pounds.

I agree that portion control may play a role, but I can't see it causing the obesity epidemic.
Come on Al, go with the flow. Remember I said about a year ago that low carb is a hard sell, even if almost anyone who does it is slim.

It's a hard sell for the same reason that fiscal prudence is a hard sell. People like their goodies.

ha
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Old 12-07-2011, 06:29 AM   #22
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Dumplings are wonderful. It must be 30 years since I've had them.

Shucks, now I want some dumplings.

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Old 12-07-2011, 07:36 AM   #23
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chicken and dumplings are one the finest dinners my wife makes... mmmmm
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Old 12-07-2011, 07:52 AM   #24
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Inactivity is the culprit.
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Old 12-07-2011, 08:10 AM   #25
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Well, 60-70 years ago, a LOT of folks lived on farms. Both my grandmother and grandfather were NOT thin people. However, into his 70's my grandpa could sling bales of hay like they were nothing, and was the local arm wrestling champ at the most popular watering hole in town. His hands were the size of my head......... He ate whatever he wanted, and had few health problems...........
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Old 12-07-2011, 08:19 AM   #26
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DD is a vegetarian for 15 years and the only protein she eats are either dairy or carb based (rice and beans, flour and corn, etc., to make complete proteins), besides ample carbs on their own. Small portions, however, maybe 1600 calories at most. Skinny as a rail, healthy as a horse.
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Old 12-07-2011, 08:34 AM   #27
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Inactivity is the culprit.
I think this is the key with exercise being more important than diet. I run everyday and exercise/lift weights 3 days a week. I am also quite active most days (walking, hiking, kayaking, yard work, etc) and don't sit around much.

I do try to eat somewhat healthy with a fairly low fat diet, rarely eat red meat, don't drink colas or eat sweets/desserts, never use sugar, but don't really pay that much attention to carbs. With this approach, my blood numbers (cholesterol and glucose) are very good, and I stay somewhat slim (6'2" and 180 lbs). The same approach may not work for everyone though.
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Old 12-07-2011, 09:10 AM   #28
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I'm thinking about my slender aunts and uncles and parents (and grandparents) and how much they smoked, too, while leading sedentary lives--no wonder they could eat anything, with that ashtray full of cigarette butts next to the coffee cup on the dinner table, a lit cigarette temporarily parked there when they took a bit of a tiny piece of pie. Tobacco, the fourth food group.

Article about tobacco's appetite suppressant qualities: http://arstechnica.com/science/news/...suppresant.ars
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Old 12-07-2011, 11:27 AM   #29
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It must be the food - all ethnic groups exposed to modern manufactured food gain in weight. Rats too.

In my experience, exercise does have a set point lowering effect, but not as powerful as the raising effect of modern food. Still, if I had to choose between eating junk but exercising a lot, or eating healthfully but sitting around all day, I would choose junk and exercise.
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Old 12-07-2011, 12:27 PM   #30
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I'm currently living in Rome Italy (been here 4 months; going back to the states next week). Those bad-for-you white carbs such as pasta and bread and sweet rolls are eaten in by everyone everyday, along with gelato, shots of espresso with lots of sugar, wine, etc. With few exceptions, the Italians are slender--at least much more so than Americans. The only differences I see in them is 1) portion control, 2) little to no snacking between meals; 3) lots of walking; and 4) sadly, lots of cigarette smoking.
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Old 12-07-2011, 01:01 PM   #31
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I'm currently living in Rome Italy (been here 4 months; going back to the states next week). Those bad-for-you white carbs such as pasta and bread and sweet rolls are eaten in by everyone everyday, along with gelato, shots of espresso with lots of sugar, wine, etc. With few exceptions, the Italians are slender--at least much more so than Americans. The only differences I see in them is 1) portion control, 2) little to no snacking between meals; 3) lots of walking; and 4) sadly, lots of cigarette smoking.
I grew up on a similar diet (not far from Italy) and we are all pretty slender in the family. Those "bad-for-you white carbs" (grains, starches, etc...), my mom calls them "good carbs". Refined sugars (soda, candy, etc...) she calls "bad carbs" . Growing up, we ate plenty of "good carbs" and very few "bad carbs". I still do and I am pretty slim (even though I don't do as much walking as I used to in Europe and my portion sizes have been americanized somewhat over the years). I have been feeding plenty of "good carbs" to my American wife for the past 10 years, and she hasn't gained a pound.
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Old 12-07-2011, 01:11 PM   #32
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So - no one here caught the PBS tv program. Pima Indians Mexican side vs their American relatives?

The visual difference was blindingly obvious. Guess who ate what?

So do I want my 35 lbs, 400 chloresterol, 150/95 BP back?

Er no but chili cheese fries, New Orleans large seafood platter and a Barqs?

Whaa.

heh heh heh - so to make my 84.6, I need to eat less than lovable crap, exercise and die grumpy, skinny and curmudgeony. Right? Perhaps move to Mexico, eat out of the garden, run hills and live with no electricity or running water. Whinning over the internet will require a walk to town.
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Old 12-07-2011, 01:13 PM   #33
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I have had a unique view of how much damage fried and fatty foods can cause.

I first went to the Cook Islands about 10 years ago. At that time, there were a few restaurants but most people ate at home - a diet of mostly fish, chicken, taro and coconut plus lots of fresh fruit. The TV stations didn't come on until 5 pm and seemed to be mostly news shows with the occasional movie or sitcom. Almost all the kids and adults I saw were slim and healthy looking.

3 years later, I went back. By then DVDs had become popular but the food was pretty much the same. I noticed that some of the kids in my friend's family had gained a fair amount of weight - and their parents complained that the kids would not do chores and were glued to the movies.

I went back last year. Fried chicken and pizza have come to the island. I notice that a lot of the food is coming out of cans. TV is more varied and comes on earlier. Most of the kids stayed glued to screen - I rarely saw any on the beach. They also looked unhealthy - sores on their legs, acne, slouching, and of course outright obesity. The adults were also unhealthy, compared to even 3 years before.

So there it is, all in a nutshell.
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Old 12-07-2011, 01:33 PM   #34
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I'm currently living in Rome Italy (been here 4 months; going back to the states next week). Those bad-for-you white carbs such as pasta and bread and sweet rolls are eaten in by everyone everyday, along with gelato, shots of espresso with lots of sugar, wine, etc. With few exceptions, the Italians are slender--at least much more so than Americans. The only differences I see in them is 1) portion control, 2) little to no snacking between meals; 3) lots of walking; and 4) sadly, lots of cigarette smoking.
Apparently, a medical group from Trento Italy find that 50% of Italian men and 1/3 of Italian women are overweight or obese. They also find that these proportions seem to be fairly stable.

Prevalence of overweight and obesity in Italy ... [Ann Epidemiol. 2010] - PubMed - NCBI

Maybe you live in an upscale area where thiness is more in evidence?

Ha
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Old 12-07-2011, 02:29 PM   #35
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I think there are several schools of thought on the issue of carbs all backed by "expert" evidence. Personally, I chose a middle of the road diet and just eat in moderation.

Bill Clinton has recently gone "vegan" after years of heart problems. I find it hard to believe he is not getting the best medical advice available.

Bill Clinton Adopts New Vegan Diet to Fight Heart Disease
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Old 12-07-2011, 02:46 PM   #36
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Maybe you live in an upscale area where thiness is more in evidence?

Ha
This was very apparent during our recent trip to San Francisco. What a lot of non-overweight people we saw, especially compared with our trips across the hinterlands. It was like being on another planet.



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Old 12-07-2011, 03:01 PM   #37
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Under normal conditions, with the kind of foods that animals have evolved to consume, the organism's weight is regulated, without conscious input, to an extremely fine degree.

It's hard to imagine that this regulation can be thrown off to such an extent simply by more food on the plate or larger drinks that someone could grow to weigh 300 or 400 pounds.

I agree that portion control may play a role, but I can't see it causing the obesity epidemic.


Why is it hard to imagine that larger portion sizes will lead to weight gain?

A friend of ours used to lavish her cats & dogs with food. They got fat, very fat. Vet told her it was bad for them and to regulate how much food they get. She did it, and they got down to normal weight.

Sounds like exactly what I would expect.

-ERD50
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Old 12-07-2011, 03:01 PM   #38
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I have had a unique view of how much damage fried and fatty foods can cause.

I first went to the Cook Islands about 10 years ago. At that time, there were a few restaurants but most people ate at home - a diet of mostly fish, chicken, taro and coconut plus lots of fresh fruit. The TV stations didn't come on until 5 pm and seemed to be mostly news shows with the occasional movie or sitcom. Almost all the kids and adults I saw were slim and healthy looking.

3 years later, I went back. By then DVDs had become popular but the food was pretty much the same. I noticed that some of the kids in my friend's family had gained a fair amount of weight - and their parents complained that the kids would not do chores and were glued to the movies.

I went back last year. Fried chicken and pizza have come to the island. I notice that a lot of the food is coming out of cans. TV is more varied and comes on earlier. Most of the kids stayed glued to screen - I rarely saw any on the beach. They also looked unhealthy - sores on their legs, acne, slouching, and of course outright obesity. The adults were also unhealthy, compared to even 3 years before.

So there it is, all in a nutshell.
This shows the problem with a lot of observational studies.

You observed:

More fried chicken
More pizza
Less exercise
More obesity

The problem is that you can't say what caused the increase in obesity. Was it fried and fatty food, or more carbs in the batter-dipped fried chicken? The extra carbs coming from more pizza? Did the kids eat a lot more soda pop, but you didn't really notice that? Was it the decreased exercise?

It's like the study showing a decrease in heart disease during rationing of meat in Norway during WWII. What people don't realize was that sugar was also rationed -- is that what caused the change? Gas was rationed too, did more walking cause the change? There is no way of knowing unless you perform an experiment.

I really apologize for always commenting on this stuff, I agree that this is a complicated issue.
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Old 12-07-2011, 03:01 PM   #39
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Maybe you live in an upscale area where thiness is more in evidence?
There is something to that. My small city on the edge of the big city was the "fittest city in Texas" for its population category for 4-5 years. Past Money Magazine "best places to live", median family income more than double the national average, blah, blah, and etc. Lots of thin and fit looking people around here. But just a few miles further out along the freeway and one gets to an area that is more rural, and markedly less upscale.

Yesterday morning I found myself out there while running some errands and I decided to eat breakfast at the Cracker Barrel. Out of 40 or so people I saw during my visit, only 3 were close to normal body weight. The manager was a good 30 pounds over, and my waitress may have been pregnant or just fat. Everyone else was huge. In some cases they were at least twice the size they should have been for their height. A couple of women were spilling over the sides of the very ample chairs, and one had to keep sitting down while browsing in the gift shop.

It was sad and frightening.
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Old 12-07-2011, 03:01 PM   #40
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But the price of skinnyness appears to be owning an ugly dog.
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