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Why we're getting fatter
Old 05-15-2012, 12:26 PM   #1
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Why we're getting fatter

Today's NYT has an article on a mathematician's analysis on why we are getting fatter....(it's because we have cheap, plentiful food)....

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/15/sc...o-obesity.html

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Old 05-15-2012, 01:48 PM   #2
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Yeah, same old same old. We eat out a lot and get big, fat soaked portions. All of these hypothesis seem to be pure speculation. And they often make sense. But some of the books I have read recently ask a simple rejoinder - so, our bodies are so incapable of regulating themselves that a slight change in eating volumes is going to precipitate a massive health crisis? Or, is it more likely that a change in our diet is wreaking havoc with our bodies metabolism? I am more persuaded that the dietary chage is doing it and it ain't fats.
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Old 05-15-2012, 02:44 PM   #3
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It seems like everyone wants to scapegoat food because it's easier than getting everyone off their collective butts and getting enough physical exercise.
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Old 05-15-2012, 03:06 PM   #4
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I once met someone involved in packaging and selling food items. He told me that, often, the FDA numbers on the side (calories, vitamins), are "borrowed" from other food items.

In other words, calories in must equal calories out, but calories in might be reported poorly.
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Old 05-15-2012, 03:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eridanus View Post
I once met someone involved in packaging and selling food items. He told me that, often, the FDA numbers on the side (calories, vitamins), are "borrowed" from other food items.

In other words, calories in must equal calories out, but calories in might be reported poorly.
It is called "grouping", and the FDA has been trying to crack down on it for 20+ years. All sorts of chicanery done by the big foodies, laziness I guess. Kind of like "may contain nut extract".........it either had nuts or it doesn't. The fact that some food company is unwilling to shut dow the line and clean and sanitize the line after making nutty bars to make non-nutty bars is laziness, and slapping a CYA label on the product does not make it better. I personally know a former USDA meat inspector, and the stories I have heard gives me the shivers...........
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Old 05-15-2012, 03:46 PM   #6
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Why we're getting fatter

Simple - we burn less calories than the calories we take in. Solution - we burn more calories or we take in less calories. I don't like either choice.
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Old 05-15-2012, 04:01 PM   #7
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It seems like everyone wants to scapegoat food because it's easier than getting everyone off their collective butts and getting enough physical exercise.
There's way too much emphasis on physical activity which more often than not means going to gym (a money making gimmick as far as I am concerned). In practically all developed societies people do not routinely go to gyms, yet they live longer than us and for the most part are not overweight. Formal exercise is frankly quite overrated. All we really need is to walk and keep moving. Ask the Japanese. The real reason for being overweight is over consumption of food. It's that simple.
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Old 05-15-2012, 04:44 PM   #8
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Why we're getting fatter

Simple - we burn less calories than the calories we take in. Solution - we burn more calories or we take in less calories. I don't like either choice.
This concept is often linked to the second law of thermodynamics as if our bodies are some sort of 100% efficient machine. How our bodies function must vary drastically based on our genetics and our diet composition. How else could I have gone for decades eating half a pound of candy a day, in addition to burgers, fries, and pasta yet gaining little weight (until recently) while others who ate bird food by comparison ballooned into obesity? The reality is we are not a 100% efficient machine. If you eat a massive pile of fatty hot dogs tonight most of it will exit to the toilet and never make it to your belly fat. But more and more evidence is piling up showing that if your caloric intake consistently contains a high proportion of sugar and other refined carbs you will more efficiently convert those dogs to fat.
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Old 05-15-2012, 05:39 PM   #9
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donheff,

I hate it when you bring logic into the picture.
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:27 PM   #10
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Well, I'm not getting any fatter. So based on my observations I have to call BS on the entire concept. Ipso facto.
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:09 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Letj

There's way too much emphasis on physical activity which more often than not means going to gym (a money making gimmick as far as I am concerned). In practically all developed societies people do not routinely go to gyms, yet they live longer than us and for the most part are not overweight. Formal exercise is frankly quite overrated. All we really need is to walk and keep moving. Ask the Japanese. The real reason for being overweight is over consumption of food. It's that simple.
Or could it be that we just don't "do work" ? We let/pay others to mow our yard, clean our gutters, paint our house? We don't clean/ vaccuum/dust our own homes, or as quoted above...keep moving?
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:43 PM   #12
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Reason we're getting fatter is: CORN SYRUP...
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Old 05-15-2012, 11:52 PM   #13
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Reason we're getting fatter is: CORN SYRUP...
Nope, it's computers. Everything's bigger, but smaller...
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Old 05-16-2012, 01:52 AM   #14
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Yes, it is really that simple. The problem is having the willpower to change things...
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Simple - we burn less calories than the calories we take in. Solution - we burn more calories or we take in less calories.
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Old 05-16-2012, 03:10 AM   #15
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I wonder if there isn't an effect whereby the kind of food we eat nowadays (especially processed carbs: pizza, soda, etc) doesn't trigger our "full" responses until after we've consumed more calories than we need. Clearly our brains, and in particular our reflex systems which determine "full", can't analyse every mouthful of food for its exact calorie content, so presumably we evolved on the basis that a certain volume of stomach contents will probably give us X amount of calories. If it's in fact giving us X+20% because it's high on carbs and low on water/fibre, we ought to stop while still feeling "not-full".

I'm thinking of meals I've had in fine dining places, where you get a tasting menu of 6 or 7 courses, each of them tiny, but with concentrated sauces and beautiful ingredients. At the end you feel stuffed, but I wonder if you've had vastly more calories than if you ate several large slices of take-out pizza.
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Old 05-16-2012, 04:42 AM   #16
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It seems like everyone wants to scapegoat food because it's easier than getting everyone off their collective butts and getting enough physical exercise.
Well, we do need someone to blame for our collective excess weight.

There are probably many reasons that lead to heavier society. This is not a US problem - it can be seen around the world, and is most evident where the standard of living is improving. It probably has a lot to do with greater access to less expensive food.
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Old 05-16-2012, 06:42 AM   #17
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And this thread's connection to Early Retirement: Now that we are more in control of our time, and suggesting that we want to spend these ER years kinda healthy, we now have the time and can place our energy into eating better and exercising / moving more than our j*bs allowed us.
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Old 05-16-2012, 07:43 AM   #18
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Or could it be that we just don't "do work" ? We let/pay others to mow our yard, clean our gutters, paint our house? We don't clean/ vaccuum/dust our own homes, or as quoted above...keep moving?
This feels like a sensible explanation to us, but we are a relatively affluent crowd and don't do a lot of manual labor. Studies have shown that poorer populations (in the US), that do a lot more manual labor than the ER crowd, skew farther to the obese end of the scale than do us relatively wealthy desk sitters.

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It probably has a lot to do with greater access to less expensive food.
And those poor manual laborers are buying cheap, processed food.
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Old 05-16-2012, 10:47 AM   #19
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This whole thing started about when the Commies began putting fluoride in the water, didn't it?
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Old 05-16-2012, 11:27 AM   #20
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Seems simple to me - we consume more calories than we expend.
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