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Campaign to end the 'stigma' of obesity

Discussion in 'Speaker's Corner' started by Uther, Oct 11, 2018.

  1. Screeeech

    Mobster

    Joined: Dec 29, 2014

    Posts: 3,243

    Location: Dublin / LA

    That is actually a very interesting and effective point, I never thought of it - but the more I think of it the more it makes real sense.

    For me; They built a new Dominos pizza place across the road from my apartment, and I can't stand it - because I know just how much I like to sit in front of the TV, with a 3000 calorie large stuffed-crust pepperoni and a coke and watch Netflix or whatever. I've done that once in the year since it's opened up, but I've had to really dig deep on a lot of occasions to resist the temptation to go in and gorge.

    Honestly - I wish someone would swing a wrecking ball through it, because I don't want to live in a world where I'm being tempted left right and center to gorge myself, I shouldn't need to maintain a force-field of self-control just to stay healthy.

    Sometimes it feels as though the environment is trying as hard as it possibly can, to make me take bad choices and become unhealthy, to stay on the straight and narrow sometimes feels like a very difficult battle.
     
  2. Tony Edwards

    Mobster

    Joined: Feb 4, 2018

    Posts: 3,102

    You just need to poo more if you want to eat those pizzas Ive heard.
     
  3. Orionaut

    Soldato

    Joined: Aug 2, 2012

    Posts: 6,522


    Having spent 15 years of my life living opposite a Pub. I feel your pain! :p
     
  4. Avenged7Fold

    Capodecina

    Joined: Sep 12, 2012

    Posts: 11,622

    Location: Surrey

    It is funny because sometimes all it often takes is a change in mindset for you to completely go the other way and reject unhealthy food. Some people are as put off as people are tempted (just look at how many have food disorders at the other end of the scale, many of which are not at all obvious on first glance).

    I use to eat loads of crap every day, knowing full well what i was doing. In some weird way, knowing how i was gorging was part of the decadent satisfaction of it. Since changing my diet and being really motivated to achieve certain aesthetic goals through diet and gyming, i now very rarely eat crap. I don't avoid stuff because i'll feel guilty or I think it will set my goals back, i simply just don't ever feel the need to. I keep an eye on what i eat because i really enjoy doing it. At first i could say it is what you would consider 'a diet' in that i did it for the sake of it against my temptations but now it is just what i do because that is what i am happy doing. If anything, i am less critical (if at all critical) with myself for straying from my normal food habits but I am far more consistent.
     
  5. Andrew_McP

    Mobster

    Joined: Apr 21, 2003

    Posts: 2,560

    Location: South North West

    Oxygen isn't in short supply, so over-breathing was never an issue for our primitive brains. But for most of human history securing calories was was our primary motivation, and probably drove the evolution of our brains. Yes, you need to procreate occasionally and stop the next tribe stealing your stuff, but every day was a battle to get enough energy onboard. That often meant surviving on very little to make sure there was something left for tomorrow, so we became very good at hoarding calories in the form of fat. If you eat the excess before it spoils, nobody can steal it. And the more you store, the longer you'll survive, the more likely you are to pass on your genes.

    It's only very recently that mass production (based on very cheap, petrochemical availability and imaginative food processing) has turned food into ultra-affordable entertainment rather than ultra-necessary fuel. Our monkey brains are not equipped to handle this unless our lives are well balanced, rewarded, or vain enough that we can impose rational willpower onto constant and rather wonderful (in moderation) temptation.

    Most people's lives are messy and stressful these days, and supermarkets & takeaways are amusement parks for the taste buds, so obesity is here to stay... at least until the oil starts to run out, modern agriculture is no longer sustainable, and food pricing return to historical levels.

    FWIW I'm old enough to remember when 'if you can pinch more than an inch' was a thing. I've always tried to keep to that, and always feel better for trimming right down. But now I'm a carer, with severe restrictions on my lifestyle, it's getting increasingly hard to beat my monkey brain away from the treat cupboard I need to tempt my mother into eating. Food is a terrible way to solve problems, but being stressed and miserable with a full belly feels a darned sight better than being stressed and miserable with an empty belly. At least until you wash your jeans and can't get them back on again. :->

    I'm not sure it helps much, but getting dementia seems, eventually, to be a great cure for obesity. The irony might be that lousy diets could be what's contributing towards the explosion in dementia in the first place. I know my mother had put on a lot of weight in the decade before her diagnosis... though correlation is not causation and the obesity might have been an early indication of her brain losing control after a sensible lifetime. Who know. Complex subject, and one that's not going to go away in a hurry.
     
  6. Nasher

    Capodecina

    Joined: Nov 22, 2006

    Posts: 13,177

    I'm the same (minus the poo part). I've been roughly the same weight/build since I was a teenager. Much of it is genetics, but I also work full time and move around a lot so burn off a lot of energy. I don't sit on a couch watching TV all day.
     
  7. Jonnybmac

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Dec 17, 2009

    Posts: 1,723

    Location: Brotton

    Is it genetics though? My dad and my I would comsider obese so I'm not too sure
     
  8. Nasher

    Capodecina

    Joined: Nov 22, 2006

    Posts: 13,177

    Yes genetics are a part of it, but not an excuse :)

    Some people just have faster metabolisms and can eat and eat without putting weight on.
     
  9. Avenged7Fold

    Capodecina

    Joined: Sep 12, 2012

    Posts: 11,622

    Location: Surrey

    I watched the 'Diet' episode of Explained on Netflix the other day. Much of it was obvious with some good clarification in there. A lot of people seem to blame genetics for being massively obese where the reality is that your genetics tend to favour a build or a set amount of fat or muscle and it is almost always a healthy amount with a reasonable diet. You can move away from this value by over/under eating and exercising but it is harder to stray too far from this value. That is not to say someone cannot become very muscly or very skinny/fat, just some have to work harder and longer for it than others. People who are considerably overweight are that way due to lifestyle choice unless they have a disorder.

    Another interesting fact was that the vast majority of those people who did stuff like 'the greatest loser' put on 60% of the weight lost within a year. This is all down to people becoming content with their weight and going back to their old habits. the best way to lose weight consistently and keep it off is not to find a diet that requires self control but rather a diet that can become a permanent habit.
     
  10. Screeeech

    Mobster

    Joined: Dec 29, 2014

    Posts: 3,243

    Location: Dublin / LA

    From the evidence I’ve seen, people who are obese for “genetic” reasons, are very very rare indeed. Usually it’s down to severe hormone problems - because energy storage into fat, or burning it is a hormonal process, but those diseases that actually contribute to obesity are very rare.

    Likewise are brain tumours - some brain tumours can upset the body’s hormones to the point where the unfortunate patient can become morbidly obese, with less than 2000 calories a day, along with other problems, it’s called hypothalamic obesity.

    The vast majority (pretty much everyone) are overweight or obese, because they’re eating too much high-calorie, bad food, exasperated by the fact that most people drastically underestimate the amount they’re consuming - or are simply unaware, especially in the case of sugar sweetened beverages or ridiculous coffee style drinks.
     
  11. FTM

    Soldato

    Joined: Dec 10, 2003

    Posts: 5,995

    Location: South Shields

    there should be a stigma..its unhealthy and costs taxpayers money on the long run

    smoking was rightly highlighted as a long term health issue and there have been many campaigns and help for people to reduce or cut out smoking

    obesity should be treated teh sane way, as a long term public health issue
     
  12. Avenged7Fold

    Capodecina

    Joined: Sep 12, 2012

    Posts: 11,622

    Location: Surrey

    I agree with obesity being campaigned against and a shift in attitude but certain stigmas can be very damaging to peoples mental and physical health.

    It is one thing to encourage and educate people to better their physical health and another entirely to make them ashamed of their own body, as the later does not necessarily mean they will strive for a different body. Studies have even shown that those who come under discrimination and fat shaming are less likely to lose weight.

    I do agree with some campaigns that show you can be healthy at different sizes, as this has led to far more overweight people taking on sports/exercise but i also disagree with the misinterpretation of these campaigns which has been taken to be 'its okay to be fat'.

    All it takes is a half decent diet and more than completely sedentary lifestyle to be of healthy weight. For me going to the gym is as much about reinforcing my goals/lifestyle as well as fun and I find that I am making much better nutritional decisions compared to times I slack off. I do remember how hard it was going in for the first few weeks/month, feeling like i don't belong because i wasn't in great shape and being new to it. I can only imagine how hard it might be for someone who is actually overweight or obese to start getting into the routine of the gym, as it can feel like you are being judged.
     
  13. Screeeech

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    Joined: Dec 29, 2014

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    I've helped several people lose weight (three in total), one guy in particular was only five foot five tall, but weighed just over 25 stone - so you can imagine how horrendous he looked. The situation involving his obesity was complex, he came from a very rough family and had an older brother who was a prolific drug dealer, quite often he (my friend) would help his brother out with his drug dealing issues, lending money, sometimes hanging around with other dealers and more senior criminals. To make matters worse, the family rallied around his brother, leaving my friend feeling largely ostracised. This in my opinion was the root cause of his over-eating and inactive lifestyle. Eventually we had a heart to heart conversation and I convinced him to come swimming with me, because I could see he was going to be dead before age 35.

    I used to be a competitive swimming (used to swim all over when I was in my teens) so we agreed that I'd just train with some ex-club swimmers, do my drills for 1 hour in the lanes - he can just swim up and down at his own pace wherever he likes and we'll see how it went. I remember him in the changing rooms - he had male breasts that hung down almost to his waist, he looked like an absolute total and utter monster. With his swim shorts barely visible below an apron of belly fat that hung down, he stood at the side of the pool amid gasps and giggles - mostly from young children who were all laughing and pointing, he jumped in and almost emptied the pool.

    I remember looking underwater and seeing what looked like some sort of barrel with two small pegs sticking out of it (his legs) kicking away, but I didn't judge him, I didn't laugh or insult him - I let him get on with it and he did try, 4 times a week for around 8-9 months we went, same routine, I had him eating healthily (not a diet, just normal healthy food) and he lost around 8 stone. In that time he was a transformed person - everybody noticed the change, his temperament changed, his college work improved - people no longer made fun of him and he became much more social - everything in his life rapidly improved.

    Then one day, I turned up at his house to continue the training routine and for some reason he would not go swimming. At the time I put it down to some sort of anomaly or bad day, but the next night - again, he wouldn't go, again the next night - I did a SGT Hartman on him and he still wouldn't go, nothing I could do would force him out of his bedroom away from his computer.

    Around that time - he started binge eating again with his brother, someone from college told me how they'd seen them together in McDonalds eating 10 big-macs between them, although I never verified that, the person had no reason to lie. In that time he put all the weight back on again and more, to cut a long story short - it wore me out, I was around 23 - full of ambition and drive I had some big career opportunities and big changes and we fell out, I never spoke to him again - it still hurts me to this day. His family indirectly blamed me for his relapse - but it was his brother who dragged him back into the abyss. Later on - I learnt that his brother tried to get out of the drug dealing crew and received a beating that put him into a coma, when he recovered he immediately moved to Australia and I never heard from him again either.

    For me it highlighted how for most people who are obese - there are other issues at play which are invisible to most people, people stigmatising him or making noises or verbally abusing him - wouldn't know of some of the deep and difficult problems in his life. Historically an outlet would be to drink or do drugs - in this environment binge-eating is a similar outlet, sit on the couch with a massive pizza and a fridge full of coke, binge-watching TV and playing games, in his case - he was out of sight out of mind, whilst his brother received all the attention, leaving me to try and get through to him - a venture I ultimately failed in, or perhaps was doomed for failure from the start.
     
  14. Jono8

    Caporegime

    Joined: May 20, 2007

    Posts: 28,582

    Location: Surrey

    This.
     
  15. Avenged7Fold

    Capodecina

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    Location: Surrey

  16. J.T

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  17. Screeeech

    Mobster

    Joined: Dec 29, 2014

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    Would be interesting to hear what people think of this guy's video, I just finished reading one of his books and it's very provocative.

    He postulates that the underlying cause of obesity is not calories in vs calories out at all, essentially - the whole theory that if you consume more than 2500 a day you'll gain weight, if you consume less than that you'll lose weight, is totally false and doesn't work. Furthermore, consuming calories from refined carbohydrates vs fats and proteins triggers hormonal problems (chronically high insulin) that leads to weight gain - which essentially is the underlying root cause of obesity - not the amount of calories consumed or the amount of inactivity.

     
  18. Somnambulist

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Jun 17, 2010

    Posts: 9,538

    Location: London

    Fung is a low carb zealot who gets called out by the evidence-based crowd all the time.

    The insulin hypothesis of obesity failed to materialise in studies funded by people desperate to prove it, which was the expected outcome for anyone that actually understands how these things work physiologically.

    http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2016/07/nusi-funded-study-serves-up_6.html
    https://examine.com/nutrition/low-fat-vs-low-carb-for-weight-loss/

    And some demonstrations of it really coming down to energy balance:
    http://edition.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/11/08/twinkie.diet.professor/index.html
    https://www.menshealth.com/weight-loss/a19546608/ice-cream-diet-32-lb-weight-loss/
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2018
  19. Somnambulist

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Jun 17, 2010

    Posts: 9,538

    Location: London

    Also re genetics, there do seem to be differences between people with things like satiety-signalling - that is some people don't feel as full/satisfied as others when given equivalent food, which can make over-eating easier. Some people seem better at maintaining homeostasis in response to under/over-feeding through changes in unconcious activity... none of it is destiny though, just something it can be handy to be aware of.

    Obesity is a complex issue though and I've posted this before but...

    http://www.shiftn.com/obesity/Full-Map.html
     
  20. Screeeech

    Mobster

    Joined: Dec 29, 2014

    Posts: 3,243

    Location: Dublin / LA

    Not sure I agree there.

    The two studies you linked (which I've seen before) don't actually refute what Fung is saying in it's essence. Essentially - most people agree (including Fung) that if you go on a diet and reduce your caloric intake (whether it's low-carb or low-fat) everybody will initially lose weight, I think everyone can agree on that, however the long term success of either diet may be ineffective.

    But I think the real argument starts in the mechanism of how weight is actually gained in the first place. As far as I can tell, what Fung is saying - weight gain is a hormonal process, essentially, eating larger amounts of refined carbohydrates or high glycemic index foods (for example fizzy drinks) causes your body to produce more insulin. There does seem to be a number of studies out there, including this analysis by Harvard that high glycemic index food is associated with weight gain and type-2 diabetes;

    https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/carbohydrates/carbohydrates-and-blood-sugar/

    The thing I find most interesting, is the obesity epidemic started in the 1980s - which is exactly around the time when the western diet started including more and more high glycemic index / refined-carbohydrates in meals, along with the explosion in sugar sweetened beverages.

    It may be true, that it's simply a calories in / calories out problem and the ultra high availability of energy-dense food, is the root cause - however I think Fung's arguments do have credence, and there are other sources of evidence that seem to line up to support him.

    Perhaps it's a double-whammy ? The saturation availability of hyper-palatable junk food and the additional calories it brings - combined with the effects on the endocrine system which produce the perfect storm of obesity and metabolic disease we're experiencing?