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Campaign to end the 'stigma' of obesity

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

  1. Somnambulist

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Jun 17, 2010

    Posts: 9,568

    Location: London

    I think I'll stick with the current body of evidence over Gary Taubes (who is on video as saying no amount of evidence will ever change his belief carbs make you fat and ill), Fung and Lustig.

    Fung for instance is obsessed with coming up with some magic reason why people regain weight after dieting rather than what the observational data says, which is that people who go on diets don't improve their nutritional education, follow fad diets that are unsustainable or disempowering because they get told what to eat but not why, and then when the diet's over they resume what they were doing before and the weight goes back on. A lot of the time this isn't actually a linear increase but it happens in spits and spurts as people over-indulge on holiday occasions putting on a little here and there which over time adds up. We have never lived in a time of such easy access to hyper-palatable, calorie dense food, combined with a decrease in physical activity and an inability to recall our own intake accurately.

    https://www.myoleanfitness.com/evidence-caloric-restriction/
    http://www.stephanguyenet.com/why-t...y-reply-to-ebbeling-and-ludwigs-jama-article/
    https://weightology.net/insulin-an-undeserved-bad-reputation/


    Carbohydrate intake is actually going down, as the demonisation of a whole macronutrient became en vogue (just as low fat did before it).

    Guyenet's book, The Hungry Brain is essential reading btw.
     
  2. Screeeech

    Mobster

    Joined: Dec 29, 2014

    Posts: 3,261

    Location: Dublin / LA

    Well, to be fair to Fung - his reason as to why people regain weight after dieting, is that no diet work's in the long term. Mostly because the world we live in eventually forces people to cave in and go back to eating junk food - in fact, this is the reason Fung gives for the collapse of Atkins in the late 1980s, it worked in the short term, but nobody could stick with it, because being unable to eat tasty junk/processed food high in sugar, is just too difficult for most people when you consider how cheap, tasty and highly available it's become.

    The thing I like about Lustig, is if you reduce his main points down to the bare essentials, it looks like this;
    • You don't need to worry about dieting
    • You don't need to worry about calories in vs calories out
    • You don't need to exercise to maintain a healthy weight
    • Don't eat processed / junk food or drink lots of sugar sweetened beverages
    • Eat real food, high in fibre, protein, and essential nutrients including natural fats (basically just eat good food)
    I don't really understand how anybody could be against that advice, because it's pretty much what most of humanity did prior to 1975-1980 when all the problems started. Furthermore, if I look at the evolution of food in the environment and what's available, since I was born (1982) I can see with my own eyes, how the food environment has been totally filled with junk - the vast majority of which is very high in refined-carbohydrates.

    Then I go back to the Harvard study I linked above, showing how eating refined carbohydrates (mostly high glycemic index) is associated with obesity and type-2 diabetes, type-2 diabetes is insulin resistance - both Fung and Lustig both argue quite eloquently with quite compelling evidence and studies, how high levels of insulin results in weight gain.

    They cite many studies, which show elevated levels of insulin - either from eating refined carbohydrates, or insulin which is injected both result in insulin resistance - followed by weight gain.

    One thing I did find very interesting in Fung's book concerning how high levels of insulin can result in weight gain, was reading about a type of tumour called an "Insulinoma". It's a benign tumour of the pancreas that releases a high amount of insulin into the bloodstream, one of the main symptoms is sudden and significant weight gain, that cannot be controlled with caloric intake, you cannot diet your way out of it - the only way to treat it, is to remove the tumour.

    I think for now I have an open mind, the biggest factor that in my mind is irrefutable is that we do indeed live in a world of hyper-palatable, high calorie food that's saturated our food supply. Whether it's a simple matter of calories in vs calories out, or whether it's sugar and refined carbs which are causing chronic hormone problems - or a combination of both, I don't think either theory has been conclusively proven wrong.

    For me, the big break will be when they actually figure out the underlying process responsible for insulin resistance and why cells simply stop responding to it.
     
  3. BowdonUK

    Mobster

    Joined: Jan 17, 2016

    Posts: 2,720

    I think the 'stigma' of being overweight is created from the media.

    They push this nazi-like perfect body on women, and men, and anyone that doesn't conform to that they constantly dig at.

    I think most people can agree that being overweight tends to be a symptom of something else, either emotional or physical. So its better to be treating those causes rather than a symptom. Healthy eating should be promoted with the aim of living a healthy lifestyle rather than with the aim of losing weight.

    It would also help if the food regulators actually did their job and started cracking down on food and drinks with high sugar content in them. I think any food/drink that contains an excessive amount of sugar should be banned.
     
  4. d_brennen

    Capodecina

    Joined: Jan 30, 2009

    Posts: 15,370

    Location: Aquilonem Londinensi

    There's nothing wrong with sugary drinks, it's peoples inability to moderate themselves.

    Fat children really annoy me, their parents must be insane
     
  5. Shadowness

    Mobster

    Joined: Sep 17, 2006

    Posts: 2,608

    Location: Gloucestershire

    Absolutely. You cannot blame the price or ease of accessibility to crap food. Ultimately it is YOUR responsibility what goes into your mouth. Period.
     
  6. Screeeech

    Mobster

    Joined: Dec 29, 2014

    Posts: 3,261

    Location: Dublin / LA

    I think it's quite reasonable to attach some blame to the food industry, for creating an environment where food has gone from being something we do for sustenance, to something that's been engineered specifically for pleasure.

    In my view there's blame, because they're essentially hijacking human physiology, by creating products that fulfil our highly evolved behaviour to want to gorge energy dense food - they're doing this to make money, and it's making the vast majority of people (66%+ UK, 70% US) either sick, or at risk of becoming sick.

    When you consider that the human body has processes and pathways that have evolved over hundreds of thousands of years, that make us want to eat rich dense food, put on weight for storage - to get us through times of famine, then you put that same evolved system into the current environment - where you're herded through a maze of junk food at the checkouts, it's going to result in big health problems.


    The question of personal responsibility is an interesting question, some people who are morbidly obese have none at all - and they don't care, they sit and eat themselves into an early grave, however - this is only a small minority, and in my personal dealings with several obese people, there are usually other issues involved that lead to morbid obesity, it doesn't usually boil down to "I just don't care" usually there's a trigger, (same as there is for alcoholism, drugs, etc)

    The vast majority of people who are overweight - still manage to function the same as everyone else, they pay their bills, they sign up for gym memberships, they go to work on time - they do all the things needed to exist in society, why then are they unable to control what they eat?

    I think, that if its personal responsibility vs an onslaught, of hyper-palatable food, the food wins most of the time, because the body is engineered in such a way to want that. In the 1970s and earlier, this simply wasn't a problem, in general people didn't become overweight or obese because you can't really overeat healthy food - their environment wasn't full of junk so eating for pleasure wasn't really a thing, except perhaps for a tiny proportion of people. It goes back to the very good point that @Orionaut made, because these people didn't need personal responsibility to stay healthy, because they weren't being tempted to eat something bad 5000 times a day.

    The personal responsibility argument also falls short of considering the following key aspects, that are often overlooked in an "it's their own fault" argument;
    • Sugar sweetened drinks and snacks marketed and targeted at children/teens - who are more likely to give in and buy them
    • 70% of the food in a supermarket is bad for you, (high in added sugar, low in fibre, contains trans-fat, low-fat junk marketed as healthy)
    • A transformed high street - traditional shops turned into fast food outlets, no due diligence performed to ask - how many of these do we need?
    • 24hr takeaways and delivery services, back in the 1970s a town would have 1x chippy and maybe a chinese, nowadays you can times that by x100
    • Other countries (such as Italy) who are traditionally healthy, now have the highest rate of obese 2 year olds - has their personal responsibility just disappeared or has their environment changed? studies show as fast food companies move in - the younger population reject their native mediterranean diet.


    In summary; Do I want to live in a world without chocolate and burgers? No. But the situation has gotten out of control, next time you're at a petrol station - just look around at the tills of the amount of crap, the amount of 2 for 1 offers, the way it's presented and how it's marketed. Everybody should be able to enjoy a treat now and then - but it's gone completely out of control and it's ridiculous.
     
  7. Shadowness

    Mobster

    Joined: Sep 17, 2006

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    Location: Gloucestershire

    But no one is forcing you to buy one.
    If you're a taxi driver or someone who visits petrol stations more than average, then it's up to you to know that you;re going to put on weight by regularly taking them up on these offers. It's not even remotely questionable that these chocolate bars/pies/other junk easily obtained is rubbish for you, so you cannot blame others if you chose to eat it.

    I regularly see a taxi driver who takes me to the airport. He was quite a big guy a while ago, and readily admits to stopping at KFC etc at services, and generally ate rubbish. Now he's completely changed his attitude, and has healthy snacks in the car he's made at home, never has fast food anymore, and does exercise on his childs Wii. He looks so much better now, and also says it's actually cheaper now than eating all the rubbish he used to do (it amazes me how expensive some fast food is now!). So there really is no excuse.
     
  8. BowdonUK

    Mobster

    Joined: Jan 17, 2016

    Posts: 2,720

    So what is the point of the food regulator then? You both seem to be saying any old crap can be sold.

    You think its ok to have food/drinks that have spoons and spoons of sugar in. Amazing.
     
  9. Avenged7Fold

    Capodecina

    Joined: Sep 12, 2012

    Posts: 11,624

    Location: Surrey

    They are not saying that at all. These items are absolutely fine to ingest in moderation, it is the attitude towards these items which is the problem. You can try and change this attitude with education, campaigning, warning labels, taxation but an outright ban does not work.

    I think so far as people are aware of how bad these drinks are, they should be given the option to buy it.

    We are constantly removing the idea that a customer has the responsibility to look after themselves. Generally people who are obese have multiple faults with their diet and removing one or two items from the shelf wont help as their attitude towards food and drink is still the same

    If we are banning high calorie foods/drinks would we ban crisps, chocolate bars, alcohol?

    Companies should be more responsible but at the end of the day, it is up to the customer to change their attitude towards food/drink.
     
  10. Screeeech

    Mobster

    Joined: Dec 29, 2014

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    Location: Dublin / LA

    Of course - nobody is forcing anybody to do anything here, but that's no excuse, secondly - nobody is suggesting any sort of ban on specific products as far as I can tell, in my opinion the only foods that should be banned outright are things containing trans-fat (cheap spreads, cheap pies etc)

    The biggest group at risk from obesity - the one that has the most impact to society are children and teenagers, this is because if you're obese as a child - you're far more likely to remain obese and develop metabolic disease. Furthermore, those are the groups who the food industry target with unhealthy products. People within that group are far more susceptible to advertising and marketing campaigns than adults, so they're more likely to overeat and become obese. I'd argue that the problem here - isn't children or teenagers simply having no personal responsibility, I'd argue strongly - that the food industry is exploiting this group in order to sell it's junk - with no regard for the impact, because it makes a lot of money doing so.

    So who's most at fault here? If you're going to place the blame squarely on the group (overweight children and teens) and absolve the food industry of any wrongdoing, because this is all the fault of personal responsibility, I ask again - why for the last 500 thousand years have humans mostly been a healthy weight - with practically no metabolic disease, why has all this happened in the last 25-30 years? If you look at what's changed - we still pretty much have the same DNA, the same genetics - the same cravings, urges and worries.

    The people haven't really changed, personal responsibility hasn't really changed; People still hold down jobs, people still pay the rent, people still get up at 8am, people mostly obey the rules, just like they always did, so whats changed? The environment has changed, because the food on offer, in terms of quantity and quality is totally different than it was before 1975 - that's the biggest difference between now and 1975 and before when the problems started, it cannot be argued otherwise successfully.

    The question is - why can't people control themselves, and this is where we might agree, we surely both agree that when someone eats a mars bar - they crave it, they buy it, they eat it, nobody else forces them to do it.

    From my own observations, observations of others and from what I've learnt from reading books on obesity, type-2 diabetes and the food industry, you have two competing forces - the craving for food vs self control. We've all seen it - you're at work and someone brings in a tray of Krispy Kremes, some people will jump up and grab one, some people will curse and complain because they really want one but they shouldn't - one or two people won't eat one at all, (they're usually the fit ones) on average most people can't resist.

    For me, I'm usually one of the fit(er) ones, but the craving to eat something like that is CRIPPLING. It's so difficult for me to resist, I have to dig seriously deep to not take one from the plate. The point I'm trying to make here, is that on average - most of the time people cannot resist the urge. Where you have a body - that's evolved to crave such things, biological engineering that's there to almost force you to take it and eat it immediately - vs self imposed restriction - the body's craving wins, it just does, and that is why most people are overweight - most people can't win that battle every time, so on average they give in and they make poor choices because that's what their body wants.

    When you think about it - the notion of having to have personal responsibility to make sure you don't over eat terrible food seems totally insane, we're supposed to eat - we have to eat to live, the body wants food because it needs it. Those metabolic and hormonal pathways exist on purpose to make you want to eat, so the idea that you have to nurture some built in restraining mechanism, to overcome your bodies own natural cravings, just to not to become obese - seems ridiculous. It's only like that (from the last 25 years) - because we've allowed the food industry to fill our environment with trash that's there to make us crave so we'll buy it.

    This problem is happening, because we've let it run out of control - instead of controlling it in a sensible way, we've allowed the food industry to uncontrollably explode and saturate the environment with borderline toxic junk- to the point where personal responsibility stands no chance at all.
     
  11. Shadowness

    Mobster

    Joined: Sep 17, 2006

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    Location: Gloucestershire


    So what if it does? I treated myself to a huge and decadent doughnut in London last weekend. I dread to think how many calories it was. I know it will be high in calories, but I didn't care, partly because I eat such foods sensibly and in moderation, and I did a 10 mile run that morning, so more than 'paid' for it in exercise.
     
  12. BowdonUK

    Mobster

    Joined: Jan 17, 2016

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    I can understand where you are coming from in your position. But you aren't taking in to consideration the British culture. The British people are used to relying on the government.

    The people who need the help tend to be at a certain lower social bracket, and most cheap food is unhealthy. A lot of people also either don't have time to manually cook food, or they don't have the skills to do it, or they can't afford to buy healthy food regularly.

    I quoted your line because companies aren't being responsible. There is no need to put 10 grams of sugar in anything.

    We're talking generally of how to solve the problem of unhealthy food. I think if you want a doughnut then you should be expected to pay a higher price as it is unhealthy. I think unless you can say you can resist the temptation then you can't really blame others who are also eating to excess, as they just feel they have more temptation.

    It's interesting the people talking about moderating others eating behaviours don't want any restrictions on themselves.
     
  13. Shadowness

    Mobster

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    Location: Gloucestershire

    As much as I believe everyone is ultimately responsible for what they put in their mouth, I also have an issue with this statement too.

    Time I can accept, and as I don't have children, I can only imagine how much time they occupy each day (pretty much the whole day!). But it doesn't take that long to make something quick and healthy, 20-30 minutes at most.....if that.
    And I know for a fact you could make something very healthy for a lot less than a Dominos pizza deal, or equivalent rubbish, that a lot of people spend fortunes on too.
    And skills? Does it really take much to cut up some vegetables (not prepacked!) and a chicken breast and put it in the oven?!

    Healthy food really isn't extortionately expensive, when done right. And if people do have an issue, then sacrifice your £60+ a month on the latest iPhone, or TV etc that you don't really need.
     
  14. d_brennen

    Capodecina

    Joined: Jan 30, 2009

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    Location: Aquilonem Londinensi

    In Soviet Britain, government thinks for you.

    R.E. time, that's BS. When my daughter arrived our diets got markedly better, we made more effort eating real food and continue to do so. Lack of time is a poor excuse for living on junk food
     
  15. dowie

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jan 29, 2008

    Posts: 42,508

    I think that is BS tbh... it is a lack off effort mostly/going for the easy option i.e. throwing something in the microwave, cooking some frozen stuff from Iceland, buying takeaways/fast food etc.. perhaps depression and other external factors play a part in some cases. But the idea that they can't eat healthily is silly, there is an element of choice there - it might be harder for some than others but it is there.

    Not eating excess sugar, fat etc.. isn't inherently expensive, just don't eat so much sugar, fat etc.. don't buy snacks, eat smaller portions etc.. if anything it could arguably save money for a lot of people. No one is forced to buy cans/bottles of sugary fizzy water, or packets of crisps, bags of sweets etc..

    Boiling some rice or pasta or potatoes doesn't take long, cooking some veg isn't difficult etc..
     
  16. Avenged7Fold

    Capodecina

    Joined: Sep 12, 2012

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    Location: Surrey

    The skills/time/cost to cook healthy is BS.

    If you were really short on time you could cook a basic pasta sauce in the time it takes to get water to boil and cook the pasta.

    I never fail to cook something even when i am short on time even with back of the cupboard stuff.

    When people argue that they can't afford to cook healthy it implies that healthy food is expensive - simply not true. I find it all an excuse for being lazy.

    Even if you don't want to boil veg to go with a meal, there is a huge amount of cheap, nutritious tinned veg available in the supermarket. When i lived as a student with very little money i still ate well. If you couldn't eat healthy for cheap then every single poor person would be eating absolute crap.
     
  17. BowdonUK

    Mobster

    Joined: Jan 17, 2016

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    I think once you get in to cooking manually then its easy when you know the basics.

    Doesn't anyone remember the cooking class at school? Me neither, at least not in my life time and look whats happened. I bet the percentage of people who can cook now compared to 50 years ago as dropped considerably.

    There as been a social breakdown when it comes to passing on skillsets. The mothers these days have never been taught to cook either at school or by their parents.

    I think instead of bashing people who at this moment don't eat healthy its better to be encouraging them. Imho its not just the skills, its a mindset.
     
  18. Dis86

    Capodecina

    Joined: Dec 23, 2011

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    Location: Northern England

    I was taught cooking at school. So was my sister and she left 8 years ago. I don't know if it was taught more recently than that however.
    Honestly though I don't think I use the skills I learned there as it was mostly baking rather than proper cooking.
    Despite this I somehow manage to you know...cook. it was amazing. I picked up ingredients. Combined them. Wham. I didn't need a degree to do it either!
     
  19. Nasher

    Capodecina

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    Took me less than 6 months to learn to cook after moving out and living on my own.
     
  20. Avenged7Fold

    Capodecina

    Joined: Sep 12, 2012

    Posts: 11,624

    Location: Surrey

    Cooking is not a skill set that needs to be passed on. All it takes to learn is to just do it and the great thing about that is you could practice as regularly as you eat!

    If you were so inept and had so little confidence that you could not improvise anything, 20 minute meal recipes is just a google away.

    Encouraging people to eat health does not work if all they are prepared to eat are ready meals. I think a healthy dose of embarrassment/bashing is what people need to push them into learning or doing something outside their comfort zone, be this basic IT skills, DIY, exercise or cooking.

    Can't cook an incredibly basic pasta and pasta sauce dish?
    That is due to a lack of trying, not a lack of skills.

    A healthy lifestyle does not necessarily involve people running marathons or pushing weights daily. For most people it just takes a half decent diet and to regularly do menial tasks like washing the car, doing the housework, walking to the shops, walking the dog.