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Thread: Obesity myth

  1. #71
    Senior Member Feops's Avatar
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    Obesity is generally a symptom of an unhealthy lifestyle.

    I say generally because certain people can live like sloths and remain thin, while others need to work quite hard at it. Such is genetics. But on average, people that exercise more and eat better are less afflicted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nightning View Post
    The BMI 30 is an arbitrary cutoff. Risk of cardiovascular disease is nearly as high with BMI of say 29.
    The whole thing is pretty arbitrary to me. I think an "unhealthiness epidemic" is much more accurate description than an "obesity epidemic", there are some very healthy and muscular individuals in the obese range, it is a scattergun rather than targeted approach. By obsessing about the obese we almost excuse all the unhealthy individuals in the other ranges by default.


    Contrary to popular beliefs... It's actually how much you eat and exercise as oppose to what you eat that leads to weight gain. Of course here in this case I'm not refering to cardiovascular diseases... for that you should avoid high salt and fatty diet. Refined carbs and sugars themselves don't tend to do much according to clinical RCTs. This only makes sense because the body can convert all forms of fats, carbs, proteins to simple sugar... and from simple sugar back into fat for storage. Complex starches are helpful mostly in diabetic patients with difficulties maintaining consistent blood glucose. Not so much for the rest of us.
    What about the blood sugar spike that comes with eating refined carbs? I have heard that this spike disrupts signals to our brain and it basically shuts down the fat burning process.?

    David Ludwig, the Harvard endocrinologist, says that it's the direct effect of insulin on blood sugar that does the trick. He notes that when diabetics get too much insulin, their blood sugar drops and they get ravenously hungry. They gain weight because they eat more, and the insulin promotes fat deposition. The same happens with lab animals. This, he says, is effectively what happens when we eat carbohydrates -- in particular sugar and starches like potatoes and rice, or anything made from flour, like a slice of white bread. These are known in the jargon as high-glycemic-index carbohydrates, which means they are absorbed quickly into the blood. As a result, they cause a spike of blood sugar and a surge of insulin within minutes. The resulting rush of insulin stores the blood sugar away and a few hours later, your blood sugar is lower than it was before you ate. As Ludwig explains, your body effectively thinks it has run out of fuel, but the insulin is still high enough to prevent you from burning your own fat. The result is hunger and a craving for more carbohydrates. It's another vicious circle, and another situation ripe for obesity.
    What if It's All Been a Big Fat Lie? - The New York Times (very interesting article)


    See the problem here is not with the health officials... but rather how to explain something to the general public in the most effective manner to see results. Most people don't have the background in health science to understand nor are they willing to spend a lot of time find out about research findings. Instead they rely on the news. News only sells when its segmented into little spoonfuls, else the viewer/reader/listener gets bored and goes do something else.

    So what is the most simplified thing you can tell people? Simply that obesity is bad news...
    Something makes me uneasy about scientists manipulating rather than directly informing.
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  3. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quinlan View Post
    The whole thing is pretty arbitrary to me. I think an "unhealthiness epidemic" is much more accurate description than an "obesity epidemic", there are some very healthy and muscular individuals in the obese range, it is a scattergun rather than targeted approach. By obsessing about the obese we almost excuse all the unhealthy individuals in the other ranges by default.
    The best index is taking a body fat % measurement. The second I think is the correlation they found with waist to hip ratio. BMI is used because that's what people are most familiar with. There are cases when this might be inaccurate, but in general it fits. For obviously muscular/dense boned individuals... I think it's safe to say they're not obese. Remember the MBI is nothing more than a guideline. It's easy to measure, and it's been around for so long that to suddenly switch to something else is impractical. That's why it is still used.


    What about the blood sugar spike that comes with eating refined carbs? I have heard that this spike disrupts signals to our brain and it basically shuts down the fat burning process.?
    Are you diabetic? As I said before... for most of us our bodies are very good at regulating blood glucose levels. So this is not an issue.

    An article I found recently that might interest you
    Science and Pseudoscience in Adult Nutrition Research and Practice


    Something makes me uneasy about scientists manipulating rather than directly informing.
    Actually, one of the main flaws in the scientific community is their lack in going out to educate the public and letting their research be known. They publish within scientific journals, attend conventions etc... but that's only sharing information with other scientists... those in the same/similar fields. None of this gets to the public unless the media finds research results which they can put a spin on.

    The public health advisory boards set out guidelines... We have the Canada's Food Guide that gets updated annually here and you can find out more information on their documentations. But nobody (as in the average person) reads those thing. Anything you hear about is from the media... or advertisements.

    It's manipulation yes... but not in part of the scientists, just the media.

    And if you try to put the scientist head to head against the media... Sensationalism wins every time. And when a scientist/doctor/whatever "professional" attempts to show passion about their beliefs... the public gets upset (re donut = death thread). You can't win.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightning View Post
    For obviously muscular/dense boned individuals... I think it's safe to say they're not obese.
    But they are obese (without question)! They have the "disease" of obesity because their body weight falls within a certain range for their height. They are a part of the "epidemic".

    Perhaps I just have a very impractical dislike for generalisations.
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    This article is quite a revelation:

    Social Stress Linked To Harmful Fat Deposits, Heart Disease

    A new study done by researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine shows that social stress could be an important precursor to heart disease by causing the body to deposit more fat in the abdominal cavity, speeding the harmful buildup of plaque in blood vessels, a stepping stone to the number one cause of death in the world.
    How much of the health problems correlated with obesity could be caused by the social stress of being obese? Could picking on fat people and being hysterical about their weight throughout their lives be actually causing the very problems people want to "save" them from?
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    There are so many variables with obesity and links to diseases that it makes it hard to prove either way. But on an anecdotal basis I see a lot of people make very poor choices when it comes to health/diet/exercise and it very often ends up with a poor result.

    I think most who live a balanced life in regards to their health tend to make a few poor decisions, but overall a lot of good ones. The ones who are unhealthy (obese or not) make many poor decisions. I think everyone owes it to themselves to spend a few days tracking the amount of calories that they eat per day. Some people have no idea they eat WAY too much. It bothers me when people go and eat a 1500 calorie meal at a restaurant but justify it because they had a salad with their lunch instead of the potato chips. That's fine, but if you still had a 1000 calorie lunch on top of your breakfast, you're going to be gaining weight. I also think people owe it to themselves to educate themselves on a balanced diet, and get some exercise into your week.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quinlan View Post
    This article is quite a revelation:

    Social Stress Linked To Harmful Fat Deposits, Heart Disease



    How much of the health problems correlated with obesity could be caused by the social stress of being obese? Could picking on fat people and being hysterical about their weight throughout their lives be actually causing the very problems people want to "save" them from?
    I think it also could be lack of exercise, obese or not. People are supposed to be at least moderately active. So I'm sure a whole host of health problems accompany an extremely sedentary lifestyle even if one is not obese. The likelihood of an obese person being extremely sedentary are surely increased, and there in perhaps lies the increased risks to health.

  8. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightning View Post
    For obviously muscular/dense boned individuals... I think it's safe to say they're not obese.
    Exactly; you pretty much have to be a body builder to have a BMI in the obese range and not be over-fat.

    Conversely, a person with too low BMI may have a very small frame for their height. No one defends them though. If someone can be a bit overweight and still be healthy, then why not a bit underweight?

    I also want to see where all these truly obese people who eat very healthy in moderate amounts and get adequate exercise are hiding :rolli:
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    Conversely, a person with too low BMI may have a very small frame for their height. No one defends them though. If someone can be a bit overweight and still be healthy, then why not a bit underweight?
    I would defend them, but there isn't an "underweight" epidemic going on at the moment. Of course you can be underweight and healthy! Naturally underweight people shouldn't pe harassed and teased about "eating disorders" or have an arbitrary standard applied to them that doesn't consider their lifestlye. I will very much defend the naturally underweight. The ironic thing is that most men in the "normal" weight range are probably keen to put on a fair bit more muscle mass because the normal range does seem a bit meek, lots of guys like to "bulk up" their muscle mass, without neccessarily being body builders.

    I also want to see where all these truly obese people who eat very healthy in moderate amounts and get adequate exercise are hiding :rolli:
    So you're able to assess everyone's lifestlye are you? How do you find the time?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quinlan View Post
    I would defend them, but there isn't an "underweight" epidemic going on at the moment. Of course you can be underweight and healthy! Naturally underweight people shouldn't pe harassed and teased about "eating disorders" or have an arbitrary standard applied to them that doesn't consider their lifestyle. I will very much defend the naturally underweight.
    Most people don't have that attitude though, and you hear just as much about eating disorders and anorexia as you do the "obesity epidemic".


    Quote Originally Posted by Quinlan View Post
    So you're able to assess everyone's lifestlye are you? How do you find the time?
    I didn't claim to, but I do have eyes and can make observations of the people around me. I have yet to see one truly obese person lead a consistently healthy lifestyle; they are either sedentary and/or have very poor eating habits. You just add 2 + 2 together...
    Often a star was waiting for you to notice it. A wave rolled toward you out of the distant past, or as you walked under an open window, a violin yielded itself to your hearing. All this was mission. But could you accomplish it? (Rilke)

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