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  1. #111
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Blackmail! I'm interested in your work. In some ways I feel really cheated by the system of sprawl in the area where I live- walking and biking are, of course, perfectly acceptable leisure activities here, but we don't have the infrastructure that makes walking or biking a practical way to get from place to place and thus built into daily life. I'd love to live in a place where walking/biking were built in as activities of daily life, rather than only as "bonus" activities that you have to have leisure time to perform. Unfortunately it's an economic reality that buying a living space in the downtown areas where walking and biking are practical, and also working there so you have the opportunity to walk/bike to and from work, are luxuries limited to a very few, here. Most people live outside the downtown areas and commute to various work locations by car, by necessity moreso than choice. I don't commute, because I work from home, but my job is very sedentary and I often lose the momentum it takes to build activity into my day since it's not a requirement in this environment. When I lived briefly in Manhattan, NYC, I walked to work daily and home again, and that was a couple of miles a day. But we couldn't afford to live there long-term, either. I played roller derby for a couple of years to get more exercise (skating for 2-4 hours, 4x/week) but had to drop that hobby when it started to feel like between it and work, I was losing touch with my family.

    As for food, I'm willing to admit that I'm totally addicted to it (though quite ashamed of the fact). It seems like an especially cruel addiction, to be addicted to something that you have to consume daily for the rest of your life. There's no going cold turkey on food.

  2. #112
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quinlan View Post
    The heritability of bmi remains consistently high even in the face of environmental changes, http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/87/2/275.full.pdf. Heritability represents the variation within populations attributable to genetic factors, not the variation between populations. Take height for instance, we know that average height can change over time at the population level due to better nutrition but at an individual level height is still mostly determined by your genes throughout those changes. So let's say a developing nation decided they wanted to increase national height through public health policy/better nutrition, chances are they might achieve their goal of increasing average height but that doesn't mean that those who remained relatively short have "failed" they are doing the best with the genes that they have.

    I have no doubt that the public policy you suggest would greatly benefit public health at the population level, what I doubt is how great the impact of such policy would be at the individual level, where modest weight loss is not enough to be considered socially acceptable. Not to mention that as opposed to obesity which is a medical condition defined by bmi, "fatness" is a social condition and it is relative, so even if BMIs decrease on average there will still be "fat" people and "thin" people, it is the natural variation within populations that should be accepted not the shifts between populations.

    Allergies are the analogy I used earlier in the thread, they are also highly heritable yet their incidence has increased dramatically in the last few decades, does that mean we shouldn't "accept" people with allergies?
    You're confusing and mixing many dissimilar notions.

    What this article says concerns only the very tiny percentage of population who really have a genetic predisposition towards obesity. It compares for instance the statistics avalaible in 1990, and all it says is that if your parents were both obese a few decades ago, then yes, there is a higher chance that you can become obese yourself.

    If you want to convince yourself that you are amongst those 2% of the population, and that you can do nothing against your current condition, it's your choice. Perhaps that indeed, you have a genuine genetic predisposition towards obesity, I don't know. It would require a serious study and many further medical tests: just speak about it to your doctor. But statistically speaking, it's not likely and in most cases, chances are that you would be in real denial, just like the vast majority of obese people.

    But Quinlan, stay assured that I'm not here to shame you nor any obese people. I'm just telling you what I know about the subject (I work on it), I'm just trying to help.

    -----

    And you analogy with allergies is false, because most allergies can't be cured, and are not as deadly as obesity. And allergies aren't the result of a conscious addiction.
    "A man who only drinks water has a secret to hide from his fellow-men" -Baudelaire

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  3. #113
    Intriguing.... Quinlan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    You're in denial Quinlan, and you know it.

    It's exactly like if you were saying that an heroine addict is not "100%" in control of his addiction. Of course, s/he is not. But ultimately, nobody can take the decision to stop drugs but him/her. The first step is acknowledging you have a problem, and that in most cases, this problem could be cured. Without even a basic willpower impulse, if you constantly pretend you can nothing about it, that you can't fight, then indeed nothing will change.
    No need to be rude, Blackmail.

    The weight loss industry is and has been booming for some time now, clearly people are aware they have a problem. Individuals and public health officials have been fighting obesity for decades, how's that working out for them?
    Act your age not your enneagram number.

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  4. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    In 98% of the cases, those stories are false, they're urban legends. According to most medical and psychological studies I've read, most obese people will carefully hide the real quantity of food they eat, even to their doctors. The vast majority of them will lie and will stay in denial. It's like an addiction to drugs.

    If obese people go to an environment where their food intake is closely watched and controled, then in 98% of the case, they "miraculously" lose weight. Only 2% of the population have a sizable genuine genetic predisposition towards obesity.
    Yeah, I know. But if you read some of the stuff that specific Health At Every Size (fat acceptance) advocates write, they really do say this kind of thing about themselves as proof that the "eat less, exercise more formula" doesn't work. In fact, that's a bit of mantra for the whole movement.

    Putting the veracity of those claims aside (I know they're not true in the vast majority of cases), I don't even see how any of that helps an overweight or obese person feel empowered. It seems more like it would make you feel hopeless.

    Then again, that's probably psychologically easier than admitting that it's within one's power to change (because that would mean that responsibility becomes a factor.)
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  5. #115
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quinlan View Post
    No need to be rude, Blackmail.
    I'm sorry, this wasn't my intention. You know I respect you, and that's why you're in my friend list on Typo-c.

    The weight loss industry is and has been booming for some time now, clearly people are aware they have a problem. Individuals and public health officials have been fighting obesity for decades, how's that working out for them?
    If you want to make me say that obesity might be a disease of our civilization, that it says a lot about the insanity of our current way of life, then yes, I would agree.
    Our cities, our environment, our economy and our industries all lead towards this huge obesity epidemic. And changing the whole western society is an incredibly difficult and slow process. The political inertia is huge.
    "A man who only drinks water has a secret to hide from his fellow-men" -Baudelaire

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  6. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    You're confusing and mixing many dissimilar notions.

    What this article says concerns only the very tiny percentage of population who really have a genetic predisposition towards obesity. It compares for instance the statistics avalaible in 1990, and all it says is that if your parents were both obese a few decades ago, then yes, there is a higher chance that you can become obese yourself.

    If you want to convince yourself that you are amongst those 2% of the population, and that you can do nothing against your current condition, it's your choice. Perhaps that indeed, you have a genuine genetic predisposition towards obesity, I don't know. It would require a serious study and many further medical tests: just speak about it to your doctor. But statistically speaking, it's not likely and in most cases, chances are that you would be in real denial, just like the vast majority of obese people.

    But Quinlan, stay assured that I'm not here to shame you nor any obese people. I'm just telling you what I know about the subject (I work on it), I'm just trying to help.

    -----

    And you analogy with allergies is false, because most allergies can't be cured, and are not as deadly as obesity. And allergies aren't the result of a conscious addiction.
    Did you even read the article in my post?

    Where does your 2% statistic come from? And how are they any more excused from the basic calories in>calories out idea?

    Why are you personalising this debate? I am very slightly overweight according to my BMI, a few months ago I was in the normal weight category, I don't care even if you did try and shame me for such a tiny amount of weight, I have no dog in this race. I am only telling you what I have read from well regarded geneticists like Jeffery Friedman and epidemiologists like Katherine Flegal, blogs like "Obesity Panacea" these people are not quacks, my opinions aren't fringe ones.

    Allergic reactions can be prevented by avoiding exposure to known allergens, it's just a matter of how much "prevention" you think is acceptable. I recently read an article about how asthma is linked to fast food consumption, so should we just assume that asthmatics are all binging on fast food and shame them into compliance?
    Act your age not your enneagram number.

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  7. #117
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quinlan View Post
    Did you even read the article in my post?

    Where does your 2% statistic come from? And how are they any more excused from the basic calories in>calories out idea?

    Why are you personalising this debate? I am very slightly overweight according to my BMI, a few months ago I was in the normal weight category, I don't care even if you did try and shame me for such a tiny amount of weight, I have no dog in this race. I am only telling you what I have read from well regarded geneticists like Jeffery Friedman and epidemiologists like Katherine Flegal, blogs like "Obesity Panacea" these people are not quacks, my opinions aren't fringe ones.
    1/ I feel relieved for you. I thought I had read before, a few years ago that you complained about your weight. Or rather, that weight issues seemed very important for you. Maybe I was wrong, and that's better this way.

    2/ Once again, I have no other option but to trust what seems to be the consensus in most public health institutes. That's why I quoted the HSPH for instance. I've read dozens, and dozens, and dozens of article that explain that the current obesity epidemy has very little to do with genetics or inheritable factors, but rather with our current way of life, our current environment. When your job is to suggest policies to mayors and public institutions, you can't take any risk but stay cautious and consensual.

    Once again, it's very simple logic. If people on average eat more and exercice less, then it's likely that many of them will grow fat. It's bit like a thermodynamics equation: if on average you have more energy intake coupled with less energy expenditure, then guess what happens...
    Trust your common sense!


    Allergic reactions can be prevented by avoiding exposure to known allergens, it's just a matter of how much "prevention" you think is acceptable. I recently read an article about how asthma is linked to fast food consumption, so should we just assume that asthmatics are all binging on fast food and shame them into compliance?
    Supposing that what your article suggests is true, your conclusion is a sophistry (confusion between the general and the particular).
    But it would not change the solution: going to a fast food restaurant is almost always a bad idea, medically speaking. And it should be their responsability to avoid them.

    Fighting the agribusiness companies and chains is very difficult. Lots of money are at stake.
    "A man who only drinks water has a secret to hide from his fellow-men" -Baudelaire

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  8. #118
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    Proper healthcare, diet and exercise should be encouraged, obviously.
    And the harassment, negative connotations and ridicule should not be encouraged.

    The "movement" is mostly fixated on the latter.
    Discrimination sucks, but the best revenge is to live well.

    Which means getting even fatter.

  10. #120
    Intriguing.... Quinlan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post

    2/ Once again, I have no other option but to trust what seems to be the consensus in most public health institutes. That's why I quoted the HSPH for instance. I've read dozens, and dozens, and dozens of article that explain that the current obesity epidemy has very little to do with genetics or inheritable factors, but rather with our current way of life, our current environment. When your job is to suggest policies to mayors and public institutions, you can't take any risk but be cautious and consensual.
    I suggest you look into the work of Jeffrey Friedman, he is a geneticist that discovered the hormone Leptin. He sees obesity mostly as a breakdown in hormonal regulation. He has witnessed so called gluttonous, slothful, ignorant, weak willed obese people rapidly become slim, healthy, normal people after hormonal treatment. How did the hormonal treatment make them a better person? How did it improve their character and make their will power stronger? The fact is it didn't, it just fixed a fault in the system. There was nothing wrong with their character, that is just our ad hoc rationalisation for a fault in a system we ddidn't and still don't really understand. You can find a number of his lectures, papers and articles on google, they may not help with your public policy but they are very interesting if you have an open mind.

    Once again, it's very simple logic. If people on average eat more and exercice less, then it's likely that many of them will grow fat. It's bit like a thermodynamics equation: if on average you have more energy intake coupled with less energy expenditure, then guess what happens...
    Trust your common sense!
    So why do you excuse the 2% of obese people you mentioned, what makes them different? Surely the laws of thermodynamics apply to all of us?


    Supposing that what your article suggests is true, your conclusion is a sophistry (confusion between the general and the particular).
    But it would not change the solution: going to a fast food restaurant is almost always a bad idea, medically speaking. And it should be their responsability to avoid them.

    Fighting the agribusiness companies and chains is very difficult. Lots of money are at stake.
    Here is my problem with current policy on obesity, we all know the key to good health is an active lifestyle and good eating/sleeping etc. habits as well as a healthy environment. A healthy lifestyle/environment will benefit everyone, fat, thin, normal weight, we should be promoting it to all people. Now an unhealthy lifestyle can have many side effects some of which for instance may be obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Now by focusing on obesity instead of healthy lifestyles for everyone we are implying it's ok to have an unhealthy lifestyle as long as you're normal weight. It's like saying because smokers tend to be thinner we shouldn't worry about the fat smokers, fatness and thinness is incidental to the actual behaviours not the cause. It should be a blanket statement of "unhealthy lifestyle causes heart disease" in the same way we say "smoking causes lung cancer". So instead of the message being "Poor habits leads to obesity which leads to heart disease" it should be " Poor habits leads to heart disease" this means the message reaches people of all sizes.
    Act your age not your enneagram number.

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