Habits make you FAT

“According to two National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey’s (NHANES), the prevalence of obesity for adults between the ages of 20 and 74 increased from 15% (1976 – 1980 survey) to 32.9% (2003 – 2004 survey) 1. These same surveys also showed the number of adults considered to be overweight increased from 47% to an astounding 66.2%, with the sharpest swell in overweight and obesity occurring in the 1990’s. Thankfully, there seems to have been a leveling off of obesity rates since 1999, with no significant change between 2003 & 2006 for either men or women 2. However, despite this leveling of obesity rates, 2/3rds of the people in the U.S. remain over weight or obese, and this is unacceptable.”
(Evolution of the Unhealthy American Part 1)

So how did we as a country get so fat? What caused our weigh gain and its inherent health risks? Many self proclaimed experts say, “Americans are eating too much.” Is it just a matter of calories in versus calories out? Is it really as simple as reducing the amount of food we eat, exercising more or both? Are we really eating too much, or is it what we’re eating? Do man-made substances in our food really make a difference in our ability to maintain a healthy weight?

Well, Yahoo Health has put together a list of 20 habits that can add to your bottom line so to speak. Here are 5.

1. Eating low fat. What do low-fat meals replace fats with? Carbohydrates. Remember carbs are non-essential. Meaning, you don’t have to consume them to be healthy. the lower your carb intake, the lower your insulin levels. The lower your insulin levels the less food you store as fat on your body.

2. Drinking soda, even diet soda. Because a 2005 study found that drinking one to two sodas per day increases your chances of being overweight or obese by nearly 33 percent. And diet soda is no better.

3. Skipping meals. A study from the American Journal of Epidemiology found that people who cut out the morning meal were 4.5 times more likely to be obese. Why? Skipping meals slows your metabolism and boosts your hunger.

4. Watching too much TV. A University of Vermont study found that overweight participants who reduced their TV time by just 50 percent burned an additional 119 calories a day on average.

5. Eating when emotional. A study from the University of Alabama found that emotional eaters—those who admitted eating in response to emotional stress—were 13 times more likely to be overweight or obese.


Is obesity caused by overeating

Chronic overeating and inactivity is definitely a path to an obese, unhealthy life. But, are we as a nation really eating that much more? According to surveys conducted in 1977-78 and 1994-96, reported daily caloric intake increased from 2239 Kcal (calories) to 2455 Kcal in men, and from 1534 Kcal to 1646 Kcal in women. Are these really enough calories to cause such massive decreases in the health of so many people? I don’t think so. There is one factor; however, that I believe is responsible for the greatest portion of the unhealthy state of our union. It’s not necessarily how much we’re eating, genetics or even a virus: It’s what we’re eating.

If a calorie is a calorie is a calorie, as most dieticians, nutritionists and doctors claim, why doesn’t the percent of increased caloric intake match the percentage of increase in overweight or obese individuals? The increase in calorie consumption in men and women has increased 7% and 9% respectively since the seventies. The increase in the percentage of individuals who are overweight or obese has increased almost 20% in each category. And remember, this increase literally occurred in less than 30 years, which is less than a generation. Why such a discrepancy between calories consumed and weight gained? Because there’s more to this epidemic than the amount of calories people are consuming.

The food processing industry has dropped the ball when it comes to supplying healthy food for our consumption. It is blatantly obvious by the ingredients listed in food labels coupled with the downward spiral of ill health in the U.S., the food industry is obsessed with increasing the bottom line with no regard for the negative effects of its products. It would be naive to assume that this billion dollar industry has the best intentions for our food’s safety and nutritive value.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to make excuses for people who don’t exercise and overeat. I know that the vast majority of overweight individuals eat excessive calories, however as stated above, the numbers just don’t add up.

On the-other-hand, the obesity epidemic and its related afflictions do have a linear relationship to the amount of denatured, devitalized, processed food people consume, especially simple sugars and vegetable oil.


Thumbs up review, “The Obesity Epidemic: What caused it? How can we stop it?”

Where does the formula “1 pound equals 3500 calories” come from? Zoe Harcombe checked with all the major British organizations including the British Dietetic Association. The best answer, or worst depending on how one perceives this topic, was, “We don’t know.” Some of the other questions one sees in a list towards the beginning of the book are: Does energy in equal energy out? Does the law of thermodynamics apply to humans? Can you prove saturated fat causes heart disease? How does exercise relate to weight loss or gain?

When dealing with weight loss the public is bombarded by misinformation concerning calories which are a measurement of energy. According to Harcombe when you see the statement, “energy in equals energy out” you are getting a misapplication of the laws of thermodynamics. The first law doesn’t state energy in must equal energy out; it states that energy in a closed system is neither created nor destroyed.

The calorie theory, i.e., counting calories for weight control, was tested in the Minnesota Starvation Experiment. Thirty six healthy men participated in the study, with the goal being to reduce their weight by 25% in 24 weeks. A control period was utilized to figure how many calories were needed to maintain weight at a specific activity level. During the starvation period of the experiment, while trying to maintain the specified activity level, the participant’s diets were cut by 1640 calories. At this point the weight loss didn’t meet the researcher’s goal, so the participant’s calories were cut even further. According to the “Gold Standard Formula” promoted by so many so-called experts, “1 pound equals 3500 calories”, each participant should have lost 78 pounds; by week 20 all reached a plateau, and the average weight lost was 37 pounds.

Once the men were allowed to eat, they couldn’t get enough. Even when they were stuffed, the men still complained of hunger. None of the men had eating disorders prior to the experiment; it was clear according to the Minnesota Starvation Experiment, that no one can tolerate calorie deprivation over an extended period of time.

The people who do research as generalist/specialists in the area of obesity (Barry Groves, Gary Taubes, Sally Fallon Morell are the forerunners) have all come to the same conclusion – we must eat real food and not processed food. Man is the only chronically sick species on the planet and the only one eating his own food. (I would add that we have also given our pets obesity, diabetes and other modern illness, by feeding them our processed junk ). “Eat food as nature intends us to eat it” is surely classic common sense – but government, dietitians and doctors tell us instead to “Base our meals on starchy foods” and they have developed the Eatbadly Plate (I refuse to call it Eatwell), which could not be more different to what we have evolved to eat. (Do take a look at this plate and see for yourself sugar, cornflakes, weetabix, white flour, bagels, white pasta, sugared baked beans, fruit in syrup, Battenberg cake, sweets, coca-cola and so on. No wonder Kellogg’s sponsor the British Dietetic Association obesity conference!)

The Obesity Epidemic” has a very simple message; everything you think you know about eating right and weight loss, is way off the mark. With a mound of references to support her well stated arguments, Zoe expounds the truth while dissecting the dietary BS promulgated by industry, health agencies, doctors and dieticians. There is no doubt that the world is experiencing an obesity epidemic and it’s a shame that money not evidence based research is guiding our behavior. Anyone interested in the correct natural way to a healthy body, needs to read this book.


Dr. Lustig explains why we are fat

So…why are we fat?

The incidence of overweight and obese individuals shown in the NHANES surveys has a linear relationship to fructose consumption in the U.S. According to the USDA?s data, total sugar and fructose consumption started to increase sharply in 1985 and reached a peak in 1999, which is congruent with the incidence of obesity. During 2000 through 2005 we see a slight drop in total sugar and fructose consumption, which is consistent with the leveling off of obesity rates during that same period. This drop in sugar, adds up to 10lbs of total sugar with fructose contributing 6 of those lbs.

Even more compelling, the USDA?s data in reveals total sugar consumption from 1970 to 1999 increased 26%, which at first glance doesn?t seem like much. Also note that from 1970 to 1983 total sugar consumption did not increase while obesity rates did. This would lead one to infer that sugar is not a major contributing factor to our expanding waist-lines. However, take another look. While total sugar consumption did not increase from 1970 to 1983, fructose consumption tripled. More-over, between 1970 and 1999 with only a 26% increase in total sugar consumption, fructose consumption increased 425%.

Evolution of the Unhealthy American

In the below video Dr. Lustig puts the kibosh on the positive reputation fructose has been allowed to hold even in the face of mounds of evidence pointing to the contrary.


ALERT: Eliminate these 2 toxins from your diet


Sources: This garbage is found in everything from soda to cereal. It?s literally in thousands of products. Read your labels.

The ?fat carb? has been in our food supply for more 35 years. We?ve been led to believe that fructose from high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is akin to naturally occurring sugar, the same that?s found in fruit. Nothing could be further from the truth. The fructose from HFCS is not the same as the molecule from sucrose (table sugar), or fruit leveulose. [1] Is it any wonder they have worked so hard to link HFCS to something natural and healthy like fruit?

The problem is our bodies metabolize HFCS differently than sucrose or fruit leveulose. When we consume sucrose, our bodies convert it into glucose, which raises our blood glucose levels. We then get an insulin spike to shuttle the glucose where it?s needed. When we consume HFCS, unlike natural sugar, it is metabolized in the liver and produces high triglyceride levels which are linked to heart disease. In addition, HFCS does not induce insulin secretion, nor does it boost leptin production, both of which are key signals for decreasing hunger. Hence, the name ?fat carb.? Eat it, get fat. Eat more, get fatter.

Russ Bianchi, a pharmacologist and toxicologist, explains: ?There is no safe form of fructose available from any source, unless already existing in an unprocessed apple or other piece of fruit. The science is known and epidemiologically proven.? [2]

If you follow the obesity epidemic in the U.S., you?ll find that Americans are eating less fat. In 1965, men ate an average of 139 grams and women 83 grams of fat per day. In 1995, men ate 101 grams and women ate 65 grams of fat per day. [3] With the way fat has been demonized over the last four decades, you?d expect an increase in fat consumption to be the main cause of the obesity epidemic, yet it?s not.

What does mirror the increase in fat Americans is the consumption pattern of HFCS. Between the years of 1970 and 1990, HFCS consumption increased 1000% and today represents 40% of the sweeteners added to foods and beverages. In fact, HFCS is the sole caloric sweetener in soft drinks in the United States. Is it any wonder that obesity is an epidemic? One of the main ingredients in our food supply not only converts to fat when we consume it, it facilitates fat storage. And Americans as a whole are eating more and more and more.

Trans Fat

Sources: Any foods containing ?shortening,? ?partially hydrogenated vegetable oil? or ?hydrogenated vegetable oil? in the ingredients list.

These manmade fats, like fructose, are in thousands of products. I cannot stress enough the importance of reading food labels. However, do not be fooled by products that claim ?zero trans fat?. Showing the power the edible oil and processed food industries have, the FDA agreed to allow food labels to list trans fat as zero if it contains a half a gram or less. And yes, small amounts of trans fat will yield negative consequences over time.

Decades of research show the consumption of trans fats to be detrimental to health. As early as the 1940s, researchers found a strong correlation between cancer, heart disease and the consumption of hydrogenated fats. [4]

What are trans fats? They are poison in our food supply. The latest government study confirms that trans fat is directly related with heart disease and increases LDL cholesterol. Because of that, the Institute of Medicine, a branch of the National Academy of Sciences, declared, “There is no safe amount of trans fat in the diet.? [5] ?There should be a warning on food made with this stuff like there is on nicotine products. It?s that bad for you.”, says Dr. Jeffery Aron, a University of California at San Francisco professor of medicine and one of the nation?s leading experts on fatty acids and their effect on the body. [6]

Poison is the most appropriate description of trans fat I can think of. These man-made fats are literally toxins in our bodies. Trans fat is produced through the process of hydrogenation. This process turns polyunsaturated oils into fats that are solid at room temperature, which are used to make products like margarine and shortening.

1. Mercola, J. ?Debate about the dangers of high fructose corn syrup.? Mercola.com
2. “Is lots of fructose water foolhardy? Apology, too.? Sugarshockblog.com, 13 September 2005.
3. Anand, Rajen S., ?Is fat consumption Really Decreasing?? Family Econ and Nut Rev. Summer 1998.
4. USDA Economic Research Service.
5. Severson, Kim. ?Trans fat in food: as bad as it gets. Scientists? warning likely to bring listing on nutrition labels.? San Francisco Chronicle. 11 Jan, 2002. SFGate.com
6. Severson, Kim. ?Hidden Killer, It?s trans fat. It?s dangerous. And it?s in food you eat everyday.? San Francisco Chronicle. 30 January, 2002. SFGate.com


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