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.

Should you make choices for yourself or should the government make choices for you?

Sin taxes on fat and sugar? It seems several states are looking with interest at chipping away at your rights as a US citizen to decide what you eat. Or, as they the politicians put it, encouraging you to make better choices. States are so interested in your health they want to tax foods containing sugar and fat in order to steer you into a more healthy choice. Politicians want to use pricing strategies to influence what you purchase. However, they?re not sure whether subsidies or punitive taxes work best. Shall we control people by making healthier foods cheaper or unhealthy foods more expensive?

The question shouldn?t be how best can the government control our choices, but does the government have the right to do it in the first place. What else are they going to try to influence? Who decides what’s unhealthy? We see what the FDA, AMA, and food industries have already done to our food supply. Is some politician going to get a hair up his ass about sports, thinking the average American needs to start saving their money, and make sporting events tickets so expensive the average person won?t buy them? How about the type of car you drive, even though the global warming issue has been proven a scam.

This is a slippery slope and is as UN-American as progressivism. This issue has been fought for over 300 years. People fled Europe to what is now the US to get from under the control of the governments there. In the US we have a right endowed by are creator to pursue health. The Government doesn?t have the right to make that choice, or to ?encourage?, for us.

An interesting, but not surprising study was performed to see which strategy, subsidies or taxes, works best as though it?s even a choice. No matter where you stand on this topic to see how human behavior can be influenced is very interesting

Epstein and colleagues simulated a grocery store, “stocked” with images of everything from bananas and whole wheat bread to Dr. Pepper and nachos. A group of volunteers — all mothers — were given laboratory “money” to shop for a week’s groceries for the family. Each food item was priced the same as groceries at a real grocery nearby, and each food came with basic nutritional information.

The mother-volunteers went shopping several times in the simulated grocery. First they shopped with the regular prices, but afterward the researchers imposed either taxes or subsidies on the foods. That is, they either raised the prices of unhealthy foods by 12.5%, and then by 25%; or they discounted the price of healthy foods comparably. Then they watched what the mothers purchased.

The results, just published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, show that taxes were more effective in reducing calories purchased over subsides. Specifically, taxing unhealthy foods reduced overall calories purchased, while cutting the proportion of fat and carbohydrates and upping the proportion of protein in a typical week’s groceries.

By contrast, subsidizing the prices of healthy food actually increased overall calories purchased without changing the nutritional value at all. It appears that mothers took the money they saved on subsidized fruits and vegetables and treated the family to less healthy alternatives, such as chips and soda pop. Taxes had basically the opposite effect, shifting spending from less healthy to healthier choices. ScienceDaily.com

Good Calories, Bad Calories By Gary Taubes

For decades we have been taught that fat is bad for us, carbohydrates are good, and that the key to a healthy weight is eating less and exercising more. Yet with more and more people acting on this advice, we have seen unprecedented epidemics of obesity and diabetes. With seven years of research, Taubes argues persuasively that the problem lies in refined carbohydrates (white flour, sugar, easily digested starches) ?via their dramatic effect on insulin, the hormone that regulates fat accumulation?and that the key to good health is the kind of calories we take in, not the numbers. There are good calories, and bad ones. Taubes traces how the common assumption that carbohydrates are fattening was abandoned in the 1960’s when fat and cholesterol were blamed for heart disease and then?wrongly?were seen as the causes of a host of other maladies, including cancer. He shows us how these unproven hypotheses were emphatically embraced by authorities in nutrition, public health, and clinical medicine, in spite of how well-conceived clinical trials have consistently refuted them. He also documents the dietary trials of carbohydrate-restriction, which consistently show that the fewer carbohydrates we consume, the leaner we will be.

Good Calories Bad Calories is the end of the debate about the foods we consume and their effects on us.

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