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.


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.?
2. “Is lots of fructose water foolhardy? Apology, too.?, 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.
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.


Lose fat with coconuts

Unless you’ve been in a vacuum, you’re aware that the U.S. has a little bit of a weight problem. As a matter of fact, if you’re born in this country your chance of being overweight is greater than 60 percent. One of the many great benefits of coconut oil, specifically the medium chain fatty acids (MCFA) it contains, is its ability to increase energy expenditure. In other words, it increases your metabolism.

Unlike long chain fatty acids (LCFA’s), MCFA’s are processed very easily by the body. When they are consumed, MCFA’s are absorbed directly into the blood stream from the small intestines and go right to the liver. Once in the liver, they are easily burned as fuel. Because of their size and the ease in which they are processed, MCFA’s are not readily stored as fat. On the contrary, because of their size, LCFA’s are not as efficiently processed and the body prefers to store them in fat cells.

MCFA’s metabolism boosting effects have been known for decades and are heavily documented through research:

In a study, researchers compared the thermogenic effect between MCFA’s and LCFA’s after single meals. The meals of 400 calories consisted entirely of either MCFA’s or LCFA’s. The thermogenic effect of MCFA’s over six hours was three times greater than that of LCFA’s. Researchers concluded that as long as the calorie level remained constant, substituting MCFA’s for LCFA’s would result in weight loss. [1]

Farmers found that when they fed their livestock feed that contained polyunsaturated oils like soy and corn oil, animals readily gained weight. However, when they used feed that incorporated coconut oil, the animals got leaner. The main reason for this is that polyunsaturated fats suppress thyroid function, which decreases the animal’s metabolic rate. Soy oils are the worst offenders because of the goitrogens (anti thyroid substances) they contain. [2] This is what happens to us. Is it any wonder the obesity epidemic is so bad when our consumption of vegetable fats has increased more than 400%? [3]

Researchers at Vanderbilt University compared the thermogenic effect of liquid diets containing 40 percent of fat as either MCFA’s or LCFA’s. All subjects were studied for one week on each diet in a double blind, cross-over design. Resting metabolic rate did not change during the week. The thermogenic response to MCFA’s was roughly twice that of the LCFA’s. [4]

A study was published last year conducted by researchers at McGill University to evaluate existing data describing the effects of MCFA’s on energy expenditure and to determine their efficacy as agents in the treatment of obesity. They reported that several different studies have shown weight loss equivalent to 12 to 36 pounds a year simply by changing the types of oils used in everyday cooking and food preparation. Animal and human studies have shown greater energy expenditure, less body weight gain, and decreased size of fatty deposits when using MCFA’s as opposed to LCFA’s. [5]

Sources of Coconut oil:
Only use organic virgin coconut oil. I am currently using Tropical Traditions Virgin Coconut Oil. This oil is truly unrefined and made from organic coconuts. It contains a very high lauric acid content between 50 and 57 percent. I use between two and four tablespoons per day, which is what is recommended.

1. Seaton, T.B., et al. “Thermogenic effect of medium chain and long chain triglycerides in man.” Am J of Clin Nutr. 1986;44:630

2. Daniel, Kayla T. The Whole Soy Story. Washington, New Trends Publishing, 2005.

3. Enig, Mary., and Sally Fallon. “Myths and Truths about Beef.”

4. Hill, J., et al. “Thermogenesis in humans during overfeeding with medium chain triglycerides.” Metabolism. 1989 July;38(7)641-8.

5. Jones, P. “Physiological effects of medium-chain triglycerides: potential agents in the prevention of obesity.” J Nutr. 2002 March;132(3):329-32.


The fattest countries

“Behold: the world’s 10 fattest countries” a recent article published on the GlobalPost, discusses the world-wide rise in obesity and ranks the top 10 fattest countries. Although the author mentions processed food and inactivity as the causes of obesity, she fails to go into detail. I do not feel an article on the obesity epidemic is doing justice by not mentioning sugar, in particular high fructose corn syrup, or vegetable oils. These two foods, and I use the term “foods” loosely, Are increasing in use around the world as they have in the US. Vegetable oil consumption in the US, including hydrogenated oils, has increased 437%. (1) Sugar consumption went from 5 pounds per year in 1900 to 163 pounds per year today. From 1970 to the present, fructose and vegetable oil consumption have increased over four fold.(2) During this same time saturated fat has decreased over 20%.

Because we’ve decreased saturated fat consumption and increasing vegetable oil and carbohydrate consumption like the “experts” at the AMA and the ADA (American Dietetics Association) have advised for decades, you’s think we’d be getting healthier. However, we in the US are getting fatter and more unhealthy and are taking the world with us.

1. America Samoa 93.5% – percent of population that is overweight
2. Kiribati 81.5%
3. U.S. 66.7%
4. Germany 66.5%
5. Egypt 66%
6. Bosnia-Herzegovina 62.9%
7. New Zealand 62.7%
8. Isreal 61.9%
9. Croatia 61.4%
10. United Kingdom 61%


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