The Immorality of Obesity

Last week, media mogul Rupert Murdoch pissed off a whole bunch of people with the following tweet about a woman in New York who suffered injuries when the sidewalk she was walking on collapsed out from under her.

rupert-murdoch

Obesity apologists all around the twitterverse were freaking out…hunting and pecking out expletive-filled anti-Murdoch tweets and blog posts. It was a veritable orgy of obese indignation.

And yet…it got me thinking.

  • Why is it that so many people in our society feel free to mean so damn nasty to fat people?
  • Why is it a character flaw to be fat?

We all have bad habits. We all do things that aren’t 100% healthy for our bodies.

Even personal trainers like me.

For example, this past Saturday night, I spent about 5 hours…

  • sitting on my butt
  • watching Hockey Night in Canada
  • and drinking beer with friends and having one heck of a fun evening.

Does this make me a bad person?

Would it have made me a bad person if (instead of being an uber-healthy personal trainer) I had been that 400 lb woman who fell through the sidewalk?

Maybe it’s time we create a little separation between people and their actions.

Obesity and related lifestyle medical conditions ARE a significant medical problem….costing millions and millions of dollars. But instead of being a giant A-hole like Rupert Murdoch or a Fat-Apologist like the Jezebel blogger I linked to, maybe we should focus on the actions that have led to increased rates of obesity, type-2 diabetes, heart disease, etc…

  • Maybe we have a little more sympathy for people who make poor decisions,
  • And a little less sympathy for people who exploit those bad decisions for financial & political gain

America-obesity-epidemic

Aspire Assist = Medically Assisted Bulimia

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, but we now live in a topsy-turvy world where….

  1. Obesity is a major medical and financial problem.
  2. Young girls (and now boys) are under a lot of peer pressure to NOT BE FAT.

As a result of #2, doctors tell our kids that bulimia is very, very, very bad and that instead of binging & purging, they should eat a healthy diet and be more physically active.

bulimia-2

Unfortunately, as a result of #1…

  • We have also seen an explosion in the number of people undergoing major surgery to help them lose weight, and
  • We have the creation and medical approval of the AspireAssist Aspiration Therapy System…

aspire-assist

A medical device which replaces a bulimic’s fingers with….

  1. A tube which is surgically implanted in the stomach and is attached to…
  2. A Skin-Port which is equipped with a valve which is attached to…
  3. A battery operated pump which…
  4. Sucks a portion of your stomach contents out of your gut…
  5. And mechanically vomits/poops them into your toilet.

Don’t believe me?

If that wasn’t gross enough for you…here is a real-life example of the AspireAssist Aspiration Therapy System in action.

Does anyone else see the irony here???

  • Self-directed bulimia is BAD
  • Medically-assisted bulimia is GOOD

confused-emoticon

This is quite a society we are building here. Idiocracy…here we come.

Can my friends make me fat?

Friends Don’t Let Friends Pig Out

Last night, I had a wicked craving for chicken wings.

So, after my last client, I rounded up some of my buddies, hit my favorite wing joint and cleared out my sinuses with excessive amounts of hot sauce.

While we were there, we couldn’t help overhearing the group of 20-something year old women at the next table as they laid waste to a massive pile of wings, fires, deep fried cheese, beer and fruity cooler drinks.

Impressed we were with their eating prowess…those girls could really put away the chow.

Unimpressed we were with how the ladies treated the one who stayed away from all the starchy stuff and only drank water.

  • They kept nagging at her to eat some fries and deep fried cheese sticks.
  • When she declined, they piled some on her plate.

When she didn’t eat them…

  • One of the big-eaters started to get angry and suggested that she thought she was better than them (did I mention they were drinking).

This went on for about ten minutes with all of the cheese stick eaters joining in and bombarding our heroine with different “mean girl” psychological techniques.

In the end, she gave in, ate some fries and order was restored to the group.

But it left me wondering…is this what it takes to fit in in 2012? If your friends eat like crap, do you have to eat like crap to fit in? Back in the 80’s, there was a anti-drunk driving campaign that said…

friends-dont-let-friends-dr

Maybe we need something like this to reverse the our problems with obesity, diabetes, metabolic disease, etc.

Childhood Obesity: Bruised Feelings v.s. Logic

Childhood obesity is a significant health issue in America and around the world.

Unfortunately for America’s little butterballs, they live in a world where….

  1. Everyone want quick fixes to complex problems
  2. Gov’t & NGOs think that education is the cure-all for obesity & related diseases
  3. Way too many people feel that their bruised feelings trump logic & common sense.

Exhibit #1

Minnesota Blue Cross released the following two videos as part of their ‘Better Example’ anti-obesity campaign. The gist of the videos is that parents need to start setting a better example for their kids by making healthier food choices.

Makes sense to me….parents eat junk food…kids eat junk food…parents eat healthy food…kids eat healthy food…parents are lazy…kids are lazy…parents are physically active…kids are physically active.

Monkey see Monkey do….Unfortunately, not everyone sees it this way.

Some people see this anti-obesity campaign as:

  • A personal attack directed at them

I know no one will ever believe me when I say this, so fine. Whatever. But since, apparently, this isn’t evident even among health professionals churning out ad campaigns, I do not fucking eat chocolate cereal and buckets of ice cream. Here is what I actually do: Pretty much every morning before work I walk 1.1 miles uphill to a coffee shop, which is across the street from the organic co-op where I do all my grocery shopping. I eat normal, human amounts of unprocessed, fresh, largely local foods. I have no mobility problems. I have flawless cholesterol and blood pressure. I never get colds, I have never been hospitalized. I have a great job, I make a good living, I’m in an incredibly happy relationship. Sometimes I eat dessert, sometimes I don’t. I pay taxes. I take care of my family. I do not commit crimes. I’m nice to strangers. In general, I think you could say that I contribute more to the world than I take out of it.

And I’m a fucking epidemic? I’m a problem?

You have the gall to make generalizations about my life because, in your eyes, I superficially resemble a massive, diverse swath of the population whose lives you’ve also deigned to generalize? Whose complex, painful, messy, joyous lives you’ve boiled down to, “Har har too many Cheetos”? Please.

Even if I did eat a bucket of pancake-flavored ice cream for breakfast, burrito ice cream for lunch, and salisbury steak ice cream for dinner (OMPH GROMPH GROMPH), I still shouldn’t have to justify my existence to the world in the way I just did. But the fact that I exist, and I am not the sinister straw-fatty pictured in the above commercial—doesn’t it seem likely that there are other fat people like me out there who also aren’t lying about their lifestyles? And in that case, isn’t this commercial FUCKING USELESS NONSENSE? Congratulations! You guys totally “got serious” and took down not-the-problem-at-all.

Lindy West – Jezebel

  • Systemic prejudice against obese people

There have always been fat people. There are fat people like me, who hardly ever eat any processed foods. There are fat people with glandular issues. There are disabled fat people who would love to exercise but can’t. There are healthy fat people. And sure, there are fat people who—fuck it—just really really like Cheetos. Guess what? Those people are allowed to exist too! There are a million different kinds of fat people in the world because FAT PEOPLE ARE PEOPLE. And kids are people. And if your solution to this “problem” is telling already vulnerable fat kids that they’re an epidemic that’s ruining the world, then fuck you.

Sheeeeesh…what a cry-baby.

She actually makes some cogent arguments about how America’s food production & distribution companies need to accept responsibility for creating an obesogenic marketplace, but she totally blows it by whining about how mean everyone is being to her.

The Facts…as I see ’em

  • Obesity is caused by a mixture of nature & nurture
  • We can’t do anything about nature – your DNA is your DNA – deal with it
  • We can do something about nurture – develop Health Habits
  • The world is full of a-holes who like to insult people based on their obesity, skin color, sexuality, height, lack of hair, abundance of hair, clothing, musical preferences, etc…

Quit acting like a victim, take responsibility for your life and grow a thicker skin

Reference

45 Reasons Why America is Obese

America…like other countries… is getting fatter day after day after day. And if you listen to the mainstream media / medical “experts”, most will tell you that it’s all about Calories in vs Calories Out. A small minority will reference the power of insulin while some obesity-apologists will blame their DNA.

So, I raise the question….Is there a one size fits all cause and/or cure for obesity?

Or are there a whole bunch of factors coming together to create America’s obesity epidemic?

To aid in the discussion, I have put together a partial list of the factors that I think influence human obesity.

45 Unique Causes of Obesity

Food

  • Quantity of food – Calories
  • Quantity of food – Volume
  • Type and Quality of food – Macronutrients – Carbs, Fat, Protein
  • Type and Quality of food – MicronutrientsVitamins, Minerals, Enzymes, Phytochemicals, etc…
  • Type and Quality of food – Nutrient Density v.s Caloric Density
  • Your beliefs and emotions regarding food – food as pleasure, food as fuel
  • Dining habits – eat on the run vs sit down dinner

Pizza Hut Hot Dog stuffed crust pizza

 

Next Page – Your Body…

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Stop Sugarcoating Childhood Obesity

The State of Georgia has created an anti-childhood obesity program that has upset various:

  • fat-acceptance groups
  • anti-obesity advocates, and
  • child-protection experts

They’re concerned that the print/tv/online ads used in this campaign will backfire and cause obese kids to face increased bullying and result in lower self-esteem, depression, and even worse eating behaviors…resulting in even greater levels of obesity and decreased levels of overall health.

And they might be right…if these ads were the only tool being used by the people at Strong4Life.

But it isn’t…as explained during this interview on The Today Show

  • Phase 1 is designed to grab attention…which it has done.
  • Phase 1 is designed to help parents understand that childhood obesity has very real consequences upon the health and happiness of their children
  • Phase 1 is NOT about solutions.

The solutions being proposed by Strong4Life come in Phases 2 & 3.

Hopefully they’ll be spending just as much money and receiving just as much media attention on their message of healthy eating and increased physical activity.

Dr. Oz vs Childhood Obesity

Yesterday Dr. Oz asked a very controversial question: Is Child Obesity a form of Child Abuse?

And for a big health & fitness geek like myself, it was must-see tv.

  • We had “experts” blaming the parents,
  • We had parents blaming society,
  • We had experts advocating that courts should remove obese kids from their parents’ care,
  • We had other experts arguing that this would mess the kids up even more.
  • They talked about penalizing “bad” parents by removing child tax credits.
  • They talked about the hypocrisy of overweight adults telling other overweight adults that they are bad parents because their kids are overweight.
  • We even had one mom who felt that she shouldn’t have to stop eating bags of M&Ms just because her kid was fat.

In short, Dr. Oz took an incredibly complex issue and compressed it neatly into one hour of self-help tv. Not exactly enough time for a thorough examination of the issue, but it was a start.

And luckily for some parents, Dr. Oz has found a solution for America’s overweight children – The Wellspring Academy

Where for $78,000 per year, your obese child can:

  • learn all about healthy nutrition,
  • get plenty of exercise
  • receive psychological & lifestyle counselling
  • and lose a ton of weight

Too bad about the $78,000 per year pricetag.

If only some smart guy like Doctor Oz could think of a way to lower the cost and make it more accessible for those Americans without gold plated health insurance or a spare $78,000.

How about this?

  • What if we start by taking one public school in each big city and turn it into a charter school focused on promoting a healthy lifestyle and reducing the obesity levels of their students?
  • What if we re-install P.E. class?  We used to have teachers who knew how to teach P.E.
  • What if we re-install Home Ec class? – focusing on the most effective diet for weight loss and improving health.  We used to have teachers who knew how to do that.
  • With those two bases covered, all we need to add is the psychological/lifestyle counselling component of the Wellspring program. Perhaps the good people at Wellspring would be willing to make a few hundred million dollars by rolling out this part of their concept in public schools all across the country.

We already have the infrastructure.

We already have (or used to have) the P.E. and Home Ec teachers.

We’re already paying for the medical costs associated with childhood and adult obesity.

Why not redirect some of that medical spending towards prevention?

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Let me know what you think

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If you’re interested, I have added links to the videos from Dr. Oz’s show.

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Is It Child Abuse to Have a Fat Child? Pt 1.

Is It Child Abuse to Have a Fat Child? Pt 2.

Is It Child Abuse to Have a Fat Child? Pt 3.

Is It Child Abuse to Have a Fat Child? Pt 4.

>Is It Child Abuse to Have a Fat Child? Pt 5.

Win the Fight Against Child Obesity, Pt 1.

Win the Fight Against Child Obesity, Pt 2.

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Did he NEED to Eat that Cookie?

Last week, one of my clients told me that he had “pretty much” stuck to his “diet” except for that one day at the office when one of his employees brought in a tray of homemade cookies…and he had been having a really stressful day…and he didn’t want to insult her….and he was starving….and he needed to eat that cookie.

NEEDED to EAT that COOKIE

  • Didn’t want to eat that cookie
  • Didn’t choose to eat that cookie
  • Didn’t make the conscious decision to eat that cookie

He needed to eat that cookie.

I had to call bullshit on that.

  • He wanted to eat that cookie. So, he ate it.
  • And then he lied to himself about why he ate the damn cookie.
  • And then he lied to me about why he ate the damn cookie.

This is a 50-something year old, very, very successful businessman. If I told you his name, most of you would recognize it. Not exactly the kind of person who had to eat a cookie. And he knows that.

He knows that he didn’t need to eat a bunch of cookies.

  • He needs to breathe oxygen
  • He needs to drink water
  • He needs to eat food
  • He needs to move his body

But he doesn’t need to eat cookies. He wants to eat cookies.

And that’s okay. He’s a grown man who is busting his ass to regain his health & fitness. Even during his transformation from fat to fit, an occasional cookie isn’t the end of the world.

Perfection isn’t required.

Eat the damn cookie. But eat it because you want to eat it.

Women, Food and God

Every once in a while, I do a review of a product or book that I like.

Today’s post is a review of Geneen Roth’s latest book – Women, Food and God.

And I am willing to bet that my review will probably be the only one written by a great big muscley 245 lb health & fitness blogger.

I am not exactly Ms. Roth’s target demographic.

And that’s okay.

Because, even though I wasn’t interested in the new-agey Oprah-esque multi-denominational God speak, this book struck me as being a powerful tool for every person who:

  1. Eats when they’re not hungry
  2. Eats too much food when they’re not hungry
  3. And beats the heck out of themselves for eating too much food when they’re not hungry

And that’s a heck of a lot of people.

In this book, Ms. Roth offers up her own unique version of mindfulness training as a way to not only help her readers regain control over their disordered eating patterns, but also by understanding why they eat the way they do, regain control over the thoughts, feelings and preconceptions that led them to overeating in the first place.

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Note

At least once a week, I get an email or comment from someone telling me that successful weight loss is as simple as “eat less & move more”.

I used to rebut these simplistic comments by launching into a spiel about disordered thoughts, emotions, brain chemicals, hormones, neural plasticity, etc…

But, not any longer.

The mind is quickly becoming the new frontier in obesity treatment. And as that frontier is examined, outdated beliefs such as calories in/calories out will eventually die off as being too simplistic.

And even if Ms. Roth’s new-agey approach may not be everyone’s cup of tea, the principles behind her approach are worthy of a serious look by anyone unhappy with the current relationship with food.

If that’s you, pick up a copy at your local library (free) or from amazon ($13)

For more info, I have included a video of Geneen discussing her book.

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HUGE – TV for the Obesity Generation

A potentially interesting new show is premiering tonight on the ABC Family network.

Based on a young adult novel by Sasha Paley, Huge stars Hairspray‘s Nikki Blonsky as Wil (short for Wilhelmina), an angry teen banished to fat camp.

According to the promo material, Wil enters Camp Victory resolved to gain whatever weight her parents hope her to lose because, as she informs head mistress Dr. Rand ( Gina Torres), she is “down with my fat … my fat and I are BFFs.”

…her…and her fat…are BFFs…..

…me…and my eyes…rolled…and dismissed this show as one of those olde fashioned movies of the week where the moral of the story is that everybody is perfect in their own unique and special way and…blech.

http://widgets.vodpod.com/w/video_embed/Video.3918436

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But then, I read that the show was developed by Winnie Holzman (My So-Called Life). And as much as teenage girl angst tv shows have never been my particular cup of tea, I remember that My So-Called Life was admired by critics & fans alike during it’s run in the 90s.

So, I read a few more reviews.

According to the LA Times:

“Huge” creators Savannah Dooley and Winnie Holzman ( “My So-Called Life”) do not judge fat kids, but neither do they over-sentimentalize them. A panoply of personalities comes together at Camp Victory, proving that fat is only a physical description, and the writers take their time establishing character and story.

Will comes out of the box with standard-issue defiance, but eventually she emerges as neither rebel nor its typical antithesis, defensive victim. She and all the other characters are somewhere in between, actual people, girls and boys, who, for a variety of reasons, have developed a pattern of self-soothing and self-delusion that has pushed them into obesity.

If nothing else, “Huge” proves that big kids — the ones normally relegated to third banana in a teen or tween comedy — can act. The performances range from solid to downright inspired, and Blonsky has no trouble carrying early episodes.

The New York Times said:

Purely as a visual, “Huge” is remarkable for its presentation of a cast of teenagers, none of whom are skinny or conventionally beautiful, and for the deftly detailed rendering of the ritual humiliations of imposed weight loss. But in truth the series can go only so far because a real sanctioning of teenage obesity would feel like a renewed condoning of the subprime mortgage market. Will is by no means a happy girl; she longs for parental approval, and implicitly we understand that if she had it, she wouldn’t be fighting the world one pint of ice cream at a time. Ultimately the message that only the discontented plunge their spoons ever deeper into the sundae remains intact.

Hmmmmm

Now I’m conflicted.

  1. I still don’t like teenage girl angst tv shows, but
  2. I am intrigued by a show about childhood obesity that goes beyond “eat less & move more”

So, I guess I will be watching tonight.

Review to follow.

Oprah Ain't Gonna Diet No More

No she isn’t.

Oprah has given up on dieting after reading  Women Food and God, the latest book by Geneen Roth.

And, if history holds true, millions and millions of women may soon be putting down their diet books and picking up this new approach to mindful eating.

At the present time, I am waiting on a copy of this book to be delivered, so I can’t give you a complete review.

But, I am a big fan of mindful eating as a powerful weight loss tool.

So, you can wait for the review or you can take a chance, spend $15 and see if Oprah & Geneen are onto something here.

The following video should give you a pretty good idea of what the book is about

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Losing Weight is Simple…but it ain't easy

I just about got my butt kicked at the gym this weekend…by a 50-something, morbidly obese woman with a fetish for unproductive cardio workouts.

Here’s what happened.

After finishing my workout, I was chatting with some other gym members about the best ways to lose weight, get fit, etc.

During the conversation, I made the unfortunate decision to proclaim that losing weight is simple, but not easy.

Bad move on my part. Little did I know that our conversation was being overheard by the aforementioned 50-something morbidly obese cardio junkie.

And after hearing my comment, she decided to join the conversation. Unfortunately, she pretty much went nuclear.

I couldn’t make out much of what she was saying due to all the screaming and profanity, but I think the gist of it was that:

  1. I didn’t know what I was talking about
  2. She had “fat” genetics and her obesity wasn’t her fault
  3. I was prejudiced against overweight people
  4. and then the profanity started again.

The entire gym stopped…and watched…Fun times.

Luckily for me, I was so blissed out on my post-workout endorphins, that this verbal onslaught had little effect on my good mood, and I was able to weather the storm. And, with the help of the other gym members, we calmed her down and she actually started to listen.

Over the next 20 minutes, we discussed a lot of the lies and half-truths surrounding weight loss.

I explained that successful weight loss is as simple as:

  1. Choosing an effective nutrition program
  2. Choosing an effective exercise program
  3. Learning how to control destructive thoughts & emotions.

But, it is learning how to control those thoughts and emotions that makes successful weight loss nearly impossible for a lot of people.

Ergo…simple, but not easy. And, believe it or not, 20 minutes after it all started, Ms. Angry Cardio Junkie and I were hugging it out…which was a little gross considering she had just finished 80 minutes of cardio.

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Drink more soda…it’s good for you

Not everyone is happy with the anti-obesity/anti-soda ad produced by the NYC Dept of Health.

soda obesity nyc

And it isn’t just the people who lost their lunches after seeing that globby/fatty/veiny cup of goo.

It’s groups like the Center for Consumer Freedom.

In fact, the CCF was so upset, that they produced their own rebuttal ad and had it printed in the New York Times

you are too stupid consumer freedom

BTW, a full page ad in the Times costs upwards of $158,004.

$158,004

And we’re not even including the costs associated with creating the ad.

We’re talking big money.

BIG MONEY

And thinking about that big money awakened the skeptic in me. And that inner skeptic started thinking…who is the Center for Consumer Freedom and why are they spending a ton of money defending our freedoms against anti-cola advertisements?

So, I did a little research into the CCF.

My findings?

Apparently, there are a lot of people who don’t like the CCF.

To them, the CCF is nothing but a front group for the restaurant, alcohol and tobacco industries.

It runs media campaigns which oppose the efforts of scientists, doctors, health advocates, environmentalists and groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving, calling them “the Nanny Culture — the growing fraternity of food cops, health care enforcers, anti-meat activists, and meddling bureaucrats who ‘know what’s best for you.’ ”

Over 40 percent of the group’s 2005 expenditure was paid to Rick Berman’s PR company, Berman & Co. for “management services. As part of its operations CCF runs a series of attack websites.

Sourcewatch

But, don’t take their word for it….Check out the “attack” websites

And, if that ain’t enough, watch this video…

Or listen to the man himself as Rick Berman is interviewed by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow…

So, what do you think?

Is Rick Berman…

  • standing up for your freedom against the American nanny state?
  • or is he spinning lies in order to promote the interests of his anonymous donors?

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Reference

Doctors Ignore Obesity

dr-julius-hibbert

So, how come “many overweight patients are not being advised to lose weight, diet, or exercise”.

In fact, when it comes to medical intervention in cases of obesity, the numbers are as follows:

  1. Having a doctor tell the patient about the health problems associated with being overweight (48.0%),
  2. Suggesting diet and exercise (46.5%),
  3. Referring the patient to a formal diet program (5.2%),
  4. Prescribing a weight loss medication (4.0%),
  5. Recommending a non-prescription weight loss product (1.8%),
  6. Recommending stomach bypass surgery (1.5%).

I don’t know about you, but considering that obesity is fast becoming the western world’s #1 health issue, I think that the global medical community should be taking obesity prevention/treatment much more seriously.

I don’t know if it’s a lack of knowledge or the threat of discrimination lawsuits or the frustration of being ignored by obese patients over and over and over, but if we want to reverse the tide of obesity related disease, real steps need to be taken.

The time for talk is over.

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Just in case America isn’t fat enough…

taco bell fourth meal

As the debate over President Obama’s healthcare proposal rages on, Taco Bell continues to give Americans exactly what they crave….melty, crunchy, spicy and heart attack inducing.

I especially love the tagline at the end…

taco bell it's not just food fourth meal

Of course, I would change it just a little bit.

taco bell not real food

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Recipe for a Fat Man

Matt McClain - Rocky Mountain News
Matt McClain - Rocky Mountain News

Reading the comments from my last two posts (here and here), I was struck by the very strong, yet very different opinions about the cause(s) of obesity.

Some people believe in ye olde Calories in vs Calories Out theory, while others believe in the power of insulin while others blame their DNA.

So, I raise the question….Is there a one size fits all cause / cure for obesity?

Or are there a whole bunch of factors coming together to create America’s obesity epidemic?

To aid in the discussion, I have put together a list of the factors that I think influence human obesity.

Feel free to comment/criticize or add to the list

Determinants of Obesity

bigfatburger.

Food

  • Quantity of food – Calories
  • Quantity of food – Volume
  • Type and Quality of food – Macronutrients – Carbs, Fat, Protein
  • Type and Quality of food – MicronutrientsVitamins, Minerals, Enzymes, Phytochemicals, etc…
  • Type and Quality of food – Nutrient Density v.s Caloric Density
  • Your beliefs and emotions regarding food – food as pleasure, food as fuel
  • Dining habits – eat on the run vs sit down dinner

Your Body

Your Life

Physical Activity

As you can see, there are a lot of factors that influence obesity.

I didn’t even get into all of the bleeding edge obesity research.

The search for an obesity cure never ends. Just today, there were two new obesity discoveries (here and here). Tomorrow, there will probably be two more.

But for now, I think we have enough on our plate.

BTW, feel free to critique or add to the list.

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Having trouble sticking to your diet?

Summer. The weather is warm, the steaks are sizzling on the bbq, the beer is flowing and the last thing you want to think about is sticking to your diet.

beach party

If this sounds like you, read on…

According to a new study, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and obesity are on the rise in Canadians of all ages. (same goes for you non-Canadians)

It’s so bad that for the first time in 2 centuries, Canadians can expect to die earlier than their parents. And why, you may ask are more and more of us dropping like flys on a bug zapper?

Because we are fat.

fat canadian

The authors of the study found that hypertension and diabetes are increasing most in those who were obese or overweight.

“Projections suggest that the rising prevalence of obesity in the current generation of adolescents will increase the prevalence of coronary heart disease by 5 to 16% in 2035, and may for the first time in 2 centuries significantly reduce life expectancy in the 21st century,” state Dr. Douglas Lee of the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences.

Obesity = Hypertension = Diabetes = Heart Disease = An Early Death

And just in case you still feel like reaching for another handful of nacho chips…

This couple loves to eat nachos & donuts & pizza & ice cream
This couple loves to eat nachos & donuts & pizza & ice cream
This couple doesn't
This couple doesn’t

Your choice

Biggest Loser + Dancing with the Stars + Big Brother = Dance Your Ass Off

dance your ass off banner

Coming to a tv set near you…. twelve contestants weighing nearly 3,000 lbs…..with one common goal….. “to go from an eating machine to a dancing machine…. in Oxygen’s new dance/weight loss competition series Dance Your Ass Off, hosted by TONY Award®-winning actress Marissa Jaret Winokur“.

Marissa Jaret Winokur
Marissa Jaret Winokur

Bringing dance and diet together, Dance Your Ass Off features talented, full-figured contestants who will have to lose to win.

Each contestant is paired with a professional dance partner who will train him or her for weekly stage performances — ranging from Hip Hop, to Ballroom and even Pole Dancing!

Then they shake and rattle their rolls in front of a live studio audience and a panel of expert judges.

The judges score the routines, and then the contestants weigh in to reveal their weekly weight loss. The dance score and the weight loss are combined for an overall score, which determines who is sent home each week.

….and the winner of the show gets $100,000

Of course, in addition to their professional dance partner, the contestants are provided with their own individual lofts, a doctor, nutritionist, fitness trainer, choreographer, costume designer, Photoshop expert and a “well-stocked common room that features an “eat” cabinet full of fruits and healthy snacks, and a “cheat” cabinet full of doughnuts, potato chips and candy bars.

dance your ass off cast

So, here’s my question:

As the contestants “shake and rattle their rolls” towards health, fitness and $100,000, are we supposed to be laughing with them….

….or laughing at them?

hahahahahahahaha….white people dancing

Anyway, the show starts tonight on the Oxygen network.

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If you like what you see here, click here for updates

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Say bye-bye to stress

We all have stress in our lives. Job stress, school stress, family stress, economic stress, the stress of your daily commute, etc…

And how we deal with that stress can have a huge impact on our health.

Some of us direct that stress outward.

johnny cash finger

While others turn it back onto ourselves.

stress relief

Well, today’s post is for those self-flagellators who tend to beat themselves up with all of life’s little stresses.

According to a new study, with just 5 days of practice, test subjects learned how to perform IBMT ( integrated body-mind techniques) and were able to:

Your brain on meditation
Your brain on meditation
  • Reduce their levels of cortisol – the stress hormone
  • Improve blood flow and electrical activity in their brains
  • Improve their quality of breathing
  • Reduce their levels of anxiety
  • Reduce their levels of depression
  • Reduce their levels of anger
  • Reduce their levels of fatigue, and
  • “create a state of ah, much like in the morning opening your eyes, looking outside the grass and sunshine, you feel relaxed, calm and refresh without any stress”

christy-turlington-meditation

So, what is IBMT?

IBMT is a combination of several body–mind techniques including:

  1. body relaxation,
  2. breath adjustment,
  3. mental imagery, and
  4. mindfulness training, accompanied with selected music background.

In the study, subjects followed an instructional compact disc with body posture adjustment, breathing practice, guided imagery, and mindfulness training accompanied by a music background.

The sessions lasted 20 minutes each day for 5 days. Which is a pretty minor time commitment…to make yourself HAPPY.

For all of you super-geeks, here is a pdf copy of the complete study.Say bye-bye to 

Reference

Your brain on meditation

Your brain on meditation
Your brain on meditation

We all have stress in our lives.

Job stress, school stress, family stress, economic stress, the stress of your daily commute, etc…

And how we deal with that stress can have a huge impact on our health.

Some of us direct that stress outward.

johnny cash finger

While others turn it back onto ourselves.

stress relief

Well, today’s post is for those self-flagellators who tend to beat themselves up with all of life’s little stresses.

According to a new study, with just 5 days of practice, test subjects learned how to perform IBMT ( integrated body-mind techniques) and were able to:

  • Reduce their levels of cortisol – the stress hormone
  • Improve blood flow and electrical activity in their brains
  • Improve their quality of breathing
  • Reduce their levels of anxiety
  • Reduce their levels of depression
  • Reduce their levels of anger
  • Reduce their levels of fatigue, and
  • “create a state of ah, much like in the morning opening your eyes, looking outside the grass and sunshine, you feel relaxed, calm and refresh without any stress”

christy-turlington-meditation

.

So, what is IBMT?

IBMT is a combination of several body–mind techniques including:

  1. body relaxation,
  2. breath adjustment,
  3. mental imagery, and
  4. mindfulness training, accompanied with selected music background.

In the study, subjects followed an instructional compact disc with body posture adjustment, breathing practice, guided imagery, and mindfulness training accompanied by a music background.

The sessions lasted 20 minutes each day for 5 days.

20 minutes x 5 days?

Hmmmm

Where do I sign up?

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If you like what you see here, click here for updates


For all of you super-geeks, here is a pdf copy of the complete study.

.

Related Posts

Reference

Future Trends in Global Obesity

obesity_chart1

A couple of weeks ago, the OECD (Organisaton for Economic Co-operation and Development) released a working paper entitled:

The Obesity Epidemic: Analysis of Past and Projected Future Trends in Selected OECD Countries

In that paper, the OECD has brought together the most accurate data on the current state of obesity in its member countries.

For those of you interested in health, obesity and staring at pages and pages of graphs and charts, prepare to enjoy.

And for those of us who aren’t so graph-inclined, I have taken it upon myself to crunch the numbers for you.

And what I found most interesting was that there was an obvious difference in the obesity trends between one group of countries and a second group of countries.

Group #1

Group #1 consists of Australia, Canada, England and the United States.

I grouped these four countries together because they represent phase 1 of the globalization of the Western Diet.

The people of these countries were the first to:

  • Replace real food with junk food
  • Replace water with Coca Cola
  • Replace whole grains with Wonder bread
  • Replace walkable communities with SUV required suburbs

As a result of their early adoption of this lifestyle, their current and future levels of obesity are much different than the other countries surveyed by the OECD.

If you look at the graphs below, you will see that:

  1. Group 1 countries can expect a substantial further increase in obesity.
  2. Conversely, the percentage of simply overweight citizens should level off or even decline.

A closer look at the statistics from these countries shows that the “numbers of individuals in the lower sections of the overweight range have been decreasing sharply in these countries, while numbers of individuals in the upper section of the overweight range have been increasing.”

These changes are projected to broadly offset each other, leading to stable or slightly decreasing overweight rates.

So, what do all of these numbers mean?

It means that in these countries, the chubby population is disappearing. Overweight people are either getting fit and dropping back down into the healthy weight category, or graduating to full fledged obesity or even morbid obesity.

Maybe the animators at Pixar had it right?

wall-e-chub-chub

Obesity Trends – Group #1

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United States of America

Obesity trends - USA
Obesity trends - USA

Canada

Obesity trends - Canada
Obesity trends - Canada

England

Obesity trends - England
Obesity trends - England

Australia

Obesity Projections - Australia

Group #2

Unlike Group #1, the obesity rates for Group #2 countries are projected to grow at a relatively slow pace.

However, their overweight rates are expected to increase at a much faster pace…especially South Korea.

Why the difference?

Even though there is not enough data to conclusively prove it, the general assumption is that Group #2 countries are simply at an earlier stage in the progression of obesity caused by the Western Diet/Lifestyle.

They are simply becoming overweight as a precursor to their evolution into full blown obesity.

Obesity Trends – Group #2

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France

Obesity trends - France
Obesity trends - France

Italy

Obesity trends - Italy
Obesity trends - Italy

Austria

Obesity trends - Austria
Obesity trends - Austria

South Korea

Obesity trends - Korea
Obesity trends - Korea

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If you like what you see here, click here for updates or Share this Post with the rest of the world.

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Reference

OECD Health Working Papers
No. 45,  20/03/2009, English, 82 pages, doi: 10.1787/225215402672
The Obesity Epidemic: Analysis of Past and Projected Future Trends in Selected OECD Countries
Franco Sassi1; Marion Devaux1; Michele Cecchini; Elena Rusticelli1

1: OECD, France

Weight Loss or Fat Loss?

Do you want to lose weight?…or do you want to lose fat?

There’s a big difference between the two.

If you want to lose WEIGHT:

If you want to lose FAT:

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