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Are We Really Fatter Nowadays?

Anome

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Mythopoeika said:
Spookdaddy said:
Mythopoeika said:
My gran on my father's side lived to 98 and she was as fat as a barrel.

Doesn't tell us much - was she skinny as a pin, or firkin huge?

Firkin huge, man. Being fat didn't shorten her life.
You don't know that. She might have lived to 203 if she'd been thinner.
 

Mythopoeika

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Anome_ said:
Mythopoeika said:
Spookdaddy said:
Mythopoeika said:
My gran on my father's side lived to 98 and she was as fat as a barrel.

Doesn't tell us much - was she skinny as a pin, or firkin huge?

Firkin huge, man. Being fat didn't shorten her life.
You don't know that. She might have lived to 203 if she'd been thinner.

Yeah, right. :lol:
 

Ria13

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within the past year I saw a snippet on YouTube from a documentary about New York City street life in the 1970s or 1980s. I think it had to do with petty criminals. one thing struck me while watching it, though: no morbidly overweight people in evidence. no one overweight at all.

do an experiment... trawl through YouTube and look for street scenes from the 1960s through the 1990s. see if the people don't look a lot slimmer.
 

oldrover

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There was an interesting BBC documentary (might have been C4) the other day about how the rise in obesity, and yes we definitely are getting fatter, was linked to an agricultural policy under the Nixon administration regarding corn overproduction and it's uses for sweetened corn syrup.
 

Mythopoeika

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Yes, the corn syrup is used in quite a lot of things, especially in America.
Coca-Cola uses it in the USA formulation, whereas just sugar is used in the UK version.
From the 70s onwards, sugar and corn syrup was added to all kinds of foodstuffs. It's in a lot of stuff we buy ready-made. Before the 70s there was less pre-packaged, processed food, so people didn't get as many carbs as they do now.
 

Analogue Boy

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Not really surprising at all. Working mums having been reared on a diet of Mc Donalds with no time to prepapre anything but processed food for the kids. That food containing so much syrup sugar washed down with a coke.

Have you seen how much sugar is used to sweeten a pizza?
Have you seen that ad for a KFC bucket of grub for under a tenner?


As for the question are we really getting fatter? I know I am. I should get out more. The government should suggest I get on a bike.
 

oldrover

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jimv1 said:
As for the question are we really getting fatter? I know I am. I should get out more. The government should suggest I get on a bike.

Yes they should but they won't, apathetic sods.
 

Mythopoeika

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oldrover said:
jimv1 said:
As for the question are we really getting fatter? I know I am. I should get out more. The government should suggest I get on a bike.

Yes they should but they won't, apathetic sods.

It may be because Tebbitt is in the House of Lords now, and he doesn't feel the need to make annoying pronouncements.
 

DrRic55

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Yes, we are really fatter these days.

Regarding the Victorians, its worth remembering that anyone who could get their photo taken wasn't really representative. Poor people still starved in the UK until relatively recently.

And yes, being fat is not good for you. And there is a ton of evidence, go do some searches on Pubmed if you want. Lots and lots and lots of boring, but highly factual peer reviewed studies waiting for you.

It is worth pointing out however that doctors work from a sort of law of averages. All they can really tell you when they say "you need to lose 10 lbs" is "out of 100 people like you, most of them would be a small but significant amount healthier if they lost 10 lbs".

A minority of people will be overweight and not experience health problems. But most will. You may have the genes to get away with it, so being "overweight" may indeed be natural for some people. Unfortunately more run into an increased risk of serious problems like heart disease and diabetes.

Its worth pointing out that the science is getting more nuanced. A recent study found that people at age 60 who dieted had worse life expectancy, than overweight people who maintained their weight. So if you reach old age chubby, don't change anything.

To repeat though, all these things are about playing the averages. Its expensive, but you can now start to get labs to test your genes. It will only become more common. Within the next few decades we may well know a lot better which people can healthily carry extra weight, and those for whom its a death sentence.
 

drbastard

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But you aren't going to solve the obesity epidemic by talking down to people. Most fat people are well acquainted with the laws of thermodynamics and know well enough they are risking their health. They need practical help, not a science lecture*

*Maybe money off gym membership or something along those lines?
 

escargot

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A recent study found that people at age 60 who dieted had worse life expectancy, than overweight people who maintained their weight.

I wonder if this is because they're dieting to ease an existing health problem, which eventually kills them anyway?

It reminds me of the fallacy about more teetotallers dying than moderate drinkers, which appears to prove that drinking is a healthier habit than not drinking.

The more likely explanation is that the teetotallers may have been forced to stop drinking by ill-health and are therefore going to die sooner anyway.
 

SHAYBARSABE

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drbastard said:
Maybe money off gym membership or something along those lines?

And from where does the time come from to go to the gym?

"But's only for a 1/2 hour each day!" I've heard.

Yeah, right. Changing clothes, getting there, exercising, getting back, etc.

I've also heard that walking around for 5 minutes each hour increases fitness. Okay. Somebody tell my boss, because I guarantee that being absent from the desk for 5 minutes each hour isn't on her list of acceptable office practices.

Then, there're the "knowledgable" who state that a little bit of exercise is no good--might as well not bother.

Oh, that's helpful. Discourage people.

You know that sweet corn is probably a major factor in obesity. You know that cattle are fed sweet corn. You know that many, many workers are treated as if they were cattle.

Right.

(Bye the way, it looks like the sweet corn crop is going to fail in the USA this year. The consequences might be interesting.)
 

rynner2

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DrRic55 said:
So if you reach old age chubby, don't change anything.
Well, that's a nice, positive thought! 8)

I'll mention it to my doctor next time... ;)
 

ramonmercado

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rynner2 said:
DrRic55 said:
So if you reach old age chubby, don't change anything.
Well, that's a nice, positive thought! 8)

I'll mention it to my doctor next time... ;)

Hows your cholesterol levels Ryn? I'm not supposed to eat cheese at all,but every so often I cave in and have a lasagne.

Its not just the weight, its how healthy you are otherwise. You seem to do your best to get exercise.
 

rynner2

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ramonmercado said:
Hows your cholesterol levels Ryn? I'm not supposed to eat cheese at all,but every so often I cave in and have a lasagne.

Its not just the weight, its how healthy you are otherwise. You seem to do your best to get exercise.
Cholesterol level doesn't bother me much - even the NHS Nazis fail to fault me on that! ('Marginal' is the worst they can come up with! :twisted: )

As for exercise, I'm in a classic Catch 22 situation: I can't exercise as much as I used to because of the arthritis in my knees. So my weight goes up, which puts more strain on my knees, so I can't exercise as much as I used to... etc, etc, :(
 

MorningAngel

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I want to know where all these fat kids are because they aren't around my way. Most look perfectly normal with the occasional larger kid, which is nothing new. Are they all somewhere else? Or has the BMI nonsense gone too far, coming up with ridiculous scales, and setting the bar too low? I've seen it on TV kids told they are overweight when they look perfectly normal.
 

Coal

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Cholesterol level doesn't bother me much - even the NHS Nazis fail to fault me on that! ('Marginal' is the worst they can come up with! :twisted: )

As for exercise, I'm in a classic Catch 22 situation: I can't exercise as much as I used to because of the arthritis in my knees. So my weight goes up, which puts more strain on my knees, so I can't exercise as much as I used to... etc, etc, :(
'Snap' on both counts.:)
 

Mythopoeika

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I want to know where all these fat kids are because they aren't around my way. Most look perfectly normal with the occasional larger kid, which is nothing new. Are they all somewhere else? Or has the BMI nonsense gone too far, coming up with ridiculous scales, and setting the bar too low? I've seen it on TV kids told they are overweight when they look perfectly normal.
There is a certain amount of this going on, yes. There are plenty of perfectly normal-looking, fit kids being told they're overweight.
It's because the BMI test is broken.
 

Peripart

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I had an NHS health review this week, and the nurse did soften the news of my BMI reading (29, since you ask) with the opinion that it was only a rough guideline. I think she had been slightly taken aback when I hopped on the scales - I think she'd underestimated my weight by a good 10kg! I know that phrases such as "big boned" are sometimes euphemistically used for "fat" but there is some truth in them. I'm never going to be skinny, and the best diet in the world would still leave me a good stone or more heavier than someone my height but with a naturally smaller frame.

Anyway, the good news was that my blood pressure, blood sugar, kidney function etc were all excellent, so the extra few pounds don't appear to be doing me too much harm! Apart from "lose a bit of weight", the only advice I came away with was to try and eat breakfast every day...
 

Ulalume

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I want to know where all these fat kids are because they aren't around my way. Most look perfectly normal with the occasional larger kid, which is nothing new. Are they all somewhere else? Or has the BMI nonsense gone too far, coming up with ridiculous scales, and setting the bar too low? I've seen it on TV kids told they are overweight when they look perfectly normal.

Around here, I haven't noticed more fat among the youth, but I have noticed a changing body type. Back when I was young, seems like most everyone was tall, thin and lanky, but now the young people are mostly short and stocky. Not necessarily fat, but with a broad shouldered, square build.

This is a resort town, so thousands of kids/teens pass through here every summer, and the change has been quite noticeable. I keep wondering if it's something like hormones in meat or milk that caused it.
 

Min Bannister

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I want to know where all these fat kids are because they aren't around my way. Most look perfectly normal with the occasional larger kid, which is nothing new.

There are certainly plenty around me. I see herds of them around schools, their skeletons buckling under all the lard that they are carrying. :( We also have one of those buffet restaurant place that we have been to a couple of times, it is noticeable for being populated by fat children. Can you be sure you haven't just adjusted your definition of what is "normal" so that all the overweight kids look fine to you and only the very obese ones stand out?
 

Swifty

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When I was growing up, they used to call it 'puppy fat' ... little girls especially are still often a bit plumper than little boys .. perhaps that's always been the way although I can only go back as far as the 70's through personal experience.
 

XEPER_

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I want to know where all these fat kids are because they aren't around my way. Most look perfectly normal with the occasional larger kid, which is nothing new. Are they all somewhere else? Or has the BMI nonsense gone too far, coming up with ridiculous scales, and setting the bar too low? I've seen it on TV kids told they are overweight when they look perfectly normal.

Yeah I'd say the same. Mostly regular kids around Glasgow, and I get about the city and its outskirts a lot. I'm actually more surprised at how athletic the kids are these days. My daughter (8) can do backflips and all sorts of stuff like that on her trampoline and it's not like she's really rare as it was in my day. I didn't know ANYONE that could do that stuff, but now there's a few people in her class alone - boys included - that can do stuff like that, even without a trampoline.
 

MorningAngel

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Oh dear they are all in Edinburgh then, and not even Glasgow so you're not hiding them all in Scotland. And no I know normal and fat kids when I see them. I work in a shop and we get plenty of kids in.
 

Swifty

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Oh dear they are all in Edinburgh then, and not even Glasgow so you're not hiding them all in Scotland. And no I know normal and fat kids when I see them. I work in a shop and we get plenty of kids in.
I work in a shop as well and in North Norfolk and we hardly ever get fat kids in ... that's the recession for you I suppose ..
 

Spookdaddy

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Simply from my own observation (not that I go around 'observing' children, you understand) I'd say that the problem seems to have fluctuated quite noticably over the last few years. Four years or so ago I'd have said the world was absolutely full of lardy children - now, generally, they seem to look pretty healthy. I have a teacher friend who reckons there's been a quite substantial growth of interest in sport the last couple of years, and I wonder if local issues, like local education authority policy and access to facilities, plays a major part.

But, I have to say that people in their mid to late late teens do look to be carrying a lot more weight than they used to. I live on a steep hill near a university - and sometimes all I can see when I'm walking uphill is backside...and not in a good way. Also, at nearer fifty than forty, and carrying two bags of shopping, I'll regularly pass students who have had to stop and take a breather on their way up. (I actually went and dug out my photos from University back in the late 80's/early 90's to see if I was imagining things - but no, we do look pretty damn lean and healthy compared to the crop that walk past my place.)

...It's because the BMI test is broken.

Grossly misused rather than broken, I think. It was never intended to be a go-to source in and of itself, but to be applied to an individual only in conjunction with other important factors which, if unknown or ignored, make it utterly pointless.
 

TheInspector

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Yes, we are really fatter these days.

Regarding the Victorians, its worth remembering that anyone who could get their photo taken wasn't really representative.

Especially performers, as are shown in the photos linked in the initial post.
 

stu neville

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I had an NHS health review this week, and the nurse did soften the news of my BMI reading (29, since you ask) with the opinion that it was only a rough guideline. I think she had been slightly taken aback when I hopped on the scales - I think she'd underestimated my weight by a good 10kg! I know that phrases such as "big boned" are sometimes euphemistically used for "fat" but there is some truth in them. I'm never going to be skinny, and the best diet in the world would still leave me a good stone or more heavier than someone my height but with a naturally smaller frame...
Snap. Fortunately my doctor (as Spookdaddy mentioned above) only looks at BMI as part of the overall picture. I visit the gym at least twice a week, cycle 200 miles a month, eat sensibly (I live on an almost paleo diet these days, and feel much better for it - goodly amount of food, but no junk except as a rare treat) : for all that my BMI is around the 30 mark too. Point is, when I was at my fittest (properly fit, too), doing lots of weights etc, my BMI was also around 30, despite having hardly any fat on me at all. I still sink in swimming pools now.

Far as my doc's concerned, my heart, lungs, cholesterol and BP are all good so he's not bothered in the slightest. In fact he actually blames BMI for some food-issues such as anorexia or bulimia - perfectly slim people stand on the scales and all sense of proportion goes out of the window.
 

rynner2

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Peripart: "I know that phrases such as "big boned" are sometimes euphemistically used for "fat" but there is some truth in them."

I'm big-boned, and I realised my daughter had inherited the trait when we visited a park which had a rope hanging from a tree. Daughter was perhaps 5 at the time, and I encouraged her to swing out from the bank and let go of the rope, and I would catch her. Which she did, and almost knocked me over! It was like getting hit by a runaway boulder. :eek:

Stu: "I still sink in swimming pools now."

At Uni, I briefly joined the sub-aqua club, but I was unable to pass the flotation test, staying afloat IIRC for so many minutes while wearing a weight belt, so that was the end of that!
(Perhaps I could pass the test nowadays, having now developed a layer of blubber suitable for a 20' whale... :()
 
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