The 'Obesity Epidemic': Contagious?

rynner2

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#32
..or Australia:
Primary school kids in XXXXXL-size uniforms
May 6, 2007

CLOTHING manufacturers are catering for increasingly obese children by making school uniforms as big as size 30.

Primary Schoolwear in Sydney stocks boys' shirts in size 30, which fits a 122-centimetre chest and a 47-centimetre neck. Girls' clothes go up to size 26.

The company, which makes clothing for public and private schools around Australia, has had more demand than ever for larger-sized clothing, forcing it to expand its scale to XXXXXL.

Clothing of that size measures 110 centimetres around the waist, 46 centimetres more than the smallest size, XXXS, which is made to fit the average 10-year-old.

Jenni Mackillop from the company's NSW branch said parents often asked for specially made clothing to fit larger children. "We do see our fair share of little chubbies," Ms Mackillop said.

Preproduction manager Jo Kellock said the company had noticed a growth of up to five centimetres in waist measurements in the past two years alone.

National studies had shown that children had grown about two centimetres in height, on average.

Ms Kellock said designs had to be "straightened out" at the waist, where previously they were nipped in, to cater for the increasingly common "pear shape" among schoolchildren.

National studies have confirmed the popular belief that children are also growing taller.

At the other end of the spectrum, manufacturers have had to make tinier sizes for Asian migrant children who are often far smaller than their Western school chums.

Nutritionist Rosemary Stanton said that while studies had shown NSW children were playing more sport, they were still getting fatter.

"They may burn up 300 calories and then eat 400 calories," Dr Stanton said. "Children are thinking they are abnormal if they do not have junk food every day. There isn't any mystery. We know kids are eating more."

Children were walking to school less often because it was not considered safe. Junk food had become the norm because of the sheer amount of snack foods that were readily available, Dr Stanton said.

"The kids are the victims here," she said. "We've got to take child obesity seriously, but overwhelmingly it is society's problem."

Children who were very overweight faced psychological and social problems and were at greater risk of type 2 diabetes, sleep apnoea, asthma and heart disease later in life.

Dr Stanton urged Australian supermarkets to use a labelling system to advise people how often a certain type of food should be eaten.

http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/pri ... 68709.html
This has shattered all my illusions about Oz! :(
They're just as crap as the rest of us!
 

rynner2

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#33
This has a whiff of a TV comedy sketch about it, but seems to be quite serious:
'Walk and work' treadmill helps shed pounds
By Roger Highfield, Science Editor
Last Updated: 2:17am BST 15/05/2007

Walking while you work might help fat people shed as much as 66 pounds - or nearly five stone - in one year, according to a study published today.

Vertical workstations, where office workers use their computers while walking on a treadmill, could shrink waistlines, according to research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

A team led by Prof James Levine, a British scientist at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, compared the energy used at the "walk and work" desk with that used by 15 obese people seated at a conventional desk.

None of the participants did any regular exercise.

Energy expenditure was measured while working and walking for 35 minutes every hour, compared with that burned while working at a desk.

The average energy burned while seated at a desk was 72 calories per hour.

This more than doubled to 191 calories an hour while at the vertical workstation and walking at a rate of one mile an hour.

The authors calculate that if obese employees used the workstation for a couple of hours a day, they could boost their energy expenditure by 100 calories an hour. That could mean losing between 40 and 70 pounds over the course of a year.

Prof Levine said that study participants found the equipment easy to use and were able to work normally.

In fact, he said they wanted to continue using it after the study had finished. "Subject after subject said to me 'I want one'," he told The Daily Telegraph.

The "walk and work" desk is designed to allow people to work at a computer while walking on a treadmill at a speed of their own choosing.

It consists of an H-shaped frame that is supported by four locking rubber wheels, so that it can be moved easily.

The frame holds a Plexiglass panel on to which two adjustable arms are bolted - one to hold the computer screen and the other for the keyboard and mouse.

According to Prof Levine, who uses the vertical workstation, it is lack of activity, rather than fast food, that marks the major change in modern life,

He argues that an increasing reliance on cars, remote controls and escalators are among a raft of modern "innovations" that have contributed to the obesity epidemic, pointing out that by 2010 more than half of the workforce from developed countries will be working at computers.

The pilot study suggests that the vertical workstation could help to reverse the rising tide of obesity. It offers a way to provide a small but sustained boost in energy expenditure without changing work habits.

Health care costs caused by the obesity epidemic are estimated to be £100 billion a year in the US alone so the ''walk-while-you-work'' desk might prove to be cost effective, says Prof Levine, who has called for bigger trials to be carried out.
http://tinyurl.com/2a8mtl
 

rynner2

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#35
Kondoru said:
its actualy the best idea ever
...or maybe not!
The nine-to-five treadmill
By Denise Winterman
BBC News Magazine

Walking while you work can help shift those extra pounds, say scientists. But can you really work and exercise at the same time? The Magazine finds out.

As I type this sentence on my laptop I am at the gym, on a cycling machine and pedalling at 95 RPM. Feel the burn - I am.

Shame my hands can't keep up, it took me almost five minutes to key in the above without a single mistake.

In that time I have managed to misspell nearly every other word, mistakenly turn the typeface into italics and come dangerously close to a serious hamstring injury after an incident involving my foot, a pedal and a momentary lapse in concentration.

Scientists from the Mayo Clinic in America are right, you can lose weight if you exercise while you work. But you'll put it all back on when you are at home, eating biscuits while watching daytime television because you've been sacked for poor performance. :D

In controlled scientific conditions it might seem simple to combine the two, but in the local gym, with your laptop, there are a few obstacles to overcome before you can set about toning your muscles in tandem with your brain.

Health and safety is the first. Scientists may be certain about the benefits of walking and working, but my gym manager isn't. I am greeted with a computer-says-no look when I ask to use the treadmill and my laptop at the same time.

"Would be more than my job's worth if you hurt yourself or damaged that computer," the duty manager tells me.

It's the same response when I ask about the step machine, rowing machine - which would have been tough - and the elliptical trainer. But with the cycling machine, with its useful handlebars on which I can balance my laptop, we reach an accommodation.

Next, what to wear? Am I at work or at the gym? It's all so confusing but I opt for comfort rather than presentation.

Finally, there are the physical limitations to consider. While my mind is agile, my body is not. Co-ordination and balance are not among my strengths.

The average two-year-old child could out-perform me in the old rub-your-tummy-and-pat-your-head-at-the-same-time task. Just mention ice-skating and I slip over. It doesn't bode well.

Once pedalling I find the cycling relatively easy, but not the typing part of the task. In a 45-minute session I manage to write just four paragraphs. That's one paragraph every 11.25 minutes. Were this a time and motion study, I'd be racking up a lot of both... to little effect.

Effort level

So, my very unscientific findings when it comes to the work part of the task are as follows:

• It's not easy to balance the laptop on the handle bars
• It's not comfortable
• It's near impossible to type
• Concentration levels inevitably dip when you are constantly worrying about dropping and damaging an expensive piece of company property

But surely my body is benefiting? Just about. While I may be cycling at 95 RPM, the machine is telling me my effort level is only at two - it goes all the way up to 12. I feel like I'm working my body hard but apparently not.

When I try to cycle faster I can't concentrate on my work. I can't really afford to let my output slip any further or it will be Jeremy Kyle keeping me company every weekday and not my work colleagues.

Ultimately, the focus of the study is weight and losing it. I manage to burn off a total 176 calories - over the same period at my desk I would have shed a mere 54.

But as I walk back to the office I quickly grab a latte from the coffee bar, which, I find out - having drunk it - has roughly 200 calories, according to the website Calorie-Count.

So it's either off to the gym to cycle for roughly 6.1 minutes to burn off those 24 calories or sit at my desk working for just over 28. No prizes for guessing which one I opt for.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/6657305.stm
 

rynner2

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Fat? Blame the bugs in your guts
Last Updated: 12:01am BST 29/05/2007

Could the explosion in the use of antibiotics have changed our digestive processes and triggered the obesity epidemic? Roger Highfield reports

We are not quite what we eat. We are what the vast numbers of microscopic inhabitants of our bellies digest, a finding that has huge implications for the worldwide obesity epidemic.

The rise of cheap, high-fat food and the fall in physical activity are known to be crucial influences on body weight.

But, in recent years, another possibility has emerged. The three to four pounds of bacteria swilling around our bellies play a central role in our digestion.

Given how a generation of these passengers lives, dies and is excreted within days, could the demographics of our gut bugs be changing to make us fat?

The hunt for obesity genes has traditionally focused on the relatively small number of human genes, which can only change slowly over the generations, and not on the vast numbers within quick-living bacteria that, in effect, predigest our food.

The human digestive system is home to about 100 trillion bacteria - around 10 times the number of cells in the major organs (there are another 25 trillion red blood cells, plus a few trillion brain cells).

The ecology of the human gut is at least as complex as that in soils or seas and acts as a metabolic organ.

You would be nothing without these microbial minions milling around inside your large intestine, performing crucial functions that your fancy, complicated human cells haven't a clue how to do.

Your talented residents can make vitamins, such as the B vitamins that we cannot synthesise, and consume plant carbohydrates with exotic names like arabinogalactans, polygalacturonates, and cellobiose, which you could not otherwise digest because you lack the necessary enzymes.

Some of the bacteria attack chemicals made by plants that could cause cancer or other illnesses if not neutralised.

Others scavenge hydrogen gas, a by-product of breaking down complex plant carbs (known as polysaccharides) in our diet, and convert it into methane, ensuring that polysaccharide digestion remains an efficient process. They help protect us against pathogens, too. In short, these gutsy little helpers keep us alive.

Our gastrointestinal tracts contain two dominant groups of mainly good bacteria, the Bacteroidetes and the Firmicutes, which help us to break down otherwise indigestible foods. The Firmicutes include Lactobacillus, Mycoplasma, Bacillus and Clostridium. The Bacteroidetes include Bacteroides.

What is fascinating is that Prof Jeffrey Gordon's team at Washington University School of Medicine has shown that our friendly gut bacteria may be doing us too much good.

He has shown that the intestines of obese people are swimming with a slightly different medley of microbes compared with slim people - obese people have more Firmicutes and fewer Bacteroidetes than the lean ones.

These differences were not due to an explosion in numbers of one species in the Firmicutes or a diminution of a single or a few species of Bacteroidetes: virtually all members of each group were altered.

The proportion of Bacteroidetes increases as weight is lost when someone eats a low-calorie diet, revealing how Bacteroidetes could help shed the pounds and how, perhaps, the Firmicutes should perhaps be renamed the Flabicutes.

Gut-wrenching experiments by Gordon's team confirmed the link between bugs and waistlines.

When the gut microbial community from obese mice was transplanted into sterile germ-free mice their body fat increased more than when microbial communities were transplanted from lean donors.

When mice lack any microbes in their guts, they are protected from the waistline-expanding effects of a fatty diet.

Equally remarkable, Gordon and his students have found evidence that a host gene, Fiaf (fasting-induced adipocyte factor) is manipulated by the microbes to help us to store fat.

It is, remarks Prof Gordon, as if the bacteria are helping their host (that two-legged bioreactor known as a human being) by ensuring energy reserves are laid down in case lean times lie ahead.

"We never dine alone: our microbes are able to sit at the dining room table together with us, consume for their own purposes the nutrients that are available, notably those we cannot digest on our own, and share the bounty with us," said Prof Gordon.

"This raises the question of whether differences in the mix of bacteria in our guts predispose some of us to obesity: the number of calories harvested from a serving of cereal may not be the same for everyone - some people may extract slightly more than others and over time this will add up."

Prof Jeremy Nicholson of Imperial College London has come to similar conclusions. He and his collaborators in France and China reported last week in Molecular Systems Biology how "good" bugs, such as lactobaccili, alter the way that fats are emulsified in the upper gut, making them less available to the body.

To probe the role of bacteria in fat digestion, he has worked with the Nestle Group in Lausanne to "humanise" mice by replacing their gut bacteria with human bugs.

This revealed the bacteria affect bile acids, which have a profound influence on the way the body absorbs and uses fat.

"Bile acids are responsible for the emulsification of fats (dissolving them, in effect), so if you change that you change the way fats are taken up by the body," he said.

Bile acids can also act like hormones to influence fat deposition. Gut bugs can thus alter the hormonal make-up of the host body, which can alter the environment of the bugs. This feedback makes the overall effect of our passenger microbes scarily complex.

Prof Nicholson believes that obesity could be linked to antibiotic use and misuse.

"We speculate that this might be a consequence of the widespread use of antibiotics that reselect the gut microflora (that we have evolved with over aeons) to cultivate a much less friendly set of bugs in our general population - eating too much and sitting around all day does nothing to help this, of course, and this is still undoubtedly the major contribution to obesity. But mapping the change in population obesity in the US over the last 20 years looks rather like the spread of an infectious disease."

Would it be possible to change the microbial balance to help a person slim?

For a start, they would have to see if other body weight-regulating mechanisms might step in to compensate for any changes.

The human gut also contains hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of microbial species, and the functions they perform affect each other and their hosts, so altering their ecology in a controlled way may be tricky.

Although there are products that claim to manipulate bacteria, such as prebiotics that help certain microbes and probiotics (such as yoghurts) that contain live bacteria, we understand too little to do this reliably.

But whatever we do, because of the stomach-churning effects of diet and antibiotics, Prof Nicholson says we can never go back to the way we were a few generations ago.

http://tinyurl.com/2oxhvo
 

rynner2

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#38
Big is Beautiful!

Spock crosses art's final frontier with full-bodied approach
By Paul Bignell
Published: 03 June 2007

Best known for playing Mr Spock on the much-loved TV series Star Trek, Leonard Nimoy has become the unlikely champion of plus-sized women - by photographing them nude.

For eight years, the 76-year-old former actor, poet and musician has been turning what was a hobby into a crusading artistic statement, with a book and European exhibition scheduled for the end of this year.

The black and white photographs, exhibited in New York and LA, from a series entitled "The Full Body Project", started when a 20st woman askedNimoy to photograph her. Nimoy's wife, Susan, suggested she should model nude.

His fame has spread far. Internet sites such as the BigFatBlog, have lavished praise on him. "This is really interesting. Leonard Nimoy was already high in my esteem, now he's even higher," writes Eva.

He told The New York Times: "I do think they're beautiful. They're full-bodied, full-blooded human beings."

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/ame ... 609312.ece
 

rynner2

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#39
Meeting the world's heaviest man
By Duncan Kennedy
BBC News, Mexico City

To really appreciate Manuel Uribe's size, you have to do a bit of lateral thinking.

Picture in your mind an ordinary adult male.

Then another.

And another. And another. And another. And another.

And, finally, one more. Seven fully grown men in all, standing in a line.

Now, add up their weight. Only then would you be getting close to Manuel Uribe.

The raw statistics are breathtaking.

At his peak, he weighed 560kg, or 1234lb, or 88st. That's half a ton. Small Japanese cars come in lighter.


I got a shock when I first met Manuel. He'd agreed to meet us at his home in Monterrey, northern Mexico.

I had expected him to be closeted in an upstairs bedroom, out of sight. But no.

No longer depressed

I stepped out of our taxi in front of what appeared to be a shop. And there he was - in the window.

The whole world can walk past gazing incredulously at Manuel as he lies on his reinforced bed.

It is not a shop, of course, it's his home.

More remarkably, Manuel has no problem with all the staring, not any more.

A short while ago, Manuel tried to take his own life, so depressed was he by his size.

But these days you could not meet a more engaging, funny and contented man.

And the cause of his new found happiness? His weight loss.

From being billed as the heaviest man on the planet, he is now heading for a different record.

The human who has lost the most weight. Here, too, the numbers are eye-popping: in the past year, Manuel has shed 180kg or 400lb or 25st.

Put another way, it is as if two fully grown men have climbed off his body.


"I am happy, I am really happy," he says.

No-one knows for sure why Manuel joined the ranks of the hyper-obese, or morbidly obese, as his doctors call it.

He lived for 14 years in Dallas, Texas, and he himself blames an unending diet of burgers, pizzas and fizzy drinks.

But the doctors and other scientists are not so sure.

Naturally super-sized

They believe even the most gluttonous over-indulgence could not produce the kind of excess body weight Manuel has succumbed to. Instead, they think Manuel was super-sized by nature.

A fault in his genes which triggered the inflammation of his molecular structure.


Whatever the cause, the team of medics and nutritionists around him now have come up with a specialist diet that has produced remarkable results.


We arrived just as meal time was starting. One of five meals a day.

Manuel tucked into a delicious looking bowl of fish soup, complete with large chunks of fish. That was followed by a grapefruit and half an apple, rounded off with 18 peanuts. Yes, 18 peanuts.

Everything Manuel eats is calculated down to the last detail. Literally down to the last peanut.


"It's all about blocks," Manuel says. " My food is broken down into blocks. Every thing I eat has a value. A grapefruit is two blocks. Six peanuts are one block."

And so it goes on. By adding up the blocks he knows how much food he is allowed per meal.

All his food intake has been scientifically calculated to make sure he gets exactly what his body needs.

"It's about controlling his hormones," says Alejandra Garcia, one of Manuel's nutritionists.

"If he eats the right nutrients you control his hormones. If you control his hormones you determine his weight. It is not some outlandish fad diet. It is simple common sense refined by science."

That means they have worked out his exact intake of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. And, they say, this can be done for anyone.

As Manuel shuffles around the bed he has not left since 2002, he tells me he never gets hungry.

"I can eat chicken, kiwi fruit, even zero calorie cola drinks," he says.

'I chose life'

His mother Otilia agrees - she is the one who looks after all his needs, especially his food.

"I am so proud of him now," she says. "He is so much more at ease with life."

His new food programme has re-energised his life - he now has a girlfriend and wants children.

He has bought a giant massage machine to maintain the circulation in the legs he can no longer close or move.

He has his own website and has started the Manuel Uribe Foundation to spread the word that weight loss for obese people is possible - and permanent.

His own body mass has been heading south for more than a year now.

Manuel says his aim to get down to 120kg, or 264lb or 19st. It means losing a further 260kg, or 572lb, or 40st.

That is like another three men climbing off his body.


"I take one day at a time," he says, "the doctors told me I had a choice. To choose life or to choose death. I chose life."

A smile then appears on the face of this larger-than-life character.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/f ... 612719.stm
 

lupinwick

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#40
Nobody seems to know :roll:

The microwave, the supermarket and the end of the Second World War are among the reasons being proposed for the obesity epidemic.

Experts will today debate these theories and determine when precisely the nation's waistline began to expand.
Telepgraphp
 

rynner2

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#41
Full fat takes the cream
Last Updated: 12:01am BST 13/07/2007

For years full-fat milk has been vilified by the nutrition police - but a new study suggests that it can actually boost your health. Xanthe Clay welcomes the gold top's return to flavour

In our obsession with healthy living and weight loss, have we thrown the baby out with the bathwater? Did we chuck out the goodness when we got rid of the fat? Recent studies suggest that, far from being the evil that we've been led to believe, dairy products are positively good for you.

In particular, some of the fats, proteins and vitamins in full-fat milk have previously unrecognised benefits for the metabolism, which can help keep pounds off, according to scientists at Cardiff University.

Over the years, we've been hoodwinked by the nutrition police into thinking all fat in food is bad fat. Of course, being fat rarely goes hand in hand with good health but the emergence of omega-3 oils, particularly in fish, and the benefits of olive oil, have opened our eyes to good fats.

And now the Welsh study has found that regular consumption of medium chain fatty acids found in full-fat milk and dairy products (cheese and yoghurt) can have a positive effect on metabolic syndrome, a condition associated with type 2 (non-insulin dependent) diabetes and obesity while reducing the risk of stroke and heart attack by two thirds.

But enough of the science. Clotted cream with jam and scones, farmhouse cheese, rich whole milk, unctuous yogurts and butter, surely the finest toast topper of all, are jewels of our country's gastronomic heritage. They are also life-enhancingly delicious to eat. Caring about what we eat and how it tastes is surely the first step to healthy eating.

And of course worrying about milk fat is a new neurosis. Not so long ago, whole milk was considered the perfect food for children, invalids and just about anyone. A pint a day kept the doctor away, in fact, and school children were positively dosed up with it. [Pre Milk-snatcher Thatcher! 8) ]

Now it's all about semi-skimmed or, worse, skimmed milk, that blueish, watery, tasteless ingredient beloved of joyless skinny latte drinkers. As for soy milk, with its strange woody taste, surely it's a misnomer? Milk comes from mammals, not from beans.

Even so-called full-fat milk isn't what it used to be. My children don't dash downstairs in the morning to be the ones to get the top of the milk on their cereal in the way we did. :D Milk is all homogenised these days, smooth and characterless.

As for all the reduced-fat foods that crowd the chill cabinets in the supermarket, aren't they a slightly peculiar idea? We have evolved to eat food in its natural state, and if our lifestyles have become less active in the last century or two, eating less should be the natural answer. These tampered-with products are shadows of the real McCoy, anyway.

Just because the packet proclaims that the half-fat version tastes as good as full-fat does not make it true. With its weird plasticky texture and lacklustre flavour, reduced-fat cheese makes a miserable meal. And low-fat cheddar on toast is akin to eating grilled polystyrene.

Take half-fat crème fraiche. It's not a bad product in itself, to dollop on fruit or eat with honey. But it's no substitute for the real thing. It has a more tangy flavour, a runnier texture, a less satisfying feel in the mouth. And, crucially, it doesn't behave the same way when you cook with it. It needs to be treated as a completely different ingredient.

Cream cheese at its best is cool and creamy, melting on the tongue and flooding the palate with rich flavour. At its worst, it's called quark. Never has a food had a more onomatopoeic name: that's exactly the gagging sound you want to make upon eating a spoonful of this vile, throat-clogging non-fat cheese.

Butter, whether canary-coloured from summer grass-fed cows or palest straw colour from winter milk, is so delicious that a tiny dab turns a dish of boiled vegetables into a treat. Low-fat spreads, dyed virulent yellow in a cruel caricature of the butter, can be a successful part of weight control only because they taste so nasty that no one would want to put more than a moisturising smear on their toast.

I'm not convinced these products help dieters. There's the problem, which any weight watcher will recognise, that reduced-fat products just don't fill you up. So you end up eating two low-fat yogurts instead of one, with a combined calorie count that may be more than a single ordinary yoghurt, and less good for you to boot.

A list of vitamins on the side of the packet doesn't tell you anything. Nutrients work as a team, and fat is an important player. For example, calcium can't be properly absorbed without vitamin D, which is abundant in dairy products - except low-fat ones.

No one is suggesting that eating clotted cream for breakfast every day is life-prolonging, but a moderate amount of dairy fat in your diet is not only not going to do you harm, it's actually healthy, as well as life-enhancing.

http://tinyurl.com/2h6wgh

Is this article true, or is it the work of the Devil? :twisted:

Well, I'm off to the shop for some full fat milk and cheese

- I've been torturing myself too long! :D
 

rynner2

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#42
Full fat takes the cream
Last Updated: 12:01am BST 13/07/2007

For years full-fat milk has been vilified by the nutrition police - but a new study suggests that it can actually boost your health. Xanthe Clay welcomes the gold top's return to flavour

In our obsession with healthy living and weight loss, have we thrown the baby out with the bathwater? Did we chuck out the goodness when we got rid of the fat? Recent studies suggest that, far from being the evil that we've been led to believe, dairy products are positively good for you.

In particular, some of the fats, proteins and vitamins in full-fat milk have previously unrecognised benefits for the metabolism, which can help keep pounds off, according to scientists at Cardiff University.

Over the years, we've been hoodwinked by the nutrition police into thinking all fat in food is bad fat. Of course, being fat rarely goes hand in hand with good health but the emergence of omega-3 oils, particularly in fish, and the benefits of olive oil, have opened our eyes to good fats.

And now the Welsh study has found that regular consumption of medium chain fatty acids found in full-fat milk and dairy products (cheese and yoghurt) can have a positive effect on metabolic syndrome, a condition associated with type 2 (non-insulin dependent) diabetes and obesity while reducing the risk of stroke and heart attack by two thirds.

But enough of the science. Clotted cream with jam and scones, farmhouse cheese, rich whole milk, unctuous yogurts and butter, surely the finest toast topper of all, are jewels of our country's gastronomic heritage. They are also life-enhancingly delicious to eat. Caring about what we eat and how it tastes is surely the first step to healthy eating.

And of course worrying about milk fat is a new neurosis. Not so long ago, whole milk was considered the perfect food for children, invalids and just about anyone. A pint a day kept the doctor away, in fact, and school children were positively dosed up with it. [Pre Milk-snatcher Thatcher! 8) ]

Now it's all about semi-skimmed or, worse, skimmed milk, that blueish, watery, tasteless ingredient beloved of joyless skinny latte drinkers. As for soy milk, with its strange woody taste, surely it's a misnomer? Milk comes from mammals, not from beans.

Even so-called full-fat milk isn't what it used to be. My children don't dash downstairs in the morning to be the ones to get the top of the milk on their cereal in the way we did. :D Milk is all homogenised these days, smooth and characterless.

As for all the reduced-fat foods that crowd the chill cabinets in the supermarket, aren't they a slightly peculiar idea? We have evolved to eat food in its natural state, and if our lifestyles have become less active in the last century or two, eating less should be the natural answer. These tampered-with products are shadows of the real McCoy, anyway.

Just because the packet proclaims that the half-fat version tastes as good as full-fat does not make it true. With its weird plasticky texture and lacklustre flavour, reduced-fat cheese makes a miserable meal. And low-fat cheddar on toast is akin to eating grilled polystyrene.

Take half-fat crème fraiche. It's not a bad product in itself, to dollop on fruit or eat with honey. But it's no substitute for the real thing. It has a more tangy flavour, a runnier texture, a less satisfying feel in the mouth. And, crucially, it doesn't behave the same way when you cook with it. It needs to be treated as a completely different ingredient.

Cream cheese at its best is cool and creamy, melting on the tongue and flooding the palate with rich flavour. At its worst, it's called quark. Never has a food had a more onomatopoeic name: that's exactly the gagging sound you want to make upon eating a spoonful of this vile, throat-clogging non-fat cheese.

Butter, whether canary-coloured from summer grass-fed cows or palest straw colour from winter milk, is so delicious that a tiny dab turns a dish of boiled vegetables into a treat. Low-fat spreads, dyed virulent yellow in a cruel caricature of the butter, can be a successful part of weight control only because they taste so nasty that no one would want to put more than a moisturising smear on their toast.

I'm not convinced these products help dieters. There's the problem, which any weight watcher will recognise, that reduced-fat products just don't fill you up. So you end up eating two low-fat yogurts instead of one, with a combined calorie count that may be more than a single ordinary yoghurt, and less good for you to boot.

A list of vitamins on the side of the packet doesn't tell you anything. Nutrients work as a team, and fat is an important player. For example, calcium can't be properly absorbed without vitamin D, which is abundant in dairy products - except low-fat ones.

No one is suggesting that eating clotted cream for breakfast every day is life-prolonging, but a moderate amount of dairy fat in your diet is not only not going to do you harm, it's actually healthy, as well as life-enhancing.

http://tinyurl.com/2h6wgh

Is this article true, or is it the work of the Devil? :twisted:

Well, I'm off to the shop for some full fat milk and cheese

- I've been torturing myself too long!
:D
 

escargot

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#43
S'crap. This bit, anyway -

Milk is all homogenised these days, smooth and characterless.
Homogenised milk is treated to distribute the fat evenly. Not all milk is processed in this way.

Also, what alternative to smooth milk is there? Lumpy milk? :shock:

Or unpasteurised milk, maybe? Complete with brucellosis? :D

When I read articles like this ('Things We Enjoy Aren't Bad For Us After All') I think, here's someone who's reached the age where they've realised how unhealthily they've been living, and have begun clutching at straws. :lol:
 

rynner2

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#44
escargot1 said:
S'crap. This bit, anyway -

Milk is all homogenised these days, smooth and characterless.
Homogenised milk is treated to distribute the fat evenly. Not all milk is processed in this way.

Also, what alternative to smooth milk is there? Lumpy milk? :shock:
Hard to tell what modern milk is like, now it doesn't come in glass bottles.

But the top couple of inches in a bottle, when I were a lad, was rich and creamy, so nutritious that the birds used to peck the foil caps off to get at it! :D
 

rynner2

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#45
A report of the scientific research:

Drinking milk cuts diabetes risk

Drinking a pint of milk a day may protect men against diabetes and heart disease, say UK researchers.
Eating dairy products reduces the risk of metabolic syndrome - a cluster of symptoms which increase likelihood of the conditions - the Welsh team found.

In the 20-year study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, metabolic syndrome increased the risk of death by 50%.

Experts recommended people only eat two or three portions of dairy a day.

The University of Cardiff study of 2,375 men aged between 45 and 59 classified metabolic syndrome as having two or more out of high blood glucose, insulin, blood fats, body fat, and blood pressure.

Over the 20-year period, food questionnaires and weekly food diaries were used to assess how much milk and dairy foods the men consumed.

At the start of the study 15% had metabolic syndrome and had almost double the risk of coronary artery heart disease and four times the risk of diabetes of those without the syndrome.

But the researchers found men were 62% less likely to have the syndrome if they drank a pint or more of milk every day, and 56% less likely to have it if they regularly ate other dairy produce.

The more dairy produce the men consumed, the less likely were they to have the syndrome.


Healthy diet

Study leader, Professor Peter Elwood, said milk consumption has plummeted in the UK over the past 25 years, amid concerns about its impact on health.

But dairy produce is part of a healthy diet and its consumption should be promoted, he concluded.

"The present data add further to the evidence that milk and dairy products fit well into a healthy eating pattern."

Jemma Edwards, care advisor at Diabetes UK, advised against consuming large amounts of full fat dairy products in a bid to prevent type 2 diabetes and stressed the importance of a balanced diet and physical activity.

"The results of this study are interesting.

"Dairy products are an important part of a healthy, balanced diet and we would recommend people aim to eat two to three servings of low fat dairy a day."

"One portion is equivalent to a third of a pint of milk, one small pot of yogurt or a matchbox-size piece of cheese.

"Maintaining a healthy weight through diet and physical activity are vital in reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/6898103.stm

(Equal and opposite experts again.. :roll: )

Anyhow, Mrs. Snail, these 'straws' seem more like servicable liferafts! ;)
 

rynner2

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#46
I thought of posting this in Peak Oil, but probably here's more appropriate:

Rising petrol prices could force obese Americans to hit the street
By Leonard Doyle in Washington
Published: 13 September 2007

For overweight Americans relief is on the way, in the shape of ever-higher petrol prices. Getting out the car to drive downtown for a super-sized plate full of fatty fast-food is the highlight of the day for many Americans. The result is a public health crisis with four out of 10 American adults already overweight or heading that way.

After consuming mountains of chips, fried meat and baked goods all washed down with corn-sweetened soft drinks, overweight Americans then worry which best-selling diet book will help them see their toes again. It turns out that higher petrol prices can slim down more than the wallets of the overweight.

The ever-rising cost of filling up their cars is prompting millions of Americans to pack their own lunch and walk to the bus.

The statistics are dramatic: they show that when petrol prices have risen in the US, obesity has shown a corresponding fall of as much as 10 per cent according to a new study, A Silver Lining? The Connection between Gas Prices and Obesity.

The study's author, Charles Courtemanche, from the University of Washington, St Louis, said his inspiration came when he was filling up his car: "I was pumping gas one day, thinking with gas prices so high I may have to take the Metro," he said.

After figuring out that he would get an extra 30 minutes of exercise per day by walking to and from the Metro, he correlated statistics for obesity and petrol prices in America.

American obesity rates began to rise sharply in the early 1980s. Part of this has been blamed on an overworked population demanding convenience foods – prepared, packaged products and restaurant meals that contain more calories than home-cooked meals.

According to Marion Nestle, of New York University, the arrival of the Reagan administration in 1980 brought government subsidies for farmers who grew more food. Fast-food companies reacted by serving larger portions and inventing snacks. The calories available per capita nearly doubled to 3,900 a day and a crisis was born.

But, to his shock, Mr Courtemanche found that 13 per cent of the rise in obesity between 1979 and 2004 could be attributed to the falling price of petrol. "First, if a person uses public transportation, such as subways, buses, trolleys or rail services, the need to move to and from the public transit stops is likely to result in additional walking, again decreasing weight," he said.

"Second, since the opportunity cost of eating out at restaurants rises when the price of gas increases, people may substitute eating out to preparing their own meals at home, which tend to be healthier."

Now petrol prices are on the up again, reaching a record high of $3.22 (£1.60) per gallon in May 2007, and so according to the theory, obesity levels should now be falling. "The recent spike in gas prices may have the 'silver lining' of reducing obesity in the coming years," the study said. It calculated that an increase of $1 per gallon in real gasoline prices would reduce US obesity by 15 per cent after five years. That would save 16,000 lives and $17bn a year, according to the research.

Mr Courtemanche said he had already received hate mail for suggesting that high petrol prices are good for Americans. "One person yelled at me: 'So now I'm supposed to be happy about gas prices!'" he said.

Some 59 million Americans are overweight. Almost 65 per cent are either obese or overweight, 10-30lb over a healthy weight, with greater chances of developing diabetes, heart disease, and some types of cancer. And it is not just adults. Some obese children in the US knock back two or three bottles of cola a day, equivalent to 1,000 calories.

Most US cities do not have good public transport networks, although they are improving. As more people react to the "sticker shock" of paying more than $3 a gallon by opting to walk, take the bus, or even cycle, planners anticipate pressure for better public transport.

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/ame ... 956424.ece
 

escargot

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#47
Rynner, I wasn't disputing the goodness of milk. I was mocking the inaccurate, sloppy writing.

As an example, using the term 'homogenised', which has a very precise meaning in relation to milk processing, to mean something like 'all the different types look and taste the same these days' makes the writer look sadly ignorant.
 

rynner2

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#48
New Zealand bars British man's 'fat' wife
By Paul Chapman in Wellington
Last Updated: 1:24am GMT 18/11/2007

A British man who moved to New Zealand has been told by officials that his wife is too fat to join him.

Richie Trezise, 35, a rugby-playing Welshman, lost weight to gain entry to New Zealand after being rejected for being overweight and a potential burden on the health care system.

His wife, Rowan, is now on a strict diet. However, she has been battling for months to shed the pounds so they can be reunited and live Down Under.

Mr Trezise moved to New Zealand in September after shedding two inches from his waist on a crash diet. He said that if his wife was not allowed to come out by Christmas they would abandon the idea of emigrating.

His employer-backed skills visa was initially rejected by immigration officials when they discovered that his body mass index, or BMI, was 42, making him morbidly obese.

BMI measures a person's weight in relation to their height. Anything over 25 is regarded as overweight, and 30 or above is obese.

But his wife Rowan, who planned to emigrate with him, has failed to overcome the obesity test.

Mr Trezise is a submarine cable specialist, who has also served in the Army.

He said yesterday: "My doctor laughed at me.

"He said he'd never seen anything more ridiculous in his whole life. He said not every overweight person is unhealthy or unfit.

"The idea was that we were going to change our lifestyle totally and get outdoors and on mountain bikes and all sorts of activities."

Robyn Toomath, a spokesman for Fight the Obesity Epidemic and an endocrinologist, said the BMI limit was valid in the vast majority of people.

She said she was opposed to obese people being stigmatised.

"However, the immigration department's focus is different," she said. "It cannot afford to import people into the country who are going to be a significant drain on our health resources.

"You can see the logic in assessing if there is a significant health cost associated with this individual and that would be a reason for them not coming in."

New Zealand is critically short of skilled workers, and many large firms are intensively recruiting in Britain.

Mr Trezise was recruited to supervise the Southern Cross Cable, which links New Zealand with Australia and the west coast of the United States.

He is one of only four highly qualified specialist technicians working on the improvement of the cable.

The New Zealand Immigration Service said it did not know how many people were denied entry to the country because of high BMI readings.

However, comments posted on the Emigrate New Zealand website reveal that many people have been turned down after medical tests revealed that they were obese.

Mr Trezise has private health care in New Zealand and his employer, Telecom, has a gym membership scheme.

http://tinyurl.com/2x7hlm
 

Timble2

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#50
It's only a matter of time before it's illegal to be overweight - at least I'd lose weight in jail if the food's as bad as it's supposed to be...
 

hallybods

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#51
If you listen to the news it's beginning to appear as if being overweight is akin to being a leper.
 

rynner2

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#52
hallybods said:
If you listen to the news it's beginning to appear as if being overweight is akin to being a leper.
But at least you don't have to ring a bell and call out "Unclean!" every time you meet someone - your obesity would be the first thing they'd notice! 8)
 

hallybods

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#53
You wanna bet? ;) I often get a reaction that my fat is catching. I treat it the best way I know how, I just laugh at them and shake my head.
 

elffriend

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#54
hallybods said:
If you listen to the news it's beginning to appear as if being overweight is akin to being a leper.
It always has been. My sister has been treated like a leper for years. Every ailment she has is attributed to being fat and the doctors just keep shoving diet sheets at her instead of tackiling the real problems behind her overeating which is mental rather than physical.
 

ElishevaBarsabe

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#55
elffriend said:
My sister has been treated like a leper for years. Every ailment she has is attributed to being fat and the doctors just keep shoving diet sheets at her instead of tackiling the real problems behind her overeating which is mental rather than physical.
Here, too. Of course, the mental problem you've suggested may have a physical basis: the doctors just aren't looking for it because that would be work on their part.

I read once (perhaps in "Our Bodies, Ourselves") about a woman who said that if she walked into her doctor's office with her head under her arm, he'd say that the cause was her excess weight.
 

_Lizard23_

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#56
I too have been diagnosed most of my life with stopsmokingstopdrinkingloseweight. Turned out I had severe hypothyroidism which was responsible for at least a significant proportion of the depression and anxiety, the lethargy, the skin condition etc etc etc - and even some of the weight I dare say - that had been troubling me for years. I am now on the maximum dose of thyroxine and recovering slowly, just in time to die I expect. Doctors, wonderful people. I must have literally seen 20 before any of them even considered what, now I've read up on it, seems a perfectly bloody obvious explanation which went undiagnosed, according to my current quack, for probably at least 5 years and it's lucky I've not lost my marbles as a result.
My respect for the medical profession is right up there with the respect they, and a lot of other people, seem to have for me.
 

hallybods

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#57
*Sighs* It's hard to find a decent doctor who doesn't want to fob you off and get you out the door as soon as possible.

I think what makes me wonder is why compulsive eating due to a mental illness is not treated with the same sympathy as anorexics, they are both due to mental health issues yet people automatically think you are a greedy pig if you over eat.
 

rynner2

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#58
Help is at hand - at a price!

Tesco expands into the fitness farm market
By Harry Wallop, Consumer Affairs Correspondent and Kerry Hopkins
Last Updated: 3:05am GMT 24/11/2007

First it was groceries, then it was travel insurance and divorces. Now, Tesco is moving into fitness farms. The retailer is starting Tesco Diets FitFarm in February next year.

The course in Tiverton, Devon, tells participants to expect to drop a dress size, lower blood pressure, improve fitness and lose inches from the waist and hips.

The brochure boasts: "Tesco Diets FitFarm is in between a weight-loss farm and health farm. We are not as strict and military as a boot camp, but to achieve high weight-loss targets we will need maximum effort from people!"

The week-long course, which costs up to £790, has already been tested. Participants have described the regime as "very hard work", involving long runs across Exmoor :shock: , aerobics classes, a ban on all caffeine, sugar and alcohol and very small meals.

Julie Rayment, 48, from west London, said: "I did feel incredibly fit at the end of the week, but it was very hard work." She is doubtful whether she dropped a dress size, but said she had lost two pounds.

Tesco's weight-busting project is another example of Britain's biggest supermarket spreading its wings into all areas of its shoppers' lives.

It runs baby and toddler clubs, offers home insurance, mobile phone contracts and legal services, on top of selling groceries to 15 million people a week. Its British profit amounted to £1.79 billion last year.

Nick Gladding at the retail consultancy Verdict, said: "This does seem a step beyond what they have done before, but Tesco is very good at moving into these non-food areas. It'll probably be popular with their customers."

Tesco has been keen to reject criticisms that it is responsible for shoppers' poor diet by regularly discounting calorific foods.

This weekend the supermarket is offering 2-for-£2 deals on many Mr Kipling cakes, for instance.

Sam Westcott, a spokesman for Tesco Diets, said: "There are people who want to eat doughnuts the whole time, and Tesco caters to them.

"But it is also putting a lot of work into the health agenda, which it takes very seriously. It has relaunched its Healthy Living range of food earlier this year, and these Fit Farms are all part of that."

She also pointed out that fruit and vegetables were frequently discounted by the chain. Mr Gladding added: "Health is one of the areas they have been very keen to push. They know it is moving up the political agenda."

http://tinyurl.com/2gko8v
 

hallybods

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#59
That sounds like its extremely dangerous and more like starvation more than a diet. If you speak to a nutritionist they will tell you that it's not the size of the meals, it's what you eat that is important.
 

rynner2

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#60
hallybods said:
That sounds like its extremely dangerous and more like starvation more than a diet. If you speak to a nutritionist they will tell you that it's not the size of the meals, it's what you eat that is important.
Well, never mind all that, just think of the points you'll get on your loyalty card! :D
 
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