The 'Obesity Epidemic': Contagious?

rynner2

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#61
Something to think about before Christmas dinner...

A bad year to be fat
By Clare Murphy
Health reporter, BBC News

The year kicked off with the news that an overweight boy from North Tyneside could be taken from his mother by child protection officials.

Her apparent crime: overfeeding her son.

He was allowed to stay at home, but in the months to come various investigations - including one by the BBC - would uncover that obesity had been a factor in perhaps as many as two dozen child protection cases.

Some professionals said allowing a child to become obese had to be viewed as a form of neglect, given the potential health consequences.

Others believed that to treat childhood obesity as a parental crime was foraying into unchartered - and potentially rather sinister - territory.

Other obesity-related headlines rolled in thick and fast.

From fire chiefs considering charging to move large people from their homes to government equating obesity with climate change, fatness was never far away.

"When we first started talking about obesity as a problem, it was very hard to be heard," says Dr Ian Campbell, medical director of the charity Weight Concern.

"Now the pendulum has swung too far the other way - we hear nothing but. And the net result is that the kind of moralising the obese and overweight have always suffered has somehow become institutionalised."

No room at the hospital

One of the recent developments that particularly concerns the National Obesity Forum (NOF) is the move towards what has been described as "rationing" healthcare for the obese.

According to one tally, there are at least eight NHS trusts which have introduced some form of restriction for non-urgent operations on the overweight.

Such measures, which range from patients having to prove they have tried to lose weight to straightforward refusal to refer those above a certain BMI (body mass index), received something of an endorsement from then health secretary Patricia Hewitt earlier this year.

The fact is, doctors say, there are sound clinical reasons to delay treatment until patients lose weight. The operation is likely to be more successful, the recovery time shorter.

But Dr Colin Waine, NOF chairman, believes that the obese are simply being used by hospitals as a convenient way to cut down on expenditure.

"This is really about resources. You can't argue that denying a hip-and-knee operation to an obese person is in their interests, as it may well be the inability to walk about and exercise which is making their problems worse."

Recently the British Fertility Society has joined in, arguing that the obese should be barred from IVF as extra weight put the health and welfare of both mother and baby at risk.

This, Dr Waine claims, is "discriminatory".

Switching seats

And the constant debate about the problems fat people pose can get very tiresome for those on the receiving end.

Fat Is he New Black

"There's always been prejudice," says Vicki Swinden, founder of Fat Is The New Black.

"But what's changed is that this now seems to be totally acceptable. It's perfectly legitimate now for a person standing in an airline queue to say: 'I'm not sitting next to that person, they're too fat.'"

Fat Is The New Black argues that being fat does not necessarily mean you are not fit, or prone to ill health, and indeed this stance has been backed up by several studies.

Most recently, a major US investigation found the overweight had no higher risk of dying of cancer or heart disease and overall lived longer than those of a "normal" weight.

Too much doom

Yet no-one seriously contends that obesity is not a problem - even if there is debate as to how great a risk it poses. But there is suggestion that perhaps we are harping on too much about it.

"It's got to a stage now where it's actually hard to get any useful messages across because people have heard so much, often contradictory, information, that they just think: obesity blah blah blah," says Mrs Swinden.

The Health Secretary Alan Johnson recently said obesity was a problem "on the scale of climate change".

Increasingly there are fears that we hear so much about the doom and gloom of global warming that we have started to switch off.

"We don't want this to happen with obesity. We know what the problem is. We don't need more reports, more studies, more talking," says Dr Waine.

"We just need to get with it now: the government, the food industry, the community and the individual - we need to get cracking."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7140844.stm
 

rynner2

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#62
I'm on a serious diet now, partly because of potential health problems, and partly to get in shape before I go on a cruise in May, so I will probably post more horror stories like this one as a reminder to myself, as well as a warning to other FTers!
(BTW, there are a few typos in the original piece.)


Will our diet be the death of us: How fat can kill the human body
By JANE CLARKE
Last updated at 00:48am on 15th January 2008

As a nutritionist I've seen plenty of shocking things and know exactly what a bad diet can do to the human body.

I've even witnessed major operations - from gall bladder removal to women being sterilised - and know how a body stores fat.

But nothing could have prepared me for the experience of watching an autopsy on an overweight man and seeing the full horror of what his diet had done to his body.

There was so much fat inside his body that the doctor performing the autopsy struggled to locate the man's heart.

It was one of the most sad and shocking things I have ever seen.

What's so horrifying is that our eating habits mean more and more Britons are going to end up the same way - on a mortuary slab in this terrible state.

The autopsy was part of a documentary I made for Channel 4 with Jamie Oliver to highlight just how bad the British diet is.

We asked a panel of ordinary people from across the country to join us as we looked at how much fat, sugar and salt Britons are now consuming.

These were all people who ate the typical British diet - high in processed foods and low in fruit and vegetables - and who wanted to improve their diets.

As well as showing them in practical terms how much fat they were consuming in a year (one girl was made to lie in a bath as she had gallons of oil poured over her to graphically demonstrate her fat consumption) the idea was to show these people - some of whom were overweight, some who weren't - just what kind of damage their diets were causing to their insides.

The most dramatic part of the programme was where Dr Gunther von Hagens - who is world-famous for his exhibitions of dissected human bodies - performed an autopsy on a 25-stone man to ascertain the cause of death.

This man had died from heart failure. He had also suffered from diabetes and high blood pressure in the years leading up to his death. Taking a look inside him, it wasn't difficult to see why.

There was fatty tissue everywhere, squashing and pushing his vital organs out of place. He had literally eaten himself to death.


Watching the autopsy was our panel of 18 members of the British public. They were visibly shocked and repulsed by what they saw.

It was fascinating seeing their reactions, especially as many of them have a similarly fatty diet to this man.

We explained that many of them faced the same fate as they were eating way over the recommended amount of salt, sugar and fat.

Many were living off ready meals and takeaways. Despite this, few of them realised just how bad their diet was or the implications it could have in the long-term.

After measuring all of them, many learnt they were officially "obese", much to their surprise.

The autopsy was a sight to behold - and not just because the human body is so fascinating.

The sheer volume of fat inside this man's body had distorted his organs so much that Drvon Hagens struggled to find the liver and heart because they'd been shunted so far out of place by fat.

When Dr von Hagens did locate the heart, it was twice the size it should have been - the size of two fists rather than one.

This was because it had to work so hard trying to pump blood around blood vessels narrowed by fatty deposits.

The man's liver was "fatty" - when you're overweight the liver struggles to deal with fat and starts to store it.

Instead of being spongey and soft the liver becomes hard and rigid.


His diaphragm - the set of muscles that lies across the chest cavity, helping to pull oxygen into the lungs - had also been pushed up by the excess fat, and his lungs were half the size they should have been, meaning it was harder for him to breathe.

We were also shown the lungs removed from a smoker - worryingly, a smoker with a normal weight had healthier lungs than this man, a reminder that obesity really can be worse for you than smoking.

His body was in such a mess that it would have been impossible for him to walk more than a few steps without getting out of breath.

It is no wonder that obese people are comfortable and have no energy when their organs are rearranged in such a way.

The tragedy is that this man could have lived on with his fatty liver, diabetes and various other ailments but for his ruined heart.

And you don't need to hit 25 stone for this to happen.

One of the fundamental things people fail to realise is how over-eating, even by a small amount can, over time, pile on the pounds.

So many people have failed to make the connection between that extra bag of crisps and the fact their weight is creeping up.

In the programme we met one 25-year-old woman who needs to lose weight.

Her daily treat of crisps and a latte coffee, combined with the rest her fatty diet, was pushing her over the recommended calorie intake for a woman of 2,000 a day by 300 calories.

That doesn't sound like much - but over 15 months, it adds up to three-and-a-half stone.

On the other hand, just because you're thin, it doesn't mean you're healthy - you could still be eating yourself to death.

Firstly, many people associate the term "obese" with somebody so overweight that they're waddling along or gasping for breath.

But the reality is many of us are obese and don't realise it - often because we don't look it or define ourselves as "curvy".

Take two of the panel, Sam and Dan. Sam was classed as only slightly overweight for his height, while Dan was classed as obese.

Despite this, when asked to perform fitness tests, Dan outperformed-Sam, as did another member of the panel ranked as morbidly obese.

A further investigation with an MRI scan found that Sam had 29 per cent body fat; "obese" Dan had just 15 per cent.

Sam's lifestyle of a high-fat, high-sugar diet, coupled with very little exercise, meant he was accumulating a lot of internal fat - and storing up problems for himself later in life.

So who's to blame? Over the past 50 years, the food we eat has changed dramatically - in many ways for the worse.

Fifty years ago, the average sausage contained around 70 per cent meat.

Today, you'd be lucky to find more than 35 per cent in many brands.

The shortfall is made up with extras such as dextrose, rusk and emulsifier, which have no nutritional value, more salt to add flavour to these "fillers", and often colourants.

Then there's products such as the cereal Special K, which contains double the amount of sugar it did 20 years ago.


Nothing is safe - there's more sugar in bread and soups than ever before and our sweet tooth is sweeter than ever - we're even opting for naturally sweeter versions of apples.

I believe the rise of the ready meal has had one of the most devastating effects on our health over the last 25 years.

When they first appeared in the 1980s, one in ten people was obese. Today it's one in four.

So many ready meals are loaded with salt, calories and fat - including many of the reduced-fat versions - and low in fibre, that they are a terrible longterm diet.

The problem is that fibre kills off the cancerous cells in the bowel - and in a nation where bowel cancer is the second biggest cancer, this is serious.

Despite being a wealthy, developed country, we only manage to pass an average of 110g of stools per day - less than half a block of butter in terms of size - compared with Ugandans, who pass a record 480g a day - nearly two whole blocks. [ :shock: Not sure I want to read that while eating breakfast!]

This is because their diet is healthy, highfibre and rich in nuts and fruit.

It's partly the manufacturers' fault.

Better labelling would help - "the British public aren't stupid," says Jamie, "but it needs to be clearer when one product contains more than 100 per cent of an average person's recommended daily fat intake."

It's also partly our own individual fault - as Jamie puts it, "we all know that fruit and veg are good for us but most of us choose to ignore it."

But the good news - and one of the reasons why I agreed to be involved in this programme - is that it really doesn't take much to start undoing the damage.

Most people think changing your diet and lifestyle involves spending a fortune on brown, unappetising food and weird and wonderful things only found in health food shops.

The reality couldn't be further from the truth.

As regular readers of my column will know, I'm adamant that eating your way to a longer life is all about making small but significant changes to your diet.

I am fed up with gimmicky, pseudoscience where people are first ridiculed for their diet and then told they must eat goji berries, cut out all alcohol and only drink herbal tea.

These diets are completely inaccessible and unappealing.

For far too long, healthy eating has been seen as an elitist thing to do, something that only the rich can afford.

But that simply isn't true. It's perfectly easy to live healthily on many mainstream foods - foods which other nutritionists often disparage.

White bread, tinned fruit and frozen vegetables are all OK - if you combine them with the right things.

So forget weighing your stools or eating sprouted greens and focus on what's actually achievable.

We explained this to our panel - and set them on a course of healthier eating that didn't demand a radical rethink of their diet or introducing them to mung beans.

If you only like white bread, fine - just try and eat it with something healthy. So swop your bacon buttie for an egg on toast.

Or eat white pasta but combine it with protein such as chicken or fish.

This will slow down the release of energy from the meal and keep you feeling fuller for longer.

If you can't - or don't want to - buy fresh fruit and veg, opt for tinned or frozen varieties.

They still count as part of your five portions of fruit and veg a day and sometimes, as in the case of frozen peas, they can contain just as many nutrients, especially vitamin C, than their fresh counterparts.

I think because we can't see the effects of excess salt, sugar and calories, we don't see - or appreciate - the catastrophic damage we are doing to ourselves.

There is something to be said for using images such as this autopsy as a shock tactic.

In a way, it's not dissimilar to showing smokers what happens to their lungs.

But at least with smoking it's purely just a case of quitting. Over-eating and obesity is not such a clear-cut matter.

It's not enough just to shock people - they have to be guided about how to change their lifestyle.

The human body is a wonderful thing; it is precious and we should look after it rather than thinking of it as a machine that can cope with anything we put in it.

JAMIE Oliver: Eat To Save Your Life, will be screened on Channel 4 on Wednesday, January 16 at 10pm.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/li...ain.html?in_article_id=508249&in_page_id=1774
 

rynner2

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#63
'Ban restaurants from serving obese people'
By Tom Leonard in New York
Last Updated: 1:52am GMT 04/02/2008

A new bill in Mississippi would make it illegal for restaurants to serve obese customers.

The legislation, introduced by three members of the state’s House of Representatives, would allow health inspectors to revoke the licence of any restaurant that "repeatedly" feeds extremely overweight people.

According to the bill, which has been referred to the judiciary and public health committees, the state’s health department would determine the criteria which would then be sent to all restaurants.

Mississippi usually comes top in surveys of America’s fattest states, just as its citizens come bottom in terms of taking physical exercise.

Two-thirds of adult Mississippians are overweight and 30 per cent obese, according to the latest federal figures.

The bill proposes that the state’s health department establishes weight criteria after consulting with Mississippi’s Council on Obesity. These criteria would then be supplied to all restaurants so they could decide who not to serve.

Although it is widely predicted that the bill will not become law, it illustrates the level of concern about an issue that is estimated to cost the state’s free medical care system more than $220 million each year.

Ted Mayhall, one of the politicians who proposed the bill, said he was hoping to "call attention to the problem".

He said: "No-one’s doing anything about it. They just keep on going to the buffets and eating."

J Justin Wilson, an analyst for the Center for Consumer Freedom, a restaurant industry lobby group, said: "I’ve seen a lot of crazy laws but this one takes the cake. Literally." 8)

He added: "Maybe the state’s legislature should do something to help people burn more calories instead of pretending that eating out is a cardinal sin."

http://tinyurl.com/yrc3ww
 

Anome

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#64
What a stupid concept.

I mean, apart from the comedy gold of a waiter in McDonalds cutting someone off when they've had too much.

Here's an idea, make fat people eat in restaurants, only. The better standard of cooking (in proper restaurants, not fast food chains), plus the expense of having to pay restaurant prices for all their meals would have more benefit than forcing them to eat at home, where the depression of being told by someone they're too fat will just force them to eat lots of comfort food.

Plus, what standards will they be applying? Will the Maitre d'Hotel measure body fat before seating people? Will they have a speak your weight machine at the door?
 

GNC

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#65
Will it apply to takeaway food? Or Dial-a-Pizza? Will the pizza guy see you at the front door and say, waaaait a minute, buddy, I think you've had enough!
 

rynner2

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#66
'Firemen's lift is not for a 41-stone man'
By Auslan Cramb, Scottish Correspondent
Last Updated: 5:53pm GMT 22/02/2008

A crew of 10 firemen were called out four times in one week to lift a 41-stone man in his own home.

They travelled in two engines to Robert Marsden's council house and on one occasion were asked only to move him from one side of his bed to the other.

It led to a fire brigade union leader complaining yesterday that crews should not be dealing with obese people when they could be needed at real emergencies.

The call-outs were made to Mr Marsden's ground floor flat in Grangemouth, Stirlingshire, last week, where he receives daily visits from carers.

Gordon McQuade, of the Fire Brigades Union, said: "On one of the occasions it was simply to assist the council's Mobile Emergency Care Service to move him across his bed. That is not a medical emergency. Firefighters will always attend to help out in medical emergencies. We have no problem with that.

"But when you tie up two fire engines and 10 firefighters to move someone two feet across a bed you have to ask, should we be doing that in case other incidents come in?

"We don't have any special equipment or portable hoists to lift people like this. Even with 10 firefighters, if you're pushing someone who is more than 40 stone, you can put your back out."

Mr Marsden, 40, who is unemployed and spends much of his day in bed, said he did not understand "what the fuss was about".

He added: "The firemen came here and got on with their job, and once they were finished they went on to their next job. Sometimes I slide to the floor in my living room, and it's hard to get back up.

"I try not to make a regular habit of ringing for help, but sometimes there is nothing I can do. Of course I'm grateful to the fire service. There are people up and down the country just like me.

"My weight isn't something I like to discuss. It comes up in every conversation I have. I am tired of talking about it." The FBU said that with morbid obesity becoming more common, the NHS should provide on-call assistance and hoists to allow firemen to concentrate on their real duties.

Mr McQuade added: "We are seeing a large increase in this type of call where obese patients require to be moved within their house, but there is actually nothing medically wrong with them."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jh ... fat122.xml

Since it seems Mr Marsden can hardly move, someone else must bring him food. If somebody was to overfeed a dog that way, they'd probably be prosecuted for animal cruelty.
 

rynner2

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#67
From a 41 stone man to a 52 stone man - and my previous comment still applies...

Obese hostel man is laid to rest

A 52-stone man who was found dead at a hostel for people with drug, drink or mental health problems will be buried on Friday.
John Christian Jeffrey, 29, was found dead in Norton Fitzwarren, near Taunton in Somerset, on 28 February.

The cost of the funeral is being borne by Taunton Deane Borough Council as Mr Jeffrey has no known relatives.

Funeral directors have had to order a custom-built extra large coffin for the occasion, which costs about £800.

Special coffin

Funeral director Nigel Ford will run the service and said he has a contract with the council for such circumstances.

"It does happen quite often. Taunton Deane take responsibility for funding the funeral because there are no family members. It's very sad," he said.

"The council pay for a minimal, basic service which includes pallbearers, funeral director and a coffin.

"We've had to make a coffin specially for the man, he was quite large. In countries where people are larger, like America, I expect it's not too unusual but we don't get many."

Taunton Deane Council solicitor Judith Jackson added: "We haven't been able to trace any relations, therefore we have accepted responsibility for his funeral under our statutory obligations."

An inquest has been opened.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/somerset/7295234.stm

Sad case. But who feeds these people?
 

GNC

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#68
http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_2804541.html

The man with the bottomless stomach

A German has been dubbed "the man with the bottomless stomach" because of his massive appetite.

Heinz Asthoff binges on over 12,000 calories a day without gaining an ounce in weight, reports the Daily Telegraph.

He was struck with his incurable hunger following the death of his wife 22 years ago.

On any given day he will eat a 2.2lb chunk of leberkase meat loaf, 5lb of potatoes, a dozen eggs, a pint of mayonnaise, pizzas, chips and sometimes as many as 20 meat patties.

He has even been advised by his doctors not to give up his 40-a-day smoking habit because he would eat more.

The trouble is that Heinz, 68, from Offenbach, is spending more on food than he has pension money. "Something has to give," he said.

"I can't eat out anymore. Last time I went to a pub I ordered a potato pancake and ended up eating 100 of them. I can't afford it."

He is nearly six feet tall and weighs 15 stone. "My doctors say my stomach is like the mine I worked down for 36 years - black and bottomless," he said.

Doctors confess that they have no idea why his metabolism demands so much food.

He lost his devoted wife, Minna, 22 years ago to cancer - the event, he says, which triggered his bizarre eating syndrome.
We need to find out this guy's secret. Maybe it's psychosomatic?
 
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#69
Talk about living off the fat of the land.

Pay the obese to lose weight, says study
www.newscientist.com/article/dn16233-pa ... study.html
by Jim Giles

The focus of the next diet fad might be cash rather than carbohydrates. Kevin Volpp of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia found that obese people offered a financial reward for every kilogram shed lost more weight during a 16-week trial than those given standard diet advice.

The drawback? Like other weight-loss methods, many of the participants put the pounds back on once the programme ended. To achieve longer-lasting results the monthly payments, some totalling several hundred dollars, might have to be made for longer periods.

Volpp's results mean that obesity may join the list of social maladies that can be addressed using financial incentives. Previous experiments have shown that smokers and cocaine addicts can be weaned off their habits by paying them to stay drug-free. Incentives have also successfully been used to ensure that parents in developing countries send their children to school.

One of the biggest incentives schemes ever run in a rich nation got underway last year in New York. Over 5000 families are being studied to see if cash incentives can improve the rate at which children receive regular health check ups and adults attend work training courses.

Journal reference: Journal of the American Medical Association, vol 300, p 2631
 

rynner2

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#70
1970s lifestyle 'protects planet'

Getting back to the relatively slim, trim days of the 1970s would help to tackle climate change, researchers say.

The rising numbers of people who are overweight and obese in the UK means the nation uses 19% more food than 40 years ago, a study suggests.

That could equate to an extra 60 mega-tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year, the team calculated.

Transport costs of a fatter population were also included in the International Journal of Epidemiology study.

Dr Phil Edwards, study leader and researcher at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said they had set out to calculate what the UK energy consumption would be if the weight of the population was put back a few decades.

A "normal" adult population, where only 3.5% are classed as obese, was compared with a population where 40% are obese.

These populations reflect the proportions of overweight and obese people living in the UK in the 1970s - and what is predicted for the UK in 2010, the researchers said.


In addition to calculating the increased food costs of the heavier population, the team worked out how much additional fuel would be needed for transportation of modern-day UK compared with the 1970s version.

Greenhouse gas emissions from food production and car travel in the fatter population would be between 0.4 to 1 giga-tonnes higher per 1bn people, they estimated.

And people are generally bigger than they were three decades ago.

Between 1994 and 2004, the average male body mass index (BMI) in England increased from 26 to 27.3, with the average female BMI rising from 25.8 to 26.9 which equates to about 3 kg - or half a stone - heavier.

"This is not really just about obese people, the distribution of the whole population is what's important," said Dr Edwards.

"Everybody is getting a bit fatter.
"

"Staying slim is good for health and for the environment.

"We need to be doing a lot more to reverse the global trend towards fatness, and recognise it as a key factor in the battle to reduce emissions and slow climate change."

It is not just a UK issue - in nearly every country in the world, the average BMI is rising.

Professor Alan Maryon-Davis, president of the Faculty of Public Health said shifting the population weight distribution back to that of the 1970s would do quite a lot to help the planet.

"In the 1970s we had bigger portions of vegetables and smaller portions of meat and there's been a shift in the amount of exercise we do.

"All these things are combining to hurt the planet and this is a calculation that deserves a bit more attention," he said.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8004257.stm

It's all true! I was much lighter in the 70s than I am now.... :(
 

Ffalstaf

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#71
The '70s - the decade that saw the peak in smoking among women, the reemergence of malaria and dengue, and the emergence of AIDS. Yeah, let's go back to that lifestyle!

:nonplus:
 

rynner2

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#72
US 'fat game show' under fire
Page last updated at 6:55 BST, Friday, 7 August 2009
By Sima Kotecha
Newsbeat US reporter

An American TV game show for obese people is being criticised for the way it encourages contestants to lose weight.

It's like the talent show Dancing with the Stars but with a difference... all the contestants are overweight.

Dance Your Ass Off challenges obese people to lose weight through intensive dance and diet.

The one who grooves the best, and sheds the most pounds over two months, wins.

The worst person each week is eliminated and sent home.

Alberta Bradley's 34. She's hooked on the show.

She said: "I love it! I watch it on Mondays and you know, for a full-figured woman like myself, some of them don't think they can lose it.

"This show gives them hope and inspiration that they can dance and look better."

But not everyone's a fan. Despite being popular with many Americans, critics say it encourages yo-yo dieting, with the weight likely to go straight back on after the contest ends.

The National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA) in the US explained to Newsbeat they'd never endorse a show like this one because they simply don't work.

They said: "Overwhelming data has proven 95% of the time, people who diet for the purpose of losing weight, never reach their goal."

...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/hi/healt ... 000840.stm
 

Tangaroa42

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#73
Obesity Virus

Now, here surely is the greatest piece of unmitigated bullshit ever. Obesity isn,t a VIRUS, it,s about lazy idle buggers who cant be bothered to cook a decent meat and who would rather spend a fortune in the Chippy or McDonalds eating junk food, that and staying home to become couch potatoes watching reality TV, just like to Government want them to (after all they,re paying them are,n,t they). That anyone can believe an article making statement equating obesity to a virus just beggars belief, and having said that I really genuinely sympathise with people who have a medical condition that lead to them being classed as obese.

I await incoming. :x :x :x :D :D
 

Mythopoeika

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#74
Re: Obesity Virus

Tangaroa42 said:
That anyone can believe an article making statement equating obesity to a virus just beggars belief, and having said that I really genuinely sympathise with people who have a medical condition that lead to them being classed as obese.
Does clinical depression qualify?
 

WabbitHunter

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#75
I can probably guess that most obese people have underlying psychological problems that cause them to over eat. So it's not a matter of them just stop eating the wrong food, but more one of getting help for them. Plus treating them as a social pariah isn't going to help, how about a bit of compassion?
 

PeniG

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#77
The two most obese people I've ever known both had the same problem - they grew up in a rural setting, and then they came to the city. Their eating habits were formed in a setting in which they got exercise without noticing it and they needed to refuel constantly - loading hay bales is no light work! - and then they got jobs in real estate appraisal and computer programming, respectively. They lived alone, they'd never learned to cook so they tended to buy TV dinners or pick things up on the way home, they were conditioned to eat high-calorie foods, and they didn't have anybody to help them notice that their weight was creeping up. Then, suddenly, they were so fat they couldn't move across the room without panting, and had serious sleep apnea so they were too tired to change their habits. They weren't lazy and they weren't stupid; they just weren't alert to what their bodies were doing and so didn't catch the problem before it became unmanageable.

A lot of health problems come down to that. It's all very well to say "Well, you should have done this." The problem is - what do they do now? And it's not your business or mine to give them advice, unless asked.
 

feen5

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#78
The problem is - what do they do now? And it's not your business or mine to give them advice, unless asked
While i don't agree with the way Lizard phrased his advice 'go run up a mountain fatboy (and i think it was said tongue in cheek), i do think that people have every right to give advice if asked for or not. Obesity costs the taxpayer billions every year in Healthcare.

I think the Taxpayer has every right to ask what his money is being spent on and why more is not being done to save money or to put it to better use. And before anyone gets on their high horse i am well aware that there are many medical conditions for obesity but there is way more reasons for it that can be prevented.

If you believe that no one is allowed to give his advice without being asked then you are giving up your right to ask what happens to your tax.
 

PeniG

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#79
Well, I'm in America, so the tax argument is irrelevant to me at the moment.

But even if it weren't - getting in people's faces about their eating habits (or their sleeping around habits, or their smoking habits) on a one-to-one basis is counterproductive. Both of my examples were/are aware of their problems (one is no longer aware of anything, having fallen asleep at the wheel and crashed into a highway divider, so don't think for one moment I don't understand the seriousness of the situation) and were working on them, and both had to field a lot of chipper irrelevant advice from people who didn't have the problem, who made false assumptions about either the cause of the problem or the capacities of the individual; or were plain nutritionally ignorant.

Take a simple dietary change that is effective for me and that a lot of people will hail as the cure for everybody - cut out the sweets. But we have all been trained to eat sweets from infancy. I solve this by eating fruit. I love fruit, so this is effective in the absence of emotional crisis (in which case, sorry, I'm getting my serotonin from chocolate; it's safer than Prozac). My morbidly obese friend doesn't like fruit. It cannot solve his sweet craving because even if he did it, he would get no pleasure. If I nag him for eating a chocolate bar, or preach the gospel of fruit to him, that would make him angry and resentful and perversely increase his desire to eat a chocolate bar, just to show me that I couldn't boss him around. That's the way human beings are.

And take my husband. He has terrible habits, he knows he has terrible habits. Five years ago, his weight was creeping up as a result of those habits. Then he went through a period of wasting and lost 40% of his body mass, so for a time we were focused on keeping his weight up. He got to his proper weight and hovered there for awhile. Now, suddenly, he has ballooned. We've seen weight gain due to those habits in the years before he got sick, and it doesn't act like this. This is not the result of slacking off after a period of eating and exercising properly, because he has been consistent in his behavior. The cause has to be medical. Advice given on any other basis is automatically worthless and annoying.

I think, based on experience and observation, that many health problems in the modern world - obesity, mental and emotional problems, STDs - are exacerbated by a simplistic societal tendency to condemn them as evidence of personal and moral failings while simultaneously acting under the assumption that bad health habits are easier and more fun than good ones. The results of this dichotomy, consisting as it does of two false premises, are inevitably disastrous in ways that could be predicted if we would look at the way people really do behave and not at how we, in our innate superiority, think they ought to behave.

You cannot tell by looking at a person why he is the weight he is. It is not a simple or a single problem. It will not yield to simple or single solutions. And it can only be made worse by condescension, judgment, scolding, and pontificating.[/i]
 

feen5

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#81
And i would like if you could point out where i mentioned anything about pointing out peoples eating habits to their faces or where i was scolding, standing in judgement or pontificating on anyone about their eating habits.

If you read my post again and properly this time, i said that taxpayers have every right to ask where their money is being spent and why its acceptable for their money to be used to stop people smoking or telling them about the dangers of drink but the same effort is not made about obesity (especially preventable obesity).

Treatment of ailments caused by obesity costs billions every year across the world and to be honest offending some peoples sensibilites, by pointing out the value of excerise and healthy eating to them, is very small price to pay for saving first and foremost the persons life and health and secondly the overworked health services.

And before you have another go at me for being judgemental or pontifcating i will point out that I AM WELL AWARE THAT SOME OBESITY IS CAUSED BY UNDERLYING MEDICAL OR PYSCHIATRIC CONDITIONS I AM TALKING ABOUT PREVENTABLE OBESITY.

Sorry about the capital letters but sometimes its necessary to make yourself clear for fear of being labelled as some sort of inconsiderate Nazi because you dare to suggest that some overweight people could and should do something about their weight.
 
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#82
feen5 said:
...

While i don't agree with the way Lizard phrased his advice 'go run up a mountain fatboy (and i think it was said tongue in cheek), i do think that people have every right to give advice if asked for or not. Obesity costs the taxpayer billions every year in Healthcare.

...
What Lizard23 actually wrote was, 'go run up a fucking mountain, health-boy'.

Something quite different. So a bit more close reading all round, I'd say. ;)
 

PeniG

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#83
Since I was talking about getting in people's faces personally, feen, I responded on that basis, thinking we were in the same conversation. Sorry to talk at cross purposes. There's a number of effective things to be done at the organizational level - education, regulating things like high-fructose corn syrup, using realistic standards, etc. - and I am in favor of doing those things; it's this business of snarking at whole classes of people on newsgroups and in person, as if nagging had ever accomplished anything, that I'm against. We all have enough things to correct in our own lives without laying down the law to other people.

It is really hard to point that out to people without indulging in paradox, though. I take it from the fact that my nagging you about nagging drove you to all caps that you concede that point.
 

rynner2

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#84
I've just watched this on iPlayer:
Mischief - Series 4 - 2.

Who Made Me Fat?

Why are we so fat? Is it really all our own stupid fault? Becca Wilcox sets out to find the real culprits behind Britain's obesity epidemic, the secret feeders who make fat profits from ever-expanding waistlines.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0 ... de_Me_Fat/
At first this seems quite a lightweight programme (so to speak!), because it is rather amusing, but it does raise some serious points. (Why are McD, Cadbury, and Coke acceptable as Olympic sponsors? Why are Burger King outlets allowed in NHS hospitals? etc)

Watch it to the end for for full effect, including the snake-tongued responses from the government department spending millions on anti-obesity campaigns... :roll:
 

rynner2

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#85
Too fat to lock up: Bedridden man weighing 43-stone avoids jail for food scam
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 9:57 AM on 02nd April 2010

A 43-stone man found guilty of scamming restaurants out of food has escaped a jail term - because he is too fat.
Morbidly obese George Jolicur ordered huge meals and ate most of them before complaining about the products and sending them back. He would then refuse to pay.
In one episode he scammed five free milkshakes from a restaurant after consuming an entire drink before complaining that the milk was off.

Jolicur, 38, was finally caught after eating almost £30 worth of jerky in a restaurant before returning the last few pieces, claiming they were mouldy. The shop owner went to police.

Jolicur, of Sandford, in Florida, avoided jail because he is so fat the medical costs of imprisoning him would be too great.

He is now bedridden and could not even attend court to be sentenced. Prosecutors said it would cost thousands in medical fees just to bring him before a judge.
They offered his lawyers a plea deal that in return for avoiding prison he would plead guilty to five charges.
Lawyers for Jolicur accepted the deal and he was fined £800.
Prosecutor Kyan Ware said: 'He's got his prison cell. He's not getting out of that bed.'

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldne ... z0jw30eExS
 

OneWingedBird

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#86
I was visiting my next door neighbour in hospital last week and there was a guy in the bed opposite on the respiratory ward who was too obese to walk... neighbour said he discharged himself against medical advice but he had to get his family to come and wheel him out of the building.

This from today's BBC news:

Obese visit GP more often than smokers, researchers say

Overweight people are more likely to make frequent trips to their GP than smokers or those who are generally unfit, say Dutch researchers.

The findings cannot be explained by overweight people having a higher risk of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, the analysis showed.

Rising rates of obesity means nurses may have to take some of the pressure off doctors, they said.

The research is published in Family Practice.

The team from Maastricht University looked at GP data from almost 4,500 adults.

Participants also filled in a questionnaire designed to find out about their lifestyles, such as their diet, whether they smoked, how much they drank and how much exercise they did.

They expected to find that the most unhealthy or unfit people would visit their GP more often.

But of the lifestyle factors looked at, only body mass index (BMI) was independently associated with frequent visits to the doctor.

The finding was true of both men and women and was not accounted for by higher rates of chronic illness.
Minor complaints

Although the researchers could not conclude from the study why overweight people may visit their GP more often, they speculated they may have more minor complaints, such as sleep problems or musculoskeletal pain.

Study leader Dr Marjan van den Akker said further work was needed to unpick the reasons for frequent attendance.

And she added that GPs would come under increasing pressure as obesity becomes more common and other ways of managing demand may need to be considered.

"The role of the nurse practitioner is already common in diabetic patients, chronic lung disease and the elderly, so it's very feasible that they could take on this role."

Dr David Haslam, a GP and chair of the National Obesity Forum, said the results certainly reflected what he saw in his practice.

"It's good news that they are worried about their health and want checking out but we also know that we have to do more to identify and manage overweight patients.

"Practice nurses are the mainstay of treating these patients because they can spend longer with them and have the opportunity to give lifestyle advice."
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-10963427
 

rynner2

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#87
Family of dead 22st woman sues crematorium which couldn't cope with size of coffin
By Mail Foreign Service
Last updated at 2:06 AM on 28th September 2010

The family of an obese woman whose body was 'too fat' to be cremated is suing a French crematorium for discrimination.
Danielle Pelabarrere, who weighed 22st, died of heart attack in Merignac, near Bordeaux on Saturday.
But when her husband Andre booked her coffin into the local crematorium, he was told it was two inches too wide to fit into the incinerator.

He said: 'It is an outrage. She was mocked for her size in life, and now she is being mocked in death.
'She always said she had a horror of being buried, but now her final wishes can not be respected.'

The family also tried crematoriums in neighbouring towns, but none was able to help.
Only Toulouse, 100 miles away, said it had an incinerator large enough to cope with the three-feet wide coffin.
Mr Pelabarrere added: 'We are not a rich family and to take her body all that way is expensive.
'If we have to do that they we will, but we are also demanding compensation from the crematorium for its inability to meet our needs.'

But Merignac crematorium manager Jean-Claude Oruezabal denied disciminating against fat people and large coffins.
He said: "We accept people and coffins of any size in principle, but in this case it just wont fit and there is nothing we can do."

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... z10oYU3aMG
 

rynner2

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#88
Very long but thought-provoking article:

Everything you thought you knew about food is WRONG
Fibre's bad for you. Fat's healthy. And five-a-day is a gimmick to make fruit and veg firms rich. Or so claims a remarkable new book...
By Alice Hart-davis
Last updated at 9:10 AM on 1st November 2010

We think we know what to eat: less red meat and more fibre, less saturated fat and more fruit and veg, right? Wrong, according to a controversial new book by obesity researcher and nutritionist Zoe Harcombe.

In The Obesity Epidemic: What Caused It? How Can We Stop It? Harcombe charts her meticulous journey of research into studies that underpin dietary advice — and her myth-busting conclusions are startling.

Myth: The rapid rise in obesity is due to modern lifestyles
According to Zoe Harcombe, the ­obesity epidemic has less to do with our lifestyles than with what we are eating.

‘The key thing that people don’t realise is that throughout history, right until the Seventies, obesity levels never went above 2 per cent of the population in the UK,’ she says. ‘Yet by the turn of the millennium, obesity levels were 25 per cent.
‘What happened? In 1983, the government changed its diet advice. After that, if you look at the graphs, you can see obesity rates taking off like an aeroplane. You might feel it is coincidence, but to me it is blindingly obvious.

‘The older dietary advice was simple; foods based on flour and grains were ­fattening, and sweet foods were most ­fattening of all.
‘Mum and Granny told us to eat liver, eggs, sardines and to put butter on our vegetables. The new advice was “base your meals on starchy foods” — the things that we used to know made us fat (rice, pasta, potatoes and bread). That’s a U-turn.’

etc, etc...

Myth: Food advisory bodies give us sound, impartial advice
The organisations we turn to for advice on food are sponsored by the food industry. The British Dietetic Association (BDA), whose members have a monopoly on delivering Department of Health and NHS dietary advice, is sponsored by Danone, the yoghurt people, and Abbott Nutrition, which manufactures infant ­formula and energy bars.

The British Nutrition Foundation, founded in 1967 to ‘deliver authoritative, evidence-based information on food and nutrition in the context of health and lifestyle’, has among its ‘sustaining members’ British Sugar plc, Cadbury, Coca-Cola, J Sainsbury PLC and Kraft Foods.

‘When the food and drink industry is so actively embracing public health advice, isn’t it time to wonder how healthy that advice can be?’ says Harcombe.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/artic ... WRONG.html
 

Anome

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#89
rynner2 said:
Myth: The rapid rise in obesity is due to modern lifestyles
According to Zoe Harcombe, the ­obesity epidemic has less to do with our lifestyles than with what we are eating.l
Hmm...I always thought that our diet was part of our lifestyle. I guess it must not be, since this expert says otherwise.

The rest of it is actually not news. Starch isn't good for you, and not many dieticians will recommend you eat lots of it. My dietician advises more protein, more leafy green vegetables, fewer carbohydrates, more exercise, etc...

So nothing new, but I suppose she has a book to sell.
 

rynner2

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#90
Anome_ said:
My dietician advises more protein, more leafy green vegetables, fewer carbohydrates, more exercise, etc...
Yeah, but which book did your dietician get that info from? ;)

Trust none of the bastards, just eat a very varied diet, I reckon.
 
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