The 'Obesity Epidemic'

escargot

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Today Programme

Heard this yesterday. At about 1 hour 39 minutes, a woman describes how weighing 40 stone affected her - diabetes, joint trouble, high blood pressure, gout, skin infections etc, plus the indignity of not being able to keep herself clean.

She has now had expensive surgery on the NHS to help with what she reckons was a food addiction. (I'd question the point of using surgery to deal with a mental health issue, but it seems to have worked.)

The surgery has brought its own problems; when an article was published about it, the family received public abuse and had dog mess thrown at them by people who felt that she didn't deserve it.

What interested me about this was the woman's own attitude to her problem.

She stopped going to her doctor because he kept telling her that all her health problems were caused by her weight, but she didn't believe him.

Then, when she eventually did see a doctor one March he told her that if she didn't lose weight she'd be dead by xmas, which scared her enough to accept the drastic measures. Until then, it was denial all the way.

Some of the fattest people I know are members at my gym. They must be the ones who've listened. ;)
 

Ulalume

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garrick92 said:
I think body dysmorphia (is that what they call it when anorexics see a fat person in the mirror?) works both ways -- it's specifically mentioned in the Telegraph issue (something like: "Why is the mirror showing me this fat person who I don't recognise?") and there's many a true word spoken in jest.

Possibly because it's not like you go to bed slim and wake up the next morning obese. That weight arrives insidiously, and there may be a 'boiling the frog' element to it, psychologically.
I think that may be true in some cases. I have body dysmorphic disorder (though I'm no longer considered anorexic) and it didn't happen overnight. There have been many times when I put on clothes that were far too large without realizing it at all. I've seen the reverse, too, with people not grasping that the 5 sizes-too-small jeans didn't fit.

American clothing companies have added to the confusion by re-labeling clothing sizes smaller than they used to be (what used to be a size 5 is now a 3, or even a 2, etc.).
 

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people not grasping that the 5 sizes-too-small jeans didn't fit.
There're whole websites about that problem, illustrated with photos taken surreptitiously in Asda. :shock:
 

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Alcohol calorie content: Labels needed, say doctors
By James Gallagher, Health editor, BBC News website

Alcohol should have a calorie content label in order to reduce obesity, according to public health doctors.
The doctors warn a large glass of wine can contain around 200 calories - the same as a doughnut. :shock:
Yet the Royal Society for Public Health says the vast majority of people are blissfully unaware.

Public Health Minister Jane Ellison said "great strides" had been made with labelling food, and that the government will look at the issue.
The drinks industry said it was open to the idea of calorie labels, but that labelling drinks with units of alcohol was more important.
The UK is one of the most obese nations in the world with about a quarter of adults classed as obese.

Food already comes with calorie information, but alcohol is exempt from EU food labelling laws.
And the European Commission is considering whether drinks should also carry such information.

Research by the Royal Society for Public Health suggested the measure would be popular with British drinkers.

The RSPH's chief executive, Shirley Cramer, told the BBC: "Quite startling really - 80% of adults have no idea what the calorie count is in anything they're drinking and if they do think they have an idea they totally underestimate it anyway.
"It could help the nation's waistlines as well as probably reduce alcohol consumption."

In a small pub experiment conducted by the society, people who were told the calories content of their drink consumed 400 fewer calories in a session.

etc...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-29821860

I dread to think how many virtual doughnuts I consume every night!
How many Haggis is a bottle of scotch equal to?

But if booze has so many calories, perhaps I should just give up food instead!
 

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British girls are now the 'fattest in Western Europe'
By DaveCDM | Posted: November 18, 2014

British girls are the fattest in Western Europe according to new statistics released this week, with more than a quarter of all children in the country now classed as obese.
The report also shows the death rate for UK children is now the second-worst in the region, with an alarmimng five extra deaths per day than the best performing countries.

Nearly a third of girls (29%) are classified as obese, compared to 26% of boys.
It means the girls are the fattest in Europe, while the boys are the tenth worst out of the 22 countries in the study.

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), which represents doctors specialising in children and young people, said childhood obesity statistics ‘continue to cause alarm’.
It is calling for a ban on advertising of foods high in saturated fats, sugar and salt before 9pm, and restrictions that stop them being advertised on internet ‘on-demand’ services.
It is also calling for food and nutrition training should be mandatory for teachers as part of a bid to improve children’s diet in schools, along with more activity.

The number of needless deaths among preschool children is similar up to the age of 14, with five extra dying each year who would not die in Sweden, among the best performing countries.
The number of children dying needlessly each year in the UK compared with Sweden amounts to almost 2,000 each year.

Read more: http://www.westbriton.co.uk/British-gir ... z3JPgJyda1
 

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Love handles linking up to form spare tyres? Well, it's not all bad news:

Being overweight 'reduces dementia risk'
By James Gallagher Health editor, BBC News website
10 April 2015

Being overweight cuts the risk of dementia, according to the largest and most precise investigation into the relationship.
The researchers admit they were surprised by the findings, which run contrary to current health advice.
The analysis of nearly two million British people, in the Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, showed underweight people had the highest risk.
Dementia charities still advised not smoking, exercise and a balanced diet.
Dementia is one of the most pressing modern health issues. The number of patients globally is expected to treble to 135 million by 2050.
There is no cure or treatment, and the mainstay of advice has been to reduce risk by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Yet it might be misguided.

Those who were overweight had an 18% reduction in dementia, researchers found
Being overweight cuts the risk of dementia, according to the largest and most precise investigation into the relationship.
The researchers admit they were surprised by the findings, which run contrary to current health advice.
The analysis of nearly two million British people, in the Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, showed underweight people had the highest risk.
Dementia charities still advised not smoking, exercise and a balanced diet.
Dementia is one of the most pressing modern health issues. The number of patients globally is expected to treble to 135 million by 2050.
There is no cure or treatment, and the mainstay of advice has been to reduce risk by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Yet it might be misguided.

The team at Oxon Epidemiology and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine analysed medical records from 1,958,191 people aged 55, on average, for up to two decades.
Their most conservative analysis showed underweight people had a 39% greater risk of dementia compared with being a healthy weight.
But those who were overweight had an 18% reduction in dementia - and the figure was 24% for the obese
.
"Yes, it is a surprise," said lead researcher Dr Nawab Qizilbash.
He told the BBC News website: "The controversial side is the observation that overweight and obese people have a lower risk of dementia than people with a normal, healthy body mass index.
"That's contrary to most if not all studies that have been done, but if you collect them all together our study overwhelms them in terms of size and precision."

etc...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-32233571

I think I'll have another cake! :p
 

uair01

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Couldn't find anywhere better to plunk this:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...oming-an-epidemic-and-could-wreck-your-spine/

“It is an epidemic or, at least, it’s very common,” Hansraj, chief of spine surgery at New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine, told The Washington Post. “Just look around you, everyone has their heads down.”

But I wonder: doesn't book reading do the same damage then?
 

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UK government proposals to strip obese or drug-addicted welfare claimants ofbenefits if they refuse treatment may violate medical ethics, the president of theBritish Psychological Society has said.

Jamie Hacker-Hughes, whose organisation represents psychologists in the UK, said people should not be coerced into accepting psychological treatment and, if they were, evidence shows it would not work.

He said: “There is a major issue around consent, because as psychologists we offer interventions but everybody has got a right to accept or refuse treatment. So we have got a big concern about coercion.”

Hacker-Hughes lent his voice to a chorus of criticism following the announcement of an official review to consider how best to get people suffering from obesity, drug addiction or alcoholism back into work.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/...se-claimants-of-benefits-flawed-and-unethical
 

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UK government proposals to strip obese or drug-addicted welfare claimants ofbenefits if they refuse treatment may violate medical ethics, the president of theBritish Psychological Society has said.

Jamie Hacker-Hughes, whose organisation represents psychologists in the UK, said people should not be coerced into accepting psychological treatment and, if they were, evidence shows it would not work.

He said: “There is a major issue around consent, because as psychologists we offer interventions but everybody has got a right to accept or refuse treatment. So we have got a big concern about coercion.”

Hacker-Hughes lent his voice to a chorus of criticism following the announcement of an official review to consider how best to get people suffering from obesity, drug addiction or alcoholism back into work.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/...se-claimants-of-benefits-flawed-and-unethical

How ironic - given the information on who the government takes its advice from in the first place.
This from Channel 4 Dispatches.....


Govt. scientific advisors funded by food and drinks industry

Sugar is on everybody’s lips – it’s in almost everything we eat and drink and giving it up is hard.


A growing number of health experts are calling for the government to act to cut down the hidden sugar in our diets, claiming it’s associated with a host of chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, which are costing the NHS billions of pounds a year.


An investigation by Channel 4 Dispatches, airing tonight, reveals that scientists advising health ministers on how much sugar should be in our diet are being funded by chocolate, ice-cream and fizzy drink companies as well as a lobby group for the sugar industry.


The revelation will raise more questions on whether policy makers are too close to the food industry.


Currently health ministers are waiting for a report on sugar by its scientific advisory committee on nutrition. This will be the first report on sugar in more than 20 years and will be critical in deciding how much sugar will be in our diets.


The chief scientist looking at the sugar question is Professor Ian MacDonald of Nottingham University, who is chairing a group investigating carbohydrates.


Channel 4 Dispatches has discovered that since 2012 he has resumed working for two food and drink giants. He is sits on two advisory boards for Coca Cola and one for Mars. He also receives funding from Unilever which is the world’s largest ice-cream manufacturer.


In an interview with Channel 4 Dispatches, Professor MacDonald says he does not get the money himself but that it goes to the university for research. He said his resumption work for Coca Cola and Mars had been approved at the “highest level” and that he “cannot be bought off”. He declined to say how much the companies paid but said it was not “insignificant”. (Full quotes available below)


Nottingham University where Professor Ian MacDonald works has received more than £1m in the last 3 years from the food industry, including £300,000 from Mars.


It has also emerged that four of the other seven members of Professor MacDonald’s committee advising ministers on sugar receive funds from the food or sugar industry.


One is a consultant to the world’s largest cocoa manufacturers, Barry Callebaut, and two others receive funding directly from sugar lobbyists, Sugar Nutrition. All these interests along with Professor MacDonald’s were properly declared to the committee.


The Department of Health told the programme: “Professor Ian MacDonald has fully declared his conflicts of interest in accordance with the Code of Practice. He is a highly respected figure within the public health community and has made a valuable contribution to research into obesity and nutrition”.


Key Sections of the interview with Professor McDonald

Dispatches reporter Antony Barnett (AB): “You are in a key position, a key government advisory committee “

Professor Ian MacDonald (PIM): “Yeah”

AB: “And you yourself have received funding from Coca Cola and Mars.”

PIM: And Unilever.

AB: “People will say look, that can’t be right. // how can you be advising the government on obesity and sugar when you’re also taking funds from companies that want us to have more sugar.”

PIM: “You’re quite right you look at the paper and say he does this this and this he must be biased. Now that’s not a fair conclusion to draw. You say there’s a potential for bias or a potential for conflict.”

AB: “And do you get paid by Coca Cola and Mars?”

PIM: “Coca Cola there’s a small honorarium that I receive. The Mars honorarium comes into the university and I pay for research costs with it and so on.”

AB: “Can you tell us how much that is?”

PIM: “All I would say is that the Mars honorarium is not a trivial amount of money and I would actually feel embarrassed if I took it so I don’t take it. “

AB: “Now I had a look before we came, and there are, eight members of the Carbohydrates Working Group –//. Dr. David Mela – now he works for Unilever.”

PIM: “He works for Unilever, but he’s not there.”

AB: “Pot Noodles, Ice Cream – they are the world’s largest ice-cream, Unilever, I’ve discovered.”

PIM: “That’s right, David and I are not the only people on the committee.”

AB: “Another Professor //and he’s been a consultant for Barry Callebaut.”

PIM: “OK.”

AB: “I’d never heard of it but it’s the world’s largest chocolate manufacturer.”

PIM: “Yeah cocoa manufacturer.”

AB: ”And then I’ve got here another Professor who also receives funding from // Unilever, and who also gets funding from the Sugar Bureau, which is the lobby of the sugar industry.”

PIM: “Mmm.”

AB: “ Another Professor here who also gets research funding from Unilever and funding from Sugar Nutrition, so a quick count would say, one, two, three, at least half, actually more than half of the members of the carbohydrates working group receive funding from chocolate, ice-cream and the sugar industries.”

PIM: “ Yep – all declared.”

AB: “All declared. // but can the public have confidence that your report is going to balanced?”

PIM: “I believe so, yep,…”

PIM: “I think the public has an absolute right to know this information, but they also need to be aware of the basis on which university research is funded – it’s what’s called a mixed portfolio of funding from government sources, from charities and from industry.”

PIM: “The question is an important to raise about the potential bias and the potential conflict, all I would say is that the structure that is in place for this committee would make it very difficult for the group of people you just described to sort of have private meetings and decide what’s going to happen,”

AB: “But it somehow affects the appearance because there is a lot of money behind the scenes.”

PIM: “Erm, all I would say to people is that they need to come and see me and speak to me, and I am not to be bought off by anybody.”
http://www.channel4.com/info/press/news/govt-scientific-advisors-funded-by-food-and-drinks-industry
 

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In 2005, Mike Skinner’s group at Washington State University published a disturbing observation: pregnant rats exposed to high levels of a commonly used fungicide had sons with low sperm counts as adults. When the males did succeed in impregnating a female, they bore sons who also had fewer sperm, and the gametes were less viable. The problem perpetuated through multiple generations, as Skinner’s lab observed the rats over several years.1

“We sat on [the results] for four years because it was a major observation, so we wanted to get as much on the mechanism as possible,” Skinner says. He and his colleagues found that altered DNA methylation patterns in the germ line were to blame.

To see if other environmental chemicals could have the same effect, they screened a host of potentially toxic chemicals: jet fuel, plastics ingredients, and more pesticides. Again, exposed animals had offspring with reproductive problems, which were passed down for generations. The researchers also saw another phenotype pop up again and again: obesity. Skinner first saw fat rats in his experiments after he’d injected females with a mixture of bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates, substances used to make plastic products and, like the fungicide the researchers originally tested, known to be endocrine disruptors. The rats’ pups and their pups’ pups—animals that had direct exposure to the chemicals—showed other abnormalities, but were of normal weight. However, roughly 10 percent of third-generation (F3) rats descended from exposed females became obese.2

The results were interesting, but not particularly striking to Skinner—until his team tested DDT, a pesticide used widely in the U.S. before it was banned in the 1970s because of its impact on bird populations and concerns that it could harm human health. Again, rats whose mothers or grandmothers had been exposed to the chemical had normal body size. “But by F3, 50 percent of the population, both male and female, had obesity,” Skinner recalls. “We said, ‘Wow, this is sort of a major deal.’”3

Skinner’s thoughts turned to the dramatic rise in obesity rates among US adults over the past few decades; currently, more than a third of American adults are obese. “My guess is there’s probably not a woman who was pregnant in the 1950s who wasn’t exposed to DDT,” he says. “When we starting seeing the obese animals, it clicked. . . . Maybe these 1950s exposures had something to do with today’s human situation.”

http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/44278/title/Obesogens/
 

Mythopoeika

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How did people get fat before DDT came along?
They need to answer that one now.
 

Naughty_Felid

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If it is contagious I must have a family of obese people living in the walls of my house as I eat reasonably and have been exercising like a lunatic and have not lost any weight.

ok ok I drink too much red wine and eat too much cheese but I should still be having around a 800 calories deficit.
 

Krepostnoi

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How did people get fat before DDT came along?
They need to answer that one now.
But did people get fat in anything like the same numbers prior to the 1950s (taking the time period cited)? Having said that, you could probably point to a host of factors - off the top of my head: less processed food (in wartime, less food full stop), more manual labour, lower relative incomes dictating less spending on food etc. etc. - that would have begun to change at around the same time and would also presumably have some effect on obesity levels.
 

Mythopoeika

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But did people get fat in anything like the same numbers prior to the 1950s (taking the time period cited)? Having said that, you could probably point to a host of factors - off the top of my head: less processed food (in wartime, less food full stop), more manual labour, lower relative incomes dictating less spending on food etc. etc. - that would have begun to change at around the same time and would also presumably have some effect on obesity levels.
But people ate food with a MUCH higher fat content. My parents used to eat rather a lot of bread and dripping, for example.
 

Krepostnoi

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But people ate food with a MUCH higher fat content. My parents used to eat rather a lot of bread and dripping, for example.
Yes, that's a fair point. I suspect the answer is, as always, "it's complicated". I wouldn't be at all surprised, though, to learn that one piece of the puzzle is that your parents' generation led more active lives, and probably had colder houses. I'm not a nutritionist, but I'd guess both factors would tend to boost the metabolism of fat, at least compared to our more sedentary, pampered lives.
 

Naughty_Felid

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Yes, that's a fair point. I suspect the answer is, as always, "it's complicated". I wouldn't be at all surprised, though, to learn that one piece of the puzzle is that your parents' generation led more active lives, and probably had colder houses. I'm not a nutritionist, but I'd guess both factors would tend to boost the metabolism of fat, at least compared to our more sedentary, pampered lives.

I have a colleague that goes on about the "super-wheat" that was manufactured in America that gives taller and greater yields that western civilisation now lives on and it's horribly bad for us.

Had a bit of a google but only turned up the Wheat belly stuff? Anyone know anything about it?

Also I put down the skinnyness of my grandparents to rationing, but then you look at early films and Fatty Arbuckle was considered massive, but you wouldn't bat an eyelid if you saw him today.
 

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With the Yuletide pig-out nearly upon us, many of you are probably thinking ahead to dieting in the New Year. Well, there's some food for thought here:
Weight loss: Why the most popular rule you've heard is completely wrong
Notion that for every 3,500 calories you shed from your diet, you'll lose a pound has been repeatedly refuted
Roberto A. Ferdman

There's a popular rule you've probably heard before about losing weight: for every 3,500 calories you shed from your diet, you'll lose a pound. But just because everyone, including nutritionists with graduate degrees, keep repeating this doesn't make it true.

In fact, it's a total myth.
"I see dietitians using it all the time, making recommendations based off of it," said Kevin Hall, who is a researcher at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. "Unfortunately it's completely wrong."

etc...

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-s...youve-heard-is-completely-wrong-a6784591.html

Who you gonna call - Gut busters?

(Could call a grammar tutor to sort out Kevin Hall, however - "recommendations based off of it" indeed!)
 

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A new patent shows how airfares may one day depend on your girth

LAST month, bemoaning the shrinking legroom on airplanes, an American congressman introduced a measure—on which Gulliver gloomily reported—to mandate a minimum amount of space for air passengers. Steve Cohen, a Democrat from Tennessee, pointed out that the average American man grew from 166lb (75kg) in 1960 to 190lb today, while the average woman jumped from 140lb to 166lb. Airline seats have meanwhile moved in the opposite direction. The average seat pitch has dropped from 35 inches (89cm) in the 1970s to 31 inches now, and the width of the typical seat has contracted from 18 inches to 16.5.

The measure failed, and airlines are showing no inclination toward roomier seats. Instead, they may turn to a different solution: making bigger passengers pay more to fly. Airbus, a European aerospace giant, has filed a patent application in America for a “re-configurable passenger bench seat":

In a first configuration of the passenger bench seat, the seatbelt system includes a first number of seatbelts which are detachably fastened to the fastening rail in first positions which are adapted to the first configuration of the passenger bench seat. In a second configuration of the passenger bench seat, on the other hand, the seatbelt system includes a second number of seatbelts which are detachably fastened to the fastening rail in second positions which are adapted to the second configuration of the passenger bench seat.

Allow Gulliver to translate the patentese here. The idea is that passengers would share a single bench, won’t be able to recline and may lose the armrests between them. The seat belts will be able to shift to accommodate passengers of varying widths. In other words, a slender passenger will be able to buy a normal ticket for the flight; if his neighbors are likewise slender, up to four of them will share a bench. A passenger of greater girth, however, would shell out extra for a wider seat configuration and would share the bench with fewer neighbours. ...

http://www.economist.com/blogs/gull...entshowshowairfaresmayonedaydependonyourgirth
 

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I have a colleague that goes on about the "super-wheat" that was manufactured in America that gives taller and greater yields that western civilisation now lives on and it's horribly bad for us.

Had a bit of a google but only turned up the Wheat belly stuff? Anyone know anything about it?

Also I put down the skinnyness of my grandparents to rationing, but then you look at early films and Fatty Arbuckle was considered massive, but you wouldn't bat an eyelid if you saw him today.
Just an update on this my colleague now has been on a wheat free diet for several months. She was fairly skinny beforehand and now she is skeletal!
 

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Hmmm. I wonder if I cut out bread, I'd lose weight?
Not that I eat that much of it anyway.
 

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You're probably right - it might be welcomed as more challenging than your common or garden probing.
I expect those extra recesses of flesh go some way to alleviate the monotony of 9 to 5 rectal examinations.
 

EnolaGaia

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Here's a map illustrating proportional obesity by nation. Not surprisingly, the Union of Sizable Asses ranks #1.

On the other hand, I'm surprised to see Libya and Saudi Arabia ranked so high ...

Illustrating the percentage of populations that are formally classed as obese, this map draws on World Health Organisation data from 2014. The darkest areas show the higher rates, which see America with the highest with 27 per cent. Other countries with diet problems include Libya, American Samoa, Samoa and Tonga. South East Asia, meanwhile, has the lowest at five per cent. The eastern Mediterranean region has a rate of 19 per cent
Obesity-WorldMap.jpg


SOURCE: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/t...aps-reveal-global-activity-minute-detail.html
 

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There was a survey in the paper the other day that found two thirds of Scots are overweight. I must admit to being guilty of that, though it's down to medication because I don't eat very much, but I wonder what everyone else's excuse is. Two thirds! If that percentage of the population suffered the same disease it would definitely be called an epidemic.
 

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Now obesity can be viewed from space!

Artificial intelligence spots obesity from space
By Matthew HutsonAug. 31, 2018 , 11:10 AM

Some public health problems are so large you can see them from space. Artificial intelligence can use satellite images to estimate a region’s level of obesity—even without spotting the overweight people, a new study reveals. Instead, it relies on cues such as the distribution of buildings and trees.

Knowing a neighborhood’s rate of overweight adults can help target interventions such as healthy eating campaigns. But gathering such statistics tends to require expensive surveys or on-the-ground investigation.

To find a better way, researchers downloaded nearly 150,000 Google Maps satellite images of 1695 census tracts (basically neighborhoods) in four cities: Los Angeles, California; Memphis, Tennessee; San Antonio, Texas; and the Seattle, Washington, area. Then they fed the images into a neural network, an algorithm that finds patters in large amounts of data. The network helped the researchers focus on the most important features of the images, such as the amount of green area (the green blobs in the images above—in the middle and on the right—roughly corresponding to trees and grass in the images above on the left), gray strips (the gray blobs in the middle, corresponding to roads on the left), or white rectangles (the red blobs on the right, corresponding to buildings on the left). The team then used another program to find connections between these blobby visual features and obesity rates.

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018...obesity-space?et_rid=394299689&et_cid=2342447
 

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There was a survey in the paper the other day that found two thirds of Scots are overweight. I must admit to being guilty of that, though it's down to medication because I don't eat very much, but I wonder what everyone else's excuse is. Two thirds! If that percentage of the population suffered the same disease it would definitely be called an epidemic.
There's quite a lot of recent research linking gut flora with weight, the ease of putting it on and the ease of losing it.

We do seem to be edging towards a point where we might be able to say 'healthy gut flora' is 'X' and some foods or types of foods are modifying 'X' leading to problems with weight.

I wouldn't be surprised to see antibiotics being implicated, firstly, obvious, and secondly, (a sample size of '1' I admit), I've had the bad luck to have to take a few prolonged courses of antibiotics and in every instance finishing the antibiotic course lead to a permanent weight gain of some half-a-stone that I couldn't shift.
 

Tempest63

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Now obesity can be viewed from space!
Artificial intelligence spots obesity from space
Why am I not surprised?
Got on the train home at Liverpool Street tonight. Train pulls into Stratford and a Moose walks on. I just knew she was going to sit next to me.

Now I am a bloke 5’ 5” so not tall. I have Crohn’s disease so not fat. This woman unashamedly slumps into the seat next to me, one arse cheek sitting on my thigh and my knee disappearing somewhere not nice. I spend the whole journey on a packed train balancing on the edge of my seat trying not to fall into the aisle.

I have asked Greater Anglia to reduce the size of the door openings for carriages allocated to normal size people
 
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