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  #101  
Old 21.06.2011, 23:28
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Re: Fast fatty foods

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There was an interesting article on a UK tv programme yesterday.
A slim health-conscious doctor went without food for quite a number of hours, and was then put into a magnetic resonance imaging scanner and shown images of various types of food at random.
Her brain hardly reacted to healthy salads, but went into overdrive at images of chips, cakes and chocolate, demonstrating that we are all hard-wired to find junk food attractive, even though we may choose not to eat it.
Or, it was simply that his blood sugar was low and he was craving an immediate fix, in the form of sugar, fat, etc
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  #102  
Old 21.06.2011, 23:43
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Re: Fast fatty foods

There is also a lot of research to suggest (prove?) that obesity is a matter of genetics more than anything else. So, for example, if someone is obese it's usually not because they over-eat, but instead because they are biologically "designed" to be that size. I watched a great documentary about this recently. I only wish that I could remember the title.
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Old 21.06.2011, 23:50
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Re: Fast fatty foods

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There is also a lot of research to suggest (prove?) that obesity is a matter of genetics more than anything else.
A line of Americans* from the 1930s:





A line of Americans from the 2010s:


They're mutatin', I tells ya!



*chosen for the abundance of photographs of them on the internet.
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  #104  
Old 22.06.2011, 01:02
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Re: Fast fatty foods

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There was a very interesting talk on WRS, I think it was in either Health Matters or Kids in mind, talking about increasing anorexia and how now the link with aggressive gov campaign against excessive eating have gone too far.

I haven't seen it in the German part, but here, it is getting much more visible, especially now, in summer. Sad.
I do think this is part of the problem. People who are susceptible to the opinions of others are going to react strongly to comments like Leni made and they tend to take it to extremes.

Of course, not being a psychologist nor having experience beyond myself and my friends, my theory is subjective at best BUT I think that being pushed (whether through negativity or overly-aggressive "helpful" advice) tends to cause people to react in ways other than what's intended.

Some people (like me, and some of my friends) will say "Eh, f you buddy!" and eat what we want, no matter how it makes us look or feel or how much we may actually want to lose some weight / develop a habit of exercise. Other folks I've known will go the total opposite and take the advice too far, eating too little, eating incorrectly, exercising too much.

This is another thing we've talked about before... it is easy (very easy!) in places like the US to eat too much and get too little exercise. Meanwhile, it is difficult to work exercise into a routine, particularly below a certain income level as the (newer) neighborhoods tend NOT to have sidewalks these days and they also tend to be built in such a way that you have to drive to get anywhere.

When I was a kid, there were parks with things to climb on, swing from, run around, skate on, play basketball on, etc, etc, nearly "everywhere." They were tucked between the backyards for all the kids to use, probably one for every 20 or 30 houses. You don't really see that anymore, not in the newer developments in the US.

Here it is a bit different. Living in or near the cities, you often do have some sort of shopping within a reasonable walking distance. You also generally do have a population accustomed to sharing space with cyclists and pedestrians, so even in some iffy spots, the drivers seem to be more aware of the potential for someone being there. It is seen as normal (and safe) to walk here, so people continue to do it.

Another difference of here vs there is that here, you don't really see those "economy size" or "family size" packages of food. It is a lot less expensive to buy 10 chicken legs at once than just two. Here, at most, I've seen maybe 4 chicken legs in a package. Even the large size chips (crisps to some) bags are maybe half the size of ones from the US - and cost twice as much. This in my head goes along with the theory regarding plate sizes vs portion. The smaller the plate, the more it seems like you have when you "fill" said plate... so, eating a "whole" bag of chips here is still psychologically similar but not nearly actually as dangerous physically as eating a whole "family size" bag in the US. One gets used to seeing certain portion sizes and thinking that's normal, whether it's actually too much is something that gets lost.


Anyhow, there are a lot of reasons people eat too much, just as there are actually a lot of reasons why some eat too little. Some people don't get enough exercise, some get too much. Some harm their bodies by carrying too much daily weight, some do it by running so often their spine, knees, ankles and hips suffer.

It does just come down to a matter that everyone has their thing, doesn't it? Too much food, too much alcohol, smoking, doing drugs, adrenaline junky... It is easy to tell yourself that whatever your thing is, at least it's not as bad as someone else's, it's like that for me too.
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  #105  
Old 22.06.2011, 08:33
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Re: Fast fatty foods

Funny enough, when I flounced yesterday, I was on the second day of my weekly 3 day steroid dose. Cortisone saves your life but it sucks in other ways... increased appetite, mania, fuzzy thinking, loss of sleep. Plus fluid retention and facial flushing. Reactivity to the max. But sometimes you have to take the sh*t.

Not every fat person is on steroids, however, obviously. And I'll be off of them in July, so hopefully I can move on too.

When I moved to Switzerland not quite 4 years ago, I lost 20 kilos, very slowly maybe over a year and a half - just by increasing my movement and cooking at home more. No special "diet", not really. We eat the rainbow. But we also eat butter, cheese, eggs, milk with fat in it and the occasional piece of red meat. Perish the thought. Lot's of little fishes (omega 3) and olive oil, too.

Late last year, I hurt my my knee, curtailing my movement, and then I had another unexpected adventure all of which has helped me to regain some of that weight over the past 7 months. It doesn't make me happy, but when I'm done I'll start again. So I'm one of those fat people too... and the way I look at it, tough sh*t if it offends you.

But I wanted to comment about a few things here.

Jamie Oliver - has the best of intentions and great ideas. I would rather read his stuff than watch him, personally. I do think his approach might have been lost on the people of West Virgina who didn't take kindly to him. And for some people, it provides another opportunity to laugh at the Hillbillies. A freak show. Maybe choosing a better sample and not on reality TV. I've not seen the program though. But in the end, it's more about ratings and marketing in the US, so the program was cancelled, but might be shown again? I'm not sure. I understand he's now doing a program on pub food in the UK?

Eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia and other eating disorders are psychiatric illnesses, usually co-existing in families with histories of other psychiatric illnesses. In the US ED's have the highest mortality among psychiatric diseases in young women , often as a result of suicide or just not being able to eat enough, finally and your body shuts down. Although they are largely genetically determined, environment - plays a big role in their development. New cases of eating disorders are increasing and they are difficult to treat. People are advocating for "family-based treatment", involving the whole family in caring for the affected individual - residental programs are incredibly expensive, rare and not always effective (in the US). Like other psychiatric disorders, there are a lot of cultural differences in their diagnosis and treatment. (e.g., the US is different from CH).

Harriet Brown's "Brave Girl Eating" is an excellent account of her daughter's experience with anorexia. If you ever thought that just a little anorexia would be just the thing for you, then reading this is helpful... the sheer terror that Harriet's daughter experienced around eating is stunning.

More common, and what a lot of people experience is disordered eating yo-yo dieting, laxative and diuretic abuse, obsessive exercise, and moderate binging and purging. Not eating disorders per se, but these make people miserable, and yo-yo dieting can make you gain weight when all is said and done. A lot of this is environmental. Actually, if I ever finish my PhD, media influences on disordered eating is part of my topic.

Obesity vs. Health At Every Size

Then there are fat people. Lots of fat people. Why are they fat? Well, they eat too much, some of them. But it's not quite that simple. Some people do have a propensity to be fat. My family comes from southern and eastern europe - short and round and many living into their 80's over the last 110 or more years, whether they lived in Lithuania, Italy, Poland, France or Pittsburgh. (I have pictures dating back to the early 20th century, so I know).

Today, lots of people don't get enough exercise because people used to exercise throughout the day, and some of them have jobs requiring that they sit in front of a computer, telephone or other sedentary place. Then they drive home, and eat and watch tv, and then sleep at night, but not enough. Too much processed food- not enough exericse and not enough sleep, plus stress, especially if you're worried about your job, have a long commute, and no outlet for that stress is going to contribute to weight gain and cortisol increase. In addition, many people do have a genetic predisposition to pack on pounds in these situations. Social status is inversely related to weight gain in many people. Learning that it's ok to not clean your plate is a good thing too. So yes, it is genetic too,but fueled by environment.

So do we treat obesity (which is proving to be very difficult) through means like diets, drugs, surgery, shaming people, and then look at their health outcomes improve. Except it doesn't seem to work....and some people just get fatter, especially if they yo-yo diet. There are metabolic reasons for this - plenty of info on the web about this tho.

Notice that this says nothing about obesity prevention, however. And that's where i think ideas like Health at Every Size might be helpful. Intutive eating is another term that people like to use.

I like to read this blog
http://blogs.psychcentral.com/weightless/
Might be a little fat sympathetic for some of you...
In particular, this set of posts though might help explain Health At Every Size

http://blogs.psychcentral.com/weight...ery-size-haes/

If you look at stuff from Linda Bacon, in particular - she seems to have culled through a lot of the scientific literature. The idea is that by concentrating on movement, and learning to eat when you're hungry, making better food choices, but not a "diet" per se, many fat people (and thin people), improve their quality of life, and their "health markers" - blood sugar, blood pressure, lipid profiles. They may or may not loose a lot of weight, however. So the issue is, what's important here - the marker or the weight? And that is part of the debate.

But are fatty foods disgusting? I don't know... I do know that it really gets me going when people are denigrated based on their appearance.

Ok, rant over.....
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  #106  
Old 22.06.2011, 08:40
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Re: Fast fatty foods

Genetics cannot account for the huge surge in obesity over the last couple of decades. Yes some people are designed to be bigger than others but again it is not that simple with many other factors that need to be taken into account.

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There is also a lot of research to suggest (prove?) that obesity is a matter of genetics more than anything else. So, for example, if someone is obese it's usually not because they over-eat, but instead because they are biologically "designed" to be that size. I watched a great documentary about this recently. I only wish that I could remember the title.
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  #107  
Old 22.06.2011, 09:56
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Re: Fast fatty foods

I often think about some remarks I have heard here, which would be considered mean and hateful back home, and it makes me wonder. I really do not want my little one to be popular because she is thin. I don't want her to be part of the mean club of kids who point figers and laugh at their little buddies and scold them for being chubby. Kids will always do it, to some degree, but I do not want her to be susseptible to medias, nor her teachers who migth make simplistic nasty comments about how obese some people are, nor her little friends who will punish the ones who have weight troubles. I do miss that little bit of hedonism my food culture always had in terms of eating well, and lots, and then running around to sweat it off since gas is so expensive and cars are as well. So, things are pretty ok back home. But I am not sure if it is ok because of the "right" reasons.

That does not give me right, though, to point fingers at my US friends, should they happen to be over weight. In fact, they aren't, but it would be far easier for them to be, than here. It is a personal responsibility, but society does not make it easy. Having 2-3 jobs, no place nearby to actually safely move (no side walks, giant sizes that are pushed as normal, and gyms aren't always affordable or accessible), and the over bearing "pamper yourself" entitlement push, if I hear those words one more time... Makes me think "the world owes me, here is another hotdog"...It's only the way I grew up and made myself that makes me resilient, mom nursing us, too (there is link to formula, easy over feeding and obesity in adulthood, but how many moms do have the luxury of gov paid 4 years of maternity leave) but how many times things aren't lined up like that? How many times families do not exist together but during cheap meals only? How many parents just give up when their kids push for fun junk food, as opposed to healthy...Why scold the "products" of decisions that were made long time ago, eventhough we might see it as a personal responsibility and completely ignore those who are struggling for medical and other reasons. Why is there low tolerance instead of positive reinforcing, support?

I feel nobody should ever feel superior. No culture should, since we do not have exact insight into what else is happening, that replaces this unhealthy attitude with another one, less visible. I feel mocking, especially peeps who can look closer at their own lifestyle choises, eventhough their food attitude might be ok for now, mocking has never done any good. I feel this issue is oversimplified in medias, it needs a lot more insightful attitude.
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  #108  
Old 22.06.2011, 10:16
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Re: Fast fatty foods

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There is also a lot of research to suggest (prove?) that obesity is a matter of genetics more than anything else. So, for example, if someone is obese it's usually not because they over-eat, but instead because they are biologically "designed" to be that size. I watched a great documentary about this recently. I only wish that I could remember the title.
Genetics cannot account for the huge surge in obesity over the last couple of decades. Yes some people are designed to be bigger than others but again it is not that simple with many other factors that need to be taken into account.
Yein. There is no "fat gene". There are however, certain genetic groups who have a clear bias towards putting on fat faster - this is usually a result of genetic selection through adversity, e.g. the Pima indians.

Genetics, I don't think, can be "blamed" for an increase in obesity, as we've developed as a race massively in the last few years, with food available freely (well, almost) and our bodies have not caught up. This for me is the biggest issue - the change in lifestyle - if you look at developing countries (now that is PCism), being fat remains associated with health/wealth, and generally manual labourers in poor areas remain thin - i.e. low income, manual labour and limited diet.

Blaming it on the genes is an abregation of responsibility, however, you can tie in the increasing role of epigenetics into gene expression - i.e. the concept that your genes remain the same, but their expression changes. There is evidence that epigenetics is linked to mental problems and allergies being passed from parent to child - all based on changing gene expression. There's no reason to think that this could also tie into metabolic changes in the body.

The main issue of course is that 10-20-30-40 years ago, people died much more quickly - usually before they could reproduce. There was a "natural selection" for survival and if you didn't make the cut, it was game over. Now, of course, people with diabetes, or for example, haemophilia, live long and prosper, passing on their "defects". Harsh, but this is a factor that people seem to forget.
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Last edited by Carlos R; 22.06.2011 at 11:09. Reason: blue bit added for clarity
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  #109  
Old 22.06.2011, 11:07
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Re: Fast fatty foods

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There was an interesting article on a UK tv programme yesterday.
A slim health-conscious doctor went without food for quite a number of hours, and was then put into a magnetic resonance imaging scanner and shown images of various types of food at random.
Her brain hardly reacted to healthy salads, but went into overdrive at images of chips, cakes and chocolate, demonstrating that we are all hard-wired to find junk food attractive, even though we may choose not to eat it.
Our brains are hard-wired to find food that we need attractive.

I've gone without food for a couple of days a few times in my life (mainly because I've been in the middle of nowhere and I've run out) and I can tell you, the last thing I've thought about is a bl**dy salad. What my body (and brain) has needed is carbs and it's carbs that I have thought about.

Our bodies are really good at letting us know what they need. We just need to interpret the signals and to do this, we need to eat slowly and in a considered fashion with respect for the food that we have on our plates.
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Old 22.06.2011, 18:50
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Re: Fast fatty foods

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Our brains are hard-wired to find food that we need attractive.
This is so true... it's why pregnant women develop strong cravings for certain foods containing whatever they're missing (iron in strawberries etc)

When you're dieting after a while, you can develop a strong craving.
Best is to aim for perseverence not perfection, give in to the craving and then get back on the diet until the eeeeend of the "&%"&%& thing.
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  #111  
Old 22.06.2011, 21:38
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Re: Fast fatty foods

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This is so true... it's why pregnant women develop strong cravings for certain foods containing whatever they're missing (iron in strawberries etc)

When you're dieting after a while, you can develop a strong craving.
Best is to aim for perseverence not perfection, give in to the craving and then get back on the diet until the eeeeend of the "&%"&%& thing.
Is there any proof that this is the case with pregnant women? I always thought it was.

My wife's never had a craving for anything during her pregnancies (apart from a large glass or two of red) so perhaps this could be because she has a fairly well-balanced diet anyway.
(I'm surprised she didn't say that she had cravings for Haagen-Daz Pralines and cream ice-cream. She missed a trick there )
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Old 22.06.2011, 22:25
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Re: Fast fatty foods

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Is there any proof that this is the case with pregnant women? I always thought it was.

My wife's never had a craving for anything during her pregnancies (apart from a large glass or two of red) so perhaps this could be because she has a fairly well-balanced diet anyway.
(I'm surprised she didn't say that she had cravings for Haagen-Daz Pralines and cream ice-cream. She missed a trick there )
I had a craving for anything sweet when I was pregnant (from about the fifth month). This is unusual for me because I am more of a savoury food fan and will normally happily polish off a handful of nuts or some cheese. The sweet craving literally went away with my first meal after the birth when I pushed the dessert plate over to my husband, as I didn't fancy it at all.

Since the birth I am back to my usual "savoury" self.
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Old 23.06.2011, 08:08
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Re: Fast fatty foods

Such cravings must have some hormonal basis, I'd imagine.

On a smaller scale, lots of women have cravings for sweet or salty things during their premenstrual cycles - I imagine some of it is hormonally driven, although after a while, I wonder if it's also influenced by habit.
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  #114  
Old 23.06.2011, 19:31
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Re: Fast fatty foods

Update : Saw these poor, defenceless ladies again today in the cafe.
Strawberry cakes with cream all round - yummy!! Still, I'm sure they were having a rare treat.

Perhaps my feelings about this particular bunch are coloured by the fact that they sit there moaning about the state of Switzerland thanks to all the foreigners coming in, who are all criminal and just there to rob the Swiss of their jobs........blah endless nasty blah.

( But I apologise for blaming the strawberry cakes and pommes frites. )
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Old 23.06.2011, 19:35
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Re: Fast fatty foods

Merci bouton, lol.
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Old 23.06.2011, 19:36
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Re: Fast fatty foods

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Update : Saw these poor, defenceless ladies again today in the cafe.
Strawberry cakes with cream all round - yummy!! Still, I'm sure they were having a rare treat.
That may be their only pleasure in life.
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  #117  
Old 23.06.2011, 19:41
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Re: Fast fatty foods

I really hope so.
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  #118  
Old 24.06.2011, 20:17
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Re: Fast fatty foods

I stumbled on this reggae classic on Youtube, and thought of this thread:



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  #119  
Old 24.06.2011, 21:32
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Re: Fast fatty foods

I don't believe you are old enough to remember that, Mr Breakfast.

Carl Malcolm, singing some words which were obviously not so frowned upon back in the bad old non-PC days of 1975.
"Just because you're so big and fat, don't you think I'm afraid of that"..... ooh er!!!
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  #120  
Old 24.06.2011, 21:37
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Re: Fast fatty foods

What I find interesting is how relative the concept of "overweight" is.

I myself am a size 42/44 here, and some/many Swiss might consider me to be overweight. But I recently had my (Swiss) doctor configure my body-mass index, and to my delight, she said that my weight is fine. Sure, maybe it would be nice to look a bit better in my bathing suit, but I'm not getting any younger, and I guess I just have other things in my life that I feel are more important to focus on than trying to conform to others' ideals.

As for the genetics issue... I do still believe that genetics plays a HUGE role in someone's weight. That's why some people (like my husband) can eat like crazy and do not much more than sit at a computer all day but still remain stick thin. But if I even just LOOK at cheeseburger, I seem to gain a few pounds.
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