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Why are people fat?

the_technocratthe_technocrat IC-MotY1Indyerner Icrontian
edited Jun 2011 in Fitness
...and how do we address those causes?

I agree it's not an education issue...
Years ago, Tufts University invited me to lecture during a symposium on obesity…

Lecturer after lecturer offered solutions for America’s obesity problem, all of which revolved around education. Americans would be thinner if only they knew about good nutrition and the benefits of exercise, they told us. Slimming down the entire country was possible through an aggressive public awareness campaign…

When it was my turn to speak, I couldn’t help beginning with an observation. “I think it is fascinating that the other speakers today have suggested that education is the answer to our country’s obesity problem,” I said. I slowly gestured around the room. “If education is the answer, then why hasn’t it helped more of you?”

There were audible gasps in the auditorium when I said this, quite a few snickers, and five times as many sneers. Unsurprisingly, Tufts never invited me to lecture again.

–Clotaire Rapaille
The Culture Code
«13

Comments

  • the_technocratthe_technocrat IC-MotY1 Indyerner Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    And I don't think it's a financial cause... Take Whole Foods, the regular abuse candidate:

    Whole Foods offers 'Real Steals' to widen appeal

    Think Whole Foods is for Those With Fat Pocketbooks? Think Again

    These articles are old, but I go to Whole Foods at least once a week and can confirm the price advantage for produce and other healthy or specialty foods are better there than Fresh Market, Kroger, Meijer or Target.
  • the_technocratthe_technocrat IC-MotY1 Indyerner Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    Accessibility? I'd think that Detroit would be a prime candidate for this problem, but it looks pretty good, plenty of farmers markets

    http://www.localharvest.org/search.jsp?lat=42.346393&lon=-83.061020&scale=8&ty=-1&co=1&nm=
  • the_technocratthe_technocrat IC-MotY1 Indyerner Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Dallas Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    The average number of calories eaten by Americans has steadily increased over the last 50 or so years from roughly 2000 calories to 2700 (which does not count food lost to spoilage).
    putting dietary intake of calories in [the year] 2000 at just under 2,700 calories per person per day [which would mean potentially gaining 73 lbs in a single year]. ERS data suggest that average daily calorie intake increased by 24.5 percent, or about 530 calories, between 1970 and 2000. Of that 24.5-percent increase, grains (mainly refined grain products) contributed 9.5 percentage points; added fats and oils, 9.0 percentage points; added sugars, 4.7 percentage points; fruits and vegetables together, 1.5 percentage points; meats and nuts together, 1 percentage point; and dairy products and eggs together, -1.5 percentage point.
    Source

    We are eating more and more of the wrong stuff and almost a negligible amount of the right stuff. The USDA's food pyramid is out of order, according to other major nutritionists' associations and with the anecdotal knowledge of how other countries eat and maintain healthy weights. (I can look up some links later to justify that statement)

    It is more expensive to eat healthy foods, in terms of dollars and time. To eat healthy foods, you have to buy, prepare, cook and store them. To eat fast food, you purchase a subsidized food product (so the real cost of that food is not realized), and it is substantially faster (less time there is more time to work or take kids elsewhere etc.). There may be a price advantage for the healthy foods at Whole Foods compared to those other brands, but the calorie cost of fast food is lower (in dollars to the consumer, because it really comes out of the taxpayer anyways).

    Emotional eating is a subset, but not a main cause. I imagine a better answer there would be marketing and the use of science for profit rather than betterment. Organizations have figured out that it makes sense to hire psychologist and biologists to figure out the absolute best ways to market their products in order to increase consumption. That is why kids are the targets of many stores, because the most effective way to increase the spending of adults was through making their children pester them into buying it. Food companies hire biologists and other types of scientists to develop food tastes or "nutritional additives" which play to our exact evolutionary traits (like consuming lots of high fat and sugar food sources when they are available to us).

    Marketing also plays into defeating the education factor, because people are so malleable and many small suggestions or conditions can give rise to one large effect: we eat more than we should, and we eat the wrong things. Many companies do not market the healthiest products, because companies are not in for the betterment of the human race (generally speaking). Companies are in for making the most profit, as quickly as possible. Raising organic crops and animals, in a sustainable and moral fashion, is not conducive to making the most money possible in the shortest time (at least, in the current and past economic climates).
  • BasilBasil Nubcaek IREEELAND Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    Because insulin released in reponse to elevated blood sugar levels simultaneously triggers trigylceride synthesis and inhibits lipolysis in adipose tissues.

    Without demand sufficient to consume stored fats they gradually accumulate in the body.
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Pokémaster, Watch Slut Austin, TX Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    Basil said:
    Because insulin released in reponse to elevated blood sugar levels simultaneously triggers trigylceride synthesis and inhibits lipolysis in adipose tissues.

    Without demand sufficient to consume stored fats they gradually accumulate in the body.
    This x1000.

    This is why high protein/low carbs works for anyone and everyone. Sugar in the bloodstream directly inhibits fat burning, which means lowering carb intake will directly promote the consumption of fat (read: leaner body mass).
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Dallas Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    That is definitely the biological why. It seemed like he was asking more than that
  • primesuspectprimesuspect HumanGarbageDisposal Detroit, MI Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
  • the_technocratthe_technocrat IC-MotY1 Indyerner Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    Tushon said:
    That is definitely the biological why. It seemed like he was asking more than that
    ^^ this

    So why do we like carbs so much?
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Dallas Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    http://tolweb.org/treehouses/?treehouse_id=4446

    Part of the answer lies in the depths of human history and evolution. The abundance of food we take for granted is a relatively recent phenomenon, only a few hundred years old at most. Sugar addiction may be nothing more than the modern manifestation of an ancient evolutionary advantage.
    For millennia, human survival has depended on an innate ability to take rare finds of calorie-rich foods and store that energy as fat
    Source

    I can find a scholarly source later if you like.
  • the_technocratthe_technocrat IC-MotY1 Indyerner Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    Not a bad article, Prime

    but, from Prime's article:
    In poorer neighborhoods in North American cities, fresh food is either not available or extremely expensive compared to — on a calorie-by-calorie basis — compared to fast food available on every street corner.
    I don't like this. I've got probably 100 places to eat or get food within 5 miles of my house. 3 of those are Kroger, Whole Foods and Fresh Market. Fast food is much, much more available on a percentage basis, but this 'availability' argument makes no sense. Fast food isn't more available because it's more prevalent, it's exactly as available as everything else.

    It's like saying I have 4 burners on my stove and 3 are on, so I'm more likely to burn my hand. No - I'm not. I don't touch the ones that are on.

    My $0.02
  • the_technocratthe_technocrat IC-MotY1 Indyerner Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    Also, reasonable?

    10 Issues influence person's emotional stability
    20 Person finds solace in poor, quick food
    30 Poor, quick food provides temporary bump in mood, sense of control
    40 Effects of poor, quick food drive emotional stability down (let-down)
    50 GOTO 20
  • CBCB Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ @TheButterflyman Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    I heard an interesting story on NPR the other day.

    A behavioral scientist was tasked with trying to answer the question of why Americans have such bad eating habits, and it was her hypothesis that it all stems from American parents' tendency to force children to eat everything set in front of them at meals.

    According to this behavioralist, humans are born with a very good natural sense of nutrition, just like they have a natural sense of time, direction, and fear, and so-forth. If left alone to choose for ourselves with no outside influence we will eat correctly most of the time, and when we don't, our bodies and brains will learn to correct our behavior. Our instinctual system can even compensate for disease and genetic disorders that our parent might not even know about. Some people are born with a better sense than others, of course, just like anything else.

    This gets derailed in American children because their parents believe that they know better than the child on the topic of what and when the child should eat. The child's brain attempts to compensate for this, but since the child is almost never allowed to make their own decisions about food, the compensation never gets enacted, and so, if left alone, the child will dramatically over compensate (like when I was 8, and my grandpa told me I could have whatever I wanted for dinner, so I ate 2 pounds of chocolate and threw up on myself), which just convinces parents more strongly of the need to regulate the child's diet forcibly.

    After going an entire childhood with no control over one's own diet, the person enters adulthood with a completely broken sense of nutrition, and any internal cravings they may have are almost always for the wrong things, requiring them to continue to go against their own cravings just to stay moderately healthy.

    Apparently, if parents would allow children to choose their own foods while growing up, they would mature with a more healthy nutrition sense, and would be less likely to be obese or diabetic, or whatever else.


    I don't know how much stock should be put in that (nor if I have the arguments all the way she put them), but it's an interesting theory, at least.
  • Cliff_ForsterCliff_Forster Baltimore, MD Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    Also keep in mind, we live in a modern society that requires far less manual labor than it did even as little as twenty years ago.

    My favorite example lies in the traditional country breakfast. At one time it was completely practical to smoother everything with sausage gravy. It was a cheap way to load up on extra calories before you went to work a field all day. We live in a society where working the field went away, but the country breakfast did not.

    Take another long standing culinary tread, fried foods between bread. It used to be a "Po Boy" or basically a way to pack a thousand calories quickly for not allot of money. Popular because the few depression era people blessed with a day job did not get to stop for a lunch break, so they would whatever deep fried confection between two slices of bread that they could get quickly from a local vendor and eat standing up while continuing to work. It was necessary to pack allot of calories cheap. Now its not, but we still do, its become a part of the culture.
  • the_technocratthe_technocrat IC-MotY1 Indyerner Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    Interesting. I heard that as well. I've been doing a form of portion control for years (not intentionally, but due to a few things) and I can say that I get my on much less food today than I felt was needed years ago. I'm also hardly ever hungry, whereas I would have been starving years ago

    Also,
    the_technocrat said:
    Also, reasonable?

    10 Issues influence person's emotional stability
    20 Person finds solace in poor, quick food
    30 Poor, quick food provides temporary bump in mood, sense of control
    40 Effects of poor, quick food drive emotional stability down (let-down)
    50 GOTO 20
    Simultaneously:

    10 "no time to cook"
    20 Person finds convenience in poor, quick food
    30 Poor, quick food provides temporary satiation
    40 Effects of poor, quick food drive emotional stability down (let-down)
    50 person finds other sources to offset emotional instability, spends inordinate amount of time on it
    60 GOTO 10
  • BasilBasil Nubcaek IREEELAND Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    Tushon said:
    That is definitely the biological why. It seemed like he was asking more than that
    Yeah I know, the biochem was just simpler.
    There's a phrase I never thought I'd use...
    the_technocrat said:
    So why do we like carbs so much?
    Because glucose is a great energy source.
    It's readily available from carbohydrates/sugars and unlike fatty acids it can cross the blood brain barrier for use by the brain (which accounts for ~1/5 of your energy requirements).
    Downside is that to keep it easily available we store it as glycogen which isn't terribly energy dense and our limited supplied get used up fast (24-36 hours for total exhaustion) so we either keep up regular carb/sugar intake or move to ketone bodies.
  • the_technocratthe_technocrat IC-MotY1 Indyerner Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    Cliff_Forster said:
    It was necessary to pack allot of calories cheap. Now its not, but we still do, its become a part of the culture.
    Interesting.
  • the_technocratthe_technocrat IC-MotY1 Indyerner Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    Basil said:

    Downside is that to keep it easily available we store it as glycogen which isn't terribly energy dense and our limited supplied get used up fast (24-36 hours for total exhaustion) so we either keep up regular carb/sugar intake or move to ketone bodies.
    This seems terribly time-intensive, to keep stoking this furnace. How difficult is it to transfer to a higher % of energy supply via ketone bodies? If your brain's 1/5 energy need is accurate, it seems like we should at least be getting 20% of our energy from ketone bodies.
  • ardichokeardichoke Buttes Master B Lansing, MI Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    I'm fat because I fucking love food and most of my interests are not physically involved. I dunno about the rest of you.
  • MAGICMAGIC Furniture City, Michigan Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    What middle school to high school kid even thinks to care about how to build a good diet and workout or the benifits you would receive from each? None (except maybe athletes). The health education that I received in a public school setting was terrible, and all the wile the school installs pepsi & candy machines and provides terrible lunches to students. In all reality this is where it needs to start. You can't force parents to practice good healthy habits but you sure as hell can teach the kids, or at least the ones that care to learn. The two most important subjects that should be taught in schools but are rediculously underrepresented are health and personal finance.
  • the_technocratthe_technocrat IC-MotY1 Indyerner Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    MAGIC said:
    The two most important subjects that should be taught in schools but are rediculously underrepresented are health and personal finance.
    Agreed.

    And getting food at school is an option, not a requirement. Why aren't kids bringing food in? I remember when the wife used to teach - say what you want about the crap that gets served at school that fits under the $2/meal limit... The parents would send their kids to school with a full can of Pringles or a 1lb bag of Skittles for a snack - this was 3rd grade in a private school.

    Is childhood obesity child abuse?
  • BasilBasil Nubcaek IREEELAND Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    the_technocrat said:
    This seems terribly time-intensive, to keep stoking this furnace. How difficult is it to transfer to a higher % of energy supply via ketone bodies? If your brain's 1/5 energy need is accurate, it seems like we should at least be getting 20% of our energy from ketone bodies.
    I don't follow you.
    Ketone production and utilisation isn't that straightforward, at the end of the day all you get is 2 Acetyl-CoA going through the krebs cycle to yield less ATP than a single glucose would and you degrade amino acids in the process.
  • CantiCanti =/= smalltime http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9K18CGEeiI&feature=related Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    the_technocrat said:
    Why are people fat?
    Because we haven't evolved the ability to "eat" with solar panels yet.
    Also this

    image

    I have to agree with the idea that it's too much easier and cheaper to eat junk than healthy food. I see people everyday at my restaurant who are horribly overweight, pay $7.95, and eat 6-8 plates packed with sodium, fat, cholesterol, and sugar. The salad bar only needs more food put out 2 or 3 times a day while more seasame chicken gets cooked 2-3 times an hour. People want to pack as many calories for as cheap as possible and healthy food just doesn't do that.
    the_technocrat said:
    Is childhood obesity child abuse?
    I believe it is, parents are responsible for feeding their kids right. Allowing them to become obese is malnutrition. I remember there was talk of taking obese children away from their parents in the UK a few years ago. I don't think it ever happened but it probably should have. Sure it sounds mean but what's worse, upsetting people for awhile while their kid gets healthy or having them suffer from diabetes and heart problems when they're in their 20s? I'm pretty sure I would be grateful to be healthy now if I had been one of those kids.
  • SnarkasmSnarkasm 's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    What is it that the iTunes and Steam advocates always say? If you make it easy enough, people will stop doing x bad thing?

    People eat fast food because it's fast and tastes good. If you made healthy food fast and taste good, people would eat it instead. Bonus if it's as cheap or cheaper. The problem is, right now, that eating healthy to a lot of people means a trip or two per week to the grocery store to get fresh food, 30-45 minutes a night to make dinner, 20 minutes a day/an hour a week to clean dishes, etc etc etc. I've found various loopholes around that - simpler meals that require less time to prepare, preparation for a couple days ahead of time, and so forth - but a large majority just see it as a pain in the ass that doesn't taste as good as this other stuff.
  • WagsFTWWagsFTW Grand Rapids, MI Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    the_technocrat said:
    Agreed.

    And getting food at school is an option, not a requirement. Why aren't kids bringing food in? I remember when the wife used to teach - say what you want about the crap that gets served at school that fits under the $2/meal limit... The parents would send their kids to school with a full can of Pringles or a 1lb bag of Skittles for a snack - this was 3rd grade in a private school.

    Is childhood obesity child abuse?
    I almost always brought my own lunch to school, elementary through high school, and even college. My mom made me healthy sandwiches, and there was always an apple involved. In high school I almost always made a wrap with chicken lunch meat and string cheese. But making your lunch the night before or morning of takes time, and people would rather spend this time on other things. One nice thing about our high school is that they had a nice salad bar (although most people never used it), and instead most people got the french fries, hamburgers, and pizza that was served every day in addition to the special slop of the day. If kids have a choice between french fries covered in ranch or a salad, most will pick french fries, usually because that is what they are used to at home. Feeding kids healthy school lunches is definitely important, but how much of a benefit does it have when they are still eating terrible food and drinking mountain dew at home? Yes, it has some, but our family lives growing up shapes us a lot as we get older, unless that child decides they want to make a change.
  • CantiCanti =/= smalltime http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9K18CGEeiI&feature=related Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    WagsFTW said:
    french fries covered in ranch
    I threw up a little.
  • BasilBasil Nubcaek IREEELAND Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    Canti said:
    I remember there was talk of taking obese children away from their parents in the UK a few years ago. I don't think it ever happened but it probably should have.
    It did/does, couple of kids every year, though I doubt it's just for obesity it still makes a few headlines on the slow news days.
    AFAIK it's treated like any other unmanaged medical condition (ie social services can use it to indicate parental neglect).

    That said they don't take kids lightly, by far the worst uncontrolled diabetic I know is a preteen and still at home.
    His mother doesn't seem to grasp that he's heading for a double leg amputation, blindness, renal failure (requiring regular dialysis even if he sticks to a haemodialysis diet) before a his heart packs in at 40.
    Apparently nobody can (or will) intervene.
  • AnnesAnnes Alexandria, VA Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    Corn subsidies? Anyone?
  • CBCB Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ @TheButterflyman Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    Annes said:
    Corn subsidies? Anyone?
    for srs
  • MAGICMAGIC Furniture City, Michigan Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    Annes said:
    Corn subsidies? Anyone?
    Of course there is big money and government involved but business follows the consumer. If demand shifts supply will as well and we will see the price of healthier alternatives drop because the focus will be put on producing them at a cheaper cost to meet demand.
  • primesuspectprimesuspect HumanGarbageDisposal Detroit, MI Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    the_technocrat said:

    I don't like this. I've got probably 100 places to eat or get food within 5 miles of my house. 3 of those are Kroger, Whole Foods and Fresh Market. Fast food is much, much more available on a percentage basis, but this 'availability' argument makes no sense. Fast food isn't more available because it's more prevalent, it's exactly as available as everything else.
    You are privileged enough to live in relatively upscale suburban settings, then.

    I'm not going to talk about inner cities, and all the trouble that comes with that, but suffice to say poor urban areas suffer from these problems. Instead, I'll talk about my recent road trip from Michigan to Texas and back; through Arkansas and rural Texas especially, there was literally nothing but McDonald's or Jack in the Box in any given one-light town. That's not just us riding on the expressways either; we had to go into towns for some of the stuff we did, and nowhere were there any produce stores other than a super walmart every 30-50 miles. There certainly wasn't anything close to a Whole Foods or Fresh Market anywhere within a hundred miles of most of the places we drove through.
  • AnnesAnnes Alexandria, VA Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    All of the complaints above about how "real food" is way more expensive that "cheap crap" is directly tied to corn subsidies. "Cheap crap" is made using all the various ways we've learned to process corn since the beginning of the corn subsidies. If you'd like to read about it. the bestselling book The Omnivore's Dilemma is focused on the issue.

    That being said, I'm not sure how things are supposed to change for the entire country (rich urban people excluded, of course)with both of these issues and Prime's "middle of nowhere" example all in play.
  • MAGICMAGIC Furniture City, Michigan Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    Annes said:

    That being said, I'm not sure how things are supposed to change for the entire country (rich urban people excluded, of course)with both of these issues and Prime's "middle of nowhere" example all in play.
    A desire for people to eat healthy is the answer. You can eat healthy at any fast food joint if you make a conscious effort to do so. What you think McDs menu would look like if their sales suddenly shifted to 90% salads/10% burgers?

    Of course the most rational appropriate choices aren't always the ones that feel/taste/are the best. If that was the case everyone would do cocaine because it makes you feel good.
  • WagsFTWWagsFTW Grand Rapids, MI Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    MAGIC said:
    Of course the most rational appropriate choices aren't always the ones that feel/taste/are the best. If that was the case everyone would do cocaine because it makes you feel good.
    It's a hell of a drug.
  • MAGICMAGIC Furniture City, Michigan Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    Thats what I hear.
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Pokémaster, Watch Slut Austin, TX Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
  • MAGICMAGIC Furniture City, Michigan Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    One speed: GO!
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Dallas Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    MAGIC said:
    A desire for people to eat healthy is the answer. You can eat healthy at any fast food joint if you make a conscious effort to do so. What you think McDs menu would look like if their sales suddenly shifted to 90% salads/10% burgers?

    Of course the most rational appropriate choices aren't always the ones that feel/taste/are the best. If that was the case everyone would do cocaine because it makes you feel good.
    Sometimes ...

    http://consumerist.com/2007/05/the-myth-of-salads-why-why-fast-food-salads-arent-necessarily-going-to-help-you-lose-weight.html

    http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/are-fast-food-salads-and-veggies-nutritious.html

    with sub-articles:
    http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/the-5-best-fast-food-salads.html
    http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/the-5-worst-fast-food-salads-you-should-avoid.html
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Pokémaster, Watch Slut Austin, TX Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    Surprise, surprise: salad dressing, syrup-packed oranges, deep fried chicken slices and fried noodles are bad for you?!

    Discretion. That's all it takes.
  • BasilBasil Nubcaek IREEELAND Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
  • ardichokeardichoke Buttes Master B Lansing, MI Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    Annes said:
    All of the complaints above about how "real food" is way more expensive that "cheap crap" is directly tied to corn subsidies. "Cheap crap" is made using all the various ways we've learned to process corn since the beginning of the corn subsidies. If you'd like to read about it. the bestselling book The Omnivore's Dilemma is focused on the issue.
    More information can also be found in the documentary "King of Corn". The part where they make HFCS in that film made me start trying to avoid the stuff as much as possible. Ick.
  • WagsFTWWagsFTW Grand Rapids, MI Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    If we did cocaine, we would all look as great as Charlie Sheen.


    http://www.thedenverchannel.com/health/4430360/detail.html


    image
  • MAGICMAGIC Furniture City, Michigan Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    Tushon said:


    Again,

    A) Dump a half cup of ranch dressing on my chicken salad pumping it from 450 cals to 1400 cals
    C) Put a fraction, but still taste improving amount on increaseing it to 650 cals.
    D) Opt for a light oil based dressing and only add 60-70 cals.

    Pick your poison. You dont have to eat everything put in front of you.
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Dallas Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    MAGIC said:
    Again,

    A) Dump a half cup of ranch dressing on my chicken salad pumping it from 450 cals to 1400 cals
    C) Put a fraction, but still taste improving amount on increaseing it to 650 cals.
    D) Opt for a light oil based dressing and only add 60-70 cals.

    Pick your poison. You dont have to eat everything put in front of you.
    You certainly do not have to, but it is human nature to eat all on a plate.

    http://www.livestrong.com/article/15261-plate-size-important/

    TLDR: Adults eat less (and sometimes very much less) when given smaller plates and/or utensils. Children tend to eat the amount they feel appropriate, perhaps because they haven't been indoctrinated into "finish everything on your plate" referenced earlier in the thread.
  • the_technocratthe_technocrat IC-MotY1 Indyerner Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    Canti said:
    People want to pack as many calories for as cheap as possible
    But why? This would be advantageous if we were taking down wooly mammoths, I agree, but not needed now?
    Magic said:
    Of course there is big money and government involved but business follows the consumer. If demand shifts supply will as well and we will see the price of healthier alternatives drop because the focus will be put on producing them at a cheaper cost to meet demand.
    Not right away in the case of subsidies, but I agree, subsidize 2x, 3x, 4x over what we need and the torches and pitchforks will come out. The problem is that demand for corn comes from demand for a lot of other things (feed for beef, sweetners, etc) - pretty difficult to reduce your demand for everything that corn ties onto BUT it's conceivable to drive demand for other feed and sweetner sources. All you need is massive disease related to homogenizing food sources and you've got your demand for corn alternatives.
    primesuspect said:
    There certainly wasn't anything close to a Whole Foods or Fresh Market anywhere within a hundred miles of most of the places we drove through.
    I completely understand. This definitely ties into the availability argument, but I'll wager that the smaller the town, the more likely they've got access to locally-grown produce. I can't think of a small town I've been in that doesn't have a weekly farmer's market. Or any town, for that matter. Chicago has 2 per week, and my mom lives in BFE S Illinois and has her choice of 4 markets in the surrounding 3 towns.
  • the_technocratthe_technocrat IC-MotY1 Indyerner Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    Annes said:
    If you'd like to read about it. the bestselling book The Omnivore's Dilemma is focused on the issue.
    +1 for a good book
  • the_technocratthe_technocrat IC-MotY1 Indyerner Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    MAGIC said:
    Of course the most rational appropriate choices aren't always the ones that feel/taste/are the best. If that was the case everyone would do cocaine because it makes you feel good.
    McD's always comes up, but look at a fast food place like Chipotle. It's actually not that bad for you. It's not "good" for you, maybe, but it's certainly better than McD's. You *can* get food that is better for you on the go. I'd argue that it even tastes better, and wouldn't be a bad first step on finding a taste for better-for-you food.
  • the_technocratthe_technocrat IC-MotY1 Indyerner Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    ardichoke said:
    More information can also be found in the documentary "King of Corn". The part where they make HFCS in that film made me start trying to avoid the stuff as much as possible. Ick.
    It's 'King Corn', and others are 'Food, Inc.' and 'Fast Food Nation' (although this movie did an excellent job, then threw it all away by trying to be sensational by going through an entire meat processing plant kill floor. FFD through that part, stupid and unnecessary) 'Super Size Me' is OK, but the whole 'McD's food doesn't mold' thing is complete BS - no food molds when it dehydrates on an open shelf faster than mold can form.
  • the_technocratthe_technocrat IC-MotY1 Indyerner Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    Tushon said:
    Adults eat less (and sometimes very much less) when given smaller plates and/or utensils. Children tend to eat the amount they feel appropriate, perhaps because they haven't been indoctrinated into "finish everything on your plate" referenced earlier in the thread.
    I know that it took me about 3 months to get used to smaller plates. I feel sick when I eat "normal" portions now.

    So really, when I go out, I usually look at any price and half it, counting on making 2 meals out of it. You can't really do that with a hamburger, I agree, but... I don't eat hamburgers too often.
  • primesuspectprimesuspect HumanGarbageDisposal Detroit, MI Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    There is just a certain kind of deep satisfaction that comes from a double quarter pounder with cheese that you don't get from a six-inch turkey sub on whole wheat.

    I can't explain it, and I'm not trying to make light of the situation; there is a definite deep urge to have something like that as opposed to the healthier alternative. Why is that? Why does the thought of a five guys burger literally make my mouth water while thinking of a subway healthy choice make me go "meh"?
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