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Why are people fat?

13

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  • mertesnmertesn I am Bobby Miller Yukon, OK Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    Annes wrote:
    If that's the discussion we're having, I'm fat due to absolute lack of willpower.
    Ditto. It's not so much my food choices at this point. I'm just lazy. I won't exercise without motivation. Fortunately there's a 4th degree black belt at work who has been teaching a small class after hours. Got started with that in January and love it. Provides about six hours of training per week. Now if I'd just practice at home...
  • colacola part legend, part devil... all man Balls deep Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    Hmm, when I was back in high school and swimming I burned energy much faster than I could it in. I could eat 2 plates packed edge to edge with noodles and sauce and be hungry an hour later and so I'd eat half a gallon of ice cream. I was still ripped out of my mind, and didn't gain any weight.

    Now I'm a college student and am not active much at all. I skip breakfast most mornings, eat a small lunch, and usually try not to eat much at dinner (the dinners here can get pretty nasty). It's strange, I haven't gained or lost more than 5 pounds in the past 3 years of my life (I've stayed almost exactly on the magic number of 175) and I've had radically different diets over that time. I feel like my body has been naturally adjusting to my activity level and my food intake has matched that. I can also barely finish one full plate of spaghetti now. I still love eating, but I just don't eat as much.

    I'd say that (barring glandular problems and eating disorders) people's food intake isn't matching their metabolism, and they could quite possibly be feeling pressured to eat about as much as the people around them do, at least in public places. I've noticed that I feel fairly uncomfortable when I'm at say a Chinese buffet and I only eat one or one and a half plates compared to the 3 of the other people. It's also strange, now that I'm looking back as a child my parents would always ask me if I wanted more food. I never want more now, I can usually fill up on what I can fit on my plate. I'd say people need to know and maintain their limits if they don't want to gain weight. And be active and eat healthy people and yada yada yada

    Also, obligatory:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTYfv-vl72Y
  • ardichokeardichoke Buttes Master B Lansing, MI Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    Double ditto on being fat due to absolute lack of willpower.

    That said, the fact that EVERYTHING has high fructose corn syrup in it doesn't effing help. I seem to also recall studies that show HFCS to have an addictive effect.
  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    I'm fat because of a gland problem! :D
  • ardichokeardichoke Buttes Master B Lansing, MI Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    Wait, I retract my previous comment.... I'm fat because of sleep apnea and I have sleep apnea because I'm fat.
  • BlackHawkBlackHawk Bible music connoisseur There's no place like 127.0.0.1 Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    Lemme see if I can put my $0.02 in here from a PR perspective.

    I and other Puerto Ricans are fat mostly because of culture. Even though I grew up in the US, I still mostly Hispanic food. Food at school was actually pretty healthy (no soda machines or anything). The thing is that at home I ate like a grown fat man. I could eat 2 plates filled with rice, beans and meat. I was "husky" kid but not that fat since I was somewhat active. Wasn't a geek/nerd back then. Rode my bike, played basketball, etc.

    Arrival to Puerto Rico changes things. We eat fried food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I've been out to work at 6am only to find people at kiosks waiting in line for fritters. Another breakfast could be a "Tripleta" which is a sandwich of three meats, be it pastrami, pork, ham in a loaf of bread that's half a pound. Add a Pepsi and it totals to around $5. Food here is cheap. There's a place in my town that cooks "home cooked" meals (rice, beans and meat) and a soda for less than $4.

    That whole eating healthy trend hasn't really arrived to PR yet and I don't think it ever will. There's no way you can compete with a $5 meal that can feed a small family. Hell, even people that do eat at health food stores still stuff their face because they think it's healthy even though the portions are ridiculous.

    I've focused too much on food. On to image. Guys here like big girls and woman here don't give a fuck about their figure. Only ones that are conscious about their image are the ones more exposed to American media and fashion.

    As for more culture, kids don't play outside that much anymore. Probably the same in the US. 100 yards from my house is a basketball court and 200 yards is a baseball field which are mostly empty every day. That wouldn't have been the case 15yrs ago.

    We're fat because we couldn't care less.
  • BetsyDBetsyD Cincinnati, OH Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    No one has talked about our general activity level versus Western Europe.

    I spent a summer in London during college. During that time I dropped a ton of weight without eating differently then I did at home. I attribute it completely to our base activity level. I can simply not be as active as I was when I was in London. I had to walk to the grocery store, walk to the underground, walk to class.

    Removing cities like New York and Chicago from the list, where in the USA do you *have* to walk/ride a bike/skate/be active in order to get from point A to B? I tried when I worked only 5 miles from home, to switch to riding my bike to and from work. Its simply too unsafe to do here, and I have yet to visit a city where it would be safe enough to be in my comfort level.

    I can't say that the solution is to just "move downtown", Cincinnati and Columbus (the two cities that I'm extremely familiar with) are food deserts downtown. You have to go to the suburbs to find anything like a grocery store. I've heard tell that a downtown like Seattle, and a few areas in California are better for this, but that's still not the majority of the country.

    I don't think that our base activity level can be fixed, without massive subsidies onto public transportation, anytime in the near future.
  • SnarkasmSnarkasm Madison, WI Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    That part is true. I dropped 40 pounds in a couple months just thanks to riding my bike to and from work once I moved here. I also made a conscious decision not to eat fast food (McD's seems too American, and I don't want to be that guy), so I buy my food fresh once or twice a week.

    Just a more well-rounded view of food, at least where I am.

    Also worth noting: subsidies into public transportation won't help. If you're riding the bus to work, you're not making significantly more effort than if you drove to work. The expansion of dedicated bike lanes, walking trails, the elimination of or reduction of need for cars from cities, and more short-distance, people-friendly neighborhoods all contribute to a vastly larger daily expenditure of energy and sense of community. All of these things are Good For Humans. A decent amount of research is going into people-friendly community planning lately, which is excellent. It still relies on people living close enough to their jobs to make biking or other active transportation methods feasible, though.
  • BetsyDBetsyD Cincinnati, OH Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    I would move someplace more walkable/bikeable if such a place existed w jobs for me. As it is, my new job gives me the opportunity to move up in the company and even to our parent company, and our parent company is in Munich. That isnt a move I would mind making :)
  • QuadWhoreQuadWhore Toledo, Ohio, U.S. Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    Everyone knows that the cause of obesity is 9/11
    duh-duh1233387823.jpg
  • AlexDeGruvenAlexDeGruven Not as tall as Bobby Tallbeer. Twilight Sparkle is overrated. Meechigan 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"?

    Coming in late to a great discussion, and adding a +1 to Brian's point.

    I'll have to dig for the data, but I've also seen studies that suggest very strongly that the biggest culprit (outside of self-control, but I'll get to that in a minute) to obesity in the US is the low-fat culture.

    For whatever reason, around the 50s, it was decided that fat was a bad thing, and the ultimate root cause for all of our health problems. So everything started coming out low-fat this, and low-fat that. Margarine replaced butter, and so on. Everyone wanted their products to be as low fat as possible.

    But, with the dissolution of fat came a reduction in flavor (hence the first reason I quoted Brian. A double QP with cheese is a supremely tasty item). Manufacturers scrambled to get the flavor back without increasing fats. So they increased sugars, salt, and other things to account for the lack of delicious lipidinous compounds.

    Even with all of the flavor 'enhancements' to the low-fat foods, they still weren't as satisfying. Satisfying in that we don't feel as full after eating a portion of the low-fat food, as we did with the full-fat food. Since we're not satisfied, we eat more (which is the second reason I quoted Brian. The previously mentioned double QP is an incredibly satisfying thing).

    Combine all of this with grain subsidies and a food pyramid that loads us up with carbs (in fairness, the new pyramid is much more sane, but still not great), and you quite literally have a recipe for disaster. We have a culture of consumption that has taken out one of the natural controls to over-consumption, which is the fat that tells our body that we're satisfied and that it's ok to stop eating.

    Personally, I've stopped worrying about content so much as quantity, and I've been much more satisfied in my eating. In the year or so since I made that decision, I've eaten much more richly and still managed to drop 20lb and a notch on my belt. But I've also noticed that with the proportional increase in fat intake, my overall intake has dropped significantly. I'm more satisfied after eating less, and I tend to stop at 'full', rather than 'holycrapimsostuffedithinkimightexplode'.
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    I feel like this should be included in the discussion:
    luh3.jpg

    http://scallywagandvagabond.com/2011/03/3-year-old-boy-tops-the-scales-at-132-pounds/
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Pokémaster, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    Snorlax or Majin Buu?
  • CantiCanti =/= smalltime http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9K18CGEeiI&feature=related Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    Thrax wrote:
    Snorlax or Majin Buu?

    I'm guessing that's their child.
  • GHoosdumGHoosdum Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    Canti wrote:
    I'm guessing that's their child.

    That is the funniest thing I've seen all week. ;D
  • the_technocratthe_technocrat IC-MotY1 Indy Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    Even with all of the flavor 'enhancements' to the low-fat foods, they still weren't as satisfying. Satisfying in that we don't feel as full after eating a portion of the low-fat food, as we did with the full-fat food. Since we're not satisfied, we eat more (which is the second reason I quoted Brian. The previously mentioned double QP is an incredibly satisfying thing).

    You're probably eating more natural foods as well, and your body is able to properly identify and value the food it's getting.

    For example, we know that foods high in HFCS inhibits the secretion of the hormone Leptin. Leptin is the hormone that makes you fee satiated. Your body literally never gets the message that it's metabolically full - as in 'I have all the food I need', it needs to eat until it's physically full as in 'I can't fit any more food in there'.

    http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/the-facts-on-leptin-faq

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leptin
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leptin#Interactions_with_fructose
  • the_technocratthe_technocrat IC-MotY1 Indy Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    Basically, "How to feel full when you've eaten enough", From the WebMD article:
    “Insulin resistance generates leptin resistance. The practical advice is: Get your insulin down,” Lustig says. “How do you get insulin down? The best way is don’t let it go up. Sugar makes insulin go up. We are overdosed on sugar in this country. I think that if we got the sugar down, our insulin resistance would improve and that would help with the weight loss.”

    Reducing high triglyceride levels helps, too, Lustig says. Too much triglyceride interferes with leptin’s journey from the blood to the brain via a leptin transporter that allows the hormone into the brain.

    “When you’re insulin-resistant, you have high triglyceride [levels]. That’s one of the hallmarks,” Lustig says. “Triglyceride seems to block leptin transport into the brain. In order to make your leptin work, you have to let the signaling occur. The only way to let the signaling occur is to get your triglyceride down.”
  • AlexDeGruvenAlexDeGruven Not as tall as Bobby Tallbeer. Twilight Sparkle is overrated. Meechigan Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    I'm well aware of the nastiness that is HFCS (It's no sweet surprise, that's for sure) because of the way my body reacts to it.
  • the_technocratthe_technocrat IC-MotY1 Indy Icrontian
    edited Apr 2011
    I'm well aware of the nastiness that is HFCS (It's no sweet surprise, that's for sure) because of the way my body reacts to it.

    I've been off of it for long enough where I can tell the difference when I have it. Within 20 minutes, I'm congested, have a drip in my throat, start feeling achy, lose energy, feel more emotionally hollow, depressed and vulnerable, and generally just start watching the clock. It's crazy.
  • AlexDeGruvenAlexDeGruven Not as tall as Bobby Tallbeer. Twilight Sparkle is overrated. Meechigan Icrontian
    edited Apr 2011
    I've been off of it for long enough where I can tell the difference when I have it. Within 20 minutes, I'm congested, have a drip in my throat, start feeling achy, lose energy, feel more emotionally hollow, depressed and vulnerable, and generally just start watching the clock. It's crazy.

    I'm right there with you. HFCS causes an insulin crash in me so fast, I'll make my wife drive if I suspect something that I ate has more than just the tiniest proportion.
  • jj Sterling Heights, MI Icrontian
    edited Apr 2011
    There are many different reason why people are fat. Their isn't just one answer for everybody. I'm fat because I'm lazy and impatient. I haven't found the right drive to keep me going on weight loss. I don't enjoy having Dunlap Disease, but I'm the only to blame. I know what food are healthy and I know how I can loose weight, but the will just isn't strong enough yet. Don't know why it just isn't.
  • the_technocratthe_technocrat IC-MotY1 Indy Icrontian
    edited Apr 2011
    OK, so why are people lazy and impatient regarding their food intake? Do we not value health? Our prescription drug industry would indicate this isn't true, so why do we work on problems after they have an effect on us, instead of before? Do we have more faith in medication than the expected outcome of a more healthy lifestyle?
  • ardichokeardichoke Buttes Master B Lansing, MI Icrontian
    edited Apr 2011
    Actually, I would say that our prescription drug industry is indicative of the fact that we want a quick fix, not the longer and more difficult process of making good choices to keep ourselves fit and healthy over the long term. That's just my opinion though.
  • the_technocratthe_technocrat IC-MotY1 Indy Icrontian
    edited Apr 2011
    If it was a fix. Isn't there some stat that says most prescriptions have some kind of minimal success rate these days? I remember hearing that most prescriptions aren't 100% successful? Not to mention the side effects. Would rather just stay out of that situation in the first place, yes? I can't think of where I heard that.
  • GHoosdumGHoosdum Icrontian
    edited Apr 2011
    ardichoke wrote:
    Actually, I would say that our prescription drug industry is indicative of the fact that we want a quick fix, not the longer and more difficult process of making good choices to keep ourselves fit and healthy over the long term. That's just my opinion though.

    +1 to this.
  • ardichokeardichoke Buttes Master B Lansing, MI Icrontian
    edited Apr 2011
    If it was a fix. Isn't there some stat that says most prescriptions have some kind of minimal success rate these days? I remember hearing that most prescriptions aren't 100% successful? Not to mention the side effects. Would rather just stay out of that situation in the first place, yes? I can't think of where I heard that.

    Most people don't pay that close of attention. The drug companies push pills as a quick fix to whatever ails you because they want to turn a buck. The lazy populace buys into it because taking a pill is easier than good diet, exercise, etc. It's not a hard pattern to figure out really.
  • the_technocratthe_technocrat IC-MotY1 Indy Icrontian
    edited Apr 2011
    But do the pills *work*? Beyond the symptoms, of course. I don't think so, or there wouldn't be a new diet pill every 3 years, right?
  • MAGICMAGIC Furniture City, Michigan Icrontian
    edited Apr 2011
    But do the pills *work*? Beyond the symptoms, of course. I don't think so, or there wouldn't be a new diet pill every 3 years, right?

    There is no pill that will get rid of fat.

    There are carb blockers which (in theory) inhibit enzyms that digest carbs, and fat blockers which are just fiber that absorb fat and allow it to pass undigested but their effectiveness is controversial. There are thermogenic supplements that boost your metabolism,curb hunger, and provide energy but the long term side effects can be bad.

    Pick your poison, but even if you take each you still cannot make up for bad eating and no exercise.
  • BasilBasil Nubcaek England Icrontian
    edited Apr 2011
    Efficacy has nothing to do with new drugs

    If the company believes it can make money they will produce it, if they can patent it even better.

    What's that? It's generic?
    Change the dosage/use an isomer/get a new indication/reformulate and <s>bribe</s> persuade doctors to write for it!
    Genius!

    That's pretty much what happened with 'Alli', GSK's over-the-counter orlistat, Roche still make it as Xenical but GSK went straight for the consumer with a 'new' drug.

    That said it does at least work, even if the lipase inhibition has some less than pleasant effects...
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Pokémaster, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX Icrontian
    edited Apr 2011
    Like oily leakage.
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