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How Obesity Can Protect From Disease

obesity

Obesity is not widely considered a protective mechanism. Quite the opposite. It’s usually considered one of the causal factors of the metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance.

I think obesity is a marker of disease, but ultimately it serves to protect the body from the effects of hyperinsulinemia. Let me explain.

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Indian State Imposes “Fat Tax” – Here’s the Problem

The Indian state Kerala imposes what the media calls a “fat tax” on junk food served at fast food restaurants to combat obesity. And while it certainly is good that this tax is hitting junk food, the name “fat tax” is a quite misleading.

BBC News: Why Has an Indian State Imposed a ‘Fat Tax’?

Kerala is the first state in India to introduce a “fat tax” on burgers, pizzas, doughnuts and tacos served in branded restaurants.

All these products are equally full of bad carbs, and on top of that people usually drink sugar water with them. So the tax could conceivably just as well be called a “carb tax”.

The word choice shows how outdated paradigms about fat being the cause of obesity still pervade. Is there a better name for the tax? Maybe a “junk food tax”?

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Prevent Obesity by Starting Before Birth

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To prevent childhood obesity, it may help to start before birth:

The New York Times: To Stem Obesity, Start Before Birth

Things that may help include both the mother and father staying at a good weight, breastfeeding the infant and avoiding antibiotic use for children unless absolutely necessary.

Perhaps most importantly, try to get rid of bad foods from the house, and model good eating habits. Because…

“If you do it, they’ll do it,” David S. Ludwig, an obesity specialist at Children’s Hospital Boston, said. “Young children are like ducklings, they want to do what their mothers [and fathers?] do.”

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What Do Overweight and Obese People Eat?

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Here’s what a group of mostly overweight or obese people are eating (via Dr. Ted Naiman).

Does it suggest anything to you?

By the way, here’s the average daily intake in the US: Continue Reading →

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Chinese Balanced Diet Guideline: 250-400 g Carbs

With a balanced diet guide from the Chinese Nutrition Society coming in at 250 – 400 gram carbs per day (source) it’s perhaps not surprising that China is now suffering a diabetes explosion.

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Top 10 Fattest Countries in the World – 2016 List

Here’s the top 10 fattest countries in the world in 2016. The top of the list might surprise you:

Gazette Review: Top 10 Fattest Countries in the World – 2016 List

The number one country is Kuwait and number 2 is Saudi Arabia, and the list contains several other Muslim countries with hot climates. So why?

There’s a simple possible explanation. When it’s hot you need to drink a lot. And if you’re Muslim you’re not likely to drink alcohol. So what will it be? For many people it’s soda or other sugary drinks. The number one thing that makes people fat.

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Waist Size Increasing in Teens, Even as Obesity Rates Stabilize

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According to a new study, the average waist size is increasing in U.S. teens, even as obesity rates possibly stabilize.

The problem? Youth seem to be gaining fat and losing muscle.

Pediatric Obesity: Changes in Pediatric Waist Circumference Percentiles Despite Reported Pediatric Weight Stabilization in the United States

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Malnutrition and Obesity Common in the World – at the Same Time!

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Is it possible to be malnourished, anemic and obese at the same time? The answer is a definite yes according to the Global Nutrition Report.

How can obesity and malnourishment be common at the same time? The answer is that people in poorer countries to a large degree rely on cheap carbs drained of all nutrients. And more ironically – these foods are often even recommended.

We need to stop promoting bad carbs (like bread) as health foods and instead recommend higher quality foods to people who need them – like meat, natural fats and vegetables.

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“The Government’s Carb-Heavy Healthy Eating Guide Could Be CAUSING Obesity”

eatwellplate2In March the latest version of the official UK Eatwell Guide was publicized, recommending people to base their meals on bread, rice, pasta and potatoes. Dietary expert Dr. Zoe Harcombe has this to say:

I would call this the “EatBadly” plate rather than the “EatWell” plate.

The Government’s most recent recommendations could lead to both weight gain and type 2 diabetes according to Dr. Harcombe. And she points out that there is no credible evidence supporting the Eatwell Guide.

On a side note almost half of the reference group that assisted in designing the graphic for the Eatwell plate were representatives of the food industry.

MailOnline: The Government’s carb-heavy healthy eating guide could be CAUSING obesity and type 2 diabetes, nutritionist claims

Prima: Healthy eating guidelines come under fire again

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Have Obesity-Related Diseases Begun to Shorten Life Expectancy in the US?

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Heading for a shorter life?

Have we reached an turning point in life expectancy due to the obesity epidemic? Professor David S. Ludwig at Harvard Medical School believes so, after reviewing recent statistics.

JAMA: Lifespan Weighted Down by Diet

Since children and adolescents are at much greater risk of developing modern day diseases such as obesity early on in their lives, even medical advancement will perhaps not ensure that coming generations live longer. They could be the first generation to have lower life expectancies than their parents.

Ludwig suggests that the public health approach towards obesity has been massively wrong, and that it has even contributed to the epidemic. The standard advice – “eat less and run more” – hasn’t worked, since it can lower our metabolism and increase our hunger.

So what’s Ludwig’s suggested alternative? By instead working with our biology and avoiding refined carbohydrates, we might avoid obesity and related diseases. And this could help our children live longer lives.

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