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US Obesity Rate Hit a New Record High in 2015

It’s still getting worse. A new Gallup poll shows that the obesity rate among US adults climbed to a new all-time high in 2015.

The Fiscal Times: US Obesity Rate Hit a Record High in 2015

This poll joins CDC data showing a new record in 2014, and NHANES surveys showing a record in 2013-2014 (the latest available numbers).

It’s safe to say that 30 years of low-fat and low-calorie advice has not solved the problem, neither has decades of promoting exercise as the solution. Time for a new approach?

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The Mexicans Dying for a Fizzy Drink

mexicosoda

Mexicans drink more soda than any other country. Not surprisingly they also have a higher percentage of obesity than any other large country, including childhood obesity.

Two years ago the government introduced a soda tax and now consumption of soda may be going down. Here are some stories:

BBC: The Mexicans Dying for a Fizzy Drink

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Why Vegetable Oils May Cause Obesity

Oil with air bubbles at the white background

Here’s an interesting and complicated new post from Dr. Michael Eades. He argues that – apart from bad carbs – one of the main drivers of the obesity epidemic may be vegetable oils:

Dr. Eades: Will the new Dietary Guidelines make us even fatter?

I’m not sure what to make of this complex idea. If vegetable oils reduce insulin resistance, via the “FADH2 to NADH ratio”, why would that necessarily increase obesity? Couldn’t it just as well have the opposite effect?

However, vegetable oil consumption has risen to unprecedented – and evolutionarily abnormal – levels, coinciding with the obesity epidemic. There are certainly plenty of reasons to treat them with caution. And don’t heat them.

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Ooops, We Made People Fat

Correlations do not by themselves prove causation. That being said, this chart does not just look awful. There are also strong scientific reasons to believe that the dietary guidelines actually may have been part of the cause of the obesity epidemic.

For example, low-fat diets like these have been shown to be the worst option for weight loss.

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How Mutton Flaps (???) Are Killing Tonga

tonga1

This is possibly the worst thing ever written about obesity. It’s about the most obese country on earth and written by a journalist in the most obese country of Europe. And all it does is promote the mistaken ideas that got them into this mess.

Don’t read it. Or read it and laugh. And cry.

BBC: How Mutton Flaps Are Killing Tonga

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Sugar Crash – New Sugar Documentary


Here’s a brand new Irish documentary on the dangers of sugar consumption – it may be worse than you think. The documentary features Dr. Aseem Malhotra, Professor Robert Lustig, Damon Gameau and many more.

Worth watching, and perhaps sending to your friends.

Thanks to Ivor Cummins for the tip.

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Obesity ‘Biggest Threat to Women’s Health’ in England

Obesity is the biggest threat to women’s health and the health of future generations. This according to England’s chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies:

BBC: Obesity ‘biggest threat to women’s health’ in England

She has the right ideas – changing the disastrous food environment. The only problem is talking about giving the food industry yet another chance to change first.

First of all – the food industry has had plenty of time already (decades). Secondly, it doesn’t matter how much time they get – they can’t change by themselves. Any company or executive that tries to do the right thing will immediately lose market share or get fired.

The food industry can only change due to changing demand from consumers – or legislation. The situation is serious enough that we need both.

The problem is too big to just talk and wait for someone else to do something.

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US Obesity Keeps Rising – Not Stopped by Ridiculous Calorie-Counting Efforts

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Eat less, run more. Watch your energy balance. That’s what Americans have been told for decades, yet obesity keeps rising.

NYT: Obesity Rises Despite All Efforts to Fight It, U.S. Health Officials Say

Newly published data shows that in 2013 and 2014 fully 38 percent of American adults were obese, a staggering number and a new record. The numbers have been rising steadily since the early 80s when around 15 percent were obese.

It’s clear that what we are doing is not working in the US, nor anywhere else. We’re attacking this from the wrong angle. We need to stop the ridiculous fixation on energy balance (a Coca-Cola sponsored concept).

What we eat determines how much we want to eat. This is a question of food quality – and then the quantity can take care of itself, via our natural hunger and satiety signals.

It’s a question of the hormonal regulation of weight, not calorie counting. Obesity is not a physics or mathematics problem, it’s biology.

Until society gets the fundamental questions right we’ll never arrive at the solution.

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Sugar Clinics Helping Mexico Control Diabetes Epidemic – Or Do They?

Does high-carb snacks help control diabetes type 2?

Check out this fascinating 8-minute news segment about Mexico’s ravaging diabetes epidemic, and a chain of specialized “sugar clinics” that is said to help Mexicans control it.

PBS Newshour: Mexico’s sugar clinics help patients gain control over diabetes

Witness the problem

While there are many good things said in the news piece there are also some absolutely jarring details. Things that spotlight how backwards we think about this disease, and the reason the epidemic is out of control and getting worse every year.

Witness for example the background during the interview. I thought the founder was standing in a convenience store, talking about the problem of easily available junk food and snacks. But no, he’s standing IN HIS DIABETES CLINIC!

Yes, they sell lots of crackers, snacks and “sugar-free” candy. And the narrator proudly proclaims you can pick up your prescription, special soft diabetes shoes… and a snack, showing high-carb crackers.

So there you have it. Get your blood sugar lowering drugs, and your blood sugar raising snacks, in the same place. No wonder things are not improving.

And for some reason several of the doctors and the founder seem to have weight issues themselves. Perhaps there are good reasons for it, but I can’t help suspect they are simply drinking their own Kool-Aid.

Note also the usual disparaging remarks about benign meat and fat, and the hyping of exercise as a treatment. Not mentioning that a diabetic would have to run all day just to burn a few of the snacks she picked up at the diabetes clinic.

There’s a long way to go in Mexico.

Diabetes type 2 is a reversible, often curable disease. Learn more about it below.

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Graph of the Year

 
Obesity and Soft Drinks
 

Quite the coincidence. Or is it?

Perhaps all the Coca-Cola-funded health experts (names and pictures here) or health organizations can tell us.

Graph via the World Obesity Federation for the recent World Obesity Day.

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