Archive | Weight Loss

UK: Disappointing Strategy to Tackle Childhood Obesity

Junk Food

A lot of people in the UK – like Jamie Oliver – are disappointed in the newly released action plan for tackling childhood obesity.

What was laid out as an important turning point in health, turns out to instead consist mostly of weak messages about personal responsibility and utopian dreams about the fast-food industry taking responsibility.

So what’s missing? Strategies that would have real effects, such as bans on junk food ads to children. The only thing of real value is the soda tax, planned for 2018. But in isolation it’s unlikely to have more than a minor impact.

  • Childhood Obesity: a Plan for Action
  • The Independent: Jamie Oliver ‘Shocked’ by Government’s Childhood Obesity Strategy
  • The Guardian: Childhood Obesity: UK’s ‘Inexcusable’ Strategy is Wasted Opportunity, Say Experts
  • The Guardian: The Government’s Response to Obesity and Diabetes is Insulting

    It’s naive and uninformed to think that the food industry will take responsibility and self-regulate. There are numerous examples showing that that simply doesn’t work. The only explanation to keep this failed strategy is influence from industry lobbyists.

    Companies that care for things other than profitability rapidly lose market share. In other words, the industry is simply unable to regulate itself. The only chance is a leveled playing field, where all junk food companies have to comply with the same regulations.

    If we instead let the junk food firms do what they want, our children will be the ones who pay the price.

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    How Obesity Can Protect From Disease


    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


    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?


    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 →


    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


    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!


    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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