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What made Americans fat..........


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But the US is very different geographically than Italy. It's HUGE. Urban sprawl-- housing developments and long stretches of box stores and malls, fewer small businesses within walking distance, etc. make it impossible for most Americans to live like Italians. It's just not possible in many areas.

 

astrid

 

But it is possible to take advantage of their own opportunities. There are plenty of streets for bike rides, a chance to park downtown and walk from store to store, buy fresh ingredients.... it takes me 40 minutes to get a pasta on the table with a made from scratch sauce instead of buying a sugar-laden jar.

 

The American culture is built on having it now and bigger. It's time for people to take a step back and go smaller.

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The whole "Americans are fat because they don't walk or bike to work, the market, school, etc." comment just never fails to make me wince. It's almost always offered through the lenses of those who live in smaller, densely populated nations with adequate public transportation, a fresh market on nearly every corner and super highways circling AROUND the cities, not THROUGH them.

 

It may not be possible in your location, but there are plenty where it is.

I live in a small town in the US. the elementary school is less than a mile away, the middle school one mile. We were the only family in the street to walk to school. Anybody could have done so, they chose to drive and set this as an example for their kids.

I agree, growing up in a nation where people walk shapes perspectives - but the main thing is attitude. In our town, walking and biking is perfectly possible - yet almost nobody chooses to do it. We live within 15 minutes biking distance form work. It is also a matter of priority. We intentionally chose our hosue so that walking and biking to work and school would be possible because it is important to us. We could have chosen to live ten miles outside of town where this would not be possible, but we prefer to have physical activity built into our lives. It is a question of choice.

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The whole "Americans are fat because they don't walk or bike to work, the market, school, etc." comment just never fails to make me wince. It's almost always offered through the lenses of those who live in smaller, densely populated nations with adequate public transportation, a fresh market on nearly every corner and super highways circling AROUND the cities, not THROUGH them.

 

Walk or bike to the market? I'd definitely be thin because I'd be flattened by an 18 wheeler if I attempted that. ;)

 

astrid

 

I should have read further since this was already addressed. But this is exactly what I meant. I would love to walk everywhere, I truly would. I find exercising just to exercise to be boring and something I have to make myself do, and would love for my exercise to be just a part of my everyday activities. I would love to take my kids out for some sun and fresh air while we did our errands!

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My husband doesn't work out. He doesn't use exercise videos or treadmills. He doesn't lift weights. He doesn't even do anything real strenuous unless he's trimming shrubs. But, he MOVES more all day long than I do.

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We might need a new thread inviting people who have actually read the science to discuss it. Otherwise, I find this too frustrating. :lol:

 

I personally don't have any use for opinions based on hearsay, happenstance, urban myth, long revered misinformation (even from those who used to be "in the know")... I don't understand why no one is addressing actual points from the reading. Really. I don't understand why people are refuting the concept but not the particulars of the science. :confused: It's of no use...

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Saturated fat in the form of butter and cheese was also common. We're talking at cross purposes here. My point isn't that all carbs are bad. It's that eating carbs as the basis of a low fat diet may possibly make you insulin resistant. We need the fat in our diets to satiate appetite. The advice the medical community has been providing regarding saturated fat is just as damaging as their advice about increasing carb intake.

 

The thermodynamic issue as it relates to human biology is false. It is grossly over simplified. Please follow the links that address this issue specifically.

 

Just look at all traditional diets before a highly industrialized society made an overabundance of cheap foods available.

In medieval central Europe, cooked cereal was the staple of the diet: oatmeal-like mush. Later, bread was introduced which was the basis for several meals. In the 19th century, the potatoe was added. Meat was for most people only available on Sunday dinners.

Other countries build their meals around corn products (tortillas) or pasta.

 

I grew up in Germany. Breakfast: bread and jam. Lunch: potatoes or pasta with veggies and meat/fish. Dinner: bread again.

My Italian friends build their meals based on pasta.

 

 

The physical activity is basic thermodynamics, energy conservation - calories expended for physical activity can not be stored as fat. Simple.

People who walk several miles each day for their errands or who have physically demanding jobs or who climb mountains for fun typically are not fat.

I have not seen a fat long distance hiker or bicyclist.

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There are few carbs in a spinach salad. Even the first Atkins

plan recognized that.

 

In fact, you could keep your carbs pretty low and still eat a lot of vegetables.

And it is sustainable for life. Absolutely. If you are simply maintaining weight rather than lose it you would eat tons of vegetables, and also LC fruits.

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It may not be possible in your location, but there are plenty where it is.

I live in a small town in the US. the elementary school is less than a mile away, the middle school one mile. We were the only family in the street to walk to school. Anybody could have done so, they chose to drive and set this as an example for their kids.

I agree, growing up in a nation where people walk shapes perspectives - but the main thing is attitude. In our town, walking and biking is perfectly possible - yet almost nobody chooses to do it. We live within 15 minutes biking distance form work. It is also a matter of priority. We intentionally chose our hosue so that walking and biking to work and school would be possible because it is important to us. We could have chosen to live ten miles outside of town where this would not be possible, but we prefer to have physical activity built into our lives. It is a question of choice.

 

We walk to our neighborhood park, and when my oldest was in public school, we walked there too. The rest I can not choose, the streets are extremely traffic dense and unsafe for my kids and I to walk on, there are no sidewalks in many areas, and no public transportation. I would love to move to a different part of the country, but my dh has a very good job here and the cost of living here is what we can afford. I grew up in a different state that had no public transportation or sidewalks either, but I lived in a rural area and my friends and I walked everywhere.

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What makes biking to work prohibitive, in my opinion, is we are very caught up with the way people look and smell. :lol: No one wants to show up for work smelly from riding their bike. My hair is a tangled fright when I'm done riding.

 

I don't want to ride my bike to the library and deal with traffic. I love riding my bike, but drivers are so distracted these days. Then there's the locking all the bikes up, carrying all the books, etc.

 

Same with grocery shopping. I practically fill the back of my van; how would I get all this stuff home?

 

It may not be possible in your location, but there are plenty where it is.

I live in a small town in the US. the elementary school is less than a mile away, the middle school one mile. We were the only family in the street to walk to school. Anybody could have done so, they chose to drive and set this as an example for their kids.

I agree, growing up in a nation where people walk shapes perspectives - but the main thing is attitude. In our town, walking and biking is perfectly possible - yet almost nobody chooses to do it. We live within 15 minutes biking distance form work. It is also a matter of priority. We intentionally chose our hosue so that walking and biking to work and school would be possible because it is important to us. We could have chosen to live ten miles outside of town where this would not be possible, but we prefer to have physical activity built into our lives. It is a question of choice.

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We might need a new thread inviting people who have actually read the science to discuss it. Otherwise, I find this too frustrating. :lol:

 

I personally don't have any use for opinions based on hearsay, happenstance, urban myth, long revered misinformation (even from those who used to be "in the know")... I don't understand why no one is addressing actual points from the reading. Really. I don't understand why people are refuting the concept but not the particulars of the science. :confused: It's of no use...

 

Because people we live with and know are actually a study. I know my husband eats far more garbage than I. He can eat three cheeseburgers while I skip the bun. He can eat two bowls of ice cream and cobbler. Because he buys sweetened green tea to drink and used to buy Big Gulps which he drank every day.

 

But, I am clearly not scientific enough, and his body and lifestyle aren't proof of anything. It would only be proof if he were involved in a scientific study.

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I understand the science of why a body turns to ketosis when eating no carbs. That is nothing new or revolutionary. :confused: And it's not a diet that can be supported long term. No one will want to spend the rest of their lives eating ONLY bacon cheeseburgers, hunks of cheese and steak. I have a dairy and egg allergy, so that means if I

were to need this diet I would ONLY be able to eat meat. :ack2::ack2:

 

I don't think there's a single low-carb diet out there that does not allow vegetables, at least. Most allow at least some fruit in the long term (not during induction, perhaps, but the rest of the time). I think they all allow nuts, as well. Meat, fruit, nuts, and vegetables really should be the basis of a healthy diet. I don't see why that is not supportable long term. There are a LOT of long-term low-carbers out there, I find it a lot easier diet to maintain than low-calorie.

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:iagree:Pretty sure if everyone stopped eating enough for three people at every meal the problem would be solved. Americans are fat because they eat too much. Period.

 

Aren't you a pediatric nurse? Have you read the science? The articles here and the newest books on the subject? If my children were overweight, I would hope that their health care professionals understood the physiological processes of weight gain. I would want them to have enough intellectual curiosity and concern for their patients and their own knowledge base to be reading the latest research.

 

My sincere apologies if you have read the latest of what is out there. I just didn't get that impression at all from your very simplistic response.

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The democratic process should work on a local level. Why haven't Americans managed to develop their communities in ways that provide for an "0n foot and bike" lifestyle? Why does everyone have to own a car to have reliable transportation, except in a few major cities? It's not like the Chinese did our community planning and zoning. We did it.

 

I don't know, but you should see the hatred people have for cyclists around here who want to share the road or have bike paths put down. It's very dangerous riding on any major road, and those are the roads you need to ride on to get to work most of the time. Plus, around here, most people use the beltways/interstates to get to work.

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The thermodynamic issue as it relates to human biology is false. It is grossly over simplified. .

 

I happen to be a scientist.

Every cell, every organ, every organism has to obey the basic laws of physics. Energy conservation is a fundamental law that can not be overruled by biology: if an amount of chemical energy is used to do mechanical work through a muslce, it is no longer available for a different use (for example to be stored as fat).

Any "science" which tries to tell me otherwise is saying that it is possible to violate the law of energy conservation and, for example, construct a perpetuum mobile (as in: I can expend the energy to make my muscles walk ten miles and still have that amount of energy available to stort in the form of fat). As a physicist, this is the point where I smile and nod and leave the discussion.

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Americans are fat because they eat too much. Just look at American restaurant portions vs. European portions.

 

Sorry, but I could care less where a calorie comes from. A calorie is a calorie is a calorie. It's the same whether it's from fat, sugars, or proteins. There is some minor processing differences, i.e. fat triggers satiety, proteins trigger some liver enzymes, etc. But it still boils down to too many calories in the American diet for the amount of expenditure.

 

Science is trying to make, "Close your mouth and get active" something more complicated than it is.

 

All calories are not equal. The science doesn't support it. You're making your argument from a place of ignorance. Please take the time to educate yourself. Possible your negative judgement is more about prejudice than fact.

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Because people we live with and know are actually a study. I know my husband eats far more garbage than I. He can eat three cheeseburgers while I skip the bun. He can eat two bowls of ice cream and cobbler. Because he buys sweetened green tea to drink and used to buy Big Gulps which he drank every day.

 

But, I am clearly not scientific enough, and his body and lifestyle aren't proof of anything. It would only be proof if he were involved in a scientific study.

 

Well, you know what you know about your DH, of course. I could also tell you about my carboholic DD7 and how she's a waif.

 

But no, a case study of one person (or even a few) is not sufficient to base an entire theory of weight gain and fat storage. Never mind that it lacks any basis in science. But no one on this thread wants to discuss science so I'm going back to K-8. ;)

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Aren't you a pediatric nurse? Have you read the science? The articles here and the newest books on the subject? If my children were overweight, I would hope that their health care professionals understood the physiological processes of weight gain. I would want them to have enough intellectual curiosity and concern for their patients and their own knowledge base to be reading the latest research.

 

My sincere apologies if you have read the latest of what is out there. I just didn't get that impression at all from your very simplistic response.

 

I think my other issue is that the science on this is always changing. I wonder what it will be 20 years from now? Now, we can sit and scoff at the science that said fat was making us fat. Why were we not then?

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But the US is very different geographically than Italy. It's HUGE. Urban sprawl-- housing developments and long stretches of box stores and malls, fewer small businesses within walking distance, etc. make it impossible for most Americans to live like Italians. It's just not possible in many areas.

 

astrid

 

 

I think that is something that's worth trying to change, for a lot of reasons, for folks who would like to live like that.

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Well, you know what you know about your DH, of course. I could also tell you about my carboholic DD7 and how she's a waif.

 

But no, a case study of one person (or even a few) is not sufficient to base an entire theory of weight gain and fat storage. Never mind that it lacks any basis in science. But no one on this thread wants to discuss science so I'm going back to K-8. ;)

 

It's not that I don't want to discuss the science. I just think the science is narrow. It cannot factor in so many things that have changed in our culture -- not just the carbs. How can food portions have nothing to do with it? How can video games and sedentary lifestyles have nothing to do with it?

 

Frankly, I don't respect any science that puts the blame on one thing. It smells of agenda to me.

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I happen to be a scientist.

Every cell, every organ, every organism has to obey the basic laws of physics. Energy conservation is a fundamental law that can not be overruled by biology: if an amount of chemical energy is used to do mechanical work through a muslce, it is no longer available for a different use (for example to be stored as fat).

Any "science" which tries to tell me otherwise is saying that it is possible to violate the law of energy conservation and, for example, construct a perpetuum mobile (as in: I can expend the energy to make my muscles walk ten miles and still have that amount of energy available to stort in the form of fat). As a physicist, this is the point where I smile and nod and leave the discussion.

 

 

The chemistry of hormones affects this law. Again, please, as a scientist read what respected scientists say about this. This information can be found in the Duke study.

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But WHY do americans eat too much???? Why are people eating a ton and still hungry? That is the real question, and one that the OP answered.

__________________

 

A combination of all of the chemicals in processed, boxed food like Mac and Cheese, High Fructose Corn Syrup and Diet Soda actually surpress the feeling of being full. I think that has a lot to do with it too.

Boredom and Fast Food too

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I happen to be a scientist.

Every cell, every organ, every organism has to obey the basic laws of physics. Energy conservation is a fundamental law that can not be overruled by biology: if an amount of chemical energy is used to do mechanical work through a muslce, it is no longer available for a different use (for example to be stored as fat).

Any "science" which tries to tell me otherwise is saying that it is possible to violate the law of energy conservation and, for example, construct a perpetuum mobile (as in: I can expend the energy to make my muscles walk ten miles and still have that amount of energy available to stort in the form of fat). As a physicist, this is the point where I smile and nod and leave the discussion.

 

This blog entry from Gary Taubes address the thermodynamics thing. Taubes tends to be long winded, so my attempts to find something to put in a block quote were a little frustrating. But here's a teaser:

 

The reason people believe we get fat because of overeating and sedentary behavior is because they believe the laws of thermodynamics somehow dictate this to be true. In particular the first law, which tells us that energy is conserved, so if a system takes in more energy than it expends, the energy contained in the system has to increase. If that system happens to be our fat tissue, than the fat tissue accumulates fat. That’s the logic. So if we eat more than we expend, we get fatter and the logic turns this around to say that we get fat because we eat more than we expend. And so, overeating and sedentary behavior are the causes. This is the logic that leads virtually every government health agency and independent health organization (the AHA, the AMA, you name it) to have some variation of this World Health Organization statement on its website or in its promotional material: “The fundamental cause of obesity and overweight is an energy imbalance between calories consumed on one hand, and calories expended on the other hand.â€

But now imagine that instead of talking about why we get fat, we’re talking about a different system entirely.

 

This kind of gedanken (thought) experiment is always a good way to examine the viability of your assumptions about any particular problem. Say instead of talking about why fat tissue accumulates too much energy, we want to know why a particular restaurant gets so crowded. Now the energy we’re talking about is contained in entire people rather than just the fat in their fat tissue. Ten people contain so much energy; eleven people contain more, etc.. So what we want to know is why this restaurant is crowded and so over-stuffed with energy (i.e., people) and maybe why some other restaurant down the block has remained relatively empty — lean.

 

If you asked me this question — why did this restaurant get crowded? — and I said, well, the restaurant got crowded (it got overstuffed with energy) because more people entered the restaurant than left it, you’d probably think I was being a wise guy or an idiot. (If I worked for the World Health Organization, I’d tell you that “the fundamental cause of the crowded restaurant is an energy imbalance between people entering on one hand, and people exiting on the other hand.â€) Of course, more people entered than left, you’d say. That’s obvious. But why? And, in fact, saying that a restaurant gets crowded because more people are entering than leaving it is redundant –saying the same thing in two different ways – and so meaningless.

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My husband doesn't work out. He doesn't use exercise videos or treadmills. He doesn't lift weights. He doesn't even do anything real strenuous unless he's trimming shrubs. But, he MOVES more all day long than I do.

 

 

See that's me. I do go to a gym 2 or 3 times per week for under one hour to lift heavy weights. But I move all. day. long. I do not sit much at all, despite my posting here :tongue_smilie:. And usually it's from an ipad while out. I am active all day long and I don't snack much at all. I don't eat anything processed. I eat lots of fruit and veggies, but I also eat potatoes and whole grains, just not much. As in ONE serving 1/2 of oats, or rice, etc. I really can't stand meat, and I am dairy intolerant. I'll eat fish and some chicken/turkey but the thought of living on protein makes me gag. I don't remember the last time I felt "full." I think a lot of people don't know what it feels like to have been satisfied and not hungry.

 

I know there are lots of people here who probably have issues stemming from past generations passing things on etc. I don't claim to be an expert but I was once over 200 pounds. I am very lean and fit now. So I know what it feels like to be on the flip side.

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We might need a new thread inviting people who have actually read the science to discuss it. Otherwise, I find this too frustrating. :lol:

 

I personally don't have any use for opinions based on hearsay, happenstance, urban myth, long revered misinformation (even from those who used to be "in the know")... I don't understand why no one is addressing actual points from the reading. Really. I don't understand why people are refuting the concept but not the particulars of the science. :confused: It's of no use...

 

I don't think it is that people dismiss the science. It's more that the idea that having a healthy diet requires science to tell us what that means in the first place, be it a food pyramid or whatever fad is now popular.

 

It is not like in the past people had to have someone tell them how to balance their diet with protein, carbs, fats etc. You just ate what was conventional and appealed and lived your life, which was generally pretty active.

 

It's true that individuals who are obese now may need to be more "scientific" about their diets to lose weight and maintain it. But I think it is incorrect to see the needs of those people applied to what we should promote as a society.

 

I think that is what people mean when they say, eat whole foods of all kinds, cook at home, drink in moderation, be active in your day to day life. If we want a healthy society, that is the way to get it, not telling people the proportion of carbs vs fat they need. In fact I would say that an attitude towards food that sees it that way is probably one of the issues that leads to us having crap diets and obesity issues. As a society, I'd bet that lobbying for better planned cities and communities and eating Slow food (or something similar) is going to go a long way to making a difference.

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Why is it that we can only figure out how to eat by reading the 'newest' book on the market. People have been doing that for years now and it seems to be making the mess worse. I keep hearing things about how this information that they were sure was right, might be wrong now, so lets all switch and do something else. Shouldn't it be as simple as looking at the way people lived and ate back when everyone wasn't overweight? Perhaps I see it as that easy because I live in an area where the overweight problems are relatively new. Here, we walk, we play outside, we move. Here we tend to eat fewer sweetened drinks and processed foods and more things that we can grow ourselves, or buy at the farmers market. For us to eat out, is a huge treat, we go out approximately once a month. Even when I'm gone for the day, I pack a lunch, not buy. Everytime I visit relatives in the southern US, their lifestyles and food choices blow me away. My kids often end up sick when we eat down there as the food is just too much for them.

 

Really we pick on wheat but no one mentions that the wheat that everyone is eating isn't even real wheat. It's GM wheat. It's nothing like the original wheat strains were and the body responds to it differently.

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Did it ever occur to you though that Americans eat too much because they are so hungry? Could it also possibly be they aren't feeling satisfied by all the low quality carbs they are consuming?

 

I know when I eat too many carbs I'm starved. I could eat all day. If I eat some protein and fat, I'm much more in control of my eating.

 

Frankly, from talking to older people, we eat far more for pleasure and from boredom. People in my grandparent's generation were eating far more from actual hunger. There was no snacking -- junk food -- dessert was only on Sunday. Water and coffee were the beverages -- not soda, Frappucinos, juices, energy drinks, etc.

 

So, yes, this has a lot to do with carbs because they tend to be the easy snack foods. But, it's not just about carbs. It's about food habits. It's about really seeing the purpose of food and knowing when your body is actually hungry and when it just has a hankering for something sweet, something salty, etc.

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Because people we live with and know are actually a study. I know my husband eats far more garbage than I. He can eat three cheeseburgers while I skip the bun. He can eat two bowls of ice cream and cobbler. Because he buys sweetened green tea to drink and used to buy Big Gulps which he drank every day.

 

But, I am clearly not scientific enough, and his body and lifestyle aren't proof of anything. It would only be proof if he were involved in a scientific study.

 

have varying tolerances for carbs. We're talking about obesity as a national phenomenon here, not individual experience

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Does anyone else find it ironic that I am reading this thread as I sit on my couch eating kettle chips straight from the bag and drinking my diet Mt. Dew.

 

I could have stuck to my low carb/high fiber/whole foods diet today (or any day). I could step outside and get on my bike and go ride 30 miles, go for a walk or run, or go swim laps at the pool that is less than a 1/4 mile from my house -- all readily available to me by a fabulous paved trail system that connects right here in my neighborhood (less than 100 yards from my doorstep). I could just walk downstairs and get on the treadmill or do some sit ups, jumping jacks, lift some weights or jump rope. I AM NOT DOING ANY OF THOSE THINGS!!

 

Why am I not getting rid of the last 10 pounds that I'd like to? Why do I struggle keeping the 15-20 lbs I lost a year and a half ago off?

 

I believe it's due to everything you are all talking about. It's ALL of it -- at least for me personally. The scientific realities, the GMOS and chemically altered foods, the expense of trying to eat nothing but whole foods, the not having my own garden and raising my own food, the fast food and packaged food access, the portion sizes I've been raised on, the eating just because I feel like it because I'm bored . . . and the fact that I am sitting on my butt and not doing anything.

 

No argument from me here about any this. So many days I do wish there was no such thing as fast food restaurants, that I had my own garden & raised my own livestock, that there were no chemically altered foods, and that I couldn't just go into the store and buy the kettle chips and liquid poison like I just did prior to sitting down on my couch instead of being active. For me, my weight issue and health concerns are based on everything that has been talked about in this discussion.

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I happen to be a scientist.

Every cell, every organ, every organism has to obey the basic laws of physics. Energy conservation is a fundamental law that can not be overruled by biology: if an amount of chemical energy is used to do mechanical work through a muslce, it is no longer available for a different use (for example to be stored as fat).

Any "science" which tries to tell me otherwise is saying that it is possible to violate the law of energy conservation and, for example, construct a perpetuum mobile (as in: I can expend the energy to make my muscles walk ten miles and still have that amount of energy available to stort in the form of fat). As a physicist, this is the point where I smile and nod and leave the discussion.

 

I am an engineer, I have a thorough understanding of thermodynamics. However, you are oversimplifying the human body. It is not a simple machine with a constant rate of energy use.

 

I agree that if a calorie is burned in exercise, it is not stored as fat. However, the human body does not treat every calorie the same. The body is predisposed to storing carbohydrates. Carbohydrates cause an increase in insulin which cause the body to crave more food, and also to feel tired so fewer calories are burned. Fat causes the body to feel full and refuse more food. The body tends to want to burn protein. Metabolism can change depending on what foods are being eaten. Calories in/calories out is a gross oversimplification.

 

I believed as you do for a long time. Read Gary Taubes. Seriously. He is a scientist, the books are scientific literature. He addresses all the points that everyone here has made.

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I think my other issue is that the science on this is always changing. I wonder what it will be 20 years from now? Now, we can sit and scoff at the science that said fat was making us fat. Why were we not then?

 

There was never science saying fat made us fat. That was a political movement.

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I am an engineer, I have a thorough understanding of thermodynamics. However, you are oversimplifying the human body. It is not a simple machine with a constant rate of energy use.

I agree that if a calorie is burned in exercise, it is not stored as fat.

 

That was all I was saying. A calorie spent on work can not be stored.

 

However, the human body does not treat every calorie the same. The body is predisposed to storing carbohydrates. Carbohydrates cause an increase in insulin which cause the body to crave more food, and also to feel tired so fewer calories are burned. Fat causes the body to feel full and refuse more food. The body tends to want to burn protein. Metabolism can change depending on what foods are being eaten.

 

I am not arguing with that at all. My only point was that if I use the calories to do work (i.e. exercise) they are not available to be stored as fat - no matter what the source of the calorie was that my exercise burned.

I do not at all debate that the feeling of satiety has a LOT to do with where the calory came from and that a high fat high protein diet will make the person feel less hungry and thus may cause the person to consume fewer total calories.

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I happen to be a scientist.

Every cell, every organ, every organism has to obey the basic laws of physics. Energy conservation is a fundamental law that can not be overruled by biology: if an amount of chemical energy is used to do mechanical work through a muslce, it is no longer available for a different use (for example to be stored as fat).

Any "science" which tries to tell me otherwise is saying that it is possible to violate the law of energy conservation and, for example, construct a perpetuum mobile (as in: I can expend the energy to make my muscles walk ten miles and still have that amount of energy available to stort in the form of fat). As a physicist, this is the point where I smile and nod and leave the discussion.

 

We aren't machines, we don't treat every calorie the same. our bodies require certain things, can metabolize certain things, and need certain things to function. If diet didn't matter at all, than a human would be able to live off of the same diet as any animal and, we know we can't. If I can look at my cows and know that there are some foods I give them when I want them to put weight on, and other foods I give them when I want them to slim down, why is it so hard to think the same thing about me.

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To each their own, but all I hear about is we need to get kids eating more fruits and vegetables. Nothing much is said about what else one is supposed to eat because one cannot live well on just fruits and vegetables. What about fats? What about protein?

 

Yes. Our ped's office recently added a new questionnaire about heart health - on an iPad, to make it more irritating, er, cool to fill out - and its focus is fruits and vegetables, and how much saturated fat you are having. Every well checkup, I hear about how we should switch from 2% milk to skim because of the saturated fat (my kids are not overweight even remotely, and need all the fat they can get to balance the carbs they eat :tongue_smilie:). I love my ped dearly, but I'm not switching the milk :)

 

I am genetically predisposed to normal-weight insulin issues, and twenty years ago I was about 15 pounds heavier on a low-fat diet. I ate very little protein and fat in those days. Now, I don't eat exactly as I should (sugar in my morning coffee is my huge vice and boy do I know it), but I do try to balance carbs with protein and fat for every meal/snack.

 

I don't feel that carbs are entirely evil - I need some, to get along - but I tend to agree with the OP. What amazes me is that this is news, that some docs are just figuring this out now. I figured out the basic premise about a decade ago (when I was diagnosed with pcos), though it has taken me some time, tweaking and experimentation to figure out how my individual body needs to eat and what exercise I need to do (I need to run, lift weights and lose about 5 lbs :tongue_smilie: but I am short, so 5 lbs goes a long way.)

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Yes. Our ped's office recently added a new questionnaire about heart health - on an iPad, to make it more irritating, er, cool to fill out - and its focus is fruits and vegetables, and how much saturated fat you are having. Every well checkup, I hear about how we should switch from 2% milk to skim because of the saturated fat (my kids are not overweight even remotely, and need all the fat they can get to balance the carbs they eat :tongue_smilie:). I love my ped dearly, but I'm not switching the milk :)

 

Oh, see, now I did switch the milk. I absolutely did that. I switched from skim to whole. :tongue_smilie:

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As someone that is Obese, but hasn't has a frappucino in years, or a big gulp ever in my whole life, or sugared drinks more than twice a year, etc etc...no, that isn't the problem. There is so much more too it than that.

 

I've watched my mother cut her calories in less than half and lose very little weight. There are actual scientific studies showing that you can eat MORE calories and lose weight if you change WHAT you eat. That people on a 2,000 calorie diet lost more and more easily than those on a 1,200 calorie diet. And that was in controlled studies.

 

is how obese people have been told that they would lose weight if they just had enough self-discipline and that it's entirely their fault if they're fat. All that that advice (low fat, calorie restriction, increase exercise) was crap, crap, crap. Generations have been told that they're fat because they're bad people. Horrifyingly wrong!!

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Just curious. Do you choose to stop before feeling full or is it the foods you eat? I am wondering because I feel full a lot. I think I like being efficient so I tend to eat a lot so I won't be hungry for a good while after. A spinach salad with avocado and full fat dressing can make me feel very full.

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But it is possible to take advantage of their own opportunities. There are plenty of streets for bike rides, a chance to park downtown and walk from store to store, buy fresh ingredients.... it takes me 40 minutes to get a pasta on the table with a made from scratch sauce instead of buying a sugar-laden jar.

 

The American culture is built on having it now and bigger. It's time for people to take a step back and go smaller.

 

America is a big place, and there is more than one culture. If you base your idea of America on places where fat people gather and on news stories about fat people, you might get the idea that All Americans Are Stupid, Sedentary, and Fat, but it's not true.

 

Did you know lots of Americans make pasta and sauce from scratch? Did you know you can buy sugarless jarred sauces everywhere, even at Walmart?

 

Are you ever going to acknowledge that there are indeed fit and healthy Americans and that you have offended with your stereotypes, sweeping statements, and assumptions?

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I am an engineer, I have a thorough understanding of thermodynamics. However, you are oversimplifying the human body. It is not a simple machine with a constant rate of energy use.

 

I agree that if a calorie is burned in exercise, it is not stored as fat. However, the human body does not treat every calorie the same. The body is predisposed to storing carbohydrates. Carbohydrates cause an increase in insulin which cause the body to crave more food, and also to feel tired so fewer calories are burned. Fat causes the body to feel full and refuse more food. The body tends to want to burn protein. Metabolism can change depending on what foods are being eaten. Calories in/calories out is a gross oversimplification.

 

I believed as you do for a long time. Read Gary Taubes. Seriously. He is a scientist, the books are scientific literature. He addresses all the points that everyone here has made.

 

 

I'm not understanding regentude to be saing anything that disagrees with this, or anything else being said. Yes, eating some foods in excess may tend to be less satisfying, or change chemical balances of the body, or whatever.

 

I think what she is saying - and I'm sure she will correct me if I am wrong here - is that you cannot say that therefore exersize, or lack thereof, is not an issue. Taubes has not said anything that shows that eating one food or another means that when we burn calories through activity they are somehow still available to be stored. If you exersize more, you will expend calories, which won't be used elsewhere. There is no disproof of that in any study I have seen, and many people have lost weight primarily or wholly through exercise.

 

I agree with thepp who said she was suspicious when anyone tried to pin the blame for a widespread social problem like this on one thing. It isn't plausible. It seems like people are always looking for the next study or book or whatever that will give them the one secret they need to be thin.

 

And it is also frustrating to me that the focus is so much on weight. Being thin is not the only indicator of health. The Germans who are fat and bike and walk a lot are probably going to be healthier than skinny people watch tv all day, especially if they are avoiding a highly processed diet.

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:iagree::iagree:

I completely agree with all of this!

 

 

 

:iagree:

 

I live in Italy. You know who the fat people are? The Americans. You can spot them a mile away.

 

Italians bike. Italians walk. Italians buy fresh ingredients and tax their processed items - the more processed, the more taxed. Italians take pride in their food and use fresh herbs to season their dishes. They savor, not inhale, their meals. They drink socially and getting drunk is frowned upon.

 

 

Americans live a life of excess. They complain when gas reaches $4/gallon while the rest of the world pays $8-10. They complain about their rights when the idea of banning the sale of soda greater than the size of an average stomach is talked about. They fill their carts at Cosco with boxes of salted and sugared foods. Children stay in strollers until age 4 or 5, but have 16oz sippy cups filled with juice.

 

 

The problem is not the diet. It's the lack of one and the sedentary ways that American people embrace. People in the 30's and 40's ate largely carb diets, but stayed skinny because the work exerted equaled the intake of energy. I mean, the "fat lady" at the circus in 1900 would be simply average in our country of a 2/3 obesity rate! Carbs are not bad. Meat is not bad. Having a portion size grow 300% is!

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That was all I was saying. A calorie spent on work can not be stored.

 

 

 

I am not arguing with that at all. My only point was that if I use the calories to do work (i.e. exercise) they are not available to be stored as fat - no matter what the source of the calorie was that my exercise burned.

I do not at all debate that the feeling of satiety has a LOT to do with where the calory came from and that a high fat high protein diet will make the person feel less hungry and thus may cause the person to consume fewer total calories.

 

Not necessarily. People on low carb/high fat diets can often eat a LOT of calories, and still lose weight. Why? Because the body burns them rather than storing them. Metabolism is not a stagnant thing. It is not as simple as "lower calories = weight loss".

 

Also LCHF gives one a lot of energy since the body wants to burn the calories instead of store them.

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Oh, see, now I did switch the milk. I absolutely did that. I switched from skim to whole. :tongue_smilie:

:lol: awesome!!

 

eta, I don't know why I never thought of that - maybe I should switch after all :)

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None of this explains why other cultures with a diet that is heavily based on carbs do not have the same obesity problems as Americans do.

The main difference is not that the Americans eat more carbs (I am coming from a country of bread lovers with amazing bread which is the basis for two meals each day) but rather the amount of physical activity that is built into a daily schedule.

 

ETA: In former times, most people could not afford a diet high in protein and fat - carbs was almost all they had to satisfy their hunger. Yet obesity was not an issue because they did physical work. Nor is obesity a problem for people in other parts of the world whose daily meals consist mainly of a couple bowls of rice because they have nothing else.

 

:iagree:

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Gary Taubes doesn't have the market covered on science. I think it is pretty obvious that the scientific community is still trying to figure the whole thing out. It is far from settled. Often, the latest science turns out to be wrong. John Ioannidis has shown that. Here is an article about it http://www.economist.com/node/12376658.

 

There was some preliminary evidence that low fat diets worked. The problem was, we jumped the gun and recommended them before all the evidence was in.

I would say the evidence is still not all in about what makes people fat. Here is a study from the new England journal of medicine from 2010 that found that "reduced calorie diets result in clinically meaningful weight loss regardless of which macronutrients they emphasize. " http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19246357

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is how obese people have been told that they would lose weight if they just had enough self-discipline and that it's entirely their fault if they're fat. All that that advice (low fat, calorie restriction, increase exercise) was crap, crap, crap. Generations have been told that they're fat because they're bad people. Horrifyingly wrong!!

 

:iagree::iagree: Yes this! This is what drives me. The old "but a calorie is a calorie!" shebang is usually used to guilt-trip fat people. I'm fat person. I spent years thinking I had no self-control because I was fat. If I would just eat less and exercise more I'd be thin!! But I was always hungry and tired, so exercise and good eating were hard.

 

I'm now losing weight steadily, and have much more energy to be active. Not because I found some well of self-control and virtue, but because I learned that WHAT I eat matters even more than HOW MUCH.

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Also, as far as why people don't feel full, I've heard a dozen possibilities in the past year, many of which seem plausible. From being formula fed to the "natural flavours" found in processed foods which push all the right buttons to make us crave more in a way that natural foods don't.

 

Reducing it to one thing sounds unlikely.

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Just curious. Do you choose to stop before feeling full or is it the foods you eat? I am wondering because I feel full a lot. I think I like being efficient so I tend to eat a lot so I won't be hungry for a good while after. A spinach salad with avocado and full fat dressing can make me feel very full.

 

 

Your Ghrelin may be affected by a metabolic disorder.

 

I'm not understanding regentude to be saing anything that disagrees with this, or anything else being said. Yes, eating some foods in excess may tend to be less satisfying, or change chemical balances of the body, or whatever.

 

I think what she is saying - and I'm sure she will correct me if I am wrong here - is that you cannot say that therefore exersize, or lack thereof, is not an issue. Taubes has not said anything that shows that eating one food or another means that when we burn calories through activity they are somehow still available to be stored. If you exersize more, you will expend calories, which won't be used elsewhere. There is no disproof of that in any study I have seen, and many people have lost weight primarily or wholly through exercise.

 

I agree with thepp who said she was suspicious when anyone tried to pin the blame for a widespread social problem like this on one thing. It isn't plausible. It seems like people are always looking for the next study or book or whatever that will give them the one secret they need to be thin.

 

And it is also frustrating to me that the focus is so much on weight. Being thin is not the only indicator of health. The Germans who are fat and bike and walk a lot are probably going to be healthier than skinny people watch tv all day, especially if they are avoiding a highly processed diet.

 

 

You really need to watch the vid I posted previously. Our country is so morbidly obese, it's a national disaster. It is one of THE most important things we need to tackle. We are passing down screwed up genes, we are effecting our national security... it's a nightmare.

 

And to prove that calories in =calories out is wrong, every morning I eat

 

3 eggs fried in butter, with about 4 oz of cheddar, two tablespoons of pastured butter on top (and I already fried them in butter) with some pico de gallo.

 

I then down 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a little medicine shot glass.

 

For lunch I'll have some slices of london broil with a few lettuce leaves and some blue cheese dressing.

 

For dinner I'll eat whatever protein we're having and a side salad. With more blue cheese dressing or homemade mayo.

 

I've lost almost 20 pounds in about 3 weeks.

 

As a family we're active-but in NO WAY am I burning that many calories. I'll vacuum every day, I'll play in the pool on and off, I'll tackle a house project, we hike on weekends. But I'm not burning off all those calories on any given day.

 

So, how am I losing weight eating like that if calories = calories?

 

Previously, trying to control my hypoglycemia, I was eating every two hours, small handful things, but still more carbs and I had gained weight trying to control this. It kept creeping up and up and I was so frustrated because though I think nothing of carrying an extra ten pounds, this was more than I was comfortable with. Activity wasn't making me lose weight at all. Then I tried eating as *little* as I could without sending myself into a glucose coma. I still gained weight.

 

Now, eating the way I do I'm dropping weight like peeing. I didn't believe it before-I thought whole grains and complex carbs were good. And they may be for some people, but I did this out of desperation and it's working. I don't argue the science of it anymore.

 

 

(PLease excuse my autocorrect. If there's a completely nonsensical word thrown in there, I just didn't catch autocorrect)

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I could easily eat 3 pounds of steak in a day and not gain weight so long as I'm not eating carbs. Three pounds of fatty steak is not low cal.

 

Of course I could do without the keto breath. :lol:

 

See meat makes me gag. GAG! I can do fish/chicken or whatever but I cannot afford to eat pounds and pounds of good quality fish every day.

 

I eat tons of fruit, but I really limit my grains. I really should go back to no grains though. What about fruit? Do you low carbers eat fruit? I could not give that up. I never have and not had a problem. And I DID go from over 200 pounds after kids to very lean. I was at my optimum when doing lower carb than I am now.

 

And do you count the extra fats in your daily calories? ONE tblsp of coconut oil has 120 calories, vs almost a full serving of grains has the same . I dunno.....my kids would really have a hard time with NO grains whatsoever, but they don't eat that much either. I use whole milk, real butter, etc. They just don't eat big portions.

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But it is possible to take advantage of their own opportunities. There are plenty of streets for bike rides, a chance to park downtown and walk from store to store, buy fresh ingredients.... it takes me 40 minutes to get a pasta on the table with a made from scratch sauce instead of buying a sugar-laden jar.

 

The American culture is built on having it now and bigger. It's time for people to take a step back and go smaller.

 

It a tomato-based sauce? I thought sugar had to be added.

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See meat makes me gag. GAG! I can do fish/chicken or whatever but I cannot afford to eat pounds and pounds of good quality fish every day.

 

I eat tons of fruit, but I really limit my grains. I really should go back to no grains though. What about fruit? Do you low carbers eat fruit? I could not give that up. I never have and not had a problem. And I DID go from over 200 pounds after kids to very lean. I was at my optimum when doing lower carb than I am now.

 

And do you count the extra fats in your daily calories? ONE tblsp of coconut oil has 120 calories, vs almost a full serving of grains has the same . I dunno.....my kids would really have a hard time with NO grains whatsoever, but they don't eat that much either. I use whole milk, real butter, etc. They just don't eat big portions.[/QUOte]

 

I eat some fruit, but try not to eat a ton. If I'm not trying to actually lose weight (just maintenance) I can eat quite a bit of fruit.

 

I don't count calories. I don't even look. Your body will process that coconut in a completely different way than that serving of grains.

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