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Why Are So Many People in America Fat?

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  • #16
    I have lived in Santa Barbara my whole life. It's a great place if you like the outdoors. The ocean and mountains are both 10 minutes away. It's easy to get around by bicycle, easy to get around on foot, great weather almost all the time. At one point I considered a move to Atlanta. I went to visit. If I were to ride a bicycle or walk in Atlanta I'd surely be killed by a car. There were no bike lanes and no sidewalks and despite not being afraid to "take the lane" when I ride a bike, I knew those drivers would kill me on purpose. We had to drive two hours to find mountains. I don't know where the ocean was. You couldn't walk from anyplace that had houses to anyplace that had grocery stores. I tried to pretend it would be okay, after all it was my boyfriend who was there being interviewed for a job and I wanted to be supportive, but I couldn't keep myself from bursting into tears. I just couldn't live there if I could never go outside and ride my bike or take a walk. I could never live my life so dependent upon my car. I think this is one of many reasons Americans are fat.
    Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Damiana View Post
      Large portion sizes, little exercise, processed foods that are nutritionally devoid and easy to prepare, snacks that are sweet and salty and designed to make you overeat, a government and doctors who generally push the CW that one should eat a high- whole grain and low fat diet. Corn and soybean in everything.
      Damiana said it in a nutshell. Also, gluten is in everything here and it's on purpose. Food manufactures know that grains cause people to overeat, crave foods, get sick (but not sick enough to stop eating), and so on. It's hard to explain but we have an accepted culture of laziness here. You don't need to live here in order to see it, just look at the characters on our TV programs. Where I live people will NOT walk. They will park right up next to a store and not bat an eye to the fact that they're blocking a fire lane. I go for a walk every day during my lunch break and my co-workers think I'm nuts.
      “You may have thought you heard me say I wanted a lot of bacon and eggs, but what I said was: Give me all the bacon and eggs you have.” - Ron Swanson

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Mr. Koozie View Post
        Damiana said it in a nutshell.
        No, she didn't.

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        • #19




          The Skinny on Obesity (Ep. 2): Sickeningly Sweet - YouTube





          Would I be putting a grain-feed cow on a fad diet if I took it out of the feedlot and put it on pasture eating the grass nature intended?

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          • #20
            Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
            I have lived in Santa Barbara my whole life. It's a great place if you like the outdoors. The ocean and mountains are both 10 minutes away. It's easy to get around by bicycle, easy to get around on foot, great weather almost all the time. At one point I considered a move to Atlanta. I went to visit. If I were to ride a bicycle or walk in Atlanta I'd surely be killed by a car. There were no bike lanes and no sidewalks and despite not being afraid to "take the lane" when I ride a bike, I knew those drivers would kill me on purpose. We had to drive two hours to find mountains. I don't know where the ocean was. You couldn't walk from anyplace that had houses to anyplace that had grocery stores. I tried to pretend it would be okay, after all it was my boyfriend who was there being interviewed for a job and I wanted to be supportive, but I couldn't keep myself from bursting into tears. I just couldn't live there if I could never go outside and ride my bike or take a walk. I could never live my life so dependent upon my car. I think this is one of many reasons Americans are fat.
            Oh yes. I've lived in The Netherlands, and in the cities there are not only special bike lanes, there are special bike stop lights. Also, there is always a sidewalk providing a shortcut to pedestrians. Whereas, when I lived in suburban NY my grocery store was only about a half mile away, but instead of connecting to my residential area with a sidewalk there was a humongous fence, the only way I could get there was to drive around on a very busy divided highway. Getting there without a car was designed to be a PITA, and dangerous. It was very aggravating.

            But I think there are many pieces to the puzzle. Europeans have better healthcare and better access to primary care physicians (who will do the "I think you should lose some weight" talk), "convenience" vegetables are common in the supermarket (precut packages and salads) and people shop multiple times a week. They work less hours and take longer vacations. You know, all those terrible socialist things like that. They may pay more in taxes, but in general they have a higher standard of living, on average (at least, in Northern Europe, the southerners have their own peculiar ideas about life).

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            • #21
              In a nut shell, I am sure it all "started" with convenience and access to high calorie foods. But that is only part of the reason. Knowing that there are people who eat junk and/or fast food every day and do littler exercise and are still thin, well it should be enough to second question things when you try to blame it solely on the food. The food is only a small problem.

              The main reason however is that our culture has evolved to the point where people will find any and every excuse to keep eating and eating all day long. Additionally, it has become normal and acceptable to be fat.

              Here's some food for thought. Go to any country where being thin is the norm and even notice the people who have access to fast food all the time. You'll find that even in such cases, the fat person is still the exception.

              So if such is the case, then what makes them different than us? They haven't been conditioned into thinking its normal to eat all day and be fat. They don't eat all day for no reason. They don't force themselves to eat 3 or even 6 meals per day even when they aren't hungry. They don't eat dessert every night, but even if they did they still won't eat too much because they know it isn't acceptable to be a disgusting fat slob.

              So to sum things up, easy access is only a small part of the problem. The rest is what our culture has evolved to. And in all honesty, it is the mass marketing that has perpetuated that in of itself. The main goal of marketing of food is to convince people that they need it. If you can do that and convince people that they need to keep consuming, it shouldn't be a question why they keep doing so and getting fatter.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Ripped View Post
                So if such is the case, then what makes them different than us? They haven't been conditioned into thinking its normal to eat all day and be fat. They don't eat all day for no reason. They don't force themselves to eat 3 or even 6 meals per day even when they aren't hungry. They don't eat dessert every night, but even if they did they still won't eat too much because they know it isn't acceptable to be a disgusting fat slob.
                I dunno. The Dutch have specific times for coffee, as the English have times for tea. Sweets or other food is common alongside the coffee or tea. This is an additional two or three "meals" a day. And dessert after dinner is nearly mandatory. Anything less is uncivilized.

                But yes, it is cultural, to an extent. There, "fat" people are just a bit plump. Here, plump is normal, and 50+ inch waists is "fat." But their meals are just as bad and often as ours. Maybe a bit smaller portions yes, and I think that the coffee/tea are set social "events" is a difference - the body responds to regular caloric intake differently than random mindless grazing.

                Another factor perhaps, PE and sports are run very differently in European schools. School PE teaches skills such as swimming, if one wants to join a competitive sports team they join a private sports club. This prevents the split between the "jocks" and "nots" in school. Just my own observation, but most the my guy friends in HS who were on the football team are now obese. Whatever we're doing, I don't think it's working very well.

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                • #23
                  Metabolic danger of high-fructose corn syrup
                  http://www.reboundhealth.com/cms/ima...0id%208999.pdf

                  Dietary Fat, Not Glucose, is the Preferred Fuel for Your Body -- Health & Wellness -- Sott.net
                  The evidence is both clear and overwhelming: Carbohydrate intake is the primary factor that determines your body's fat ratio, and processed grains and sugars (particularly fructose) are the primary culprits behind our skyrocketing obesity and diabetes rates. Mark [Sisson] writes:

                  "It follows logically that if you can limit carb intake to a range of which is absolutely necessary (and even up to 50 grams a day over) and make the difference up with tasty fats and protein, you can literally reprogram your genes back to the evolutionary-based factory setting you had at birth - the setting that offered you the opportunity to start life as a truly efficient fat-burning organism and to continue to do so for the rest of your life as long as you send the right signals to your genes,"

                  Why the Low-Carb/High-Fat Diet Works for Weight Loss

                  Switching from a carb-based diet to a fat- and protein-based diet will help rebalance your body's chemistry, and a natural side effect of this is weight loss, and/or improved weight management once you're at an ideal weight. One explanation for this is that you don't really get fat from eating too much and exercising too little. Nor do you get fat from eating fat. One researcher that has clearly established this is Dr. Richard Johnson, whose latest book, The Fat Switch, dispels many of the most pervasive myths relating to diet and obesity.

                  Dr. Johnson discovered the method that animals use to gain fat prior to times of food scarcity, which turned out to be a powerful adaptive benefit. His research showed that fructose activates a key enzyme, fructokinase, which in turn activates another enzyme that causes cells to accumulate fat. When this enzyme is blocked, fat cannot be stored in the cell. Interestingly, this is the exact same "switch" animals use to fatten up in the fall and to burn fat during the winter. Fructose is the dietary ingredient that turns on this "switch," causing cells to accumulate fat, both in animals and in humans.

                  In essence, overeating and excess weight could be viewed as a symptom of an improper diet. It's not necessarily the result of eating too many calories, per se, but rather getting your calories from the wrong sources. In simple terms, when you consume too many sugars and carbs, you set off a cascade of chemical reactions in your body that makes you hungry and craving for sweets:

                  First, fructose is metabolized differently from glucose, with the majority being turned directly into fat because fructose stimulates a powerful "fat switch."
                  This rapidly leads to weight gain and abdominal obesity ("beer belly"), decreased HDL, increased LDL, elevated triglycerides, elevated blood sugar, and high blood pressure - i.e., classic metabolic syndrome.
                  Dietary carbohydrates, especially fructose, are also the primary source of a substance called glycerol-3-phosphate (g-3-p), which causes fat to become fixed in fat tissue.
                  At the same time, high carb intake raises your insulin levels, which prevents fat from being released.
                  Fructose further tricks your body into gaining weight by turning off your body's appetite-control system. Fructose does not suppress ghrelin (the "hunger hormone") and doesn't stimulate leptin (the "satiety hormone"), which together result in feeling hungry all the time, even though you've eaten. As a result, you overeat and develop insulin resistance, which is not only an underlying factor of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and a long list of other chronic diseases.

                  The resulting equation is simple: fructose and dietary carbohydrates (grains, which break down into sugar) lead to excess body fat, obesity and related health issues. Furthermore, no amount of exercise can compensate for this damage because if you eat excessive fructose and grains - the primary ingredients NOT found in our ancestral diet - it will activate programming to cause your body to become, and remain, fat.

                  Would I be putting a grain-feed cow on a fad diet if I took it out of the feedlot and put it on pasture eating the grass nature intended?

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                  • #24
                    High fructose corn syrup
                    GMO oils
                    Dwarf Hybrid wheat... with all its gliodin which is addictive and makes you eat more.

                    Question... what are the rates of celiac and GERD in UK/Europe? That will tell us whether they eat the older wheat or the noew dwarf hybrid poison.
                    5'0" female, 45 years old. Started Primal October 31, 2011, at a skinny fat 111.5 lbs. Low weight: 99.5 lb on a fast. Gained back to 115(!) on SAD chocolate, potato chips, and stress. Currently 111.

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                    • #25
                      I haven't spent much time outside of the U.S. (vacations only) but around here just about everybody is extremely stressed...all the time. Chronic stress will make you eat like crazy and keep you fat. Almost everyone I know is literally on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
                      “You may have thought you heard me say I wanted a lot of bacon and eggs, but what I said was: Give me all the bacon and eggs you have.” - Ron Swanson

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                      • #26
                        The US got there first. UK, Aus & NZ are catching up fast. Rest of the first world is following. Don't think there is anything special happening in the US

                        Agree that much of it is cultural. The norms of eating have changed enormously in my half century
                        Four years Primal with influences from Jaminet & Shanahan and a focus on being anti-inflammatory. Using Primal to treat CVD and prevent stents from blocking free of drugs.

                        Eat creatures nose-to-tail (animal, fowl, fish, crustacea, molluscs), a large variety of vegetables (raw, cooked and fermented, including safe starches), dairy (cheese & yoghurt), occasional fruit, cocoa, turmeric & red wine

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                        • #27
                          Question... what are the rates of celiac and GERD in UK/Europe? That will tell us whether they eat the older wheat or the noew dwarf hybrid poison.
                          They eat the hybrid wheat. Everyone eats it, unless they specifically seek out the older wheats.
                          Out of context quote for the day:

                          Clearly Gorbag is so awesome he should be cloned, reproducing in the normal manner would only dilute his awesomeness. - Urban Forager

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                          • #28
                            I was in London a few months ago during a day when they had a breast cancer marathon, and everyone was doing the marathon shirtless (or just bras for the ladies).

                            Let me assure you, they're catching up with us. It was not a pretty sight. Huge blobs of fat everywhere. Ack!

                            Even with their clothing on, I would no longer consider London to be a slender town. Lots and lots of overweight people.

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                            • #29
                              food subsidies to cheap crap + bad information + food deserts + trade tariffs + high stress lifestyle + instant gratification culture + rising emotional problems and eating disorders + too damn many people to feed + television + natural instincts to gather and store as many kcals as possible for survival

                              it was bound to happen. we're screwed.
                              “The whole concept of a macronutrient, like that of a calorie, is determining our language game in such a way that the conversation is not making sense." - Dr. Kurt Harris

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                              • #30
                                I do think that advertising is part of the equation. We are constantly bombarded (thru TV, magazines, billboards, internet) with images of fattening, unhealthy food, especially fast food, so that people get to thinking that that is how everyone eats, that they deserve to eat all that crap, that it is normal. Plus it is so available, so easy.... Cheap crap is convenient and a lot of people apparently think it tastes good..... It gets to be a habit.

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