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    Obesity Rates Through the Decades

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    I'm not sure if this has been covered before, but as a kid growing up back in the '80s, I don't recall seeing too many obese people around. People have been eating junk well before the low fat diet started in the early 80s but America didn't have the epidemic of obese people that we have today. Does anyone think the low fat diets really caused all the problems we have today? Or do you think it's all the preservative and extra junk they're putting in processed "food?" I like to think it's the addition of HFCS to America's food supply, but I'm just not sure. What do you think?

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    It's because most people don't eat home-cooked food (made from scratch) anymore, they eat in front of the TV/computer/iPad rather than at a table talking with people, "snacking" is apparently acceptable and even expected for adults (the last time I went to a doctor, he asked me what I ate for "snacks"), and many have bought into the idea that you need to go to a gym to 'work out,' rather than simply keeping active throughout the day to be healthy.

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    It's probably not one factor but many. I'm not entirely convinced that HFCS is any different than sugar, and sugar hasn't really gone up in the lasty 20 years. Seed oils and grain "products" have. What I think might be behind a large chunk of it is that epigenetic programming in utero. Babies born to overweight people and consumed bad food during pregnancy will be at a higher risk for metabolic syndrome, regardless of the type of environment they are raised in. The problem will compound with every subsequent generation unless people get a really good handle on their problem prior to procreating.
    Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

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    Closing in on 50 and I've gone from being the only fat kid/guy in school or college to one of the few within spitting distance of a healthy weight. At a party recently w/ some folks I hadn't seen in about 15 years and EVERYBODY. GOT. FAT.

    It is a confluence of factors obviously but Dr. Davis ( Wheat Belly | Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight ) might just be on to something because it seems the first thing people do as they get older and perhaps start to try to be proactive about their health is start to load up on the "healthy whole grains" in addition to cutting fat. And as any dedicated label reader knows, the only way this low fat crap can be made palatable is by adding sugar. I would rank the factors as follows:

    1. Sugar via "healthy" carbs
    2. Sugar via HFCS enhanced drinks
    3. Sugar via "low fat" products
    4. Elimination of virtually all healthy fat in a typical modern diet
    5. An over reliance on pre-packaged and/or fast food. Basically 1-4 in some combination.

    And as a side observation it would seem that people can't walk 10 feet w/o consuming something, from water to french fries, it's always something, almost infantile on some weird Freudian level.
    Wheat is the new tobacco. Spread the word.

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    Stabby's right about multigenerational problems, but on top of that is clearly something else. In 1980, my mother & grandmother were thin and my great-grandmother was Grandma plump. During the decade from 1985 to 1995, all three of them became overweight or obese. Three generations in one decade.

    Absolutely, going low-fat made me fat. No doubt about it, although chronic antibiotics destroying my gut flora also played a significant role in the chaos.

    And YES about the obsession with snacking. Can't bring a child to any type of one-hour event without a snack being involved.
    5'4" 36yo mother to five sweeties & married to their AMAZING DaddyGrok
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    JKC
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    Quote Originally Posted by IvyBlue View Post
    And as a side observation it would seem that people can't walk 10 feet w/o consuming something, from water to french fries, it's always something, almost infantile on some weird Freudian level.
    Agreed - water bottles look like a grown up version of sippy cups.
    Karin

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    Quote Originally Posted by IvyBlue View Post
    And as a side observation it would seem that people can't walk 10 feet w/o consuming something, from water to french fries, it's always something, almost infantile on some weird Freudian level.
    ^^This.

    When did we decide we have to have food and drinks within arms reach at all times or we are going to succumb to starvation? Even my own husband can't make a two hour trip across the state without stopping at a gas station and loading up on snacks. It's mind boggling. We aren't infants for crying out loud and a few hunger pangs will not kill us. As a kid I remember being shoo'd outside after breakfast, coming in for lunch and being shoo'd back outside until dinner. No snacking, period. My mother had quick reflexes and a big wooden spoon if we got our fingers in the cookie jar in between meals.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JKC View Post
    Agreed - water bottles look like a grown up version of sippy cups.
    Agreed.

    Drinking water makes people fat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DarthFriendly View Post
    Drinking water makes people fat.
    *sideways glance at the water bottle on her desk*
    Bunny trainer extraordinaire!

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    Obesity and Overweight for Professionals: Data and Statistics: U.S. Obesity Trends | DNPAO | CDC

    You can play through every year from 1985 until present and watch how the U.S. became fat. I'm not sure why it happened, as there were many things that changed during the 80's, but this is a great visual aid.

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