Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A compelling look at why we're fat

Why the Campaign to Stop America's Obesity Crisis Keeps Failing: The nation’s most powerful anti-obesity groups are teaming up for a new HBO documentary—but it pushes the same tired advice. Gary Taubes on the research they're ignoring.

One of my co-workers clued me in on this story from our issue of Newsweek in the library. None of it is anything I haven't heard before--but it is largely ignored by those trying to solve the obesity epidemic. Taubes definitely has a point. It makes sense to ask ourselves 1) what has changed in our diet since the obesity epidemic really started taking off and 2) why fat people during the depression were fat, even though everyone was struggling for food. He points out that the effects of sugars on our endocrine systems is relevant, and that it isn't just a calories in vs. calories out sort of thing. We are still just beginning to understand the human endocrine system, in my opinion, in terms of the subtleties involved. He also talks about how much exercise is really required to substantially help with weight.

It really is a no-brainer that part of the problem is that sugary/starchy food is extremely cheap and plentiful, whereas healthier food such as fresh vegetables and whole, unprocessed foods, is more expensive. That's one reason there is a socioeconomic contrast in terms of obesity as well.

I know what foods I should consume, but I often fall back on convenience or cost, and that may be more costly in the long run. A friend of mine has told me for years I need to start cooking, and has been teaching me how to. I'm trying to get more fresh food and less quick stuff, but I do often fall back on the easy road to food. I know in my own case there's a certain amount of laziness when it comes to food. It takes real effort to actually make the changes that lead to a healthier life.

Nor is it all about weight. There are plenty of people who are active and overweight. I think we get a little hung up on weight these days. My size is of concern. A person who's active, eats well, and is 20 lbs overweight I'm not sure is such a big issue. I know plenty of people I would not consider overweight who constantly worry about their weight and try diets. I think it's more important to make healthy choices in general rather than focus on a number of pounds.

That's my take on things, anyway.

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