No, it does not take a conspiracy to make people fat

January 1st, 2015
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 Videos like this one really get under my skin

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PEOPLE LIKE HIGH CALORIE FOODS. IT IS NOT A CONSPIRACY

Foods that are high in calories, that contain a large portion of fat are simply something people like.   The same is true for starchy foods and sweet foods.   Any chef will tell you this. There’s a reason why so many of them seem to be nearly obsessed with butter.  It makes foods taste pleasing.  Trying to make foods that are low in sugar, low in fat and low in starch as palatable is, at beast a challenge.  They can be spiced and seasoned, but this really does not get you quite the same level of culinary gratification.

Owithdrawalfromsugarf course, substitutes can be used, which give similar taste to foods.  Many substitute sweeteners exist.  Unfortunately, they do not always work in all products, since they may not melt or dissolve the same way as natural sugars do.  They also tend to have inferior subjective tastes, at least to most people, with undesirable mouth-feels and aftertastes.  There are also fat substitutes, but they have their own problems.   Olestra is a well known example.   The molecule is similar to fats, chemically and physically.  It has the same thick, greasy feel to it.  However, it also has some unfortunate side-effects.  It is not absorbed in the digestive tract but passes through.  It’s become famous for therefore producing an unpleasant side effect known as anal leakage. (Which is exactly what it sounds like.)

The human affinity for sweetness, however, should not be viewed as an addiction in the same way something like cocaine is addictive, however.  That’s just ridiculous.  Sugar is a natural part of our food we are all exposed to and which can’t be eliminated.  Sweet flavors light up the pleasure centers of the brain because we like them and that’s what stuff we like does.   Cocaine is a powerful drug that modifies brain chemistry, working on the dopamine system.  It has strong stimulating effects and produces tolerance and dependence.  With time, users are left dopamine-deficient without it.  It also has an effect on serotonin and norepinephrine.

Why this is the case:

The reason why humans seek out and prefer high calorie foods is actually very simple.   For most of our evolution food was scarce and it was common to not know where your next meal was coming from.  Calories are, by far, he most important basic nutrient, and therefore when the opportunity arose to eat something high in them, it made sense to do so.  If our ancestors went out foraging or hunting for food, it made sense to seek out that which had the highest calorie density.

It’s also more common to find other important nutrients, such as vitamins in the fruits of plants than in their leaves.   Since humans require a steady supply of vitamin C, an affinity for sweet fruits was a good thing to have.

It really is that simple.   It’s a matter of desiring foods and high calorie foods, because that’s what we need.

Evolution is also the reason why humans get fat when they eat a lot of high calorie foods.  Many seem to believe that gaining weight represents the human body functioning improperly or that it is the result of something unnatural.  This seems to be the reason why there are so many “detox” diets, which are based on the entirely false notion that fat is toxic or that some toxic and foreign substance is making people gain fatty tissue.  There’s nothing especially toxic in fat cells.  They’re just full of nutrients.

This has the same basic evolutionary reason.   Every day we burn a certain number of calories, based primarily on the level of activity undertaken.  We also take in a certain number of calories, based on diet.   When we consistently eat more calories than we burn, there is a surplus and that surplus of calories needs to go somewhere.

Perhaps these calories could be eliminated by selectively closing the intestinal wall to further absorption or by boosting the body’s resting metabolism rate.   If we were designing the human body for modern society, that might be what we’d decide to do.  But that would be a very bad decision in a more “natural” environment, where food could be scarce.  If there are extra calories, they are stored in fatty tissue, which is one of the primary purposes of fat.  Our distant ancestors probably never had the opportunity to take this process to the extreme that so many do today, but it does not change the fact that it’s all just the body functioning normally to pack away calories for later.

It’s been said that there’s more to weight loss than just calories in and calories out.  That’s only partially true.  Metabolism is a complicated process and some people do have naturally higher or lower metabolisms, which does mean they may have to work harder than others to keep the pounds off.  It’s also true that some foods have more easily absorbed calories than others.  It does not change the fact that the human body cannot create fat out of nothing nor can it expend energy without burning something.  We can’t photosynthesize.

The problem with obesity is in no way related to food not being nutritious enough. In fact, our food does not lack nutrition:

First, it is critical to understand that when a food is high in calories, it is far from being lacking in nutrition.  In fact, the absolute opposite is true.  Calories are, by far, the most important form of nutrition.   So, in fact, sugar is very nutritious.  The reason it is not normally thought of as nutritious food is because we tend to get more of it than we need and that represents the single largest nutritional problem in the developed world.  Unless you happen to be doing something like a cross-country biking trip or something else that expends a huge number of calories, there really isn’t any benefit to going out of your way to consume a lot of them.   For many in the world, however, it’s a completely different story.

That is not to say that there are not other important nutrients that are necessary for optimal health.   There are numerous vitamins and minerals that are an important part of the diet.  However, unless you live on an extremely restricted diet or have a medical condition that results in difficulties in absorbing or processing those nutrients.

mcdonalds-friesIf you are concerned that your normal diet, even if it includes a lot of “junk foods” is not giving you enough vitamins, don’t be.  If you were not getting enough vitamin C, you would have scurvy, and I’m willing to bet, unless you live off nothing but canned meat, you don’t have scurvy.  You probably don’t have rickets either, although its not entirely unheard of in children who are on restricted diets.

There are still a few minor deficiencies that are not entirely rare in the developed world.  Iodine deficiencies were once common but were virtually eliminated by the introduction of iodides salt.  There is still some debate as to whether some groups, such as pregnant women may sometimes be receiving a suboptimal amount of iodine.  Zinc deficiencies are also not unheard of, but mostly minor in severity.   The most common nutritional deficiency in Americans may be magnesium deficiencies.  In fact, more than half of the US population gets less than the daily recommended quantity of magnesium.  This is not generally something that is severe enough to cause any acute symptoms, but it’s still a concern.

The bottom line is that, aside from a few sub-groups, you really do not need to worry about being severely deficient, if you eat a reasonably varied diet.  When it comes to exceeding your body’s basic requirements for nutrients, there are few, if any proven benefits.  This is especially true of vitamins.   You may think that if you go out of your way to seek out foods with very high levels of vitamins in them you’ll see health benefits.  As long as you are already getting what your body needs, that’s not likely to happen.   You can certainly get more, and in most cases, the result is just that there will be a lot more vitamins being excreted.

To put it bluntly:  We do not, as a general rule lack nutrition.  We have a crisis of over-nutrition.

People eat what they want.  NO CONSPIRACY NECESSARY:

So is all the high calorie food the result of some conspiracy?   Not really.  Not unless you consider letting people buy what they want and eat what they want to be a conspiracy.

Most fast food restaurants serve salads.   Some people buy them.   They do not tend to fly off the shelves.   People tend to go for he burgers.  All supermarkets have a produce section and have a variety of canned and frozen foods that are low in calories and high in dietary fiber.   People buy this stuff too, but they do not generally outsell less healthy options.

At the risk of stating the obvious:  big juicy burgers with loads of cheese, bacon on a butter toasted bun with fries and onion rings are delicious.  Pizza with extra cheese, meatballs, bacon, sausage, ham and a nice crust is delicious.   Fried chicken with gravy, mashed potatoes, apple sauce (with lots of sweeter) is delicious.  Those ridiculous taco-like things that are not actually Mexican at all are delicious.  Hot dogs and fried fish and pasta… I’m making myself hungry, actually.

Of course, we should not forget cookies.  Soft-baked cookies with melty chocolate chips.  Or pies of all manner.  Ice cream sundaes, those blizzard things with the candy mixed in.  Canolis and cheesecake and  and tiramisu and multi-layered cakes.  Brownies and brownie sundaes.

thefitpost021

Just admit that you love them.  I love then too.   It’s part of the human condition.  I’d be a lot thinner if I didn’t love all this stuff so much.  At this point in our history, we’d probably be in much better shape in general if this stuff was not so delicious.

Nobody needed to conspire to make high sugar foods delicious.  People love them.  The only way you could try to stop them is to ban them, and that would just create a black market, because they’re so damn good.   Companies put sugar in foods because it is what people demand.  Give the choice between a sweet product and a non-sweet one, people will choose the sweet one.

It also didn’t take a conspiracy to make bacon delicious.   If stores and restaurants stopped serving bacon, people would be raising pigs in their living rooms.

A few other things to consider about this “conspiracy:”

  1. 5805965269_3e23917a3eSoft drinks are loaded with sugar.  They’re high in calories.  They are an easy way to consume a lot of calories while barely noticing it.   Is this a new problem or part of a conspiracy?  Probably not, considering soft drinks like Coca-Cola and Pepsi have been around (and extremely popular) since the 1800′s and always contained comparably high levels of sugar to today’s formula.
  2. Candies, many of which are composed primarily of sugar, have been popular for hundreds of years.  It became a huge industry during the Industrial Revolution and continues to be.  Believe it or not, your grandparents had candy when they were kids too.
  3. The iconic Hershey Bar first sold in 1900.  The Baby Ruth in 1921.  3 Musketeers in 1932.  Mounds in 1920.
  4. Burger King introduced the Whopper sandwich in 1957, primarily because competitors were outselling them with oversized burgers.

 Therefore, if not a conspiracy, why are we getting fatter:

  1. Our lives are more sedentary.  Much more time is spent in front of a computer or television.  There are more desk jobs than ever.  Kids play a lot of video games and spend less time running around outside.
  2. grandfathersdinnerPeople have always wanted food that is sweet and high in calories, but it has never been cheaper.  Meat is cheaper than it has ever been.  Sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup are dirt cheap and have made the price of sugary beverages lower than decades past (adjusted for inflation.)  People may have always loved soda, but it used to sting a little more in the wallet to get one.
  3. Portion sizes have gotten larger.  This has a lot to do with the fact that prices have gone down, making it harder to stand out as the low cost competitor.  Consumers will gravitate to larger portions because it seems a better value.
  4. We eat out more and restaurant food tends to be higher in calories.  It also often has things like deserts.
  5. Snack food is more available than it has ever been and it’s more common to eat it.  Sure, candy bars and snack cakes were always there, but they have never been as popular as today and people have never eaten as many.   It has a lot to do with the fact that people move around more and patronize businesses more, spending less time at home.  They are also cheaper than in years past.  There’s a lot less economic advantage to eating home made foods than there used to be.
  6. We eat more “processed” foods than in the past.  There’s nothing about processed foods that is toxic or directly harmful, but they tend to be high in calories and those calories tend to be easily absorbed.

In the end, food manufacturers have just accommodated what humans naturally want.  As foods got cheaper, we started eating more burgers and less canned peas.   When consumers showed they would be more apt to buy bigger products, products got bigger.  When people started being on the go a lot more, more fast food started being sold.

The Solution:

It’s actually pretty simple.  Simple, but not always easy.  Just choose the foods you eat more by whether they are nutritionally optimal than whether you prefer the taste.  It’s not what you want to do.  It’s not what we are programmed to do.  It’s not what I want to do.

Scientifically valid methods of losing weight:
(These are the major ones.  Some might argue that there are ways of increasing metabolism by changing eating schedules or other techniques.  There are also some metabolism boosting chemicals out there that are relatively safe and benign.  I’m no expert on those and they’re really not going to make a huge difference.  But these are the big ones)

  • Eat foods that are lower in calories.  (You can go with a high protein diet or a low fat diet or whatever.  Many seem to find it’s easier to stick to the high protein diet as a way of maintaining low caloric intake.  Whatever works.  All valid diets decrease calories.)
  • Eat a lower volume of food in general.  It could be all the same foods but less of them.   Of course, this will probably leave you hungry.
  • Eat foods with lower absorbed calories.  In other words, it’s not just the calories that matter, but also whether they are easily absorbed.  Less processed foods with a lot of dietary fiber may have lower calorie absorption.
  • Increase your physical activity.
  • Do some combination of the above.
  • You could also boost your metabolism rate by using something like thyroid hormone injections or cocaine.  It works, but I would not recommend these.

Scientifically invalid methods, which will do absolutely nothing:

  • Eat organic foods.  Same foods, just organically certified.
  • Cut out GMO’s.
  • Cut out “additives” or “chemicals” or whatever you see on a food label that looks somehow scientific.
  • Do any kind of “detox” regime under the impression that your fat is full of toxins or somehow toxins are responsible.
  • Fill your rectum with coffee
  • Avoid wifi or cell phone towers or something like that

I lost about 40 pounds  by simply avoiding calorie dense foods.  I chose water, rather than soda.  I like soda better, and always choose it, but I started drinking water instead.

Also, I started skimping on this and put about half of that weight back on.   I need to hunker down again.

Yeah, I wish there was someone else to blame.

 


This entry was posted on Thursday, January 1st, 2015 at 9:16 pm and is filed under Agriculture, Bad Science, Culture, Good Science, History. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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46 Responses to “No, it does not take a conspiracy to make people fat”

  1. 1
    drbuzz0 Says:

    I know I go off on a tangent here and take on more than this stupid video brings up. The whole bull**** about obesity being something artificially induced by some kind of corporate conspiracy or artificial product kills me.

    It is so goddamned stupid.

    Sugar is not evil either. Fruit is full of sugar. And no, your body does not care where the sugar came from or if it was artificially added. It’s simply a matter of it being high in calories and that we are getting more calories than we need. of course, it also can contribute to diabetes by spiking blood sugar, but that’s just another issue of there being too much of it.

    There’s too much of it because we love it and for most of our history did not have the luxury to consume so much sugar, despite the fact that we are wired to love to.


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  2. 2
    DV82XL Says:

    Not to be contrarian but there is a conspiracy at work in this domain in that most Western nations have pursued a low-price food policy, helped by increased public investments in agricultural research to go along with private investments that has benefited consumers by providing abundant foodstuff of a vast diversity, and at the same time keeping farmers profitable by helping reduce production costs. Food today is so cheap that the West is battling gluttony even as it scrapes piles of half-eaten leftovers into the garbage pail. One can argue that there have been unforeseen negative impacts but one thing is for sure we have not faced large scale famine for over a generation in any of the places this policy has run, and famine has historically had a far greater negative impact on history than obesity will ever have.


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  3. 3
    Bobby Kane Says:

    Well, I am relieved to learn of this massive conspiracy of profit-driven evil corporations and government agencies to add sugar to our foods and make us fat.

    I have a soft spot for ice cream. I love the stuff. I eat way too much of it, especially in the summer. There’s an ice cream place on the way back from my work. I stop there all the time and get a cone.

    It’s terrible for me because it’s loaded with sugar. That’s just how ice cream is. It would not be so sweet if it was not loaded with sugar. It also has fatty cream.

    That might be one reason why I weigh about 260 when I should probably weigh a bit less than 200.

    I used to think to myself “you know, one of these days you ought to make it a point to go out to that ice cream place a little less and while you are at it maybe skip having lunch at Subway or Wendy’s. Hell, maybe having a Pepsi every day is something you should change too.” I never got around to it, but I’ve been thinking it would be a good idea for a while.

    Now I realize the truth: it has nothing to do with me and everything to do with the government. They turned me into a sugar addict, just like a cokehead with their conspiracy. What a relief. I’m off the hook. No point in trying to cut back since the government will surely just do more evil things to make me fat.

    Clearly I am the victim here.


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  4. 4
    HenryB Says:

    The cure for obesity is: 1. Make overweight people pay more taxes in a direct proportion to their ratio of weight to height. 2. Give tax breaks to people who are normal weight and able to run 10k’s or 5k’s at a pace of nine minutes a mile or less. (These standards are just talking points.)

    Celebrating fatness with TV shows like Mike and Molly, giving designer sweat pants and television roles to fat slobs marks the end of western civilization. Sadly, an enormous number of academics have been awarded tenured faculty appointments because their research divides fat people into those that look like bowling pins and those that resemble bowling balls.


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  5. 5
    Gordon Says:

    I think a lot of the increase in eating high calorie processed foods and sodas and that kind of thing is really part of a shift in how we live and we are a more mobile society.

    I do it too, of course, and I’m not blaming anyone for putting sugar in the foods, because I like foods with sugar. I have a real affinity for those little drake’s coffee cakes you can get at gas stations and stores. I usually only eat one pack, but I love me a couple of those with a cup of coffee.

    Of course its nothing new. We always had candy bars and soda and burgers and fries, but when I was a kid you were not bouncing around so much between little shops and drive thrus and that kind of thing.

    My father worked in an office, left the house at 8 AM, came home around 5:30 and didn’t go any other place besides work most of the time. He came home and stayed home. My mother stayed home almost all day. She would go out to the supermarket and to the bank and dry cleaners but that was about it. Many days she never left the home. Gas stations were full service so you didn’t go in. Eating out at restaurants was something we did, but not very often. There was less fast food, so if you wanted lunch, you had to kill 45 minutes in a diner and not just do the drive-thru or something, so less incentive to grab lunch on the go. It was just as easy to pack it.

    People are in a hurry and want food to grab and obviously they go for what tastes good, which is rarely what is good for you.

    Also, meal preparation was different. It changed with the role of women changing, but dinner used to be the mother’s big job of the day. That was a good reason not to allow much snacking, too, because if you ruined your appetite it meant your mother slaved in the kitchen for nothing.

    Every day my mother would make something for dinner that actually required some effort. We had pot roast, meatloaf, roast chicken, pork chops. Always also included things like potatoes and a vegetable (often from a can, but still). Occasionally we would do it simple with Kraft Dinner or something, but more often than not, from 3-4PM onward, my mother would be making ready for dinner.

    The economics seem to have changed too. At the time feeding your whole family with a roast and some peas and carrots was probably the most sensible thing for a middle class family. Prepared food that someone else made for you was not economical for regular eating. Today food is so cheap you can take the family out to eat every night, even if its fast food. It’s just a few bucks.

    This is marketplace progress. It might not seem like it, but its the market giving us what we wanted all along. We would have been happy to eat lots of Big Mac’s when I was growing up. Now we can and that’s why we do. Nobody conspired to make that happen. Things just got more efficient and cheaper.

            HenryB said:

    The cure for obesity is: 1. Make overweight people pay more taxes in a direct proportion to their ratio of weight to height. 2. Give tax breaks to people who are normal weight and able to run 10k’s or 5k’s at a pace of nine minutes a mile or less. (These standards are just talking points.)

    Celebrating fatness with TV shows like Mike and Molly, giving designer sweat pants and television roles to fat slobs marks the end of western civilization. Sadly, an enormous number of academics have been awarded tenured faculty appointments because their research divides fat people into those that look like bowling pins and those that resemble bowling balls.

    So what if other people are fat? I prefer to not be fat, obviously. (unfortunately, I could do better in that regard. I would not judge myself as fat, but nowhere near thin either)

    How does it hurt anyone if others choose a lifestyle that makes them fat? I have heard the argument that it comes down to an issue of healthcare costs, because with obesity you end up with a lot of heart disease and diabetes and that kind of thing. I’m not 100% sure it ends up working out like that. I was reading a magazine article a while ago which claimed that the average obese person ends up costing the state less in the long run. They may need more medical care for some things, but they also live shorter and that means fewer years collecting a pension and less extended long term care. You don’t see 400 pound guys sticking around to spend ten years in an Alzheimers care ward. They check out way before that can happen.

    I’d love to see a definitive answer as to whether the costs of an obese person to society end up coming out ahead of or behind the savings that their shorter lifespan provides.


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  6. 6
    DV82XL Says:

    Overweight and obesity are two different things and should not be confounded. The current standard is an adult who has a BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight and adult who has a BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese. As well while obese people, and particularly those who are morbidly obese, tend to die earlier than those of normal weight recent findings also suggest that people who are clinically overweight (but not obese) may live longer than people are theoretical normal (or under) body weight after confounding variables like smoking and physical activity are controlled for.

    Weight issues however seem to be driven more by fashion than medical issues particularly among women and how men treat them over their weight. A few generations ago “pleasingly plump” was an ideal in women and was considered and indication of vitality (and thus their fitness to bear children.) It has only been fairly recently that the standard has shifted to body forms that are essentially underweight and much of the angst over the issue of fat vs. thin stems from that, rather than any real concern with health per se.


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  7. 7
    Jonathan Says:

    What I gather from reading this is that if I want to lose weight I either have to stop eating as much of the foods I like or exercising more or doing both.

    Sorry, I don’t like that. I don’t want to do either of those. I love deserts. I love pop. I love pizza. I hate running. I hate biking.

    I need to find someone who will tell me it’s all a detox problem or will give me a coffee enema. That I can tolerate.

    You are a buzzkill.


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  8. 8
    BMS Says:

    I’ve got to wonder about someone who would prefer a coffee enema to a wee bit of exercise.

    Do you have any idea how many miles I would run (swim, or bike) at full tilt to avoid having someone pump coffee up there?


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  9. 9
    L.Long Says:

    HenryB your number 1 & 2 are simple minded and dead wrong. Using me as an example I am overweight and VERY VERY healthy as I have not been sick with anything other than a cold for years. Using my daughter…She fails the height to weight ratio every time, many say she looks fat, but she can dance all day without stopping, teaches TaeKwanDo and can kick your ass and any two friends with you.
    Calories in minus calories out = fat. But guess what no matter how hard you try, no matter what you do you will die so I will die 80lbs over weight –big deal.
    As to the post…I like what McDonald said when they were accused of being a main contributor to the make America fat conspiracy…. we will serve the kind of food people want to eat and ask for.


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  10. 10
    DV82XL Says:

            L.Long said:

    …She fails the height to weight ratio every time, many say she looks fat, but she can dance all day without stopping, teaches TaeKwanDo and can kick your ass and any two friends with you.

    Well that’s a good illustration of why I think the whole BMI thing is suspect: many power athletes calculate out on the wrong side of the standard and are by no means ‘overweight.’ Averaging in this (as in many other cases) is an overly simplistic way of looking at this topic. I also suspect that anyone who sees your daughter as fat is comparing her with an artificial standard that would probably be less healthy for her to maintain than what she is now.


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  11. 11
    MrNiceguy Says:

            BMS said:

    I’ve got to wonder about someone who would prefer a coffee enema to a wee bit of exercise.

    Do you have any idea how many miles I would run (swim, or bike) at full tilt to avoid having someone pump coffee up there?

    As a coffee lover, I find the whole concept appalling. I suppose this could be the one possible way to make instant coffee palatable. (In a manner of speaking, since you’d actually bypass the palate completely.)


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  12. 12
    Paul Studier Says:

    Your mileage many vary, but many of my friends and I find that a low carb diet is much easier to stay with and much more effective than a low fat diet. Sugar is a carb, of course. One loses much of one’s sweet tooth after a while of low carb eating.

    Unfortunately, most the food that is called “healthy” is low fat.


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  13. 13
    HenryB Says:

    Ladies and gentlemen. Here is a link to a recent ABC news article on the ever increasing costs of obesity in the United States:

    http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Healthday/story?id=8184975&page=1

    The author estimates fatties are costing us 147 billion dollar a year. I said it before, I’m going to say it again. Fat people should pay more taxes than skinny people. I rest my case.


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  14. 14
    L.Long Says:

    DV82XL
    Can’t give source but I once heard a diet type doctor say that the BMI is very miss used as it is only suppose to be a guide to the possibility of over stress to the heart. And although power people fall on the bad side their hearts are generally stronger and healthy so it don’t apply. But so many look at things simply and don’t bother thinking.
    This same effect occurs with the so called IQ test.


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  15. 15
    DV82XL Says:

            HenryB said:

    I said it before, I’m going to say it again. Fat people should pay more taxes than skinny people. I rest my case.

    Largely because of a residual Protestant ethical undercurrent that links fat people with biblical ideas of the sin of gluttony it is popular to target them as ‘deserving’ this sort of treatment. However I would be very wary of instituting any sort of lifestyle tax as this knife cuts in any number of ways that very few would escape.


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  16. 16
    BMS Says:

            DV82XL said:

    Largely because of a residual Protestant ethical undercurrent that links fat people with biblical ideas of the sin of gluttony …

    Oh, I hardly think that it is fair to lay this at the feet of the Protestants! Gluttony is one of the “Seven Deadly Sins,” which is part of Catholic doctrine and almost completely unheard of in Protestant teachings.

    While Baptists might rail against the evils of alcohol and gay sex, if you’ve ever seen a picture of the late Reverend Jerry Falwell (particularly later in life), you’d know that gluttony wasn’t on their list of serious sins.


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  17. 17
    DV82XL Says:

            BMS said:

    While Baptists might rail against the evils of alcohol and gay sex, if you’ve ever seen a picture of the late Reverend Jerry Falwell (particularly later in life), you’d know that gluttony wasn’t on their list of serious sins.

    Well as a point of fact there is an early Anabaptist document called the Congregational Order that alongside the Schleitheim Confession forms the doctrinal foundation of that sect that states as its sixth point: “All gluttony shall be avoided among the brothers who are gathered in the congregation; serve a soup or a minimum of vegetable and meat, for eating and drinking are not the kingdom of heaven.” Heinrich Bullinger, a major figure in the Swiss Protestant Reformation didn’t much like the Anabaptists, but he had this to say about their conduct: “They henceforth lead lives under a semblance of quite spiritual conduct. They denounce covetousness, pride, profanity, drinking, and gluttony.”

    Charles Grandison Finney was an American Presbyterian minister and leader in the so-called Second Great Awakening in the United States. He was rather blunt on the subject: “If you are inclined to eat too much, you must deny yourselves those kinds of diet that betray you into gluttony. Whatever those kinds of diet are, of which you are so fond, and that overcome you when placed before you, and lead you to transgress the laws of your being, put them entirely away. Do not suffer them to find a place upon your table. It is the testimony of the best judges upon this subject, that excessive eating is the most common form of intemperance that prevails among mankind, and is the cause of more disease, especially in this country, than any other form of intemperance. How unwise then, how wicked, what tempting God is it, to continue to prepare and set before yourselves those tempting dishes, instead of furnishing your tables with those wholesome, bland articles of diet of which you will be likely to eat only the necessary quantity”

    I could go on, but as best as I can remember the Catholics, while indeed paying lip-service to the Seven Deadly Sins, did not make any effort to rail on about gluttony at any length.


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  18. 18
    BMS Says:

            L.Long said:

    I like what McDonald said when they were accused of being a main contributor to the make America fat conspiracy…. we will serve the kind of food people want to eat and ask for.

            DV82XL said:

    Well that’s a good illustration of why I think the whole BMI thing is suspect …

    Are you talking about the Body Mass Index or the Big Mac Index? ;-) Personally, I think that the latter has more value as a measure of obesity.

    The Body Mass Index was invented over 150 years ago by a Belgian who was trying to invent a new science. Not all such attempts are successful. Nevertheless, his failures would eventually become part of the social sciences. As someone who was trained in the physical sciences (particularly physics), an “index” whose units are “kilograms per square meter” just didn’t make a lot of sense to me when it comes to measuring obesity. Then when I consider that the square meters don’t represent an area, but rather a linear measurement that has been arbitrarily squared, the “index” doesn’t make any sense at all.

    That this awful metric was rediscovered in the early 1970′s was bad enough, but that it was subsequently, not only accepted, but embraced and promoted by the health sciences community just reinforces my very low opinion of the scientific rigor of the entire field.

    You’re being too kind by calling it merely “suspect.”


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  19. 19
    DV82XL Says:

            BMS said:

    You’re being too kind by calling it merely “suspect.”

    Unfortunately the filters in place on this site prevent me from using the descriptor that I wanted to. As bad as it is however, it is nowhere near the negative influence that endless depictions of semi-anorexic models have had on the self-image of just about every women in my life at some point or other and I save my highest contempt for those.


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  20. 20
    soylent Says:

    If you look at what components of the diet has actually changed, overall fat has stayed flat, non-sugar carbs has stayed flat.

    What’s changed is that we’ve replaced saturated fats with omega-6 laden vegetable oils and transfats-laden partially hydrogenated crap and we’ve added sugar to everything. Saturated fats are WAY down.

    The sugar is there because they’ve figured out that they sell more frozen vegetables and microwaveable meals if they add more sugar.

    The only conspiracy here is the faith-based initiative to demonize saturated fats based on little or no evidence, because ‘there’s no time to wait until the evidence is in’. Well, 30 years later and the evidence still isn’t in.


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  21. 21
    BMS Says:

            DV82XL said:

    I could go on, but as best as I can remember the Catholics, while indeed paying lip-service to the Seven Deadly Sins, did not make any effort to rail on about gluttony at any length.

    And yet the American “Bible Belt,” stocked with Protestants, are the states with the highest rates of obesity. Either they’re not practicing what they’re preaching, or they’re not preaching the gospel of fewer calories and more vegetables.

    Sorry, but the empirical evidence suggests that whatever “residual undercurrents” that you refer to are more likely due to Catholic “lip service” than any stale and mostly forgotten writings from centuries ago.

    But let’s be honest here. This modern “fitness” craze doesn’t have anything to do with Christianity or any other religion. It’s really part of a secular, quasi-religious movement (popular particularly with the left end of the political spectrum) composed of people who, having given up on any further need for salvation of the soul, have turned to salvation of the body as a refuge for their evangelical impulses. This demographic also tends to strongly favor higher taxes — particularly “sin taxes” on cigarettes, alcohol, and even gasoline.

    We both know that Fundamentalist Protestants and Devote Catholics are not the target market of the Whole Foods grocery chain and various “organic food” producers and distributors.


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  22. 22
    BMS Says:

    Sorry, I meant to write “Devout Catholics.”


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  23. 23
    DV82XL Says:

            BMS said:

    And yet the American “Bible Belt,” stocked with Protestants, are the states with the highest rates of obesity.

    Let’s be sure we are discussing the same thing here: the commenter HenryB asserted that overweight people should be taxed for being overweight, and I was making the point that they are targets for this sort of discriminatory thinking because of an undercurrent that assigns a negative moral connotation to this condition due to its ‘sinful’ nature. There are other lifestyle choices that put one at similar risk that do not call down this sort of suggestion.

    And indeed if we are referring to the American context, Protestant moral thinking has a far greater residual influence on attitudes in the general population than Catholic. Note this has nothing to do with obesity among practising Protestants – that was never an element of my argument.


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  24. 24
    L.Long Says:

    And why should fat people be taxed??? What are they doing that is so bad for the country???? Dying early? Is that so bad? as it removes some population pressure.
    As DV82 says they are just easy targets, easily IDed and for no real reason.
    OH I SEE!!!! they are unhealthy and cause increases in health care!!!! WELL BS!!! Using Me and My wife And daughter….We are all considered ‘FAT’ by various measures…..But we are VERY healthy have not seen Docs in a long while and are never as sick as the ‘skinny dudes’ we know. Also research has also shown that some extra weight in older years is good for protection fro sickness. So where are we causing increased gov’mint spending?
    Let’s return to the increases in health cost…
    Cree has in place in their medical insurance a sliding scale of cost they have 12 points and as you hit a point (smoking-fat-alcohol) your rate goes up, as you get a point taken away the rate goes down.
    So it is possible to ‘tax’ people for their bad health practices….if it is HEALTH you are concerned about..

    Of course many of the top 1%-ers are over weight so maybe that would be one way to get some taxes out of them….But I’m sure their friendly neighborhood rePUKEian would get them an exception! So it will be only the poor that pays. ALso in this vain … these ‘bad diets’ are also the cheapest foods, so once again if you tax the ‘fat’ you have ‘mericans crapping on the poor.


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  25. 25
    DV82XL Says:

    I’d like to bring up the farce surrounding Olestra and the side effects that it was claimed to have. The charge that this product caused steatorrhea at normal uptake levels was pure FUD that was generated by traditional oils industries that were threatened by an inexpensive low calorie competitor coming to the market. In fact the very term ‘anal leakage’ was carefully selected to have the highest impact on public perceptions and it was never mentioned that steatorrhea can result from excessive uptake of any lipid. The U.S. FDA removed the warning requirement in 2003, concluding the label statement was no longer warranted and that: “the label statement could be misleading and cause consumers of Olestra to attribute serious problems to Olestra when this [was] unlikely to be the case”.

    This is nothing new. The animal based and vegetable based lipid industries have been going at each other tooth and claw with cooked-up ‘scientific studies’ purporting to show that the other guy’s product is bad for you and theirs is better and have since the Fifties. In fact within the context of the lead story in this thread, an argument can be made that the very root of the food-woo fads that we have seen over the last several decades started with these attacks, as the excessive claims based on marginal observations from research really started with these wars.


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  26. 26
    Lucario Says:

    What are some low-calories foods with fewer absorbed calories that would help me eat less that don’t break the bank? Would the aforementioned beans and potatoes be helpful?

    Also, what are some good magnesium-rich foods that are also likewise cheap?

    I’m saying all this because I’m trying to eat healhier and lose weight (doctor’s orders) on a ramen noodle-a-night budget. Can anyone help?


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  27. 27
    drbuzz0 Says:

            Lucario said:

    What are some low-calories foods with fewer absorbed calories that would help me eat less that don’t break the bank? Would the aforementioned beans and potatoes be helpful?

    Also, what are some good magnesium-rich foods that are also likewise cheap?

    I’m saying all this because I’m trying to eat healhier and lose weight (doctor’s orders) on a ramen noodle-a-night budget. Can anyone help?

    This is not something I am super qualified to give advice on, so I’ll be careful. Your doctor would be a good person to ask. Basically sugary stuff is not good nor is the classic fast food stuff.

    I lost weight by just moving to drinking only water and coffee with a relatively small amount of sugar added. Sodas, fruit juices, iced teas and stuff have calories and water does not.


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  28. 28
    Lucario Says:

    Well, I would drink more water if it would taste good. But it doesn’t. Are there any things I can drink that taste good and are good for me?

    And I still need a good list of low-calorie, low-absorbed-calorie foods that won’t break the bank. Likewise with magnesium-rich foods that are also cheap. I don’t have a doctor because I can’t afford one. If I could, I wouldn’t be asking stuff about cheap, healthy foods.


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  29. 29
    Lucario Says:

    ^ To clarify the above, I don’t have a family doc that I visit regularly because I can’t afford regular check-ups, etc. I do have a specialist (neurologist) that I visit for prescriptions, etc.


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  30. 30
    DV82XL Says:

            Lucario said:

    And I still need a good list of low-calorie, low-absorbed-calorie foods that won’t break the bank. Likewise with magnesium-rich foods that are also cheap.

    Check out this link: http://www.webmd.com/diet/

    And this one: http://www.webmd.com/diet/printable/healthy-grocery-shopping-list


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  31. 31
    Shafe Says:

            L.Long said:

    Of course many of the top 1%-ers are over weight so maybe that would be one way to get some taxes out of them….But I’m sure their friendly neighborhood rePUKEian would get them an exception! So it will be only the poor that pays. ALso in this vain … these ‘bad diets’ are also the cheapest foods, so once again if you tax the ‘fat’ you have ‘mericans crapping on the poor.

    Your comment completely fell apart with this paragraph. In the US (I’ll assume this is the subject area, since you referred to “rePUKEians”), obesity is more common among poor people. Fast food and junk food are very cheap and available on every corner. The poor also suffer less pressure from body image concerns than “1%-ers.” Anorexia and bulimia are not common among the poor. “1%-ers” and the rest of the middle class have more food choices accessible to them, have more money for gyms, cross-fit, tri-athlete clubs, etc, and have more societal pressure to stay thin. Much like cigarette taxes and the lottery, fat-tax revenue will come primarily from the poor.

    Just a note on the “1%”: When people rail against the 1%, they probably have the top 0.1% or less in mind. The 1% includes many people making $200-300,000 per year, which hardly qualifies as “rich.” You probably have a few as neighbors. In fact, people move in and out of the 1% a lot, so a lot more than 1% of the people have been “1%-ers” at one point or another. I hope to make it there in the future, when I’m less risk-averse. It’s a goal that’s not out of reach, unless you’ve been indoctrinated into believing that it is.


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  32. 32
    Lucario Says:

    dv82xl,

    I was looking for foods (especially low-calorie and low-absorbed calorie foods) that wouldn’t break the bank. That shopping list looks like it would break the bank.


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  33. 33
    DV82XL Says:

            Lucario said:

    dv82xl,

    I was looking for foods (especially low-calorie and low-absorbed calorie foods) that wouldn’t break the bank. That shopping list looks like it would break the bank.

    No, not if you learn to shop property. If you look for sales, buy produce in season, and avoid pre-prepared foods you can eat nutritiously on a surprisingly small budget, but it takes work both when purchasing and making meals.


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  34. 34
    Paul Studier Says:

    Read the nutrition labels and check out peanuts, peanut butter, cottage cheese, dried beans, anything on sale, bulk oil, cheap vegetables like carrots, etc. Good luck!


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  35. 35
    Rebecca Gavin Says:

    I completely agree that there is no conspiracy, though, due to high demand, companies do strive to get the ideal mouth feel to make people crave more of whatever it is they are selling. However, to say that food cannot be addictive the same way that cocaine is becoming an outdated notion. Excess food does work on the Dopamine system. There is neuroscience research that supports the idea of food addiction. It is an addiction just like any other…maybe part process addiction, but also in the way it changes brain chemistry. That is why there is such a thing as Overeater’s Anonymous, and why people have such a hard time keep weight off. If you don’t treat the addiction, you will go back to it, in time, or find another one.


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  36. 36
    Monsanto is the Devil Says:

    We are not just fat we are unhealthy. Why does everyone suddenly have cancer, left and right? Diabeties, autism, infertility. Everything is running rampant. we have never in the history of the world been so unhealthy and the earth has not either.

    Is it not obvious? Nothing we eat in this country is natural. Nothing is what our bodies are built for or can tolerate. We are what we eat, yes it is true. Nutrition is the building blocks for your body. We do not eat good whjolesome food that came from the earth like we did and we are designed to. We eat chemical food, made in a laboratory out of unnatural synthetics.

    We are also killing all the bees. Killing off natural diversity. Killing natural crops from real nongmo seeds.

    What do you expect?

    Look around you. Look at yourself. ITS NOT JUST FAT! WE ARE ALL VERY SICK!


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  37. 37
    soylent Says:

            Monsanto is the Devil said:

    We are not just fat we are unhealthy.

    Why does everyone suddenly have cancer, left and right?

    They don’t. Cancer is an age-related illness; you have to adjust for age if people live longer. Lung- and skin- cancer are up because of cigarettes and cheap flights to hot and sunny places. Stomach, uterus, colon- and rectumcancer rate are way down. Most of the rest are flat.


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  38. 38
    drbuzz0 Says:

            soylent said:

    They don’t. Cancer is an age-related illness; you have to adjust for age if people live longer. Lung- and skin- cancer are up because of cigarettes and cheap flights to hot and sunny places. Stomach, uterus, colon- and rectumcancer rate are way down. Most of the rest are flat.

    That’s correct and it really irritates me to constantly hear “everyone is getting cancer.” It’s simply not true. The age-adjusted rates for cancer (when confounding factors like smoking are also adjusted for) are generally on a downward trend. Of course, mortality is down even more.

    Another thing that irritates me is the whole notion that our society is exposing us to more toxic substances and carcinogens than before. Again, not true.

    At one time people were commonly exposed to things like PCBs, which were in all kinds of products. Benzene was once used as a general purpose solvent and also common. At one time there was very little quality control for what got into foods, including lead-based solders, insecticides, various cleaning agents.

    Lead exposure is way down thanks to an end of leaded gasoline and lead paint. Exposure to airborne pollution is much lower than in decades past, thanks to cleaner burning cars, clean air regulation, the abolishing of coal burning from most populated areas etc.

    Back during the early Industrial Revolution, the population was awash in heavy metals. The quality of much of the water was very poor. Places like London were known for the thick smog caused by all the coal burning in the city. This actually continued into the 1950′s. London was just thick with brown and black smog. Other cities didn’t do much better. Pittsburgh, for example, was filthy with all the industrial pollution.

    Another example. Dramatic pictures like this: http://cdn.theatlantic.com/static/infocus/gc100020113/g01_01010201.jpg

    It’s because people smoked like chimneys indoors.


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  39. 39
    Rainer Hohn Says:

    You’re overlooking one important fact: not all sugars are equal, it’s only fructose that makes you fat and diabetic. That’s Robert Lustig’s main point, that movie may not actually get it across, though. Sucrose, the common table sugar, and high fructose corn syrup are half glucose and half fructose for all practical purposes.

    If you eat glucose, your insulin level spikes and the craving for sugar goes down. If you eat fat, your fatty tissue releases leptin, and you feel satiated. Those two form negative feedback loops that keep your body weight in a sensible range. Fructose does neither, so it makes you fat.

    Glucose is metabolized by every cell in the human body. Fructose is only metabolized in the liver. It also feeds into the fatty acid metabolism, not into the glycogen storage system. That’s why too much fructose, just like too much alcohol, gives you a fatty liver. Overwhelming the liver with too much fructose (or alcohol) also causes interesting cascades of signaling mechanisms that have all sorts of side effects, insulin tolerance being one of them.

    (As far as I’m able to check the facts, they appear to add up. I’m not a molecular biologist, so feel free to tell me where I’m wrong.)

    Now Doc, you say a diet worked for you, but it was a constant struggle. Of course it was—you diet sheet told you you had enough, but your body disagreed. Then you picked up soda again, and gained weight.

    Soda drinks and fruit juices(!) are actually the biggest problem, because their high fructose content is already dissolved and therefore is quickly absorbed. Fruit seems to be fine, because the fructose in fruit comes combined with lots of fiber. Just remove soda from your diet, losing weight and keeping it down should already be a lot easier. I suggest beer instead, alcohol free if you don’t want to get buzzed :)

    The next biggest source of fructose is “processed foods” which are low in starch but have added HFCS. The reason seems to be that such food keeps better when frozen. I wish the industry could fix this by simply using corn syrup, which is glucose and maltose. I don’t think that would mess up the taste, but I may be the odd one here.


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  40. 40
    DV82XL Says:

            Rainer Hohn said:

    You’re overlooking one important fact: not all sugars are equal, it’s only fructose that makes you fat and diabetic. That’s Robert Lustig’s main point, that movie may not actually get it across, though. Sucrose, the common table sugar, and high fructose corn syrup are half glucose and half fructose for all practical purposes.

    The food woo types have been using this argument about different sugars for some time, however although it is generally framed in the language of science, and sounds quite plausible, there is really very little hard clinical or experimental evidence to support these contentions. Even the biochemistry invoked in support of these notions is at best marginal and unproven.

    Again, it is important to understand that the industries that supply these bulk foodstuffs are not above using specious health-related FUD to try and give their product an edge. These markets are so huge that even a few points (tenths of a percent) gain in share is significant. Everything you hear or read on the subject of food and health must be vetted with this in mind.


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  41. 41
    Rainer Hohn Says:

            DV82XL said:

    Even the biochemistry invoked in support of these notions is at best marginal and unproven.

    Well, only hepatocytes have the transporter necessary to take up fructose. Fructose is metabolized to pyruvate, excess pyruvate goes into triglyceride synthesis. By contrast, every cell has transporters to take up glucose, which can be stored as glycogen. Glucose causes the release of insulin, fats cause release of leptin, and fructose does neither. I don’t think there’s anything marginal or unproven about any of that, but please tell me if I’m overlooking something.

    On the other hand, you seem to assume, as many do, that glucose and fructose are pretty much the same. What proof is there for that equivalence?

    Again, it is important to understand that the industries that supply these bulk foodstuffs are not above using specious health-related FUD to try and give their product an edge.

    Sure, and there is absolutely no shortage of “light”, “low fat”, “prebiotic”, “organic”, “GMO free” and whatever nonsense food stuff. But I’m not aware of anyone selling “low fructose”, as opposed to “low sugar”, anything. A shame, really. So who is the evil corporation behind the fructose scare?


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  42. 42
    DV82XL Says:

            Rainer Hohn said:

    Well, only hepatocytes have the transporter necessary to take up fructose. Fructose is metabolized to pyruvate, excess pyruvate goes into triglyceride synthesis. By contrast, every cell has transporters to take up glucose, which can be stored as glycogen. Glucose causes the release of insulin, fats cause release of leptin, and fructose does neither. I don’t think there’s anything marginal or unproven about any of that, but please tell me if I’m overlooking something.

    It is not a matter of these being true or not, it is a question of relevance to the argument.

            Rainer Hohn said:

    On the other hand, you seem to assume, as many do, that glucose and fructose are pretty much the same. What proof is there for that equivalence?

    I did not assert that at all, however any argument that one is superior to the other because they take different metabolic pathways (which is the substance of your claims) is a hypothesis that needs to be proven. If one looks in detail at the research that has been done in this area with a background in science, as I have, one finds conclusions being drawn from very marginal data caused by poor experimental design, or very questionable analysis where significance is being asserted far too close to the experimental error. However you want to table papers here I will be glad to review them with you.

            Rainer Hohn said:

    Sure, and there is absolutely no shortage of “light”, “low fat”, “prebiotic”, “organic”, “GMO free” and whatever nonsense food stuff. But I’m not aware of anyone selling “low fructose”, as opposed to “low sugar”, anything. A shame, really. So who is the evil corporation behind the fructose scare?

    All sugar feedstocks do not come from the same source. In particular beet/cane and corn based sugars are often in direct competition in various markets. There is no need to invoke the ‘evil corporation’ meme, all of these companies in the food sector fund research in these areas, and if you scratch down it seem often the case that research that shows some health issue with one foodstuff is often been paid for by a competitor. While I haven’t looked into the sugars per se, it was a running joke at the agricultural college in my town years ago when dary-based fats were fighting plant-based fats on the health issue.


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  43. 43
    Rainer Hohn Says:

            Rainer Hohn said:

    you seem to assume, as many do, that glucose and fructose are pretty much the same. What proof is there for that equivalence?

            DV82XL said:

    I did not assert that at all

    Then I may have misread your previous statement:

            DV82XL said:

    The food woo types have been using this argument about different sugars for some time, however although it is generally framed in the language of science, and sounds quite plausible, there is really very little hard clinical or experimental evidence to support these contentions.

    So, could you please clarify what you intended to assert, so we don’t talk in circles?

    I continue to assert that there are marked differences in how glucose and fructose are metabolized, hence we should differenciate between them and not lump both under “sugars”. (I asserted a couple more things, and we can get to them once it’s clear that we speak the same language.)


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  44. 44
    DV82XL Says:

            Rainer Hohn said:

    I continue to assert that there are marked differences in how glucose and fructose are metabolized, hence we should differenciate between them and not lump both under “sugars”. (I asserted a couple more things, and we can get to them once it’s clear that we speak the same language.)

    There currently is no good evidence to suggest that one is worse than the other; either they are both inert or they are both evil. The difference between them is too small to matter in moderate consumption, and in excess both are harmful to health. In other words it appears that in practical situations the extra load from fructose is too insignificant to be practically relevant, and overconsumption of fructose to the degree where it may be practical relevant is associated with overconsumption of sugar in general. What should be taken away is that the issue of sucrose versus fructose is one of trying to find the lesser of two evils, and both seem to be about the same.

    This is a recurring theme in a number of domains on subjects discussed on these pages: dose is far more important that most tend to realize, and effects that indeed show up from high doses of certain insults do not necessarily indicate problems at low doses and that one cannot extrapolate down by applying linear non threshold reasoning with out hard evidence.


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  45. 45
    Rainer Hohn Says:

            DV82XL said:

    There currently is no good evidence to suggest that [glucose or fructose] is worse than the other; either they are both inert or they are both evil.

    Al right, they are different (chemically, metabolically), you just think it doesn’t matter. Good.

    First off, Dr. Lustig is very explicit about why he thinks the problem is with fructose (not glucose), and only with overconsumption of it. He then blames sugar, because sucrose or HFCS, being half fructose, are the problem in practice. Regarding dose, we think two glasses of wine a day is moderate consumption of alcohol, so about 25 grams a day. Fructose is metabolized similarly, so moderate consumption would on the same order of magnitude: 500ml of coke a day. We are all well above that.

    Now the trailer for “Fed Up” clearly doesn’t make a distinction, neither does Doc’s whole article. Doc is also confused about it being a conspiracy, it’s merely bad science. First fat was bad (gives you atherosclerosis or something?), then meat… sugar is the only thing left.

    The difference between them is too small to matter in moderate consumption

    I’ll get back to that point on Monday (don’t have access to much scientific literature right now).

    one cannot extrapolate down by applying linear non threshold reasoning with out hard evidence.

    Dr Lustig doesn’t, neither do I. (I know, you didn’t claim that, semantically. Pragmatically, you did.) Don’t know about “Fed Up”, don’t actually want to know about it. “From the Producers of ‘An Inconvenient Truth’” isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement.


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  46. 46
    DV82XL Says:

    Rainer at this point you will have to table references from refereed journals if you want to be taken seriously here. Robert Lustig research is hardly without controversy and they are far from widely accepted in the broader scientific and medical communities. Furthermore, there has been work done in the U.K. (Effect of fructose on body weight in controlled feeding trials: a systematic review and meta-analysis, Sievenpiper et.al.); in the U.S (Evidence-based review on the effect of normal dietary consumption of fructose on development of hyperlipidemia and obesity in healthy, normal weight individuals,Dolan et. al.) and the Burdock Group that openly contravenes Lustig’s foundational hypothesis that fructose intake reduces satiety and interferes with insulin resistance. In at least one double blinded intervention, four groups of persons all subject to a caloric deficit (500kcal deficit) had equal rates of weight loss despite up to 10% and 20% of total calories coming from HFCS (two groups, one at each percentage level) and sucrose (same). These levels were chosen to mimic the 25th and 50th percentile of average American intake, respectively. (The effects of four hypocaloric diets containing different levels of sucrose or high fructose corn syrup on weight loss and related parameters, Joshua Lowndeset.al)

    The problem, as I wrote above, is that the results of studies done that make claims about fructose having a negative effect on health are either not well designed, or the statistical analysis done only provides very weak support, well below the three sigma range that is required to suggest real significance, or both. In fact in one widely quoited one, (High-fructose corn syrup causes characteristics of obesity in rats: increased body weight, body fat and triglyceride levels, Bocarsly ME, et. al.) there are contradictory results between repeated trials in the same study – hardly a result that supports any confidence in the conclusions.

    If there is anything to this notion, it would have to come from well controlled long baseline cohort studies that used direct measurements and did not self-reporting, and self dosing, and contained subjects vetted for confounding variables. This, of course would be very expensive, and would have to be repeated several times, and this is not likely to happen.


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