Are fears of a fat planet overblown?

Discussion in 'The Study' started by Ceicei, Mar 15, 2008.

  1. Ceicei

    Ceicei Grandmaster

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    Interesting article. A couple of thought-provoking paragraphs:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23466006/

    Even "science" (research) needs to be viewed with a grain of salt...

    - Ceicei
     
  2. newGuy12

    newGuy12 Master of Arts

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    We in the US (at least in my city) -- do not have the choice to walk to work, or ride the bicycle -- it is too far away, or too dangerous, so that makes people miss out on the exercise.

    These Martial Arts (at least, the ones that I have had the priveledge of experiencing) are for everyone, no matter the age or gender. They make people have good health and a slim physique. But they must be practiced religiously!
     
  3. blackxpress

    blackxpress Green Belt

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    I didn't know there was any fear of a "fat planet." I thought it was fear of a fat America. And yes, it's overblown and I'll tell you why. If the US economy continues on its current path most Americans will soon be too poor to afford fattening food. People were a whole lot skinnier during the great depression.
     
  4. MBuzzy

    MBuzzy Grandmaster

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    Thought that is true that all science should be taken with a grain of salt, at first glance, it doesn't look like there is any real scientific research to back this up. Comes across as a bunch of speculation based on some correlations that someone has drawn.

    This leads me to say that all "media" and news should be taken with a grain of salt. :)
     
  5. exile

    exile To him unconquered.

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    Seems like the opposite to me. The most expensive macronutrient is protein, and that has the greatest metabolic cost for digestion. In places like Columbus, where I live, I've noticed that it's the hugely upscale food places—Whole Foods and The Fresh Market, for example—that have the greatest amount of shelf and display space devoted to fresh produce and very pricey protein (you're not going to get fat on fresh Alaskan spring salmon or arctic char at $20+ a lb., or on jumbo prawns from the Gulf of Mexico, or Portobella mushrooms, etc). The Big Bears in the low income parts of town allocate a lot more space to processed, high-fat, high-salt foods, and the latter is much, much cheaper. Empty calories aren't expensive. Compare the cost of a box of donuts with the cost of the same weight of eye round beef roast.

    Fattening food is, I very strongly suspect, cheaper food, and poorer people, who can't afford the high-priced fancy stuff, buy what they can afford...
     
  6. terryl965

    terryl965 <center><font size="2"><B>Martial Talk Ultimate<BR

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    I know I would walk or ride a bike but it is not away of doing it. No bike lanes or walking lanes everything is too far away, we do not have mass transit so even that is out of question. I need a sense of belonging which my vehicle gives me since I am one of those fat people out there.
     
  7. Kacey

    Kacey Sr. Grandmaster

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    Yes... but during the Great Depression there was not the profusion of high-fat, high-sugar, inexpensive fast food available that is available today, nor was there the profusion of inexpensive, convenient, prepackaged, processed food with fat and sugar added to improve the taste and preserve the contents. Fresh food is, when looking solely at unit price, more expensive... until you start accounting for how much of the price is for the packaging and processing, and start to realize that the cost of fresh food - which is often more nutritious - is lower. Less convenient, which is, to be sure, an issue in this country - but less expensive (or, at least, not more expensive) and more nutritious.

    As far as the article itself, for far too many years, "healthy" has been equated with a certain physical appearance. For men, that hasn't been too bad, as the physique considered "healthy" for men involves the development of a certain level of musculature - possible for most men to attain. For women, however, the "ideal" - as seen in far too many runway models - is taller, more slender, and generally beyond the average women, unless she happens to be born with a particular bone structure.

    Until the last century, when food supplies (in First World countries, at least) became more assured, and less dependent on local meteorological conditions, being overweight was uncommon, especially in the working class, because physical labor was necessary, for most, to survive - and thus the "common" person tended to be stocky rather than fat, due to the exercise encountered in the course of a day, and to eat quantities of food we would consider excessive, as they were necessary to maintain the energy output their daily activities required. Indeed, in the musical version of Fiddler on the Roof, which is set (more or less) in 1916, Tevye sings in "If I were a Rich Man" that one of the indicators would be "my wife, my Goldie, looking like a rich man's wife, with a proper double chin".

    As industrialization proceeded apace, and peoples' leisure time increased with the advent of machines to do labor that was previously performed by hand (anything from driving a car instead of horses to an automated washing machine instead of a wringer), it became (again) fashionable to appear to do no work - to have manicured nails, polished hair, beautiful (but impractical for manual labor) clothing, etc. - in short, it was fashionable to not look like someone who did physical labor for a living. In previous times, such appearance was limited to the uppermost social class, but as there became a greater variety of jobs available that did not require manual labor, this opinion of "fashionable" spread, gradually, to the middle class as well. Those who could not obtain such jobs would still aspire to appear like those who were above them financially, and thus socially.

    In mid-60s, with the introduction of Twiggy, the next step in women's fashion appeared,. in contrast to the previous, Marilyn Monroe-inspired look (a "perfect" 12, where today's runway models wear size 0)... it became fashionable not only to look like one did not work, but to look like one could not work - certainly, Twiggy did not appear to be physically robust (whether she was or not, I can't really say). When I was a teen, I recall the doctor at my annual physical adding 3" to my height so he could determine my height/weight ratio correctly, as the chart assumed that all females would be wearing 3" heels... and since I was wearing sneakers, he had to adjust for that.

    This trend has intensified over the last several decades to the point where the "average" woman cannot look like the "ideal" woman (that is, a runway model), unless she is blessed with a certain height, bone structure, and genetic predisposition to a certain build, and the determination to maintain it. This has nothing to do with health, and everything to do with fashion. I don't know that a "healthy" weight for adults has truly been determined - especially for women.

    Certainly, there are certain medical conditions that are linked to obesity, there are certain disabilities that improve or resolve completely when weight loss occurs, and severe obesity (double or more the average weight) is a disability in itself - but I would be hesitant to go farther on the information available today, especially as frequently as the medical field changes its collective mind on what is "healthy" in relation to weight, nutrition, supplements, water, and medications.
     
  8. navyvetcv60

    navyvetcv60 Orange Belt

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    Great thread, and it seems central and southwest Ohio are well represented.
    The United States has the richest poor people in the world, just drive threw, for example Franklin Ohio, it has the highest amount of people on welfare in the area, all the houses has air conditioners and a couple of automobiles in the drive way, and the majority of the residence are over weight. This is a personal responsibility issue. They can CHOOSE to buy healthy foods with their tax payer funded give me my free food cards, but the majority do not. And from my experiences they sit around eating junk foods, drinking beer, and smoking weed, not all, (i would never paint all with that broad of a brush), but a lot, and when you combine junk food, beer and weed the last thing they want to do is exercise. You also have to throw depression in the mix as well.
    Work harder, millions on welfare are depending on you!
     
  9. FearlessFreep

    FearlessFreep Senior Master

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    Fattening food is, I very strongly suspect, cheaper food, and poorer people, who can't afford the high-priced fancy stuff, buy what they can afford...


    Which means ironically that I think that the condition of (population) overweightness is directly correlated to the cost of fattening food versus the cost of quality food. It's easy to get fat on the cheap, and in fact hard not to these days.
     
  10. navyvetcv60

    navyvetcv60 Orange Belt

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    Regarding the "cheaper food is less expensive" over all it probably is, but (i know cause i do the grocery shopping in my household and am on a tight budget) there is plenty of healthy foods that are not overly expensive, rice, fruits, vegetables, and meat in this country is still fairly cheap. I've stood in the check out lines and watch people with their free food cards and the majority of products they buy are unhealthy and expensive, bags of doritos, cartons of cokes and mountain dew, T.V. Dinners, donuts, cheap processed deli meats, ect. and ( they have to use their own $ for this) Beer & cigarettes.
    So to sum it all up, "are fears of a fat planet overblown" No, in my opinion. In developed countries it is a problem, absolutely, but what do you do to fix it???
     
  11. Sukerkin

    Sukerkin Have the courage to speak softly

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    OT - I have to agree that that's the cynical thought I have every month when I look at just how much tax I've paid :(.
     
  12. Sukerkin

    Sukerkin Have the courage to speak softly

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    This is a very important point.

    In just my adult lifetime I have seen several drastic swings of medical opinion about what is good for you, what is bad for you, what'll kill you, what'll make you immortal et al.

    I was vegetarian for a goodly number of years in my youth and altho' it was somewhat more effortful to make meals it certainly made me think about what I was going to eat.

    I tried looking into what the research was saying about food but got so fed up (yeah, culinary pun attack :D!) with the contradictions and shifting goal posts that I just used my common sense and balanced things up.

    There is currently a small but growing resurgence in this country of eating what is produced in the locality as much as you can. That is also combined by a major drive to cut down on the amount of food wastage and packing surplus that the supermarkets are generating.

    Perhaps it's a sign of a light at the end of the tunnel? Then again, kids still want to eat nothing by McDonalds and crisps and turn their noses up at anything that might actual be good for them to eat, so maybe it's too soon for optimism yet.123
     

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