Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Causes of the obesity epidemic

Much discussion out there about causes of the obesity epidemic.  I would like to see the following factors better investigated

1. Our livestock are fed with feed products that have artificial hormones and antibiotics added.  These additives make the animals artificially fat, which increases their value when resold.  In Europe, the flesh of animals fed this type of feed is illegal.  I have seen thin Europeans come to the USA and gain weight.  I have seen fat Americans go to Europe and lose weight.  

2. Both high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners trick the body's appetite control mechanism in ways that make us want to eat more.

3. Many chemicals have estrogen mimic effects, such as pesticides and plastics.  Estrogen is known to cause weight gain.

4. Restrictive diets (low calorie, low fat) are very dangerous, as they encourage starve/binge eating patterns, which are very efficient in causing weight gain.  Doctors continue to prescribe these diets, when really people need maintenance level food plans.  A maintenance level food plan will not maintain you in an overweight condition.  The only way to maintain an overweight condition is to overeat.  Doctors are hugely ignorant of nutrition.  Also, people lie to their doctors about how much they are eating, so the doctors are fooled into thinking they need a restrictive diet, when really they just need to eat a normal amount of food.

5. Some medications cause weight gain.  I particularly worry about anti-psychotic meds, which tend to cause HUGE weight gains.  A lot of times people are prescribed these medications because their personalities bother others around them.  This seems to me to be a case where we ought to be more tolerant, rather than drugging people.

6. Processed junk food is becoming increasingly addictive.  I regard junk food as being a recreational drug, not a food.  Not only is this stuff addictive, but it is completely legal and heavily advertised.  These highly addictive substances, are, moreover, arranged around cash registers in virtually every store, including stores that normally are not associated with food, like gas stations, office supply stores, electronics stores, etc.

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