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Flick James
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« Reply #15 on: April 28, 2010, 10:42:44 AM »

That's true, the rest of the world is catching up, partly because our fast food arm has infected the rest of the globe. Look, the point I'm trying to make has nothing to do with eating cheeseburgers. I love cheeseburgers. It's the level of processed food that is the big problem. Chicken nuggets, no matter how you slice them, are bad. Schools serving kids frozen pizza for breakfast (don't laugh, it's happening) is bad. Parents filling their shopping carts with almost nothing but processed food from the freezer is bad. Some people are just naturally chunky. That's not what I'm talking about. I'm also talking about so-called "diet" food here as well. Much of that is processed, and while it's low-calorie, low-carb, low-fat, it still has alot of the processing that they're finding is worse for you than the real thing it's supposed to be subtituting. I use real butter, because it's better for you than the processed butter substitutes. It's higher in fat, but I control the amount I use, or I just substitute with olive oil. Is it more expensive to eat better? Yes it is, but think of the healthcare costs you will save yourself. Whoever brought the mediterranean diet up was right on the money.

Here's a simple way to eat better that doesn't require a great deal of planning or effort. When you go to the grocery store, do most of your shopping around the perimeter of the store, and avoid the center aisles as much as possible. The outter walls of the every grocery store is mainly fresher options. The center aisles are mainly processed food. In other words, the stuff on the outside is closer to "living," the center aisles are closer to "dead."  The closer you get to the stuff that was recently alive, the better off you are. It will be a little more expensive, but if you stick with the stuff that's on sale, it's not that bad. When my family shops, we exhaust the perimeter before we move into the center aisles. As a result, we pick up less processed food.

Don't worry about losing weight. Don't worry about what I or anyone else thinks about you. Worry about your health. Eat to you heart's content, just eat better things, and get some exercise here and there. What I think about appearance doesn't matter.
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Jim H
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« Reply #16 on: April 28, 2010, 02:29:15 PM »

Quote
Schools serving kids frozen pizza for breakfast

What schools serve breakfast?  I never got any when I was in school....  Except sometimes at high school, when one of the teacher's would sometimes bring in bagels on her own dime.

Quote
Parents filling their shopping carts with almost nothing but processed food from the freezer is bad.

This is one of those things that sounds like common sense, and I tend to agree with, but I'm not really sure why.  Can anyone actually prove "processed" food is worse?  In what way, exactly?  Other than the presence of corn syrup and high levels of sodium, which isn't true of all processed food.  When they're nutritionally near identical, how is the processed version worse?

However, if you buy the better brands of frozen foods, my experience is it isn't really much cheaper than making from scratch fresh produce/meats anyway.
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Flick James
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« Reply #17 on: April 28, 2010, 03:05:22 PM »

Can anyone prove processed food is worse? In a word: yes. 5 minutes spent just googling pulled up several studies and articles about what processing does to food. Processed foods contain higher levels of trans-fatty-acids, which contribute to heart disease. Processed foods contains higher levels of high-fructose corn syrup, as cheaper substitute for sugar, which more readily stores as fat. Processed foods contain higher levels of glucose, which our brains need a constant supply of, but too much causes damage to tissues leading to diabetes. Processed foods contain many additives and preservatives. That is the one area that is more dubious, that is, the jury is still out on what alot of them do to you. Finally, chicken nuggets are the "perfect storm" of processed foods. They often contain all of the above, with the added benefit of higher levels of the artificial growth hormones they inject in the chickens. They are made out of all the part of the chicken would normally get thrown away. Those parts are where the growth hormones get stored in greater amounts than in the meat. Studies have shown the hormonal imbalances and side effects these cause have lead to premature puberty in girls, increasing the risk of breast cancer.

Is all of this proven beyond a shadow of a doubt? Some yes, some no, and yes, some through means that have a political agenda. However, in the fifteen minutes it took me to research and write this response, I found all of the above. It all comes down to personal responsibility and choice. It always does. But it doesn't help matters when our culture makes these choices so easy and plentiful. It doesn't take a genius to know that society is experiencing rapid spikes in things like diabetes and heart disease and cancer, all coinciding with the age of processed food. I don't think the correlation can be reasonably argued.
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The Burgomaster
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« Reply #18 on: April 28, 2010, 04:16:42 PM »

It's not just America - the UK and Australia are also very fat . . .

All those bangers and mash had to catch up with the UK eventually . . .
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Jim H
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« Reply #19 on: April 29, 2010, 03:07:03 PM »

Can anyone prove processed food is worse? In a word: yes. 5 minutes spent just googling pulled up several studies and articles about what processing does to food. Processed foods contain higher levels of trans-fatty-acids, which contribute to heart disease. Processed foods contains higher levels of high-fructose corn syrup, as cheaper substitute for sugar, which more readily stores as fat. Processed foods contain higher levels of glucose, which our brains need a constant supply of, but too much causes damage to tissues leading to diabetes. Processed foods contain many additives and preservatives. That is the one area that is more dubious, that is, the jury is still out on what alot of them do to you. Finally, chicken nuggets are the "perfect storm" of processed foods. They often contain all of the above, with the added benefit of higher levels of the artificial growth hormones they inject in the chickens. They are made out of all the part of the chicken would normally get thrown away. Those parts are where the growth hormones get stored in greater amounts than in the meat. Studies have shown the hormonal imbalances and side effects these cause have lead to premature puberty in girls, increasing the risk of breast cancer.

Is all of this proven beyond a shadow of a doubt? Some yes, some no, and yes, some through means that have a political agenda. However, in the fifteen minutes it took me to research and write this response, I found all of the above. It all comes down to personal responsibility and choice. It always does. But it doesn't help matters when our culture makes these choices so easy and plentiful. It doesn't take a genius to know that society is experiencing rapid spikes in things like diabetes and heart disease and cancer, all coinciding with the age of processed food. I don't think the correlation can be reasonably argued.

Yeah, I'm aware of the tendency for processed foods to have worse nutritional content.  Thing is, they don't always.  Which is my point. 

I don't find it hard to believe most processed foods are bad for you, I just think general overeating, poor diet choices in general (lots of people also get fat off homecooking) and lack of exercise are far more important contributors to obesity and poor health than how food was manufactured. 
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Flick James
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« Reply #20 on: April 30, 2010, 10:55:27 AM »

True. I don't totally disagree with you. However, less people get fat on lots of homecooking than eating lots of fast food and processed junk. Again, I'll bring up the mediterranean lifestyle. People in France, Italy, Greece, these people certainly do a good deal of eating. They love their food. But they also eat a lot more freshly prepared food, and true, they spend a higher percentage of their income on food than we do. I've been to all of those country's, and I'm telling you, I always see a smaller percentage of overweight people. You're right, it's not all about processed food vs. fresh food, but I think we agree it's a factor. We just differ on the size of the factor. It's all good. I have my opinions, and sometimes they're rather strong. Also, Americans tend to get defensive when something about our country is criticized. I'm not saying that's your beef, please don't take it that way. I'm a patriotic American, and this is a source of shame for me. We ARE the fattest country in the world, we're also the most unhealthy, a more important factor, I think. Hey, everyone makes their own choices, and I'm the last to try and control people's eating habits. That's insane. It's just, personally, I would really like to see the people of the USA healthier. I love my peeps.
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The Gravekeeper
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« Reply #21 on: April 30, 2010, 12:18:56 PM »

Again, I'll bring up the mediterranean lifestyle. People in France, Italy, Greece, these people certainly do a good deal of eating. They love their food. But they also eat a lot more freshly prepared food, and true, they spend a higher percentage of their income on food than we do. I've been to all of those country's, and I'm telling you, I always see a smaller percentage of overweight people.

A major part of it is also a difference in lifestyle. They tend to get far more excercise because they walk or bike pretty well everywhere unless they're in a rush or the distance is just too great.

Once again, the most reliable and effective diet in the world rears its head: fresher, healthier foods and regular excercise for life.
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Flick James
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« Reply #22 on: April 30, 2010, 12:42:54 PM »

Again, I'll bring up the mediterranean lifestyle. People in France, Italy, Greece, these people certainly do a good deal of eating. They love their food. But they also eat a lot more freshly prepared food, and true, they spend a higher percentage of their income on food than we do. I've been to all of those country's, and I'm telling you, I always see a smaller percentage of overweight people.

A major part of it is also a difference in lifestyle. They tend to get far more excercise because they walk or bike pretty well everywhere unless they're in a rush or the distance is just too great.

Once again, the most reliable and effective diet in the world rears its head: fresher, healthier foods and regular excercise for life.

Exactly. This is not really a "fat" or "weight" thing with me. Different people have different healthy weights. For one person, a healthy weight means they are quite thin. For another, a healthy weight means they are a bit chunky. I think most people can just tell a person is healthy or unhealthy. If it's an attraction thing anyone is interested in, hey, I've been physically attracted to women with a little meat on their bones plenty of times. This is my opinion, but I think you can kind of intrinsically see a person who is at a healthy weight for them. A healthy person, to me, tends to have a certain glow about them that an unhealthy person doesn't have. Sometimes a person is unhealthy due to circumstances out of their control. My heart goes out to them. I feel, however, that the majority of people who have health problems have made choices in life that led to that condition. My heart goes out to them as well, just to a lesser degree and for different reasons. I feel particularly sorry for the kids whose parents feed them crap on a regular basis. Kids don't know any better, they're busy learning about life and are in many ways a blank canvas. They trust their parents to do the right thing. When I see obesity in children it makes me sad and angry, because I know that, except for some glandular problems here and there, the majority of them are that way because their parents let or made it happen.

I'm not a health nut. I don't always eat the way I should. I could stand to lose a few pounds, and should get a little more exercise than I do. But for the most part I do control many things that I eat, and it's not that hard to do. Do I always feed my kids healthy food? No, not always, they eat some junk here and there too. Finding the balance between being healthy and happy is not always easy, sometimes indulging in unhealthy food is part of being happy. I'm all good with that. But I have a hard time believing that people who are grossly overweight can honestly call themselves happy.
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Jim H
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« Reply #23 on: April 30, 2010, 09:47:26 PM »

Quote
We ARE the fattest country in the world, we're also the most unhealthy


Samoa and Kiribati are fatter - well, depending on how you measure (there are a number of countries that have more overweight people but fewer obese people as a percentage).  Not trying to argue just to argue (especially since the combined population of the two is less than St. Louis), I just thought it was interesting. 

http://www.eatsmartagesmart.com/10-fattest-countries-in-the-world/

Obesity percentages.

I found it particularly interesting how close many countries are to America.  It's something I've pointed out to a number of British people on other forums, who seem to think calling Americans fat is some brilliant observation and something that is not at all a problem for their own nation(s). 
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Flick James
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« Reply #24 on: May 03, 2010, 11:53:52 AM »

Sure you're trying to argue. So am I. In the end it's been an interesting thread, so no worries.  Thumbup

Maybe it's just that part of the UK, but every time I go to Northern Ireland (3 times now), I don't see many fat people. The last two times I went I actually made a concerted effort to spot some. If there's a lot of them, they must stay inside all the time. Another thing I never see there either that you see here all the time, people that are probably capable of walking doing their shopping on motorized carts. Let's not burn any calories shopping for our fat-food, let's do our shopping from a motorized cart. Brilliant. Even our fat security guards don't walk anymore.

Not sure if I mentioned it before, but I saw a news story where the US military is having a hard time recruiting now because so many applicants are overweight.

Maybe the rest of the world is catching up, but we're still number one (wave the flag). We continue to blaze the trail for other nations.

Side note, if any of my fellow Americans are getting p**sed off, good.
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The Burgomaster
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« Reply #25 on: May 03, 2010, 01:51:47 PM »

Not sure if I mentioned it before, but I saw a news story where the US military is having a hard time recruiting now because so many applicants are overweight.

I saw this on the news, too.  Boot camp is a good way to lose weight . . . I lost 20 pounds and 3 inches off my waist in 9 weeks at Fort Dix in 1982.  I weighed under 150 pounds when I finished boot camp.  Of course, I wasn't fat when I went in, so that helped . . .
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"Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me either. Just pretty much leave me the hell alone."
Flick James
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« Reply #26 on: May 03, 2010, 01:56:10 PM »

I served as well. Boot camp is a great way to lose weight. I was actually one of those odd-balls that gained a couple of pounds. I was pretty thin when I went in so I gained muscle weight.
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HappyGilmore
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« Reply #27 on: May 03, 2010, 10:15:45 PM »



However, I think the level of fatness is starting to level out.  I don't think it's going to get a lot worse. 


I hope so.  Hell...walking around the Philly area...I got much love for my city but DAMN!

Granted...I used to be really heavy.  At 13 I was 5'3'' and almost 200 pounds.  That summer I worked my ass off and dropped down to like, 115, a weight I maintained til last Christmas at the age of 25.

But between the Tastykake's, Wawa hoagies, beer, etc., as well as physical limitations, I gained a bunch of weight back. Bluesad  But it always fluctuated.  Between 15 and 25 I went from 115 to 130 back to 120 up to 125 back to 115, etc.
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Allhallowsday
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« Reply #28 on: May 03, 2010, 11:53:12 PM »

Quote
Parents filling their shopping carts with almost nothing but processed food from the freezer is bad.

This is one of those things that sounds like common sense, and I tend to agree with, but I'm not really sure why.  Can anyone actually prove "processed" food is worse?  In what way, exactly?  Other than the presence of corn syrup and high levels of sodium, which isn't true of all processed food.  When they're nutritionally near identical, how is the processed version worse?
Well, now you're being a devil's advocate.  Processed food not only contains more sodium and fat, but also lacks fiber.  Don't forget enzymes available in "live" fresh foods that are processed out of "dead" foods; and vitamin components sprinkled over frozen pizzas or boxed cereal is an illusion manufacturers tout in order to promote the notion such foods are as healthy as fresh foods, and contain as substantial a nutritive value. 

As MofoRising suggested, we evolved to develop a taste for fatty foods.  For the longest part of human history, when we were "hunter/gatherers" (but as RICHARD LEAKEY points out in his book People of the Lake, "gatherer/hunters" is more accurate) humans benefited from a taste for fatty foods over eons of simply trying to scrape together enough calories to survive.  At a time when lifespans were short compared with modern times, fat was a benefit. 

Now, we are simply privileged and inactive.  Seriously, and excepting the serious or energetic, who wouldn't rather eat fatty cheeseburgers, french fries, and chocolate ice cream while lounging on the sofa watching horribly entertaining bad movies, hmmm? 
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« Reply #29 on: May 06, 2010, 10:29:10 PM »

A couple of years ago I went to a two-day conference on obesity (as part of medical education hours to keep up my license).  Two interesting points that I remember:

1.  One study we reviewed looked at self-estimation of food intake.  A study was done that basically asked people with a normal BMI and people with BMI >30 to self-rate how thoroughly they clean their plates, and how large their portion sizes were.  The result?  You guessed it.  Both groups reported the same portion sizes and intake -- the groups were not possible to tell apart statistically.      I can tell you from my work that it's probably an accurate reflection of how it works in the real world, for at least some significant portion of people who are obese in this country -- they self-report that they don't eat much.  If you count the calories though, well, thermodynamics don't lie.     There is only one hormonal problem that changes human thermodynamics, by the way (thyroid disorders).  The rest is all made up.

2.   Obesity is probably the last bastion of discrimination.  Studies measuring attitudes and assumptions made about obese people do tend to confirm that the obese are regarded as stupid, weak, immoral, etc. 

Speaking for myself, I can affirm that I've seen #1 bear out true in real cases.   And examining my own attitude at times, i can agree that I do make assumptions about obese people that I would not allow myself to make about (insert race here).   Partially in my defense -- most doctors will admit that they don't feel effectual in helping obese people correct the problem, and out of frustration a certain amount of countertransference happens.
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