Classic depression is characterized by a decrease in appetite, weight loss and general despondency. But in 1994, "atypical depression" debuted, a subtype of depression characterized by an increase in appetite and weight gain (as well as oversensitivity to rejection by others). Unfortunately, both types of depression are often treated with popular antidepressants like Prozac, Zoloft, Lexapro and Paxil and antipsychotics like Seroquel, Zyprexa and Risperdal, all of which can pack on the pounds. To keep the weight gain from affecting Pharma sales, the pro-pill site, WebMD, tells patients that keeping the pounds off is their responsibility since only "healthy eating and exercise help control your weight gain." But it also counsels if the pill weight gain is "so strong that it simply can't be offset by any amount of calorie restricting or even exercise," the psychoactive medication "to help overcome your depression is far more important." To whom?
High Fructose Corn Syrup
The consumption of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) has grown 1000 percent since its introduction in soft drinks in 1984. Corn derived sweetener not only lacks sugar's wild price swings (from unstable geographic and political regions and trade barriers) it can be pumped into trucks and tanks unlike bulky dry sugar. It also provides moisture retention, flavor enhancement, resistance to crystallization (allowing "moist" baked goods) and "freezing point depression" for ice cream, say industry professionals. But HFCS also metabolizes differently from sugar in the body and is so linked to obesity and diabetes, public health groups recommend regulation (like New York City's Mayor Bloomberg). HFCS stimulates production of triglycerides (a type of fat found in the blood), increases fat deposition in the liver and causes permanent metabolic changes, say some. Other researchers say U.S. obesity is not so much linked to HFCS as the bioengineered (GMO) corn it and countless other products are now made from.
Artificial sweeteners, found in soft drinks, many diet foods and an astounding number of children's cereals for unclear reasons, may do more harm than good. While marketed and perceived as helping people avoid calories, they can have two insidious side effects: because they are sweet they encourage sugar craving and sugar dependence just like salty foods train people to crave salt, says research in the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine. And, because sweetness is "decoupled from caloric content," they fail to satisfy the sweets reward system and actually further fuel "food seeking behavior," wrote the researchers. See: giving starving dog a rubber bone. One artificial sweetener, Splenda also has molecular similarities to endocrine disrupter pesticides say food safety advocates.
Noting that the average child in the U.S. and other developed countries "has received 10--20 courses of antibiotics by the time he or she is 18 years old," microbiologist Martin Blaser published some disturbing suggestions in the journal Nature last year. By killing "good" bacteria with important roles in the body, "Overuse of antibiotics could be fuelling the dramatic increase in conditions such as obesity, type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, allergies and asthma," he reports. Yes, obesity. Mice given low-dose antibiotics that mimic farm use and high-dose antibiotics that mimic infection treatment in children exhibited preliminary "changes in body fat and tissue composition," says Blaser. Mice developed as much as a 40 percent increase in fat and a 300 percent increase in fat when given a high-fat diet too, extrapolated Alice Wessendorf on the research. Denmark researchers found eerie parallels in humans. Babies given antibiotics within six months of birth were more likely to be overweight by age 7.
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