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General News    H4'ed 7/9/19

What is Behind U.S. Obesity? Not Just Too Much Food and Too Little Exercise, Research Reveals

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Bad eating is learned young and unfortunately some of the worst messages come from TV, parents and school. In a study in the Journal Pediatrics, 4- to 6-year-olds who tasted identical graham crackers and gummy fruit snacks with and without cartoon characters "significantly preferred the taste of foods that had popular cartoon characters on the packaging." Researchers who studied 500,000 California middle- and high-school students found those with schools near fast-food outlets were heavier. And in another study of kids 12 to 19 found not one child ate a diet meeting all five of the American Heart Association's criteria. Even though almost a third of U.S. children and teens are overweight, 84 percent of parents believe their children are at a healthy weight, say researchers, which compounds the problem.

Hooked on Cookies"and Chips and Pizzas and Häagen-Dazs®

For some overweight people, overeating is an actual addiction. Like alcoholism, food addicts are "preoccupied with their drug (food). Whether they are thinking about their next meal, trying to suppress their cravings, planning their diet, feeling guilty about their last binge [or] hoping to find the strength to say no to that dessert or second helping," writes Arya M. Sharma, M.D. on KevinMD.com. Like alcoholics they dream their troubled relationship to food can miraculously heal, perhaps if their brain readjusts its "setpoint" or they spend "an hour in the gym each day," says Sharma. The increase in food addiction might correlate with the decrease in family meals, indicates some research. Studies by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse reveal that food and other addictions are less likely to develop in children of families who eat together three times a week. Who remembers family meals?

Lifestyle Factors

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There's another habit we learn (or don't learn) while growing up that can contribute to obesity too--a strict bedtime, which few adults or children observe anymore. After just six nights of getting only four hours sleep, healthy young volunteers showed signs of prediabetes reports the Chicago Tribune. Other studies show sleep deprived adults are more likely to be fat, regardless of how much they exercise and what they eat. Why? Researchers hypothesize that sleep deprivation changes levels of the hormone ghrelin (that tells the brain to eat), leptin (that tells the brain we're full) and the stress hormone cortisol. There's even another lifestyle contribution to obesity: room temperature. ABC News reported that air conditioning can add weight by sparing the body the need to regulate temperature, which is a mechanism that burns fat.

Government Duplicity

Is the government really helping people to slim down and avoid foods that pack on pounds and invite risk heart disease? High-saturated-fat foods like cheese? Not according to a New York Times expose in 2010. A USDA group with 162 employees called Dairy Management, mostly funded by farmers, has been shamelessly committed to getting people to double and trouble their cheese intake to replace profits from falling milk sales.

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Why are milk sale falling? Because milks like soy, rice, oat, coconut, pea, almond, cashew, hemp, flax, hazelnut and quinoa taste just as good without the cholesterol and cruelty to animals such as the dairy industry.

According to the Times, Dairy Management has supported Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Burger King, Wendy's and Domino's in "cheesifying" their menu options, putting dairy farmers' profits before consumer health. "If every pizza included one more ounce of cheese, we would sell an additional 250 million pounds of cheese annually," rhapsodized the Dairy Management chief executive in a trade publication. Dairy Management received $5.3 million from the USDA during one year, for an overseas dairy campaign, which almost equals the total $6.5 million budget of USDA's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. That's the group that tells people not to eat high fat milk and cheese!

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Martha Rosenberg is an award-winning investigative public health reporter who covers the food, drug and gun industries. Her first book, Born With A Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp The Public Health, is distributed by Random (more...)
 

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7 people are discussing this page, with 9 comments  Post Comment


Martha Rosenberg

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The obesity epidemic is not just about aesthetics--it is about health. Obese people are at risk of many preventable diseases

Submitted on Tuesday, Jul 9, 2019 at 5:03:27 PM

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Devil's Advocate

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I think the general food supply itself has become unhealthy.

With all the antibiotics, steroids, hormones, herbicides, pesticides, pollution and GMOs having invaded the entire food chain, food itself is now screwing with our immune systems and throwing off the balances our bodies need to stay healthy.

I truly believe there's now nothing we can eat that doesn't contain some form of regret. Meat and produce are totally compromised. The fish are all contaminated to some degree or another, and you can't even drink the water.

Even food that has been raised with great care and protection, either through organics or whatever, has had to make use of the poisoned water and soil you can no longer get away from. The poisons are now in the water table itself, perpetuated by the excretions of all species that have been ingesting and processing these contaminants.

Once the defense systems of a species are compromised, every subsequent generation evolves to be more problem-prone. I don't think this story ends well.

Submitted on Tuesday, Jul 9, 2019 at 5:40:14 PM

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Martha Rosenberg

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You're right. The water and soil subvert the "good farming"

Submitted on Tuesday, Jul 9, 2019 at 6:48:06 PM

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Doesn'r it all end up in a BAD BM? he he

Submitted on Tuesday, Jul 9, 2019 at 7:43:15 PM

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Amy Fried

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Recently it's been reported that obesity also raises cancer risk.

Submitted on Tuesday, Jul 9, 2019 at 6:55:33 PM

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911TRUTH

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I absolutely believe that our so-called 'food' industry is in collusion with the health industrial complex to keep us as fat and sick as possible in order to keep their profits endless and ever increasing. They both win big while we all lose big.

Like the joke goes:

What did they call organic food before the 1970's?

Food.

Submitted on Wednesday, Jul 10, 2019 at 4:37:13 PM

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If you need any evidence to substantiate your post, you need look no further that the Pharma Industry over charging for diabetes medication. Recently it was reported diabetics could no longer afford their medication, some even have to travel to Canada to avail themselves of that medication at a normal price. What more evidence do you need to realise the WAR that is being waged against you ?

Submitted on Thursday, Jul 11, 2019 at 5:53:29 AM

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I saw that story on PBS. It's disgusting and disgraceful.


Yet, because we have more bombs than anyone else, the American idiots chant We're #1! over and over like the brainwashed imbeciles they are.

Submitted on Thursday, Jul 11, 2019 at 4:09:44 PM

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Glers

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Obesity was never an issue until HFCS started replacing sugar in everything! that along with all the processed crap we can throw in the microwave at anytime of day is another factor

Submitted on Friday, Jul 12, 2019 at 1:17:18 PM

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