First off – I loved this article. It was long and I had tobreak the reading up into three different sittings but it was pretty easy to read despite the very complex issue.
Second – I am not sure if I read part of the conclusion correct. It seems to conclude in the third to last paragraph that the government should be involved. Of this particualr point I vehemently disagree. Government was not created to be our mommy/daddy/nanny and it should not regulate what is good or bad for us – that is our decision no matter how detrimental it is to us or “to society.”
Third – I felt pretty good about this article. It addressed a lot of things that I have read about, personally concluded, or even thought about myself from my own life experiences. For example, I read about the possibility of “genetics” being passed down from generation to generation. Something that your gandmother was affected by may be passed on to you from your parents type deal. I personally believe this is true generally based on the idea of micro-evolution. Humans are animals and animals change over time in response to their surroundings. It seems completely plausable that my grandmother being affected to coal burning plants to affect my mother and then me in some fashion. Likewise, so would her desire for food and nutrition.
As for the environment, I remember laying out in the sun and feeling better. Yes, it is 112F here in Arizona on a normal summer day, but just laying there in the sun and not worry about anything made me feel better. I also am slim on my AC and heater usage – I am almost a “little hot” or a “little cold.” Even with this recent heat wave here in the west – I still drive with my windows down and I still sit outside and sunbathe. I’ve always felt that sweating… was human, natural, and good for me. Likewise, I’ve also felt that if my environment was 112F and the store/house/building is 72F, then that change of temperature was bad for me – after all, if you change the temperature too fast on glass, it cracks… if you change the temperature of ice too fast, it goes almost straight to steam. Things must move more naturally through the cycle. So I thought it was interesting to address the thermoneutral zone.
They also talked about the idea of bacteria and viruses. I’m definitely no expert on it, but I believe that we have bacteria in our intestines that help us break down food more and pull out nutrients. I have periodically taken probiotics to try to help that bacteria. The idea of having good bacteria break down food makes sense to me. Backing up just a bit, I also had a blood micronutrient test done out of curiousity and I was borderline Vitamin D deficient and fully deficient in B12. Maybe this is another reason that I felt good to lay out.
Speaking of, what about deficency of foods. The latest crave is that of GMOs. Are they good or bad? Are they nutritious? Does GMO food allow more pesticides to be used on them and do we get that residual pesticide/carcinogen from that sprayed crop? With that said, one of the diets that I am most fond of is the caveman diet which in my mind coincides with the idea of higher proteins and fats – like our ancestors did – and less carbohydrates which were much more seldom (and if there were carbs, they were more whole grain type stuff, with little to no preservatives).
Last but not least, while I am fortunate with my metabolism and stay generally thin… there is plenty of evidence to suggest that we are obese because we do not maintain enough physical activity and our eating habits are not on par. To shame people just to shame them is wrong. However, if someone is obese and they sit and watch Jersey Shore and Oprah all day… and their main physical activity is moving to and from their chair to the bathroom and then back, then to the fridge… is it unfair to say that they have no part in their obesity? Sure, maybe they won’t be <30 BMI as suggested to be not-obese… but their actions have pushed them into the >45 BMI range. I believe when you personally changed your diet and started hooping you lost weight. Even I have lost some weight by starting to eat more smaller meals a day (instead of one large one), swimming, eating less carbs if I can help it, no drinking pop, and taking vitamins every day… I’ve lost weight. Again, I’m not saying that we should call people out but I think we have every right to recognize the fact that obesity is triggered or emphasized by our actions – either by conscious decision or by passive conditions nearly out of our control.
Obesity Era by David Berreby (link)
Years ago, after a plane trip spent reading Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Notes from the Underground and Weight Watchers magazine, Woody Allen melded the two experiences into a single essay. ‘I am fat,’ it began. ‘I am disgustingly fat. I am the fattest human I know. I have nothing but excess poundage all over my body. My fingers are fat. My wrists are fat. My eyes are fat. (Can you imagine fat eyes?).’ It was 1968, when most of the world’s people were more or less ‘height-weight proportional’ and millions of the rest were starving. Weight Watchers was a new organisation for an exotic new problem. The notion that being fat could spur Russian-novel anguish was good for a laugh. Continue reading ‘Obesity: Humans and Primates?’