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What do you think are the environmental factors of obesity and how best can we reduce their impact?

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Replies

  • ceiswyn
    ceiswyn Posts: 2,241 Member
    xmichaelyx wrote: »
    We've also 'evolved' to have large brains for problem-solving, and this particular problem is easily solved by consuming less. Many of us here do it. Are we less 'evolved' because we've chosen to limit our caloric intake? Or are we more 'evolved' because we've overcome the biological imperative to eat everything we possibly can at all times?

    There's no such thing as 'less evolved' and 'more evolved'. No part of what you have just said makes any sense at all.
    xmichaelyx wrote: »
    The only barriers are education and personal choice. Society isn't preventing anyone from eating less and moving more.

    If the only factors are education and personal choice, what is your explanation for the increase in obesity rates over the last century?
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    ceiswyn wrote: »
    xmichaelyx wrote: »
    We've also 'evolved' to have large brains for problem-solving, and this particular problem is easily solved by consuming less. Many of us here do it. Are we less 'evolved' because we've chosen to limit our caloric intake? Or are we more 'evolved' because we've overcome the biological imperative to eat everything we possibly can at all times?

    There's no such thing as 'less evolved' and 'more evolved'. No part of what you have just said makes any sense at all.
    xmichaelyx wrote: »
    The only barriers are education and personal choice. Society isn't preventing anyone from eating less and moving more.

    If the only factors are education and personal choice, what is your explanation for the increase in obesity rates over the last century?

    There's a distinction between "the only barriers" and "the only factors."

    I think there are two ways to discuss the obesity issue that sometimes get conflated.

    (1) What can I do about being obese? For this question. societal difficulties do no matter, and it's true that nothing is preventing you from taking action (although that doesn't make it easy at all in all cases, as discussed in the is it psychological thread).

    (2) Why are we fatter now than before? and is there something we, as a society, can do about it? Clearly (IMO) the answer to the first question is not "we are dumber or have less will power." It's that the environment is different in a lot of ways that affect food availability, how often we eat, what we eat, and how active we are. As for the second, beats me.
  • Enjcg5
    Enjcg5 Posts: 389 Member
    edited April 2017
    I'm loving this discussion. I'm also interested in why people would try anything (fads, gimmicks, surgeries etc) all while discounting the CICO "theory." People will assume I am starving myself because I deny food but go on to drink their shake and do their "wraps" all in the name of bikini season. This is why I believe psychology is a huge part of the deal.
  • heiliskrimsli
    heiliskrimsli Posts: 735 Member
    Enjcg5 wrote: »
    I'm loving this discussion. I'm also interested in why people would try anything (fads, gimmicks, surgeries etc) all while discounting the CICO "theory." People will assume I am starving myself because I deny food but go on to drink their shake and do their "wraps" all in the name of bikini season. This is why I believe psychology is a huge part of the deal.

    Those were always the same people who were complaining to me about how they weren't losing anything and demanding to know what my secret was.

    It's like... you're seeing it. Right here. Me not eating nonstop from the second I wake up until I fall asleep. Calorie restriction - it actually does work.
  • Packerjohn
    Packerjohn Posts: 4,855 Member
    Enjcg5 wrote: »
    I'm loving this discussion. I'm also interested in why people would try anything (fads, gimmicks, surgeries etc) all while discounting the CICO "theory." People will assume I am starving myself because I deny food but go on to drink their shake and do their "wraps" all in the name of bikini season. This is why I believe psychology is a huge part of the deal.

    The wraps, miracle pills, etc are tried and are a multi billion dollar industry because people are looking for a solution that doesn't involve a bit of effort, "self denial", etc
  • Enjcg5
    Enjcg5 Posts: 389 Member
    Enjcg5 wrote: »
    I'm loving this discussion. I'm also interested in why people would try anything (fads, gimmicks, surgeries etc) all while discounting the CICO "theory." People will assume I am starving myself because I deny food but go on to drink their shake and do their "wraps" all in the name of bikini season. This is why I believe psychology is a huge part of the deal.

    Those were always the same people who were complaining to me about how they weren't losing anything and demanding to know what my secret was.

    It's like... you're seeing it. Right here. Me not eating nonstop from the second I wake up until I fall asleep. Calorie restriction - it actually does work.
    Exactly. Then when you tell them that they look at you like you've got 3 heads.
  • ladyreva78
    ladyreva78 Posts: 4,080 Member
    Enjcg5 wrote: »
    Enjcg5 wrote: »
    I'm loving this discussion. I'm also interested in why people would try anything (fads, gimmicks, surgeries etc) all while discounting the CICO "theory." People will assume I am starving myself because I deny food but go on to drink their shake and do their "wraps" all in the name of bikini season. This is why I believe psychology is a huge part of the deal.

    Those were always the same people who were complaining to me about how they weren't losing anything and demanding to know what my secret was.

    It's like... you're seeing it. Right here. Me not eating nonstop from the second I wake up until I fall asleep. Calorie restriction - it actually does work.
    Exactly. Then when you tell them that they look at you like you've got 3 heads.

    3 heads and a goat's tail...
  • Gallowmere1984
    Gallowmere1984 Posts: 6,626 Member
    ladyreva78 wrote: »
    Enjcg5 wrote: »
    Enjcg5 wrote: »
    I'm loving this discussion. I'm also interested in why people would try anything (fads, gimmicks, surgeries etc) all while discounting the CICO "theory." People will assume I am starving myself because I deny food but go on to drink their shake and do their "wraps" all in the name of bikini season. This is why I believe psychology is a huge part of the deal.

    Those were always the same people who were complaining to me about how they weren't losing anything and demanding to know what my secret was.

    It's like... you're seeing it. Right here. Me not eating nonstop from the second I wake up until I fall asleep. Calorie restriction - it actually does work.
    Exactly. Then when you tell them that they look at you like you've got 3 heads.

    3 heads and a goat's tail...

    Because those of us who actually have it figured out, clearly made a pact with Satan in exchange for arcane knowledge. :naughty:
  • 12Sarah2015
    12Sarah2015 Posts: 1,085 Member
    Google walkabilty..fascinating stuff. Weve chosen a suburb where we can walk everywhere (except to parents house)..heaps better for environment and health.
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    edited April 2017
    As with the food desert thing, criteria will be debatable, though. I live in a city neighborhood, did not have a car for years, still rarely use my car. I also bike a lot, including to work when weather is decent (lots of people commute by bike way more than me), and frequently run home from work (I use a backpack). I walk for most errands.

    However, according to one of the sites, my walkability score is 92, the transit is only 80, which seems too low and I am puzzled why so low, and bikeable is only 74 (again weird, unless points are taken off for winter or the fact that there is a lot of traffic). It also weirdly tells me my commute times to Evanston when I live closer to downtown Chicago (and in Chicago).
  • StarBrightStarBright
    StarBrightStarBright Posts: 97 Member
    Google walkabilty..fascinating stuff. Weve chosen a suburb where we can walk everywhere (except to parents house)..heaps better for environment and health.

    Very interesting! I live in area I think of as incredibly walkable - within 1 mile (with sidewalks) of church, grocery, pharmacy, gym, elementary and middle schools, library, several parks, a half dozen restaurants etc - my address has a score of 65.

    My old address, in a sketchy city location, had a score of 78 - but I rarely walked anywhere because it wasn't safe to go to the grocery or pharmacy or places like that.
  • Packerjohn
    Packerjohn Posts: 4,855 Member
    Google walkabilty..fascinating stuff. Weve chosen a suburb where we can walk everywhere (except to parents house)..heaps better for environment and health.

    I looked up our address on this site: https://www.walkscore.com/

    As I sort of expected, it got a 0 as we are about 5-6 miles away by car from a bunch of stores, food places, etc.

    On the other hand, not sure if this is realistic. There are about 500 homes in our neighborhood that surrounds a golf course. There are wide streets (about a 5 mile loop) with little traffic suitable for recreational biking as well as sidewalks throughout the neighborhood. Yards are big enough for kids to play in, there is a large park (baseball diamond, tennis courts, wide open areas) on one side of the neighborhood. Can use the golf course for cross country skiing in season. Nobody is afraid to be walking at night.

    Seems pretty activity friendly if people want it to be.
  • mommarnurse
    mommarnurse Posts: 515 Member
    The physiology of it is black and white. All the things you mentioned have various levels of influence on said physiology.
  • mommarnurse
    mommarnurse Posts: 515 Member
    Ignoring diet/exercise, thermal environment is likely the most important, followed closely by gut microbiome.

    We spent a long time believing that brown adipose tissue was something that was only active in babies, but it turns out that this is untrue. In normal, healthy adults in countries with cold weather, BAT is active in significant quantities. In short, never being exposed to cold (for long enough to cool surface temperature enough to induce non-shivering thermogenesis) and/or being overweight/obese both disable BAT.

    Why does this matter? In addition to providing a way for the body to use white adipose tissue ("fat") to generate heat when cold, BAT also allows the body to efficiently burn off a large caloric surplus (diet-induced thermogenesis), helping to prevent excess fat storage.

    The negative is, once you are obese, you've already broken most of these systems in your body, and it is unknown whether they can ever return to normal, even after attaining and maintaining a healthy weight, as it appears that obesity leads to permanent hormonal and metabolic changes.

    There is a pretty substantial amount of research validating this already (just grabbed the first decent looking one I found as I am short on time, but scholar.google.com will turn up a bunch):
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3975627/
    or for a more layman friendly article: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-gravity-weight/201606/body-weight-in-the-time-climate-control

    Maybe this explains the cold - intolerance experienced by many who are formerly obese
  • daneejela
    daneejela Posts: 461 Member
    Great discussion. IMO if one does not take responsibility for his/her own health there is no infrastructure that would help him/her to loose weight. The most important "tool" for weight loss - simply eating less - is available to all of us. So, technically no mater where we live and how health-consious our environment is we already have opportunity to loose weight by simply eat less.

    I don't think we should rely on being taken care by society.

    That being said, society is developing anyway. We are social beings, we live in communities, we connect to make our lives easier, safer and more fulfilling.
    IMO part of our self-care is to put an effort to shape that society the best way possible.
    I think we should take responsibilities not only for things that directly affect us, but also for things that comes to us in return.
    I think we, as society, should support more those who put effort to keep themselves healthy,i.e. for example people willing to walk to work vs. those who are not. And that is rarely the case. We can build a new parking spot or we can build a new sidewalk - in any case we are promoting something and supporting some kind of behavior.

    Scandinavia is an awesome example of societies promoting active lifestyle. I was amazed when I saw full town of people at 8am dressed up going to work by bike (Malmo). In my country, if I would go by bike at that time I would come to my destination all sweaty from all sorts of traffic stress due to the lack of cycling infrastructure.

    On the positive side we (Croatia) still have pretty strong home cooking culture (most of the people cooks at least one meal every day, and many people cooks two meals a day - lunch and dinner). I am kinda proud on that and I will do my best to pass that to my kids if I would ever have them.
  • Macy9336
    Macy9336 Posts: 694 Member
    While I agree obesity is largely a matter of individual responsibility, I do think that certain things should be considered from a public health standpoint. For example, when planning towns or infrastructure upgrades and repairs...nothing wrong with considering bike lanes and walkability as factors within the planning. For example in PA and Ohio they did the rails to trails program...when they went through and streamlined all the railroads instead of just tearing them up and leaving nothing but wasteland behind, they made paved trails which are now used to bike and walk and carry on for miles and miles connecting towns and even going between the states. Another example is school lunches...when planning what to feed the captive children, healthy choices should be made available instead of purely focusing on feeding them for cheapest cost. Community centres created from closed schools where fitness instructors can hold martial arts, dance, and other fitness classes are also a good community investment. Don't get me wrong, I know it's up to the individual ultimately but I think that communities can take health into account as the grow and adapt to the changing times. It should be about creating opportunities to be fit and healthy.
  • Lavelle1980
    Lavelle1980 Posts: 374 Member
    Food and lack of movement are the biggest contributors. We eat more calories, saturated fats, and pretty much sit all day. We wake up, commute on the road for 1-3 hours per day, sit down all day (while consuming calories), then we commute back home. Change into comfortable clothes. Sit on the couch to watch some t.v. and then go to bed.

    We all know this, but the real question is, Why do we keep doing the things that we know that is not good for us? Why do we continue to practice bad habits? Why is food addiction or content with our lifestyles a struggle to change?