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BBC article on causes of obesity

Discussion in 'Health News and Research unrelated to ME/CFS' started by NelliePledge, Apr 28, 2018.

  1. NelliePledge

    NelliePledge Moderator Staff Member

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    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-43822604

    There was a programme on BBC1 earlier in the week. The article sums up what the programme covered although the programme also highlighted significant increase in consumption of junk food and takeaways. Being firmly in the obese category myself I thought this content was interesting particularly showing the twins where there was a visible difference in weight and the heavier one had half the level of gut bacteria diversity of her thin sister. Also I hadn’t heard it quantified, although I knew implicitly from my own family, that the genetics makes such a substantial contribution to obesity.

    As someone who struggles with portion control and satiety (I find it almost impossible to leave left overs in the fridge til the next day) I am very interested in the research covered at the end of the article. They are giving obese people a mix of hormones including leptin by injection. This seems to give the benefits of gastric bypass without surgery. A guy interviewed had lost 7kg in 28 days. I really hope this works and gets adopted as I would definitely benefit from it. I’ve already lost 19kg by changing what I eat but it isn’t easy for me to get control of how much especially I found during the winter months.

    PS anyone struggling to lose weight join us on the weight loss thread.
     
  2. arewenearlythereyet

    arewenearlythereyet Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I saw this too. Overall I thought it was quite balanced.

    The genetic bit although interesting was a bit iffy in my opinion, mainly because there was very little context given to the overall impact and they skirted around the number of genes that were involved and didn’t really pin down a significance in terms of numbers affected.

    They did say that this on its own can’t explain the amount of people in the UK who are overweight and obese so this is a multifaceted problem, not just medical or genetic.

    This did tie in quite well with some of the things I’ve picked out from various work I’ve done. Off the top,of my head and without a PowerPoint slide in sight are some of the key chanes over time connected to the rise in obesity levels since the 1960’s):

    Increase in food availability in shops (e.g. after post war rationing)
    Increase in food affordability as noted by the price of groceries in relation to people’s disposable income
    Increase in consumption of convenience food (less cooking/shopping required/longer shelf life)
    Decrease in manual labour jobs/energy required to housekeep in the home/amount of energy required to get to work or school whilst portion sizes have stayed the same/increased
    Decrease in the amount of hours we spend sleeping
    Decrease in a balanced diet (less fibre and particularly low in vegetables)
    Decrease in defined meal time/increase in snacking (particularly calorie dense foods high in refined carbs and saturated fat)
    Increase in eating out of the home and takeaways (foodservice)

    These things are the drivers that have created a ‘perfect storm’ of excess calorie consumption in the general population, so whilst the genetics are interesting to give you a heads up that it might be more tricky to avoid losing weight for x% of people, the above are the things that are causing the majority of weight gain. When you map this out on a timeline against levels of obesity it’s clear this shows the evolution of the problem.

    Consumer studies also show that a significant proportion of people are conflating medical conditions arising as a result of their obesity as the cause of their obesity (e.g. microbiome, diabetes, imbalanced ghrelin etc).

    Most people though realise they are overeating but are unaware of the extent and creep effect that a small amount of overeating can build up over time. I’ve certainly found that the case and when you start tracking calories it is an eye opener.

    What’s also interesting is that people state their biggest health food watch out is the amount of sugar in the food but when you ask what do you look to avoid in packaged food it’s artificial sweeteners....so there is a contradiction there showing that the government campaign is a little one dimensional in terms of education on diet etc. Personally I think they need to focus on calorie reduction strategies rather than demonising particular food groups or products ...seems more linked to tax income stream than a real benefit to public health. Seems strange that they tried to cut free school meals at the same time?

    The main thing I keep getting shocked about though is the amount of takeaways people eat...I think we treat ourselves to one a month in our house if that, so I definitely think there is an age difference towards whether you have grown up in the 90’s (convenience food the norm) or earlier.
     
  3. Mij

    Mij Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I live in the city and am shocked when I see all the young urban professionals on their way home carrying take-out bags. When I'm out walking in the evenings on 'trash day', the stacks of pizza boxes in front of people's homes is another shocker- piles of them!
     
  4. NelliePledge

    NelliePledge Moderator Staff Member

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    @arewenearlythereyet Good point about convenience food becoming the norm in the 90s. I didn’t get really overweight until the mid/late 90s age over 35.

    I think what is a good diet depends how heavy you are if you are obese low carb is definitely worth trying as is fasting. I wouldn’t say either were appropriate for a normal weight person.
     
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  5. Arnie Pye

    Arnie Pye Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I suspect that food irradiation has something to do with declining gut bacteria diversity. I was surprised at how long the history of food irradiation has been - it was first patented in 1905.

    https://ccr.ucdavis.edu/food-irradiation/history-food-irradiation

    http://www.foodcomm.org.uk/campaigns/europe_and_the_uk/

    If we ate food that was fresh from the ground, bush, tree or vine and/or meat/fish that was completely fresh and untreated it would contains loads of bacteria. Washing and cooking would get rid of some bacteria, but presumably not all of it. But food which has been irradiated will never add anything to the diversity of gut bacteria we have because the bacteria have all been killed off. Taking loads of antibiotics will also reduce the populations of gut bacteria.

    I find it infuriating that companies sell probiotics which are carefully designed not to multiply so that people have to keep buying the products if they think they help. I understand why they do this, but that doesn't stop me being angry about it.
     
  6. arewenearlythereyet

    arewenearlythereyet Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I don’t understand this ...the only thing that’s irradiated in the uk are herbs and spices ...and that’s because you can’t heat treat them any other way without compromising them.

    Most fresh frozen or short life ambient food has a good loading of bacteria in it even when pasteurised. It’s only retorted (temperature under pressure) products that are sterilised...you can spot these quite easily since they are either in a can bottle or pouch and have a very long shelf life outside the fridge or freezer.

    No food apart from herbs and spices are irradiated. It may have been invented a long time ago ...that doesn’t mean it’s been adopted since then.

    The only thing apart from herbs and spices that are irradiated are some food packaging before they have food packed into them 99% of food in the uk isn’t as far as I’m aware? I may not be aware of as\n astronaught food supplier I suppose...but you should be ok in the uk and most of Europe.

    If you’ve seen the micro results from herbs and spices like I have you would want the irradiated ...lots of salmonella and worse I seem to recall.
     
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  7. Arnie Pye

    Arnie Pye Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Source : https://www.food.gov.uk/safety-hygiene/irradiated-food

    I realise that "may be irradiated" doesn't mean they necessarily are, but it is definitely allowed.
     
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  8. arewenearlythereyet

    arewenearlythereyet Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Yes but It isn’t widely used because it’s custom and practice to use existing food safety controls using heat (pasteurisation/sterilisation) gas flushing, salt, smoking freezing, chilling etc.

    I have worked with all those product areas and have never in 30 years seen any irradiation being used apart from the areas discussed and that’s normally after due diligence checks or positive release methods have failed to find an alternative.

    Just because the legislation calls out certain products doesn’t mean this is a blanket permission. The legislation is there to call out the exceptions not open the door for using it on all food. It clearly restricts the use of irradiation in food when other preservation alternatives are available.

    So in this context why would a manufacturer put in an expensive irradiation plant to replace a pasteuriser or freezer or whatever when you can only generally use it on a very few things due to the legislation?

    most own label contracts discourage their use on top of the discouragement from the law so that’s at least 50% of all food in the uk.

    But don’t take my word for it, all products that have been irradiated in the EU have to declare so on their packaging ..so have a look if your worried. It will be on the back of pack next to the ingredients panel. If it’s not there you are ok. :thumbup:
     
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  9. arewenearlythereyet

    arewenearlythereyet Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    If anyone is interested (I don’t blame you if you aren’t ) here is a link talking about the world of irradiation and the problems sourcing spices from the developing world ...insect eggs and salmonella the big ones ..probably due to differing food production standards that are difficult to enforce/cultivate from afar. (Faecal contamination from animals and humans is often a problem when things are dried in the open/sun). Basically anything travelling from the tropics by ship is a nightmare in terms of infestation and this needs to be carefully managed (lifecycle management etc)

    http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-pers...outbreak-may-spark-interest-irradiated-spices

    McCormick don’t use irradiation and use steam sterilisation for their spices (Schwartz brand)
     
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  10. Arnie Pye

    Arnie Pye Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    @arewenearlythereyet Thanks for all the info on irradiation of food. I obviously got the wrong end of the stick from things I saw on TV some years ago.
     
  11. arewenearlythereyet

    arewenearlythereyet Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    No worries sorry also for being food bore :cookie:
     
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