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Old 09-04-2006, 07:23 PM   #1
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Global Obesity

I've just answered a white vs brown rice post in which an author made what seemed to be an off-the-cuff comment... which was very relevant.
Whilst not wanting to get "serious" in this wonderful forum, I think our next challenge as foodies/ chefs/wannabe chefs/ gourmets/ parents is here:

I'd like to hear some thoughts on this. As a former smoker, I quit in 1997, just in time to avoid the healthy H-bombs blasted at "innocent" smokers.
I wonder if as much interest would be raised by the Al-Quaeda Obesity Liquuidation Lobby? Is there one? The problem is FAR more serious than smoking, guys...


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Old 09-04-2006, 07:42 PM   #2
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I'm confused with regards to your question and the link. The link refers to obesity, and your question is about smokers.

I'll just address both. First of all when smokers quit, they sometimes eat more.

Second, in school lunch programs, at least here in the states, they are trying to revamp and make things healthier...ie, no soda, no junk food in the vending machines, healthier options if kids eat at school, though I prefer to send my lunch rather than having my child buy school lunch.

Hope that answers your question.

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Old 09-04-2006, 10:51 PM   #3
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I think the definition of malnutrition needs to be far more encompassing in popular understanding Clive. Those who are clinically under or over weight are mal-nourished. I find the sight of a plate overloaded with food, impossible to eat generally, as distressing as the sight of stick thin children shown on fund raising ads., staring vacantly at the TV camera. Is this problem of distribution a political one? I believe it quite often is. Zimbabwe used to be a power house of productivity, but since the farmers have been driven from the land they have been food importers. And the same thing goes in many countries. It is either palaces or poverty. Terrible waste or desperate want.

But it is a very complex problem isn't it. Developed countries also cop it both ways. Social engineering has a lot to answer for. A good healthy weight is considered by many to be overweight, and we have young, and sometimes old people starving themselves to death in increasing numbers. Even the male of the species seems vulnerable now, and young men have been joining the ranks of the "model thin". I think these very thin models look just awful. And yet the 'look' is pushed unceasingly. Perhaps people are getting more obsessive, look how food fads sweep whole countries, silly diets and so on.

So where to start with the malnourished. The eco/political thing doesn't seem to work, neither does common sense with the 85 lb wisp. I could go on about the parents of some infants who feed them fat free milk, and if they don't die, turn them into made up tiny beauty queens. Insanity.

I guess the question about malnourishment (in western countries) is why are we so obsessed. With food, with weight, with fads, with magic bullets. Why do we eat such corrupt food, instead of whole foods with real tastes. It appears no matter which country we look at, there is dietary disaster ready to engulf us. I could go on about food marketing etc. a huge subject. But, I shall spare you. (Vast supermarkets, and the opposite, food deserts for an example).

PS. I remain a smoker Clive, it gives me something to argue about.

I suppose
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Old 09-04-2006, 11:05 PM   #4
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Not long after I started my kids in public school, I noticed not only that they were getting fat, but they were showing signs of behavioral problems and were, frequently, sick. I pulled them out and started homeschooling them. We grow almost all of our own food, organically. They are now healthy, slim, and fairly well-behaved (for teenagers)

And I still smoke, too.
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Old 09-05-2006, 12:13 AM   #5
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wow, 2 great posts, and then you both blew it, ellen and gayle.

cancer or emphysema and the complications thereof are just around your well educated and otherwise physically fit corners. hopefully, you'll be one of the less than 1% of people who are genetically unaffected by carcinogens. (all smokers have decreased lung capacity, no matter who you are.)

i find it interesting (incredible actually) that you don't trust public education or food programs, but don't have a problem with the tobacco industry. it'd be like eating food you know was injected with carcinogens and addictive compounds. but because of the addiction, you turn a blind eye.

if you grow and smoke your own, then i apologize for misunderstanding.

sorry to hijack the thread clive. now back to fat people, of which i am becoming one because of all of the things i've learned here.
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Old 09-05-2006, 02:43 AM   #6
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Mylegisbig, I am sorry, I know two people who have died from smoking marijuana. One was 17 and had an allergy. He died within minutes. I understand this is more common than generally accepted. The other was just about the most beautiful looking man I ever knew. He developed a canibis psychosis and commited suicide in his early twenties. I have meny, many friends who smoke it though. Many this leads me to have faith in the statistic that 1 in 4 canibis users will develop some form of mental illness, most commonly depression. If you ask me this statistic is conservative. Of all the drugs I find this the most dangerous because of its perceived innocuosity. If people want to use it thats fine by me, so long as they know and understand and accept the risks.

Sorry Clive, back to obesity.

Yes. Its a killer. And our attitudes are so mixed up. Both Husband and I have had eating disorders as teenagers. He was anorexic (thankfully a brief period, resolved by love of food and growing up) I was bulemic and a "compulsive exerciser". The really sad thing is I seriously damaged my metabolism during this period. When I developed a serios illness, about four years ago, my metabolism could no longer cop, and I more than doubled my body weight in a matter of months. So, I have seen it from both sides.

Packeted, highly processed food, is, in my opinion, addictive. I seriously limit what is in our home. Generally if we are going to have cake/biscuits/burgers whatever: I make it. At least that way I no what is in it and can make allowances in the rest of my diet. Despite food labelling, I never really feel I can equate it to the rest of the food in my life, so its easier for me to home make as well. But is a whole lifestyle issue. Its not just what we put in, it is our out put, so to speak. Our dependence on cars, and our "time is money" lifestyle, imposed by economic pressure, means we are often almost forced to make quick options, (car instead of walking for groceries, and school runs). I just can't see that changing anytime soon.
Personally, I look at the designer clothes I used to be given for smart events and smile but I don't even want to be that thin again. My husband found me more attractive at a "normal" healthy weight. I just want to, as mylegisbig says, move around with out breathing heavy. I want to feel fit and strong and that I can rely on my body to get me through the demands of the day. If I have children I want them to eat wholesomely, healthily and with pleasure and prudence in equal measure. I only hope that the abuse I put my body through in my teens and early twenties to conform to what I thought society wanted of me has not permanantly damaged my body's mechanisms and that this is possible.

Fat IS gross, but we know that. What are we going to do about it is the question?
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Old 09-05-2006, 03:10 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by lulu
One was 17 and had an allergy. He died within minutes.
Care to cite a peer reviewed medical study on death due to cannibus allergies? I'm interested. If it happened to your friend surely its happened to others. Perhaps a newspaper clipping detailing the death?
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Old 09-05-2006, 03:14 AM   #8
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"Many this leads me to have faith in the statistic that 1 in 4 canibis users will develop some form of mental illness, most commonly depression."

These days they say everyone is depressed.

Apparently, 15% of people are depressed in the united states.

source: www.fda.gov
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Old 09-05-2006, 03:29 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by lulu
Of all the drugs I find this the most dangerous because of its perceived innocuosity.
You think Marijuana is the most dangerous drug?

Do a little reading.

The Journal of the American Medical Association, Jan. 19, 2005, Vol. 293, No. 3, p. 298, reported on the leading causes of death in the United States:
  • Tobacco (435,000 deaths)
  • Alcohol consumption (85,000 deaths)
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Old 09-05-2006, 04:17 AM   #10
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You know my problem with obesity is that there isnt enough information. Sure every doc will tell you

Eat better
Excersize more..

But there are different types of obsesity and that is where the medical profession and the nutritionist fail us. There is the people who eat and dont excersize and gain weight.... there are the ones that diet excersize do everything and gain weight This is due to an underlying medical issue like thyroids hormones and metabolism. I dont think we consider this option. I think society is too quick to say "your fat loose weight" and we dont realize wait a sec maybe there is something wrong.

This is where i feel the medical society needs to pipe in. In england we are giving kids LIPOSUCTION- Yes thats right we are putting childern under the knife rather then looking at what is actually the problem. We all know kids are active etc there is no reason to be putting them under the knife.

As chefs/foodies/parents/family members we have a responsibility especially to children to insure they are eating correctly. Why are chefs putting fatty foods on their childrens menu????

personally its like selling alchol to a minor you wouldnt do it, so why give them bad food. On my kids menu i have things like curry but i dont offer chips, I have pizza on a pita bread with salad. You would be surprised how many parent thank me for that!

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