Tag Archives | Obesity

Death Row Inmate Too Fat to Die

The always-charming Nancy Grace profiles Ronald Post, a death row inmate seeking a stay of execution. Post, who weighs over 400 pounds, claims that the medical difficulties posed by his condition makes it likely that his execution would be “torturous.” While the AP points out that a stay of execution would also allow Post’s attorneys to pursue arguments that the inmate may have not actually confessed to the crimes he is accused of, Grace sidesteps this particular nuance in favor of her usual public stoning.

Continue Reading

A Third Of Homeless People Are Obese

Photo: David Dennis (CC)

Photo: David Dennis (CC)

How do homeless people have enough food to become obese? It seems something of a paradox, until you look at the processed junk they eat. Via CNN:

Obesity is a widespread epidemic, even among the homeless.

While the popularized image of a homeless individual is one of skin and bones, a new study shows the reality is not so. One in three (32.3%) homeless individuals in the United States is obese, highlighting a hunger-obesity paradox.

The paradox is that hunger and obesity can exist in the same person. And although a person may be overweight or obese, he or she can lack proper nutrition.

Nutrition is a daily challenge for homeless people, as the foods they manage to get are often full of preservatives and high in sodium, fats and sugars. They may not have access to healthier options like fresh fruits and vegetables.

“It’s the lowest socio-economic group who has the biggest obesity problem,” said Paul Montgomery, one of the authors of the study published in the Journal of Urban Health.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Sugar Shown To Be Toxic, Causing Cancer, Heart Disease

Although food activists have been warning for years of the dangers of the massive sugar overload in the American diet, and in particular the perils to our health from the ubiquitous High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), only now has the scientific research confirming their concerns become so compelling that the mainstream media is taking what was once a minority viewpoint seriously. The most remarkable thing about this “60 Minutes” investigation by celebrity doctor Sanjay Gupta is the short shrift given to the sugar industry’s right to reply. Gupta and CBS News dismiss the industry representative’s protest against the research summarily, essentially calling him out for having nothing of substance to say. Bravo Dr. Gupta!

You can read a transcript of the segment here.

Continue Reading

Do You Suffer From Nature-Deficit Disorder?

BachalpseeflowersTell me you don’t, I dare you… Timothy Egan explains why in the New York Times:

Your day breaks, your mind aches for something stimulating to match the stirrings of the season. The gate at the urban edge is open, here to the Santa Catalina Mountains, and yet you turn inward, to pixels and particle-board vistas.

Something’s amiss. A third of all American adults — check, it just went up to 35.7 percent — are obese. The French don’t even have a word for fat, Paul Rudnick mused in a mock-Parisian tone in The New Yorker last week. “If a woman is obese,” he wrote, “we simply call her American.”

And, of course, our national branding comes with a host of deadly side effects: heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, certain kinds of cancer. Medical costs associated with obesity and inactivity are nearly $150 billion a year.

This grim toll is well known.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Carbon Dioxide Makes You Fat

So sayeth some Danish scientists, as reported in Science Nordic:

No, this is not 1 April — and this is not an April Fool’s hoax. Mad as it may sound, Danish researchers have announced a theory that may not only explain why people all over the world are getting fatter and fatter, but also warn of the serious consequences for life on Earth of continued pollution of the atmosphere by CO2 emissions. In itself, the theory is quite simple: CO2 contributes to making us fat.

Continue Reading

How The Food Industry Eats Your Kid’s Lunch

fries ketchupLucy Komisar, who contributed the essay “Dirty Money and Global Banking Secrecy” to the disinformation anthology Everything You Know Is Wrong, contributes a major op-ed to this Sunday’s New York Times:

An increasingly cozy alliance between companies that manufacture processed foods and companies that serve the meals is making students — a captive market — fat and sick while pulling in hundreds of millions of dollars in profits. At a time of fiscal austerity, these companies are seducing school administrators with promises to cut costs through privatization. Parents who want healthier meals, meanwhile, are outgunned.

Each day, 32 million children in the United States get lunch at schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program, which uses agricultural surplus to feed children. About 21 million of these students eat free or reduced-price meals, a number that has surged since the recession. The program, which also provides breakfast, costs $13.3 billion a year.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Denmark Becomes First Nation With Tax On Fat In Food

5e75127e132dd772d5690399b691a022Is Denmark’s new fat tax a just response to the societal problems caused by obesity? Or is it sweet, buttery tyranny? Via the BBC:

Denmark has introduced what is believed to be the world’s first fat tax – a surcharge on foods that are high in saturated fat. Butter, milk, cheese, pizza, meat, oil and processed food are now subject to the tax if they contain more than 2.3% saturated fat.

Some consumers began hoarding to beat the price rise, while some producers call the tax a bureaucratic nightmare.

Danish officials say they hope the new tax will help limit the population’s intake of fatty foods.

However, some scientists think saturated fat may be the wrong target. They say salt, sugar and refined carbohydrates are more detrimental to health and should be tackled instead.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Marijuana Munchies Won’t Make You Fat

Three hash cakes made with hashish from different Amsterdam coffee shops.

Three hash cakes made with hashish from different Amsterdam coffee shops.

Thanks to some fearless French researchers, we now know that you have nothing to fear from an attack of the munchies, reports Reuters:

Anybody who’s smoked marijuana knows about “the munchies,” that desire to eat everything within reach. But a study from France has found that, surprisingly, pot smokers are actually less likely than non-smokers to pack on weight.

Using data covering more than 50,000 U.S. adults, researchers headed by Yann Le Strat, a psychiatrist at the Louis-Mourier Hospital in Colombes, France, found that roughly 14 percent to 17 percent of the people reporting that they smoked pot at least three days per week were obese.

That compared with a 22 to 25 percent obesity rate among people who said they had not used pot in the past 12 months.

“Initially, we thought we made a mistake,” said Le Strat, adding that he and co-author Bernard Le Foll checked the results several times to make sure they were correct.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Kids’ Weight Loss Book Sparks Protests

alg_maggie-goes-on-a-dietIt seems everyday there’s a new statistic about which country is fighting obesity, how school lunches and fast food restaurants are offering “healthy” options, and other stories about reducing the weight problem of current and future generations. But a new book about a fourteen years old girl going on a diet has sparked controversy. Discovery News reports:

An upcoming children’s book with the seemingly noninflammatory title “Maggie Goes on a Diet” is causing a firestorm of protest.

According to the book’s description on Amazon.com, “This inspiring story is about a 14-year-old who goes on a diet and is transformed from being overweight and insecure to a normal sized teen who becomes the school soccer star. Through time, exercise and hard work, Maggie becomes more and more confident and develops a positive self-image.”

You’d think that with one-third of American kids overweight or obese, and children experiencing unprecedented weight-related health problems including diabetes, a book about a girl losing weight and gaining self-esteem would be welcomed.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Half of U.S. Adults Obese By 2030

Silhouettes and waist circumferences representing normal, overweight, and obese

Silhouettes and waist circumferences representing normal, overweight, and obese

When I mentioned this to my friend across the room she said, “I thought they already were…”

From the Washington Post:

Based on trends, half of the adults in the United States will be obese by 2030 unless the government makes changing the food environment a policy priority, according to a report released Thursday on the international obesity crisis in the British medical journal the Lancet.

Those changes include making healthful foods cheaper and less-healthful foods more expensive largely through tax strategies, the report said. Changes in the way foods are marketed would also be called for, among many other measures.

A team of international public health experts argued that the global obesity crisis will continue to grow worse and add substantial burdens to health-care systems and economies unless governments, international agencies and other major institutions take action to monitor, prevent and control the problem.

Read the rest

Continue Reading