Tag Archives | Obesity

Could McDonald’s Replace Beef Burgers With Seitan? Would Anyone Notice?

Big MacNick Aster writes on triplepundit:

I sometimes like to write harebrained posts postulating some kind of zany idea. So here’s today’s:

I ate at an airport McDonald’s the other day for the first time in ages. It was at once delicious and disturbing. I looked at the beef. Was it really beef? I mean, seriously, it was definitely some kind of beef-flavored-matter, and the advertisement did say 100% beef. But as I walked off with that greasy post-McDonald’s flavor (that lasts for hours) in the mouth, I got to thinking: that patty was almost no different than the wheat or soy-based stuff used to make vegan food (seitan and so on).

I walked away 100% convinced that McDonald’s could replace all its beef with beef-flavored seitan and NO ONE would notice the difference. McDonald’s would save a fortune, health would be improved, and the carbon and resource footprint of McDonald’s would be massively slashed.

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The Woman Who Wants To Be World’s Fattest Closes In On 1,000 lb

To counterbalance the articles on this site bemoaning the increasing rates of obesity, here’s one from the Daily Mail (where else?) about Donna Simpson, the New Jersey woman who is already gargantuan and wants to become even fatter to set a new world record:

Donna Simpson already weighs 43st, but she is determined to nearly double her size to become the world’s fattest woman. The 42-year-old from New Jersey, U.S, is set on reaching the 1,000lb mark (71st) in just two years. Remarkably she insists she is healthy, despite now needing a mobility scooter when she goes shopping.

Donna Simpson already weighs 43 stone but is consuming an astonishing 12,000 calories a day in a quest to become the world’s fattest woman. ‘My favourite food is sushi, but unlike others I can sit and eat 70 big pieces of sushi in one go,’ she said. ‘I do love cakes and sweet things, doughnuts are my favourite.’

Donna, who wears XXXXXXXL dresses, eats mounds of junk food and tries to move as little as possible.

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Modern Food Is Changing Our Minds As Well As Our Bodies

David A. Kessler, a former commisioner at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, says our favorite foods are making us fat, yet we can’t resist, because eating them is changing our minds as well as bodies. It’s something the producers of the disinformation® documentary Killer At Large also discussed, but coming as it does from someone with as much credibility and influence as Mr. Kessler in his book The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite, perhaps we’ll actually start to listen to his advice, dispensed here in the Guardian:

For years I wondered why I was fat. I lost weight, gained it back, and lost it again – over and over and over. I owned suits in every size. As a former commissioner of the FDA (the US Food and Drug Administration), surely I should have the answer to my problems. Yet food held remarkable sway over my behaviour.

The latest science seemed to suggest being overweight was my destiny. I was fat because my body’s “thermostat” was set high. If I lost weight, my body would try to get it back, slowing down my metabolism till I returned to my predetermined set point.

But this theory didn’t explain why so many people, in the US and UK in particular, were getting significantly fatter. For thousands of years, human body weight had stayed remarkably stable. Millions of calories passed through our bodies, yet with rare exceptions our weight neither rose nor fell. A perfect biological system seemed to be at work. Then, in the 80s, something changed…

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NYC Schools Prohibit Sale of Home-Made Food and Allow Junk for Fundraising?!?

From NYC Green Schools:

Regulation A-812 prohibits home-baked foods from being sold at school fundraisers, while permitting Doritos and Pop-Tarts instead! Yes, this regulation mandates that if we want to raise money for our schools, we have to buy and sell junk food to our children!

VOICE YOUR OPPOSITION TO REGULATION A-812!

— Our schools cannot become venues for big food corporations, like Pepsi Cola and Kellogg’s to advertise and sell their processed foods to our children!

— Our children must not receive the message that junk food is healthier for them than foods cooked at home!

— We, as parents, must be allowed to participate in the discussion about our children’s health and nutrition!

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Childhood Obesity Linked To Heart Disease

One more reason not to let your kids eat junk food, drink soda and so forth (see the disinformation® documentary Killer At Large for more on that), reported by the BBC:

Obese children as young as three years old show signs of future heart disease, say US researchers.

A study of 16,000 children and teenagers showed the most obese had signs of an inflammatory marker which can predict future heart disease.

In all, 40% of obese three-to-five-year olds had raised levels of C-reactive protein compared with 17% of healthy weight children, Pediatrics reported. But more work is needed to prove the link with heart disease in later life. The study, carried out by a team at the University of North Carolina (UNC), looked at children aged one to 17.

Overall, nearly 70% were a healthy weight, 15% were overweight, 11% were obese and 3.5% were very obese. In the older age groups, the proportion of those in the very obese category with high levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) increased even further.

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Woman Says Her Love Handles Saved Her Life

Via AP via Yahoo News:

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ — A Florida woman said her love handles saved her life when she was shot entering an Atlantic City bar. Samantha Lynn Frazier said she heard two pops when she walked into Herman’s Place early Saturday. The 35-year-old then felt pain and saw blood on her hand after she grabbed her left side. Atlantic City police said Frazier was an innocent bystander.

Detective Lt. Charles Love said the gunman was aiming for a man who escaped with a bullet hole in his down jacket. The suspect remains at large.

Frazier told The Press of Atlantic City that ‘I could have been dead. They said my love handles saved my life.” Frazier also told the newspaper that she had been “hollering” that she wanted to lose weight. She now said “I want to be as big as I can if it’s going to stop a bullet.”

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Obesity? Big Feet? Blame Darwin

"A Venerable Orang-outang", a caricature of Charles Darwin as an ape published in The Hornet, a satirical magazine.From the Wall Street Journal:

Evolution, the theory goes, guarantees survival to the fittest. But we can blame evolution for some of today’s most pressing health problems, such as cancer, obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

A 2009 Gallup poll found that 44% of Americans believe that God created human beings in their present form within the past 10,000 years. Many of them also think the human body is perfectly designed.

But most scientists—including biologists, anthropologists, paleontologists and geneticists—see the 21st century human body as a collection of compromises, jury-rigged by evolution as our ancestors adapted to changing conditions.

“In many ways, we are maladapted for modernity,” says Stephen Stearns, a Yale evolutionary biologist. He and others in the field are urging medical schools to include more evolutionary thinking when teaching doctors about modern diseases.

For example, the immune system was honed to fight off epidemics like malaria and cholera, which proliferated along with urbanization.

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80% of Englishmen ‘Too Fat By 2020′

A shocking report from AFP shows that widespread obesity isn’t just an American problem:

Eight out of 10 men and nearly seven out of 10 women in England will be too fat by 2020, according to new data released Wednesday.

Researchers said that while recent research showed obesity among children levelling off, instances among adults show no sign of doing the same.

Some 41 percent of men aged 20 to 65 will be obese by 2020, with 40 percent overweight, according to the figures from the National Heart Forum, based on data from the Health Survey for England. That makes a total of 81 percent.

Among women, 36 percent will be obese and 32 percent overweight — a total of 68 percent.

By 2050, this will lead to sharp increases in the number of people suffering strokes, high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes, researchers said…

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Director Kevin Smith Thrown Off Oakland Flight Over Weight

Kevin SmithReports CBS13:

OAKLAND, Calif. ― A cult-favorite movie director has claimed that he was thrown off a Southwest Airlines flight out of Oakland due to a dispute over his weight.

Kevin Smith, the creator of movies like Clerks, Dogma, and the upcoming Cop Out, posted a series of angry, sarcastic messages on his Twitter feed (@ThatKevinSmith) blasting Southwest Airlines for allegedly throwing him off a flight at Oakland International Airport after he had already been seated and buckled in.

According to Smith, a flight attendant told him the flight captain had deemed him a safety risk and requested that he leave the flight.

“I broke no regulation, offered no ‘safety risk,’ (what, was I gonna roll on a fellow passenger?),” he wrote. “I’m way fat … But I’m not THERE just yet.”

Smith’s followers (numbering more than 1.6 million) flooded Twitter with support for the filmmaker and insults for Southwest Airlines’ official Twitter page.

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Star Wars Teams Up With… Ugh… McDonalds

Killer At LargeGreat commentary by Killer At Large producer Bryan Young, in the Examiner:

Perhaps I have a different perspective on this than a lot of people, but I’ll explain it and hopefully you’re all with me on this.

Star Wars is doing a Happy Meal promotion with McDonald’s for their Clone Wars series starting Februrary 26th. (More information on that here).  The 8 year old in me jumps for joy. The parent in me is filled with disappointment and disgust.  My kids aren’t allowed to eat food of such poor quality and now I’m going to have to tell them they can’t have these Star Wars toys because I refuse to buy them junk food.

I understand that this makes sense from a marketing perspective, but the problem is that marketing junk food to kids with beloved characters and properties like Star Wars is morally reprehensible.  I spent two years making a documentary about the American obesity epidemic called Killer at Large, and one of the things we found responsible for the sharp rise in overweight and obesity in today’s children is marketing directly to them to get them to nag for food and products that aren’t good for them (like McDonalds Happy Meals).

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