New take on obesity

An interesting read / take on obesity.  The author, Berreby, cites some studies that provide some greater context about how obesity is likely more than genetics of human origin, has some genesis in the everyday chemicals/compounds in our food stream, and the incessant scream of western capitalistic media & 24hr food availability.

The Obesity Era
As the American people got fatter, so did marmosets, vervet monkeys and mice. The problem may be bigger than any of us’…

Missing are maybe some key insights about climate change (earlier spring & later winters, competitor dieoff) [see Flannery’s take on climate change] contributing to bigger animals and perhaps the entry to our food stream of things like high fructose corn syrup which corresponds nicely to a start of the current obesity epidemic. ALso, the fact that a virus (AD-36, also reported as ADV-36 in most peer reviewed literature) may be a cofactor. Maybe, this also suggests that a vaccine (cool- just what we all need, more vaccinations) has been in development (search “ADV-36” “virus””patents”). This virus- more active when, or contributing to, immune inflammatory responses (Na & Nam, appears associated with respiratory infections & targets various tissues associated with adipose (fat) cells.

Key Pts
1. A report by the consulting firm McKinsey & Co predicted in May 2012 that ‘health and wellness’ would soon become a trillion-dollar global industry.

2….it’s obvious who is to blame for this frightening global blanket of lipids: it’s us, choosing over and over again, billions of times a day, to eat too much and exercise too little.

3.The personal choice theory & big government’s response: Michael Bloomberg, recently put it, defending his proposed ban on large cups for sugary drinks: ‘If you want to lose weight, don’t eat. This is not medicine, it’s thermodynamics. If you take in more than you use, you store it.’

4. The alternative ‘no personal responsibility’ theory: Yet the scientists who study the biochemistry of fat and the epidemiologists who track weight trends are not nearly as unanimous as Bloomberg makes out. In fact, many researchers believe that personal gluttony and laziness cannot be the entire explanation for humanity’s global weight gain.

‘The previous belief of many lay people and health professionals that obesity is simply
     the result of a lack of willpower and an inability to discipline eating habits is no longer 
     defensible.’’ Berraby

‘Virtually in every population of animals we looked at, that met our criteria, there
was the 
same upward trend,’ David Allison, biostatistician at U Alabama, Birmingham

5. Yet a number of researchers have come to believe, as Wells himself wrote earlier this year in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, that ‘all calories are not equal’. The problem with diets that are heavy in meat, fat or sugar is not solely that they pack a lot of calories into food; it is that they alter the biochemistry of fat storage and fat expenditure, tilting the body’s system in favour of fat storage. Wells notes, for example, that sugar, trans-fats and alcohol have all been linked to changes in ‘insulin signalling’, which affects how the body processes carbohydrates. This might sound like a merely technical distinction. In fact, it’s a paradigm shift: if the problem isn’t the number of calories but rather biochemical influences on the body’s fat-making and fat-storage processes, then sheer quantity of food or drink are not the all-controlling determinants of weight gain. If candy’s chemistry tilts you toward fat, then the fact that you eat it at all may be as important as the amount of it you consume.

We are, of course, surrounded by industrial chemicals. According to Frederick vom Saal, professor of biological sciences at the University of Missouri, an organic compound called bisphenol-A (or BPA) that is used in many household plastics has the property of altering fat regulation in lab animals.