The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > General Questions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #51  
Old 03-15-2017, 01:48 PM
gigi gigi is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Flatlander in NH
Posts: 23,611
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjakucyk View Post
But see that's part of what we've been talking about. Might the thyroid hormones be what's making you want to eat too much?
I don't think so. Food has always been my greatest love so it's mostly emotional for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarmaChameleon
Here it is: You are in control of you, and that includes your mind and your body. But you are in control, and will learn what you need to learn, and then, if your spirit and soul are strong enough, YOU WILL TAKE CONTROL OF IT ALL.

If you will ignore that FACT, then "something else" will control ALL of YOU.

The ball is in your court now.
I'm happy that something works for you and that you are able to make a lifestyle change. But calling everything else "horse-crap" and essentially calling for will-power again (in different words, but the same idea) isn't helpful.
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #52  
Old 03-15-2017, 02:20 PM
manson1972 manson1972 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 2,923
Quote:
Originally Posted by doubleminus View Post
Unfortunately, the only thing that really works for long term obese people is bariatric surgery (gastric bypass). As much as I know, it is not really understood why this works, although a few of the hormones involved, neural pathways and feedback loops are known, and more are very intensively researched
I thought it worked by making the stomach smaller, thereby reducing the amount of food intake?
Reply With Quote
  #53  
Old 04-19-2017, 12:34 PM
Fotheringay-Phipps Fotheringay-Phipps is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
I had a related thought the other day. I've known various Holocaust survivors over the years - guys who've gone through concentration camps, not to mention various Nazi ghettos on starvation diets - and they've had a tendency to thinness. Certainly not in the other direction. And if there was anyone who metabolism you would think would have learned to slow down and become more efficient it would be these guys.

One of my kids suggested that because I've tended to know these people when they were old, it might be that they're not representative, in that the fatter people died off earlier. But we couldn't come up with anything else.
Reply With Quote
  #54  
Old 04-19-2017, 12:58 PM
Lumpy Lumpy is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota US
Posts: 15,235
Maybe for the rest of their lives they unconsciously "conserved food" like they never knew if or when there'd be more?
Reply With Quote
  #55  
Old 04-19-2017, 01:15 PM
md2000 md2000 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumpy View Post
Maybe for the rest of their lives they unconsciously "conserved food" like they never knew if or when there'd be more?
One of my nieces was a Korean orphan adopted at about age 2 or 3 (they don't know for sure). Even when she was 7 or 8 she was still in the habit of hiding food under her bed (where it would rot) an instinctive behavior learned at a very early age due to starvation. So I'd be inclined to think concentration camp survivors would probably be more inclined to worry about food for tomorrow than gorging today?

In "The Case Against Sugar" the author suggests that what foods you eat are probably more relevant to causing obesity that how many calories. (Guess what he blames for obesity?) He suggests that "all calories are equal" is a myth.

I know (anecdotal evidence again) I went from 235 to 208lb with the Atkins Diet when it was first a fad; but that could have been exacerbated by reduced caloric intake, since it was difficult to eat much following the diet, and it certainly eliminated a lot of snack opportunities. Of course I put it back on after. Cross country skiing 30km a weekend or hours rollerblading did not do much for my weight, nor did swimming a kilometer several times a week - my weight was pretty steady. On a recent vacation I went from 275 to 256lb simply because we eliminated snacks to a great extent, and tended to eat a lot less (share a Big Mac or a split a clubhouse dinner from rooms service); walking 20km to 30km a day also probably helped.
Reply With Quote
  #56  
Old 04-19-2017, 02:39 PM
ivylass ivylass is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fotheringay-Phipps View Post
I had a related thought the other day. I've known various Holocaust survivors over the years - guys who've gone through concentration camps, not to mention various Nazi ghettos on starvation diets - and they've had a tendency to thinness. Certainly not in the other direction. And if there was anyone who metabolism you would think would have learned to slow down and become more efficient it would be these guys.
Could their metabolism have been screwed up due to starvation?
Reply With Quote
  #57  
Old 04-19-2017, 06:20 PM
DSeid DSeid is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fotheringay-Phipps View Post
I had a related thought the other day. I've known various Holocaust survivors over the years - guys who've gone through concentration camps, not to mention various Nazi ghettos on starvation diets - and they've had a tendency to thinness. Certainly not in the other direction. And if there was anyone who metabolism you would think would have learned to slow down and become more efficient it would be these guys.

One of my kids suggested that because I've tended to know these people when they were old, it might be that they're not representative, in that the fatter people died off earlier. But we couldn't come up with anything else.
Possibly related, I don't know, but male Holocaust survivors tend to live longer than same aged peers.

Also possibly related is the impact on stress hormone levels of having survived the Holocaust and on their children.
Reply With Quote
  #58  
Old 04-19-2017, 07:02 PM
Sage Rat Sage Rat is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Howdy
Posts: 17,746
If obesity was caused by genetics, then there wouldn't be a discrepancy between different nations. Yet, if you go to countries like Japan, France, Germany, etc. you'll find that everyone is (what Americans would call) skinny, on the whole. Men and women do start to get a bit of a paunch when they get older, and certainly there are some people who are overweight when they are young, but the median is much lower than in the US and the percentage of people who are overweight is significantly less. You would be hard pressed to find someone who is morbidly obese.

There was a man named Daniel Lambert, at the end of the 18th century, who was famous throughout the UK for being morbidly obese. It was something quite exceptional. In today's America, it is generally not going to be hard to find many individuals of comparable shape. And while it may be that these people have a slower metabolism than the average, it would require a change to the laws of physics for someone to put on weight without consuming more energy than they expend. While it may be psychologically or even physically uncomfortable to reduce calorie intake, reduced calorie consumption will always be sufficient for losing weight.

It's difficult to lose weight via exercise. Running (i.e. jogging) for an hour consumes about 400 calories. That's just not a lot when a single candy bar is 300 calories or a small bag of chips is 160. American foods are amazingly calorie dense compared to their size and our portion sizes are, on average, probably double what you get in Europe and Japan at the minimum. Cutting back means ignoring half or more of everything on your plate at every single meal, including snacks. That's a lot more than most people are expecting when talking about "cutting back".

Recommended calories are also vastly different from what they probably should be. I believe that the target values are based on soldiers, from the 50s. These are physically active people in their prime. Your average person today, even if they exercise for an hour, simply isn't going to be anywhere near as active as your average soldier. And anyone over ~30 is going to see their metabolism slow down significantly (ergo, the paunch that we see in other nations), so the recommended rate would change again based on your age.

I eat probably 1/3rd to 1/2 of the recommended calorie intake and I'm struggling to keep my paunch from taking purchase. It's far better to pay attention to what your body is doing than to the recommended caloric intake (unless you have an eating disorder). Though, do pay attention to the vitamin requirements.
Reply With Quote
  #59  
Old 04-19-2017, 08:01 PM
DSeid DSeid is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sage Rat View Post
If obesity was caused by genetics, then there wouldn't be a discrepancy between different nations. ...
Full stop incorrect (barring the straw man position that obesity is exclusively caused by genetics).

What is clearly genetic is a relative resistance to and predisposition to obesity given an obesogenic environment.

This is not at all a controversial concept.

What environments are obesogenic, why, how that interacts with genetic, epigenetic, and endocrinologic factors, and how various countries are changing ... those are to me interesting questions.
Reply With Quote
  #60  
Old 04-19-2017, 09:10 PM
Sage Rat Sage Rat is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Howdy
Posts: 17,746
Quote:
Originally Posted by DSeid View Post
What is clearly genetic is a relative resistance to and predisposition to obesity given an obesogenic environment.

This is not at all a controversial concept.
My argument was that obesity is principally an environmental issue, with genetics playing a secondary role in determining how much that factors in to things.

Your argument would seem to be that obesity is genetic, given an environment that encourages obesity.

Outside of terminology and word order, I'm not seeing any meaningful difference between your argument nor mine, let alone making an outright rejection of mine.
Reply With Quote
  #61  
Old 04-20-2017, 07:29 AM
DSeid DSeid is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
The outright rejection was of the construction of the "if-then" argument: no, a discrepancy between countries does not mean that genetics does not play a role.

There are also other basic misstatements in that post - for example, no, standard recommended daily calorie intake tables/calculators are not based on soldiers from the '50s. Studies validating different estimated energy equations, which are then used to calculate predicted energy requirements for different individuals are based on a large body of research over many decades, often using indirect calorimetry. They factor in activity levels from sedentary to active. That said none of the formulae are perfect, far from it. They are extremely rough estimates which may be off in either direction for any individual. And individuals' calorie counts in the real world are notoriously inaccurate. Someone who claims that they are eating less than half of the recommended daily calorie intake are are still struggling to prevent their paunch from growing is more likely just doing a poor job calorie counting than actually burning less than half of the calories estimated by those formulae each day.

Another (inconsequential) misstatement - the median in Germany is roughly the same as in the U.S. with total adult overweight/obesity rates not so far off from each other. (There are though more Americans who are obese and morbidly so ...)

Yes we can agree that obesity is a result of both environment and genetics and more. As individuals we can only impact our (and our children's) personal environments.
Reply With Quote
  #62  
Old 04-20-2017, 09:50 AM
Tom Tildrum Tom Tildrum is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Falls Church, Va.
Posts: 12,722
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sage Rat View Post
If obesity was caused by genetics, then there wouldn't be a discrepancy between different nations. Yet, if you go to countries like Japan, France, Germany, etc. you'll find that everyone is (what Americans would call) skinny, on the whole. Men and women do start to get a bit of a paunch when they get older, and certainly there are some people who are overweight when they are young, but the median is much lower than in the US and the percentage of people who are overweight is significantly less. You would be hard pressed to find someone who is morbidly obese.
Indeed, income effects are likely to be involved. Food is much cheaper (pdf) in the US.
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:01 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2017 Sun-Times Media, LLC.