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  #101  
Old 02-25-2020, 10:48 AM
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So if it’s so easy why do studies show that the vast majority of people who lose weight gain it back plus more?

You can call it simple like a mathematical equation, but to lose weight you aren’t just applying a mathematical equation, you are fighting your body every step of the way.

Do you really think all the obese people in the world remain obese simply because they haven’t been given the right motivation Or they don’t want it hard enough?

Every moment of every day an obese person gets the message that E is unattractive or assumed to be lazy or stupid, discriminated against socially and professionally. How much more motivation or message do you think is required?

And on top of that, losing weight is not the only thing that people have to deal with on a day to day basis. Life is demanding and stressful. For many people, every moment of that stress makes your body and mind demand food.

Maybe if there were only one obese person in the world you might be excuse for thinking that it’s all down to the moral or motivational failing of that individual but look at the overall picture. By and large, people don’t stop being obese, except for a small proportion of exceptions.

Everyone has to eat every day. The bigger a person you are, the more calories you need to keep going on a day to day basis. Your body and mind fight you every step of the way.

And there are entire economic systems set up to make us want to make bad eating choices. Advertising, the food chemistry Industrial complex.

On top of that studies show that dieting literally makes you stupider. If you work in a creative or mentally taxing job, your body will demand calories to keep your mind in form.

My close friend’s ex-wife even got baryatric surgery, which Is a drastic step to take. Among their acquaintances eight of them had it. Seven of them eventually gained all the weight back. The eighth committed suicide.

Look at movie stars. They spend fortunes or hiring armies of people to keep them in top shape. How may regular people have the time or resources for that?
People regain weight because they stop doing what they were doing to lose it.

Nutrition education honestly sucks in the US, and probably isn't great in most other countries (we're not the only nation getting fatter, and we aren't the fattest nation as it is). People aren't taught how to lose weight in a healthy, sustainable way. Rather, you see shit like, "Try the new cabbage soup diet!" or "Do this smoothie diet for 30 days and lose 12 lbs!" Diets that mostly only result in lost water retention, or if you do happen to lose an actual lb or two, you'll regain it after switching back. People generally don't understand the concept that you need to KEEP eating less if you want to weigh less. You just teach yourself how to do so gradually. Instead, everyone wants an instant change they don't have to keep up with.

Hollywood stars have to be in the BEST shape for many of their roles. Society as a whole doesn't need to be super muscular (I'm not knocking it, but it also isn't absolutely necessary). I went from 200 lbs to 120 lbs in about 2 and a half years. I didn't have a dietician, a trainer - hell, I didn't even go to the gym or otherwise work out. I lost my weight while having the least extra spending money, because I SAVED money not buying so much.

Gaining weight back after bariatric surgery is sadly common. Once more, this is because people return to their previous habits, rather than stick to eating within a healthy calorie allotment.

Gonna need a cite for your claim that being creative requires extra calories, much less an amount that would lead to friggin' obesity (btw, for reference, being pregnant only requires an increase of about 400 calories a day).

Yes, the TALLER you are, the more calories you need to remain at a healthy weight. If you're obese, however, you need to cut down on those calories. Saying, "I'm bigger, so I need more!" is a pretty dumb point to make when you're obviously overeating. The average man needs maybe 2000-2500 calories, so a pretty tall man who is athletic or has a VERY physical job MAY need 3000 or 3200. You don't need 4k+ calories because you shop the Big 'n' Tall section.

A lot of what you're describing regarding how challenging it is to lose weight isn't incorrect. Yes, it can be very difficult. Food addiction and binge eating disorders are a real thing. Being obese doesn't mean you're a lazy or unmotivated person. None of that means the solution isn't a simple concept: You burn through weight when you stop giving your body so much unnecessary fuel. It's insanely simple, yet very difficult to do. You have to hold yourself accountable, something so, so many people struggle with, yet still forgive yourself if you mess up. You have to work hard, without becoming obsessive. I'd 100% recommend people who are working on losing weight to see a dietician if possible, and a therapist for any mental struggles they may have. Also to seek out communities that educate and encourage others to lose weight in a healthy way. r/loseit is one really good example.
  #102  
Old 02-25-2020, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Acsenray View Post
So if it’s so easy why do studies show that the vast majority of people who lose weight gain it back plus more?

You can call it simple like a mathematical equation, but to lose weight you aren’t just applying a mathematical equation, you are fighting your body every step of the way.

Do you really think all the obese people in the world remain obese simply because they haven’t been given the right motivation Or they don’t want it hard enough?
It is simple. It's just not easy. It's like standing on one side of the Grand Canyon and saying that in order to reach the other side you only have to walk a few miles forward. It's a simple solution that's incredibly difficult to implement if you intend to do so by walking. When it comes to weight loss, the easy tricks (the equivalent of taking a helicopter across) tend not to work in the long term. So we're left with having to do it the hard way, and for most people they end up not being successful due to the difficulty of the task.
  #103  
Old 02-26-2020, 05:35 PM
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People regain weight because they stop doing what they were doing to lose it.
And that happens because your body doesn't want you to keep doing what you were doing. It is mentally and physically exhausting to continually fight what your body and mind is telling you what it needs and wants. It's a fight that the vast majority of people are going to lose.

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Gonna need a cite for your claim that being creative requires extra calories
Being creative doesn't require extra calories. It's the opposite--being on a diet, that is, consuming calories at a level that would result in weight loss--impairs your mental acuity. What is dieting? It is putting your body in starvation mode, so that it starts consuming stored fat. Your body doesn't like being in starvation mode. One of the effects of the body going into panic mode thinking its starving is that your mental faculties are impaired. That also means that your ability to make rational decisions are impaired, which, ironically impairs your ability to make decisions that keep you on your diet.

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If you're obese, however, you need to cut down on those calories. Saying, "I'm bigger, so I need more!" is a pretty dumb point to make when you're obviously overeating.
You are overeating in the sense that you are consuming more calories than you need to expend in a day. I'm not talking about how many calories you need to remain alive. I'm talking about how much food your body demands, in the form of hunger and desire--bigger bodies demand more food, regardless of whether that's in line with calories in/calories out equilibrium.

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None of that means the solution isn't a simple concept
Recognizing it as a simple concept is of almost no value to actually making it work.

And, relevant to the question asked by the OP, thinking about the "best message" is an essentially useless exercise. It's not the lack of a message that is the problem.
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Last edited by Acsenray; 02-26-2020 at 05:35 PM.
  #104  
Old 02-27-2020, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Acsenray View Post
And that happens because your body doesn't want you to keep doing what you were doing. It is mentally and physically exhausting to continually fight what your body and mind is telling you what it needs and wants. It's a fight that the vast majority of people are going to lose.
Your body certainly does not want you stuffing it with endless amount of carbs, sugars and unhealthy fats. The life-reducing effects of obesity should really be enough to speak to that.

Sure, limiting what you eat to a healthy amount can be frustrating. I've certainly never said otherwise. New habits take about 4-6 weeks to kick in, though, and things absolutely get easier from then on. The problem is that most people don't keep up healthy eating for that long. Instead they wrestle with drastically low amounts of food and give up within a week or two, because what they are attempting is non-sustainable. Lots of people would be able to lose weight if they understood that slow but steady progress is the only way to succeed.


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Being creative doesn't require extra calories. It's the opposite--being on a diet, that is, consuming calories at a level that would result in weight loss--impairs your mental acuity. What is dieting? It is putting your body in starvation mode, so that it starts consuming stored fat. Your body doesn't like being in starvation mode. One of the effects of the body going into panic mode thinking its starving is that your mental faculties are impaired. That also means that your ability to make rational decisions are impaired, which, ironically impairs your ability to make decisions that keep you on your diet.
"Starvation mode" isn't actually a thing until, y'know, you're starving. Making yourself live on a heathy 2000 calories a day (if you're a relatively active average-height woman or slightly less active average height man) is not putting your body through "starvation mode", regardless of whether you're used to eating 4000 calories or more than that. Maybe you'll be a bit crabby because you're used to eating more sugar, or maybe you're legit addicted to food, which pretty much guarantees the need for a therapist. But your average person will be just fine cutting back on the calories and eating better foods.

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You are overeating in the sense that you are consuming more calories than you need to expend in a day. I'm not talking about how many calories you need to remain alive. I'm talking about how much food your body demands, in the form of hunger and desire--bigger bodies demand more food, regardless of whether that's in line with calories in/calories out equilibrium.
TALLER bodies demand more calories. PHYSICALLY ACTIVE bodies demand more calories. If you're a 5'4 woman and 300 lbs, the last thing you need is to reassure yourself that you need to consistently eat 3000+ calories a day because you're big. Why are you big? Gee, probably because you got into the habit of eating 3000+ calories a day!

I feel like you're soooooo close to getting this, but fall short right at the end.

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Recognizing it as a simple concept is of almost no value to actually making it work.
Untrue. Being simple doesn't mean it's easy to do, but more people would be willing to give it a try if they understood how simple the process really is. Not everyone will succeed the first time they try, but the more you try, the more likely you are to finally get it to stick. The same is true for someone trying to quite any other form of addiction. Except food is often harder because you still have to eat every day.
  #105  
Old 02-27-2020, 09:36 AM
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Untrue. Being simple doesn't mean it's easy to do, but more people would be willing to give it a try if they understood how simple the process really is. Not everyone will succeed the first time they try, but the more you try, the more likely you are to finally get it to stick. The same is true for someone trying to quite any other form of addiction. Except food is often harder because you still have to eat every day.
If you're right, then you could make a killing by making a system, marketing it, and then it would spread like wildfire because of how successful it would be.

That no one has succeeded in this so far makes me suspect that you're wrong. But if you think you're right, then you're leaving millions of dollars on the table by not making this happen.

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 02-27-2020 at 09:36 AM.
  #106  
Old 02-27-2020, 09:57 AM
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If you're right, then you could make a killing by making a system, marketing it, and then it would spread like wildfire because of how successful it would be.

That no one has succeeded in this so far makes me suspect that you're wrong. But if you think you're right, then you're leaving millions of dollars on the table by not making this happen.
What works, and what is commercially appealing, are two entirely different things.
  #107  
Old 02-27-2020, 10:16 AM
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Your body certainly does not want you stuffing it with endless amount of carbs, sugars and unhealthy fats.
Of course it does. Throughout almost all of human evolution, the danger wasn't getting too much of carbs, sugars, and fats; it was getting not enough carbs, sugars, and fats. While a healthy system will indeed recognize satiation, so that 'endless amounts' won't come into it -- and they don't for fat people either, very few of us are eating every waking minute -- hundreds of millions of years of evolution are indeed telling our systems that carbs, sugars, and fats in general are very good things to eat, and we'd better get them while we've got the chance.

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"Starvation mode" isn't actually a thing until, y'know, you're starving.
Your conscious mind knows the difference between 'I am losing weight, but this isn't dangerous because there is and will continue to be plenty of food available' and 'I am losing weight and this means I'm in danger of starvation.' The rest of your system has no way of telling the difference.
  #108  
Old 02-27-2020, 10:24 AM
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We should probably first answer the question: "What message would cause activity levels to skyrocket?". Just like obesity has health risks, so does being sedentary. Engaging in regular exercise provides many health benefits, as well as reversing many of the negative effects of obesity. It's recommended that people engage in about 180 minutes per week of activity, which could even be simple things like going for a walk. Yet many people won't even make that minimum amount of effort to better their health. This should be an easier problem to solve since exercise doesn't have continual urges to fight like diet does.

So then why are most people sedentary? Why are people resistant to even go on a daily 30-minute walk which will provide significant health benefits? Pretty much everyone can understand how hard it is to resist food urges and why people give in to them, but then why can't people motivate themselves to engage in even minimum levels of exercise? If we can't get people to commit to the simple task of regular exercise, then it's unlikely people will be able to follow through with the much harder effort of losing weight.

Along those lines, I feel that creating the structure for regular exercise can help with creating the structure for changing diet. By overcoming that urge to sit on the couch and instead engage in activity, it can help create a pattern of overcoming urges in general. That may help the person deal with other urges, like food cravings when they diet. So I guess the conclusion I have is that the message of increasing exercise would help reduce obesity rates. Even if the exercise itself provides minimal weight loss, the habits it creates will make it easier to follow through with the hard steps it takes to lose weight.
  #109  
Old 02-27-2020, 10:27 AM
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Your body certainly does not want you stuffing it with endless amount of carbs, sugars and unhealthy fats.
You're not getting something here. Our bodies have these systems that tell us we want food. It's hunger/appetite/craving. It affects your entire body and your mind. It affects your decision-making ability, your mood, how you feel.

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The life-reducing effects of obesity should really be enough to speak to that.
Your body's systems are not built on a rational analysis of optimum health. Your body doesn't know that obesity is bad for you. It just wants things.

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Sure, limiting what you eat to a healthy amount can be frustrating.
The use of the word "frustrating" here seems to reflect a misunderstanding of the severity of the response. Your body is designed to hold onto weight and gain weight, not to lose weight. When you are applying the rational calculations of calories to reduce weight, you are fighting your body. That's at a level far different than "frustrating."

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The problem is that most people don't keep up healthy eating for that long.
And why don't they? The fact that "most people" don't do it should be a sign that there is something fundamental about the human makeup that is being misunderstood here. Again, the OP's idea that what is needed is the "right message" utterly fails to understand the fundamental nature of the problem.

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But your average person will be just fine cutting back on the calories and eating better foods.
If people would be "just fine" doing this, you wouldn't see most people failing to do this.

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I feel like you're soooooo close to getting this, but fall short right at the end.
And I feel like you're not getting this at all. The very fact that so few people apply this simple formula successfully should show you that your approach is inadequate.

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Untrue. Being simple doesn't mean it's easy to do, but more people would be willing to give it a try if they understood how simple the process really is.
People get this message every single freaking day. Being told it's simple over and over again actually makes it harder to do.

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Except food is often harder because you still have to eat every day.
And because your body is constantly telling you it wants to eat things. And those wants have no relation to necessary calorie calculations.
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  #110  
Old 02-27-2020, 10:29 AM
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the conclusion I have is that the message of increasing exercise would help reduce obesity rates.
But - this message has existed for decades and decades. It's been featured on countless signs, put on numerous websites, the subject of countless publications. You could put a sign "increased exercise reduces fat" every 500 feet in America and it likely would not change the obesity rate substantially at all.
  #111  
Old 02-27-2020, 10:33 AM
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What works, and what is commercially appealing, are two entirely different things.
Anything that "works" for millions would be commercially appealing. If there was a method that average people, with average abilities and average willpower, could be successful with, to lose unwanted weight and maintain this desired weight, then it would be massively "commercially appealing".
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Old 02-27-2020, 10:44 AM
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But - this message has existed for decades and decades. It's been featured on countless signs, put on numerous websites, the subject of countless publications. You could put a sign "increased exercise reduces fat" every 500 feet in America and it likely would not change the obesity rate substantially at all.
I totally agree. I'm not sure what the message should be which would drastically change activity levels. But if we can't even figure out the message for the simpler problem of increasing exercise, solving the more complex problem of diet is even more unlikely. So rather than starting with solving the hard problem of diet, let's start with the easier problem of increasing exercise.
  #113  
Old 02-27-2020, 10:50 AM
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I totally agree. I'm not sure what the message should be which would drastically change activity levels. But if we can't even figure out the message for the simpler problem of increasing exercise, solving the more complex problem of diet is even more unlikely. So rather than starting with solving the hard problem of diet, let's start with the easier problem of increasing exercise.
Actually, let's start from the point that the problem is not fundamentally a messaging problem. If you really want to be effective, you have to look at the big picture.

And the big picture is that America has an obesity problem in large part because the structure of society, transportation, work, infrastructure, food production, industry, advertising, technology, etc., are all pushing people in a direction that leads to obesity.

You can't solve a public health problem like obesity by targeting only the individual people who are obese. You have to remake the entire society. Because it was a remaking of society that caused the problem in the first place.
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Last edited by Acsenray; 02-27-2020 at 10:51 AM.
  #114  
Old 02-27-2020, 12:37 PM
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It's been mentioned repeatedly at this point, but the assumption that a simple message is sufficient is flawed.

Try a different question: What message would it take to make kids stop having sex before turning 18 (or whatever age)?

If you believe such a message even exists or is effective, you are starting from several false premises.

Last edited by Great Antibob; 02-27-2020 at 12:37 PM.
  #115  
Old 02-27-2020, 02:07 PM
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Of course your body knows obesity is bad for it - yet again, this is why obesity leads to so many life-shortening conditions. This is how your body tells you, "Hey, something is NOT right." I'm really not sure how to explain it in any more simple terms than that. Your body doesn't WANT anything, because your body is a meat-filled skin suit. You yourself decide what you're putting into it, and it makes due as much as possible, whether it grows to be obese due to calorie over-consumption, or it dwindles down into skin and bones due to under-consumption. But you really can't, with an ounce of rationality, argue with me that obesity does not lead to an increase in health problems, OR that people are incapable of making rational decisions concerning what they eat. People are very much capable; there is even an organization of people who have lost weight and kept it off to prove it. What it comes down to is whether or not someone has the determination/motivation and education to make a lifestyle change. Right now, a lot of people lack one or the other, or both.
  #116  
Old 02-27-2020, 02:12 PM
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Anything that "works" for millions would be commercially appealing. If there was a method that average people, with average abilities and average willpower, could be successful with, to lose unwanted weight and maintain this desired weight, then it would be massively "commercially appealing".
Commercially appealing is, "Do this super easy little thing and get your ideal body in 3 months!" Not, "Eat less, move more, and gradually lose weight over 1-3 years. Oh yeah, and deal with the frustration and even possible pain of loose skin."

People don't want to listen to advice on how to handle a complete lifestyle change because I feel most of them, deep inside, know that's the most for-sure way to do it. They want a magic button that lets them lose weight and keep eating every junky thing they can.
  #117  
Old 02-27-2020, 02:12 PM
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Of course your body knows obesity is bad for it - yet again, this is why obesity leads to so many life-shortening conditions. This is how your body tells you, "Hey, something is NOT right." I'm really not sure how to explain it in any more simple terms than that. Your body doesn't WANT anything, because your body is a meat-filled skin suit. You yourself decide what you're putting into it, and it makes due as much as possible, whether it grows to be obese due to calorie over-consumption, or it dwindles down into skin and bones due to under-consumption. But you really can't, with an ounce of rationality, argue with me that obesity does not lead to an increase in health problems, OR that people are incapable of making rational decisions concerning what they eat. People are very much capable; there is even an organization of people who have lost weight and kept it off to prove it. What it comes down to is whether or not someone has the determination/motivation and education to make a lifestyle change. Right now, a lot of people lack one or the other, or both.
The obesity rate has gone up in recent decades. It seems highly unlikely to me that what's changed is Americans' "determination/motivation and education to make a lifestyle change", rather than the structure of our society. If it is the structure of our society that has driven this increased obesity rate, then only changing the structure of society will fix it. There's no way to change human beings' average levels of determination and motivation to make a lifestyle change.

Or are you arguing that it's not society that's changed, but rather Americans' determination and motivation?
  #118  
Old 02-27-2020, 02:16 PM
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Commercially appealing is, "Do this super easy little thing and get your ideal body in 3 months!" Not, "Eat less, move more, and gradually lose weight over 1-3 years. Oh yeah, and deal with the frustration and even possible pain of loose skin."

People don't want to listen to advice on how to handle a complete lifestyle change because I feel most of them, deep inside, know that's the most for-sure way to do it. They want a magic button that lets them lose weight and keep eating every junky thing they can.
If you had a method, even if it took 1-3 years, that most humans with average levels of ability and willpower statistically would stick to successfully, you could make millions. Even if only 1% of obese people took you up on it, that'd be more than enough to retire young.

It seems you believe that human willpower has changed. That strikes me as much, much less likely than that society has changed such that, on average, people consume more and burn fewer calories.
  #119  
Old 02-27-2020, 02:21 PM
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Humans aren't robots. "Do this for 3 years and you'll lose weight and keep it off" isn't realistic for most humans, because most humans can't "do this" for 3 years. Some can, and great for them, but they're outliers.

Some people can remain totally celibate. Most people can't. And for the same reason -- we aren't robots. We have drives and urges that very often can't be overcome.
  #120  
Old 02-27-2020, 02:25 PM
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But - this message has existed for decades and decades. It's been featured on countless signs, put on numerous websites, the subject of countless publications. You could put a sign "increased exercise reduces fat" every 500 feet in America and it likely would not change the obesity rate substantially at all.
No, it probably wouldn't. And actually increasing exercise might not reduce fat, either -- at least in the sense of making people who are already fat become thin enough to satisfy the current cultural perception of "thin enough".

Lots of messages to the effect that 'exercise feels good' and 'exercise is fun' might do a lot more good -- especially if they were combined with visuals showing people of various sizes and shapes having fun. Of course, if the exercise being promoted is 'pay money to join the gym and do calesthenics or work out on machinery in a competitive fashion', a lot of people aren't going to want to do that either.

Lots of happy people of various ages and sizes doing things involving swimming, running around, walking around, being able to get out of their cubicles and play outside -- promoted as play, and not as either work or competition? We have to carefully train ourselves out of wanting to do this. Didn't you ever see little kids run around in circles for the sheer joy of it?

People who'd already gotten fat would, most of them, still stay fat; though in some cases somewhat less so than they would have been. But most people would be healthier. And most of them would feel better, and find it easier to move around.

But if we keep promoting exercise as "this is horribly hard work that you Must Do and you should be trying to do it Better Than Other People and the whole idea is that it will make you thin" -- no, that's not gonna work. Why would it? The first of those makes it sound physically unpleasant; the second, except for that handful of people who are likely to win the competition, is emotionally unpleasant; and the third one is a lie.
  #121  
Old 02-27-2020, 02:35 PM
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Of course your body knows obesity is bad for it - yet again, this is why obesity leads to so many life-shortening conditions. This is how your body tells you, "Hey, something is NOT right." I'm really not sure how to explain it in any more simple terms than that. Your body doesn't WANT anything, because your body is a meat-filled skin suit. You yourself decide what you're putting into it, and it makes due as much as possible
Okay, here's your problem. You think that we are divided into two things, (1) the body, which can become unwell, and (2) the person, which can decide what to eat, and that the body communicates with you by becoming unwell.

But that's not how it works. It is also the body that is telling you "I really want to eat some pizza right now." Becoming unwell is not an act of communication, it's a result that happens in some indeterminate future. Cravings/appetites/hunger/desire, are rooted in our physical bodies as much as they are in our intellectual/rational minds.

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But you really can't, with an ounce of rationality, argue with me that obesity does not lead to an increase in health problems
Who said that?

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, OR that people are incapable of making rational decisions concerning what they eat. People are very much capable; there is even an organization of people who have lost weight and kept it off to prove it. What it comes down to is whether or not someone has the determination/motivation and education to make a lifestyle change. Right now, a lot of people lack one or the other, or both.
If you think that the public obesity crises is about determination/motivation/education, you are never going to solve the problem. The people who have lost weight and kept it off merely through applying the rational facts of calories are outliers. You cannot use them as a model.
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  #122  
Old 02-27-2020, 03:18 PM
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Parents make all the decisions about what and how much their children eat. Outside of the rare medical condition there shouldn’t be even one chubby kid. Considering the consequences of a lifetime of obesity and the odds a child that is obese will stay obese it surprises me we don’t see this in the same light as smoking in your car with your baby.

I’m in my 40’s, when I was a child I sat in the front seat without a seatbelt and my mother smoked. That sort of thing isn’t ‘done’ anymore. Obese children I think will one day bring social shame to their parents, so they’ll change, and healthy kids will likely stay healthy adults.
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Old 02-27-2020, 03:19 PM
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I'm really not sure how to explain it in any more simple terms than that. Your body doesn't WANT anything, because your body is a meat-filled skin suit.
Ah. There, exactly, is what your problem is.

You/your body is not a bag of skin filled with a lump of meat which is being run from the outside solely by the part of it that is called your conscious mind. You/your body, along with its normal microbiota, is an intricate highly complicated entanglement of systems continuously providing feedback to and among each other. Your conscious mind is a part of this, and has significant influence over much of what the whole system does; but it is only a part of it, is continuously affected by what's going on with the other parts, and neither understands nor controls all of the other parts.

Insisting on attempting to treat this situation as something that can be dealt with in "simple terms" isn't a solution. It's a problem.

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Parents make all the decisions about what and how much their children eat..
Children under the age of around four, maybe. And even then, at most in one direction; the kid who's nauseated by tomato sauce isn't going to eat it, and a parent who insists is just going to wind up wearing it.

Last edited by thorny locust; 02-27-2020 at 03:23 PM.
  #124  
Old 02-27-2020, 03:34 PM
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Children under the age of around four, maybe. And even then, at most in one direction; the kid who's nauseated by tomato sauce isn't going to eat it, and a parent who insists is just going to wind up wearing it.
I don't force feed my children, but I do buy and prepare everything. They only CAN eat what I choose in the quantities I choose. You underestimate the parents role, I think. Now their school plays a role, and I wouldn't be shocked if healthier options where more common in wealthier districts. Still, most of what a child will eat before they can drive is determined by parents. Or should be by responsible ones.
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Old 02-27-2020, 03:46 PM
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I don't force feed my children, but I do buy and prepare everything. They only CAN eat what I choose in the quantities I choose. You underestimate the parents role, I think. Now their school plays a role, and I wouldn't be shocked if healthier options where more common in wealthier districts. Still, most of what a child will eat before they can drive is determined by parents. Or should be by responsible ones.
I wonder if the change in children's eating habits in the past decades has greatly contributed to the obesity problem. I would guess that most modern families are busy and stressed and frequently turn to highly processed convenience foods. Kids likely grow up on a diet of chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, pizza, etc. rather than regular food cooked from scratch. Even if the child eats well in the household, everywhere else will have typical kid food. Even schools and restaurants have kids meals which are more of the same glop. Even the drink choices in the school cafeteria may include carbo-loaded chocolate milk and gatorade. So it would probably be expected that kids would maintain those same diet preferences as adults for rich, fatty, creamy, starchy, and low-nutrition foods.
  #126  
Old 02-27-2020, 04:31 PM
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Parents make all the decisions about what and how much their children eat.
You do understand that the universe of decisions isn't necessarily accessible to all parents, right? What about those living in a food desert? What about those whose children are bombarded by advertising? Etc.

This is not a problem that can be solved by targeting individuals.

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Obese children I think will one day bring social shame to their parents, so they’ll change, and healthy kids will likely stay healthy adults.
You believe there's insufficient shame surrounding obesity in our culture?
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Old 02-27-2020, 04:39 PM
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  #128  
Old 02-27-2020, 04:55 PM
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You do understand that the universe of decisions isn't necessarily accessible to all parents, right? What about those living in a food desert? What about those whose children are bombarded by advertising? Etc.

This is not a problem that can be solved by targeting individuals.
Yes it can, individuals are the ones making decisions that have severe consequences for their children and future generations. What if I used all the above excuses for why I buy my 6 year old smokes and a Bud Light? Next to those two, obesity is what an adults doctor is most likely to be concerned about so why is it different?

And shame directed at parents can be appropriate. For instance, a parent has a responsibility to not let their children destroy displays in apartment stores.
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Old 02-27-2020, 04:57 PM
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This approach will accomplish nothing. You aren't even taking in the entire issue.
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Old 02-27-2020, 05:08 PM
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To those who insist, "It's simple! You simply have to consume fewer calories than you burn," I can only say I sure hope you don't use that line on drug addicts. "It's simple! You simply have to stop doing drugs!"

What's that? You'd never say that to drug addicts because food doesn't have the same effect as drugs on the brain? Au contraire!

From Scientific American: "Like many pleasurable behaviors—including sex and drug use—eating can trigger the release of dopamine, a feel-good neurotransmitter in the brain. This internal chemical reward, in turn, increases the likelihood that the associated action will eventually become habitual through positive reinforcement conditioning."

Johns Hopkins:
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For many, their relationship with food is comparable to that of a drug user’s with drugs—and Steele’s research could potentially back that up.

Often associated with addiction research, dopamine controls the pleasure and reward centers of our brains. Those with lower levels of dopamine have a decreased ability to experience pleasure or satisfaction. For those with a particular vice—be it sex or drugs or something else entirely— many may increase the activity in hopes of recovering the feelings of pleasure that they may have lost.

When starting her own research, Steele found a scientific study in which the researcher took brain scans of obese patients. “He found that as their BMI increased, their dopamine levels decreased,” Steele explains. In other words, those patients demonstrated a decreased ability to experience pleasure from the foods they’d once enjoyed.
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Behaviours such as eating, copulating, defending oneself or taking addictive drugs begin with a motivation to initiate the behaviour. Both this motivational drive and the behaviours that follow are influenced by past and present experience with the reinforcing stimuli (such as drugs or energy-rich foods) that increase the likelihood and/or strength of the behavioural response (such as drug taking or overeating). At a cellular and circuit level, motivational drive is dependent on the concentration of extrasynaptic dopamine present in specific brain areas such as the striatum.
Note that the Hopkins article specifically says what many researchers have found: as BMI increases, dopamine levels drop, compelling people to eat more, just as addictive drugs do.

I'm willing to repeat all this every time someone gives a simplistic answer or thinks it's as simple as using a message.

Last edited by nelliebly; 02-27-2020 at 05:10 PM.
  #131  
Old 02-27-2020, 05:47 PM
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But the anti-anti-obesity crowd (for lack of a better term) still has not come up with a good solution.

1. "Weight loss is simple, but difficult" leads to "don't call it simple!"
2. "Our high-tech, convenient lifestyle enables obesity" - well, the benefits of a high-tech society outweigh the drawbacks. We shouldn't give up cars, subways, etc. and force people to walk on foot, that would make no economic sense.
3. "Run a PSA about how obesity is unhealthy" - it doesn't work, everyone knows that obesity causes heart disease, diabetes, cancer, etc.
4. Body positivity = doesn't work
5. Body negativity = doesn't work


You have one side of the debate that is great at arguing against things like pro-exercise, pro-healthy diet campaigns, but presents no viable alternative.
  #132  
Old 02-27-2020, 05:50 PM
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But the anti-anti-obesity crowd (for lack of a better term) still has not come up with a good solution.

1. "Weight loss is simple, but difficult" leads to "don't call it simple!"
2. "Our high-tech, convenient lifestyle enables obesity" - well, the benefits of a high-tech society outweigh the drawbacks. We shouldn't give up cars, subways, etc. and force people to walk on foot, that would make no economic sense.
3. "Run a PSA about how obesity is unhealthy" - it doesn't work, everyone knows that obesity causes heart disease, diabetes, cancer, etc.
4. Body positivity = doesn't work
5. Body negativity = doesn't work


You have one side of the debate that is great at arguing against things like pro-exercise, pro-healthy diet campaigns, but presents no viable alternative.
Public policy could change the kinds of food that are out there (i.e. make sure grocery stores are accessible to every neighborhood), and can make walking more necessary -- i.e. better public transportation, no requirements for parking for new construction, pedestrian-only streets (or pedestrian + bus only), etc.
  #133  
Old 02-27-2020, 09:11 PM
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Public policy could change the kinds of food that are out there (i.e. make sure grocery stores are accessible to every neighborhood)
That wouldn't work, as apparently any kind of calorie deficit is a psychological nightmare. So nutritious but less calorie-dense food would have to be consumed in ever greater amounts.
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Old 02-27-2020, 09:45 PM
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But the anti-anti-obesity crowd (for lack of a better term) still has not come up with a good solution.

1. "Weight loss is simple, but difficult" leads to "don't call it simple!"
2. "Our high-tech, convenient lifestyle enables obesity" - well, the benefits of a high-tech society outweigh the drawbacks. We shouldn't give up cars, subways, etc. and force people to walk on foot, that would make no economic sense.
3. "Run a PSA about how obesity is unhealthy" - it doesn't work, everyone knows that obesity causes heart disease, diabetes, cancer, etc.
4. Body positivity = doesn't work
5. Body negativity = doesn't work


You have one side of the debate that is great at arguing against things like pro-exercise, pro-healthy diet campaigns, but presents no viable alternative.
I'm NOT arguing against pro-exercise, pro-healthy-diet campaigns. I do intensive 60-minute workouts six days a week and do weight training three of those days. I'm at a healthy weight, and I'm all for healthy eating and exercise. What I'm firmly, passionately against is people arguing that weight loss is simple, or that people who are obese simply need to control their food intake. That's insulting to overweight people--and I'm not overweight--AND it's simplistic.

We need more research so we can understand the mechanisms that lead to obesity better. In the meantime, let's quit insisting it's either easy or simple.
  #135  
Old 02-27-2020, 11:40 PM
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This approach will accomplish nothing. You aren't even taking in the entire issue.
I know, it’s complex and no one anywhere personally can be held accountable for anything.

If we could start somewhere though, might it be young ones whose diet and behavior could be modified with just providing less calories? Is that asking too much of humanity? Is that too complex for this issue?
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Old 02-27-2020, 11:40 PM
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I don't force feed my children, but I do buy and prepare everything. They only CAN eat what I choose in the quantities I choose. You underestimate the parents role, I think. Now their school plays a role, and I wouldn't be shocked if healthier options where more common in wealthier districts. Still, most of what a child will eat before they can drive is determined by parents. Or should be by responsible ones.
I don't have children, but I have been one. Even in the 1950's, and even in grade school, kids traded lunches, gave other kids things they didn't feel like eating, sometimes ate at each other's houses, used what pocket money they were given or could earn to buy treats to eat, and so on. Plenty of kids who aren't old enough to drive are sometimes out of their parents' sight at places where they have access to food.

Do parents have a lot of say in what their children get to eat, especially when those children are very young? Yes, of course. But they don't have total control once the children get past infancy (some of them don't have it then, as they may have to go to work and may have limited options for where to leave the children while they do); and the degree of control they have lessens as the children get older. And attempts to keep stringent control may backfire.
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Old 02-28-2020, 12:37 AM
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I don't have children, but I have been one. Even in the 1950's, and even in grade school, kids traded lunches, gave other kids things they didn't feel like eating, sometimes ate at each other's houses, used what pocket money they were given or could earn to buy treats to eat, and so on. Plenty of kids who aren't old enough to drive are sometimes out of their parents' sight at places where they have access to food.

Do parents have a lot of say in what their children get to eat, especially when those children are very young? Yes, of course. But they don't have total control once the children get past infancy (some of them don't have it then, as they may have to go to work and may have limited options for where to leave the children while they do); and the degree of control they have lessens as the children get older. And attempts to keep stringent control may backfire.
Your hyperbole is hilarious.

Parents have the greatest reason to engender the health of their children and the greatest ability to as well, despite the silly excuses of some. The question asked was ‘what message would it take to make obesity rates plummet dramatically?’

My answer was, ‘it is no longer socially acceptable to raise a fat kid’. Which is not ‘fat shaming’ it is ‘poor parenting shaming’, which is fine because, for many other reasons as well, that is also why we don’t beat children in public anymore.
  #138  
Old 02-28-2020, 09:15 AM
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The obesity rate has gone up in recent decades. It seems highly unlikely to me that what's changed is Americans' "determination/motivation and education to make a lifestyle change", rather than the structure of our society. If it is the structure of our society that has driven this increased obesity rate, then only changing the structure of society will fix it. There's no way to change human beings' average levels of determination and motivation to make a lifestyle change.

Or are you arguing that it's not society that's changed, but rather Americans' determination and motivation?
It's rose dramatically because our food has changed (endless access to it, and junk food to boot), and our jobs have become less physical. Years ago, by and large, people didn't really need motivation to stay relatively thin because that was just a natural state of being for most people (excusing maybe the far richer elite, in later years). So no, I don't necessarily think people simply AREN'T motivated in general. But we've been afforded the opportunity to form different motivations. Similar with education - I don't think we're, by and large, just not educated enough. But nutritional education specifically hasn't been a huge priority and schools, and how are parents going to teach proper nutritional education when, statistically, they're also likely to be overweight or obese, and weren't taught how to remain a healthy weight?

I feel it's not the level of motivation that needs to change - it's finding the right motivation for you. In my case, 2-3 years ago, I didn't feel motivated to lose weight due to health. I was in my late 20's, obese but otherwise fortunate enough to be healthy. I never had high blood pressure, I could walk all day no problem, etc. So losing weight wasn't a priority. I went through a hard time where I got hurt by someone super important to me. I realized that I had really very poor self-esteem, and that I had used this other person's feelings about me to prop myself up (I apologize for being vague, it's just not something I like to talk about a lot). I decided to lose weight as well as focus on my mental health. My mantra became, "I will be the sole source of my self-confidence - not some random dude." And it worked. I actually didn't find it very difficult to shed the pounds.

Some people may struggle with actual addiction, which I can only imagine would make things 10x harder. That doesn't change the fact that even drug addicts and lifetime smokers can still quit, however. They need the right motivation, but likely also the help of a professional therapist or psychiatrist. I'd recommend the same for people struggling to overcome food addiction.
  #139  
Old 02-28-2020, 09:21 AM
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I'm NOT arguing against pro-exercise, pro-healthy-diet campaigns. I do intensive 60-minute workouts six days a week and do weight training three of those days. I'm at a healthy weight, and I'm all for healthy eating and exercise. What I'm firmly, passionately against is people arguing that weight loss is simple, or that people who are obese simply need to control their food intake. That's insulting to overweight people--and I'm not overweight--AND it's simplistic.

We need more research so we can understand the mechanisms that lead to obesity better. In the meantime, let's quit insisting it's either easy or simple.
But I'd argue that simple =/= easy. A simple concept (eat less and move more / stop drinking alcohol / stop gambling) can be incredibly difficult to actually pull off, namely because we are human beings with normal human shortcomings. The problem with insisting weight loss is so impossibly difficult is that if that's all someone ever hears, of course they're never going to actually try. I wish more people understood that losing weight doesn't mean starving yourself. It means lowering your calories, either simply by eating less or determining a daily or weekly calorie amount to stick to. It's not easy, no, but it is simple.
  #140  
Old 02-28-2020, 09:28 AM
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But the anti-anti-obesity crowd (for lack of a better term) still has not come up with a good solution.

1. "Weight loss is simple, but difficult" leads to "don't call it simple!"
2. "Our high-tech, convenient lifestyle enables obesity" - well, the benefits of a high-tech society outweigh the drawbacks. We shouldn't give up cars, subways, etc. and force people to walk on foot, that would make no economic sense.
3. "Run a PSA about how obesity is unhealthy" - it doesn't work, everyone knows that obesity causes heart disease, diabetes, cancer, etc.
4. Body positivity = doesn't work
5. Body negativity = doesn't work


You have one side of the debate that is great at arguing against things like pro-exercise, pro-healthy diet campaigns, but presents no viable alternative.
Personally, I think there just isn't ever going to be a perfect answer. Me, I'd want to see better nutritional information in schools. Adults CAN alter their lifestyle habits, but that's easier to do when you're a child, your habits are still developing and you're reliant on adults to get your food for you. Eventually those children, hopefully with better eating habits, will then grow up to raise their own kids in a similar style. You'll still have your kids that do overeat, and your adults that develop bad habits (although I was overweight here and there as a kid, I didn't become obese until I left my parents' house), but hopefully far fewer. And hey, maybe this is happening. It's been a long time since I was in grade school/middle school, so maybe nutritional education has improved.
  #141  
Old 02-28-2020, 09:30 AM
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But I'd argue that simple =/= easy. A simple concept (eat less and move more / stop drinking alcohol / stop gambling) can be incredibly difficult to actually pull off, namely because we are human beings with normal human shortcomings. The problem with insisting weight loss is so impossibly difficult is that if that's all someone ever hears, of course they're never going to actually try. I wish more people understood that losing weight doesn't mean starving yourself. It means lowering your calories, either simply by eating less or determining a daily or weekly calorie amount to stick to. It's not easy, no, but it is simple.
But that message doesn't work for most people. It isn't enough to overcome human nature and the way modern society burns and makes calories available. That's why the way to approach this is to look at society and how to change it. In the mean time I suppose you can spread this gospel, and it will help a relatively small portion of overweight people with extraordinary abilities (and/or luck), but the big thing we need to is to look at how society makes calories available and how society dictates that we move.

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 02-28-2020 at 09:30 AM.
  #142  
Old 02-28-2020, 09:31 AM
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It's not easy, no, but it is simple.
I agree. It's like playing piano: simply hit the right keys at the right time, and you'll be a concert pianist.

Like I've said before: obesity is a mental problem, not a physical problem.
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Old 02-28-2020, 09:35 AM
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But that message doesn't work for most people. It isn't enough to overcome human nature and the way modern society burns and makes calories available. That's why the way to approach this is to look at society and how to change it. In the mean time I suppose you can spread this gospel, and it will help a relatively small portion of overweight people with extraordinary abilities (and/or luck), but the big thing we need to is to look at how society makes calories available and how society dictates that we move.
Technically, if there is the will to move, there is the will to move. There are treadmills in gyms or at home, or, if nothing else, one can walk around in one's home 5,000 steps a day in circles or jog a mile in most neighborhoods in a circle. I don't mean that in a snarky way, but just as a matter of fact - where there is a space to walk/run in circles, one can get the necessary steps in.
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Old 02-28-2020, 09:35 AM
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I agree. It's like playing piano: simply hit the right keys at the right time, and you'll be a concert pianist.

Like I've said before: obesity is a mental problem, not a physical problem.
I think it's more useful to identify it as a societal problem.

Humans are humans. Drop a few million humans into a society with X junky calories cheaply available, and only requiring Y average calories burned for most jobs/lifestyles, and we'll end up with Z1 overweight and Z2 obese humans. There's no psychological message that will change this. The way to change this is to change the values of X and Y.
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Old 02-28-2020, 01:11 PM
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I think it's more useful to identify it as a societal problem.

Humans are humans. Drop a few million humans into a society with X junky calories cheaply available, and only requiring Y average calories burned for most jobs/lifestyles, and we'll end up with Z1 overweight and Z2 obese humans. There's no psychological message that will change this. The way to change this is to change the values of X and Y.
Also W is a good pronumeral.

W being the amount spent promoting bad food and bad diet information.

"How much money is spent on food advertising in the US 2018?
Total U.S. ad spend in 2018 reached $151 billion"

"In total, Chick-fil-A spent approximately $63 Million in advertising in 2016, the same amount as Starbucks."
  #146  
Old 02-28-2020, 01:26 PM
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Also W is a good pronumeral.



W being the amount spent promoting bad food and bad diet information.



"How much money is spent on food advertising in the US 2018?

Total U.S. ad spend in 2018 reached $151 billion"



"In total, Chick-fil-A spent approximately $63 Million in advertising in 2016, the same amount as Starbucks."
Absolutely, thanks.
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  #147  
Old 02-28-2020, 01:38 PM
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But that message doesn't work for most people. It isn't enough to overcome human nature and the way modern society burns and makes calories available. That's why the way to approach this is to look at society and how to change it. In the mean time I suppose you can spread this gospel, and it will help a relatively small portion of overweight people with extraordinary abilities (and/or luck), but the big thing we need to is to look at how society makes calories available and how society dictates that we move.
You think it's human nature to stuff yourself so full of calories it becomes a physical burden? I don't think so. It's simply a bad habit you form while having open access to tasty, calorie-heavy food. Human nature is to move more than most of us currently are, yet we stick to the habit of sitting in one place for hours on end.

I'm not really sure what you want me to say. There is no magic way to get people to eat less. People have to choose to do so, themselves. I'm in favor of making good information widely available. I'm in favor of spreading the word that getting to a healthy weight is 100% possible. I'm in favor of leading the horse to water, but no one can make it drink.
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Old 02-28-2020, 01:44 PM
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You think it's human nature to stuff yourself so full of calories it becomes a physical burden? I don't think so. It's simply a bad habit you form while having open access to tasty, calorie-heavy food. Human nature is to move more than most of us currently are, yet we stick to the habit of sitting in one place for hours on end.

I'm not really sure what you want me to say. There is no magic way to get people to eat less. People have to choose to do so, themselves. I'm in favor of making good information widely available. I'm in favor of spreading the word that getting to a healthy weight is 100% possible. I'm in favor of leading the horse to water, but no one can make it drink.
Stop spending billions spreading bad information.

EDIT:

Bad information, designed with knowledge of human psychology to encourage people to act in ways that will hurt and kill themselves.

Last edited by Manwich; 02-28-2020 at 01:47 PM.
  #149  
Old 03-02-2020, 12:03 PM
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  #150  
Old 03-03-2020, 03:23 AM
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Assume you're reporting a spammer who latched onto this thread and tried to push more junk food. It's insidious. Everywhere is food marketing that is very cleverly designed and the marketers will not hesitate to use any human trait to push their products.

Using colour was a new one for me

Deliberately convincing people happiness comes via consumption rather than what actually makes people happy (friends, family, control over their occupation)

The "pro-fat" movement seems like a sad desperate cry for help. Washing hands and wondering why people are so terrible at ignoring very powerful, well resourced interests with scientifically proven tactics seems cruel.
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