and other low carb fad diets are capitalizing on obesity like
maggots on a wound, yet despite these diets popularity, our
population continues to get fatter every year.
year new statistics are released from somewhere showing how
active/ inactive and how fat we are as a population. A recent
from Health Canada again confirms that in 2003 almost half
the population was overweight (48.2%), and that more of us
are overweight than when the prior survey was done in 2002.
from JAMA shows that obesity is not decreasing, but in fact
is increasing in the US. Surprised? We shouldn't be. We're
adapting to being overweight and unhealthy instead of doing
something about it. Airlines are being pushed to make larger
seats to accommodate very overweight people, special interest
groups are cropping up with mantras that suggest people should
shut up and accept obesity, there are fashion shows that are
tailored to obese persons. Should a person be forced to wear
clothes that look like a curtain just because clothing designers
ignore those who are obese? I say no. I also say we shouldn't
be obese in the first place because obesity is both preventable
and reversible. On one hand to discriminate against someone
because they are obese is 100% the same and just as deplorable
as any and all discrimination that we humans can inflict on
one another, on the other hand, becoming complacent with obesity
is down right deadly (literally) because obesity kills.
protein low carb diets and other fat loss gimmicks are custom
tailored for a population that is overweight and largely inactive
and who want to sustain their current eating and lifestyle
habits. The Atkins and other popular diets throw us a bone
occasionally and mention that eating veggies and exercising
is good for us. However, it almost seems as though these tiny
references were placed by a PR team in anticipation of defending
the now common attack that fad diets are too one-sided and
don't place enough emphasis on balanced eating and regular
exercise. On the whole, popular diets push hard to sell their
so-claimed "special formulas"; the only way
to eat, with some threatening disease or failure if the special
formula - not available from anywhere else - isn't followed
diet companies employ conspiracy theory scare tactics claiming
that big brother is out to get us by not telling us about
certain defects in our food supply, and low and behold the
diet company has the only viable answer to save our lives
that are apparently damned. Yes we do sentence ourselves to
health damnation by eating too much, and we do have occasional
problems in our food supply with Mad Cow, Avian flu and other
serious concerns, but it sure as hell isn't going to be the
fad diet and supplement companies that solve these issues.
But if you want to give them your money, they'll be happy
to take it.
from Reuters that explains charges by the US Federal Trade
Commission against supplement companies that made unsupported
claims for the effects of supplements purported to cause weight
loss in children. Since childhood obesity is on the rise (15%
of US children are overweight or obese) it only makes sense
that children will become the next big target for fad diets
and useless supplements with false claims. More
from the FTC shows action against companies such as "special"
gel solutions applied to the skin to lose fat that don't
work, and a fad diet called the "1-2-3
Diet Kit" aimed at the Hispanic population also does
I say that low carb diets and other gimmicks are tailored
for the overweight - inactive population, I don't mean that
the gimmicks are meant to help this population, I mean the
gimmicks are meant to profit from this population.
Although I believe that some of these diet and pill pushers
actually believe they really do have "the answer",
the truth is diets don't work.
are more "diets" than ever before, we're also fatter
than ever before
almost a 'waist' of time to describe how these
diets don't work because it's been done so many times.
Yet the North American, in fact the entire worlds population,
continues to become fatter every year at the same time these
"diet solutions" capture more and more market share.
Hello? Is it just me who sees this conflict? Clearly the millions
of people that are claimed to be "losing weight"
on these diets are not making any dent in the obesity statistics.
Could this be because these diets focus on the short term
quick-fix and are so imbalanced they could not possibly be
followed long term? You bet.
most invasive and dramatic "quick fix" for fat loss,
liposuction, has just been shown to have no effect on reducing
blood pressure, cholesterol levels, or risk of heart disease.
from the New England Journal of Medicine concludes that diet
and exercise provide better results than liposuction. - One
more quick fix bites the dust.
is making an impact. Both in showing the gullibility and desperation
of those who follow the kooky concept, and in the bottom line
of many businesses. Many restaurants and food seller's are
shamelessly capitalizing on this silly fad. Take "Carb
Options" peanut butter for example. I was looking
for my favorite brand of peanut butter (Adams) in the grocery
store isle and spotted "Carb Options" Skippy
peanut butter. This immediately set off my spider senses because
I know that peanut butter contains only a small amount of
carbohydrate anyway. So looking at the nutrient labels I compared
the "low carb" Skippy to the non-low carb Skippy
- they are exactly the same- carbs and all. In fact there
was no big difference between the "low carb" Skippy
and virtually all other brands of peanut butter on the shelf,
they all contained the same amount of carbohydrate - around
4.5 - 4.7g, some up to 7g, for two tablespoons of peanut butter.
The low carb Skippy added sucralose, an artificial sweetener.
So what about the carbs in my personal favorite, Adams peanut
butter? 4g of carbohydrate per 2 tablespoons - Less than Skippy's
apparently specially blended "low carb" peanut butter.
All Skippy had to do was make an all-natural peanut butter
and they would have had an even lower carb product than their
"Carb Options" product.
know what some of you might be thinking, "sure your "natural"
peanut butter is low in carbs, but I bet it's high in fat".
My favorite wins again! Adams peanut butter has 16.2g of fat
with 1.2g being saturated per two tablespoons, whereas Carb
Options Skippy has 17g of fat with 3.5g being saturated
for the same two tablespoon serving.
natural peanut butter has less carbs and half the saturated
fat of the low carb Skippy. Read the labels people, don't
be so quick to be sold on what is hyped to be better for you,
the best foods are natural. Of course, doing the low carb
thing is a dumb decision, you would not eat peanut butter
because it is low carb, you would eat it because it is a good
source of poly and monounsaturated fats, and protein... but
I thought it interesting to point out with this product comparison
how the low carb craze is about a marketing gimmick rather
than a concern for your health. Click
here (Essential Nutrition .org) for an article on this
a label around with insignificant changes to the product is
all about being misleading. I have an older Honda. I'm going
to put a Porsche emblem on it. Anybody want to buy my "Porsche"?
this slight of hand marketing is selling product, it's also
supporting the low carb dementia afflicting North Americans
who are now buying less of the healthy foods that happen to
contain carbohydrates, so sellers of wholesome foods like
potatoes are experiencing a loss. Everyone gets fatter on
low carb diets; low-carb pushers get fatter wallets and the
majority of the population continues to get fatter waistlines.
Yes, this all has to do with how fat we are. If the majority
of the population were not so overweight there would not be
such a large demand for fat loss gimmicks. The low carb craze
would not have spawned its tentacles, and I wouldn't be writing
politicians, and special interest groups lament that we are
in the middle of an obesity epidemic that needs more research
so we can find a solution to this troubling trend. Drug companies
are promising new drugs to reduce body fat, diet companies
are spreading like bad weeds, many touting "natural"
and "herbal" remedies to this confounding problem
of increasing obesity that apparently caught us with our pants
down and has us struggling to find out why it's happening.
in point: This report
from JAMA concludes that overweight children who overeat and
who don't balance their total food intake, are more likely
to gain fat than non-overweight children who do balance their
total food intake. Do we really need this study to tell us
this? I'm all for scientific research and completely respect
JAMA, and I'm the first to say, "if you're not measuring,
you must be guessing", but are we really so baffled by
fat gain that we have no confidence in what we already know?
going to barf if I'm force fed one more ridiculous study that
proposes to find the hidden cause of obesity or provides "shocking
evidence" that over half the population is overweight.
We can tell this by looking at people when we go outside;
most are overweight, We don't need a study to confirm this.
When a person eats more food than they need, they get fat.
I should receive a few million dollars in research money so
I can do another study on obesity. Just kidding. The fact
is humans have known since the beginning of time that those
who are overweight eat too much, those who are underweight
don't eat enough, and those who are overweight and eat less
and exercise more lose the excess weight.
would have us believe that we need one more study, one more
committee report, one more academic money pit, in order to
discover how to solve the worlds obesity problem. How about
doing the actions that cause fat loss instead of engaging
in a Monty Python style of confused apathy. Instead of "health
authorities" blindingly bumping into each other trying
to get a seat at the special committee table or the media
microphone, why not eat less and exercise more? Ok, ok, we
need professionals telling it like it is at the media microphone,
but lets get more action orientated reports out there like
are found here
(USDA web page) and a little less of the "were really
confused with this problem" statements.
is not a complicated problem
less exercise more. It is this simple. The problem with this
answer is there is little opportunity for opportunists. Opportunists
need to sell special solutions to complicated problems, so
opportunists use convincing arguments that losing fat is terribly
difficult, but they can make it easy. Obesity is not a complicated
problem. With the exception of very rare metabolic disorders,
virtually all persons who are overweight are overweight because
they eat too much and have little physical activity. That's
it. There is nothing else to it. Inactivity contributes greatly
to obesity because few calories are expended during the day.
However, even with a low level of physical activity, if a
person eats only what they need, they will not become overweight.
physical activity and healthy eating are part of what should
be a normal lifestyle. Instead we view lazy leisure time and
10 ounce steaks as rewards for our hard work. Lazy leisure
time and 10 ounce steaks are the hallmarks of a masochistic
lifestyle. When a person chooses to do something that causes
them harm, those actions are masochistic.
eating too much causes obesity. Obesity is associated with
type two diabetes, high blood pressure, hardening of the arteries,
sleep apnea, heart attack, and other health problems. Most
overweight people have trouble breathing walking up a few
flights of stairs. Wow, sign me up for all these "rewards"
associated with lazy leisure and "fine dining".
No thanks; I'm not the masochistic type.
all you can eat buffet is not a "good deal", it's
one foot in the grave
healthily and becoming more fit are true physiological rewards.
People can and do have trouble with the decision to stop putting
food in their mouth when they know they shouldn't, and others
simply don't know how much they are eating or how much they
need to eat. Professional help should be available for those
who seek it or need it, but the biggest step comes from the
individuals themselves. We don't need a herb or a pill to
combat obesity; the overweight population needs to change
their lifestyle. The more we look for pills, potions, and
special diets, the further we get from the actual actions
that will solve the societal problem of increasing obesity.
The actions are physically consuming less food and engaging
in daily physical activity. The mental actions are accepting
that eating extra food could never be a reward, that in fact
eating extra food hurts us. Extra cheese on a pizza is not
a culinary reward, it's an artery clogging heart attack causer.
An all you can eat buffet is not a "good deal",
it's one foot in the grave. Is being fat a reward? No? Then
how can the actions that cause fat-gain be a reward?
is an obesity epidemic and it is terribly serious, causing
disease, early death, and costing our health care system billions.
However there is no "problem" with finding the answer
to losing fat: People need to take responsibility for their
own actions by eating less and exercising more.
those who are having trouble adapting a healthy lifestyle:
yourself from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free
our mind" - Bob Marley
2004 Cris LaBossiere Rhino Fitness www.rhinofitness.ca