The Obesity Epidemic and The Food Revolution | INFJ Forum

The Obesity Epidemic and The Food Revolution

Discussion in 'News and Politics' started by slant, May 12, 2012.

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  1. slant

    slant Roll with the punches
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    There is an obesity epidemic going on throughout the world. It isn’t just the United States or ‘western’ nations. Even African countries have rising obesity rates that at times rival the HIV epidemic. The obesity kills more people every year than AIDS and cancer combined. It’s a serious issue that every country is having to deal with, from the USA to Sweden. I wanted to open up some dialogue about it and share some resources which I think highlight some major issues with the epidemic. Obviously we know that the Obesity epidemic started brewing with the industrialization of nations and we see it start to actual peak around the 1950’s and from that point more and more people were overweight and now obese. There are two things that contribute to it: diet and exercise.

    I want to refer you to some videos by Jamie Oliver, a famous chef, that reformed Great Britian’s food system. You can watch them all here, last night I stayed up until 5am watching them, they’re that good: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7eaHytpJWQ



    But for those of you who don’t have the time to watch all of them (AT LEAST WATCH THE FIRST LINK, it’s ten minutes!) I’ll give you some highlights of what the content of this is. Now Jamie is focusing on food, but there are other people like Richard Simmons who have focused on trying to reform America’s school fitness programs and such to make exercise fun and NORMAL for kids at a young age so that it continues into adulthood. Childhood obesity is going to contribute to 15 to 10 years off of our children’s life in the future. There are FOUR year olds who are obese in America, millions of them. It’s a very sad place to be in right now.

    Jamie encourages eating fresh food, knowing where your food comes from, if it’s processed don’t buy it. His work is fascinating because when he went into the schools, he took a bucket full of vegetables to 2nt graders and held up a tomato and asked them if they knew what it was. No one knew. No one knew what cauliflower was or that French fries come from potatos. In later season he tries this with high school students in LA who think that honey comes from a honeybear- and they’re not joking, they’re completely serious. The level of education that our students are getting about food and the state of people in their own homes and food it astounding. He’s gone into people’s homes and he cooks all the food they bought for the week them, lays it out on the table in front of this lady and told her gently that she’s killing her children. That is what we’re doing, killing ourselves with this food we are eating. But the brilliant thing about it is that unlike cancer or aids, there is a cure: we can change and stop doing it.

    So I want to open a discussion on this. Jamie is starting the food revolution, eating healthier, getting rid of processed junk and not putting it in our body. I am making an anonymous poll, please be honest, to gauge how many people on this forum are obese, overweight, morbidly obese or at a normal weight. If you don’t know you can go to this BMI calculator: http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/
     
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  2. Jill Hives

    Jill Hives fhtagn
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    Thanks for sharing those links! I have heard of this Food Revolution video but never actually watched it yet.

    I'm absolutely on board with what he is saying. One of the big things that really sunk in for me (just a couple years back even! better late than never...) was if I wanted to start living a life style where I was consistently eating healthier food and be able to make sure my future family was also eating healthy food, I would have to learn to cook/prepare a wide variety of foods. Like, really cook, not throw together cans of food or a can of tuna and a box. Real actual dinners with fresh ingredients. I still think it is something everyone should learn how to do at least on a somewhat basic level. I can't stand it when I don't know what exactly went in to the food I am putting into my body, it makes me paranoid. And...it should. Now that I can prepare tasty and healthy food with fresh ingredients, I can't imagine eating "Tuna Helper" esque type meals anymore at all. And you can train yourself to prepare things ahead of time if you plan properly so that the actual prep time is reduced the next day. Like pre chopping onions and vegetables and keeping them in the fridge, keeping sauces frozen in the freezer, grilled chicken breasts sliced for sandwiches/salads, etc.

    I used to think cooking was a chore but now I actually love it and I feel proud when I make something that is really tasty and also full of good things.

    I think people really just want convenience, and are willing to remain ignorant in favor of it. The major processed food companies are providing that convenience, at the cost of health. Also, it really is up to everyone to educate themselves and not blindly trust the FDA. FDA approved doesn't = "good for you". In fact, I'd wager to say FDA approved doesn't really mean much, as requirements for testing and listing processing steps and ingredients are really quite shitty. A lot of those big name companies do not want to tell you how they make your food or every exact detail of what is in it, because they're afraid you wouldn't buy it if you knew! That alone tells me all I need to know, personally.


    Man...those kids eating pizza for breakfast. D:
     
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  3. OP
    slant

    slant Roll with the punches
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    Thank you for responding! I just want to get people's thoughts about this and a poll working. I plan to make this a series of threads because I think that it really deserves some attention. After I get some good responses going here I'm going to open up a thread about personal experiences with food and exercise to get that personal story going...and then there will be more threads after that.


    I'll say that after becoming a Vegan I have learned what is in the foods that I eat and have become highly in tune with ingredients, carbs, sugars, fats and calories. Before that point I was never interested and I also had never actively cooked for myself. Now, because of the high protein 'weight lifting' diet I'm a part of, Jamie's style of cooking things fresh doesn't really work because I have to rely on a lot of fake meat just to get enough protein and vegetables are high in carbs and fruits are unbelievable. But the concept is really simple: don't eat fast food, don't consume high fructose corn syrup, don't be putting things in your body with an ingredient list that you don't recognize or that's incredibly long. Cook your own food and be aware of what you're putting in your body. I wouldn't recommend his cook books because they are centered around meat and I don't think meat should be the center of a meal because cholesterol and such is a growing problem in the obesity epidemic, but what I would say is: eat things fresh, cook for yourself, don't eat out and don't buy TV dinners.

    In Utah cooking for yourself is a bit more predominant but I was never really raised on home cooked meals (which I'll get into more depth in the personal stories thread).


    Obesity epidemic is something people don't want to talk about....and I know why, because I'm obese and I am eating better and working out and it's embarrassing to be overweight to feel like people are judging you and to realize how poorly you've treated your body. But you can recover from it, it takes some time and awareness, but eating on a DIET is something natural and you never 'get off' a Diet. Working out is as integral to people's lives as sleeping and it should be thought of as that way, not something you do once and a while.
     
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  4. Quiet

    Quiet i know nothing

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    Awesome thread idea. This issue is extremely important to me. Our whole understanding, attitude and relationship with food. When I finish up with my exams I'll come back and respond properly
     
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  5. this is only temporary

    this is only temporary Community Member

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    For what its worth, I have tremendous respect for anyone who is trying to become healthier. It is not easy, it is very complicated, probably has at least some genetic components as well as lifestyle & diet components, and I firmly believe that self acceptance and self love is the first thing anyone wanting to be halthier needs to work on. Is being fat some kind of sin? No. It is not. It does not make you a bad person. It does not make you ugly, depending on who you ask. So love yourself and surround yourself with people who love you now, As YOU Are, and not on the condition that you be perfect. Screw that. Because nobody is perfect! /preaching.

    Totally. I have a good friend irl (also an INTP!) who is going through similar problems and she is struggling with underlying endocrine issues as well as trying to change her weight and habits. She HAS to be really really careful about what she eats -- not sure why but she just does.

    Also, there is this big anti-gluten trend right now. Some people seem to believe if you throw gluten at them they will shrivel up and die. I'm not sure what to make of this trend, not being a scientist or a nutritionist, but this: http://experiencelife.com/article/paleo-vs-vegan/
    is a very interesting article in one of my favorite websites/magazines which talks about diet from two somewhat contradictory angles. It is worth a read and talks about diet from different angles in a very helpful way.

    P.S. I didn't watch the video yet, but I adore Jaime Oliver and Richard Simmons both, and I am 100% in agreement with the overall principle of eating as much home cooked and unprocessed foods as possible, and I like to cook and that is the ideal I shoot for.

    P.P.S. And my children are learning to cook, too, and there is a garden both at our home and at their school, so they are familiar with vegetables.
     
    #5 this is only temporary, May 12, 2012
    Last edited: May 12, 2012
  6. Lerxst

    Lerxst Well-known member

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    Probably shouldn't watch that while eating a grilled cheese (Daiya. so it's not as bad) and tomato soup (from a can) for breakfast... should I? Then again, it could always be pizza ;)

    Still, I agree; people are food idiots most of the time. I work with a bunch of senior citizens and the crap that comes out of their mouth about food is just head-bashingly shameful. I get the "My daddy's, daddy's, daddy once told us that..." stories all the time. These people are still living in the 19th century world of food and they seem damn proud of it too! It's not until a major health issue strikes and they hear it from a their MD that they start to consider other food options. But, I mean, it literally takes the threat of death to get them to reconsider their habits.

    Funny part is, I have occasionally made my own form of one of "their" dishes and they still ask me what I put in it to get that flavor or texture. God, if I have to explain what Quinoa is one more time, I'm going to go insane!!
     
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  7. splott

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    Y'know, I've thought this one over and over, and I have to say I think the "obesity epidemic" is a symptom, not a cause.
    The larger "epidemic" has to do with not taking personal responsibility for yourself, your life, and your choices. It has to do with choosing the instant gratification of instant food over working towards a larger goal, a healthy lifestyle and longer life.
    Americans especially are appallingly bad at looking past the end of their own noses to the future and big-picture. Other symptoms include casual sex leading to STDs/unplanned pregnancies, spending themselves into debt, and other physically unhealthy choices.

    Before you ask, yes, this is judgy, but rightfully so.
    And no, didn't watch the video (yet), getting ready to go outside and get some exercise. ;)
     
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  8. Quiet

    Quiet i know nothing

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    [MENTION=3866]splott[/MENTION] i absolutely agree with you, it really is a symptomatic manisfestation our culture. Its about our relationship with food, with ourself, with each other and the environment
     
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  9. AKM

    AKM Permanent Fixture

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    I haven't had a chance to watch any of the videos, but I too am surprised about what people think is or isn't in their food. I've been vegan for about 7 years now, and soy & gluten free as well for about 2 years. At least twice a week someone will talk to me and say something like "oh...I brought homemade doughnuts, and even you can eat them...they're just whole wheat flour, water, sugar and yeast! I respond with "I can't eat gluten." Oh...I didn't add gluten flour to them. Wheat has gluten. I even know vegans who eat marshmallows and J-ello not realizing what gelatin is and where it comes from. We almost always cook our own food based on whole foods. (Even then portions and activity are necessary for a healthy lifestyle which are my problems.)
     
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  10. Quinlan

    Quinlan Right the First Time!

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    I'm normal weight and I think the obesity epidemic is overblown and that Jamie Oliver is a hypocritical scaremongering douchebag.

    Don't get me wrong I know lifestyle changes (especially the reduction of sugar and wheat) will help a lot of people get healthier and lose a bit of weight but they're not going to make everyone arbitrarly thin.
     
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  11. barbad0s

    Banned

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    But how else is a person supposed to get famous? P.S. I agree with everything you've said, except I think Jamie Oliver is an okay guy.

    Anyhow, I do agree with a lot of other posts above. I also kind of feel like a lot of it is common sense and it's something people either overthink or underthink. Like obviously if you eat the occasional snack food you'll survive, but if you eat the "occasional" whole box of donuts it makes a big difference. And if you eat everything from a can, even if it's fruits/veggies, it isn't exactly natural..so there's probably something wrong with that. I guess you do need some basic knowledge of chemistry and biology though, and I guess not everyone has that.
     
    #11 barbad0s, May 20, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: May 20, 2012
  12. CindyLou

    CindyLou Get over it

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    I think the obesity epidemic is more an emotional/spiritual problem than it is physical. JMO The furniture is on the ceiling in people's lives today and people live upside down and backwards.
     
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  13. Jill Hives

    Jill Hives fhtagn
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    I agree with this pretty much completely. Information about how to be healthier is readily accessible to all, especially now in this grand age of information. All you need is the will to change things for yourself.

    But getting a hold of that will is the problem for many. Especially with depression and self hate as rampant as it seems to be. Why would someone who hated themselves be worried about prolonging and improving their life? Far too much work for someone who doesn't care to begin with...

    Which is sad, which is why it pains me when people say rude and hurtful things to and about overweight people. Yes, that person is heavier maybe than they ought to be. But you don't know why or how they got where they are. Looking at an obese person disgustedly, especially if they are of the self hating variety is going to push them deeper into their feelings of worthlessness. Don't think they can't feel those gazes of disgust at their backs. They are probably even hyper self aware about it and themselves. They look at themselves in the mirror every day and live in that body, they know what they are much better than anyone else. For all you know it took a lot of courage just for that person to even leave their house to go to the store where they knew they would face painful stares and ridicule from others.

    I don't like "fat acceptance" movements either though. I don't believe in essentially lying to people and telling them they are just fine how they are, if they are not!

    Therapy would be a good start for most of them, but most of them probably cannot afford it.

    I am generalizing a bit here because I do honestly feel like a lot of the obesity that I have seen is probably because of self worth issues and the environments these people were raised in. Most people have the ability to change these kinds of things if they want. Some of them will have a harder time because of genetic factors/diseases they are living with, but for the most part, its purely a matter of will and execution.
     
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    #13 Jill Hives, May 20, 2012
    Last edited: May 20, 2012
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  14. CindyLou

    CindyLou Get over it

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    I agree. When I see someone morbidly obese I see a hurting person. I am just fortunate enough to have my issues "hidden" in ways that only people that get to know me would ever even know. I hate it when people give someone that is morbidly obese advice that involves food. There is no such thing as righteous and sinful food. No such thing as good food and bad food. When you eat when you're not hungry you are HIDING from an uncomfortable thought and emotion. I hate even more the judgments. Therapy is exactly what they need, not a bunch of people pointing fingers when they should be turned right back around and pointed at themselves.

    That type of judgment is what sends people to "hell" . How someone could hatefully judge someone like that in self-righteousness, consciously when their own subconscious knows that IS them, is rotten. Borderline evil. People can't see the big picture though. Their thinking is entirely warped. They don't see how evil they are. They're blind to reality. That is the way the world is, though.
     
  15. Apone

    Apone Permanent Fixture

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    Uhhh… I'm pretty sure there actually ARE good and bad foods, which is exactly what the problem is.

    I think this video does a pretty good job of identifying what they are:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jCd6vIF8Co&feature=relmfu

    It wasn't until I moved to Asia that I realized just how horrible food in the West really is. Seriously, coming home and walking into a supermarket was an enormous shock… I'd say 60% of the store was unhealthy. You can look on the labels and the sodium content of even 'healthier' things is through the roof. Almost anything that you can buy in a jar, can or bag is loaded with fat and salt, and with very little nutrition to boot.

    I was never fat growing up but looking back on what I used to eat it was a freaking miracle, and I definitely think that it probably had a lot to do with depression/anxiety… because of all the blood sugar spikes and general lack of nutritional value. Some of the stuff I grew up with and that was always in my house is utter garbage, and I'm surprised I didn't turn out much worse than I actually did… and part of me thinks that if we had only had better food in the house then maybe I would be in a better place now.

    But when you walk down the streets in Japan, almost nobody is fat. Now that there's more western food coming in things are changing, but for the most part seeing someone who is morbidly obese is a rarity… and to be honest, when I do see someone who is fat, I immediately think they're probably western. No, better food is not a cure-all, but it definitely helps immensely.

    Another thing they do over here is they keep a close eye on students' weight while they're in school. If someone is fat, they will almost certainly hear about it and they'll be counseled on what they should do next. They don't pull their punches even slightly. When I first heard about this I was actually kind of shocked but the more I thought about it the more I realized that it's probably better that way.

    I'm not sure that fat-shaming is the way to go with this issue, but I definitely don't think that 'big is beautiful' is doing anyone any favors either, and is actually much worse. The best thing to do would be to make certain kinds of food illegal… the only problem being that the main culprits are far too rich and powerful, and people would probably get really upset.

    Here's another video that talks about why the food manufacturers are so big on refinement:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wL_CmsPZ7Qk&feature=watch_response

    EDIT: I just wanted to add that the whole 'it's all common sense' argument is really wrong-headed. People shouldn't need to be so critical and so aware of what's in the food they're buying. The people responsible for approving this shit for public consumption should be doing their jobs and giving people food that will actually help them live better lives.
     
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    #15 Apone, Jun 2, 2012
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  16. CindyLou

    CindyLou Get over it

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    Eating a certain does not make you morally superior to someone that eats another. That's how I used the words good and bad. A piece of cake cannot be "bad".

    You think the problem is food and I think the problem is something else not the food. That is all. I eat moderate amounts of all kinds of food, mostly western and I'm in perfect shape and health. I don't think making certain foods illegal will solve the problem. They'll just overeat the legal ones.
     
  17. Lerxst

    Lerxst Well-known member

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    I'd hate to say this but, once you're aware of where your food comes from, morality is the only factor that comes into play:

    [video=youtube_share;dYGRTuB_G_4]http://youtu.be/dYGRTuB_G_4[/video]
     
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  18. Apone

    Apone Permanent Fixture

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    I think the problem is both the food and other things… but I also think that the food is causing the problems with self-esteem, mood, addiction, anxiety, etc.

    From your response, I'm going to take it that you didn't watch the videos… so I'll sum it up for you.

    Most of the food you can find in the supermarkets is full of refined/processed ingredients, or is completely made of those ingredients. Basically, they take what used to be decent food and strip it of pretty much everything that you need except for sugar and fat. They do this on purpose, because if you're not getting what you need, you'll eat more food (in a vain attempt to satiate your cravings for nutrition you're probably still not getting). This means you're buying more, and they're making more money.

    Nutritionally sound food is bad business-- and everyone likes the short-term satisfaction of sugar, fat and salt... even though over the long term your body won't know what to do with it all-- it can't really go anywhere and your metabolism can only break down so much of it, so eventually you'll end up storing it as fat. It's actually at the point now where genuinely nutritional foods are getting extremely hard to come by, even though what you're eating actually has the appearance and taste of a proper meal.

    If you're getting the proper nutrition, then you won't need to eat as much. You'll feel fuller overall and your body won't crave what you aren't getting, logically enough because you're already getting everything that you need. If you're getting what you need, then you'll feel better. You won't have as much anxiety. You won't have such low self-esteem. You'll be thinner and happier. Any personal trainer, nutritionist, dietician, etc. will tell you this.
     
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    #18 Apone, Jun 5, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2012
  19. CindyLou

    CindyLou Get over it

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    The food itself is not bad. Can we agree on that? Material things can't be bad. Only the person being bad can be bad.
     
  20. CindyLou

    CindyLou Get over it

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    I've been down this road before and I've been on this path and while I do agree with a lot of your post I don't listen to personal trainers, nutritionists or dieticians when it comes to solving problems like obesity as I think it is entirely an emotional issue. I really do. I would listen to a psychiatrist or a psychologist but never a personal trainer. You can't fix an emotional problem with chicken breast and organic brown rice and spinach. It just doesn't work that way and the problem will never be solved because they are looking in the wrong place. I think the problem is more the western "lifestyle" and state of mind, but I don't have very much time to type much more right now, maybe later.
     
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