Panaceia or Hygeia

immunize yourself against the pandemic of lifestyle diseases

Posts Tagged ‘junk food’

The wrong food fight

Posted by Colin Rose on February 11, 2009

Very well written. But the biggest nutritional problem is not finding cheap brown rice but obesity, too many calories from all sources, resulting in many disastrous consequences, like Type 2 diabetes. If the population cut calorie intake by an average of 20% we could save $billions in food, waste disposal and medical costs. And the best way to do that is to ditch the junk food. However, I note that Becel margarine is a “founding sponsor” of the HSF. If there is any food junkier than margarine I would like to know. So the HSF can’t risk condemning junk food and losing it’s main sponsor.


The wrong food fight

National Post
11 Feb 2009

We feel awkward questioningthe judgment of the Heart and Stroke Foundation (HSF) when it comes to cardiac health issues, but their new and much-trumpeted report about the supposed costs of healthy eating seems deranged. The foundation blasts grocers…read more…

 

 

Posted in diabetes, diabetes, Type 2, diet, junk food, obesity | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Junk Food Gene

Posted by Colin Rose on December 10, 2008

After $many billions spent on looking for genetic causes of common diseases like obesity we now have the answer in the latest NEJM that was obvious without spending all that money. The most common SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) associated with obesity tends to influence people to eat high-fat, energy dense food, commonly known as junk food. We already knew that obesity was not caused by “slow metabolism”. So, no junk food, no junk food addiction, no obesity. Junk food addiction is like any addiction. If an alcoholic has a bottle in the house s/he will drink it. So don’t buy junk food and you won’t eat it.

To quote from the Discussion in the paper:

“This study indicates that there is no defect in the “output” side of energy balance, which constitutes energy expenditure…Our study tested satiety by directly measuring food intake from a test meal after ingestion of one of three preloads, and the results show a robust effect of genotype on energy intake but not on the weight of food ingested. This increase in energy intake was independent of body weight. Thus, the children carrying the A allele ingested more energy-dense foods than did the children who were not carrying the A allele, indicating a preference for energy-dense foods….In conclusion, variation within the FTO locus appears to confer a risk of obesity through increased energy intake, suggesting that moderate and controlled restriction of energy intake may prevent FTO genotype–associated obesity.”

nejm-fto-obesity-abs

Another Ice Cream Cone

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Obese people have obese pets

Posted by Colin Rose on November 18, 2008

The apologists for the obese say that obesity is, like homosexuality, genetic, there is a “set point” for weight, there is no point in trying to change behavior, everyone should be happy at whatever weight they have, etc.

Then how do they explain the obesity pandemic in pets which has tracked the pandemic in humans? Pets get most of their food from humans. Cats never got obese chasing and gnawing on birds, mice and rats or eating low fat, low sugar cat food. Recently many have been fed the same junk as their obese owners. Tinks was a stray cat that was fed by a variety of people in four different neighborhoods. Two-thirds of the UK population is overweight or obese.

So we conclude that both the human and the pet pandemics of obesity are caused by the same thing, a pandemic of junk food addiction.

gm-pets-obesity-england

From the Globe and Mail, Nov 18, 2008

bbc-obesity-uk

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Michael Phelps’ atherogenic diet

Posted by Colin Rose on August 16, 2008

A gold medal diet?

If Michael Phelps’s diet is really as reported and he continues to eat like this, his risk of atherosclerosis and probably some cancers are elevated. While no detailed nutrient breakdowns are available, one can infer that a large fraction of his calories are coming from saturated fat and refined carbohydrate, nutrient poor calories. The “energy drinks” are liquid candy. He consumes few vegetables and no fruit. His intake is low in fiber, and could be low or borderline in other nutrients. While such a diet may rapidly supply the calories he needs for Olympic gold medals, in the long run his health will suffer. If he thinks he can eat chocolate chip pancakes as long as he exercises enough, he is dead wrong. And what kind of example does he set for the children of the USA and the world? “Hey Mom, I can eat chocolate chip pancakes instead of broccoli, just like Michael Phelps.”

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Canadian Cardiologists Advise “healthy eating habits” but Eat Junk

Posted by Colin Rose on July 2, 2008

“Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.”
                  –Albert Schweitzer

In his editorial in the latest issue of the CJC (June, 2008) Dr. Lyall Higginson states, “If we intend to have a lasting impact on this country’s well-being in the future, we must have increased funding to help us reduce avoidable risk factors by zeroing in on healthy eating habits…”

With the emphasis on lifestyle advocated by the CCS one would expect that members of the CCS would be exemplary in their food choices.

Here are some photos of the “food” served CCC sponsored events included in the registration fee last year at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress in Quebec City.

Cardiologists' Food, Pastries
Pastries

 

Cardiologists' Food, Foccacia Bread with Montreal Smoked Pastrami

Foccacia Bread with Montreal Smoked Pastrami

At the Soirée Québec the only fresh vegetables were in the decorative glass jars. Except for small decorations, there were no fresh fruit.

How can he CCS have any legitimacy in demanding “increased funding” to “reduce avoidable risk factors” unless the CCS and its members show that they practice what they preach? Or is it because seven out of eight cardiologists take a statin and think they can eat anything.

We would hope that at this year’s CCC in Toronto more care will be given to “zeroing in on healthy eating habits” when food is part of a planned event.

If the CCC Toronto organizing committee would like help in arranging healthy food selections, we would be happy to assist them myself or arrange for such assistance.

Posted in cardiology, diet, obesity, professionalism | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Child obesity and trans fat, a politically correct scapegoat

Posted by Colin Rose on March 28, 2007

Here is a classic example of politicians trying to deflect responsibility for a problem away from the average voter, whom they are loath to antagonize, to a politically powerless scapegoat. You will never hear a politician say that eating TOO MANY CALORIES because of food addiction is the cause of pandemic obesity. That would upset the whole food supply industry and rural voters whose votes are worth twice a much as city dwellers. So, politicians blame trans fat and recommend building more gyms, changes that will make ABSOLUTELY NO difference but will not injure an delicate voter sensibilities.

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Child obesity an epidemic, Ottawa told

25% OVERWEIGHT: COMMONS COMMITTEE For first time, Canada’s younger generations are expected to live shorter lives than parents

OTTAWA – More Canadian children are overweight and for the first time the country’s younger generations are expected to live shorter lives than their parents because of obesity, says a new Commons committee report made public yesterday.

Committee MPs said they were “shocked” to learn about the increase in overweight children, from 12 per cent to 18 per cent, and obese children, from three per cent to eight per cent, between 1978 and 2004.

That makes about one in four Canadian children overweight or obese.

The report said parents must be in denial, as a Canadian Medical Association survey found only nine per cent report they have a child who is at least somewhat overweight.

The health committee called yesterday for aggressive measures to halt child obesity, and said they share fears of experts that “today’s children will be the first generation for some time to have poorer health outcomes and a shorter life expectancy than their parents.”

Highlights of recommendations are a ban on trans fats as advised by a federal task force; use of a mandatory, simplified, standardized food labelling system; and designation of federal funds to build or replace aging playgrounds, sidewalks, rinks, pools and other community exercise spots across the country.

The report said most Canadian children spend too much time in front of TV and computer screens; don’t get the expert-recommended 90 minutes a day of exercise; eat too much fat and junk food; consume too many sugary drinks and don’t eat the recommended five daily servings of fruit and vegetables.

The committee also reported the “distressing” and “most alarming” number of 55 per cent of First Nations children living on reserves, and 41 per cent off reserves, are overweight or obese.

There is so much poverty among First Nation and Inuit people that many people cannot afford nutritious food, especially in remote northern communities, the report said.

And of more than 500 First Nations schools, only half have a gym.

The health committee proposed Canadians take up a national challenge to halt a 30-year rise in overweight children in just three years – by the 2010 Olympic games in Vancouver. Then targets to reverse the trend could kick in.

“It is ambitious but it is doable,” committee chairperson Rob Merrifield, an Alberta Conservative MP, told a news conference.

“For the first time in recorded history, our younger generations are expected to live shorter lives than their parents due to obesity,” he said in a prepared statement.

“New and aggressive action is required to address this complex and, ultimately, very costly problem.”

The report was welcomed by the Heart and Stroke Foundation, which has long warned “fat is the new tobacco,” and by the Canadian Medical Association.

Foundation chief Sally Brown said overweight children are on “a fast track” to developing hypertension, heart disease and stroke.

New Democratic Party MP Penny Priddy said by chronicling links between poverty, poor diet and lack of exercise, the report busts a myth that overweight children all sit around playing on computers and watching TV. She cited the example of children in poor families being fed Kraft Dinner instead of going to bed hungry.

Kraft Dinner is a brand of macaroni and cheese, an inexpensive food.

Expressing concern that the committee would get into trouble with the Kraft corporation, Merrifield said “I love Kraft Dinner.”

The report said on average, adolescents in Canada spend almost 35 hours a week in front of a TV or computer screen – more time than in the classroom over the course of a year. Studies had shown the less time in front of a screen and the more activity, the less weight.

The committee also postponed a decision on a possible ban on food advertising to children, saying it would assess the impact of self-regulation in Quebec, Sweden and other jurisdictions in a year before deciding on the issue.

Bloc Québécois MPs issued a dissenting report, saying the Quebec government already has a well-defined strategy to deal with juvenile obesity and that the federal government should stick to its own jurisdiction in health, which is confined to First Nations and Inuit people.

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According to studies conducted at the University of Guelph, Canadians consume an average of eight to 10 grams of trans fats per day. At 9 kcal/gm for fat, trans fat account for at most 90 kcal/day. This is the cause of the obestiy pandemic? One pound of fat is about 3500 kcal, so it would take about 40 days to gain or lose one pound of fat if one adds the trans fat or eliminates it respectively. But that trans fat is always REPLACED with another form of fat with the same calories. A gram of trans fat has the same caloric value as a gram of oil or other fat. So one has to reduce the TOTAL FAT and TOTAL CALORIE intake to make any difference.

Here is what is often used to replace trans fat. No cholesterol, no trans fat, omega-3. These slogans are now used by food manufacturers to market even more junk calories. I predict the pandemic will only worsen. Nobody wants to deal with the fundamental problem, food addiction. See my photo essay on food addiction.

Health Food in Costco

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