My readers are really on the ball. Not a day goes by that I don’t receive an email it two — or more — with links to some article relevant to the topics we discuss around here. I thought I’d give you a sample. These are all things I got from readers and not on my own.
~ From Wilfredo: Weighing the Evidence on Exercise. A lot of interesting stuff in there. The bottom line seems to be that while exercise isn’t that helpful to lose weight (I say it is, if combined with a paleo / primal diet and sensible IF) it’s very helpful in keeping it off once lost, even if returning to bad eating habits. Most notably, even consistent walking and standing rather than sitting has profound effects. I’m standing at my desk right now.
~ And on the subject of standing rather than sitting all day, looks like the mainstream is catching onto something I was all over a year and a half go. From Benjamin in The New York Times: Can’t Stand to Sit Too Long? There’s a Desk for That. I now have minimalist barstools so that I can alternate. Oh, and the prices of those models shown in the NYT article are outrageous in my view (as much as nearly $3,000). My application at the foregoing link cost $200 for two people and is built like a brick shithouse.
~ Here’s a few from David Brown. Diets High in Omega-6 to Omega-3 Fats Linked to Obesity.
Adipose tissue is more than a dormant energy storage depot. Fat cells, known as adipocytes, release chemical mediators, which promote inflammation. This may be the key link between obesity and increased risk of inflammatory diseases. […]
Extrapolation of the present data to human populations showed a stark parallel to the increased dietary intake of omega-6 fats in most developed countries in the last 100 years. Due to the competitive relationship between omega-3 and omega-6 fats the inevitable increase of the omega-6 HUFA pool may irreversibly lead to both obesity and the inﬂammation resulting in increased mortality.
Also, see Dr. Stephan Guyenet’s take on this issue: Have Seed Oils Caused a Multi-Generational Obesity Epidemic?
What this all means to me is that eating out too often is a bad idea. I have fallen prey to that myself, most often breakfast. And while I always ask for my eggs to be cooked in butter, who really knows? I think eating out subjects you to a lot more omega 6 than if you eat at home and don’t use seed/ grain oils or products that contain them, such as bottled dressing and other bottled & canned products. Dr. Eades recently posted about this specific thing: Dining out and bad fats.
~ Moving from frankenfats to frankensweets, three readers (David, another David and Kevin) sent these pieced on added sugars.
And here’s a couple of videos from MSNBC, and while a bit all over the map and you may have to tolerate the guy who "trusts his heart to Lipitor," it’s at least good to see some awareness and waking up to the reality that SUGAR MAKES YOU FUCKING FAT!!!
Now of course it would have been fun to actually have a reporter on scene who’s not your run of the mill useful idiot in order to pose a brain teaser for Dr. Miriam Voss, something like, "OK, Dr., during this interview you’ve said that’s it’s well established that dietary fat is associated with increased risk of heart disease, and now you’re telling us that added sugar — an enormous if not chief source of dietary carbohydrate for most Americans — is also associated with increased risk. Since that implies a low-fat diet combined with a greatly reduced carbohydrate diet, can you tell us what people are supposed to eat?"
~ And finally from William comes this pretty wide ranging article in The Atlantic by Marc Ambinder about his decision to undergo bariatric surgery, and much more: Beating Obesity. I find it interesting that in four pages he covers so much ground — most of which I find to be nauseating collectivism — about obesity yet identifies the basic problem right on page one.
The rise in obesity is associated with a rogue’s gallery of individual, social, and technological factors. The “Big Two,” as scientists call the leading factors, are reduced exercise and increased food consumption: Americans are ingesting more and more calories than they’re burning. But underlying that simple energy-in, energy-out equation is a complex, and so far inexorable, interplay between powerful physiological and societal forces.
Start with our bodies. Molded by evolution in the Pleistocene era, when grains and meat were not easily acquired, they are hardwired to store as much energy in reserve—fat—as possible. Some scientists think that the brain tries to regulate our caloric intake and metabolism to keep our weight within a range that is heavily influenced by our genes. This “set-point theory” argues that an obese person’s body will actually “defend” an excessive weight. An alternative hypothesis, “settling-point theory,” argues that body weight settles into a range determined not just by genes, but by their interaction with learned behaviors and environmental cues. […]
Obesity is also correlated with lack of sleep, with exposure to certain chemicals (like bisphenol A, used in making plastic bottles), even with the type of bacteria that is found in our intestines. And, of course, we adapt, not necessarily in the most healthful way: a high-fat, high-sugar diet can alter the composition of the bacterial flora to persuade our gut to signal the brain to eat even more.
When we subject our Pleistocene bodies to our modern era, in which corn is cheap and animals are killed by others and safely prepared, the effect on waistlines might seem predictable.
Of course, getting it right — implicit in all of the foregoing links submitted by astute readers — won’t make any big corporations big bucks, nor increase the figurative penis or boob size of your average commissar holding a public office. The only one to benefit is you, your friends & loved ones, and perhaps those specific individuals or groups you have stepped up for, like readers of a blog. And why should you really give a shit about anyone else anyway?
Update: Via Dr. Eades’ Tweets, this just out, in Scientific American: Carbs against Cardio: More Evidence that Refined Carbohydrates, not Fats, Threaten the Heart