Well, they're at it again... and it's not like us to let a "news" story that's filled
with misrepresentations stand. So let's take a few minutes to once again
answer these "facts" that masquerade as truth. In the following,
the original article content, the text is green. Our answers are shown in blue.
From AP || December 13, 2001:
Surgeon General Warns of Obesity
WASHINGTON (AP) - The nation's obesity epidemic has gotten so bad it soon may overtake tobacco as the leading cause of preventable deaths, the surgeon general said Thursday. He called for changes in policies - from schools to the fast-food industry - to trim Americans' waistlines.
The fact that obesity is now regularly labeled as an "epidemic" is scary enough... but the fact that it will be considered the leading cause of preventable deaths by mainstream doctrine is even worse.
Some 300,000 people a year die from illnesses directly caused or worsened by being overweight. The toll threatens to wipe out progress fighting cancer and heart disease, and could even exceed cigarettes' harm, Surgeon General David Satcher warned.
I suspect the number is far higher. Here's why: Since a high carbohydrate diet (even one low in fat) raises "bad" cholesterol and reduces "good" cholesterol (as well as sending triglycerides through the roof as sugar is known to do), we can assume that many people who succumb to heart disease because of these factors but who are not considered obese, are not counted in these statistics.
The same is true for cancer victims. Cancer feeds on sugar to keep its tumorous tissues viable. The higher the sugars in your diet, the higher your risk for many types of cancer. For example, for years the propaganda has been telling women that they must eat a low fat diet to prevent breast cancer. A couple of years ago, the New England Journal of Medicine published an article in which the results of 7 different studies of the effects of fat restriction on breast cancer were reviewed. They found (to their surprise) that no protective effect was found (at ALL) from a low fat diet. In fact, they found that a very low fat diet was associated with a higher rate of breast cancer. The Harvard Nurses Study has also looked at the relationship of fat intake to breast cancer. Again, the highest rate of breast cancer was found in the women with the lowest fat intake. Yet, overweight women who succumb to breast cancer are told it was the fat in their diets and indeed are often put on a low fat, low cholesterol diet during treatment.
Some 60 percent of adults are overweight or obese, as are nearly 13 percent of children, rates that have steadily risen over the past decade. The reason isn't a mystery: People eat more calories - too often by shunning fruits and vegetables in favor of super-sized junk foods - than they work off. But how to solve the problem is vexing, as warning after warning from health officials has gone unheeded.
As long as you look to calories alone, and consider 100 calories worth of white bread (filled with white flour and high fructose corn syrup) better than 100 calories worth of sautéed chicken with cheese, you have no hope of saving people from obesity and disease.
Satcher said a key is treating obesity not just as a personal responsibility but one shared by the community and industry. He called for a national attack on obesity like the one federal health officials declared on smoking.
A "national attack on obesity" sounds like a great idea... But what would they implement to accomplish this? Let's take a look:
Among his recommendations:
* Schools must provide daily physical education for every grade. P.E. has gradually been disappearing, particularly for older students. Just 6 percent of schools require it for high-school seniors.
An excellent idea. It won't solve the problem alone (as long as the kids are eating high carb/high sugar diets,) but the extra activity is a step in the right direction.
* Schools must provide healthier food options, and better enforce federal rules restricting students' access to junk food in the vending machines present in most middle and high schools. Agriculture Department rules say school lunches should contain no more than 30 percent fat but the national average is 34 percent, and a recent survey found just 20 percent of high-school lunches provide proper vitamin levels.
The vending machines idea is a good one, but what will replace it?
A bigger question/problem is the school lunches. If they lower the percentage of fat in the meals, what do you suppose that fat will be replaced with? That's right... carbs and sugar. I'm sure that will get obesity down. And the more carbs in the food (and believe me, with most school budgets, they'll be the cheapest kinds of carbs), the hungrier the kids will be in a few hours and the more food they'll be driven to eat. Blood sugar will soar after eating the high carb meal, then plummet and hunger will be back with a vengeance. And the cravings will be for more carbs... more sugar.
Vitamin levels? You can continue to add vitamins via cheap sprays on "enriched" breads all day, and as long as the child continues to pack away sugar — an antinutrient that will negate those vitamins — it won't matter in the least. A better idea would of course be a diet filled with protein rich meats, healthy (hunger satisfying) fats, vitamin packed (non starchy) vegetables, and a moderate amount of whole grains and seeds. In other words, the healthy low-carb diet. Of course as long as they continue to tell the public that we eat nothing but steaks, butter, lard, bacon, and pork rinds all day, the world will see low carb as a fad that can't work. They'll keep buying the 'line' that fat makes you fat, and when their diets don't work and they succumb to cravings, it's their fault. Great system, huh?
* Communities must create safe playgrounds, sidewalks or walking trails, particularly in inner cities. Employers should provide time for workers to get physical activity on the job. After all, healthier workers mean employers' insurance and absenteeism costs will drop.
Again — the same reply as with the kids... Exercise is great, but isn't the ONLY answer.
* Industry should promote healthier food choices, including "reasonable portion sizes."
That would be true (promoting healthier choices) except that their idea of "healthier choices" are reduced fat (carb hiked) products, usually filled with hydrogenation, high fructose corn syrup (more dangerous than sugar), and hazardous substitutes (i.e. Olestra).
Ironically, the poor have a tendency to be fattest. Among the reasons, Satcher cited fast food crowding out access to healthier foods in inner cities. He urged communities to study fast-food marketing practices, comparing the situation to tobacco companies' targeting of inner-city minority communities in the 1990s. And he encouraged government-funded attempts to increase the availability of affordable fruits and vegetables.
There's nothing surprising about the poorest being the fattest. Carbs are cheap. Plain and simple. The least expensive foods in the store are rice, potatoes, beans, flour, and sugar. And look at coupons... any Sunday paper's coupon section offers discounts that are for foods 85% of which are carbohydrate heavy foods. Foods with the biggest mark-ups.
They always site fruits and vegetables as though that's what their food pyramid pushes. They site them because they "sound" healthy... and in fact in a diet rich in protein, they are healthy. But take a look at that pyramid. It calls for as much as 12 (TWELVE!!!) servings a day of breads, cereals, and pastas.
How about making meats affordable for those "inner-city minority communities" that they quote? What health benefits might be gleaned from getting sufficient protein into their bodies?
"Sometimes the most fattening foods are the cheapest," Satcher lamented in an interview.
Yes, they are. They're the rice, potatoes, beans, flour, and sugar I just mentioned.
The National Restaurant Association rejected as "simplistic" the idea that fast-food joints cause obesity, and the National Soft Drink Association urged more focus on Satcher's exercise recommendations, calling vending machines in schools adequately regulated.
You can eat a healthy meal at almost any eating establishment. The critical point here is educating the public about what's the right diet. And we're headed in the wrong direction.
Consumer advocates praised the report for finally acknowledging that people's environments can either help or hinder weight loss. But, "talk is cheap," said Margo Wootan of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, asking how the government would implement Satcher's recommendations.
In our opinion, if they DO implement Satcher's recommendations, they'll be feeding the problem. There's nothing new in this report. You can find a thousand dieticians who repeat the "fat is bad" mantra every day. You can walk in a grocery store and see lines of overweight people trying to "do the right thing" with their carts brimming with low-fat ice creams, reduced fat crackers, "Smart Ones" and "Weight Watchers" low fat dinners, candies that brag on their labels that they are a "Fat Free Food" (of course they are – they're pure sugar.) The problem isn't educating the public — it's UNeducating them.
The Agriculture Department has targeted childhood obesity as a major concern and will take some action, though just what hasn't been decided, said Ron Vogel of the special nutrition program. Officials are helping schools to improve lunch nutrition. While USDA has authority to restrict use of vending machines only if they are in cafeterias, it is considering whether to seek broader authority.
Yes, every year we as a populace are all getting fatter... and that includes the kids. Yet the children's lunches are no higher in fat or calories than they were in the 1950's when childhood obesity was rare. The difference is the sugars and starches that are now the mainstay of the diet.
As for physical education, the Education Department can't force schools to require it, a decision made locally, said spokesman Dan Langan. But this fall, it did provide $5 million in grants to help 18 school districts begin or expand P.E. classes.
As for overweight Americans, don't get discouraged if a diet doesn't cause as much weight loss as expected, Satcher said. Even losing 10 pounds can reduce someone's risk of getting diabetes or heart disease, as can simply walking 30 minutes a day.
Yes, losing weight can reduce risks. Aside from the obvious lack of additional stresses on the body, guess why? Because higher weights (statistically) correlate with higher sugar intakes. When higher fat intake is a factor too, it's because the person is eating a high carb AND high fat diet. The carbs drive hunger and the need for more food. The extra food then invariably means additional carbs AND fats.
"Every pound counts," he said.
Facts from the surgeon general's report on obesity:
* Even being 10 to 20 pounds overweight increases the risk of premature death. The risk rises rapidly when people become obese - as measured by a body-mass index, the comparison of height to weight, of 30 or greater. Healthy weight is a BMI of less than 25. BMI is derived by multiplying a person's weight in pounds by 703 and dividing that result by height in inches squared.
Again, this is true because higher obesity correlates with higher carb diets. If high carb eating fat people get cancer or heart disease, it's the fact that they're fat (assumed to be the result of eating high fat) that is blamed in statistic gathering.
* Excess pounds increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, asthma and other illnesses. How much? Women who gain more than 20 pounds after age 18 double their risk of postmenopausal breast cancer. Every 2-pound increase in weight increases the risk of arthritis by at least 9 percent.
Ditto our last reply. And add to it proof of their assumption because they site breast cancer as an example. Higher rates of breast cancer are known to be among those women with the lowest fat/highest carb intakes, so we see it's the high carb obesity that creates the risk hike.
* Losing weight means both eating less and exercising more. Forgoing one 12-ounce soft drink or adding 30 minutes of brisk walking most days can, over a year, help you lose about 10 pounds.
Well, at least we agree with the soda. But if you replace it with orange juice or a "sports drink", you're back in the same (sinking) boat.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Since beginning the push for low fat, we've watched our population become wider and wider. We go LOWER fat, and people get fatter. Not once does mainstream establishment make the connection... It doesn't work. It's the wrong way.
If someone told you that driving northeast would take you out of the mountains and right to the seashore, you'd take their advice and start the drive. If you saw more mountains, it's reasonable that you might begin to wonder, but would assume you'd eventually reach your destination. But if you'd been driving for days and found only higher and higher mountains, would you not — sensibly — begin to doubt those directions? Would you not reevaluate your course and go the other way? Or would you blame yourself that you must be steering wrong?
There comes a time when people — and societies — must admit they've erred and step back to make it right. Screaming a mistake louder does not make it less a mistake.
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