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melkor

The Fat Pack Wonders if It's Time to Slim Down

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So I was just wondering what people who try to be healthy yet still enjoy real food like to eat and do to stay within that healthy range...

My husband and I like to eat as healthy as possible during the weekdays and then we eat what we want on the weekends. Salads, chicken breasts, and omlettes are easy and fast during the week, and then we can have long, indulgent meals on the weekend. We also have been trying to exercise 4-5 times a week... it definitely makes you feel better about eating that cannoli, but it also makes you more selective about what is tasty enough to justify the calories.

Okay, so far I've read the article but am only up to this post in this topic. But I couldn't resist jumping in and pointing out that this struggle to come up with a healthy, non-extremist, food-enthusiast-friendly weight management regimen has been a major feature of my life for the past two years, during which I have succeeded in taking off over 140 pounds, and am currently contentedly plateauing at 190-something.

Uh, not to shamelessly flog my blogs or anything--though I hope I'll be forgiven since four of them, after all, are here on eGullet, but a lot of that struggle is documented in them. My first eGullet foodblog reflecting my pre "party's-over" behavior, the remaining blogs reflecting the new healthy-eating dispensation.

More, hopefully, later, when I come back from an evening-ful of meetings...

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Strangely, even when constantly eating out on business or personal trips to Japan, I regularly find my weight goes down measurably (usually about 5-6 pounds) and my waistline measurably shrinks after being gone for just a week or two. I snack more often, eat more restaurant meals, drink more bottled drinks and alcohol, and generally think far less about what I'm consuming, but still end up walking so much and eating smaller portion sizes at each sitting, that things just work out in my favor. And it takes only a few weeks to get it back once I come home and resume my normal routine.

This happens to me on EVERY vacation. I'm convinced it's a combo of being relaxed + doing a lot more walking than we normally do at home, regardless of regular exercise routines!


"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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I heard about the article on NPR this morning and I couldn't believe it.  Just finished reading it.  And I am absolutely amazed.

It's an article about food and cooking and dieting and weight management.  And it is, with some small exception, an article about men.

Well, welcome to the pressure, guys!  Come on in, we've been waiting for ya!

I have a bunch of disparate thoughts, but I'll try to be somewhat clear:

The gendering of the article was my first reaction as well. If you notice, all of the women in this article have either written books about losing weight or actively struggled with it. The women in the article were also much closer to a healthy weight to begin with. I don't think there are many women who consume in the sort of gluttonous way described in the article. There is clearly a double standard when it comes to acceptable weight/looks by gender, especially in NY (this seems to be more the case as I enter into my late 20s). Women I know who can "eat whatever they want" choose not to and exercise regularly. Men I know who can "eat whatever they want" do just that and many don't exercise regularly if at all. Some of these men are beginning to have their eating habits catch up with them, but they don't seem particularly deterred by weight gain.

In NY, there is definitely a foodie culture of competitive consumption. Being able to finish your plate is seen as some sort of triumph over the poor saps around you who can't do it. I have a smallish appetite (I'm only 5'2" and pretty petite) and I'm constantly being asked if I like my food or being sent out extra courses during tasting menus (because they assume I don't like the food if I can't finish 7 courses). In my group of foodie friends, it's considered distasteful to turn down pork belly or fried ruffle fat. Also, the share plates trend has made it more difficult to try to make healthy personal choices without putting a crimp in my dining companions' style. Oh, and at restaurants where you're a regular they send additional dishes out!

I'm definitely still struggling with how to be healthy as a young professional in NY. I run for 30-40 minutes every morning, but I can't really do more exercise than that. My job requires me to sit at my desk for 12+ hours per day and often requires me to have dinner delivered to work; my social life requires drinking and eating out whenever I'm not in the office. In NY, always eating only good quality food won't keep you from eating yourself to death. My solution is basically more of the moderation thing- I tend to try to eat really well during the day at work and to try to have meals with people who understand that offal is not in the food pyramid a couple nights a week. I find that suggesting places where you have to eat reasonably healthy food (sushi is great) is helpful. Oh and like many NYers, I eat almost no packaged food at all.

I'm not sure what the solutions are- or even if they're needed for foodies who are not overweight. Still, there's an obvious cultural shift here, which was an interesting but not thoroughly discussed aspect of this article. When did it become acceptable, even pride inducing, to stuff your face?


Edited by Jesikka (log)

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Monday: Lentil soup for lunch, buttermilk fried chicken, corn bread, blackened green beans with aioli, icecream for dessert. 2 1/2 hours at the gym.

Sunday: Went to the Thai temple for lunch - som tam, fried chicken, jungle curry, fish and eggplant stirfry, khanom krok, stickyrice and mango.  Taco truck for lunch (cabeza tacos and horchata). 2 1/2 hours at the gym.

Friday: Tuna sandwiches and salad for lunch, Pakistani restaurant for dinner (naan, tandoori chicken legs, bhuna gosht, chicken karahi, palak paneer, nihari, rice, mili juli subzi), 3 hours at the gym.

(my emphasis) 2-3 hours a day, how many times a week? :blink: I'm curious - do you have kids? That's a lot of time.

I try to walk everywhere, and watch my portions, but to a great extent my weight is what it is since I don't have a metabolism anymore (complete thyroidectomy and I-131 treatment 2 years ago). We eat lots of fruit and veg, and fish.

I have found that a good way for me to not overeat at restaurants is to avoid tasting menus.

There's no doubt that a gym committment takes up serious time. I couldn't do it when my son was younger, but it's a lot easier now to spend two hours at the gym and yes that's what it takes by the time you factor your 30 -40 minutes of cardio and then an hour session with the weights.

I went on WW when my son was 3. At least his dad could watch him while I did a 30-40 minute walk outside every evening after dinner, but that was the best I could do and it was a struggle. At this stage in my life, my hormones have disappeared which puts a serious kink into losing weight, it's more of a struggle, I think your approach is just fine. I don't believe in the word diet and never have. Portion control, some sort of excerise, and walking is among the best for losing weight and healthy choices were we can are the key.


Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Uh, not to shamelessly flog my blogs or anything--though I hope I'll be forgiven since four of them, after all, are here on eGullet, but a lot of that struggle is documented in them. My first eGullet foodblog reflecting my pre "party's-over" behavior, the remaining blogs reflecting the new healthy-eating dispensation.

Oh please flog away. Your healthy approach has helped me in my own struggle this last year. I have really benefited from trying new foods and approaches you have shared with us during your blogs.

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Monday: Lentil soup for lunch, buttermilk fried chicken, corn bread, blackened green beans with aioli, icecream for dessert. 2 1/2 hours at the gym.

Sunday: Went to the Thai temple for lunch - som tam, fried chicken, jungle curry, fish and eggplant stirfry, khanom krok, stickyrice and mango.  Taco truck for lunch (cabeza tacos and horchata). 2 1/2 hours at the gym.

Friday: Tuna sandwiches and salad for lunch, Pakistani restaurant for dinner (naan, tandoori chicken legs, bhuna gosht, chicken karahi, palak paneer, nihari, rice, mili juli subzi), 3 hours at the gym.

(my emphasis) 2-3 hours a day, how many times a week? :blink: I'm curious - do you have kids? That's a lot of time.

I try to walk everywhere, and watch my portions, but to a great extent my weight is what it is since I don't have a metabolism anymore (complete thyroidectomy and I-131 treatment 2 years ago). We eat lots of fruit and veg, and fish.

I have found that a good way for me to not overeat at restaurants is to avoid tasting menus.

No kids, but when work gets in the way of the gym I think more about what I'm eating. Three or four days a week at the gym means I can slowly lose weight and eat more or less whatever I want as long as the portion sizes are reasonable.

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Strangely, even when constantly eating out on business or personal trips to Japan, I regularly find my weight goes down measurably (usually about 5-6 pounds) and my waistline measurably shrinks after being gone for just a week or two. I snack more often, eat more restaurant meals, drink more bottled drinks and alcohol, and generally think far less about what I'm consuming, but still end up walking so much and eating smaller portion sizes at each sitting, that things just work out in my favor. And it takes only a few weeks to get it back once I come home and resume my normal routine.

This happens to me on EVERY vacation. I'm convinced it's a combo of being relaxed + doing a lot more walking than we normally do at home, regardless of regular exercise routines!

This is a phenomenon that I am very curious about. I am in the process of recreating the walking aspect. I know the same holds true for me on vacation eating well. Interesting to say the least.

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So many issues....

Diabetes - coming to Japan, I was most suprised to learn that races differ in how easily/severely they develop diabetes, and I know plenty of Japanese Type II diabetics who are either not more than a little plump, or who have never been beyond normal weight (though many of these drank pretty heavily). Worse, the statistics show that they develop the more severe diabetes-related problems more readily - so if countries with majorities or large minorities of diabetes-sensitive people are lowering their diagnostic thresholds, more power to 'em.

Genetics and weight - yep, there's no getting round it. I look at the ancestral gene pool, and quail. We must have a metabolism designed to hoe the fields all day on an input of thin porridge and boiled turnip! I know that when my husband and I eat the same, even Japanese standards flag him as underweight, while the same standards of course make me obese.

What others are saying about lack of exercise rings true for me - maybe even more than diet. A year of watching over a sickbed, then trying to re-establish normal sleep while also re-building my home-based work has shattered this old bod.

When I used to work outside home, I found that the Japanese "walk + train" and "walk/cycle + shop" lifestyle provided a lot more exercise than life in suburban New Zealand.

Like most people, I find that being "fat but fit" is OK healthwise, and not even too hard fashionwise :raz: , but being obese is limiting. And not only physically limiting, I believe that being TOO fat affects my mood and my limited brainpower too.

Meanwhile, I'm going to dig out that topic in the Cooking Forum about eating "less" meat and see what people are actually up to. Not because meat is the Evil One, but because eating less of it almost always leads to eating more body-friendly food.

I'm also interested to see how people who want to be healthier are dealing with the undeniable burdens involved in finding, paying for, and preparing what have become minority food choices.

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Diabetes - coming to Japan, I was most suprised to learn that races differ in how easily/severely they develop diabetes, and I know plenty of Japanese Type II diabetics who are either not more than a little plump, or who have never been beyond normal weight (though many of these drank pretty heavily). Worse, the statistics show that they develop the more severe diabetes-related problems more readily - so if countries with majorities or large minorities of diabetes-sensitive people are lowering their diagnostic thresholds, more power to 'em.

My husband's grandfather is type 2 diabetic. Japanese, barely 5'2" at his tallest, and very little fat on him. Very active until fairly recently, eats well (not a lot of junk). My 5 year old daughter eats about as much rice as he does.

His only son, OTOH, is also type 2 diabetic and obese.


Cheryl

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I notice a lot more fat people than I used to. I never used to see people so fat that they need a mobility scooters. When I was a kid, there was maybe one fat kid at school. When I see high school kids now, there are so many really fat kids it's scary.

I was involved with high school band kids the past couple years. We were fitting the kids into vintage uniforms from the 60s. In number we had plenty of jackets. But in size we had way too many small jackets, and not enough huge jackets. And I do mean huge. The entire population shifted, with the average increasing by two or three sizes.

When I was a kid we didn't drink sodas. We didn't go to fast food restaurants. We ate ordinary home cooked meals.

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Diabetes - coming to Japan, I was most suprised to learn that races differ in how easily/severely they develop diabetes, and I know plenty of Japanese Type II diabetics who are either not more than a little plump, or who have never been beyond normal weight (though many of these drank pretty heavily). Worse, the statistics show that they develop the more severe diabetes-related problems more readily - so if countries with majorities or large minorities of diabetes-sensitive people are lowering their diagnostic thresholds, more power to 'em.

My husband's grandfather is type 2 diabetic. Japanese, barely 5'2" at his tallest, and very little fat on him. Very active until fairly recently, eats well (not a lot of junk). My 5 year old daughter eats about as much rice as he does.

His only son, OTOH, is also type 2 diabetic and obese.

After working in HK with a Chinese colleague with diabetes (he used to hide his extensive selection of fine wines in my office so his wife wouldn't kill him) I was interested to find out about the issue of weight on the disease. My friend was what I would call underweight. Another friend who was a doctor working on that very subject told me that in Chinese Type 2 diabetic patients, lean subjects had predominant insulin deficiency and obese subjects had features of metabolic syndrome. i.e the ability of the body to store up in case of famine, sort of what Helenjp describes above...

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Okay, caught up now ... but I'm having trouble figuring out what needs saying that hasn't already been said, or that I haven't already spouted off about at length in my blogs ...

Okay, there is this: one of the things I realized as I started working on a healthy weight management regimen I could actually live with for the duration is that, as somebody mentioned a ways back in this topic, way too many popular dieting schemes treat food as the enemy, a dangerous addictive substance we must treat like methadone. Or, perhaps more insidiously, they treat food as just a volume of undifferentiated fodder that can be substituted at will with "lite" versions of real foods with no loss of satisfaction or nutrition. Neither of these apporaches are at all helpful to any serious foodgeek type, for whom food is not enemy but beloved, and "lite" fake foods are a depressingly unsatisfying torture.

So, as many of you have stated, I realized I needed to build my food plan around real, satisfying foods, in moderation, with allowances for the occasional splurge on more nutritionally dense goodies. I steadfastly refuse to label any type of food as "bad" or "naughty" or "evil" or any of those other cutesy but pernicious moral-judgement terms; foods are neither good nor bad, some just pack a bigger caloric wallop than others and thus require more "room" in the food plan.

Of course, it's exactly those more high-caloric-density foods that are the ones I love the most, so another piece of my approach has been to analyze what I find so appealing about those foods, and find ways to capture those appealing qualities in foods that are friendlier to my food plan.

For instance, I was--probably still am--a total meat-o-holic. Time was when I could finish off a 22-ounce slab of prime rib, fat layer and all, without batting an eye. I really don't want to be doing that to myself anymore, but cravings do still arise that won't easily be mollified by an four-ounce micro-slab of prime rib. But if I pair it with a bunch of high-umami foods with a quasi-meat-like mouthfeel--like, say, a nice plate of grilled vegetables seasoned with soy sauce--then I can take that crazy-frantic edge off my food craving, enjoy the food that's before me, and feel satisfied.

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I have been watching this thread with some interest in the past day or so and have gotten through all 3 pages. Great discussion! Its intersting to hear people that don't think of food as the enemy to talk about this and what everyone does individually. And I think that is the key, it's so individual you are not going to come up with ONE answer that fits everyone. Myself, I am overweight, almost 40 and very concerned about it. When I discussed this with my doctor the only answer I got was "don't worry, your cholesterol is a little high, I called in statins already" he phoned in the statins before discussing any other options! I was shocked! And I think there is the problem. Most overweight people I talk to (I am including myself in that) want the weight off. BADLY. But the lack of good information and the lack of doctor help (I doubt I am the only one that had this happen!) even if one can afford to go to the doctor makes it that much harder. Where I live it is so much more costly to eat healthy, so people eat junk. When I pressed my doctor for what to do he directed me to the south beach diet book. Now I have never been a fan of fad diets and was shocked that he was recommending an diet that was a fad diet. I am highly skeptical, therefore the weight has stayed on. Like Mizducky, I don't want to cut out large groups of food for life. So how to cut back when everything is sooo huge. Food comes on platters in resturants.

I other side of this is I could be more strict with myself, but our fellow poster from NYC, people here get offended if you don't eat thier food. At my job they get more offended if you don't go to lunch with them. It makes no sense and at times it seems hopeless. Really. And I think that is the case for alot of people.


"I eat fat back, because bacon is too lean"

-overheard from a 105 year old man

"The only time to eat diet food is while waiting for the steak to cook" - Julia Child

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When I pressed my doctor for what to do he directed me to the south beach diet book. Now I have never been a fan of fad diets and was shocked that he was recommending an diet that was a fad diet. I am highly skeptical, therefore the weight has stayed on.

I don't do South Beach, but fwiw, I don't believe it's a fad diet in the same sense the grapefruit diet or cabbage soup diet might be. If you do the reading, by the time you finish all the stages, you're eating a reasonable diet, with emphasis on "good carbs" (whole grains, etc.), and lean proteins. It's much more balanced than, for example, Atkins.

I still prefer WW, but the most important thing is to find something that works for you, then stick with it. If you (general "you") don't at least try, you'll never succeed.

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MzDucky for some folks processed carbohydrates are as addictive and lethal as heroin ...binges can begin with a bowl of Sugar Frosted Flakes and end up with passing out with a bag of chips and a blood sugar of 500 plus...this certainly can be equated with any addict and overdose in my opinion same same.. ....just like for some folks drinking a beer leads to a drunken binge. Yes there are folks that will overeat anything including meat ..the majority of folks who end up sick in front of me did not get where they were because they were eating whole unprocessed foods with in reason....the diets they eat tend to be based on processed carbohydrates.....at first everyone (even family members) will tell me they eat "healthy" but when they are with me for an entire shift being flooded with fluids and insulin ..as they come out of the fog of sickness...the truth usually comes out in the form of tremendous remorse ..and pledges of resolves..that equals the person in the next bed I am flooding with fluids and vits while they are detoxing from booze...as a nurse I see no difference in the severity of the illness be it booze or food ..... If you can enjoy anything in moderation I totally applaud you! ...you are a great roll model and I wish you give classes in my clinic after reading your blog ..and I wish like hell you were in the majority as well ...and yeah I will say that I consider an entire catagory of food as being unhealthy and bad for you as a result of my own both personal and professional experience ...

Bottom line here is that article ..I am happy that the food community is talking about this ..I have a group of friends who cook and eat together and we are all grossly aware that our gatherings need to be more in line with eating well ..and moving our bodies...so we try to be creative use healthy foods avoid crapfood (sorry if that sounds "cutesy" "but pernicious moral-judgement terms" honey I just call it as I see it... not a moral judgment on my part sorry!..crap is crap) ...and smaller portions of everything including vegetables ..we are as a group trying to make gluttony taboo ..we want to enjoy eating together ..tasting wonderful foods we make... for a long lont time!!!....we do not want to end up caring for each other (as a group of health care providers) ..like we have to care for our patients and there is a huge problem with us too in this area! ...we started planning gatherings that involve hikes or walks as well as food

volley ball or bocci ball in the good weather ..or even cranking up the music ..moving the furniture and including dance moves that are not "suitable for middle aged" folks as Maggie says

...when you are going to eat cake for dessert and I love cake ...it is also a good idea to dance around with joy about it!!!

I am glad that article was written and I am so glad we have this forum to talk about it ...

oh and my opinion of drug companies is not a good one in some cases ..yes I agree the current trend for some providers is to over Rx based on studies the the drug companies fund..they push product and it pisses me off... that is why I work for a company that does not allow sampling or even lets vendors in the door...I will not accept so much as a pen with a drug name on it .. but that is a whole other issue...


Edited by hummingbirdkiss (log)

why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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When I pressed my doctor for what to do he directed me to the south beach diet book. Now I have never been a fan of fad diets and was shocked that he was recommending an diet that was a fad diet. I am highly skeptical, therefore the weight has stayed on.

I don't do South Beach, but fwiw, I don't believe it's a fad diet in the same sense the grapefruit diet or cabbage soup diet might be. If you do the reading, by the time you finish all the stages, you're eating a reasonable diet, with emphasis on "good carbs" (whole grains, etc.), and lean proteins. It's much more balanced than, for example, Atkins.

I still prefer WW, but the most important thing is to find something that works for you, then stick with it. If you (general "you") don't at least try, you'll never succeed.

What's fwiw? I guess because it came from a book store that I am thinking "fad". I read the book and understand it, but I have the sweet tooth from hell and to give up sugar! Yikes! And I do confess that is probably the problem.

ok, I didn't mean to hijack the thread, back to discussion...


"I eat fat back, because bacon is too lean"

-overheard from a 105 year old man

"The only time to eat diet food is while waiting for the steak to cook" - Julia Child

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Like most people, I find that being "fat but fit" is OK healthwise, and not even too hard fashionwise. . .

This is important, I think.

BMI is important to epidemiology because it's easy to assess without doing a lot of stress tests and the like, and across large populations a certain BMI does tend to correspond to a certain level of fitness as well. But the problem with epidemiological studies and applying the conclusions on the individual level is that individuals are... well, individual. I know plenty of people with a BMI that makes them ostensibly more "healthy" and "fit" than I. But I live in NYC and walk all over the place. I've also got a big "opera singer's ribcage" that makes me naturally heavier than someone with a slight frame. Put me up against many or even most of the people my age who are thinner than I with a "better" BMI, and I can walk longer and faster, have more strength, better blood pressure, will kick their asses on a stress test, etc. This is true of most of my "higher BMI" friends in New York, because we walk a lot more than the average suburbanite. There are different kinds of "thin" and different kinds of "fat" (there are plenty of people out there who might be described as "skinny fat people") and it's not clear to me that, on an individual basis, BMI is the end-all, be-all determining risk factor. A "fat" person who has good blood pressure, heart rate and cholesterol levels and does well on a stress test, etc. may very well outlive that skinny guy down the block.


--

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What's fwiw? I guess because it came from a book store that I am thinking "fad". I read the book and understand it, but I have the sweet tooth from hell and to give up sugar! Yikes! And I do confess that is probably the problem.

ok, I didn't mean to hijack the thread, back to discussion...

fwiw--for what it's worth

Not wanting to give up any foods I loved is why I went with WW (although I've fallen off the wagon). You can still eat anything, but in moderation.

This might be the wrong place for this (and if it is, moderators please feel free to delete), but hummingbirdkiss mentioned how thankful she was to have a site like eGullet to discuss this topic. One thing no one has mentioned (that I saw, anyway), was this quotation from JP:

“I do find it irresponsible that they have done nothing to address health issues,” he said of eGullet

I don't think this site has ever shied away from discussing health issues or eating healthfully rather than eating for volume (though people do tend to encourage the latter more so than the former). But is there enough balance between the two?

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What are you supposed to do? For me, it's lots of exercise and periodic reversions to Weight Watchers-- which work somewhat while reminding me how hard it is to count calories. I'm never going to look at a fat person on the street and say, "Eat less; more more" or some pat thing like that. For some people it is a really difficult issue.
My family has a history of heart disease; my father had two heart attacks at age 57; his father died young of a heart attack - there's no doubt in my mind that if I don't take care of myself the same thing will happen to me. It seems to me to be completely irresponsible to advocate eating yourself to death. If you want to pretend to be a duck raised for foie gras, feel free to grab a funnel and shovel everything you can find into it - that's a personal choice. It isn't a good one, but everyone can make their own decisions.
Wow, this is a very hot issue, especially at eG. It would be foolish to ignore some very hard truths and reasonable generalizations about the rate of obesity in this country, the dangers it presents, its relationship to diabetes and heart disease. Everyone needs to assess his or her own risks; if staying healthy was easy we would see a very different picture in this country. So many things conspire against us: money, resources, access to good foods, time to make good food, lack of education, poor health care, denial and gluttony. At one time or another I have suffered from them all.

There are lots of interesting ideas and points here. Personally, one of the best things I've done for my health in the past few years is to move to Asia. Food portions are smaller, cities are set up to encourage walking and cycling and public transit; and to discourage the use of cars; food is still seasonal, and in many cases, snack food comes in smaller portions and at higher prices than in North America. When I visited Canada at Christmas for the first time in four years, I was shocked to realize how people's environment, especially a Canadian winter, can conspire to keep them unhealthy. We hear so much about how it's up to the individual to remain healthy - where is the role of society to help reinforce healthy lifestyles and choices?

You can download for free a really fascinating podcast called "Sick People or Sick Societies?" from the CBC Radio One program, "Ideas" here which provides a lot of food for thought on this issue.

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I don't think this site has ever shied away from discussing health issues or eating healthfully rather than eating for volume (though people do tend to encourage the latter more so than the former). But is there enough balance between the two?

We even have a whole week's( 3 person blog) devoted to it.

( hint, hint)

I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes about 7 years ago. I went from glucose intolerance to full blown diabetes in less than a year. 2 years ago I started a new medication used to treat type 2 called Byetta. The main side effect( which to me was fantastic) was weight loss. Byetta prolongs gastric empyting so you stay full longer( I can eat breakfast at 8 and I'm still full at 1pm) and you need a lot less food. The weight started falling off and looking back, its shocking to me because I never thought I ate huge portions to begin with.

If you look back thru our last food blog, I think the biggest thing to weight loss is portion control and exercise. Its really that simple.

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On the subject of diets, the amazing thing about Atkin's and South Beach is that they are so very effective and at the same time so counter intuitive. They run at an odd angle to the "common knowledge" that is out there. I've seen extremely obese family members take off the weight (one was so obese that he did Atkins to shed the pounds required to make him a candidate for gastric bypass surgery), but they bother me because a person's natural metabolism is being manipulated. For me, it feels too radical for a moderately overweight person to put themselves into ketosis just to shed a few pounds. But, for a morbidly obese person, it might make sense to go to extremes.

If we understood more about the human body (and the amazing thing it is) perhaps we could find a more middle of the road position that everyone can feel comfortable with following. Right now we just don't know.

It's that "Infected with Life" thing - as surely as a person is born, they are going to die. All that's left is to determine how you are going to live. And I can see, and have experienced personally, the impact of a health scare and a serious diagnosis. It is a "life changing" event - and sometimes excesses in one direction are resolved with excesses in another direction.

Done now, going to pop some corn and keep my mouth shut! :biggrin:

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“I do find it irresponsible that they have done nothing to address health issues,” he said of eGullet

I don't think this site has ever shied away from discussing health issues or eating healthfully rather than eating for volume (though people do tend to encourage the latter more so than the former). But is there enough balance between the two?

I thought it was unfair of JP to throw that comment in the mix. Let's face it; until he had a health scare, HE wasn't addressing it either--on eG or on OTB. And I'll state publicly that I'm thrilled to read about/see his progress! Then again, FG claims that he wasn't fully quoted, so we can just blame the media, right? :raz:


"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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When DH and I turned 65 this last year we received a very good benefit from our health insurance. We each got a free membership to the YMCA. Very wise program me thinks. They have a very active "Silver Sneakers" program for seniors . (This is where you younger ones can snicker at gray haired people doing water exercises and treadmills and yoga.) BUT we are there 2-5 days a week, we are moving, we are exerting ourselves, and we are socializing. I haven't lost much weight, but weighing in each time is an incentive. I think that any activity like this should contribute to better health. Apparently insurance company thinks so.

Big surprise is the huge size of some of these (older than myself) women. Always having been one of the larger ones in my group I am amazed that swim suits, and people , who are out and about, come so large.

Great discussion, don't think that it is only those over 300 that are ignoring the signs of ill health to come. Wish I had gotten smarter earlier.

J

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I thought it was unfair of JP to throw that comment in the mix.  Let's face it; until he had a health scare, HE wasn't addressing it either--on eG or on OTB.  And I'll state publicly that I'm thrilled to read about/see his progress!  Then again, FG claims that he wasn't fully quoted, so we can just blame the media, right?  :raz:

I disagree. Communities like this one are extremely supportive of people who ignore their weight problems. There are individual examples of weight loss topics and 'blogs' but overall, what this site is great at is as a chronicle of gluttony. This is the ideal place to document it if you spend a week in NYC waking up each morning and going to a couple of different bagel shops to find the one you like best. After breakfast you wander the city for pizza stopping two or three times in the afternoon in the name of science. Throw in some Chinese food while you're at it, and you might as well run up to Harlem to check out the Ghanaian restaurant your cab driver told you about. You then have dinner at a two or three Michelin starred restaurant each night. Nobody is going to post asking if you might have been better off cutting back to only 4,000 calories each day.

It's clear that Jason didn't believe that healthy eating needed to be addressed before his doctor told him he had no choice. I'd say the chances are good that a number of other eGullet contributors are in the same situation Jason was in before he spoke to his Doctor.

Almost all communities suffer from being mutual admiration societies - you can see it most clearly by looking at the 'Dinner' topic. It really doesn't matter if you post a picture of something that looks delicious or horrible, people will compliment you on it. That isn't inherently a bad thing in that topic but it illustrates that as a community we are supportive of each other more or less no matter what. Blind praise isn't always a good thing - for the person being complemented on the horrible food they cooked it means they'll continue to serve their family gruel. For the person who has a BMI of 75 and is getting rave reviews about the two dozen different hot dogs they documented eating that day it means they focus more on gluttony and less on their health.

We as a community really need to think about the impact this blind support has on the other members of the community. Obviously it wouldn't work if this were a hostile environment where everyone trashed each others posts, but there has to be a middle ground where critique and constructive criticism plays a role.

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