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Junk Food Is Satan's tool to make us fat


Hobbes
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I can easily eat 15 apples in the course of hanging around an orchard while my wife picks apples.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I can easily eat 15 apples in the course of hanging around an orchard while my wife picks apples.

But, by watching her, you're burning your calories vicariously, so it's all good.

I get most of my excercise this way. :blink:

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Eating 1500 calories of bacon instead of the apples  would cause you to loose weight.

Not necessarily.

Different food stuffs are metabolized by your body differently, the excess calories disposed of differently. That's why diets like Lord Atkins are effective (at least for time, until the rebound).

Lets try an experiment - we need one eGullet'r to eat only 3000 calories of bacon each day for a month, and one to eat only 3000 calories of apples...

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Judging by all the lip smacking that is done every time the word "bacon" appears in a thread, many eGulleters are probably already getting 3,000 calories a day from this source.

Arthur Johnson, aka "fresco"
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Yum Brands Inc (Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, KFC, A&W, Long John Silver) has just (press release today) appointed a Chief Scientific, Health & Regulatory Affairs Officer. So point person on obesity issues as well as animal welfare etc.

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Lets try an experiment - we need one eGullet'r to eat only 3000 calories of bacon each day for a month, and one to eat only 3000 calories of apples...

If you burn 3005 calories a day, you would loose eventually loose weight on both diets.

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If you want to cut down on your intake of calories you eat lowfat yogurt with brownies instead of ice cream

So your saying eating 500 calories of lofat yogurt will make u loose weight, but eating 500 calories of ice cream won`t ? i really don`t believe what you eat makes a difference , it`s how much you eat of something.

Eating 3000 calories worth of apples a day will make you fat if you only bur off 2000.

Eating 1500 calories of bacon instead of the apples would cause you to loose weight.

No, maybe if you had left the question mark on the sentence in my original post it would be clearer. I don't know. What I'm asking is what kind of logic tells enthusiast that eating yogurt with brownies is better than eating ice cream. The point being that if you're so concerned you should probably cut out the deserts.

As far as eating all those apples goes, you'll burn off many more calories running to the toilet than you consume in apples. So, yes, you will lose weight on the Fat Guy Apple Picking Observation Diet. But you won't like it. wink.gif

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Different food stuffs are metabolized by your body differently, the excess calories disposed of differently.

Oh boy do you have some fun reading in store for you.

A calorie is a calorie?

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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And if those 4 points are attributable to "some trends in modern societies in general (more cars, scattered families, overindustrialized food)" and "the back side of the archetypical american stubborn individualism" I'll eat my hat. More likely it has to do with the size of the most economically impoverished group in each society.

this is the most rational point you've made yet--but it also begs the question, which NO ONE has touched--Why are the economically impoverished more likely to be obese?

foode recommended Greg Critser's Fatland. i just finished it and recommend that anyone wishing to participate in this debate read it and then return to the table--not that it is the definitive word on american obesity--but becuase after reading it at least you'll have some place from which to start making rational points--rather than assuming and tossing out IMOs. i don't agree with his entire premise, but mostly he's right on and his basic underlying argument--borne out rather frighteningly in this thread--is that americans are in deep denial about obesity.

back to the begged question. many want to throw around the term "personal responsibility." in this case then one needs to be prepared to argue that EVERYONE--rich or poor, educated or not, has the same options available to them, access to the same information, the same ability to make the "right" choices for themselves and their families. the poor are equally able to choose to eat rice and beans and grilled chicken, as opposed to a quick bag of palm-oil and fructose-infused fast food from McD's. those that choose burgers are just being stupid, or irresponsible, poor people, right? and exercise is free, too, right? one needn't buy an expensive gym membership to get in shape, right? poor people who choose not to rise early before heading off to the factory--or the welfare lines--for a brisk jog are just being irresponsible, right? if this is an educated comminty, then i assume we all know that the probelm is far more complex and i'm being very reductionistically wry. this is not only a health issue, this is a political and socieconomic issue.

oh, and there's no evidence that fast food is contributing to rising obesity? fatguy, i can't take you seriously when you make such a claim. you're smarter than that.

the evidence is out there. hobbes, you presented a good start. foode & i suggested a book--and there are countless others. instead of asking hobbes and others to dispense the burden of the doubt--everyone else might want to do some research of their own, as well.

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Katherine posted a link to part of this series of articles back on page 2. I'd recommend reading the series (long, but probably quicker than the book noted by several) for a well-researched look at the whole issue of food, obesity, and the impact of dieting.

Jim

ps...nice to hear your voice again, stella

olive oil + salt

Real Good Food

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this is the most rational point you've made yet--but it also begs the question, which NO ONE has touched--Why are the economically impoverished more likely to be obese?

In a post claiming -- falsely -- that those of us arguing for a position you don't agree with haven't presented any information or done any research, you present surprisingly little of your own. In fact you present none, other than a recommendation of a book. Having read that book, I wouldn't particularly recommend reading it without also reading all the information selectively omitted for the purpose of proving a politically motivated thesis.

i just finished it and recommend that anyone wishing to participate in this debate read it and then return to the table--not that it is the definitive word on american obesity--but becuase after reading it at least you'll have some place from which to start making rational points--rather than assuming and tossing out IMOs.  i don't agree with his entire premise, but mostly he's right on and his basic underlying argument--borne out rather frighteningly in this thread--is that americans are in deep denial about obesity.

A nonsensical statement. Obesity is a major front-burner issue across all media. Anybody who watches TV, picks up a newspaper, turns on a radio, surfs the Web . . . is fully aware of the obesity epidemic and its consequences. Moreover, nobody has argued or is likely to argue that obesity isn't harmful. What we're arguing about here are what the causes and solutions are. To disagree with a particular theory of the cause of obesity is not to be in denial, it is to make an argument. Denial would be refusing to acknowledge strong arguments that are staring one in the face.

oh, and there's no evidence that fast food is contributing to rising obesity?  fatguy, i can't take you seriously when you make such a claim.  you're smarter than that.

It's not about whether or not you take me seriously; it's about whether or not you can make an argument that deserves to be taken seriously. Set out standards for how you would go about proving that fast food is a significant cause of obesity, and show us the evidence. If you want to support your argument, giving us homework isn't the way to do it -- we're not your students, we're fellow adults having a debate. You can start by explaining why obesity is on the rise in countries where the obese populations eat little or no fast food.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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funny, shaw--you're behaving like one of my students. :wink: i haven't been indicted--i'm not on the stand--and you're not cross-examinging a witness. how about that, big boy?

i made it clear that i wasn't going to present evidence. i am not going to "explain" to you why obesity is on the rise in nations where people don't eat fast food. that information is available to anyone who wants to find it. one can gather the information from as many disparate sources as one likes and then begin to have an informed debate. i was making a different point, that thus far this has been a relatively uninformed "debate," with an occasional attempt to interject some valid and germane data, which you then, as far as i can tell, dismiss. when bright adults have debates, they typically are able to cede ground occasionally. you don't. if you want me to step out of the teacher mode--i'd kindly ask you to step out of the lawyer mode. it's unfair and unproductive in this case.

i posed a very difficult and very important question--why are the economically disadvantaged disproportionately obese? the answer is extraordinarily complex, but to begin it does have to do with the availability of cheap, high-fat and high-sugar convenience foods in poor neighborhoods, with decisions made consciously by marketers and executives within the fast food companies to increase portion sizes, to give folks a lot more food at a minimal increase in actual cost, playing to the notion that more for less is more and better, which americans have absoutely bought into. have portion sizes at the local mom and pop joint increased over the last thrity years? i don't know, but portion sizes at McD's have--demonstrably--an "adult" serving of fries has increased from @ 250 to @600 calories since McD's began selling them. when portions became supersized, people began consuming more calories. before supersizing undoubtedly there were people who ate two or three burgers and orders of fries at a time, but the majority of consumers were comsuming one serving size--now "one" serving size delivers more than twice the calories it did 25 years ago.

to say i disagree with your position--what is your position, exactly? that there's no evidence that--what?--that anything is making us fatter? but we are fatter--this is a front burner issue, as you say. but it's because--what? the air has become more caloric? when some of us have argued that fast food is partly or even largely to blame, you argue that there's no evidence. should we argue that perhaps celery is to blame? unleaded gasoline? beanie babies? what answer would you like to hear? that we're too sedentary? that's been argued , too. why is that a better answer? because it falls under the category of "personal responsibility"? or maybe you'd like to hear that we're not fat at all--that the figures have been renormed and skewed to misrepresent us as fat people when in fact we're no fatter than we ever were, which again is not true because in measures of BMI and average height/ weight we do weigh more than we did 30 years ago.

this is a maddening conversation. it's such a very serious issue but almost every attempt to explain gets pooh-poohed.

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To start with, I haven't read through this entire thread, so if what I'm about to say has already been said, then I apologize in advance. I am also somewhat confused as to how this thread even got so popular, since it seems to very closely parallel the other "war on fat" thread (which has been linked) only with different players this time. Now for the post:

The biggest myth that the food industry has decieved the general public with is that "low fat" translates into weight loss, or prevents weight gain. The most evil incarnation of this movement has to be Nabisco "Snack Wells" products.

For every gram of fat that a company removes from a product they replace with many more grams of sugar. The net result is an equal or even higher amount of calories in the "low fat" product. I haven't been able to weed through the "is a calorie a calorie" argument, but from my own limited and admittedly biased knowledge I believe that refined carbohydrates such as sugar will lead to insulin spikes and thus weight gain. This means that "low fat" products are even worse that their lower sugar regular fat bretheren.

I can only infer that the dimwitted folks who began the "low fat" trend came up with the flawed and simple reasoning that since fat has 9 cal/gram and protein/carbs have only 4 cal/gram, then eating less fat would lead to less overall calorie consumption. But, when 1 gram of 9 cal/gram fat is replaced with tons of sugar (carbs) the net result is added, not reduced calories. Furthermore, since sugar is pure energy, the body does not need to do anything to break it down, and it is immediately used, result in a lack of satiety, leaving you hungry for more food (hence calories). Fat sits there for a long while, giving you that warm and fuzzy "post 48oz steak feeling" where eating is the last thing on your mind.

Now I don't suggest anyone just eat fat with reckless abandon, but I feel it is much less of a cause of over consumption of calories than the sugar that generally replaces it in "low fat" crap.

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Actually, two days ago somebody started forging my email in the return address of several types of generic viagra spams. My mailbox was full of returned email. I complained to my ISP, and they stopped it. I'm a little worried that whatever filter they put on my mailbox might be filtering out my intended email, but what can I do? At least they stopped the rebounding mail.

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i made it clear that i wasn't going to present evidence.  i am not going to "explain" to you why obesity is on the rise in nations where people don't eat fast food.  that information is available to anyone who wants to find it.  one can gather the information from as many disparate sources as one likes and then begin to have an informed debate.

If you have nothing to contribute, and indeed refuse to contribute any information, you shouldn't participate in this discussion. Either present your arguments and evidence, or don't.

i was making a different point, that thus far this has been a relatively uninformed "debate," with an occasional attempt to interject some valid and germane data, which you then, as far as i can tell, dismiss.  when bright adults have debates, they typically are able to cede ground occasionally.  you don't.  if you want me to step out of the teacher mode--i'd kindly ask you to step out of the lawyer mode.  it's unfair and unproductive in this case.

Whereas, it is fair and productive to lecture and insult those who have participated on this thread and accuse them of participating in "a relatively uninformed 'debate,' with an occasional attempt to interject some valid and germane data," while at the same time steadfastly refusing to present evidence?

i posed a very difficult and very important question--why are the economically disadvantaged disproportionately obese? the answer is extraordinarily complex, but to begin it does have to do with the availability of cheap, high-fat and high-sugar convenience foods in poor neighborhoods . . .

The economically disadvantaged are disproportionately obese. They have not, however, experienced a disproportionate increase in obesity in the past 30 years -- the target date range for establishing a correlation between increased fast-food portion sizes and increased obesity. Rather, obesity has increased less among the economically disadvantaged than it has among college-educated Americans. Between the 1970s and the 1990s, rates of obesity among women without high school degrees rose 58 percent. Rates of obesity among college-educated women rose 138 percent.

The availability of more and cheaper foods is not a phenomenon limited to the fast-food industry. Food is cheaper now than it used to be, period. This is true across nearly all food categories and outlets. It is as true in the supermarket as it is in restaurants.

when portions became supersized, people began consuming more calories

People have been consuming more calories, and BMI averages have been rising steadily, for the past 100 years. So it is inaccurate to say that people "began" consuming more calories. In addition, in order for this alleged correlation to have meaning, one would need to define it a little better. Specifically, people today are consuming on average 200 more calories per day than they did in the 1970s. However, the best data I've seen indicate that Americans are not consuming more calories at mealtimes than they did in the 1970s. In other words, even assuming the average person is getting more calories from fast food today than in the 1970s, that increase must be being offset by a reduction in calorie consumption at meals elsewhere. It seems most Americans are getting their extra 200 calories from between-meal snacks -- an area of the market in which fast-food restaurants are not heavy participants.

when some of us have argued that fast food is partly or even largely to blame, you argue that there's no evidence. should we argue that perhaps celery is to blame? unleaded gasoline? beanie babies? what answer would you like to hear?

When there's no evidence, it's entirely appropriate to argue that there's no evidence. Desperation does not justify the abdication of normal standards of logic. It may be fundamentally unsatisfying not to be able to point to a culprit, but it is patently unfair and unreasonable to declare a culprit without better evidence than has been presented -- not just here, but in the literature at large.

I'll also start a separate thread on the absurdity of the very notion of a clear division between junk food and normal food, fast food and slow food, etc. In the end, McDonald's is mostly a purveyor of hamburgers, french fries, and soda.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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considering that this is a website dedicated to the appreciation of food, and considering that you are a sponser, i guess i would have expected you to be more willing to engage in a critical discussion of the obesity epidemic as it is related to increasing portion sizes, availability of cheap high-fat low-nutrient foods, etc. but your reaction seems to me to be two-fold: to pooh-pooh the claims that this is anything more than some anti-american conspiracy, and to dismiss any evidence presented by anyone to the contrary.

as i have picked my way through this thread i have noticed that you seem to be all over the board about the issue. in my first post i claimed that fast food is partly to blame--there is certainly a link between fast food consumtion and rising BMI. your response to me was to stop giving homework and to give data, instead. then you asked how i could implicate fast food as a cause for obesity in the US when it clearly isn't causing obesity in other countries.

i'll paraphrase: if people in other countires where fast food is limitedly available are getting more obese, then fast food can't be the cause of increasing obesity in the US. that's called false logic. it's possible that the casues for obesity in two different countires are entirely different. for instance, the polynnessians are heavy largely because their diets are so high in palm oil--more saturated than pig lard--and in the 70s Nixon's farm secretary helped broker expansion of palm oil importation into the US market, where it immediately became in high demand among snack foods manufacturers.

it's true that obesity is increasing across the socioeconomic board, but it also still the case that the obese are disproportionately poor. southern babtists are heavier than atheists. southerners are heavier than everyone else in the nation. on and on. the causes of increasing obesity are many and complex and in some cases inter-related. fast food is certainly implicated, as are Dolly Madison and Hostess, TV, irresponsibility, wide-spread availability of cheap foods, ignorance, genetics, etc. and though Shaw admonished me for it, I will suggest again that anyone really concernd about this issue take the time to do some reading on it, as there's way more relevant info than anyone could ever present in this thread.

i did claim and will claim again that this debate heretofore has been largely uninformed--which is not the same thing as saying that the people participating are uninformed. i have noticed that a few folks, like hobbes, have tried to present some controversial information, for some reason feeling they have to apologize for it. this doesn't feel like a free and open discusssion to me. call me paranoid, but i feel that i have been warned by the head guy to butt out.

one final point, unrelated to the content, more to the style. as a left-leaning advocate for the marginalized, i have little patience with the tendency of those right-of-center advocates of anti-human and mean-spirited agendas to bully and intimidate and derail opponents in order to avoid having to take responsibility for their lack of compassion. when one bandies about the term "personal responsibility," one is implying that the obese adult can remain fat and lazy or he can choose to eat better and exercise more--helping him make better choices is not the role of the government. but what about the obese adult's family? his children are more likely to become obese--and if he is personally reposnisibly for them, then it may be convenient to call their ill-health his shame, not ours. but for one thing, i know that many people reading this thread do feel compassion for the 4, 5, 6 six year old child, who isn't being raised by "responsible" parents. it's one thing for the govt to harden its heart against adults and preach personal responisbility--it's another not to intervene to try to reduce the damage caused to the next generation. rather than a bleeding heart, i'm more of a pragmatist. in addition to being a political issue, and a "human" issue, this is a public health issue as well, and it's only a matter of time before everyone begins to feel the real cost, in terms of rising insurance premiums and drug prices, of the obesity epidemic.

the way i see it, shaw, you really blew it here not advocating a more concerned proactive response to the obesity problem. this is a food site and this issue is totally relevant.

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