Why are we fat?
Today one out of three Americans is obese, twice as many as three decades ago. Obesity is a costly condition that can reduce quality of life and increases the risk for many serious chronic diseases and premature death.
Overall self-reported obesity prevalence in the United States was 26.7%. Non-Hispanic blacks (36.8%), Hispanics (30.7%), those who did not graduate from high school (32.9%), and persons aged 50--59 years (31.1%) and 60--69 years (30.9%) were disproportionally affected. By state, obesity prevalence ranged from 18.6% in Colorado to 34.4% in Mississippi; only Colorado and the District of Columbia (19.7%) had prevalences of <20%; nine states had prevalences of ≥30%.
Over the past decade, obesity has become recognized as a national health threat and a major public health challenge.
In one sense, the obesity crisis is the result of simple math. It's a calories in, calories out calculation. The First Law of Fat says that anything you eat beyond your immediate need for energy, from avocados to ziti, converts to fat. "A calorie is a calorie is a calorie," says Lawrence Cheskin, director of the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center, whether it comes from fat, protein, or carbohydrate. Cheskin, who is six foot one (185 centimeters) and weighs 160 pounds (70 kilograms), has never had a weight problem himself. "Who said life is fair?" he observes.
Interesting Fact: Body fat is energy-rich and at the same time lightweight: when the water is taken out, a gram of fat contains 9.4 kilocalories, compared with 4.3 kilocalories for a gram of protein, and when the water is left in, as it is on the human belly, a gram of fat still contains 9.1 kilocalories, while a gram of protein has just 1.2.
The Second Law of Fat: The line between being in and out of energy balance is slight. Suppose you consume a mere 5 percent over a 2,000-calorie-a-day average. "That's just one hundred calories; it's a glass of apple juice," says Rudolph Leibel, head of molecular genetics at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. "But those few extra calories can mean a huge weight gain." Since one pound of body weight is roughly equivalent to 3,500 calories, that glass of juice adds up to an extra 10 pounds (five kilograms) over a year. Alternatively, you'd gain 10 pounds if, due to a more sedentary lifestyle—driving instead of walking, taking the escalator instead of the stairs—you started burning 100 fewer calories a day.
"We know people get fat by overeating slightly more than they burn, but we don't know why they do it," Leibel says. "I'm convinced our overeating is not willful or the result of a deranged upbringing. It's the genes talking, but it's a very complicated language. Genetics are everything."
In the 1960s James V. Neel, a geneticist at the University of Michigan, listened in on one genetic conversation. In his "thrifty gene" hypothesis, Neel suggested that some of us inherited genes that make us exceptionally efficient in our intake and use of calories. Our bodies are good at converting food into fat and then hanging on to it. This trait may have helped our ancestors survive when calories were few and far between, Neel speculated.
But fast-forward to the 21st century, when calorie supply isn't a problem, and genes that favor gaining weight have outlived their usefulness. Evolution betrays us. We store fat for the famine that never comes. "If we understood the genetics well enough," says Anna Mae Diehl, a professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, "we could fingerprint people when they are born and say: Ah, good genes. Lucky you. You can eat whatever you want. Or: Uh-oh. Poor kid. Better never have a doughnut."
American society has become 'obesogenic,' characterized by environments that promote increased food intake, nonhealthful foods, and physical inactivity. Policy and environmental change initiatives that make healthy choices in nutrition and physical activity available, affordable, and easy will likely prove most effective in combating obesity.
Defining Overweight and Obesity
Overweight and obesity are both labels for ranges of weight that are greater than what is generally considered healthy for a given height. The terms also identify ranges of weight that have been shown to increase the likelihood of certain diseases and other health problems.
Definitions for Adults
For adults, overweight and obesity ranges are determined by using weight and height to calculate a number called the "body mass index" (BMI). BMI is used because, for most people, it correlates with their amount of body fat.
- An adult who has a BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight.
- An adult who has a BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese.
See the following table for an example.
|5' 9"||124 lbs or less||Below 18.5||Underweight|
|125 lbs to 168 lbs||18.5 to 24.9||Healthy weight|
|169 lbs to 202 lbs||25.0 to 29.9||Overweight|
|203 lbs or more||30 or higher||Obese|
It is important to remember that although BMI correlates with the amount of body fat, BMI does not directly measure body fat. As a result, some people, such as athletes, may have a BMI that identifies them as overweight even though they do not have excess body fat.
Other methods of estimating body fat and body fat distribution include measurements of skinfold thickness and waist circumference, calculation of waist-to-hip circumference ratios, and techniques such as ultrasound, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Definitions for Children and Teens
For children and teens, BMI ranges above a normal weight have different labels (overweight and obese). Additionally, BMI ranges for children and teens are defined so that they take into account normal differences in body fat between boys and girls and differences in body fat at various ages
Assessing Health Risks Associated with Overweight and Obesity
BMI is just one indicator of potential health risks associated with being overweight or obese. For assessing someone's likelihood of developing overweight- or obesity-related diseases, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute guidelines recommend looking at two other predictors:
The individual's waist circumference (because abdominal fat is a predictor of risk for obesity-related diseases).
- Other risk factors the individual has for diseases and conditions associated with obesity (for example, high blood pressure or physical inactivity).
- There are more diet books on how to lose weight than ever before. More people are on diets than ever before. More people eat diet food such as diet sodas, diet prepackaged food, etc. than ever before. More people are concerned about and are eating low fat food than ever before. More people are concerned about and eating low carbohydrate food than ever before.
More people are concerned about and are eating low calorie food than ever before. More diet pills and diet aides are used than ever before. More people exercise than ever before. But the fact is, with all this effort being put into losing weight, we are fatter than ever before. How can this be?
Keep in mind that this is really an American problem. Although obesity is rising slightly in other countries around the world, America leads the way in people that are overweight and obese.
Years ago the standard to follow was the four basic food groups: meat, dairy, grains, and fruits and vegetables. No one really questioned where the four basic food groups came from. There were posters put up in the schools a while back and on the bottom of such the posters were, in fact, a note stating that they were sponsored by the American Dairy Association.
No wonder dairy products had their own exclusive food group. Isn't it surprising that the dairy association, whose only objective is to increase the consumption of dairy products, would strategically put in schools a poster brainwashing kids into believing that in order to be healthy they had to eat dairy products at every single meal? It goes back to "It's all about the money."
The party line for obesity has always been "If you want to lose weight you must eat fewer calories and exercise more." However, there are experts who present information as fact that will tell you that calories are not the issue at all, and you must reduce the amount of fat you consume if you want to lose weight.
But there are other experts with just as much scientific proof that claim that fat is not the issue at all; the real culprit is carbohydrates, and if you want to lose weight you must reduce the amount of carbohydrates you consume.
Yet another group of experts, with their stacks of scientific documentation, proclaim that food combining is the secret to losing weight and keeping it off forever. However, there is a list of experts lined up, each holding a stack of research documents, scientific proof espousing their fact about losing weight: the glycemic index, insulin secretion, hormonal imbalances, genetics...the list goes on.
Based upon thousands of scientific papers, here is a list of why people are fat in America. However, these reasons why a person is fat apply to people all over the world. Yes, it is true that people in America are fatter than people in any other country in the world. However, the problem of gaining weight and obesity is starting to creep in to societies all over the globe.
1. Most fat people have a low metabolism.
What does this mean? This means you can eat some food and even if you eat a small amount your body doesn't burn it off very quickly and, instead, turns it into fat in your body. If you had a really high metabolism you could eat large amounts of food and it wouldn't turn to fat in your body. So the number one reason a person is fat is because of a low metabolism.
Why is this so specific to America, as opposed to other countries?
I will explain. But first, what exactly is metabolism? In simple terms, there are certain organs and glands in the body which regulate how your body burns food for fuel and how it converts food into fat.
These include the thyroid, pancreas, liver, stomach, small and large intestines, and colon. When you have a slow metabolism, there is a good chance that some of these organs and glands are not working at optimal levels. Always remember, if you find a problem in the body where the body is not operating as it is supposed to, you have to ask the question, "What caused that not to operate properly?" You always have to look for the cause first. There are many causes for low metabolism, including yo-yo dieting. If you have repeatedly lost weight and gained weight I can tell you that your body metabolism is all screwed up.
So, let's look at each one of these reasons, and find out what caused the malfunction.
• Most Fat People Have an Underactive Thyroid.
If you have an underactive thyroid, called a hypoactive thyroid, your body's ability to convert food to energy is slow and you have a higher chance of having food that you eat turn to fat in the body. What is number one cause of a hypoactive thyroid? No one knows. Remember, I will always say that no one really knows. I will always say it appears, or it seems, or we believe based on the information we have right now. The answer is really that it appears that one contributing factor to a hypoactive thyroid is the fluoride in the water that you drink. Fluoride is not put in drinking water in other countries. This is one of the reasons why Americans have such a high propensity for an under active thyroid and a low metabolism and being overweight.
Again, it is only one of the contributing factors. There is no one item that is the cause of obesity in America. It is a combination of things, and a number of things that appear to be the reason that we appear to be so fat.
• Most Fat People Have a Pancreas that Does Not Work Properly.
The pancreas secretes insulin. Fat people appear to have a pancreas that secretes insulin at a much faster rate than thin people. A fat person's pancreas also secretes more insulin than that of a thin person. What causes your pancreas to secrete more insulin at a faster rate? The answer: No one really knows. But based on the information that we have, it appears to be some of the food additives that are in the food served in America. Many of these food additives are not put in food in other countries. It also appears that the high amounts of refined sugar cause this pancreas problem as well. American food has more processed sugar than food from other countries.
• Most Fat People Have a Clogged and Sluggish Liver.
The liver is a detoxifying organ. When it's clogged up, your metabolism slows down. What causes the clogging up of the liver? The number one reason your liver is clogged and not operating properly is the nonprescription over-the-counter drugs you have taken your entire life, and all the prescription drugs you have taken. Most notably, if you take any cholesterol reducing drugs, your liver is absolutely categorically clogged. Chlorine and fluoride in the water is another cause of a clogged liver.
Food additives used in processed food and fast food dramatically clog the liver. Refined sugar and white flour clog the liver. Substances such as artificial sweeteners, monosodium glutamate, and preservatives all clog the liver. The bottom line is the pharmaceutical companies clog your liver and the publicly traded food industry clogs your liver!
• Most Fat People Have A Sluggish Digestive System.
Overweight people seem to have a problem with producing digestive enzymes. If you're not producing enough digestive enzymes your food does not get converted as energy and has a higher chance of being stored as fat. What is the reason that you are not producing enough digestive enzymes? It appears to be the food additives that are put in the American food supply.
The small and large intestine in overweight people are not as healthy as those of thin people. What is the cause of this? It appears to be a candida yeast overgrowth. Why would you have a candida yeast overgrowth? The reason appears to be antibiotics. If you have ever taken just one antibiotic in your life, that antibiotic killed all of the friendly flora in your intestine and allowed for candida to run rampant, infesting your small and large intestine and colon, permeating the cell walls, and slowing down your digestion and elimination.
So, if we were to ask what is the number one reason for a slow metabolism, the answer is "What you put in your body." The poisons that you put in your body affect your metabolism. These poisons or toxins include nonprescription and prescription drugs, chemical residue used in the growing of food, the artificial food additives used by manufacturers, and the toxins in our water supply, primarily chlorine and fluoride.
There is another major reason why your metabolism is low. This has to do with exercise. The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism.
Most Americans have an abnormally low amount of muscle in their body. This means you do not burn calories as effectively as you could. The second most important issue in relation to exercise is lack of walking. The human body is designed to walk. An interesting study of thin Europeans, Africans, Chinese, and South Americans shows that the common denominator of thin, lean people is the amount of walking they do on a daily basis. Thin people walk over five miles per day. Americans, on the other hand, walk less than one-tenth of a mile! Lack of walking dramatically reduces a person's metabolic rate.
2. The majority of people who are overweight eat when they are not hungry.
This is caused by two factors: (a) stress or emotional eating, or (b) physiological food cravings. Stress or emotional eating is obviously caused by stress or emotional issues. Physiological food cravings are generally caused by the toxins you put in your body, or candida yeast overgrowth.
3. Most fat people have a large appetite.
If you are overweight statistics show that you find yourself physically hungry a lot of the time. This hunger is generally caused by your body's inability to assimilate nutrients due to lack of digestive enzymes and candida yeast overgrowth. Another reason that you are hungry is that certain common food additives actually increase your hunger.
4. Most fat people have hormonal imbalances.
If you are overweight statistics show that there is a high probability that your body is secreting too much of certain hormones and not enough of others. This imbalance is generally caused by excess toxins in the body or lack of walking.
5. Most fat people eat larger portions than thin people.
This is caused by a combination of factors: larger appetite, inability to assimilate nutrients, physiological cravings, emotion and stress issues, and the food industry's increasing the size of portions. In Europe, for example, candy bars and snack food come in packages that are over 30 percent smaller than American-sized portions. Restaurants in Europe serve portions 30 to 40 percent smaller than their American counterparts.
6. Fat people consume more "diet food."
Here is a major mind blower. Most diet food actually makes you fatter. Diet products labeled "diet," "low fat," "sugar free," "low calorie," "lite," "light," "low carbs," "lean," etc., are filled with artificial sweeteners, high amounts of sugars, or chemical additives that actually make you fatter. This is the dirty little secret the food industry does not want you to know. These food additives actually can increase your appetite, make you physically addicted, and cause you to get fatter.
7. Most fat people are highly toxic.
Toxins lodge primarily in the colon and fat cells throughout the body. When you are highly toxic your body demands that these toxins be diluted. This causes your body to retain water and increase its fat stores in an attempt to dilute the poisons. This is why you notice people who take lots of drugs become bloated and obese with time.
8. Most fat people eat before they go to bed.
When you sleep, your body's metabolism slows dramatically. When you eat late at night the food does not get a chance to burn off and converts to fat easier.
9. Most fat people are affected by the growth hormone put in meat and dairy products.
Our meat and dairy supply is loaded with growth hormones. These hormones are given to the animals to speed growth in order to increase production and profits. When you consume meat and dairy you are giving yourself massive amounts of growth hormone. This leads to obesity, and is one of the reasons why children today are maturing earlier and earlier.
10. Most fat people see themselves as fat.
Remember Earl Nightingale's discovery he called "The Strangest Secret"? After years of research he discovered you become what you think about. Fat people constantly think about their weight, thus creating the undesired result. The dirty little secret the food industry doesn't want you to know.
The food industry consists of publicly traded corporations. These companies, being publicly traded corporations, have only one objective: to increase profits. The only way that a food company can increase profits is to produce their products at the lowest possible cost and sell those products at the highest possible price, and sell as much of it as they can. That's how they make money.
Remember, that's their only objective.
The people that run the food companies, the officers and directors, do not care about the health and well-being of the American public. They only care about the profits. Many of you have a hard time understanding just how greedy these people can be. However,we are now seeing some of these corporate bigwigs being charged and convicted of massive fraud. We are amazed at the millions of dollars that they have, and that they will still lie, and cheat, and defraud in order to make more money. Did you know that in prisons around the world there are billionaires. Why? Because the more money you make, the more money you need to make. Making money for many of these
people is an addiction.
The greed that overwhelms them is unstoppable.
Many of these officers and directors are so consumed with making more money they will do anything, and knowingly hurt people, just to make more money. It's sad, but true.Imagine that the executives of food companies think only about how to increase profits, and they need to come up with ways to make their product (food) cheaper. Those ways include genetic engineering and spraying chemical poisons all over the foods, so that the crops won't be damaged by disease or bugs or insects.
The soil is loaded with chemicals to make the plants grow faster, or the animals are pumped full of growth hormone to make them grow faster. These companies will do anything to get their products produced less expensively. They also want to sell these products at the highest possible price, and they want to sell massive amounts of these products.
So here's what happens. Food companies will do anything to make their products cheaper. In doing so, the products become highly toxic. If you have ever been in a mass production facility you would be appalled at how food is "made." These food companies also must continue to get you to buy and consume more food. Most food companies have chemical laboratories where thousands of chemical additives are researched and tested.
These laboratories are in secret locations and have tighter security than CIA headquarters. The objective is to make the food physically addicting, make the food increase your appetite, and make the food actually cause you to gain weight.
Food manufacturers, specifically fast food, are knowingly putting chemicals in the food that increase your appetite, make you physically addicted and make you fatter. Two common additives which appear to do this include the artificial sweetener aspartame and the sweetener high fructose corn syrup.
Like the tobacco industry, the executives of the food industry vehemently deny these allegations. Remember, the tobacco industry denied knowingly making cigarettes physically addicting. The fact is, the American food supply will make you fat no matter what you do.
This is why when thin people from other countries come to America, they all seem to gain weight even though they think they are not eating any differently than they had previously.
The food industry is so profit driven that it is lobbying against the national campaign "eat less, exercise more." The food industry does not want people to eat less! The food industry wants you fat and eating more and more food every year.
This is the reason diet products, in the form of pills, powders, food bars, and prepackaged diet foods will never work. The good news is that knowing the truth allows you to take simple easy steps to lose weight faster and easier than ever before.
This knowledge also allows you to eat the foods you enjoy, never deprive yourself, and stay thin for life!