• LibraryThing
  • Book discussions
  • Your LibraryThing
  • Join to start using.

Too fat to be president?

This topic was continued by "Too Fat" Part Two!....

Pro and Con

Join LibraryThing to post.

This topic is currently marked as "dormant"—the last message is more than 90 days old. You can revive it by posting a reply.

Edited: Oct 3, 2011, 3:33pm Top

Is NJ governor Chris Christie "too fat to be president?" Politically? A question of character? A question of discrimination?

NYT Op Ed by Frank Bruni, "The Round and the Oval"

Michael Kinsey
"Look, I’m sorry, but New Jersey Governor Chris Christie cannot be president: He is just too fat. ... (W)e shouldn’t overlook it -- unless he goes on a diet and shows he can stick to it.

Eugene Robinson on Morning Joe
"Eat a salad and take a walk"

Oct 3, 2011, 3:36pm Top

Chris Christie is no Taft!

Oct 3, 2011, 3:40pm Top

I don't know. How much did Taft weigh?

Oct 3, 2011, 3:40pm Top

More than 300 pounds. They had to put a new bath tub in the White House to fit him.

Oct 3, 2011, 3:43pm Top

Yeah, I think Christie's in that league. Taft stands out because people didn't used to weigh that much very often.

Oct 3, 2011, 3:53pm Top

At his largest, during his presidency, he weighed 340 pounds, but he was able to drop to 244.

Which is harder, to become a Black president or fat president?

Oct 3, 2011, 4:25pm Top

He could use Weird Al Yankovich's song "I'm Fat" as his campaign song...

Oct 3, 2011, 5:10pm Top

Chris Christie--He's twice the man his opponent is!

Oct 3, 2011, 6:00pm Top

Ouch! So how does being fat effect his presidential qualifications? Other than the fact that people won't vote for a large person?

Oct 3, 2011, 6:08pm Top

4 I'm GUESSING fat is harder but jet guessing. What do you think? In one research project men were asked who they would date if given a choice only between a fat woman or a crack addict, they said they would choose the addict. Course who wouldwant todate those guys ?

Oct 3, 2011, 6:26pm Top

9> "So how does being fat effect his presidential qualifications?"

Obesity is seen as a character failing, a symptom of a lack of self-discipline or a propensity for self-indulgence. Gluttony is, after all, one of the Cardinal Sins, and obesity is commonly read, rightly or wrongly, as a sign of gluttony.

So, I'd say it affects his presidential qualifications enormously.

Oct 3, 2011, 6:27pm Top

yeah, but I think we have turned all of the seven deadly sins into virtues, with the exception of sloth. (Which is really acedia, and have made medical condition of that.)

Oct 3, 2011, 6:30pm Top

There is a distinct difference between heavy and obese....Christie crosses the line easily. He is a cost to us all , if he doesn't deal with his weight....the health issues of the obese are a burden on our health care system which we all pay for. This may be a talking point for some ?

Hate to admitt this but I do tend to cringe when I think of him meeting officials from other countries. He would be representing the newest trend in American consumerism. We are after all a nation with a continuing rise in obesity. Most assuredly there were would be a lot of jokes poked at the whole of this country...not just him.

Oct 3, 2011, 6:42pm Top

I lived in Germany when Helmut Kohl was chancellor. His nickname was "The Pear," and Germans disparaged of thinking about him meeting dignitaries. But he kept getting elected. Granted their system is very different from ours.

Edited: Oct 4, 2011, 2:14am Top

Search for obesity in google-scholar, and you will be astonished at what is being learned about the causes of the condition. As knowledge increases, though, so, paradoxically, does blame and even discrimination.

BTW, the Canadian healthcare system would pay for someone of Mr. Christie's weight (or smaller with tendencies to type II diabetes) to have gastric surgery. And the Canadian healthcare system only pays for proven, cost-effective remedies / preventive strategies.

Oct 3, 2011, 7:33pm Top

>14 Arctic-Stranger:
I believe that Germany has a "fat tax" now. Due to the cost incurred by being over weight.

>15 margd:
Christie was asked about his weight.....he said that the reason he was obese was because he "ate too much". Was "rather simple" was how he put it.

What would be his incentive to change that fact ? As a politician he is privy to the cadillac of health care plans. The health care system makes a lot of money off of the Christie's in this country..... there is no reason for any faction of the system to see to it that he take care of himself when it is so profitable to take care of him themselves.

Is such a self defeating system......Christie is a perfect example.

Oct 3, 2011, 7:45pm Top

The mayor of Gerald Samper's little Italian town was obese. He had run on the slogan, "A big man for a big job."


Oct 4, 2011, 5:05am Top


I remember some Franco-German summit where the photos of Mitterand (who was a bit like a bald elf) standing next to Santa Kohl were pretty hilarious.

Oct 4, 2011, 7:10am Top

#12 " I think we have turned all of the seven deadly sins into virtues, with the exception of sloth . . . "
Ahem . . . .

Oct 4, 2011, 7:44am Top

16> "I believe that Germany has a "fat tax" now. Due to the cost incurred by being over weight."

This would come as a surprise to me. Where did you find this information?

Oct 4, 2011, 8:11am Top


Heard this from an individual on a small online group who lives in Germany....not sure it passed.....and haven't heard from him for a while...will check this out.

Edited: Oct 4, 2011, 8:59am Top


Read over post #16.....wasn't really too clear.....S/B by considering the number of people who are over weight in the population....Germany was instituting a "fat tax"
Which I see no problem with by the way.......I don't care if they tax candy, soda, fatty foods, snacks.....but then, I worked for many years in the health care system....have no quarrel with taxing booze or cigarettes either.
Not that I don't eat candy, snacks or have an occasional soda/alcoholic beverage but not enough of it to worry about an extra tax on any of it. The cost of abuse of any of these things is huge !

It sounds like government overreach but again, what is the incentive to stay healthy when most of our food is NOT and our system is geared to profit off of the unhealthy ?

Oct 4, 2011, 9:00am Top

Denmark has recently passed a tax on fat too.


Oct 4, 2011, 9:37am Top

There should be a tax on posting delicious-looking pictures on LibraryThing when I haven't had breakfast.

Edited: Oct 4, 2011, 10:21am Top

Gee, now the fat police will soon be out to search our cabinets for what type of food we eat! What about presidents who talk too much without accomplishments?

Oct 4, 2011, 10:31am Top

>25 JaneAustenNut:
The fat police aren't going to care what is in your cabinets. The scanners at the super market are going to take care of that. One will be free to put whatever they want in their cabinets, they will however, be making a down payment on any health issues that will come up if their cabinets are stuffed with junk food.

What does the President have to do with this ?? Doubt that the fat police will find much of an issue with our current President...or anyone in his family for that matter.

Oct 4, 2011, 10:41am Top

The "anyone-but-Romney" chorus is reaching a crescendo. Christie may not be too fat, but he is certainly too liberal for the political tastes of the Republican Party's base.

Oct 4, 2011, 11:02am Top

This subject is entirely appropriate for our current president! What our current president has is an oversized talking system and no accomplishments! Its about being able to lead our nation, who cares if they are fat! We just need someone who can effectively lead us out of these treacherous economic times! The current president's policies have failed.

Oct 4, 2011, 11:36am Top

It sounds like it's moot. He's having a press conference at 1pm. Sources say he's going to say he isn't running, and anyway you wouldn't schedule a press conference to announce you're running for president. You do that outside, in front of the State of Liberty, or something.

Edited: Oct 4, 2011, 11:44am Top

The policies of the past 30 or 40 yrs have failed.....after the past decade of unprecidented spending and lack of accountability...they have failed spectacularly. Going to take more than ONE man to fix this mess. Also going to take more than a decade to start seeing any significant change.

Why is it we can't lead ourselves out of these treacherous times ? I find it amuzing that the same people who hate big government, now want the government to fix 4 decades of greed, overspending and short sightedness. Mind boggling ! Obama can not make those who made millions or billions in the past several years hire the unemployed.....how do you suggest he do that ? Apparently he can't tax these individuals either. What is it you want him to do ??

Obama is not a king.....he has to work with individuals who are not willing to work with him. Think of how well that would work in any given situation ! Our entire government is broken.....it is run by money and it matters not whether the leader is fat or skinny.....Left or Right...

and I beg to differ with you Obama has had accomplishments......they just haven't gotten much attention from our main stream media who is too busy chattering about our current cricis to acknowledge any of the positives.

Oct 4, 2011, 11:43am Top

>29 timspalding:
forgot who said it but someone was discussing the idea of Christie running....was a Republican commentator and the gist of the statement was that he didn't think that Christie had the ambition to be President. That he didn't have the desire to put in the effort.
Makes sense......really....who the heck wants the job now ?

Seriously have to consider the mental stability of ANYONE who wants the job at this point in time.

Oct 4, 2011, 11:54am Top

Although obesity is a very complicated issue, its a simple matter to look at the research. Gastric bypass is the ONLY method that results in longterm weight loss of more than 10 percent of your body weight. Even weight watchers which may be the best program out there has a 95 percent failure rate for those with more than that 10 percent to lose. I find this very interesting. The brain chemistry is fascinating.

Oct 4, 2011, 12:02pm Top

Well what the hell - at least we've progressed ? To talking about a mans body instead of a woman's!

Oct 4, 2011, 12:10pm Top

It was only a matter of time before the focus would shift from hair (Edwards, Romney, Perry) to physique (Christie, Daniels).

Oct 4, 2011, 12:39pm Top

>33 mkboylan:
One can only imagine what would be discussed if/when a woman actually wins the primaries and runs for President. Don't suppose much will be off limits. Hillary got a taste of that as an outspoken First Lady....ruthless ! Palin, for the most part, got a pass cause she is good looking.....won't happen for a "plain Jane"....

Christie may be getting some flack but I don't think it can compare to what would be said about a woman of his size. Imagine what that would be like ?

Oct 4, 2011, 12:43pm Top

35 - I don't even want to think about that! Amazing hatred - boggles my mind.

Edited: Oct 4, 2011, 12:52pm Top

>32 mkboylan:
Is the research being done by Gastric By-Pass surgeons ? Or anybody in our current healthcare system ?

Would be very careful about "research" in our current system. Was a time when all women had to have hysterectomies.....was the only way to deal with midlife change (and I can assure you that brain chemistry is invovled in this "special" process)....also women had to take estrogen when they hit 40. All of the research proved that estrogen kept your bones from losing mass and your heart healthier....now the story is changing.......drug companies made TONS of money on the baby boomer women for a while.

......only to find 20 yrs later that estrogen in many cases causes breast cancer.

Just take special care to research where the "research" is coming from.

Edited: Oct 4, 2011, 1:17pm Top

Too fat to be President?

The answer is probably 'no' for Christie supporters, and 'yes' for those who oppose him.

The qualifications of a Presidential candidate to do the JOB should be most important, not what type of underwear (if any) a candidate wears (Clinton), or if he has a legal vice such as smoking (Obama), junk food (Reagan), or drinking liquor.

I doubt any of us would qualify to be a candidate based upon what the media and others demand of those they oppose. :D

Edited: Oct 5, 2011, 5:53am Top

> 32 Just take special care to research where the "research" is coming from.

There's a pretty good body--so to speak--of research on the benefits of gastric bypass surgery*. Interesting that surgical bypass reverses Type II diabetes, but banding does not--although both result in weight loss.

* C.W. Chia et al. Exogenous glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide worsens post-prandial hyperglycemia in type 2 diabetes. Diabetes, Vol. 58, 2009, p. 1342.
P.Y Crémieux et al. A study on the economic effects of bariatric surgery. American Journal of Managed Care, Vol. 14, 2008, p. 589.
H. Buchwald et al. Bariatric surgery: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 292, October 13, 2004, p. 1724. Go to
G.M. Campos et al. Better weight loss, resolution of diabetes, and quality of life for laparoscopic gastric bypass vs banding results of a 2-cohort pair-matched study. Archives of Surgery, Vol. 146, February, 2011, p. 149.
J.L. Chan et al. Peptide YY levels are elevated after gastric bypass surgery. Obesity, Vol. 14, 2006, p. 194.
Y. Gunay et al. Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) achieves substantial resolution of migraine headaches in the severely obese. Abstract # PL-111, American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, June 2011, Orlando.
A. Keidar. Bariatric surgery for type 2 diabetes reversal: The risks. Diabetes Care, Vol. 34, May 2011. Supplement 2 S361-S266. doi: 10.2337/dc11-s254
J. Korner et al. Exaggerated GLP-1 and blunted GIP secretion are associated with roux-en-y gastric bypass but not adjustable gastric banding. Surgery for Obesity Related Diseases, Vol. 3, 2007, p. 597.
B. Laferrère et al. Differential metabolic impact of gastric bypass surgery versus dietary intervention in obese diabetic subjects despite identical weight loss. Science Translational Medicine, Vol. 3, April 27, 2011, p. 80re2. DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3002043
B. Laferrère et al. Rise of oxyntomodulin in response to oral glucose after gastric bypass surgery in patients with type 2 diabetes. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism Vol. 95, August 1, 2010, p. 4072.
G. Mingrone and L.G. Castagneto-Gissey. Mechanisms of early improvement/resolution of type 2 diabetes after bariatric surgery. Diabetes and Metabolism, Vol. 35, December, 2009, p. 518.
R. Morinigo et al. Glucagon-like peptide-1, peptide YY, hunger, and satiety after gastric bypass surgery in morbidly obese subjects. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, Vol. 91, May 2006, p. 1735.
M.P. Ostlund et al. The risk of alcohol dependence is increased after gastric bypass surgery. Abstract # 266. Digestive Disease Week, May, 2011, Chicago.
J.D. Scott et al. Bariatric surgery reduces risk of major adverse cardiovascular events in morbidly obese adults. Abstract # PL-105, American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, June 2011, Orlando.
L. Sjöström et al. Effects of bariatric surgery on mortality in Swedish obese subjects. New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 357, August 23, 2007, p. 741.

Edited: Oct 4, 2011, 6:12pm Top

Interesting, isn't it, that being fat is a despised social defect, but being ignorant and loudly proclaiming ignorant "opinions" is a social virtue.

Oct 4, 2011, 6:23pm Top

# 40 Absolutely correct! I agree 100%.

Oct 4, 2011, 6:52pm Top

(40) Yep. And those who approve of that type of social virtue are probably the same ones who feed the masses so much banal tripe that they (the masses) cannot help but be ignorant.

Oct 4, 2011, 7:59pm Top

37 - I hear you about the research! and, I was looking at it about 5 years ago. The point I was wanting to make is I TRY not to be too quick to judge and make obesity a moral issue. We know better than that with addiction now, among many other things.

and speaking of books :) I think The End of Overeating is one of the better things I've seen on this issue. Author: David A. Kessler

I think the interesting thing to look at is, why would anyone keep eating when they knew it was killing them. That's some powerful behavior, going against an instinct to live? Similar to addiction in many ways seems to be.

Oct 4, 2011, 8:02pm Top

39 - Thanks for posting that research. I retired a year or so ago from teaching university, where I of course had to walk into the classroom able to back up everything I said, be able to answer the usual questions - who did the research, who funded it, etc. Now that I'm retired one of my favorite things is I no longer have to do that. I can say what I probably should have said to my students - "What your mom said when you asked her how to spell something - go look it up yourself!"

Oct 5, 2011, 9:15am Top

>39 margd:
did you notice that many of the studies are done by those who would be self promoting ?
Don't get me wrong there is nothing wrong with gastric by pass surgery....but there is something wrong with a "for profit" system that tends to see the "fix" for what ails us as a potential profit.
No different than the drug companies doing research and then advertising their products....or doctors extolling the benefits of this procedure or that medication when they are given hefty bonus's for how much money they are able to generate.
We need healthcare.....but we also need to be responsible for our choices. Overeating is a choice. Perhaps a choice, much like drinking too much or smoking, that can get "out of control" but relying on a system, that has out priced most of it's customers, to fix the damage incurred due to poor choices, is a set up for failure....for everyone involved.

Have to give Chrisie due credit......many individuals who reach a certain degree of obesity are unable to work and hence they apply for disability benefits. Christie is working. Perhaps you are correct....it would be cheaper to give them a gastric by-pass than to support them on disability. However, it is costing everyone, even those who choose a healthy life style....
I would say that an incentive to make better choices in the first place would be the best solution.....even if it means a "fat tax".

Edited: Oct 5, 2011, 9:48am Top

>40 lawecon: & 41 Agree !!!
At least we can agree on SOMETHING ;>)

Oct 5, 2011, 10:52am Top

45 - I'm with you on the "relying on a system" part. The system is a nightmare in many ways and then I'm back to that old problem of following my way without the support of a system e.g. Need the gas to make the long drive to buy the healthy food. Spend the money for better out of system healthcare vs use lousy care my insurance pays for. Have to focus on the longterm results vs short term expense. Altho mt town is getting a co-op with healthier food choices and as I traveled around this summer I noticed more co-ops of natural health care providers. Denver seems to be doing especially well in that area.

Fighting the system can be difficult. My kids had no sugar which was very difficult in the days before groceries had health food depts. When the oldest started school she received sugary food at school and ame home with it also. Frankly i gave up at that point. Today I just try to point my time and resources toward things like the co-op as I can.

Which probably explains my latest dreamy reading, Sointula: Island Utopia by Paula Wild where self-sufficiency is the goal and making your own system. Fun little read about the attempt at utopia on Malcolm Island off the coast oc Vancouver Island off British Columbia.

Edited: Oct 27, 2011, 3:22pm Top

> 45 Overeating is a choice.

Yes, but perhaps not entirely a FREE choice. It's also genetics--e.g., 80% of adult Indians on Manitoulin Is are diabetic!--and intrauterine conditions and what your mum fed you in early years and what SHE ate as a girl even and what your friends do and what's cheap and available and the disappearance of omega fatty acids & other traditional foods from western diets and kids' demonstrated preference for extra sweet food and not walking to school anymore and moms working so no-one cooking anymore and amount of sleep and type of bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract and the way food is marketed and the hormones produced in adipose tissue, stomach, small intestine, brain, etc. as a result of all that. So, until we understand obesity levers much better, I think it is premature, to say nothing of cruel, to impose sin tax and otherwise discriminate against the obese--some 33% of Americans now, few of whom can lose the weight for any length of time--that has to tell us something!

Anyway, I suspect neither of us will change our minds...and my little dog is begging for her walk. Ta!

ETA: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/27/health/biological-changes-thwart-weight-loss-e...

Oct 5, 2011, 11:33am Top

>47 mkboylan:
I don't think that sugar is going to cause any great harm....what does cause harm is a sustained habit of drinking a six pack of soda per day, eating foods high in sugar content and then topping it off with a couple of candy bars.

Hard to make one's own system within a system that is continuously promoting things that are, in the long term, self defeating.

We need a system.....what we need to do is to learn not to "abuse" the system. Any system in place is there for a reason....most often a pretty valid reason....the problems come into play when the system is abused by so many individuals that it becomes a burden to the majority.
It would also be a benefit if we as a country would acknowledge that abuse occurs by those on top of society as well as on the bottom and that it is not specific to Right or Left... abuse is pretty all inclusive and equally harmful no matter who the abuser may be !

Oct 5, 2011, 12:09pm Top

Abuse of the system is generally more serious when done at the top, because the amount of damage those people can do is greater, and punishment to deter such abuse is either insufficient or completely lacking.

Oct 5, 2011, 12:40pm Top

50 that's why I think the unions even if corrupt at the top do less damage than wall street. They're lower on the ladder. Do you think that's true? I taught at Calif State University for five years with no health coverage until our teachers union got it in our contract.

Oct 5, 2011, 1:17pm Top

Well, let's look at some examples.

Mandatory drug testing. Who can do more long-term damage to society; the trucker hauling hazardous material, or the legislator or senior bureaucrat in the State House?

Financial Fraud. Who costs more money; the scam artist who forges signatures on private accounts, or the banker who loans money based on non-existent assests?

I could go on, but I think you see the point. In the short term, for the people immediately involved, the consequences of criminal activity are pretty bad. But those short-term losses, unless they become prevalent, don't affect the larger system. In the cases where people who are a major part of the system choose to abuse their position, the long-term damage is far greater, and longer-lasting to society (although not necessarily to the individuals directly affected).

Although a union can (and some of them have) caused problems, even the largest union's bankroll is far smaller than the corporate treasuries. So, although malfeasance by a union certainly is serious, any given union's ability to threaten the system with long-term damage is minimal. (Now, if many unions start causing problems, then it's a different story...)

Oct 5, 2011, 1:29pm Top

52 - Thanks for the response. Nice simple examples for my little pea brain. Now, let's hope many unions continue to get involved in Occupy Wallstreet.

Oct 5, 2011, 9:02pm Top

We elected GW Bush twice and he was too stupid to be president. We elected Ronald Reagan and he couldn't remember what he had for breakfast. The bar is set low.

Oct 5, 2011, 9:07pm Top

Oh John that's great! Excellent points, although I don't know if we actually elected Bush. Although whenever I say that my husband says well we shouldn't have let it get close enough to get stolen and i guess he has a point also.

Oct 6, 2011, 10:33am Top

Modern marketing (the real reason unqualified people can be elected) has a lot to answer for.

Dec 10, 2011, 8:01pm Top

Whoa! Here's the latest discovery on weight control:

Cilia control eating signal
Little hairlike appendages in brain cells control weight by sequestering an appetite hormone
By Tina Hesman Saey
Thursday, December 8th, 2011

...In people and mice that lack primary cilia, the appetite stimulant works overtime, leading to overeating and obesity, Berbari said...

N. F. Berbari et al. Primary Cilia in Appetite and Satiety. American Society for Cell Biology meeting, Denver, December 6, 2011.

Dec 11, 2011, 9:00am Top

>57 margd:
So, what we need to figure out is why an increasing number of American children and adults are having "Cilia" issues ??
....the excuse for many years was hypothyroid problems, which once detected are then treated with a hormone. However, given the number of individuals who happily kept schlepping their way throught the buffett line at the the local "all you can eat" establishment and then claiming to be overweight due to "thyroid" issues, one would think the hormone pill was useless.
I have no thyroid....none.....not over weight none the less.

Guessing that when one is addicted to ANYTHING, the brain function changes when the person is engaged in feeding that addiction. Probably why it is called "addiction" !
Pretty simple really, people who are obese, eat a lot of food. People who are alcoholics drink a lot of booze. People who "over spend" money they don't have to achieve a high, spend too much money.
Only one way to fix all that ! But then..
Suppose that the pharmacutical companies will come up with a drug....a drug we will all have to pay for if we have to take any perscription drug what so ever.

Edited: Dec 29, 2011, 1:35pm Top

Interesting overview on causes of obesity:

PARKER-POPE, TARA. 2011. The Fat Trap. New York Times. December 28, 2011 http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/01/magazine/tara-parker-pope-fat-trap.html?_r=1&a...

Edited: Dec 30, 2011, 10:54am Top


"Guessing that when one is addicted to ANYTHING, the brain function changes when the person is engaged in feeding that addiction. Probably why it is called "addiction" !
Pretty simple really, people who are obese, eat a lot of food. People who are alcoholics drink a lot of booze. People who "over spend" money they don't have to achieve a high, spend too much money.
Only one way to fix all that"

I would be fascinated, what does your common sense tell you that that "one way" is? (And could I buy a participation interest in the multiple hundreds of millions of dollars you are about to make through this important discovery?)

Dec 30, 2011, 4:54pm Top

>60 lawecon:
Changing one's habits through self awareness.
Individuals do overcome drug addiction, lose weight and change poor spending habits. It is not impossible to do.
Actually, I believe there are individuals who have been able to change attitudes as well. For whatever reason, they have determined that being impatient and/or snarky hasn't won them many friends nor has it served to influence many people, so through a concentrated effort these individuals have modified their behaviors to include patience and tolerance.
As far as I know, it has not yet brought the world to an end !

Dec 30, 2011, 5:19pm Top

I find it to be an interesting topic. It's been interesting to me to talk with professors in a dietitians program. I have found that the Longer ago their training is, the ore likely they still buy into the calories counting ideas, whereasnthe more recently educated ones have a much deeper understanding and knowledge of more current research. People who take in and exercise off the same number of calories can have very different weights.

The question I find most interesting, and I ask it of you faceinbook, is this. Given the misery of obesity, both physically and psychologically, what would it take to drive you to overeat? Also, if you have no thyroid, aren't you on medication to take care of that? My daughter is on thyroid meds and it is so difficult to keep the dosage on target. Her doc told her she will actually have it easier when her thyroid completely burns out as there won't be that adjustment issue.

Dec 30, 2011, 5:59pm Top

>62 mkboylan:
Not sure what you are asking......I had thyroid cancer and had a total thyroidectomy in 1992, take medication daily.
The point I was trying to make about the thyroid and weight gain was that once a person knows that they have a thyroid problem, they are usually being monitored and are on a medication. Using thyroid as an excuse to be obese is pretty much an excuse. At one point I gained quite a bit of weight as I had to take no medication before having a scan, once I was adjusted again, I was able to lose the weight.

Yes, adjusting thyroid medication can be a pain....been down that road.

Without going into a lot of detail, I will say that the thyroid affects one's auto immune system, when the thyroid is gone for a long time...stuff happens. Arthritis is an auto immune disease....my knees are shot.
Was told by my doctor that every extra pound on the belly adds three pounds of pressure on the knees. Don't think there is much that could induce me to overeat.
I don't feel good when I over eat.....would venture to guess most people don't. In fact, I bet that food ceases to be a pleasure and becomes a burden.

IMO, I believe people over eat for many reason's most often they are emotional reasons. Being obese adds more emotional distress. But, much like an alcoholic, the only person who can make the change in the bad habit is the person who is actively drinking. The body and brain may be addicted but the only way to break the addiction is mind over matter. It is possible and it is probably the only way to really "fix" the problem. If not dealt with properly chances are the person will replace one addiction with another.

"People who take in and exercise off the same number of calories can have very different weights."

there is a big difference between being heavy set from being obese. Don't think we were all meant to be shaped the same. Some people are just heavier individuals.

Edited: Dec 30, 2011, 8:16pm Top

Well one thing I was saying was since you are on meds for your thyroid AND at the point where your meds should be fairly stable, no, thyroid would not be an "excuse" for you, but others may not be at that part of the process yet. They may be prodromal right? Not progressed enough to be diagnosed by their gp and referred To an endocrinologist.it can be a nightmare process getting to diagnosis for many, if not most.

Kaiser (believe it or not!) has partnered for some rare long term research that has found that children who have experienced child abuse, 50 YEARS LATER! have disproportionate rates of obesity and COPD. There is some speculation that that may somehow be related to the fact that people in that group have adrenal glands that are just about shot due to chronic stress. Also of course there is the fact that docs used to say obesity causes sleep apnea, and mow they are saying that it turns out that it is the apnea that causes the obesity. So darn complicated! So many contributing factors it makes my head spin!

And you answered my question, thank you. My neighbor, a newly licensed pediatrician, was expressing worry about her obese father, and frustration because "he just won't do what I tell him to do.". And I said the same to her that I was asking you to answer. THAT very fact is what we need to be researching. What could possibly drive a human being to behavior that is so harmful. The more we learn about behavioral genetics, effects of brain chemistry on behavior, etc. The more fascinating I find it. Makes me wish I wasn't too lazy to go back to school and start a whole new course of study . But sheesh let's don't get into different energy levels.....well, unless you want to go read that new interesting book about bipolar issues and how that can lead to great and brilliant leaders who can't seem to keep their pants on! That's a fascinating and well documented read!

Thanks for your response.

By the way, did you know that Weight Watchers one of the best programs out there, has a 95% failure rate? Specifically for people who need to lose more than 10% of their body weight.

ETA: above mentioned book is A First-rate Madness by Nassir Ghaemi

Dec 30, 2011, 9:52pm Top

#54 John, yes the bar is set low, but Obama still failed to get over it. A slick-talking, pretty man, an empty suit with an empty brain. Yeah. That's progress.

Dec 30, 2011, 11:03pm Top

Isn't Chris Christie more representative of the average American than Pres. Obama or Rick Perry (in a purely physical sense)? If people vote for leaders who are like themselves, then being overweight should be a plus. If, however, the average voter wants a leader who represents what they can be, rather than what they are (an aspirational figure), then a slim candidate would have an advantage.

Or maybe Americans would be embarrassed to have their president standing with other world leaders-- at a G20 meeting for example-- and being the fattest person on the stage.

Dec 30, 2011, 11:11pm Top

Changing one's habits through self awareness.
Individuals do overcome drug addiction, lose weight and change poor spending habits. It is not impossible to do.


I did not ask whether it was "impossible to do." I asked how to do it. I guess you want to keep it a secret.

Certainly "self awareness" that one is a substance abuser or too fat or a spendthrift doesn't change those behaviors.

Dec 31, 2011, 3:04am Top

A recovering heroin addict once told me that although he kicked his heroin habit, his tobacco addiction was too much for him. I kicked a 10-year, heavy tobacco addiction, but keeping weight off for any length of time has proven much more challenging. Because food is so closely related to survival and was limited for virtually all of our species' history, I suspect that any mutation that allowed our ancestors to be more efficient in our use of it would have been selected for. No wonder maintaining a healthy weight in this age of plenty can be a challenge for so many of us!

Nevertheless, it's almost a New Year and time to take another whack at it...

Dec 31, 2011, 3:23am Top

Weren't our ideas about what constituted a healthy weight and appearance quite different a hundred or two hundred years ago?

Dec 31, 2011, 9:26am Top

Not really. Being fat was thought to be a sign that one had sufficient wealth to buy plentiful food and take considerable leisure. Physical toil was mainly done by those who were not gentlemen and ladies.

"Healthy" probably didn't come into it, except in the sense that people who are fat are usually not starving.

Dec 31, 2011, 11:29am Top

Back to 61 - faceinbook I may have to vote with you on self-awareness as one solution. Sometimes I think it is the answer to freakin everything! However, i do like to look at research, Altho I know it is also easily manipulated, not to mention paid for. Then I remember oh yeah, Jon Kabat-Zinn has actually done that research on self-awareness if framed as mindfulness, at UMass. There is lots of work to show it's effectiveness for many many areas, as well as it's changes in the brain, as now seen on MRIs. Mindfulness has been used to treat stress, overeating and other addictions, etc. Etc. I'm retired from teaching and psychotherapy, but if I ever work again in those fields, that would be the focus of my work and I'd get more training in mindfulness, which leads to self-awareness.

Dec 31, 2011, 11:42am Top

"I may have to vote with you on self-awareness as one solution. Sometimes I think it is the answer to freakin everything!"


So, this is some sort of variant of the Protestant myths of will power and righteousness for the Elect? If one merely "truly recognizes" one's sinful ways and one is a member of the Elect, then one will automatically repent and do no wrong going forward? Really? How fascinating.

So, to use a standard example, if Hitler "really, truly" recognized that killing Jews was a bad habit, he would have stopped, apologized and paid recompense to the relatives of those already killed? No other considerations?

Like many simplistic, unicausal and largely vacuous "solutions" to common ills, this one seems to be dead wrong. Doesn't it.

Dec 31, 2011, 11:45am Top

>67 lawecon:
People are generally not helpless....they are most often capable of making changes if they need to or want to. Unless, they are continuously given an excuse to engage in bad behaviors, many will do what they need to do. We tend to give abusers in this country a lot of rope....second chances or third chances or "they had a miserable childhood" chances.......they are "helpless" over their addiction.....no, not so much as they are they only one's who are NOT helpless over their addiction. Friends, family, loved one's are helpless over an addicts addiction, the addict is not.

As with anything, people are all different, some can make a decision to change course and do it on their own, others need help in the form of therapy or the company of like minded individuals. AA works because it's members understand how difficult the right choice can be......sponsors are there for a reason.

I would think this would be rather self evident but I guess not.......I don't have many secrets.....those I do would not have anything to do with this topic.

Dec 31, 2011, 11:47am Top

>72 lawecon:
Waht ????

Obviously there are some people who don't give a rip about their behaviors and see no need to change anything. However, to see them as helpless is a mistake, careless maybe, or even clueless but not helpless.

Edited: Dec 31, 2011, 2:37pm Top


Please read more carefully. Your response has nothing to do with what I just said. What I said has to do with a person fully realizing the bad consequences of his actions who does not, for that reason alone, completely repent and change his behavior.

Surely you recognize that such frequently happens and that it has nothing per se to do with a lack of full recognition of consequences or "insufficient will power"? There are other things in the world other than intellectual conclusions and will power, at least if you're not Nietzsche or Adolph Hitler.

The latter is, in fact a very good example. If you had asked Hitler whether he recognize that wars were won by superior force and superior force had to do mostly with available weaponry and its utilization, he would have agreed with those propositions. We know that, because he said as much on several occasions. However, Hitler still blamed the German people for loosing the Second World War on the basis solely of their "lack of will power." Sounds to me like you would have agreed with that sort of analysis.

Dec 31, 2011, 7:44pm Top

>75 lawecon:
Hitler ????
I suspect you are adding meaning to the question or topic at hand.
You are also changing what it is you are addressing.
No worries......subjects change.....I am more than guilty of that.

Not sure what Hitler and his acusations have to do with changing addictive behavior. Other than Hilter was addicted to power and didn't give a rip about the consquences of his addiction. He, at some point in time came to the conclusion that, to his way of thinking, the German people did not share that addiction as whole heartedly as he did or they simply could not have lost the war. Hitler was very self destructive and as is typical, he took a whole lot of people down with him. It is important to note that people engaged in harmful addictions seldom take the true blame for their actions. Once they do, they have to admit that they are the only one's who can deal with it.

Which brings me to the point I was making about over eating and/or obesity.

It wasn't concerning whether a person changes behaviors or not, the point I was trying to make was that the only person who has the power to alter poor behavors is the person who engages in them. Whether this means seeking the proper help or modifing personal habits...what ever, no body can do it for them. Most addicts surround themselves with two types of people, those who will insist that nothing is wrong or that their problems are somehow not their own fault and those who will darn near kill themselves trying to change the addict. This is very convienient for them....
People don't change for many reasons..... they can be fearful of change, egocentric, lazy, inclined to blame others (learned helplessness) or dispite all evidence to the contrary, they feel that they are in the right. (as I'm sure Hitler did). IMO this means everything from over eating to staging ill advised wars.

One must have a strong desire to change, the will to do what it takes. Lip service doesn't work....not very empowering.

Dec 31, 2011, 9:31pm Top

I'm sorry you didn't follow the argument. Perhaps if you read it over several times and thought about it.

Jan 1, 2012, 10:07am Top

>77 lawecon:
I did.....and I have.

Jan 1, 2012, 10:58am Top

Well, can't help you then. English is the only language in which I customarily write.

Jan 1, 2012, 11:37am Top

>79 lawecon:
English is good....I have a firm grasp of the English language...what I don't possess is a talent for mind reading and how one's mind equates "over coming an addiction" "will power" and "Hitler".
Looks like we all have our secrets.....

Jan 1, 2012, 3:42pm Top

O.K., so since you seem to be really interested, let me try again. I am trying to illustrate to you that this doctrine that "one can do anything if one is not simply lacking in will power" is a very questionable doctrine.

The main advocates of that doctrine in recent time were Nietzsche and Hitler. Hitler was often consistent in the doctrine, as in when he blamed the weak will of the German People for the defeat of Germany in WWII. (After all, he could hardly blame the 'stab in the back' by the Jews - his explanation for the German defeat in WWI - since he had by that time murdered most of the Jews in Europe.)

But even Hitler (when he was not being completely delusional) seemed to realize that will power without armaments and skill in using those armaments would not result in victory in war.

I think you should take some lesson from that. Yes, fatness may be connected with a "lack of will power" - as may persistent ignorance and a number of undesirable traits of some people. But there may be other more material reasons as well for each of those undesirable traits. It may be, for instance, that one is fat because one has never learned other ways of relieving the tensions one faces or that one is ignorant because someone taught one at an early age that the arduous work connected with learning details about a field of knowledge were unnecessary if one merely exercised "common sense".

Edited: Jan 1, 2012, 5:50pm Top

>81 lawecon:
" I am trying to illustrate to you that this doctrine that "one can do anything if one is not simply lacking in will power" is a very questionable doctrine."

THAT is in no way what I said. The point I was trying to make was that in order to over come an addiction, one needs to exert one's "will power".
NO where did I say that "one can do anything if one is not simply lacking in will power"

>"But there may be other more material reasons as well for each of those undesirable traits. It may be, for instance, that one is fat because one has never learned other ways of relieving the tensions one faces"

In this case, one has to admit that they are not capable of dealing with the problem and seek help......both actions are exclusively under the power of one person and one person only, which is my point. Is there some argument to be made against this ?
No smoke and mirrors....pretty simple. Was the ONLY point I was making....nothing to do with Hitler, Nietzsche, Germany, WWII, Jews, Europe or accomplishing "anything" one wants to accomplish

What is your point ? or is your point simply to get to this conclusion :

>"that one is ignorant because someone taught one at an early age that the arduous work connected with learning details about a field of knowledge were unnecessary if one merely exercised "common sense".

which I suspect is what all the blather is about.......

Jan 1, 2012, 9:03pm Top

Actually, I never thought of that comparison until you went on and on and on about how you weren't getting what I was saying. I thought it would have been intuitively clear and a matter of common sense, but apparently not.

Jan 2, 2012, 8:17am Top

>83 lawecon:
Say what you will.....the jury is out on this one ! You can fool some of the people.......

Jan 2, 2012, 8:20am Top

I guess Churchill can count himself lucky he wasn't up for election in the 21st century. Fat, a drinker and a smoker! Shock, gasp, what a glutton. ;-)

Jan 2, 2012, 9:02am Top

>85 IrishHolger:
A point scored ! However, we do know a bit more today about the affect and cost to the whole of society of over eating, over drinking and smoking, than we did during Churchill's day.

Jan 2, 2012, 10:56am Top

Yes and the morning and noon exercises. Don't forget those. Got to keep the troop/citizenry in shape.

Jan 2, 2012, 11:02am Top

>87 lawecon:
Not the point at all !

Jan 2, 2012, 11:39am Top

Of course not. Never is. You mean only good things that make sense and all right thinking people would agree with. I just persistently take what you say "to an extreme" - which is to say, a logical conclusion. Totally contrary to common sense.

Jan 2, 2012, 12:01pm Top

They are changing a portion of the healthcare clinic I go to......I need yearly care....have since the early 90s. No way out of it. Not a lot of care but my choices are either go or die.
The changes are being made to include a Bariatric department. Bariatric care is medical care for the obese. The reason they are making these changes is due to demand. There is an increasing amount disgruntled patients who do not "fit" using current equipment. These changes include, a new heavy duty elevator, a fleet of extra wide wheelchairs, a special lift with which to move heavy patients during tests, wider screening tables for CT, MRI's and other scans...new scales and construction to widen doorways.
It is pretty safe to say that many of these patients are on disability pay and Medicaid or some state funded insurance.
How is this NOT going to affect what it costs me to see my doctor ?

We do not live on this planet alone and what we do affects others....in some fashion. One can only hope that we try to do things that affect others positively. Unfortunately this isn't always the case.

Edited: Jan 11, 2012, 3:14pm Top

David Suzuki's The Nature of Things (TV program):
Programmed to be Fat?

Thursday, January 12, 2012 8:00 PM on CBC-TV
Thursday January 19 at 10 pm ET/PT on CBC News Network
(Later, program may be made available at http://www.cbc.ca/natureofthings/episode/programmed-to-be-fat.html.)

"Are we fat because of man-made chemicals?
New science links environmental chemicals to the global obesity epidemic"...


(There's a newspaper article on the TV program at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health/new-health/conditions/obesity/are-che.... )

Jan 12, 2012, 1:09pm Top

Exercise-produced hormone irisin may convert visceral white fat to brown, fighting obesity and diabetes. "The mice injected with irisin lost little weight. On the other hand, Dr. Spiegelman notes, they resisted weight gain, even on a high-fat diet, and their blood sugar levels remained stable. So it would seem that exercise, through the actions of irisin, can render you healthy, if not svelte." http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/11/exercise-hormone-helps-keep-us-healthy/...

In the study, human subjects jogged. I wonder if weight-training such as that prescribed in Miriam Nelson's Strong Women Stay Young also produces irisin?

Jan 12, 2012, 4:13pm Top

When my friend complained to her doctor about her inability to lose weight he told her to stop putting so much food in her mouth. (also suggested that she watch what kind of food she was putting in her mouth) Guess he was an old fashioned doctor ?

Edited: Jan 13, 2012, 8:22am Top

Yept, that is the sort of advise one can expect from someone who went through 6 years of medical school and 2 years of internship.

"Doctor, it hurts when I do this." "Well, then quit doing that....." Common sense.

"Mechanic, my car stopped running." "Well then, don't expect to be driving it any where." Common sense.

"Here's a problem in mathematics." "Yes, I think you're right." Common sense.

Jan 13, 2012, 8:38am Top

>94 lawecon:
She took his advice....lost 45 pounds...

Jan 13, 2012, 11:02am Top

>94 lawecon:
Just takes some people longer to figure things out is all.....

Jan 13, 2012, 1:51pm Top


So... was the doctor the first person to give her this advice?
If not, what stopped her from following it before? What changed?

Edited: Jan 13, 2012, 7:18pm Top



Edited: Jan 14, 2012, 8:57am Top

>97 Amtep:
"So... was the doctor the first person to give her this advice?"

Probably not.

" If not, what stopped her from following it before? What changed?"

I imagine what stopped her before was the fact that she loves to eat. What changed ? She wanted to feel better, enough so that, she took full responsibility for her weight issues and changed some harmful habits.

Known her for almost 30 years....this wasn't a simple fix but it worked.

Jan 14, 2012, 8:57am Top

>98 lawecon:
Laughter is good !

Edited: Jan 14, 2012, 9:50pm Top

Indeed, particularly when you see an Italian opining on those who eat too much spaghetti, as in #96..

Jan 15, 2012, 9:07am Top

Jan 25, 2012, 6:11pm Top

..."Almost everyone of normal weight or below shows this brown fat if they are chilled, although individuals vary greatly in how much they have. But this brown fat almost never shows up in obese people. Is that one reason they are obese, or is their extra body fat keeping them so warm that there is no reason to turn on their brown fat? "...


Jan 25, 2012, 7:10pm Top

The way it's going in this country, in 50 years there might be a thread asking if this person is "too skinny" to be president.

Jan 26, 2012, 10:19pm Top

Of course someone can be too skinny to be president. I have a hard time imagining anyone unhealthily skinny having much chance at the presidency.

Jan 31, 2012, 10:11am Top

>105 prosfilaes:

A much different era, of course, but supposedly James Madison weighed about 100 pounds. No big bruiser he.

Feb 2, 2012, 2:54pm Top

Normal mice respond to exercise with increased autophagy, which apparently makes them resistant to rodent version of diabetes when consuming poor diet:

"...It’s long been known that cells accumulate flotsam from the wear and tear of everyday living. Broken or misshapen proteins, shreds of cellular membranes, invasive viruses or bacteria, and worn-out, broken-down cellular components, like aged mitochondria, the tiny organelles within cells that produce energy, form a kind of trash heap inside the cell."

"In most instances, cells diligently sweep away this debris. They even recycle it for fuel. Through a process with the expressive name of autophagy, or “self-eating,” cells create specialized membranes that engulf junk in the cell’s cytoplasm and carry it to a part of the cell known as the lysosome, where the trash is broken apart and then burned by the cell for energy."

"...when Dr. Levine stuffed both groups of animals with high-fat kibble for several weeks until they developed a rodent version of diabetes, the normal mice subsequently reversed the condition by running, even as they continued on the fatty diet. The autophagy-resistant animals did not. After weeks of running, they remained diabetic. Their cells could not absorb blood sugar normally. They also had higher levels of cholesterol in their blood than the other mice. Exercise had not made them healthier. ..."

"...It’s possible that people who don’t respond as robustly to aerobic exercise as their training partners may have sputtering or inadequate autophagy systems, although that idea is speculative. “It’s very difficult to study autophagy in humans,” Dr. Levine says. Still, it’s possible that at some point, autophagy-prompting drugs or specialized exercise programs might help everyone to fully benefit from exercise. ..."


(Time to walk the dog! {:>)

Feb 7, 2012, 8:32am Top

Limiting antibiotic use and using probiotics--to achieve best balance of gut microbes--might help prevent or reverse obesity?

"Alterations in gut microbes may increase the susceptibility to obesity and fatty liver disease and also make it possible to spread these diseases, at least in mice."


Feb 8, 2012, 10:25am Top

Taste of fructose revs up metabolism
Pancreas can pump more insulin in response to the sugar

"Scientists have a greater appreciation of fructose’s full flavor. The sugar, which is found predominantly in fruit, honey and more recently high-fructose corn syrup, tickles taste cells found on the pancreas (that’s right, the pancreas) (SN: 3/27/10, p. 22). The interaction can crank up the body’s secretion of insulin, which may be a concern for people prone to diabetes, researchers report online February 6 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences." ...

"Fructose has recently taken some heat for whacking metabolism out of balance. An issue is where the sweet stuff enters the metabolic assembly line: Most sugars join the process at a point where a supervisory enzyme can control the flow of goods. But fructose comes in farther down, where it can lead to an overproduction of fat. And because fructose on its own doesn’t stimulate the same insulin response that glucose does, the hormone isn’t doing the other regulatory things it usually does, like moderating appetite. The sugar content of high-fructose corn syrup is typically 55 percent fructose; the rest is glucose. Molecules of sucrose, or table sugar, consist of a fructose linked to a glucose..."

Citations & References :
G.A. Kyriazis, M.M. Soundarapandian and B. Tyrberg. Sweet taste receptor signaling in beta cells mediates fructose-induced potentiation of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Published online Feb. 6, 2012. doi:10.1073/pnas.1115183109.



Addicts and siblings share brain features
Finding suggests genetic component for diminished self-control, other behaviors

"Brain abnormalities commonly seen in drug addicts are also found in the addicts’ sober siblings. The discovery, reported in the Feb. 3 Science,suggests that there are inherited but conquerable risk factors involved in drug dependency. What’s more, looking at how non-using siblings compensate for their inherited brain irregularities may eventually uncover clues to treating drug addiction..."

"The brain scans revealed abnormalities among both the addicts and their siblings in the prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain that’s responsible for self-control. Also, the putamen, a structure involved in forming habits, tended to be larger in drug users and their siblings, while structures in the brain that manage responses to cravings tended to be smaller."

"Drug users and their sibling groups were also found to have a weaker ability to exert self-control, based on behavior tests conducted as part of the study."

Citations & References :
K.D. Ersche et al. Abnormal Brain Structure Implicated in Stimulant Drug Addiction. Science. February 2, 2012, p. 601. doi: 10.1126/science.1214463


Feb 8, 2012, 11:51am Top

Intersting stuff....some new but most of it is pretty common knowledge amoungst those who work with addicts.

However, the key issue is this, the ONLY person who has control over addiction be it food or drugs or behavior issues, is the addict. If the addiction is physical as in the case of drugs or food, medical assistance may be needed to accomplish this without physical damage.
Addicts, for all there lack of self control are very wily individuals, and no matter what drugs one gives them, how many surgeries they have or how much therapy is available, it they do not take responsibility for their own actions, will not over come the addiction. They are often experts at maniupalting everyone around them into believing that none of their situation is of their own making. Even those who say something like "I know....I know, it is my own fault" Just hang on and wait for the BUT....it always comes after such a statement.

Fix me ! A plea heard often in AA circles. NOPE, can't do it.

This is why drug counselors, doctors who deal with over weight issues and behavior therapists seem to have a high "burn out" rate when it comes to their jobs.

First step to any addiction cure must be made by the addict.

Feb 10, 2012, 5:11am Top

BPA fosters diabetes-promoting changes:
Low doses alter insulin secretion

"An ingredient in plastics and food-can linings coaxes cells from the pancreas to inappropriately secrete the hormone insulin, a finding that bolsters earlier links between type 2 diabetes and low-dose exposure to the chemical."

"Bisphenol-A, or BPA, can mimic the effects of estrogen, a hormone that is involved in regulating insulin production in the body. Although controversy persists over BPA’s potency as an estrogen mimic, the new study, published online February 8 in PLoS ONE, finds that the pollutant is every bit as potent as the body’s natural estrogen in terms of triggering insulin release..."

Citations & References :

Pancreatic insulin content regulation by the estrogen receptor ERα. PLoS ONE, Vol. 3, April 30, 2008, p. e2069. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0002069. http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0002069

S. Soriano et al. Rapid insulinotropic action of low doses of bisphenol-A on mouse and human islets of Langerhans: Role of estrogen receptor ß. PLoS ONE, Vol. 7, February 8, 2012, p. e31109. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0031109

K.A. Thayer et al. Role of Environmental Chemicals in Diabetes and Obesity: A National Toxicology Program workshop report. Environmental Health Perspectives. doi: 10.1289/ehp.1104597


Mar 27, 2012, 5:33am Top

Fatty diet leads to fat-loving brain cells
In mice, high-fat chow spurs birth of neurons that encourage weight gain
By Laura Sanders
Sunday, March 25th, 2012

"Cheeseburgers pack on the pounds, but in mice a high-fat diet also packs on new nerve cells in the brain. More brain cells may seem like a good thing, but these newly sprouted cells appear to trigger weight gain in the animals, a new study finds."

"The results offer insight into how the brain controls weight. If the same thing happens in humans, these nerve cells may be a target for anti-obesity treatments..."

"In the study, mice that ate the rodent version of a steady stream of Big Macs gained weight. This unhealthy diet also kicked nerve cell production into high gear, the scientists found. After eating a fatty diet for several weeks, adult mice pumped out about four times as many new nerve cells in the median eminence as mice that ate regular chow."

"To see whether these newborn nerve cells were up to no good, Blackshaw and his team shut down production with a carefully targeted laser. Even while continuing to gorge on a high-fat diet, these mice started moving around more and didn’t gain as much weight as mice on a high-fat diet that could still make the new nerve cells. Take away the steady stream of new nerve cells, and the pounds didn’t pile on as fast..."

D. Lee et al. Tanycytes of the hypothalamic median eminence form a diet-responsive neurogenic niche. Nature Neuroscience. Published online March 25, 2012. doi:10.1038/nn.3079. http://www.nature.com/neuro/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/nn.3079.html

Edited: Apr 5, 2012, 5:20pm Top

Extreme eaters show abnormal brain activity
Pictures of food revs up reward circuits in the obese, slows them down in severely underweight
By Laura Sanders

'CHICAGO — Certain brain areas are sluggish in people who eat too little and hyperactive in people who eat too much, a new study finds."

"The results, presented April 3 at the annual meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, are based on brain activity in people who ranged from dangerously thin to morbidly obese. The findings help clarify the complicated relationship between the brain and food, and may even offer ways to treat conditions such as anorexia and obesity, said study coauthor Laura Holsen of Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital." ...

"One of five groups studied by the researchers consisted of people with anorexia, defined as being 85 percent or less of a healthy weight. ... At the far end of the scale and making up the final group were those with a disorder called Prader-Willi syndrome*. A mutation on chromosome 15 leaves these people with developmental delays, mental deficits and an insatiable appetite. People with the syndrome often don’t feel full, leaving them vulnerable to extreme obesity. Some people with Prader-Willi have suffered stomach ruptures from extreme bouts of overeating, Holsen said. “They will eat as much as you will feed them and still not feel full.”"

"Holsen and her colleagues had participants come into the lab hungry and undergo fMRI brain scans while viewing pictures of high-calorie food. After eating a meal, the volunteers underwent another scan."

"While hungry, volunteers with anorexia had lower than normal activity in brain areas associated with the rewarding feelings that food usually elicit: The hypothalamus, amygdala and hippocampus all showed lackluster responses to pictures of enticing food. At the other end of the spectrum, people with Prader-Willi had higher-than-normal activity in those brain regions. Volunteers in the middle three groups (i.e., recovered anorexics, normal weight, obese) showed a similar trend, though less extreme."

"After the meal, the pattern of activity in these reward areas didn’t change much, but the pattern in another brain area — a part of the outer layer of the brain called the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex — did. Brain activity there kicked on in most of the participants, except for those with Prader-Willi syndrome. This area might sense when the body is sated and curb further eating, Holsen said."...

Citations & References :

L. Holsen et al. Food motivation circuitry dysfunction during hunger and satiety: from anorexia nervosa to extreme obesity. Annual meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society. April 3, 2012.

* I know a family with a Prader-Willi child. The developmental issues are really tough, but at one point at least, I understand that they needed to lock up food.

Apr 13, 2012, 7:23pm Top

In Gov. Christie's case I think the question is "Is he too fat to live much longer?"

He'll have to be alive in 2016 to run for POTUS. He is not merely fat - there is a regular fat guy inside of him trying to eat his way to the surface and failing.

We have interventions for uncontrolled alcoholics - why not for people who consider 4,000 calories just a good between-meal-snack?

No LOL here. I'm serious.

Apr 13, 2012, 11:58pm Top

115 - As a family therapist, I have colleagues who have done interventions with people with other issues e.g. diabetes, who don't take care of their health, on the same model that is used with alcohol and other drugs. The person with diabetes is surrounded by their family and friends who each tell the diabetic how they are effected by the diabetic's behavior e.g. how it is for them to keep making trips to the ER, etc. The family refuses to remain with the diabetic person if that person doesn't maintain medical compliance. That is, the marriage is ended or at least there is a separation, and other family and friends no longer see the person until they begin following medical advice.

I have seen it be helpful, but i wonder what happens when the new research comes out that says the old treatment was invalid. Guess you just have to go with the current knowledge. Interesting anyway.

Not making a statement of support or not, just saying there are those who use that method.

Apr 14, 2012, 1:52am Top

#115: I don't know what he weights; apparently political figures are not required to release their weights to the press. (Clearly an oversight.) But let's say he's south of 360, which at 5'11 puts his BMI at less than 50. Judging from this article in the New England Journal of Medicine people in the 50-59 range who don't smoke and are in the 40-49.9 BMI range have a 1.08% change to die each year. (Table 1, Annual deaths per 1000). According to the Social Security Administration, men who are 72 (John McCain in 2008) or 73 (Ronald Reagan) are already above 3%, and that would have (or did) climb to 4% by the ends of their terms.

We have interventions for uncontrolled alcoholics - why not for people who consider 4,000 calories just a good between-meal-snack?

Interventions are for things that are controlling your life. This doesn't control his life. If getting his weight lower meant quitting his job as governor to go to a boot camp, I sure as heck wouldn't do it. You make your choices in life, and your health is not always top priority.

Apr 14, 2012, 8:23am Top

>117 prosfilaes:
"This doesn't control his life. If getting his weight lower meant quitting his job as governor to go to a boot camp, I sure as heck wouldn't do it. You make your choices in life, and your health is not always top priority."


If it doesn't control his life now, it will soon enough. Given the health care crisis in this country, maybe one's health should be top priority. Not really fair to indulge to the point of illness and then expect that a system "fix" you. O.K. for Mr. Christie as he has insurance (although I suspect it is government funded which is paid for by tax dollars) but what about the uninsured who are obese ? or the Medicaid paitents, the people who simply don't pay their medical bills ? You do understand that if you are paying into the medical system at all, you are paying for other peoples bad habits ?
So in a way, Mr. Christie's obesity may not be controlling his life yet but it is controlling the lives of others however distanced they may feel they are from his eating habits.

Apr 21, 2012, 5:05am Top

Neighborhood linked to obesity
Children lacking nearby parks, supermarkets at higher risk

"Neighborhood amenities such as green space and a nearby grocery store may offer residents more than just curb appeal. Children who live in such neighborhoods are roughly half as likely to be obese as kids living in areas lacking these features, researchers report in two studies in the May American Journal of Preventive Medicine..."

"“This is a very promising area of research that will inform the way we think about cities and how to design neighborhoods,” says Jennifer Black, a nutritionist at the University of British Columbia who wasn’t involved in these studies. “We have a pretty strong sense that if it’s easier for people to safely and comfortably walk to the kinds of amenities they want, they will be more likely to be physically active and spend less time driving.”"

"Many older neighborhoods assessed in the study scored higher than those built more recently. Newer strip mall developments on arterial roads, (Lawrence Frank, an urban planner and public health researcher at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver) says, often have plenty of parking in front but a wall behind that seals them off from nearby residents. “We’ve engineered out of our communities the ability to travel on foot to things nearby,” he says. “If we want to reverse the obesity epidemic, we need to reverse the way we’re building our communities.” "

Citations & References :

L.D. Frank et al. Objective assessment of obesogenic environments in youth: geographic information system methods and spatial findings from the Neighborhood Impact on Kids study. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Vol. 42, May 2012, e47. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2012.02.006. http://www.ajpmonline.org/article/S0749-3797%2812%2900128-6/abstract

B.E. Saelens et al. Obesogenic neighborhood environments, child and parent obesity: The Neighborhood Impact on Kids study. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Vol. 42, May 2012, e57. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2012.02.008. http://www.ajpmonline.org/article/S0749-3797%2812%2900130-4/abstract


Edited: Apr 30, 2012, 3:23pm Top

I hope that America does think he is too fat to be President..or vice president...because we here in NJ DO NOT want to share him. He has brought a voice of truth and reason, with that special Jersey edge, to a state that was on the edge of collapse after our last two govs...the cheating Proud Gay American and the cheating What Yours is Actually Mine.
Go find your own great guy.

Apr 30, 2012, 3:29pm Top

>120 caitemaire:
We wouldn't want to share a "good thing" ! Even if it has that special "Jersey edge".

"Go find your own great guy."

Some of us think we have !

May 4, 2012, 11:04pm Top

121> What "great guy" are you refering to?

May 5, 2012, 8:39am Top

>122 CharlesBoyd:
You are free to insert any name you would like to.

May 5, 2012, 5:13pm Top

123> I'm guessing Obama.

May 6, 2012, 11:40am Top

>124 CharlesBoyd:
The point I was trying to make was that many of us feel we have "found our guy" . Those who support Gingrich are sure they have "found their guy"......granted he doesn't have that Jersey "edge" but he has that good old political "snark" .

I don't think Obama has done the job we had hoped, but then, he hasn't been afforded the respect of office enjoyed by prior Presidents, nor has he been given any lee way with which to accomplish much of anything without a nasty battle.

As for "found my guy" That wouldn't be the way I would necessarly frame it.....more like willing to give him the benefit of the doubt against all odds. There is an unreasonable amount of hatred towards the guy that is not confined to public opinion but is interferring with the governmental process. The sentiment started on Nov 5th 2008 and hasn't done anything but increased, as many tend to blame him for not accomplishing anything despite the fact that half the government is blocking everthing he has tried to do. Sound reasonable to you ? I don't hold much hope that a good percentage of the people in this country are going to grow up and get over themselves any time soon, this includes those who are paid to represent a sad sorry majority who are watching them play games at our expense.

Edited: May 6, 2012, 8:14pm Top

125> "...despite the fact that half the government is blocking everything he has tried to do."

That's pretty much par for the course when one is president, at least in the last several decades. And, playing devil's advocate for a moment, if everything, or nearly everything a president is trying to do is wrong, is bad for the country, wouldn't it be proper for those who believe that's the case to try to block those things? Could even be considered one's duty to country to block?

May 7, 2012, 1:42am Top

#126: And, playing devil's advocate for a moment, if everything, or nearly everything a president is trying to do is wrong, is bad for the country, wouldn't it be proper for those who believe that's the case to try to block those things? Could even be considered one's duty to country to block?

Of course. But then it would be nice if they admitted that, instead of trying to blame everything on the president. The majority party in Congress holds probably more power then the president in controlling the future of our country, but come time to reelect him, everything that's happened is suddenly his fault.

May 7, 2012, 2:08am Top

>127 prosfilaes:

Pick your election from the past. It doesn't matter who's in power, these points are evergreen.

May 7, 2012, 8:27am Top

>126 CharlesBoyd:
Are you seriously saying that this hasn't been the most contentious Congress ever ? That they haven't fillibustered more bills than any other Congress ? That the Republican Party hasn't decided to be against everything, even if they were "for" it prior to the election of Barack Obama. That the Republican's are united by a contract drafted by Mr Norquist which makes it impossible to do anything other than put the financial burden for the past two decades on those who have the least to spare ? That they haven't voted "NO", to a man, on bills they themselves have had the final say regarding it's contents ?
Cause if you are....you have not been paying attention !!!!

>127 prosfilaes:
In fact, Congress holds enough power to make sure that the President elect is only a one term President.....no matter what the cost may be to the people of this country. If anyone was paying any attention and had they been blessed with an attention span greater than that of a small nat.....they would remember the words of Mitch McConnell when he stated his mission soon after Nov.4th 2008. All that has happened in the past three and half years would make sense, given the goal at hand.
It would also be quite clear that Obama is NOT to blame for the inabilitly to do much of anything without an unprecedented struggle on his part.

You may not like Obama's policies or his personality or what ever it is that made him the most "socialistic" harmful human to ever hold office in this country but it is very very clear that the Republicans have, for the most part, accomplished that which they have set out to do, govern this country by not governing at all.
It would be nice if the Republican's would own this as an accomplishment rather than pointing a finger at Obama and saying it is a failure on his part. Seems to me that if they believe in what they are saying and feel that their stance is what is "best for this country", they would be shouting their success from the roof tops.

May 7, 2012, 9:28am Top

#128: Yeah, I knew that when I wrote it. This one's particularly acute for me, but it's a pretty constant pattern.

May 7, 2012, 1:21pm Top

Are you seriously saying that this hasn't been the most contentious Congress ever ?

Well, nobody's beaten anyone else almost to death with a cane yet.

Edited: May 7, 2012, 1:33pm Top

The congressional republicans are on record as making their number one priority the opposition to everything and anything proposed by Obama. I.e., if it takes tanking the economy and/or starting civil war to accomplish the goal of defeating Obama in November, then so be it.

It is not that Obama is such a great bargain. He just seems rational.

The republican party is ..... well, the English language really can't do justice to how scumbaggery it has become. Let's just leave it at republican party = scumbaggery - and hope god or mother nature or maybe even a long term majority vote will just end their putrid existence and send them to join the Whigs in the dustbin of political history.

May 7, 2012, 1:33pm Top

Let's just leave it at republican party = scumbaggery

Those Republicans are terrible. They are so oppositional! But not you.

May 7, 2012, 2:59pm Top

>131 timspalding:
That example is old and over used.
Nobody tried to take away Haliburton's no bid contracts either ! OR, refused to prop up the big banks when they came on their knees looking for a bail out.

I do not think that ALL Republicans are terrible...but I do think that "thinking" Republican's have had their party highjacked. They will vote for Romney.....they do not like Romney. Not sure what I would do if I were a Republican now. I live with one...he is not a happy camper and it has more to do with the destruction of his own party than with anything Obama has done.

Was watching a clip of Romney the other night....he was visiting some big time donor...can't recall who. The guy had a lake in his back yard as well as a golf course. Romney was dressed in white pants with a dark blue suit coat. Appropriate for the country club set. He made a comment that was so typical of a guy in white pants and navy blue suit coat. "WOW" says he, "A lake and a golf course in your own back yard" " Democrats would say that nobody should live this way, Republicans would say that EVERYONE should live this way"

NO.....no....no.....that is NOT the point Romney ! That is so far from the point it wasn't very funny at all. I would suppose this appeals to the voter who punches his time clock , year after year, on a daily basis and buys his lottery ticket every weekend, hoping to strike it rich.....thinking he just may be the guy in the white pants. But for the most part, people are NOT going to be the guy in the white pants and many of them realize this, they just want to make enough to enjoy the life they have, educate their kids and retire before they tip over.

Romney is the face of the dillusion that many have about America "If you work hard you will get rich and we all want to be rich" The answer to both is NO.

Obama is the face of what a social minded country can do. If not for people who campaigned for social equality and human rights, someone like Obama would not even own their own personhood. Somebody somewhere stood up and said that the top couldn't keep all the property. The notion that taking anything and everything was the "American way" was shot down by more than a few individuals so as to give the Obama's in America a chance to achieve something.
This may be part of Obama's problem, not that his idea's are so socialistic so much as he personifies a more socialist society.

As far as thinking on the "Right" Romney isn't even close. His thinking doesn't go beyond "making BIG money" he knows nothing else. I can't believe that most people on the right are on the same page, just can't figure out why the lawmakers on the Right have lost their collective minds.

May 7, 2012, 3:17pm Top

"If you work hard you will get rich and we all want to be rich"

That's not what Romney has said at all. He said that if you want to get rich, you just borrow $20,000 from your parents.

May 7, 2012, 4:36pm Top

>135 Jesse_wiedinmyer:
That's right....forgot that one ! Have a feeling the guy is going to have foot in mouth disease more than once or twice during the coming campaign. Don't think you can "teach" someone what it means to be an average Joe. Some guys forget when they get to the top but Romney doesn't have anything to forget. He has been at the top since the beginning of his life. Should be interesting !

Can imagine the look on my parents face if I had told them that I planned on being rich so I needed to borrow $20,000. I was the first of four, which would have meant a few more $20,000 loans......Right ! They thought that $50 or $100 dollars here and there was "helping" pay for school.
My dad WAS a minister but unfortunately he wasn't a Mormon minister.....money was tight, my mom actually had to work. Although she would have liked to do the harder job and stay home with us, she simply had no choice, had to do TWO jobs, mom and secretary.
Geez, they are clueless....absolutely clueless ! Wonder how this is going to work ?
Like I said, if I were a "thinking" Republican I would want to "take my Party back" the hell with taking the country back !

May 7, 2012, 6:17pm Top

The problem with Obama's programs is that if enacted, the country would be bankrupt for sure, rather than only probably bankrupt as is the case now.

Jumping on the Republicans because they say their goal is to get Obama out is being disengenous (sic). The reason to get Obama out is to save the country, not because he's black or a bozo. I'm sure I'll be told that the country won't go bankrupt under Obama if he wins a second term. Well, check back with me in four years or so, so I can tell you "I told you so."

I thought Obama was elected president, not physic. He somehow knows Romney wouldn't have gone after Bin Laden? Anyway, why's Obama acting like a little kid, taking credit for something he didn't do? He was in the White House. The Navy Seals killed Bin Laden. They've got more guts than Obama could even imagine.

May 7, 2012, 6:38pm Top

137> Funny post, especially the last four sentences.

May 7, 2012, 7:43pm Top

He made the call apparently against the advice of at least a couple of his most senior advisers with the sure knowledge that if the raid failed that he'd be another Jimmy Carter.

And what's with impugning Obama's character? When was the last president who was actually in combat? Eisenhower?

May 7, 2012, 7:51pm Top

>137 CharlesBoyd:
Why did Mitch McConnell want Obama out of office less than 6 months after he was sworn into office ? Was hardly enough time to make a judgement as to his job performance.

>138 theoria:
It IS funny. However Mr. Boyd is going to vote based, in part, on the thoughts expressed in this post....which is NOT all that funny!

May 7, 2012, 7:59pm Top

>139 jjwilson61:
"And what's with impugning Obama's character?"

Should be used to it by now.....it is done about anything and everything possible.....even things that are completely off the wall, as we can see. Name of the game....."Impung Obama's Character"

Just heard a young lady at a rally for Romney as him if he thought that since Obama has been operating outside of the definition of the Constitution if he, Obama, should be tried for treason.

Kid you not ! People think this stuff....some of them actually open their mouths and say stuff like this...in a crowd of people none the less.

Edited: May 7, 2012, 10:47pm Top

> 141

People who talk in "Foxx speak" are not worth my time. They are uneducatable. If you "debate" them you're just putting yourself on their extremely low level. They are not worthy opponents and should not be treated as such. As the saying goes: If you lie down with dogs you're gonna get farted on.

May 7, 2012, 10:46pm Top

The problem with Obama's programs is that if enacted, the country would be bankrupt for sure, rather than only probably bankrupt as is the case now.
I thought Obama was elected president, not physic.

Nope, that's obviously your position.

May 8, 2012, 7:46am Top


But congresscritters are daily calling each other "Dirty Communist" or equivalent and suggesting that "the Republic" will suffer total collapse if the other Party is not purged from office.

Frankly, I'm pleased that is the case. It diminishes public respect for such scum and undermines the myth that we are being governed by thoughtful and intelligent people. One would find more thoughtful and intelligent sorts in your neighborhood bar.

Edited: May 8, 2012, 7:53am Top


"Those Republicans are terrible. They are so oppositional! But not you."

Why of course not! JGL posts here. Therefore anyone suggesting that he is "terrible" or "oppositional" would be committing a TOS violation.

You ought to read the TOS. You can state that your neighbor is a donkey buggering moron, and that's perfectly fine so long as your neighbor doesn't post here.

You can even describe JGL so that everyone knows who you are talking about and then apply the same defamations to him. That is also fine so long as you don't specifically identify him.

Great system. Results exactly in what one would expect.

May 8, 2012, 9:58am Top

>145 lawecon:
You don't like the TOS system? Somehow that fact escaped me. You might need to reiterate this view a few more times.

May 8, 2012, 10:00am Top


Borrow $20,000 from my parents?? Yeah, right! When I bought my house my mother lent me $6,000 to help with the down payment. About a year and a half later she had to call in the balance still owed when she hit a rough spot. Paying it back all at once didn't "hurt" me a real lot, but did force me to give up a few things that I couldn't justify spending the money on with less of a cushion to fall back on.

Like face said, too many people who are well off have forgotten where they came from, or never had to watch every penny in the first place.

Edited: May 8, 2012, 10:06am Top

Meanwhile, back on topic, this piece by Ron Rosenbaum has some interesting things to say about the "fat-guy authenticity" meme or whatever you want to call it. Link here.

May 8, 2012, 10:49am Top

Ralph Kramden

May 8, 2012, 12:18pm Top

Just heard a young lady at a rally for Romney as him if he thought that since Obama has been operating outside of the definition of the Constitution if he, Obama, should be tried for treason.

I remember there were some people who thought that W had a secret plan to declare a national emergency, impose martial law, call off the 2008 elections, and name himself dictator indefinitely (which would mutate into a permanent presidency). It was a lunatic fantasy, but some people on the left were convinced it was true. That's not much different than thinking that Obama should be tried for treason.

The difference is that the people on the left who thought that about W were on the lunatic fringe, while those on the right who think that about Obama seem disturbingly close to the mainstream of the party.

May 8, 2012, 12:28pm Top

>150 StormRaven:
"The difference is that the people on the left who thought that about W were on the lunatic fringe, while those on the right who think that about Obama seem disturbingly close to the mainstream of the party."

Agreed, lunacy is not specific to one Party, generally, the thinking members of either Party tend to try and distance themselves from the lunatics....it would seem that the Right has recently tried to distance themselves from the "thinking" members and tried to court the lunatics. Makes for an interesting Mitt Romney, since, while I don't believe he has a clue what normal life is like for the average American, neither do I believe he is a lunatic....but, one has to hand it to him, he keeps trying !

May 8, 2012, 6:49pm Top

Remember, if Obama is elected again, have the guts, in four years, to admit what he will have done to the country by then.

May 8, 2012, 7:29pm Top

>152 CharlesBoyd:
I remember saying the same thing in 2004. But somehow, someway..... much, if not most, of the damage done to the U. S. from 2000 thru 2008 is Obama's fault. So, I guess we will have to wait and see who takes office in 2014 to find out who has made a further mess of this country. Will be sure to get back to you then as I will have someone to point a finger at.

May 8, 2012, 7:57pm Top

#152: Lead by example; have the guts to admit what Bush did. If he did nothing wrong, then I don't see why you expect us to see less of our chosen president.

May 8, 2012, 9:40pm Top


My, how perceptive. I trust that I am not boring you by stating the obvious, but, you see, there are many for whom it is not obvious. In fact, there are many who frequently cite to TOS as if it defined manners or morals. But that, of course, wouldn't be you.

May 9, 2012, 6:04pm Top

152> I voted for Bush the first time, Kerry the second time. I'm the first to say voting for Bush was a mistake on my part. What puzzles me is that people who really hated Bush seem to really love Obama, and Obama is like Bush on steriods. Bush started our country on the downhill slope to financial crisis, but Obama has made Bush seem like an amateur in terms of financial madness. Bush got us into two wars we shouldn't have been in, but at least he got congressional approval, Obama got us in another war without congressional approval.

May 9, 2012, 8:48pm Top


You know, I despise Obama as a traitor to the Bill of Rights and every assurance he gave voters during his campaign. However, the above is just plain factually wrong.

May 9, 2012, 10:17pm Top

>157 lawecon:
It is the newest in patisan politics.......no facts required. People can make stuff up and claim it as fact....including our lawmakers. Nope, no facts.

Edited: May 10, 2012, 11:00pm Top

> 158

Oh, you mean the "facts" like:

1. Obama is engaged in a war on religion, specifically on the H.R.C.C., but really on christianity in general.

2. Obama is engaged in a war on marriage - the "right" kind of marriage, that is. I.e., he thinks GAY is OK, in utter contradiction to inerrant biblical teachings. Plus he doesn't think women raising children is "real work".

3. Obama is a secret muslim.

4. Obama is an atheist - regardless of the fact that he is a secret muslim.

5. Obama is a socialist who is hostile to business and wants to redistribute wealth a la Karl Marx.

6. Obama ate dog meat as a child and this makes him the moral equivalent of Willard torturing a dog as an adult.

7. Obama was responsible for the financial blow-up in 2008 and is responsible for the dive into the economic crapper that occurred consequently.

8. Osama B.L. was shot in the face and dumped in the ocean due to the fruition of the courageous actions of Bush/Cheney - Obama just happened to be President when it actually happened.

9. Obama was born in (fill in the blank) and not in the U.S.

10. Romney saved the U.S. auto industry, not Obama (as in "These are not the droids you are looking for.")

11. Because Romney is MUCH richer than Obama he thus serves as the best role-model for poor and middle-class people who look forward one day to becoming rich themselves.

12. Obama wants to create death panels and rationed health care, but the SCOTUS will hopefully stop him this summer with a majority ruling from its scrotum-bearing members.

13. Obama is an elitist, unlike Romney, who is Everyman (er, everyman's wet dream who dreams of being as rich as Croesus/Romney one fine day).

14. Obama, who republicans fear is massively over-endowed (if you know what I mean) will demand Droit du seigneur in his second term regarding white couples getting married.

15. Obama will confiscate all privately owned guns in his second term. Patriotic republicans should go buy another ten guns to add to their present collection of 25 guns and hide them in strategic places around the farm to foil Obama's attempt to cancel the second amendment.

16. Romney is an EXTREME conservative. Unlike Obama, who is SO EXTREME a socialist he makes Karl Marx look like Donald Trump.

17. Mormonism is not a weird cult like jehovah witnesses or scientology or whatever, but is instead a wholesome form of orthodox christianity, like that of methodists or episcopalians or whatever.

18. Obama has raised taxes. Something Saint Ronald Reagan would never have done.

19. Obama is responsible for high gas prices. The highest gas prices in U.S. history were under George Bush, Jr. but he was NOT responsible. (“These are not the droids you are looking for.")

20. Illegal immigration has gone up under Obama.

21. Oil drillings and oil production has gone down under Obama.

22. Even though Obama has had something like twenty (20) times more actual terrorists blown to hell in his three years to date than G.B, Jr. did in his eight years, we must assume Obama, somehow, in some way, still "pals around with terrorists. (If not then Sarah Palin would be a stupid ignorant liar. And that couldn't be true - could it?)

23. If Obama is reelected it will be the end of the United States of America, the end of world civilization, and we will all die.

24. Shepard Smith is gay.

(A texass-sized OOPS - that last one is actually true.)

Edited: May 10, 2012, 3:12pm Top

159> What in my post is factually wrong? Bush did jack up the deficit and the debt and Obama and cohorts have shot them even higher, much higher. This is bad news for the financial survival of the USA. So, in this instance, Obama is like Bush on steroids.

Bush got us into Iraq and Afganistan. Obama got us into Lybia. Yes, a smaller war--or police action or call it what you will, still we were involved militarily. True or not?

I did vote for Bush the first time, Kerry the second go round. Are you saying that's not factual????

Edited: May 11, 2012, 1:04am Top

~ 159

(Sound of snoring) Wake me when he is through with this rant, it is so repetitious.

Some people think that they've outgrown fundamentalism, rather than just changing brands.

May 11, 2012, 1:03am Top


You don't seem to be able to grasp simple factual distinctions.

First of all, you don't measure the deficit and debt in absolute terms. "We" are long past those days. You measure them as a percentage of the previous levels. Bush was an unprecedented spender by that measure.

Second, you don't equate something like the intervention in Panama where Noreiga was removed with the wars in Iraq and Afganistan - not if you don't want people to laugh at you. Similarly, you do not call the "mandate" that Bush got from Congress a declaration of war or anything even close, any more than the Tonkin Gulf Resolution was a declaration of war.

For someone who claims to be "conservative" you seem to have incredibly loose standards - apparently comprised solely of looking at party labels. Hopefully one of these days you'll grow out of that absurdity and start looking at real distinctions. Or maybe you'll get elected to public office.

May 11, 2012, 11:10am Top

163: "First of all, you don't measure the deficit and debt in absolute terms. "We" are long past those days. You measure them as a percentage of the previous levels." Nonsense. Tell that to our kids and grandkids when they're struggling to pay off our debt, struggling to keep this country afloat financially. And who decided we "don't measure the deficit and debt in absolute terms."?

"Bush was an unprecedented spender by that measure." And Obama isn't also? He's increased both a huge amount.

I didn't say Bush got a declaration of war, just that he got a sort of informal okay from congress. Obama just did his own thing. And, I agree, the Lybia thing doesn't remotely compare with Iraq and Afganistan in terms of people killed, money, etc. The point is that Obama doesn't realize he was elected president rather, he seems to think he was elected king.

Please tell me how I have incredibly loose standards. And I don't look solely at party labels. Again, I voted for W the first time, then voted for Kerry the second time. I was very interested in Bill Bradley a ways back. I have a high respect for Jimmy Carter.

May 11, 2012, 11:32am Top

#164: The point is that Obama doesn't realize he was elected president rather, he seems to think he was elected king.

I'll believe that the day, a year in the future or five, that Obama says the constitution that says he must leave office is doesn't apply to him as king. Until then, it's silly rhetoric.

I have a high respect for Jimmy Carter.

You mean the man who sent troops into Iran without Congressional approval in any way?

May 11, 2012, 12:40pm Top

165: If you mean the hostage incident, that's like the Navy seals taking out Osama bin Laden and I'm fine with that sort of thing. Libya was getting involved in a war. Obviously a different thing.

Overstepping one's powers as president is evidence of one not recognizine the limits of one's powers as president, so my statement isn't "silly rhetoric," but an observation on Obama's hubris.

May 11, 2012, 8:18pm Top

Where have you been? Every president since at least Vietnam has been sending in troops for some reason or other without asking for Congresses permission first. I don't like it but that's the way it's been for both parties for a long time.

Edited: May 11, 2012, 9:28pm Top

You measure them as a percentage of the previous levels.

With most economists, I think you'd be better to measure them as a percentage of GDP. When calculating your personal credit card debt, it matters more how that debt relates to your current income than to your debt last year, when you had a better job.

Libya was getting involved in a war.

A short war, conducted alongside our treaty allies and engaged in—on our side—almost entirely by airmen in no danger. Nobody died.

May 12, 2012, 12:19am Top

"Overstepping one's powers as president is evidence of one not recognizine the limits of one's powers as president, so my statement isn't "silly rhetoric," but an observation on Obama's hubris."

In my life time, Presidents not named Obama have sent troops into combat in Grenada, Lebanon, Kosovo, Somalia, and several other places, usually without a formal declaration from Congress. Were all those president's "overstepping their powers" and displaying "hubris"?

May 12, 2012, 12:21am Top

"And who decided we "don't measure the deficit and debt in absolute terms."?"

Economists who know what they are doing.

May 12, 2012, 1:21pm Top

When calculating your personal credit card debt, it matters more how that debt relates to your current income than to your debt last year, when you had a better job.

And factoring in your expected future income, although you do have to careful that your expectations are reasonable. But panicking and cutting everything in sight because the debt/GDP shot up due to a recession isn't helpful. Recessions do end, and stopping investments in the future can do long term damage.

May 12, 2012, 1:24pm Top

166, 167> To add to what I said, you should google "imperial presidency" sometime. And I believe Cheney was a chief player in increasing the power of presidency over the years.

Edited: May 12, 2012, 2:02pm Top

>171 jjwilson61:

Yes, fair enough. But GDP and debts are facts. Future revenue is a politician's plaything.

May 12, 2012, 5:52pm Top

#169: Were all those president's "overstepping their powers"

Yes, and I wish they would cut it the hell out. I suppose if you get away with it, it's hard to call it hubris, though. I mean Congress simply doesn't seem to want the responsibility to declare war.

May 12, 2012, 8:01pm Top


No, only the socialist Democrats, and you know that they are socialists because they are Democrats and imitate what previous Republicans have done. Haven't you been paying attention?

Jun 3, 2012, 5:12am Top

Feel the Burn
Turning on brown fat in humans may boost weight loss
By Tina Hesman Saey
June 16th, 2012; Vol.181 #12 (p. 20)

"...Previous studies have indicated that brown fat is harder to find in obese people and diabetics than in lean or healthy people. That’s probably because the brown fat in obese people is immature and doesn’t have the energy-burning capacity that typically makes the fat easy to spot on scans, says Devanjan Sikder, a neurobiologist at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in Orlando, Fla."

"Sikder and colleagues reported last year in Cell Metabolism that a brain chemical called orexin helps brown fat mature. Orexin, also called hypocretin, is famous for stimulating appetite and keeping people awake. Sikder’s team plans to start a clinical trial to test orexin’s ability to get brown fat going in humans..."

Jun 18, 2012, 11:09am Top

Diet sodas may confuse brain's 'calorie counter'
Sugar-free drinks may make sweet-detecting circuits numb to the real stuff
By Janet Raloff
Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

"...Erin Green and Claire Murphy of the University of California, San Diego and San Diego State University recruited 24 healthy young adults for a battery of brain imaging tests. Half reported regularly drinking sugar-free beverages, usually at least once a day. The rest seldom if ever consumed such drinks. While the brain scans were underway, the researchers pumped small amounts of saccharin- or sugar-sweetened water in random order into each recruit’s mouth as the volunteer rated the tastes."

"Both the diet soda drinkers and the nondrinkers rated each sweetener about equally pleasant and intense, Green and Murphy report in an upcoming Physiology & Behavior. But which brain regions lit up while making those judgments differed sharply based on who regularly consumed diet drinks."

"Certain affected brain regions are associated with offering a pleasurable feedback or reward in response to desirable sensations. And compared with those who don't drink diet soda, the diet soda drinkers “demonstrated more widespread activation to both saccharin and sucrose in reward processing brain regions,” the researchers say."

"One of the strongest links seen was diminishing activation of an area known as the caudate head as a recruit’s diet soda consumption climbed. This area is associated with the food motivation and reward system. Green and Murphy also point out that decreased activation of this brain region has been linked with elevated risk of obesity."

"The new findings may help explain an oft-observed association between diet soda consumption and weight gain, the researchers say. Once fooled, the brain’s sweet sensors can no longer provide a reliable gauge of energy consumption..."

Citations & References :

E. Green and C. Murphy. Altered processing of sweet taste in the brain of diet soda drinkers. Physiology & Behavior. In press, 2012. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2012.05.006 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22583859

S.E. Swithers, A.A. Martin, and T.L. Davidson. High-intensity sweeteners and energy balance. Physiology & Behavior. Vol. 100, April 26, 2010, p. 55. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2009.12.021 http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/341424/title/Diet_sodas__may_confuse_...

Jun 19, 2012, 12:08pm Top

Eew, I know, but

"...Other conditions potentially could be treated by manipulating the microbiome. Scientists have linked obesity, for example, to changes to the gut’s ecosystem. When scientists transfer bacteria from obese mice to lean ones, the lean mice put on weight."

"How this happens is still unclear, but some studies suggest that an “obese” microbiome sends signals to the body, changing how cells use sugar for energy and leading the body to store extra fat."

"Researchers at the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam are running a clinical trial to see if fecal transplants can help treat obesity. They have recruited 45 obese men; some are getting transplants from their own stool, while others get transplants from lean donors. The scientists are finding that the transplants from lean donors are changing how the obese subjects metabolize sugar."

"While these initial results are promising, there is no evidence yet that the obese subjects are losing weight. Dr. Fischbach cautions that it may take a while to figure out how to manipulate the microbiome to make people healthy..."


Jul 15, 2012, 4:59pm Top

Weight Gain Linked To Vitamin D Deficiency In Older Women
26 Jun 2012 - 2:00 PDT

"Females aged 65 or more with low Vitamin D levels are more likely to gain weight than their counterparts with adequate levels, researchers from the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Oregon, reported in the Journal of Women's Health. The authors explained that their study, involving 4,659 elderly women (65+ years) who were monitored for 4.5 years, found a 2.1 lbs (1 kilogram) higher weight gain among those with low Vitamin D blood levels."

"Study author Erin LeBlanc, MD, an endocrinologist, said: "This is one of the first studies to show that women with low levels of Vitamin D gain more weight, and although it was only two pounds, over time that can add up. Nearly 80 percent of women in our study had insufficient levels of Vitamin D. A primary source of this important vitamin is sunlight, and as modern societies move indoors, continuous Vitamin D insufficiency may be contributing to chronic weight gain.""


Jul 15, 2012, 5:04pm Top

Some Personal Care Products May Raise Diabetes Risk
15 Jul 2012 - 11:00 PDT

"Women may be at higher risk of developing diabetes because of phthalates that exist in such personal care products as soaps, hair sprays, moisturizers, nail polish, and even perfume. Researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital published a report in Environmental Health Perspectives explaining that the higher concentrations of phthalate metabolites in the urine of females compared to males might mean that women have a higher risk of developing diabetes."

"...The researchers found that:"

"Overall, those with higher urine levels of phthalates had a higher risk of developing diabetes, compared to those with the lowest levels"

"Those with the highest levels of mono-benzyl phthalate and mono-isobutyl phthalate in their urine were twice as likely to develop diabetes, compared to the women with the lowest levels"

"Those with moderately high levels of di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate and mono-n-butyl phthalate had a 70% greater risk of developing diabetes, compared to the women with the lowest levels"

"Women with a higher-than-average level of mono- (3-carboxypropyl) phthalate had a 60% higher risk of developing diabetes compared to those with the lowest levels" ...

Jul 15, 2012, 7:34pm Top

>179 margd:

Isn't it possible that women who are overweight go outside less, and thus generate less vitamin D?

Jul 16, 2012, 2:37am Top

It's too bad access to the primary source is so expensive. An easy way to answer your question would be to see if women taking vitamin D supplements were any different from those get their vitamin D solely from sunshine.

Edited: Jul 16, 2012, 4:58am Top

>181 timspalding: Isn't it possible that women who are overweight go outside less, and thus generate less vitamin D?

Perhaps. I've been reading, though, that in northern half of US, it's virtually impossible for half of the year for ANYBODY to get optimum levels of Vitamin D from the sun, much less the dark-skinned or sunscreen-slathered or housebound. I've begun taking a high dose of D3 supplement every few days (when I remember), which seems to help with at least one little health issue of mine.

Public health officials used to recognize the need for D supplementation which we are now rediscovering.* My elementary school (in your neighboring province, New Brunswick) used to dose us regularly with cod liver oil and later, with cod liver pills.


Jul 27, 2012, 10:47am Top

"Lifestyle was not shown to be a contributing factor to one's total daily energy expenditure. In fact, total energy expenditure is remarkably consistent across global cultures and economies, and is perhaps "more a product of our common genetic inheritance than our diverse lifestyles." So whether you are hunting down and killing your dinner yourself or grabbing take-out after sitting in front of a computer all day, the calorie intake needed to supplement your energy expenditure is more or less the same."

Study: Office Workers Burn as Many Calories as Hunter-Gatherers http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/07/study-office-workers-burn-as-m...


Jul 27, 2012, 10:54am Top

"Increased concern about future overweight and controlling feeding styles represent potential mechanisms by which food insecurity could be related to obesity. Obesity prevention should aim to decrease food insecurity and to reduce controlling feeding styles in families who remain food insecure."

Study of the Day: How the Fear of Not Having Enough Food Leads to Obesity. http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/04/study-of-the-day-how-the-fear-...


Aug 22, 2012, 4:25pm Top

Giving babies antibiotics could lead to obesity: study

"We typically consider obesity an epidemic grounded in unhealthy diet and exercise, yet increasingly studies suggest it's more complicated," said co-author Leonardo Trasande of the New York University School of Medicine.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012, 2:19 PM

"...They found that children treated with antibiotics in the first five months of their life weighed more for their height than those who were not exposed."

"The difference was small between the ages of 10 to 20 months, but by 38 months of age, children exposed to antibiotics had a 22 percent greater likelihood of being overweight."

"Timing appeared to matter -- children who received antibiotics from the ages of six to 14 months did not have a significantly higher body mass later in childhood, the study revealed."

"And although children exposed to antibiotics at 15 to 23 months had slightly higher body mass indices by age seven, there was no significant increase in their likelihood of being overweight or obese."

""For many years now, farmers have known that antibiotics are great at producing heavier cows for market," co-author Jan Blustein, also of NYU, said in a press release."

"While we need more research to confirm our findings, this carefully conducted study suggests that antibiotics influence weight gain in humans, and especially children too."

"The study was published in the International Journal of Obesity."

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/giving-babies-antibiotics-lead-obes...

Oct 11, 2012, 4:39am Top

Tricks Foods Play
What you eat may fool your brain into packing on the pounds

"Most people would never equate downing a well-dressed salad or a fried chicken thigh with toking a joint of marijuana. But to Joseph Hibbeln of the National Institutes of Health, the comparison isn’t a big stretch."

"New animal experiments by Hibbeln and his colleagues have recently shown that the body uses a major constituent in most vegetable oils to make its own versions of the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Called endocannabinoids, these natural compounds play a role in heightening appetite. So overproducing them unnecessarily boosts hunger, similarly to how pot triggers the munchies (SN: 6/19/10, p. 16)."

"If what happens in people mirrors what happens in animals, then the prevalence of soybean oil, corn oil and other polyunsaturated vegetable oils in today’s Western diet means your body is “dumping out a lot of these marijuana-like molecules into your brain,” explains Hibbeln, a nutritional neuroscientist. “You’re chronically a little bit stoned.”"

"...The United Soybean Board, an industry group, reports that for reasons unrelated to the recent linoleic acid findings, it is developing new soy crops that will yield an oil high in oleic acid (the prominent fatty acid in canola and olive oils) and low in saturates. One by-product of this tinkering will be a dramatic drop in the linoleic acid fraction in soybean oil from more than 50 percent to less than 5 percent."

"Until the new oil arrives in stores, diners might want to switch to olive or high-oleic canola and sunflower oils, and increase their consumption of fishy omega-3 fatty acids, Hibbeln says. In his experiments, mice getting a diet high in linoleic acid proved fairly resistant to fattening up if they also had fish oil."

"Unfortunately, strategies for keeping the brain’s signaling system on point offer the most promise for people who have not yet begun fattening. “The biggest problem with obesity is not that you can’t lose weight, it’s that you can’t keep lost weight from coming back,” Schwartz says. New findings suggest that once the body gains weight, the brain tends to begin vigorously defending that new weight with signaling that occurs at an unconscious level."

"It’s no secret that protecting the brain from diet-induced trickery or outright damage will be challenging, Schwartz says. But identifying the culprits, whether faulty messages or damaged brain cells, may make way for solutions. “I am very optimistic that interventions to effectively prevent and treat obesity are in our future.”"

Edited: Oct 11, 2012, 9:42am Top

This is strange, someone in another thread, I believe it was Lunar, was just scoffing at the notion that foods or diet could have drug-like effects on the body. Let's see if I can find it. Oh yah, here it is http://www.librarything.com/topic/143161 Post #15

Oct 11, 2012, 11:32am Top

I guess that's what drugs do--rev up a normal process--but still it's startling that vegetable oil (the kinds high in linoleic (fatty) acid) would trigger same process as marijuana. In that vegetable oil is refined and purified unlike anything people encountered before the 20th c, it can really be said to be acting like a drug!

Oct 20, 2012, 5:33pm Top

I actually had a chart from a continuing ed class at Berkeley that related drug of choice to brain chemical shortages to foods or vitamins that were supposed to be helpful. The text was Twelve Weeks to Sobriety. You may scoff but the Haight-Ashbury Clinic uses some supplements such as tyrosine for help, and they have really been leaders in that research.

Dec 18, 2012, 5:34am Top

"...As science is increasingly showing, eating wheat increases the potential for a surprising number of health problems...like obesity, heart disease, and a host of digestive problems...Back in the 1950s, scientists began cross-breeding wheat to make it hardier, shorter, and better-growing. This work ... introduced some compounds to wheat that aren't entirely human friendly. ... It contains amylopectin A, which is more efficiently converted to blood sugar than just about any other carbohydrate, including table sugar..." (!)


Edited: Dec 18, 2012, 8:14am Top

>191 margd:

Nutrition is a very vexed field in many ways. That nutritionists are in real doubt about carbs and calories in dieting is as if biologists couldn't decide whether fish swim or walk. When sober scientists differ, I steer away from following a "transhumanist." There's too much opinion out there.

I'd add that I see in this sort of thing some sort of repressed religious impulse—the desire to be clean, to have no evil, to be good, to be at one with the universe. Food has become a source of abiding worry and concern to millions of people who have no natural food issues, who run around changing diets to conquer feelings or issues having nothing to do with foods, and who will die of cancer or heart attack or stroke like the rest of us, and food will not have done them in. As a New York Times story on health risks put it recently, we are all dying animals. Food doesn't change that essential, and can't usually do much to change even the timeline.

Dec 18, 2012, 2:33pm Top

The last hundred years have seen huge shifts in our environment, though, that we are not programmed to deal with in either quantity or quality--artificial light, chemicals, and purified or altered foods.

One example: my husband is brewing ginger and root beers (as well as a White House recipe for beer!), and it is amazing to me how much different--nutricious even--soft drinks used to be. But so much work and expensive that one would only have had soft drinks for a treat. (Also, explosive--must be stored at cool temperatures, and he's using sturdy plastic bottles that are rock hard when "it's time.")

Dec 18, 2012, 6:01pm Top

>192 timspalding:

I agree entirely with your description of food in terms of a repressed religious impulse.
(Though sometimes it's not particularly repressed--it's just a belief system waved in your face.)

That said, the older belief systems and diets often have tried-and-tested roots. That's an argument (conservative, if you wish) in their favor.

Whereas widespread high-carb diets among largely sedentary populations--a more recent phenomenon--can't make such a claim.

Plenty of evidence suggests that a wrong turn has been taken.

Dec 18, 2012, 7:29pm Top

#194: That said, the older belief systems and diets often have tried-and-tested roots. That's an argument (conservative, if you wish) in their favor.

Whereas widespread high-carb diets among largely sedentary populations--a more recent phenomenon--can't make such a claim.

I don't buy that. Our current diets are tried and tested; it's clear that people can get their three-score and ten on them. I don't think any older diet can say better then that; they were foods that (usually) grew well in the country of the diet, without any deep analysis of how good they were. If potatoes grew well, and you could live on potatoes, you lived on potatoes.

Edited: Jan 15, 2013, 9:30am Top

Choosing a president....

When interviewing candidates for a job you would have to evaluate: If the guy cannot control his own lifestyle, will he be able to control my business. Probably not. The sensible option is to choose someone else.

This is an opinion from someone way outside your box, I've never heard of any of these guys.

Jan 15, 2013, 8:52am Top

Aurora Clinics in Wisconsin just required that all employees, who were using the health insurance plan they provide, take a physical. Anyone who was considered "over weight" or "obese" according to the BMI. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_mass_index will be paying $26.50 more per month for their insurance premiums.

Two thirds of the employees at Aurora Clinics are going to be paying this "fat tax". The BMI numbers are unforgiving.....my sister, tall and thinish is only four pounds away from being considered "over weight".....

Not quite sure how government health could be much worse then where private insurance is headed. Paying a lot of money for decreased services and discriminatory practices.

Jan 15, 2013, 2:08pm Top

A friend of my father didn't reenlist in the military for that reason; they'd weigh him, and he'd come out overweight on the BMI, so he'd have to go to the hospital for a body-fat test that would point out the obvious, that all that extra weight was muscle. Every time, and apparently enough was enough.

Edited: Jan 21, 2013, 5:10am Top

Chemical tied to intergenerational obesity
Mice ingesting the compound tributyltin pass effects to grandchildren
By Erin Wayman January 14, 2013

"...The compound tributyltin is often added to PVC as a stabilizer and to marine paint as an antifouling agent. Raquel Chamorro-García of the University of California, Irvine and colleagues fed pregnant mice tributyltin in their drinking water at quantities similar to what people might ingest through house dust and other sources. The mice gave birth to pups that developed more and larger fat cells, as well as fattier livers, compared with unexposed pups."

"These changes appear to be permanent. The children and grandchildren of these mice also had increased amounts of body and liver fat."

"The findings confirmed previous work showing that tributyltin affects the function of a gene that regulates body fat production and reprograms certain stem cells to become fat cells rather than bone cells."

R. Chamorro-García et al. Transgenerational inheritance of increased fat depot size, stem cell reprogramming and hepatic steatosis elicited by prenatal exposure to the obesogen tributyltin in mice. Environmental Health Perspectives. Published online January 15, 2013.

J. Raloff. Pesticide in womb may promote obesity, study finds. Science News Online, October 5, 2010. http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/64032/description/Pesticide_in_womb_m...

Jan 21, 2013, 6:32am Top


Tells you something about how the military does things, doesn't it?

Edited: Feb 26, 2013, 7:56pm Top

The late king of Tonga, Taufaʻahau Tupou IVʻs weight is something that I wouldnʻt try to guess. Heavier, by far, during his long reign, than Pres. Taft, anyway. And he lived to be 86 or 87. His reign began in 1947 at about age 29, when his
mother, Salote III, Tongaʻs only reigning queen died. His reign lasted into the 21st century.
So, he got through it without very threatening infirmities. He did have to visit Aotearoa / New Zealand for
medical treatment a few times.
Two sons of his have been on the throne since his death:
Siaosi Tupou V for a few years, and now Lavaka Ata Tupou VI.

Jan 21, 2013, 10:55am Top

Warnings from a Flabby Mouse
Nicholas D Kristof

"...The most important time for exposure appears to be in utero and in childhood. It’s not clear whether most obesogens will do much to make an ordinary adult, even a pregnant woman, fatter (although one has been shown to do so), and the greatest impact seems to be on fetuses and on children before puberty."

"The magazine Scientific American recently asked whether doctors should do more to warn pregnant women about certain chemicals. It cited a survey indicating that only 19 percent of doctors cautioned pregnant women about pesticides, only 8 percent about BPA (an endocrine disruptor in some plastics and receipts), and only 5 percent about phthalates (endocrine disruptors found in cosmetics and shampoos). Dr. Blumberg, the pioneer of the field, says he strongly recommends that people — especially children and women who are pregnant or may become pregnant — try to eat organic foods to reduce exposure to endocrine disruptors, and try to avoid using plastics to store food or water.* “My daughter uses a stainless steel water bottle, and so do I,” he said."

"For all the uncertainty, these latest studies are one more reason to worry that endocrine disruptors may be the tobacco of our time. Science-based decisions to improve public health — like the removal of lead from gasoline — have been among our government’s most beneficial public policy moves. In this case, a starting point would be to boost research of endocrine disruptors and pass the Safe Chemicals Act*. That measure, long stalled in Congress, would require more stringent safety testing of potentially toxic chemicals around us."

"After all, which mouse would we rather look like?"

* "...my extreme detox regime. My original BPA level was 5.1 nanograms per milliliter of urine, putting me in the upper quartile of Americans. (Levels here are, incidentally, twice those of Canada, which began restricting some uses of BPA in 2008.) After my three days of detox, my level dropped to 0.8, for an 84 percent reduction (I was not quite able to out-Mennonite the Mennonites — their everyday level was 0.71)..." http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/19/opinion/eat-like-a-mennonite.html?_r=0

Jan 21, 2013, 11:10am Top

>181 timspalding: Isn't it possible that women who are overweight go outside less, and thus generate less vitamin D?

Yes, and when they are outside, they probably wear more clothing, given uncharitable attitudes toward the obese?

(OT, but interesting: a 2012 study reported that vitamin D supplementation reduced seizures by a median 40% in people with epilepsy that had not responded to drugs. What a wonder vitamin! http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22503468)

Feb 22, 2013, 8:10am Top

Wow! To avoid BPA-laced cans, I buy pasta and pizza sauce in bottles when I don't use fresh tomatoes. It's tough to find brands not loaded with sugar, and now I know why: they're engineered to the "bliss point" that will keep the public coming back for more! Our fault, too, in that we don't buy snack foods that are good for us, e.g., Kraft is testing a probiotic line of foodstuffs (LiveActive) in Canada, and reportedly it's not going well...

The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food (14 p)
Michael Moss, author of new book Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us


"...Dichter advised Frito-Lay to move its chips out of the realm of between-meals snacking and turn them into an ever-present item in the American diet. “The increased use of potato chips and other Lay’s products as a part of the regular fare served by restaurants and sandwich bars should be encouraged in a concentrated way,” Dichter said, citing a string of examples: “potato chips with soup, with fruit or vegetable juice appetizers; potato chips served as a vegetable on the main dish; potato chips with salad; potato chips with egg dishes for breakfast; potato chips with sandwich orders.” ..."

"...In 2011, The New England Journal of Medicine published a study that shed new light on America’s weight gain. The subjects — 120,877 women and men — were all professionals in the health field, and were likely to be more conscious about nutrition, so the findings might well understate the overall trend. Using data back to 1986, the researchers monitored everything the participants ate, as well as their physical activity and smoking. They found that every four years, the participants exercised less, watched TV more and gained an average of 3.35 pounds. The researchers parsed the data by the caloric content of the foods being eaten, and found the top contributors to weight gain included red meat and processed meats, sugar-sweetened beverages and potatoes, including mashed and French fries. But the largest weight-inducing food was the potato chip. The coating of salt, the fat content that rewards the brain with instant feelings of pleasure, the sugar that exists not as an additive but in the starch of the potato itself — all of this combines to make it the perfect addictive food. “The starch is readily absorbed,” Eric Rimm, an associate professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health and one of the study’s authors, told me. “More quickly even than a similar amount of sugar. The starch, in turn, causes the glucose levels in the blood to spike” — which can result in a craving for more."

"If Americans snacked only occasionally, and in small amounts, this would not present the enormous problem that it does. But because so much money and effort has been invested over decades in engineering and then relentlessly selling these products, the effects are seemingly impossible to unwind. More than 30 years have passed since Robert Lin first tangled with Frito-Lay on the imperative of the company to deal with the formulation of its snacks, but as we sat at his dining-room table, sifting through his records, the feelings of regret still played on his face. In his view, three decades had been lost, time that he and a lot of other smart scientists could have spent searching for ways to ease the addiction to salt, sugar and fat. “I couldn’t do much about it,” he told me. “I feel so sorry for the public.”..."

Feb 23, 2013, 11:22am Top

Insulin levels wax and wane daily
Modern life may clash with hormone’s natural cycle
By Tina Hesman Saey February 22, 2013

"Like the sun, insulin levels rise and fall in a daily rhythm. Disrupting that cycle may contribute to obesity and diabetes, a new study suggests."

"Many body systems follow a daily clock known as a circadian rhythm. Body temperature, blood pressure and the release of many hormones are on circadian timers. But until now, no one had shown that insulin — a hormone that helps control how the body uses sugars for energy — also has a daily cycle. Working with mice, researchers at Vanderbilt University in Nashville have found that rodents are more sensitive to insulin’s effects at certain times of day. Disrupting the animals’ circadian timers interferes with the hormone’s daily rise and fall and makes mice prone to obesity."

"If the findings hold up in humans, they could help explain why people who work night shifts tend to be overweight and suffer health problems. The discovery may also tie the obesity epidemic in part to staying up late and eating at the wrong time..."

S.-q. Shi et al. Circadian disruption leads to insulin resistance and obesity. Current Biology Published online February 21, 2013. http://www.cell.com/current-biology/retrieve/pii/S0960982213000833

Feb 23, 2013, 1:07pm Top

Why not a thread: Too Thick to be President? Oh, not much of a criterion...

Feb 23, 2013, 7:45pm Top

Never can be too thick skinned for politics.

Feb 25, 2013, 10:11am Top

In prevalence of extreme obesity and diabetes, neighborhood matters. Underlying mechanisms unclear:

Moving poor women to lower-poverty neighborhoods improves their health
By William Harms October 19, 2011


Jens Ludwig et al. 2011. Neighborhoods, Obesity, and Diabetes — A Randomized Social Experiment. N Engl J Med 2011; 365:1509-1519. October 20, 2011. http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsa1103216#t=abstract

"Conclusions--The opportunity to move from a neighborhood with a high level of poverty to one with a lower level of poverty was associated with modest but potentially important reductions in the prevalence of extreme obesity and diabetes. The mechanisms underlying these associations remain unclear but warrant further investigation, given their potential to guide the design of community-level interventions intended to improve health. (Funded by HUD and others.)"

Edited: Feb 28, 2013, 12:55pm Top

"...obesity doesn’t cause diabetes: sugar does..."


"The study controlled for poverty, urbanization, aging, obesity and physical activity. It controlled for other foods and total calories. In short, it controlled for everything controllable, and it satisfied the longstanding “Bradford Hill” criteria for what’s called medical inference of causation by linking dose (the more sugar that’s available, the more occurrences of diabetes); duration (if sugar is available longer, the prevalence of diabetes increases); directionality (not only does diabetes increase with more sugar, it decreases with less sugar); and precedence (diabetics don’t start consuming more sugar; people who consume more sugar are more likely to become diabetics)..."

"To fulfill its mission, the (Food and Drug Administration) must respond to this information by re-evaluating the toxicity of sugar, arriving at a daily value — how much added sugar is safe? — and ideally removing fructose (the “sweet” molecule in sugar that causes the damage) from the “generally recognized as safe” list, because that’s what gives the industry license to contaminate our food supply...


Basu S, Yoffe P, Hills N, Lustig RH (2013) The Relationship of Sugar to Population-Level Diabetes Prevalence: An Econometric Analysis of Repeated Cross-Sectional Data. PLoS ONE 8(2): e57873. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0057873. http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0057873

"While experimental and observational studies suggest that sugar intake is associated with the development of type 2 diabetes, independent of its role in obesity, it is unclear whether alterations in sugar intake can account for differences in diabetes prevalence among overall populations. Using econometric models of repeated cross-sectional data on diabetes and nutritional components of food from 175 countries, we found that every 150 kcal/person/day increase in sugar availability (about one can of soda/day) was associated with increased diabetes prevalence by 1.1% (p

Feb 28, 2013, 2:27pm Top

We're all more sedentary and burning fewer calories these days, workers (100 calories fewer per day) and homemakers (360 calories fewer per day) both. At quick glance, studies don't cover those who work outside the home AND do the housework?`


"...A previous report from 2011 found that the changing nature of work over the past 50 years from much more physical labour to being planted at a desk has contributed to the overall rise in body weight for both men and women...."

"But that study only looked at people with formal jobs; it did not cover people who do housework and how their energy expenditure may have changed..."

"Archer and colleagues estimate that in 2010, women not employed outside the home were burning approximately 360 calories less every day than their counterparts in 1965..." (on housework)



Archer E, Shook RP, Thomas DM, Church TS, Katzmarzyk PT, et al. (2013) 45-Year Trends in Women’s Use of Time and Household Management Energy Expenditure. PLoS ONE 8(2): e56620. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0056620. http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0056620

"Conclusions: From 1965 to 2010, there was a large and significant decrease in the time allocated to HM. By 2010, women allocated 25% more time to screen-based media use than HM (i.e., cooking, cleaning, and laundry combined). The reallocation of time from active pursuits (i.e., housework) to sedentary pastimes (e.g., watching TV) has important health consequences. These results suggest that the decrement in HMEE may have contributed to the increasing prevalence of obesity in women during the last five decades."


Church TS, Thomas DM, Tudor-Locke C, Katzmarzyk PT, Earnest CP, et al. (2011) Trends over 5 Decades in U.S. Occupation-Related Physical Activity and Their Associations with Obesity. PLoS ONE 6(5): e19657. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0019657. http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0019657

"Conclusion: Over the last 50 years in the U.S. we estimate that daily occupation-related energy expenditure has decreased by more than 100 calories, and this reduction in energy expenditure accounts for a significant portion of the increase in mean U.S. body weights for women and men."

Mar 1, 2013, 2:37pm Top

The last actually "fat" prez ("I'm in Fat City" he admitted -- an actual quote) was Lyndon Johnson and he was perhaps the "best" prez we've had -- counting only all those who came AFTER him that is.

Christie keeps SOUNDING more "liberal" -- a GOOD sign I say -- and who knows maybe he'll become the uh DEMOCRATIC candidate in 2016?...

Mar 10, 2013, 11:48am Top

"...A novel animal model showed that the longer mice remained overweight, the more “irreversible” obesity became ... Over time, the static, obese state of the mice reset the “normal,” body weight set point to become permanently elevated, despite dieting that initially worked to shed pounds, authors say..."

Is obesity irreversible? Timing is everything when it comes to weight loss, U-M research on mice shows. The longer that overfed-mice stayed obese, the less likely correction of their diet and activity had long-term success in normalizing weight. http://www.uofmhealth.org/news/archive/201210/obesity-irreversible-timing-everyt...

VF Bumaschny et al. 2012. Obesity-programmed mice are rescued by early genetic intervention. J Clin Invest. 2012;122(11):4203–4212. http://www.jci.org/articles/view/62543

Edited: Mar 10, 2013, 8:47pm Top

"The last actually 'fat' prez. . . was Lyndon Johnson

The first Pres. Johnson (D, TN)
(04/65 -- 03/69) was no Taft or Christie, but was never accused of being too thin, either. Yet. historical folklore has it that he sometimes stayed at his desk on the lunch hour and ate only a cracker* for lunch.
He was impeached and just barely acquitted, but that presumably had no connection with his weight.

*It might be argued that
the typical cracker of those times was almost a meal.

Edited: Mar 25, 2013, 5:05am Top

Obesity may be an autoimmune condition caused by an imbalance in the microbiota of the gut. (Certainly, many of us in the west, with our hygiene and antibiotics, tend to carry a much changed microbiotic community.) Various "probiotics" have been studied, most recently a species of parasitic nematode (round worm), which "has both preventive and therapeutic effects against the development of obesity and associated features of metabolic dysfunction in mice", presumably by controlling inflammation, thereby halting liver signals to store fat.

Yang et al. 2013. Parasitic Nematode-Induced Modulation of Body Weight and Associated Metabolic Dysfunction in Mouse Models of Obesity. American Society for Microbiology. Published ahead of print 18 March 2013. http://iai.asm.org/content/early/2013/03/12/IAI.00053-13.abstract

ETA: Gary Huffnagle, a prof at U of Michigan (Microbiology Dept., I think?), co-authored an accessible, science-based introductory book for the layman, The Probiotics Revolution: The Definitive Guide to Safe, Natural Health Solutions Using Probiotic and Prebiotic Foods and Supplements. Amazing how many foods we traditionally prepared with fermentation: pickles, sauerkraut, sour cream, cottage cheese, hard cheeses, kefir, miso, kimchi--even soft drinks such as ginger ale and root beer. Nowadays, the cultured food most commonly consumed in the west, yoghurt, can contain as few as one strain of bacteria!

Mar 25, 2013, 5:01am Top

What a great insult: 'you parasitic nematode!'

Mar 25, 2013, 5:08am Top

Depends on the species! Could be a compliment. :)

Mar 25, 2013, 7:42am Top

One posits the superior nematode.

Edited: Mar 27, 2013, 11:49am Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Edited: Mar 28, 2013, 8:25am Top

A methane-producing microbe can increase availability of nutrients in your diet. Apparently its presence can be detected on one's breath. Makes me wonder if bad-breath self-test detects methane (licking back of one's hand, let it dry, sniff). If so, adding pre- and probiotics to the diet might crowd out the methane-producing bacteria and reduce availability of nutrients in one's diet?


"Doctors led by Ruchi Mathur, director of the Cedars-Sinai Diabetes Outpatient Treatment and Education Center, focused on a methane-producing microbe called Methanobrevibacter smithii. The theory is that M. smithii eats the hydrogen produced by other microorganisms in the gut. Lower hydrogen levels, in turn, increase fermentation in the gut, allowing the body to absorb more nutrients and more energy, or calories, from food."

""Usually, the microorganisms living in the digestive tract benefit us by helping convert food into energy," said Mathur. "However, when this particular organism, M. smithii, becomes overabundant, it may alter this balance in a way that causes someone to be more likely to gain weight.""



Mathur et al. 2013. Methane and Hydrogen Positivity on Breath Test Is Associated With Greater Body Mass Index and Body Fat. Published online before print. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism March 26, 2013. http://jcem.endojournals.org/content/early/2013/03/22/jc.2012-3144.abstract?rss=...

Edited: Mar 28, 2013, 8:24am Top

Gastric-bypass surgery may function by altering the community of bacteria in the gut. This would be great if less invasive strategy results for manipulating microbiota, as gastric-bypass is the surgical technique (c.f. rubber band) that reduces diabetes II as well as weight.

Bacteria in the Intestines May Help Tip the Bathroom Scale, Studies Show

Liu et al. 2013. Conserved Shifts in the Gut Microbiota Due to Gastric Bypass Reduce Host Weight and Adiposity. Sci Transl Med 27 March 2013: Vol. 5, Issue 178, p. 178ra41. http://stm.sciencemag.org/content/5/178/178ra41

May 7, 2013, 8:35am Top

Gov. Christie has surgery. I think his is reversible rubber band, which doesn't have the health benefits of bariatric surgery (or intermittent fasting for that matter): http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/05/07/chris-christie-weight-los...

May 9, 2013, 6:11pm Top

If there HAS to be a Repub prez in 2017 it's probably best if it were Christie. (I will vote for whomever the Demos nominate -- if I'm still alive! -- but I hope it isn't Hillary though I don't know right now who else?...)

May 9, 2013, 6:13pm Top

I always forget the name of that female congresswoman from Florida, but I like her...blondish hair...

May 10, 2013, 5:16pm Top

222 describes my prospective stand for a 2016 election almost exactly. (I might insert a cautious "probably" before "vote".) I'm still uncertain whether Hillary Clinton would make a good president or not. Nothing against Joe Biden (D, Del), but in principle I'm not a fan of the tendency to make the incumbent vice president (or even a veep candidate on a losing ticket!) the "natural" successor of the president I'm not even sure how good a Sec.of State she was. I wouldn't say her tenure was unpublicized, but that it was not publicized enough to deduce an evaluation from the media's usual mix of truth* and wishful thinking.

*I don't think the media lies, so much as just that it misses certain obviously important points that belong in its stories.

This topic was continued by "Too Fat" Part Two!....

Group: Pro and Con

401 members

113,105 messages


This topic is not marked as primarily about any work, author or other topic.

You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 114,457,883 books! | Top bar: Always visible