We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Thursday, August 3. 2017
Part 1 is here
Now to the related topic of Satiety.
It was not long ago that being pudgy or having a bit of a gut signaled prosperity, and leanness signaled lower class. Now it's the opposite. With incredible food abundance, and with obesity always in the news, funding for nutrition-related studies has grown. So now we know a lot more about how insulin works and about how the three food categories (fats and oils, carbs, and protein) are handled by the body. We are also learning about how hunger and satiety work. It's quite interesting but complicated.
These are "First World issues." In our world of nutritional abundance, recreational, social, and emotional eating, and the constant temptation of food porn, "hunger" often does not denote a need for nutrition except for the skinny, and satiety is often over-ridden by habit, speed-eating, stomach-stretching, delicious foods, sugar-and-carb dosing, and insulin-resistance. That is what it means when overweight people, who have no pressing energy needs at all other than water, vitamins, and minerals, eat hungrily two or three times a day. We term that appetite "false hunger" not because the appetite is not subjectively experienced but because appetite has, for them, disconnected from nutritional need and satiety signals (which are very slow to go into effect). That luxury used to be only for the wealthy.
It's like the flip side of anorexia. Anorexia nervosa is famously difficult to ameliorate, but it is not too difficult for most pudgy or fat people to re-set their bio-psycho-social food-o-stat if they want to. For starters, that entails small portions, plenty of protein to satisfy the hormones, and very slow eating so as not to short-circuit the awareness of the moment at which "That's enough to sustain me, because I don't feel hunger anymore." That way, the "Eat 'til I'm filled or stuffed...now I'm stuffed" effect never has to happen.
In the Western world, "sufficient" can be the stopping point, not "filled." Except Thanksgiving, when feeling ill from getting stuffed with stuffing is expected.
Being too scrawny, with underdeveloped muscle and bone, is life-limiting and unhealthy, but not as life-limiting as carrying excess fat around with its lengthy list of associated ailments. There's no need to carry it on your body, because there's a pizza joint on every corner to prevent sudden death from starvation. Most people, fortunately, make themselves sensitive to satiety signals most of the time so most active adults are neither significantly under- or over-weight.
Obviously, little of this applies to most children and adolescents.
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"These are "First World issues."
Have you ever been to Mexico, Central America, Most of South America, the South Pacific Islands, Africa??? Obesity is not just a first world issue.
"In our world of nutritional abundance, recreational, social, and emotional eating, and the constant temptation of food porn, "hunger" often does not denote a need for nutrition except for the skinny, and satiety is often over-ridden by habit, speed-eating, stomach-stretching, delicious foods, sugar-and-carb dosing, and insulin-resistance."
This point is important because I think it points to the key to this problem. What you are describing is the "norm" for Americans. YET obesity is NOT the norm. So what about all those people who eat exactly as described and are not obese? How can that be if it is the diet? Maybe it is NOT the diet but genetics!!
Obesity is caused by genetics. Having an ample food supply makes it easier to be "all you can be" but it is the genes that are the problem.
If it's genetics, then it is behavioral genetics. And culture and self-care trump a lot of behavioral genetics.
Regarding the but-it's-genetics! dogma - and the bragging that not uncommonly goes with it - some anti-carb obsessionists seem to be ignorant of a simple term called epigenetics.
Put another way, do we really suppose that genes are utterly resilient to environmental effects? Because among those effects is food. I know you don't think they are because you accept epigenetics elsewhere, where you aren't defensive.
That anti-carb, pro-bacon Taubes tripe so many rightists are so culturally fond of simply isn't on point, but that's almost a subject unto itself. (And I'd be less of a jerk about all this except that the ignorance of it is intentional. Willful. Some of y'all just love your lifestyles too much.)
re Ten, strange comment. Sort of hostile for no reason. Carbs? We all want to like our way of life and want everybody to enjoy theirs. Freedom.
Not so observant, eh? Comments in this thread fall back on that same genetic rubbish that this place and rightists in general have been going on about for years.
There's a nice explanation for us. You take it from there, 'k?
Perhaps. I see obese people who choose to eat a lot of food. But there is more or at the least other genetic factors because there are obese people who struggle, diet, and cannot lose weight or if they lose weight cannot keep it off. While at the same time there are a lot of people who can eat anything and do not gain weight.
If you are obese (not by the BMI farcical measurement but actually weighing 300-350-400 450 lbs) it is likely your children will be obese and their children, etc. It is genetic and extremely difficult to overcome. For these people their diet is absolutely a factor and extremely tasty/addictive food/carbs is also a factor. That is the same high carb, high sugar diet that I and hundreds of millions of others can eat without any problem will contribute to obesity if your genes give you the propensity to be obese. BUT this does not implicate the diet, i.e. most/many who eat that diet are not obese and unlikey to ever be obese. It is not the diet... unless your genes make you obese and then virtually anything you eat is forever on your hips or wherever.
It is that reason that I think the focus on the diet is a mistake. Let me give you a different comparable example; alcoholism. I have know alcoholics. They cannot have one drink, if they do they must have 20 drinks or drink until the pass out or the alcohol is gone. If you are not an alcoholic you can have one drink or even choose to have no drinks it really doesn't matter to you. Alcoholism is genetic. But if you are an alcoholic it would be easy to blame the problem on the alcohol, we did that in 1920 but it solved nothing. The problem is the alcoholics genes.
My point is while the advice you advocate might be perfect for an obese person with genetic obesity it simply does not make sense for someone who is the appropriate weight.
Please accept that my intent is not to disrespect your view on this or to troll the site. I simply have a different opinion about this issue.
And because your view is anecdotal and simplistic, it's incorrect.
Genes matter and yet genes are malleable. We call this epigenetic behavior. A component is diet. If genes do not change then mankind would exist as a monolithic race.
Diet has a nearly immediate effect, and genuinely reforming the diet rapidly affects the body and health.
The unhealthiest major diet is the mixed western diet - the one where synthetics, overeating, insufficient plant nutrients, and animal products coexist.
To counter this Paleo types resort to semi-permanent ketosis, an unhealthy state brought on by eliminating carbs with little other modification to the diet above. While able to reduce weight and some of the negative health effects of poor diet, this is only marginally more healthy.
By far the healthiest diet is the plant diet. On it virtually all major diseases can be reversed, weight stabilizes, and yes, families exhibit similar changes for the good. The research is clear. Why, it's almost like it's genetic.
Whether any of this will ever penetrate the minds of dogmatists who harp on the magical monolithic human gene - in a factual vacuum - and persist on their bacon, whisky, and cheese diet - or whatever fad they're on about - remains to be seen.