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The Obesity Epidemic In The US Is Due Solely To Increased Food Intake

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posted on May, 20 2009 @ 12:37 AM

Melbourne, Australia - The amount of food Americans eat has been increasing since the 1970s, and that alone is the cause of the obesity epidemic in the US today [1]. Physical activity—or the lack thereof—has played virtually no role in the rising number of expanding American waistlines, according to research presented at the 2009 European Congress on Obesity in Amsterdam last week.

The finding is contrary to the widely held assumption that decreased physical activity is an equally important driver of overweight and obesity in the US, said lead author Dr Boyd Swinburn (Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia).

I eat [too much], therefore I'm fat.

How much this rise in obesity has been driven by excess calorie intake and how much by decreased physical activity has been a topic of debate for years but has been difficult to pin down, Swinburn said. He and his colleagues estimated those proportions by devising a series of equations that took into account energy intake, energy expenditure, and body size in 963 children and 1399 adults. They also analyzed the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) food-supply data to determine how much food had actually been delivered to the US population between 1970 and 2002.

The food industry is driving overconsumption

Promoting physical activity has been the favored approach to solving the problem of obesity by politicians and the food industry, said Swinburn. "It's relatively uncontroversial, there are no commercial competitors, it's a positive thing to do, so politicians, egged on by the food industry, heavily promote the physical-activity side of the equation."

Study says what needs to be said, say AHA, ACC

Spokespersons for the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology praised the study, even though its results are not surprising. "This is a nice study. It reflects many of the things that we have predicted, but I'm glad to see that it has been presented and that it is going to be published somewhere," said AHA spokesperson Dr Gerald Fletcher (Mayo Clinic Jacksonville, Florida).

Lower-caloric, healthier foods are also more expensive, and this can pose a problem for families with two or three kids when they go to the supermarket to shop. "The less expensive foods are those the industry can provide, with lots of calories. It's a socioeconomic problem as much as anything," Fletcher said.


This seems to be quite an accurate study carried out by people who have been investigating this for years.

Dr Boyd Swinburn's profile is Here.

So, in these times of a bad economy and people are finding they may have less to spend, doesn't the answer for a lot of people who suffer from obesity seem obvious? A true "tightening of the belt" by buying and eating less food. Easier said than done eh?

Spending less on food one doesn't need seems a logical step in the right direction, but I know how hard it can be in a world full of such wonderful tastes and treats. Those kind of luxuries (fast food, brand names and all the latest culinary inventions) have one main make the producers money. They don't care who you are, they don't care about your health, they care how much you like their product and how they can make you buy more. "Giving the customer what they want" is a poor excuse for a lack of respect and responsibility imo, and the price you pay in the shops for a lot of foods includes a whole bunch of fancy packaging and the market research costs spent on mind-reading your consumerism. Pure manipulation at your expense.

As the article says, some of the more lower calorific foods and healthy options we are offered often come at a higher price......and yet most of them probably involve less in production costs. THAT is a conspiracy....why? you "crave" and want more of the chemically engineered good looking products that have had fortunes in advertising and promotion lavished on them for that extra 0.2% market share.

I hope everyone reads the article and understands how simple the solution could be, save money and save waste, improve your health and live longer and make the food companies understand that they are there for the consumer and not the other way round.

Break the HABITS you may have grown up with and learn to be stronger, because you may be able to afford it doesn't neccessarily mean it's any better for you.

I live on one proper meal a day with a few nibbles at other times, I'm slim and haven't seen a doctor in 15 years. I don't eat rubbish, eat very few luxury foods and I don't remember the last fast-food slop I ate. I sometimes feel sick though when I go to the supermarket and see other peoples trollies piled high with enough food to last me 3 months. Gluttony is a sad thing to be around.

I hope overweight people find the same strength to eat less as I have found to get by on so little.

Good health my friends.

[edit on 20/5/2009 by nerbot]

posted on May, 20 2009 @ 01:24 AM
More like increased unnatural food intake.

Natural is best. You can have all the fat you want as long as it's not the bastardized kind. Anyone who believes Weston Price would agree with this.

posted on May, 20 2009 @ 01:27 AM
I hear this commercial on air while driving to work 30 minute commute, constantly on every station.

"Are you fat? Don't worry we have a new surgery procedure to help you lose those extra pounds. Just know it's not you fault, noone can stop eating if their hungry. It's not your fault, buy this program today, and start losing weight tomorrow!''

I'm sure people can control themselves.

Albeit studies have shown your grandmother telling you to finish your plate completely is wrong, eat when you are hungry don't eat when your not, it's not a time waster! If your thirsty, that doesn't mean aspartame drinks or Caffeine drinks, your body wants water!

These are things people should know.

Albeit in my town, there is not one healthy food story within say 60 miles! Except if you head toward Dallas.

posted on May, 20 2009 @ 01:30 AM
Good point. Obesity is a direct result of over consumption. But did you ever wonder what the cause of over consumption was? It is not gluttony per say. Most people weight significantly more now than they did several years ago. Consuming more is a symptom of the problem. The root of the problem is the lack of nutrients in our current food supply. People are starving to get what they need so they mindlessly eat more. When your diet is made up of processed foods like prepackaged items from the store and fast food you do not get the nutrients your body needs. Ironically eating fresh and frozen veggies from the store is not always a good source of nutrients either. The reason why is because unlike in the good old days mass producing farmers use the same land over and over to grow their food. The nutrients in the soil do not have time to regenerate before it is planted again. This is the most profitable way. Aso because our world population is so large farmers are struggling to keep up with the demands of food. Add to this genetically engineered food filled with growth hormones and it is no wonder we are unhealthy overweight sloths. Not everyone but the majority of folks now days are either over weight or unhealthy from the lack of nutrients. in our food supply. The best remedy is to eat your own food that you grow or raise yourself.

posted on May, 20 2009 @ 01:41 AM
Also you are right! Healthy foods cost more. Organic is extra, you pay more for ledd chemicals. Have you priced fresh fish lately? Doesn't make since does it? Fatty meats like sausage, ground hamburger, and the like are cheap. Highly processed breads and pastas are cheap. Many fix it quick meals are full of MSG and other chemicals that rob us of nutrients. So as we get poorer we get fatter. Hambuger Helper anyone?

posted on May, 20 2009 @ 01:46 AM
reply to post by Melissa101

I agree with you completely!!! The foods available to most people, do not have any nutrients....

Honestly, I eat these foods and I am not huge. However, even at 'normal size', I am more unhealthy than most overweight people. People do not realize that 'healthy weight' does not equal HEALTHY.

Also to add, Codex Alimentarius is WELL underway. The problems will only get worse.

[edit on 20-5-2009 by LostNemesis]

posted on May, 20 2009 @ 01:56 AM
I do not know if anyone else knows this.... But I used to be huge.

I have lost over 100lbs, by starving. And keeping it off, with the same habit. Sure, I can eat what everyone else does, and not put the weight back on.......... If I go a couple days without eating, also.

Just saying... No diet in the world took off any pounds. There are people getting rich selling miracle diets/pills. They know they do not work, but people are so desperate they keep buying.
I dunno how anyone else of 'normal, healthy weight' keeps the weight off, in this world. In America.

This topic means a lot to me. I know what it's like to suffer from food disorders, and it just seems to me like everyone has some sort of food disorder these days.

posted on May, 20 2009 @ 02:07 AM
I moved a few months ago to Oklahoma. I was appalled at seeing so many overweight people!
Even more surprising was to see what people had in their shopping carts at the supermarket. It wasn't only their unhealthy choices in food, it was the quantity!
Frozen pizzas, bags and bags of chips (and their dips, of course), tons of ice cream, frozen crap, cheese in a can....etc.
For the first time ever I saw a few people having to get in and out of their pick-ups using a step to help them up and down, not because the seat was too high, but because they were so damn obese that they could barely move!
This is probably the least healthy city I have ever lived in (Tulsa) and when we moved here, they told us that the running joke here was that if you saw someone who weighed less than 200lbs., they were either tourists or had recently moved to T-town.
I am slim, fit and now I even take more care of myself because you get used to your surroundings, and you start emulating whatever the rest of the people do.

posted on May, 20 2009 @ 02:26 AM
I find it sad that people are so quick to judge others, not knowing what they go through.

The point here, is that they don't want ANY of us to be healthy. Eat THEIR foods, and the body is malnourished.....No matter what you look like.

Grow your own food. Do not trust these people with your health...

posted on May, 20 2009 @ 02:37 AM
reply to post by LostNemesis

What I'm saying is that people make wrong choices. Then you see them shopping with their young children and it's obvious that these kids will grow up and buy the same crap that their parents are buying for them.
I also think that it is not only a matter of price, but also of laziness, it's always easier to eat food that you only have to stick it in the microwave.

There is a huge diabetes problem in Oklahoma, among other things I suppose.

I read somewhere that junk food causes addiction, to sugars and carbs, which would also explain the increased consumption of these foods.

posted on May, 20 2009 @ 02:52 AM
The amount you accelerate in a twin-turbo-supercar has very little effect, insignificant in fact, on the amount of fuel consumed. Sometimes you can re-read a sentence and it is STILL a crock of crap.

So I researched.

Adult male uses appx. 2500 calories resting
>6251 calories CAN be burned in a day. calorie_calculator
(I chose an easy 8 hours of vigorous swimming for 80Kg(175lb) male)

To lose one U.S. pound (.454 kg), you must burn 3,500 more calories than you take in as food.

It is so simple; if you burn more than you eat, you lose weight.
so eating less OR exercising more

I understand that 8 hrs of vigorous swimming a day is ridiculous, I am illustrating that the human body can use very significant amounts of energy through exercise. is there any numbers to go with the 2009 European Congress on Obesity's claim??

[edit on 20/5/2009 by Inkrinhuminge]

posted on May, 20 2009 @ 03:22 AM
reply to post by Melissa101

Good job, Melissa!

You'd think somebody who is concurrently writing and publishing articles would have their head far enough out of their own ass to see that the issue here is as deep as this article was irrelevant.

The issue of obesity is a vast one. Simply it is a matter of intake : outtake ratios, but that is the tip of the iceberg when diving into why America is so fat.

We have eating habits that have deteriorated so fast from generation to generation that they're only rivaled by the deterioration of the wholeness of our foods.

I'm glad you touched on a very complex part of the issue. It really is a lot bigger than "we're fat because we eat too much."

[edit on 20-5-2009 by DeadFlagBlues]

posted on May, 20 2009 @ 03:53 AM
reply to post by nerbot

I'll have to respectfully disagree. The conclusion of this "study"(laughable): Activity levels of Americans has not increased, therefore the Obesity epidemic is caused by caloric increases. So caloric content plays no major role?

I'm curious, the article provided by the op gathers some data from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) that supports it's research, yet it seems to have ignored crucial data from NHANES that could dismantle the research.

Since 1970, caloric intake has increased by an average of 250 calories:

Whole Health Source

Those extra 250 calories are coming from Carbohydrates:

Interesting.........Weird how that works huh?

This is simply a "Put the fork down" campaign to rid the world of obesity. It's not that simple. Yes, obese(extremely overweight) individuals, in most cases, eat too much. Why, though? That is the question. The answer: Metabolic Hormonal Imbalance

Individuals who are simply overweight, in most cases, have the same hormonal imbalance that is caused by certain foods and has been shown to affect cravings, thereby increasing consumption.

One thing to keep in mind, if you consume too much food, you're metabolism will speed up to compensate for it; and vice versa, it wil also slow down to compensate for a restricted calorie diet.

From the link:

"Studies have shown that when you go out to eat, most individuals will eat on average 500 more calories per meal than they would eat at the same meal at home.

That's great, but what about the breakfast, that meal of which most of those individuals skipped? Does that 500 make up for it?

Sorrentino said that about 90% of weight loss is achieved by cutting calories; only about 10% of weight loss is achieved by significantly increasing physical activity.

Sure, you can restrict your caloric intake by 1000 and you'll lose weight. But will you lose fat? Not much, but you will lose weight. Eat the right foods and you'll lose fat, not lean muscle. l-to-the-pcrm/

Everyone would agree that dieters would prefer to lose fat rather than lean tissue, which is precisely what happens with low-carbohydrate diets. Studies done at the University of Illinois, the University of Connecticut and other research institutions have shown that subjects following a low-carbohydrate diet lose more fat and less lean body tissue than those subjects following a calorically equivalent low-fat diet. In fact, in some cases, subjects on low-carbohydrate diets even gain lean body mass while losing fat on lowcarbohydrate diets, a finding virtually never observed in subjects following low-fat diets.

Why is obesity, or any increase in body fat, a bad thing? How about Heart Disease and Diabetes? More than 80% of Type 2 Diabetes can be attributed to overweight or obese. Diabetics are extremely susceptable to developing heart disease. They're all linked together......what's the common theme? Link= Insulin(Hormonal) and Carbohydrates(Dietary).

Between 1970 and 1980, something changed in the U.S. that caused a massive increase in obesity and other health problems. Some combination of factors reached a critical mass that our metabolism could no longer tolerate. The three biggest changes in the American diet since 1970:

-An increase in cereal grain consumption, particularly wheat.
-An increase in sweetener consumption
-The replacement of meat and milk fat with industrial vegetable oils, with total fat intake remaining the same.

Mainstream America has done to itself what it did to native American and other indigenous cultures worldwide, with the same result.

This is not a caloric quantity problem, it's a caloric content problem.

I'll end with this:

If you're eating the right foods, you'll have a hard time overeating. So yes, overeating will make you fat but overeating is a side-effect of eating crappy foods.....

When is the last time you sat down at a nice restaurant, ordered a healthy meal that consisted of salmon and brocolli, got to the last few bites and said, "Oh, boy! I'm stuffed. There's no way I could eat another bite.", only to be graced by the presence of your neighbors chocolate cake? All of a sudden you were hungry again, but for cake. You decided you could make room for that.

What if instead of a cake you were tempted by a juicy steak? Think you would bite?

French Fries, why is it that you can finish off the batch of 'em but not the steak?


posted on May, 20 2009 @ 04:14 AM
reply to post by Inkrinhuminge

It's not that simple. A calorie is not a calorie. That is to say, different macronutrients have different effects on energy systems.

Eating a very restricted calorie diet, nearly starvation, one will lose weight, not good weight though. You're looking at a loss of lean muscle mass.

Researchers from Harvard recently reported that subjects could eat 300 calories more per day on a low-carbohydrate diet than those following a low-fat diet and still lose the same amount of weight over a 12-week period.

Dr. Mike

Insulin is the primary regulator of fat storage. If Insulin levels are high, fat accumulation is increased. If insulin levels are low, the body releases fat from the cells to burn as fuel.


posted on May, 20 2009 @ 08:08 AM
reply to post by DevolutionEvolvd

Correct. A lot of people torture themselves by going on a low fat diet when what they should be doing is to limit carbohydrates.

posted on May, 20 2009 @ 09:16 AM

Originally posted by DevolutionEvolvd

"Studies have shown that when you go out to eat, most individuals will eat on average 500 more calories per meal than they would eat at the same meal at home.

That's great, but what about the breakfast, that meal of which most of those individuals skipped? Does that 500 make up for it?

Why are you presuming that most of those people skip breakfast.

It's a shame you find this study "laughable", I think you have gained a little knowledge here though. The point is, we need to make the food companies understand that we won't just buy whatever they sell without considering the effects on health and we need to help people change the lazy attitude towards food that promotes all the crap and creates "wants" and does not fulfill "needs"!

I'm glad I'm not overweight.....underweight if anything, but that doesn't stop me trying to understand the problems faced by those who are.


I've been digging all day so far, enlarging my vegetable patch.

Twice as big as it was at around 600 square feet now and I've got plenty of compost and even a wormery to keep it nice, fertile and aerated. Yes folks...I've got worms!
The cherry tree is ready to harvest and if I'm lucky I'll have plums, hazelnuts, walnuts and possibly a couple of pears this year.

Should be fine for my simple needs and it's SO nice just to grab an onion or a tomato when I fancy one right out of the ground or off the plant.

Now I'm REALLY hungry after all that hard labour and tonite it's homemade beef, onion and mushroom pie with boiled spuds. I make a batch of pies which keep me going for a few meals. Yummy.

Thanks for the replies, it's interesting reading some of your comments and I can't wait to speak to my rather large diabetic friend at the weekend about all this. (I'm taking one of my pies over there for dinner


posted on May, 20 2009 @ 08:29 PM
reply to post by nerbot

Yes, I'm saying that a good percentage, probably around 50% of those surveyed actually skipped "the most important meal of the day", as your mom would say.

Don't get me wrong, I think it's a good find(S&F BTW) but I think it's jumping to conclusions that aren't supported by real studies and research.

Melbourne, Australia - The amount of food Americans eat has been increasing since the 1970s, and that alone is the cause of the obesity epidemic in the US today.

That alone? That's quite a stretch, don't you think?

Gary Taubes describes obesity as being "a disorder of excess fat accumulation, not overeating, and not sedentary behavior." He often refers to obesity being caused by a "disequalibirum" of hormonal regulation of fat tissue. His conclusions are not a result of "surveying" but combined data from hundreds of peer reviewed epidemiological and lab studies.

Now, if we look at the NHANES information, we see an increase in caloric intake that is almost solely in the form of carbohydrates. The aforementioned studies seem to be supported by epidemiological data. The reason being, excess daily carbohydrate intake has a direct negative effect on the metabolism causing chronically high insulin levels which, in turn, leads to a hormonal imbalance that causes a number of chronic dieseases, including obesity.

The ancient Egyptians were plagued by this very same disease due to their heavy diet of grains. They were an agriculturist society, much like ours has become today, that suffered from obesity, heart disease, diabetes and even cancer. They didn't consume much saturated fat or cholesterol, yet still, they had high rates of heart disease......

If only epidemiological, anthropological and medical lab study/trial data were compared and analyzed with an open mind, free of bias, one would see an obvious pattern arise. Take the blinders off and look around you, you'll find some enlightening information.

"Doubt is Humble," says Bill Maher, "that is what man needs to be, considering that human history is just a litany of getting sh*t dead wrong."


posted on May, 20 2009 @ 09:11 PM
The medical profession does not want to take there share of the blame.

For years they have given out bad advice to people on how to lose weight.

They give out drugs that cause weight gain without telling there patients how to control there weight while on these drugs.
antidepressants, prednisone,

I have had doctors tell me that to lose weight i need to get more exercise.
even though i am disabled and had to use a cane to walk.
I also have been on a 1200 calorie/100 gm carb for years for my diabetes and have a A1C of 5.8 because i have control my carb intake to control my diabetes without insulin.
I still can not lose weight because of the metabolic disorder i have and the meds they had me on for years for the body wide pain disorder i have.

So solely blaming food is BS.

but doctors will never take there part of the blame.

posted on May, 20 2009 @ 09:47 PM
reply to post by DeadFlagBlues

Thanks Dead, It is nice to see an open mind on here. On the surface it looks simple but it is way more complex than most people odviosly can comprehend. It is a conspiracy for crying out loud! It is made to look like fat people are lazy and eat to much and well they do but WHY? There must be a reason that 25 to 30 years ago our nation had fast food joints and junk food but people werent near as fat. We are being fed # for food thus we crave more trying to feed our starving bodies. We do not look like we are starving but we truley are for real nutrients. Wake up ignorant fools look outside the box and do some research before you start throwing out simple east less excercise more BS. If it were that simple few would be so over weight like in the good old days.

posted on May, 20 2009 @ 09:53 PM
Yes. If you eat too much, you will get fat. Thanks for the study guys, I learned something TOTALLY NEW!

But really, it is due to irresponsibility and incompetance on every level. If the supermarkets shut down, we would be pretty effed.

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