Naked Science Forum

Life Sciences => Physiology & Medicine => Topic started by: Semaphore on 27/01/2017 21:08:13

Title: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: Semaphore on 27/01/2017 21:08:13
The latest print edition of SciAm shows some research that indicates that energy expenditure remains broadly the same no matter the amount of activity, which is counter-intuitive. This would explain why exercise is so ineffective in shifting the pounds (or kilos). The conclusion was that gluttony is the real sin. What do you think?
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: zx16 on 27/01/2017 22:49:51
I think that obesity must be the result of eating too much food. And the excessive food-consumption is caused by gluttony.
I mean, if you weren't gluttonous, you wouldn't eat so much.  Then, surely you wouldn't get unnaturally fat?
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: Bored chemist on 27/01/2017 23:25:48
I think that obesity must be the result of eating too much food. And the excessive food-consumption is caused by gluttony.
I mean, if you weren't gluttonous, you wouldn't eat so much.  Then, surely you wouldn't get unnaturally fat?
"I think that obesity must be the result of eating too much food. "
well done  on abject failure to understand   the concept of balance.
"Then, surely you wouldn't get unnaturally fat?"
Way to go on not understanding the word "unnaturally"
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: alancalverd on 27/01/2017 23:48:54
Nothing counterintuitive or even new about the "research" findings.

We need to eat about 10,000,000 joules of food energy per day. At most, we can do about 1,000,000 joules of "useful" work in a day, whether strenuous pointless exercise or productive manual labout. Nearly all the rest goes into keeping us warm, pumping blood around the body, and thinking: our internal temperature needs to be around 37 deg C  for the enzymes to work converting food into energy, and it takes around 80% of the energy to maintain that temperature in a temperate climate.  1,000,000 joules is about 240 nutritional calories - one cheese sandwich provides all the exercise energy a professional athlete will burn up in a football match or twelve rounds of boxing, or a bricklayer will use in a day's work.

Modern obesity is due to the fact that we never get cold. The UK population actually eats fewer calories than we did 70 years ago, but we live in airconditioned and centrally heated  environments and children don't spend time outdoors - it wasn't the compulsory games that kept my cohort skinny so much as the fact that we walked to school and played in shorts and a shirt in all weathers. And if you ask any 70-year-old what he most remembers about childhood, it is probably warming clothes in front of a fire before getting dressed, hot water bottles to take the chill off a bed, drying coats on a school radiator, and generally being cld all the time. 

Skiing in the Arctic, I have eaten  20,000,000 joules per day and lost weight, not through the effort of skiing but through lost heat. A friend who spent two days roped to an Alp in a blizzard ate  his emergency ration of 30,000,000 joules and lost weight without moving at all.

The obesity "epidemic" is caused by central heating and efficient clothes.
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: evan_au on 28/01/2017 03:40:09
In the West we have a ready supply of high-calorie food for which most of us don't need to do physical work at all.

We are bombarded by advertising giving us an idea of how much of this food is "normal" to eat. (In this respect, the UK idea of having minimal nutritional standards for food advertisements on TV during "childrens" hours sounded like a good idea! But did it make it into law?)

Foods are scientifically designed to prevent a feeling of satiety (ie "I've had enough, now!").

And different people have different genetic sensitivity to satiety, and a different genetic propensity to pack away fat.

Which parts of this picture do you think is a "sin"?
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: Bored chemist on 28/01/2017 11:28:39

Foods are scientifically designed to prevent a feeling of satiety (ie "I've had enough, now!").

Got any evidence for that?
Is it not sufficient to make food tasty?
The "design" of chocolate hasn't really changed in 200 years.
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: vhfpmr on 28/01/2017 23:26:37
I have a daily record of calorie intake, exercise hours and bodyweight going back nearly 15 years. Exercise definitely increases your metabolism substantially:
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: zx16 on 28/01/2017 23:34:16
If you get fat, it's because you've eaten too much food. 
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: evan_au on 29/01/2017 07:13:05

Foods are scientifically designed to prevent a feeling of satiety (ie "I've had enough, now!").
Quote
Got any evidence for that?

Quote
Is it not sufficient to make food tasty?
That's not the most effective nor the most economical way to increase sales.
Quote
The "design" of chocolate hasn't really changed in 200 years.
I understand that the original drinking chocolate in South America was a rather bitter brew.
The food industry does a lot of research - and you know whose income is paying dividends from that research.
In the end, it is governments that must make a call on what is safe for their citizens.
I read today that France has banned free refills (sometimes called "bottomless cups") of sweetened drinks. Lets see if it is overturned, as were previous laws in New York attempting to restrain the number of calories you could consume in sweetened drinks.
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: Bored chemist on 29/01/2017 13:38:49

Foods are scientifically designed to prevent a feeling of satiety (ie "I've had enough, now!").
Quote
Got any evidence for that?
  • Feel thirsty? Have a beer! The alcohol in beer dehydrates you, so have another one!
   
I got this far and gave up.
Beer doesn't dehydrate you- it certainly doesn't do it fast enough to materially influence your decision to have another beer.

While I'm at it
"I understand that the original drinking chocolate in South America was a rather bitter brew."
Know anyone who still drinks it?
Do you think that's what Cadburys and Frys were making 200 years ago?
Did you somehow think it was relevant?


"Salt tends to suppress bitter flavors. So our food gets loaded down with more salt to "improve" (read "mask") the taste. Excess salt increases water retention and increases blood pressure."
OK that's them making it tasty- like I said

"The sound of sweets packaging is designed to elicit a particular response."
and "The sight of [insert any well-known logo here] triggers reactions that are preprogrammed by TV advertising."
Are not about food or satiety.
"I read today that France has banned free refills (sometimes called "bottomless cups") of sweetened drinks. Lets see if it is overturned, as were previous laws in New York attempting to restrain the number of calories you could consume in sweetened drinks."

Ditto.
So, once again, re the claim that "Foods are scientifically designed to prevent a feeling of satiety (ie "I've had enough, now!")."
Got any evidence?
[/list]
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: vhfpmr on 29/01/2017 13:59:13
If you get fat, it's because you've eaten too much food. 
Or done too little exercise. We are eating far less now than we were 50-100 years ago, navvies ate 6000-8000kcals/day digging canals.
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: Semaphore on 29/01/2017 18:03:21
If you get fat, it's because you've eaten too much food. 
Or done too little exercise. We are eating far less now than we were 50-100 years ago, navvies ate 6000-8000kcals/day digging canals.

The conclusion from the study I quoted was that exercise is very inefficient at shifting weight, which is counter-intuitive since we've been told repeatedly that it does. The summary was that exercise is good for you, but eating less shifts weight.
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: evan_au on 30/01/2017 08:17:40
Quote from: Bored Chemist
Beer doesn't dehydrate you- it certainly doesn't do it fast enough to materially influence your decision to have another beer
Maybe Australians take their beer-drinking more seriously?  ;)

Slang:
...but that is only one food group!
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: evan_au on 31/01/2017 09:10:31
But seriously, we are not Pavlovian robots, mindlessly pushing buttons on the vending machines to get preprocessed food pellets in response to external stimuli.

We each have a responsibility to be informed on healthy eating
The budget of a government-run "healthy-eating" campaign can't possibly match the billions spent annually on advertising by the food industry. So the best that the government can do is require some basic healthy eating instruction in the school curriculum, and to place constraints on how and when particularly unhealthy options are advertised.

Shareholders in the food industry expect a return on their investment, and the food industry does their best to achieve it. In many cases, community health is just collateral damage (although some companies actively sell the health aspect of their products).

Governments and health insurance companies have more of an interest in keeping us healthy.

Quote from: alancalverd
We need to eat about 10,000,000 joules of food energy per day. At most, we can do about 1,000,000 joules of "useful" work in a day
On this basis:
Of course, if you don't currently do any exercise, you should start some for the other health benefits it brings...
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: Semaphore on 31/01/2017 11:05:44
But seriously, we are not Pavlovian robots, mindlessly pushing buttons on the vending machines to get preprocessed food pellets in response to external stimuli.

We each have a responsibility to be informed on healthy eating
  • to exercise self-control so that the attraction of easy calories don't overwhelm us.
  • to persist in exercise so we build up a healthy circulation, bones and musculature
The budget of a government-run "healthy-eating" campaign can't possibly match the billions spent annually on advertising by the food industry. So the best that the government can do is require some basic healthy eating instruction in the school curriculum, and to place constraints on how and when particularly unhealthy options are advertised.

Shareholders in the food industry expect a return on their investment, and the food industry does their best to achieve it. In many cases, community health is just collateral damage (although some companies actively sell the health aspect of their products).

Governments and health insurance companies have more of an interest in keeping us healthy.

Quote from: alancalverd
We need to eat about 10,000,000 joules of food energy per day. At most, we can do about 1,000,000 joules of "useful" work in a day
On this basis:
  • a 10% increase in exercise will make a 1% change in our daily balance of energy intake and expenditure.
  • a 10% decrease in food will make a 10% change  in our daily balance of energy intake and expenditure.
  • so a slight decrease in food intake will have a much larger impact than a slight increase in an existing exercise programme.
Of course, if you don't currently do any exercise, you should start some for the other health benefits it brings...

Tobacco caused plenty of collateral damage too. Maybe the same kind of actions should be taken against irresposible food companies as were taken against the big tobacco companies. A few large fines might change their minds about selling unhealthy food.
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: alancalverd on 31/01/2017 14:25:15
Simple rule: if it has a brand name, don't eat it. Packaged  generics (Tesco's fresh chicken, Sainsburys baked beans...) are excepted, but anything calling itself Wizzo Crunchy Nibbles is expensive crap.

Tobacco is interesting. Many years ago a Texas judge ruled that a cigarette is an inherently defective product but the case never received Federal support.   
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: Semaphore on 31/01/2017 16:08:50
I'm no lawyer, but it seems to me that any company selling products which are harmful to health should be open to law suits, just as the tobacco companies were, just as VW have been recently. Garbage food with too much salt, sugar and fat comes into that category. There should be much more accountability for those who harm people's health. Then there are the gun manufacturers..... whoops!
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: alancalverd on 31/01/2017 17:20:13
The sole function of a gun is to kill people. The advertisement tells you its lethal range and rate of fire.  You can only get your money back if it doesn't work, or harms the user. I understand that the standard British Army rifle ejects the hot cartridge into your eye if you are lefthanded, but I don't know of any other inherently defective gun, and it explains why soldiers wear helmets and goggles!

Rat poison is harmful to health. I wouldn't buy a safe rat poison.

"Too much" salt, sugar or fat is a nonsense. These essential dietary components are sold at 100% concentration. Indeed you would be prosecuted if you advertised something as salt, sugar or fat and it contained anything else.

The difference with cigarettes is that they kill the user and have no other use.

VW fire engines and ambulances have saved countless lives. VW camper vans are responsible for half the population of Cornwall. VW trucks deliver food and medical supplies. There is nothing inherently defective about  VW products, apart from the company's appalling history. They were fined for playing to the whistle on an emissions test, when clearly the fault was with whoever specified the test. And it wasn't only VW but pretty well every manufacturer who uses AdBlue to meet Californian emission standards.
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: Semaphore on 31/01/2017 17:42:46
It's not true that the sole function is to kill people. Many people cite having a gun as a deterrant. If manufacturers fitted guns with proper safety features such as locks then stolen weapons couldn't be used to commit crimes. There would be a case that the gun manufacturer was negligent and could be sued.

If the rat poison didn't include proper safety instructions then it would not be safe and the manufacturer could be sued.

A sugar tax has been mooted and would probably be a good thing. Obesity kills a a lot of people and blights the lives of many others. Too much salt is bad for you and so are some fats.

Do you own shares in VW?  Their excess emissions, caused by deliberate fraud, undoubtedly put at risk the health of those unfortunate enough to breath the fumes. That's why emission standards were introduced. If others are guilty too then of course they should be prosecuted.

Imo, manufacturers should be made responsible for the effects of their products.
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: zx16 on 31/01/2017 19:18:42
Why are people so fat these days?  Does it result from a conspiracy to undermine our health? Who could be responsible for such a conspiracy?
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: Bored chemist on 31/01/2017 19:32:50
Quote from: Bored Chemist
Beer doesn't dehydrate you- it certainly doesn't do it fast enough to materially influence your decision to have another beer
Maybe Australians take their beer-drinking more seriously?  ;)

Slang:
  • "pissed" = someone who has had a bit too much to drink...
  • "beer gut" = excess fat around the abdomen and internal organs
...but that is only one food group!
Meh! who do you think taught the Ausies to drink? (Here's a hint, they are fair skinned and speak English)
I know what pisssed means.
What you seem not to understand is that drinking pints* of something that's roughly 90% water will make you wee a lot.
It doesn't matter if it's beer or orange juice.


* I realise many Ausies couldn't   cope with whole pints.
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: alancalverd on 31/01/2017 20:15:28
It's not true that the sole function is to kill people. Many people cite having a gun as a deterrant. If manufacturers fitted guns with proper safety features such as locks then stolen weapons couldn't be used to commit crimes. There would be a case that the gun manufacturer was negligent and could be sued.
A nonlethal gun would not be a deterrent.

Quote
If the rat poison didn't include proper safety instructions then it would not be safe and the manufacturer could be sued.
It just says "DO NOT EAT". It works because rats can't read.

Quote
A sugar tax has been mooted and would probably be a good thing.
For the taxman, yes. The effect of a sugar tax on fizzy drinks in Mexico was nada. There is a huge tax on alcohol in some countries, none in others. No difference in consumption patterns,

Quote
Obesity kills a a lot of people and blights the lives of many others.
It's a lifestyle choice. Who am I to dictate how you should die?

Quote
Too much salt is bad for you and so are some fats.
drinking seawater will dehydrate you a bit, but if your kidneys are healthy you'd be most unlikely to do yourself any harm with normal dietary salt. "No sodium" will kill you instantly.  When I was a kid, were told that dairy fat is good for you. Then we were told it's bad for you and margarine is good. Now it's back to dairy. Nothing to do with physiology, much to do with economics. 

Quote
Do you own shares in VW?
I never have and never would have anything to do with that odious company and I generally avoid buying anything from any German company founded before 1945.

Quote
Their excess emissions, caused by deliberate fraud, undoubtedly put at risk the health of those unfortunate enough to breath the fumes. That's why emission standards were introduced. If others are guilty too then of course they should be prosecuted.
Rubbish. VW emissions are pretty much the same as everyone else's, not "excessive" but a consequence of running a diesel engine at anything other than its optimum condition. What all the manufacturers did was to set up the system so it recognised standard test conditions and optimised for those. Unsportsmanlike, but most small diesels are German, so what do you expect? (Apparently there is no Geman word for "fair". Everything is either right or wrong.)

Quote
Imo, manufacturers should be made responsible for the effects of their products.
150 years ago, London streets were ankle-deep in horse sh1t, but nobody prosecuted the horses.
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: evan_au on 31/01/2017 20:36:33
Quote from: bored chemist
drinking pints of something that's roughly 90% water will make you wee a lot.
It doesn't matter if it's beer or orange juice.
Dr Karl did the sums (although he doesn't say what % alcohol was in the beer he was referencing):
Quote from: Dr Karl
So if you drink 200 millilitres of beer, the end result is 200 millilitres of water. But you don't urinate just 200 millilitres of urine. No! You urinate a total of about 320 millilitres of urine.
To flush out the alcohol through your kidneys, you have to pee out more water than was in the beer. So it does dehydrate you more than orange juice.
See: http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2012/02/28/3441707.htm (http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2012/02/28/3441707.htm)
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: Semaphore on 31/01/2017 20:49:36
This is a reply to alancalverd:

Hmm, what to make of this?

The gun would be lethal but only if unlocked by the owner.

I was pointing out that manufacturers are responsible for their products. Your point is trivial.

It would probably worth trying out a sugar tax in Europe, nonetheless. Alcohol is different.

You show little empathy with other people. Maybe you should think about that.

Salt is bad for some people and dosage should be considered.

I wondered why you praised VW so much.

The VW 'cheat' software was fundamentally different from the others, in that it deliberately set out to cheat emission tests. It sensed that a test was in operation and changed the engine mode. The others didn't do that. That is why it has been sued and fined to the tune of billions, and is still in trouble. Many diesels are French and Italian, not German. PSA and Renault have been selling diesels for decades. You seem to have a problem with the Germans, which is not relevant here.

I assume your last point is meant to be humorous.


And listen, you seem intent on turning this into an argument instead of a discussion, in which case I'm not interested. There are other places for that, so forget it.
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: alancalverd on 31/01/2017 22:36:54
I take your point. Next time I am assaulted in the street I will ask my assailant to wait whilst I unlock my deterrent.  Or perhaps I'd better unlock it before leaving the house, which rather negates the point of the lock.

Of course manufacturers are responsible for their products. That's why rat poison is lethal.

A sugar tax just looks like a price rise to the consumer. And what do you tax? 2p on a Mars bar will only make me think twice if  the price of a healthy alternative (what might that be?) on the same shelf doesn't rise by the same amount. And of course it will, because retailing is about profit, and if I'm hungry, I'm going to buy whatever will make me less hungry. Do you tax raw sugar in a coffee shop? So after waiting for some clown to make a pointless picture on the froth, I then have to decide how much sugar I want and the barista has to enter the amount in  a sugar ledger because there's a different tax on the coffee..... 

Loads of empathy (it's my job). No desire to interfere in the informed choices of adults.

Some people are prescribed a low salt diet. Some are prescribed a low fat diet. Why should their prescriptions interfere with my diet?

I have never praised VW, merely stated the fact that motor vehicles have done much more good than harm, and VW make motor vehicles.

Audi and BMW have admitted to the same software. Meanwhile https://www.rte.ie (https://www.rte.ie) news Business 13 Jan 2017 - Diesel cheating inquiries widen to Renault and Fiat. ... European carmakers have been drawn into widening investigations into diesel emissions cheating today, with French prosecutors examining Renault and British authorities seeking answers from Fiat Chrysler. ...

The last point was a fact. Horse poo is not funny.

I don't think that stating facts constitutes an argument.  But that is an opinion, and might therefore be an argument. You win! 
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: Semaphore on 31/01/2017 22:50:10
I take your point. Next time I am assaulted in the street I will ask my assailant to wait whilst I unlock my deterrent.  Or perhaps I'd better unlock it before leaving the house, which rather negates the point of the lock.

Of course manufacturers are responsible for their products. That's why rat poison is lethal.

A sugar tax just looks like a price rise to the consumer. And what do you tax? 2p on a Mars bar will only make me think twice if  the price of a healthy alternative (what might that be?) on the same shelf doesn't rise by the same amount. And of course it will, because retailing is about profit, and if I'm hungry, I'm going to buy whatever will make me less hungry. Do you tax raw sugar in a coffee shop? So after waiting for some clown to make a pointless picture on the froth, I then have to decide how much sugar I want and the barista has to enter the amount in  a sugar ledger because there's a different tax on the coffee..... 

Loads of empathy (it's my job). No desire to interfere in the informed choices of adults.

Some people are prescribed a low salt diet. Some are prescribed a low fat diet. Why should their prescriptions interfere with my diet?

I have never praised VW, merely stated the fact that motor vehicles have done much more good than harm, and VW make motor vehicles.

Audi and BMW have admitted to the same software. Meanwhile https://www.rte.ie (https://www.rte.ie) news Business 13 Jan 2017 - Diesel cheating inquiries widen to Renault and Fiat. ... European carmakers have been drawn into widening investigations into diesel emissions cheating today, with French prosecutors examining Renault and British authorities seeking answers from Fiat Chrysler. ...

The last point was a fact. Horse poo is not funny.

I don't think that stating facts constitutes an argument.  But that is an opinion, and might therefore be an argument. You win! 
I take your point. Next time I am assaulted in the street I will ask my assailant to wait whilst I unlock my deterrent.  Or perhaps I'd better unlock it before leaving the house, which rather negates the point of the lock.

Of course manufacturers are responsible for their products. That's why rat poison is lethal.

A sugar tax just looks like a price rise to the consumer. And what do you tax? 2p on a Mars bar will only make me think twice if  the price of a healthy alternative (what might that be?) on the same shelf doesn't rise by the same amount. And of course it will, because retailing is about profit, and if I'm hungry, I'm going to buy whatever will make me less hungry. Do you tax raw sugar in a coffee shop? So after waiting for some clown to make a pointless picture on the froth, I then have to decide how much sugar I want and the barista has to enter the amount in  a sugar ledger because there's a different tax on the coffee..... 

Loads of empathy (it's my job). No desire to interfere in the informed choices of adults.

Some people are prescribed a low salt diet. Some are prescribed a low fat diet. Why should their prescriptions interfere with my diet?

I have never praised VW, merely stated the fact that motor vehicles have done much more good than harm, and VW make motor vehicles.

Audi and BMW have admitted to the same software. Meanwhile https://www.rte.ie (https://www.rte.ie) news Business 13 Jan 2017 - Diesel cheating inquiries widen to Renault and Fiat. ... European carmakers have been drawn into widening investigations into diesel emissions cheating today, with French prosecutors examining Renault and British authorities seeking answers from Fiat Chrysler. ...

The last point was a fact. Horse poo is not funny.

I don't think that stating facts constitutes an argument.  But that is an opinion, and might therefore be an argument. You win! 
[/quo
I take your point. Next time I am assaulted in the street I will ask my assailant to wait whilst I unlock my deterrent.  Or perhaps I'd better unlock it before leaving the house, which rather negates the point of the lock.

Of course manufacturers are responsible for their products. That's why rat poison is lethal.

A sugar tax just looks like a price rise to the consumer. And what do you tax? 2p on a Mars bar will only make me think twice if  the price of a healthy alternative (what might that be?) on the same shelf doesn't rise by the same amount. And of course it will, because retailing is about profit, and if I'm hungry, I'm going to buy whatever will make me less hungry. Do you tax raw sugar in a coffee shop? So after waiting for some clown to make a pointless picture on the froth, I then have to decide how much sugar I want and the barista has to enter the amount in  a sugar ledger because there's a different tax on the coffee..... 

Loads of empathy (it's my job). No desire to interfere in the informed choices of adults.

Some people are prescribed a low salt diet. Some are prescribed a low fat diet. Why should their prescriptions interfere with my diet?

I have never praised VW, merely stated the fact that motor vehicles have done much more good than harm, and VW make motor vehicles.

Audi and BMW have admitted to the same software. Meanwhile https://www.rte.ie (https://www.rte.ie) news Business 13 Jan 2017 - Diesel cheating inquiries widen to Renault and Fiat. ... European carmakers have been drawn into widening investigations into diesel emissions cheating today, with French prosecutors examining Renault and British authorities seeking answers from Fiat Chrysler. ...

The last point was a fact. Horse poo is not funny.

I don't think that stating facts constitutes an argument.  But that is an opinion, and might therefore be an argument. You win! 
[/q
I take your point. Next time I am assaulted in the street I will ask my assailant to wait whilst I unlock my deterrent.  Or perhaps I'd better unlock it before leaving the house, which rather negates the point of the lock.

Of course manufacturers are responsible for their products. That's why rat poison is lethal.

A sugar tax just looks like a price rise to the consumer. And what do you tax? 2p on a Mars bar will only make me think twice if  the price of a healthy alternative (what might that be?) on the same shelf doesn't rise by the same amount. And of course it will, because retailing is about profit, and if I'm hungry, I'm going to buy whatever will make me less hungry. Do you tax raw sugar in a coffee shop? So after waiting for some clown to make a pointless picture on the froth, I then have to decide how much sugar I want and the barista has to enter the amount in  a sugar ledger because there's a different tax on the coffee..... 

Loads of empathy (it's my job). No desire to interfere in the informed choices of adults.

Some people are prescribed a low salt diet. Some are prescribed a low fat diet. Why should their prescriptions interfere with my diet?

I have never praised VW, merely stated the fact that motor vehicles have done much more good than harm, and VW make motor vehicles.

Audi and BMW have admitted to the same software. Meanwhile https://www.rte.ie (https://www.rte.ie) news Business 13 Jan 2017 - Diesel cheating inquiries widen to Renault and Fiat. ... European carmakers have been drawn into widening investigations into diesel emissions cheating today, with French prosecutors examining Renault and British authorities seeking answers from Fiat Chrysler. ...

The last point was a fact. Horse poo is not funny.

I don't think that stating facts constitutes an argument.  But that is an opinion, and might therefore be an argument. You win! 

You're intent on turning this into an argument, aren't you? You're the old man who screwed up that calculation, right? Who just twists facts to fit your narrative? I told you already to get lost, so go and do it.
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: Semaphore on 31/01/2017 23:15:45
This guy's great, right? Insults someone and then disappears. Doesn't reply to PM's.
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: alancalverd on 31/01/2017 23:40:42
You began this thread by quoting a research finding which is entirely consistent with everything we know about biophysics. I added some numbers that put it into context, and others agree with the general conclusion that exercise has very little effect on weight.

Your initial assertion was that  this finding was counterintuitive. Fair enough, it all depends on one's intuition, and some of us prefer facts. 

As for obesity, I don't regard self-harm as a sin, but that's just a matter of opinion.
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: Semaphore on 01/02/2017 04:03:24
You began this thread by quoting a research finding which is entirely consistent with everything we know about biophysics. I added some numbers that put it into context, and others agree with the general conclusion that exercise has very little effect on weight.

Your initial assertion was that  this finding was counterintuitive. Fair enough, it all depends on one's intuition, and some of us prefer facts. 

As for obesity, I don't regard self-harm as a sin, but that's just a matter of opinion.

Utter rubbish. You're just deliberately winding me up. Well, you can shove your stupid site.
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: evan_au on 01/02/2017 08:46:33
Getting slightly away from the nutritional side to the more general health side...
Quote from: alancalverd
drinking seawater will dehydrate you a bit
I understand that sea water has a higher osmotic pressure than urine (1000 mOsm/l vs 500-800 mOsm/l).
This means that it takes more water to flush the salt out of your circulation than you gain by drinking sea water.

So if you are adrift in a life raft and dying of thirst, you will die sooner after drinking sea water.
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: vhfpmr on 01/02/2017 14:03:38
If you get fat, it's because you've eaten too much food. 
Or done too little exercise. We are eating far less now than we were 50-100 years ago, navvies ate 6000-8000kcals/day digging canals.

The conclusion from the study I quoted was that exercise is very inefficient at shifting weight, which is counter-intuitive since we've been told repeatedly that it does. The summary was that exercise is good for you, but eating less shifts weight.

My own personal experience of eating less without exercise is that my metabolism seems to try to shut down in an attempt to match my calorie intake. That makes it hard to function in general, and also leaves me feeling freezing cold, in which case wearing more clothes or turning up the heating reduces energy use just the same as doing less exercise.
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: Colin2B on 01/02/2017 22:54:46
My own personal experience of eating less without exercise is that my metabolism seems to try to shut down in an attempt to match my calorie intake. That makes it hard to function in general, and also leaves me feeling freezing cold, in which case wearing more clothes or turning up the heating reduces energy use just the same as doing less exercise.
I have come across situation where someone on very low calorie intake has reduced core temperature, but that leaves them unable to perform exercise. Are you still able to exercise normally with the reduced intake and do you know what % of your BMR you reduced by?
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: vhfpmr on 02/02/2017 12:31:27
My own personal experience of eating less without exercise is that my metabolism seems to try to shut down in an attempt to match my calorie intake. That makes it hard to function in general, and also leaves me feeling freezing cold, in which case wearing more clothes or turning up the heating reduces energy use just the same as doing less exercise.
I have come across situation where someone on very low calorie intake has reduced core temperature, but that leaves them unable to perform exercise. Are you still able to exercise normally with the reduced intake and do you know what % of your BMR you reduced by?

No I can't exercise normally, for example if I reduce my intake even quite modestly I find it difficult to do activities that were easy only a few days previously. A stroll into town to go to Tesco will leave my calves and Achilles tendons feeling like they're "torn", for example, but that promptly disappears if I top up the fuel tank. The effect on my temperature control is quite dramatic too, if I respond to feeling cold by turning the heat up I feel warmer for about 30 mins, but then I start feeling cold again. If I turn the heat up again, the cycle repeats until the heating is flat out and I still feel cold. Each time I eat a meal there will be a flood of warmth, but it only lasts about 30 mins or so, just like turning the heat up.

The only means I have to estimate my metabolic rate is to measure my calorie intake and weight change over a protracted period of several months and calculate a long term average, so I can't see what's happening over a timescale of a few days. That's why I phrased it: "my metabolism seems to try to shut down", I'm not at all sure that's what's happening, it just feels that way.

Common sense and the laws of thermodynamics dictate that your energy requirement depends on how much heat you lose as well the exercise you do, so if you reduce your calorie intake it begs the question "how does your body decide what to do about it?". One option is to burn fat to replace the deficit, but another might be to reduce energy use to match the supply. It seems to me that any organism that can reduce its metabolic rate first before starting to burn fat will enjoy an evolutionary advantage by making fat reserves last longer, and thus be better able to survive a famine, but exercise is a force to counter any such reduction.

If I increase my exercise levels for a while, and then reduce my exercise and calorie intake simultaneously, my weight will go down, it's as if the exercise has primed me into the fat-burning mode and prevented it from reacting to the calorie reduction by reducing consumption.

Another complication to the "calories in = calories out" equation is that presumably some of the energy you consume must be excreted, otherwise dung wouldn't be useful as a fuel. Reducing calorie intake often affects my bowel habits too, when food is plentiful stools are large and soft, but when scarce they tend to be smaller and harder. This leads me to think that food shortage induces the body to "hang on" to food longer, in order to extract more energy from it.
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: alancalverd on 02/02/2017 13:22:33
Published nutritional calorific values are calculated with a correction for "availability", on the basis that some combustible material is excreted, depending on the nature of the source (coal or sugar?) and there's obviously a secondary effect that the body will excrete more of anything that is in surplus. I suspect the difference between people who "can't get thin" and "can't get fat" is the level at which this secondary effect is triggered, so some degree of obesity may be due to an inability to recognise when you have acquired "just enough" fat.

Fitness is another secondary effect. It is noticeable that soldiers need to eat less as their training proceeds: some courses begin with 6000 calories or more per day, and the instruction to eat everything at every meal break, but digestive efficiency improves as the lads train their muscles (possibly a clever feedback effect -  muscle signals that it need more energy, so stomach digests more and excretes less from the same input) and fighting rations are closer to normal. That's my excuse, anyway - I used to be very fit so now everything I eat turns into fat!

The speed with which we metabolise glucose from starvation level is remarkable: hypoglycemic diabetics can recover in minutes with a couple of sugar lumps.   

If your  temperature fluctuates rapidly, beware. Common sense says that your core temperature will be fairly constant (the digestive system looks after itself first!)  and your peripheral temperature  will be lower. It turns out that a rapid change in "delta T", and especially a reversal (surface hotter than core) precedes hypoglycemia. Whilst this would be a superb means of monitoring diabetes in principle, it's actually very difficult to do long-term (need to implant a core monitor) or outside a laboratory (skin temp can be anywhere between zero and 40 deg C in the street).       
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: vhfpmr on 02/02/2017 13:49:23
Published nutritional calorific values are calculated with a correction for "availability", on the basis that some combustible material is excreted
Now you mention it I recall that the CV for fibre was changed recently, after they discovered that it is more digestible than previously thought.
Quote
Fitness is another secondary effect. It is noticeable that soldiers need to eat less as their training proceeds: some courses begin with 6000 calories or more per day, and the instruction to eat everything at every meal break, but digestive efficiency improves as the lads train their muscles
That's interesting. Some background: I have a very long history of unwittingly overtraining (the consequences have now put an end to my walking and cycling days). I had often wondered why other fitter cyclists used to keep telling me that I was eating too much when I wasn't gaining weight. I was doing huge volumes of exercise and eating huge quantities, but achieving fitness levels little better than someone doing no exercise at all. In 2009 my metabolism was averaging 3400kcal/day, and even after six years of detraining it has only dropped to 2800 now. As I mentioned above, I cease to function if I reduce to 2500/day.
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: zx16 on 02/02/2017 23:24:22
Fat people eat too much food. 
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: Ethos_ on 02/02/2017 23:35:54
Fat people eat too much food. 
I'll assume you consider that remark to be a profound observation..............................?
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: zx16 on 02/02/2017 23:42:41
Eat less food.
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: Ethos_ on 02/02/2017 23:49:17
Eat less food.
Your literary prowess is staggering.
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: Colin2B on 03/02/2017 08:32:57

Fitness is another secondary effect. It is noticeable that soldiers need to eat less as their training proceeds: some courses begin with 6000 calories or more per day, and the instruction to eat everything at every meal break, but digestive efficiency improves as the lads train their muscles
Digestive efficiency is interesting, lot of studies of role of gut bacteria and some indicating they may have a role in some forms of obesity by changing production of short chain fatty acids which have a role in metabolic efficiency.
I wonder if another factor is the increased muscle strength, studies have shown that maximal strength training results in greater pulmonary VO2 efficiency at steady state sub-maximal effort.

Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: alancalverd on 03/02/2017 14:16:05
Eat less food.
Your literary prowess is staggering.
And based on sound  evidence of millions of observations. No prisoner of war ever gained weight or did much exercise - the Geneva Convention forbids slave labor but requires subsistence rations. Nobody gets fat in  a famine.
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: evan_au on 03/02/2017 17:01:37
Quote from: alancalverd
It is noticeable that soldiers need to eat less as their training proceeds
Could this be due to the initial effort of building muscle?
You need a lot of protein and energy to build new muscle, but once you have the muscle, it doesn't take as much protein (or vigorous exertion) to maintain it?
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: evan_au on 03/02/2017 17:18:22
Quote from: vhfpmr
If I turn the heat up again, the cycle repeats until the heating is flat out and I still feel cold
One difference between individuals is due to levels of thyroid hormone, which impacts general metabolism:
- If you generate too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism), your metabolism is turned up, and you tend to be thin (and be sensitive to heat)
- If you generate too little thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism), your metabolism is turned down, and you tend to have more body fat (and be sensitive to cold)
- Extremes would need treatment, but there is a normal range in thyroid activity that would not be considered a disease state

See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thyroid_disease (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thyroid_disease)
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: alancalverd on 03/02/2017 17:32:43
Quote from: alancalverd
It is noticeable that soldiers need to eat less as their training proceeds
Could this be due to the initial effort of building muscle?
You need a lot of protein and energy to build new muscle, but once you have the muscle, it doesn't take as much protein (or vigorous exertion) to maintain it?

This makes a lot of sense - bodybuilders sometimes consume 7000 calories in trainiing, but I understand that fit soldiers on non-strenuous duty (office work, driving, flying...) actually maintain body weight  with less calorie intake than new recruits or "average civilians" in the same environment. 

As an aside I should point out that the average British 16 year old is not fit for basic infantry training. The abolition of school milk, compulsory games and walking to school, plus the introduction of dietary choice at lunchtime, has increased mass and depleted bone mineral content to the extent that some kids break their legs marching across the parade ground in standard boots. A medical officer asked me  in despair "how the hell can we expect them to jump out of aeroplanes and fight if they can't even walk to the effing canteen?" 
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: puppypower on 04/02/2017 11:45:52
The latest print edition of SciAm shows some research that indicates that energy expenditure remains broadly the same no matter the amount of activity, which is counter-intuitive. This would explain why exercise is so ineffective in shifting the pounds (or kilos). The conclusion was that gluttony is the real sin. What do you think?

There are two other variables, that have not been mentioned. The first has to do with the efficiency of your digestive system. There are people who get frequently constipated implying their body retains and processes food longer, getting more out of the food. There are other people who have to relieve themselves, right after they eating anything. The latter can input more calories, and gain less weight, since their body does not make use of all of the calories; lower food dwell time. Super Models will throw up their food to reduce the food dwell time. 

Another variable that is less known, is the brain appears to have a weight set point that can be reset. I noticed this when I was younger. During the winter, I would put on weight; about 10 pounds, due to the holidays. My body would hold that weight over the winter. I liked the cold outdoors and knew some extra body fat was useful for staying warm and having extra energy storage. Then in the spring, I would visualize my desired body weight; which was about 10 pound less, and my weight would go down to this set point. Once there, I could not put on weight even if I ate and drank more.

As a I got older, I lost the ability to reset my weight set point. Over a year to so my body gained weight and stayed high. Even when I cut back on eating and exercised more, I would maintain a higher than desired body weight of about 207 pounds. Suddenly, last winter I was able to gain control over the set point, and have been at 180 for about a year, without any change in my behavior. This appears to be connected to controlling the idle speed of the body; rest metabolism.



With so many people overweight, the high weight set point, implies a low idle speed; sedate lifestyles and maybe even depression that is supplement with food. The larger body can be symbolic of an unconscious inflation, to compensate for low self esteem. The unconscious reflects the need of the ego, with a higher body set point. 
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: syhprum on 04/02/2017 19:25:04
As I have grown old (now 88) I find my weight 83Kg BMI 25 has changed little but I have lost muscle mass and made up for it in fat.
I kid myself that this is natures way of preserving bones that get more fragile with age.
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: evan_au on 04/02/2017 21:42:17
Quote from: puppypower
There are other people who have to relieve themselves, right after they eating anything.
This does not imply that their digestive system flushes out the food after 10-30 minutes! That certainly would limit the amount of calories that could be extracted*.

I understand that typical transit time for healthy individuals from eating to excretion of solids is 24 to 72 hours. So the person relieving themselves straight after a meal is getting rid of the residue from food they ate yesterday (or the day before).
This transit time is most obvious after a barium meal, due to its distinctive color and density.

*If you eat certain toxins, your body does get rid of it very quickly, by vomiting, diahorrea (or both). But that is not a healthy person!
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: Bored chemist on 05/02/2017 13:53:13
...
To flush out the alcohol through your kidneys, ...
Most of the alcohol you drink is oxidised in the liver, rather than washed out through the kidneys- so that's rather near the borderline of relevance.

You might also want to look at what I actually said "it certainly doesn't do it fast enough to materially influence your decision to have another beer."
Vasopressin has a biological half life of about 20 mins and I'm usually onto my 2nd drink by then whether the first one has shut down ADH production or not.

The euphoriant effect of alcohol is what makes people buy the second pint, not thirst.
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: zx16 on 06/02/2017 22:15:16
Do any other animals get obese
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: Bored chemist on 07/02/2017 20:02:47
Do any other animals get obese
Have you heard the expression "fat (or fit) as a butcher's dog"?
What about "fat cat"
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: Atomic-S on 08/02/2017 04:51:42
We need to consider not only how much is eaten, but what. If what is eaten is of poor nutritional value, it may induce the person to overeat to compensate, which is bad if most of the food is simply calories.  Also, there are certain relatively uncommon diseases that will cause a person to have seriously abnormal weight even if they eat and exercise by the book. In such cases, a physician should be consulted.
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: Colin2B on 08/02/2017 10:37:36
There are people who get frequently constipated implying their body retains and processes food longer, getting more out of the food.
The body does not extract more nutrients when someone is constipated.The main extraction of nutrients is from the stomach and then small intestine (80-90%). In the small intestine the semifluid material called chyme is constantly churned so that material against the gut wall is constantly changed to allow for absorption. The chyme then moves to the upper part of the large intestine where fermentation extracts some remaining starch and protein. Water extraction takes place progressively down the large intestine so that at the lower end firmer stools are formed, however, constipation is the extraction of too much water and means that fermentation is reduced and churning can't take place, so reduced extraction of remaining nutrients not more.
Unless someone is suffering from a disease which causes slow transit time, the times are as described by Evan above. An apparent slowing down is due to compaction of the stools and not an overall slowing down through the system.
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: vhfpmr on 11/02/2017 14:10:31
Quote from: vhfpmr
If I turn the heat up again, the cycle repeats until the heating is flat out and I still feel cold
One difference between individuals is due to levels of thyroid hormone, which impacts general metabolism

Curiously, the cycle works in reverse also: if I turn the heating down and put up with feeling cold for an hour or so, I start to feel a flush of warmth as my body warms up again. What I can't seem to achieve is a stable state that doesn't drift one way or the other.

As I have grown old (now 88) I find my weight 83Kg BMI 25 has changed little but I have lost muscle mass and made up for it in fat.

A year after I stopped training, my weight hadn't increased at all, but my rib cage had disappeared under a thick layer of fat. I was rather surprised that my doctor was puzzled by that.

This does not imply that their digestive system flushes out the food after 10-30 minutes! That certainly would limit the amount of calories that could be extracted*.

I understand that typical transit time for healthy individuals from eating to excretion of solids is 24 to 72 hours. So the person relieving themselves straight after a meal is getting rid of the residue from food they ate yesterday (or the day before).
This transit time is most obvious after a barium meal, due to its distinctive color and density.

Before I had surgery for a rectal tumour I had a barium meal, and it puzzled me at the time that I only had to wait an hour or so from drinking it to having the CT scan. I didn't have my bowel emptied with a laxative beforehand, and I wasn't passing barium drink immediately afterwards either.

The body does not extract more nutrients when someone is constipated.The main extraction of nutrients is from the stomach and then small intestine (80-90%). In the small intestine the semifluid material called chyme is constantly churned so that material against the gut wall is constantly changed to allow for absorption. The chyme then moves to the upper part of the large intestine where fermentation extracts some remaining starch and protein. Water extraction takes place progressively down the large intestine so that at the lower end firmer stools are formed, however, constipation is the extraction of too much water and means that fermentation is reduced and churning can't take place, so reduced extraction of remaining nutrients not more.
Unless someone is suffering from a disease which causes slow transit time, the times are as described by Evan above. An apparent slowing down is due to compaction of the stools and not an overall slowing down through the system.
This doesn't make sense to me, it's not the constipation causing extraction of more nutrients, if the speed of the whole bowel slows then the time the contents spend in the lower bowel will increase, and there is more time for water to be absorbed, making the stools firmer. If the transit speed slowed in the lower bowel but not the upper bowel the gut would inflate like a balloon.
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: zx16 on 11/02/2017 18:22:59
This whole discussion revolves around bowels. Why should we have bowels?  They're smelly and very disgusting.
I hope future AI computers won't have to sit on the toilet to empty their bowels.  Couldn't they just do a clean "garbage-collection" of  no longer needed data, then digitally dump it, without making smells - wouldn't that be an advance?
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: Colin2B on 12/02/2017 10:17:33
This doesn't make sense to me, it's not the constipation causing extraction of more nutrients,
Agreed, that's what I was trying to point out. Constipation does not cause more nutrients to be extracted as puppypower claims.
If the transit speed slowed in the lower bowel but not the upper bowel the gut would inflate like a balloon.
The gut can handle a degree of slowdown in the lower bowel due to the high degree of compaction from liquid to solid and also has a degree of stretch.  In the case of a serious blockage caused by impacted faeces the backup causes lack of appetite, stomach cramps and vomiting - which should slow down the average glutton.
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: syhprum on 12/02/2017 22:17:35
Pet cats and dogs are often found to be three times their optimum weight.
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: cheryl j on 21/02/2017 18:34:44
Although I realize there is an evolutionary advantage to storing fat for times of famine, I've also wondered if the modern struggle with obesity is connected to a misdirected hunting or gathering drive. I just noticed that when I worked in an office with other women, they spent an inordinate amount of time talking about food - what they made last night for dinner, what they brought for lunch, where they went out to eat last Saturday, what's on sale at the grocery store this week, foods that are good for you, foods that are bad for you, a recipe they saw of Facebook - it was almost constant chatter about food. And quite often this discussion would be followed by having a little snack.  I wonder if they talked about food because they were hungry, or if they ate because they were thinking about food.

Years and years ago it took a lot of thought and planning and effort to get enough calories to survive. Today it doesn't - at least not directly - 20 minutes in the grocery store, a half hour prep, and you're good. But maybe our brains are still wired to think about food, whether we need to or not, and this is part of compulsive eating.

The other reason I have this theory, is that whenever I was successful at weightloss, some form of mental distraction was involved -  I went places and did things that were incompatible with eating (like say a museum, or canoeing) and stayed out of grocery stores and didn't watch cooking shows, or maybe I was distracted by some big project, or had fallen in love. I've never been able to lose weight through careful meal planning or dieting.
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: zx16 on 28/02/2017 19:26:59
During the history of Science, haven't most famous scientists been quite thin?  Have there been any really fat ones?
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: Bored chemist on 28/02/2017 20:53:42
During the history of Science, haven't most famous scientists been quite thin?  Have there been any really fat ones?
During history most people have been quite thin.
Mass obesity is a recent phenomenon.
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: chiralSPO on 28/02/2017 21:32:15
During the history of Science, haven't most famous scientists been quite thin?  Have there been any really fat ones?

Well, Benjamin Franklin and Galileo Galilei weren't exactly string beans! (see attached)
Title: Re: Is obesity a sin of gluttony or sloth?
Post by: zx16 on 06/03/2017 18:35:53
Surely the dog and cat only got fat, because they were given food by humans. 
I can't think of anyone else, apart from humans, that gives food, gratuitously, to another species.