Recently, Learn Out Loud offered free podcasts titled The Skinny on Obesity, featuring one of my all-time favorites, Dr. Robert Lustig. (You may recall Dr. Lustig’s viral You Tube video Sugar: The Bitter Truth or you may recognize him from the HBO Documentary series Weight of the Nation.) If this is the first you’ve heard of him, stay tuned, because this pediatric endocrinologist from the University of California at San Francisco has a great deal to teach us about obesity, metabolic syndrome, the toxicity of sugar, and the myriad diseases that, as he says, “travel” with obesity. 75% of health care expenditures worldwide can be attributed to obesity-related issues. It is time to act.
Below is a summary of part 1 of the 7-part series The Skinny on Obesity.
Obesity is now a world-wide problem. Recently, MSNBC reported that the world is 17 million tons overweight. Robert Lustig points out that this is more than just overconsumption of calories. He additionally points out that the standard myth of “a calorie is just a calorie, regardless if it is broccoli or French silk pie” simply isn’t true. He, like author James LaValle, dispels the myth that weight loss is about far more than burning more calories than you eat. Lustig points out that there is an epidemic of obese six-month-old babies. Clearly we don’t expect them to be working off their calories, do we? Obesity is a complex issue. So, what else is going on?
Lustig and his colleagues offer the following reasons:
Our food supply certainly has had an impact on our health. And the fact that we export our cheap food model all over the world turns this into a global issue. In the video, our food model is described as “portable, affordable, available, fast, and palatable.” Nothing like the way it used to be. (Although some try to preserve food-related traditions – see what the Slow Food Movement is up to!)
In the late 1970s, the U.S. was advised to decrease fat consumption, and in the process, inadvertently (dramatically) increased sugar consumption.
Chemicals in our food supply also play a role in disrupting our environment as well as our internal environment.
Activity has been restricted not only in schools, but also in the way we go about our day. Energy-saving devices may have saved us time, but not contributed to our overall health.
Stay tuned for a summary on part 2 of The Skinny on Obesity.
The videos have been uploaded to You Tube and can be found here: The Skinny on Obesity.
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