Obesity in America: Facing Obvious Truths

As usual for me, I have a cable news channel on while I’m here at my desk. The running news crawl at the bottom of the screen is quite interesting today! A headline about how being fat is maybe GOOD for you is being followed immediately by a headline about how fructose can drive you to overeat. So which is it? Go ahead and overeat? No wait don’t, it’s a problem. Actually, it’s OK but only a little. WHAT???

Let’s start with the first misleading headline: “Study: A few extra pounds may cut risk of early death”
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That headline will sure grab attention! But read the article and it’s definitely quite misleading. This is not some new breakthrough. I’ve heard this stuff before and I’ve always interpreted it this way–If you’ve had the unfortunate experience of watching a loved one who is elderly or suffering with a terminal disease go through the final stages of life, you know that one of the first things that happens is they eat much less. Sometimes they won’t eat at all and getting nourishment into them becomes a big part of their care. If they happen to have very little bodyfat to begin with, it stands to reason their body will begin to experience stress sooner if they are not eating.

But this has broader implications as well. Several years ago, my father needed a heart bypass after years of unhealthy eating had clogged his arteries. Always a pudgy guy, like every member of that side of my family, after the operation Dad got super serious about what he ate. Now in his early 80s, my Dad has become the thinnest he’s ever been in his entire life.

A couple of weeks ago, he came down with some kind of very wicked intestinal virus. My Mom had to get him to the ER when he became dehydrated. Fortunately, he bounced back quite well but he lost ten pounds! His weight dropped to 160lbs. He’s 82 and just 5’7″. At that weight, my Dad looks too thin and gaunt. At his age, it can give you pause. What if he had been sick for longer? How much could it have compromised his health if he’d dropped even more weight? My Dad is actually a very healthy man but at this point in his life, I know that he could potentially come down with something that could have devastating impact. I’ve been on him to be sure to put the lost weight back on and a few pounds more wouldn’t hurt!

It all makes perfect sense in this context, doesn’t it? But how many people will read the article and think it’s OK for them to put on weight and not worry about it? To be 30 lbs overweight when they’re 35 years old, 40, 50 years old–and believe they’re “protecting” themselves from some early death! If anyone uses this “study” as a reason to exercise less and care less about what they’re eating, they are cheating themselves out of ridiculously BETTER benefits of improved health during the prime years of their lives.

More news from the Files of the Flagrantly Obvious: “Still Hungry? It could be that fructose in your drink”
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We’ve heard this before. It’s not new!! You mean food processors are using ingredients that will make you want to spend more money? REALLY? Shocking!!! If you’ve read my book, you already knew about this. A book by Dr. David Kessler, former head of the FDA, exposed this a few years ago. Again, it’s something that only makes sense! We have to expect that food processors will make FOOD FOR PROFIT. And we’re talking about fructose here, made from CORN. I am a former commodities broker and I specialized in grains trading. Corn is KING in America. It’s in everything. Literally.

Food processors want you to believe that the answer is MORE PROCESSED FOOD only they’ll try to claim it’s “healthy.”  I love it when they claim they’re responding to consumer demand. Yeah, duh. You know the healthiest food you can buy has always been and will always be WHOLE and unprocessed! Food for profit will always be with us. But you don’t have to eat it.