Its no use trying to lose weight, I have a DISEASE!

Funny timing, not twelve hours after I released my video on fat acceptance, The American Medical Association (AMA) released its statement that they now consider obesity to be a disease.  It took me several days and numerous pillow-screams before I could calm down enough to write about this sad day.  Why am I sad?  Glad you asked.

  1. There is a strong link between education and obesity, the more educated you are the less likely you are to be obese.  So take a group of less educated folks and tell them that their obesity is a disease and what is the most likely reaction?  “I told you it wasn’t my fault”.  These folks often do not understand nutrition and therefore think that they eat “nothing” and still get fat when the truth is they just don’t understand the caloric content of what they are eating.  By telling them that they have a disease, many of them wont bother taking the common sense steps that could make them healthy.  
  2. Its not clear to me that this will help anyone.  By declaring obesity as a disease its going to make it a lot easier for obese people to get insurance to pay for expensive gastric surgeries but I am not convinced that the long term results are positive.  I personally know two people who have had stomach stapling and it helped both in the short term but after 5 years they were just as fat as before.  Apparently they learned how to defeat their smaller stomach by constantly grazing on high caloric density foods.   This is obviously anecdotal but, the point remains that I am unconvinced on the long term health benefits of such surgeries when compared to the lifestyle changes of eating healthier and exercising more.
  3. The additional burden to healthcare costs is not one we can afford.  Our healthcare system cant even provide preventive medicine for the population, how on earth are we going to afford all of the stomach surgeries to “cure” the obesity?  By my estimates, this will cost 108 billion dollars annually which is $432 for every man, woman, and child to provide these obesity “cures”.
  4. Rather than spending that 108 Billion dollars a year on gastric surgeries, I have a much better idea.  Lets spend that money on making sure that we teach our kids about nutrition, provide recreational facilities so people can safely exercise, provide infrastructure for bike commuting, provide walkways for pedestrians, therapy for compulsive eaters,  and provide after school athletic programs for kids.  Active people who understand nutrition will be healthier and less expensive for the health care system.  We can spend one dollar helping people be healthy or we can spend ten dollars fixing the damage caused by neglect.

The root of our problem in America is that there  is too much money in politics.  Because our politicians election campaigns are so heavily financed, either directly or indirectly, by money from big business, its no surprise that the agendas of big business often take precedence over the needs of the citizens.  The healthcare industry is one of the largest, most influential groups in politics because it is such a large percent of our GNP.

sick people are good for business.

obesity is a disease says AMA

This is a common sight at all you can eat restaurants.  For those of you still thinking that obesity is truly a disease, try this.  Walk around a restaurant and compare what obese people are eating to that what slim people are ordering and eating.  Olive garden gives all you can eat salad and all you can eat very greasy, cheesy breadsticks.  Our table ordered a second free bowl of salad, the table behind us ordered a second free basket of greasy breadsticks.  As I mention time and time again, when it comes to losing weight, small choices add up to big difference over time.

150 thoughts on “Its no use trying to lose weight, I have a DISEASE!”

  1. As a person who has enjoyed some of your tips, I can’t help wondering if you’ve ever not been healthy. You appear to me to have a body type and a health type that would naturally gravitate toward certain foods and therefore it is easy for you to make certain food choices. Unfortunately, that is not the case with all of us. As a person who has struggled with weight for years, I know the difference between nutritious choices and less nutritious choices. I am well educated and choose nutritious foods for me and my family, and yet I still struggle every day with weight issues. For years I thought it was difficult for me to lose weight (we were told over and over that metabolism has a lot to do with how fat you are) but when I started exercising regularly, I lost weight regularly.

    The problem isn’t education for me or for so many others. If that was the case, educated people would never be fat. Just as the problem with smoking can not be boiled down to a simple matter of education just because the lower educated are more likely to be smokers, the problem with obesity is more complex than that. It is a problem that involves cravings. In this case, unlike smoking, where quitters may eventually experience a cessation of cravings, those who tend toward obesity don’t experience that relief even when they become thin.

    Why else would so many people who go through re-education programs successfully (including complete lifestyle changes for years) eventually become obese again? This is behind the AMA’s thinking on calling obesity a disease. And unfortunately, doctors are as yet unable to explain how to fix the problem. Diet and exercise are a major part of the answer but these are not the cure. They are the treatment for the symptoms. Anyone with a serious illness or disease can treat its symptoms for a period of time, perhaps even an extended period of time. However, that does not mean they are cured.

    Consider this–when you look at a friend who was once obese for years and then worked hard to make lifestyle changes and became a healthy weight, does it make you nervous if they gain a few pounds? Do you wonder what they’ve been eating? Or do you think they’re just fine and healthy like the rest of your always-normal-weight friends? Don’t you find you are more concerned for their health than those who have always been thin? As with any friend who has an illness, you tend to be more concerned that this friend will have a relapse, don’t you? Why would you if this person is now “educated” and “informed” enough to make all the correct choices like all your other friends? It’s because education is not all there is to it.

    The fact is, in general, fat people are the most educated when it comes to diet, nutrition, and exercise. Do you think anyone wants to struggle to climb the stairs? Struggle to play with their children? Avoid family photos? Avoid the swimming pool? We are constantly researching the ways to fix the problem and like the dying people we are, we struggle to find a cure to a problem that, as yet, has no cure and is killing us.

    You’re right that fat people are good for business. There are any number of unscrupulous people out there selling all manner of snake oils to quickly burn off fat and make you lose weight. Some of these drugs do nothing, others kill. And fat people often fall for these, not because they want the easiest way out, but because no one with any true scientific background is offering them anything better. If it were a matter of laziness, the easiest way out would be diet and exercise. If only that worked! It may well get one thin enough to look healthy, but it does not erase the underlying disease.

    I have gone from 250 pounds to 145 pounds (my ideal weight according to my trainer). During my diet phase I took in about 2200 calories a day and exercised 6 days per week. Doing this, I lost 2 pounds a week. I now take in about 2500 calories a day and exercise 4-5 days per week to maintain my weight.

    It’s been over a year that I have maintained this weight and during the entire year of weight loss and the year of maintenance, I HAVE BEEN STARVING! When I go to the doctor and tell her she needs to find out why I feel like I’m starving, she has no answers. The foods that temporarily keep me from feeling like I’m starving are massive amounts of fatty carbohydrates–cheesy bread, mashed potatoes with butter, etc. But I avoid them. They aren’t part of my healthy lifestyle. I take in large amounts of low-fat proteins (per my trainer) to try and compensate for the feeling of starvation. It doesn’t work. Nothing works.

    I’m not saying that all fat people have a disease. Many people become sedentary while continuing to eat the same as they did when they were active. This can destroy their health and lead to disease (something the AMA is also considering). However, there are many of us who, in spite of healthy choices, haven’t ended the struggle. It will never be the end of it for me until someone finds out what’s wrong with me. Until they can figure out what it is, I won’t be well. At least now, they’re saying it’s a disease. Maybe someone will pay attention and do some research into what’s causing it rather than just trying to mask the symptoms or telling me I should know better than to order the cheesy bread. That, I already know.

  2. Hi Scooby, though it doesn´t belong here, its maybe time to point out, that losing weight and becoming slim overemphasizes just physical aspects that could be misinterpreted from those who suffer from anorexia. This is an overall message I miss constantly when I watch your clips. In other words: Becoming slim is not the key to all problems a young person might have.

    Back to topic: To my point of view obesity can be a disease in certain aspects. There might be people who just cant stop eating. As well as there people who cant control there drinking habits (alcoholism). Having a good social life, becoming successful in the job etc. should be aims that are not less important. Because eating too much is often a result of a not fulfilling social life, a frustrating job….

    Auf Wiedersehen!

  3. This is actually very sad because The Onion, the company who makes all the news satire, predicted this would happen 5 years ago, only the video was made as a joke like “haha that’s so dumb the governement would never REALLY do that”

    but lo and behold the AMA is taking responsibility away from the people by telling them they are clinically sick, just like how the surgeon general in The Onion clip told people with less than 90% body fat they were healthy.

  4. After reading at least fifty comments, I am starting to believe that the people who read this website are less intelligent than I originally thought. I believe that obesity being declared a disease is probably not the best idea, and people will most likely use its new label as an excuse, and I also agree that there is too much money in American politics, but that is my personal, political opinion. This website is focused on nutrition and health, not the world of scandals and vehemence commonly known as politics. Furthermore, you cannot change any other person’s ideas and beliefs. It seems that most of the people who have commented believe that this declaration will cause negative effects, and that is the main issue to be discussed, not what the politician’s motives behind it are.
    As one last point, I would like to mention something that another commentator shared. It was something along the lines of “The government can’t tell you what to eat.” This statement is obviously true, but people just like us have been falling for marketing ploys for years, many of which come from companies allied with the U.S. Government. Yes, people must make their own decisions on what to eat, but it takes a will of steel to push through all of the glamorous ads and pictures of delicious foods. People will be influenced by major companies and their governments, whether they think they are or not.
    In closing, I encourage all fellow readers to be civil in sharing their opinions, and to remember the main issue, which is not political issues or the motives of physicians, but of the effect this will have on the health of the American people.

    1. I did laugh at how you opened your post with a collective insult on the community’s intelligence and then closed with an appeal for civility towards each other.

      Great smile though.

      1. Why thanks, I like to be known for my consistency.
        In all seriousness, one of the best ways to get people’s attention is to insult them, at least mildly.
        I appreciate that you read my comment and cared enough to reply.
        And thank you, I try.

    2. I understand your point but it’s impossible to not politicize the discussion when there are economical and political structures behind of it. Them are one of the main causes of the problem.

  5. Eric the Chartruse

    Another reason for this nonsense? “Diseases” require FDA regulation, so all those pesky fitness programs and organic healthy foods that interact with this new disease ( and keep people our of the local doctor’s office) must be regulated – and eventually outlawed. Only physicians will be able to prescribe diet solutions and fitness advocates will be labeled as “hate mongers” for making fat people feel bad.

  6. As Chris Rock said, there is no money in the cure so they find ways for you to LIVE WITH IT. If they can create a medicine that people spend hundreds of dollars on every year that’s a win in their eyes. The more things that get privatized, whether it be health care or child sports, the less people will care for the wellbeing of citizens and rather the profits involved with illness.

  7. I don´t think it´s the Pharmaceutical business fault that obesity is considered a disease. I think its just an “easier” way to deal with the problem than doing something constructive about it. Just like feminists like to blame men that women dot´t have the power they want to have or how racism likes to blame other races and cultures that their race/culture isn´t as successful.

  8. An addendum to your fourth point:

    It’s frustrating how expensive it is to eat “healthy”, versus how cheap it is to eat garbage food here in the states. For example, going to the store, buying organic vegetables and wild-caught salmon for a dinner will run you about $15. You can use the same money at McDonalds or Taco Bell and buy THOUSANDS of calories for the same money.

    This is where the problems lies, though: (in general, sorry for the blanket statement) food that’s bad for you / is high in calories is cheap and healthy sources of protein (fish, meat) and greens are expensive. In addition to using the $108,000,000,000 / yr for educating people, surely the government could subsidize and make healthier foods cheaper?

    Would taxing unhealthy foods be such a bad thing? We have taxes for alcohol and cigarettes, which are known to potentially cause health problems over the long run. Even for non-obese people, why would a small additional tax be such a bad thing? If anything, it might further discourage obese AND healthy people from overeating these types of foods.

    Also, the fact that I pay the same for health care (nonsmoker, not even a moderate drinker, exercise 4 times / week) as my morbidly obese coworker is absurd. Why should I be personally responsible for his addiction / lack of personal control? If obesity is known to hike up the costs of our health care system, why must everyone pay the price? If you you smoke, you may have to pay more or be denied coverage. If you get in accidents, you have to pay more for car insurance. The list goes on.

    Calling obesity a disease just further removes the responsibility of people to take care of themselves. Imagine all the people saying, “I’ve suffered from obesity for 20 years now.” Suffered?! It was self-inflicted! It is NOT a disease, it is an addiction. It’s a slap in the face to fairly healthy people that get cancer, neurological diseases, et cetera.

    1. You are correct that tasty, unhealthy food is REALLY cheap – one only has to look at fast food prices to see how cheap it is. However, I differ with you on healthy being expensive as its no fair comparing the price of fresh salmon to rendered meat product. You *can* make cheap healthy meals at home, but you need to understand something about nutrition to make the right choices at the store. One only has to look south of our border to get a good example, that of making beans a staple. Beans and rice make a good, cheap, healthy foundation for any meal. Add in a small amount of meat and a vegetable and you have a very healthy and cheap meal.

    2. You had me in the beginning and totally lost me on the end. I completely agree with you about the tax on unhealthy foods. However, the problem is the determination as to what is healthy and what is not. Who makes that determination? Amount of sugar can’t be the only factor since fruit juices (pretty healthy) often have lots of sugar. Amount of fat is a no go also. Olive oil is a fat but a good food. But a tax on candy and potato chips wouldn’t be such a bad thing. They’re going to have to find something to pay for universal health care.

      Government subsidies would be much more effective, but they’ll never work. Currently, the government subsidizes carbohydrates, sugars, and oils. These create unnaturally low prices that provide incentives to purchase poor quality, low-nutrition foods. These subsidies, like the ridiculous tobacco subsidy, will not be going away any time soon.

      As for the other claim–that you pay the same premium for health care as your obese counterparts–that may be true since you are coworkers and receive a deep discount on your health insurance premiums through your job. For those who pay directly for their health care premiums, that is not the case. Obese people are turned down for health insurance, and pay higher premiums when they get insurance. Obama’s new plan has recently changed the option insurance companies take to turn down those with preexisting health conditions including being obese, asthmatic, or diseased in some way (it remains to be seen if this plan stays in effect with the next president.)

      The fact is when people have insurance and feel they can freely go to the doctor, they are more likely to take an interest in their health. Insurance companies, despite their many deficiencies, are some of the only organizations who are making a massive effort to get their people healthier with free weight loss programs, online support groups and forums, healthy living articles, tips, and recipes, as well as a way to track your general health and specific goals. They also provide smoking cessation programs for smokers and incentive programs (including monetary awards) for those who do well at their specific goals. So insurance is a good idea for the obese and likely, in the long run, to lower health care costs.

      For obese people, especially lower income ones, who are obese because of unhealthy choices, the problem has been a combination of these things we’re talking about–U.S. provides incentives to buy cheap, unhealthy foods and the poor people who buy them haven’t had insurance where they can consult with a doctor and possibly work on a health plan. It remains to be seen if universal health care can improve the average American’s health, but it certainly will spread the expense between more people and foster competition among insurance companies, and that can’t be a bad thing.

      I’ll leave the whole disease vs. addiction thing for another time. I’m not sure where I stand on that. But I’ll say this: If a person has an addiction, would you expect no one to provide treatment options for that addiction? Wouldn’t it be a little unfair to say, “we expect you to stop being such a fat burden on society, and oh, by the way, your on your own figuring out how to do that?”

    3. There is definitely a price premium for organic and fresh foods here in the UK, but a lot of it can be sold by buying frozen. For example Tesco’s sell wild alaskan frozen fillets for a fraction of the price that fresh costs. The same with frozen blueberries, raspberries, blackberries etc. They also sell cartons of organic chickpeas, red kidney beans, and other beans for only 0.55 pence a carton. Other healthy foods such as quinoa can be bought online in bulk. I buy organic quinoa online in 5kg bags for about £22 which is approximately half what that would cost me in a supermarket if I was to buy their tiny 500 gram bags for £3.99 each time. It also pays to learn which fruits and veg need to be bought organically, and which don’t etc. I find the most expensive part of a healthy diet is healthy meat, which I no longer buy very often, getting most of my animal calories from fish, canned sardines and mackeral in olive oil for example, again a very cheap source of excellent proteins and fats. You can put together a very highly nutritious meal of beans, fish, frozen vegetables, quinoa etc for only a couple of quid if you buy frozen veg, canned fish, and buy online in bulk.

  9. You should base your findings in evidence. I would probably not call it a disease. but I would be willing to change in the face of evdience (of which I can’t see much in this article), but we should also be compassionate and aware of the fragile mental states of many people who are significantly failing in one area of life or another. Obsetity can be tough to overcome, due to the bad effect lack of excercise and nutrition can have on your mental health. Tough love (in the form of attacking someone) doesn’t work 99% of the time, it just makes people feel like more of a failure (unless you can be there making people do it until they see results), but also facilitating their own excuses doesn’t work either. We need to find out how to motivate people and I think empathy, assistance, and education are needed. People do things for a reason and many overweight people overeat for a reason, they might be that way due to environmental factors which have conditioned their habits and beliefs about what is possible. This is why your site has been good, but I think this fat bashing will reduce the impact of your message Scooby. Even though it often might be easy to say these people only acted this way because of their bad habits, who knows if you had been through their life with their biology and their education etc if you wouldn’t also be in their footsteps. I’m just saying “but by the grace of God go I”. Lets focus on helping people improve from where they are, not beating them up about their past.

    1. I am combating something far worse that fat-bashing here. The AMA just opened the floodgates for insurance paid gastric surgeries. Its more important than ever that people who are obese understand that they have it within their power to reduce their weight and they do NOT need to put their lives in the hands of operating room staff. There are many side effects of this surgery that I wouldnt wish on anyone so it needs to be avoided at all costs.

  10. Should obesity be classified as a disease? We could ask the same of gun shot wounds, broken bones and certain cancers which are all caused by our behaviors. Whatever we call it, it’s a problem. And we need to deal with it.

    Clearly, the label of “disease” does allow the medical industry to bill for this (in full disclosure, I’m a doctor). Since our society is driven by money, by allowing physicians to bill for time spent on nutritional counseling or smoking cessation, it makes it more likely to get done. Being practical, if labeling it as a disease helps us deal with it – fine by me.

    Bariatric surgery is a hail mary pass. When everything else fails and this person will die without drastic measures, then when we resort to it. Sure people would be better off eating vegetables and exercising. But they don’t do that. Then they show up with high blood pressure, high blood sugar, heart attacks, strokes, and other consequences of that behavior. What would you have us do? Shrug our shoulders and say “You should have eaten better.” We have to deal with what we’re given. Call it a disease or don’t, doesn’t matter. Whatever it takes to get people to pay attention is okay with me.

    If this were easy to fix, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. Remember that this audience here are motivated and health conscious. Not everyone thinks like this. We need to take care of this.

    Love your videos, Scooby!

    1. I wish I knew what was wrong with this country. We wring our hands at spending more money per capita on healthcare than other countries but still have an unhealthy population, then we decide to combat obesity with surgery rather than with nutritional education in school and in promoting exercise in school.

      1. Our health care spending could be so much more efficient if we worked at prevention (nutrition, exercise, health habits) instead of symptom control. Unfortunately, we’re not there. Doctors have to deal with what comes through the door — not what should have happened all along. So, we need to resort to expensive medications with horrible side-effects & expensive surgeries and hospital treatments. Doctors are not doing this just to make a buck. The people are already sick, we want to fix them. (we can’t)

        If labeling obesity as a disease allows insurance to pay, it may invite innovative treatments. Maybe Blue Cross pays for your health club membership. Maybe more people go to school to get a great paying job as a nutritionist. If the label allows us to focus on primary prevention instead of secondary or tertiary — we’ll all be better off (physically and economically) .

        From my experience, education alone is not enough. There are fat cardiologists, pulmonologists who smoke and no one exercises. One of my colleagues asked, “why are you doing so much exercise and not eating meat when you could just take a pill, like I do?” This problem runs deep in our culture and we’ll need to align a lot of forces to change this trend.

        People like you and sites like yours inspire people to exercise and eat healthy. The same strength of will power that pushes us to workout every day also gives us strength to eat refried beans out of a can in the trunk instead of pulling into Wendy’s. Most people are not that strong.

  11. Sometime ago I was in a nice Italian restaurant with friends. At the table next to us was a table of good looking,healthy young adults, maybe late teens. One of them stood out, the fat girl, barrel shaped with fat fingers and wrists.

    I didn’t notice at first but fatty was pecking at the bread basket, daintily tearing the bread with her fat little fingers, and fat little pinkies pointing out. After a while the waiter replaced the basket and I realised fatty was stuffing her face with bread, maybe 10 or more slices.

    When the waiter came to take her order she asked for plain pasta with no sauce as she was on a “low fat diet”. I would have done a pillow scream if I had a pillow handy. She had stuffed over a thousand calories into her gob and then refused the most nutritious part of the meal. Of course she didn’t even touch the salad.

    My guess was she ate at least 2000 calories and still thought she doing the right thing, totally clueless about the calories she was eating.

    1. Your story makes me think of a great idea. Rather than spend $22,000 on gastric bypass surgery, give anyone who is obese a free consultant for a week. The first day, the consultant would just follow them everywhere without saying a thing and tally up every calorie eaten. The following six days, the consultant would take them shopping and show them how to quickly cook healthy meals that they would enjoy, how to batch cook, etc. The week of intensive health tutoring would give them the skills and knowledge they need to lose weight on their own and keep it off once they lose it. Cost of a weeks intensive tutoring? About $2000, 1/10 the cost and far, far healthier.

  12. disqus_LaKriMeObS

    Actually from a financial point of view, hospitals don’t prefer fatties. The morbidly obese are much more likely to develop complications which the hospital will not be reimburse for. Yes, there are preventative measures hospitals follow to avoid this, but it will take a lot more labor than it would for a more in shape person.

    For example a fatter person will have a harder time practicing deep breathing exercises which put them at a great chance of developing pneumonia. Their declined mobility and inability to self turn and reposition in bed makes them more likely to develop pressure ulcers. Add to that since they can’t use a bedside urinal due to the folds they will have to keep their foley cath (piss tube) in longer than other patients which increases the chance of obtaining an infection. Fall risk? All patients need PT to promote recovery. Now who do you think is more likely to fall, the 175 lbs patient who is normally fully weight bearing or the 350 lb patient who normally relies on his lil rascal scooter? When it comes to hygiene, healthy weight patients are pretty independent and can usually bed bathe themselves, fatties on the other hand will require a team of aides working together. If that hygeine is neglected, guess what happens, infection.

    Now considering that the hospital has to pay out of pocket for anything that happens post op, why would hospitals prefer fatties?

    1. Perhaps the nurses dont prefer obese patients in the hospital but the stockholders of the hospital certainly do. Hospitals make money when beds are occupied and when patients with insurance have procedures and obese people do both of these far more than their lean counterparts.

  13. Your so correct Scooby,here in Australia obesity is becoming the number one preventable epidemic ,fast food outlets like McDonalds and KFC try to assuage their guilt by providing (healthy alternatives) such fresh fruit and cereal breakfast deals as if people are running toMaccas (we tend to refer to McDonalds as Maccas) for a healthy anything

  14. Banging your head against the wall is also a disease. The cure, stop banging your head against the wall! I think the real problem here is peoples common interpretation of the word disease. Dis-Ease, really means Not-Easy or uncomfortable. If I said that the AMA have released a statement saying that they now consider people who are obese to be uncomfortable, that It wouldn’t be controversial would it? Saying “It’s no use trying to lose weight because being overweight makes me uncomfortable” would be nonsense, as would saying “Exercise is too hard, it makes me feel exhausted”. People will make these silly excuses though, because they live for quick simple pleasures, rather than deriving long term wellness and pleasure from being fit and healthy. Well I just though I would say that. I am off to do some cardio now.

  15. Obesity *is* an illness – a *mental* illness. Sufferers are choosing to wreck their health every time they overeat. Doesn’t that prove depression/denial/dysfunctional thinking?

    It sickens me that obese people are tempted with quick-fix surgical solutions to a problem rooted in the mind. Shame on the healthcare industry!

    I’ve been overweight myself. Thankfully I knew where to draw the line and got round to doing something about it before it was too late.

  16. Unfortunately we live under a government that Is currently against the concept of personal accountability. Isnt being lazy is a disease too. There is no doubt that big money is behind this as well. Nice job Scooby!

  17. One legitimate role government (Aka the taxpayers holding government officials accountable) can have in supporting healthy choices for communities is to provide more public parks, bicycle lanes, running trails and even community education programs, especially in sectors of the community where there are lessor educated and more impoverished people. Left wing/right wing. Who cares? The key is to have an infrastructure that supports healthy choices when people decide to make them.

  18. Pedro Mendes de Araújo

    Regardless of political lobbying and “big bad” companies, the way you guys are saying it makes us think that the fat people are only poor victims of a system which doesn’t want them to lose weight. While I agree that there isn’t a big help from education when it comes to people trying to lose weight, putting all the fault on the government isn’t going to help it either (for people who want to lose weight, that is).

    1. Have you considered a big difference between now and one hundred years ago is the availability of cheap, high calorie food at a moments notice? Quite simply the environment we live in, the system, is completely different.

    2. only about 1/10th of your grocery store is actually natural food or food you should actually be consuming!!!! obviously that fraction may not be completely accurate!

  19. Scoobz, you make a good point when you mention looking at other peoples plates in restaurants, but what I think is worse is look around in peoples carts when you are shopping next..look at all the horrible food people are choosing instead of much healthier foods available to them..and the worst part about it is it generally seems to be families with little children (and they usually seem to be obese children). It is just sad because these young children will definatley learn and most likely keep their bad habits their parents are teaching them..

  20. This is just another example of big business pressuring the government to cover for their fat asses. The amount of money that’s lobied at the government to keep the population uneducated and consuming garbage is ridiculous. To see the root of the problem just walk down the cereal isle and look at the sugar infused poison they’re jamming in children’s faces.
    I know it’s tough when faced with such overwhelming odds and ignorance, but keep up the good fight scoobs! If you get one kid to put down the lucky charms and grab the veggies and go for a bike ride, it’s worth it.

      1. It’s hard work to get kids to eat healthy, but good parenting is not easy. Took a lot of hard work, but my kids think soda is poison and love kale chips. But this took a lot of hard work. Most people can’t/won’t invest in this.

  21. I totally agree that it should not be
    labeled a disease because no one simply gets fat. Speaking from someone who
    used to be about 60 pounds heavier, I always knew it was my fault because I would
    indulge in unhealthy eating. I recently watched several documentaries which talk
    about Nutrition and Health which I think everyone should watch so they
    become educated on their bad choices. A significant number of the death’s in
    the US is related to poor health and in many cases those deaths could have been prevented. Like others have mentioned in reply to this article, there simply is no money in preventing them from getting fat and sick.

  22. Dear Sir,
    I have read with a great interest your last 2 articles and I have registered so I can provide a counter argument.

    I see that you are a big guy, I would say huge, with huge pecks and muscles, I would like to ask you: do you think about yourself being healthy, strong and attractive. Do you believe that you have done the best for your body ? I will assume that the answer would be yes. If I as medical doctor tell you right now that what you have done with your body is bad and unhealthy would stop training ? Ok let me be more precise: if I tell you that your muscle mass puts a huge strain on your hearth would you stop training ? I think not. Well this is the problem with part of the obesity..people think of themselves as being healthy, strong and beautiful. Its part of their nature especially if they are poor or live in poor areas in the world. For them being fat means that you have money to buy food and raise healthy kids..Which in turn will be obese simply because that’s how they grow. Who are we to blame them for being fat if they are happy with how they look. I can tel them is bad but just as you they will not listen. Second factor in obesity are some diseases like Cushing’s syndrome for example, depression is a huge problem especially masked depression, hypothyroidism..etc..etc.. if you have this diseases you have to address this problem first cure the disease and then the weight might go down on its own. And lastly we have the common men weight gain..or age related weight gain for man and women. As we age as men we gradually enter andropause and our androgen decrease (testosterone) and that is what keeps our muscles big, for women the estrogens drop and then they need adipose tissue to make some estrogens ..these are the people which will profit most from fitness education but they are not hugely obese to begin with. That is why I oppose the notion that we should blame fat people for being fat. Telling people that they have disease called obesity will raise awareness, no one likes to be sick. If I tell you right now that your heart has become so big that the inside chambers can no longer take enough blood(hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or subaortic stenosis), or that your heart show significant ischemic changes would you stop training or would you take the risk of dying ? Try to answer that question by thinking about your relatives that you love and not yourself.

    1. There is a multitude of things wrong with your rebuttal. Your “examples” or “claims” are not relevant to the actual article. Though some of your “points” are factually correct, they are not relevant to people in the United States. What you are doing is defending people’s bad choices or lack of education. We need to work to prevent and not “cure”.

      1. Actually that is the point..I do not and I can not blame anyone for the choice they make. My job is to educate and point out problems ultimately it is our choices that shape our lives. Think about smoking..how many times have tell a smoker that this is a bad habit..how many times you hear an excuse that they do not smoke that much at all. How many time have you seen people going in the gym just to quit next week ? Obesity is a disease..it has etiology, it has symptoms it has side effects, relation to many other diseases and it has cure. you have no right to blame people for being sick.

        1. Obesity is rather the symptom than the disease itself. Maybe the disease is overeating, or food addiction or even a mental issue that drives people to make bad choices over and over again. I know. I have changed my eating habits more than once in my lifetime… just like that; one day something simply “clicks” in my mind and the next day I start eating healthy over and over again, and by the next month, yep, lost 5 or 6 or 20 lbs… but for me its more about how I feel physically than the weight itself… Obesity is the result of bad choices, period! Yes, someone can be depressed and that causes them to overeat, but their obesity itself is not their disease. Obesity causes disease, it’s not really one, in the strict sense of the word.

          1. Dear sir,
            I know what you think but as a non-medical person you do not posses a knowledge about diseases as nosologic units..and thats OK. Is flu a disease or a symptom..well its caused by garden variety of viruses..but the virus itself its not a disease. Every disease has etiology (whats causing the disease) in case of flu the ethology is virus. Obesity has ethology and that is poor choices, other diseases like depression, or simply different body image these things cause increased weight we perceive as obesity. And then there is symptoms..one of which is looking big, joint problems from increased weight, sleep apnea..etc..etc..all these are under the category of obesity its not just looking fat. That’s why is a disease. Because it leads to increased morbidity and mortality..just like any other disease.

          2. guess u learn something new every day, anyways. its a fact that its in each one’s hands to solve it… not taking a pill, not having your belly opened. just eat right and be active

          3. You are correct if we had a pill we would not have that problem and yet the question is..”one’s own hands”. People smoke and can not quit, that’s why help them with advise, tools (electronic cigs) or medicines (chewing gums, patches). Same with obesity..its not easy ..if it was everyone would be a model or bodybuilder..you need professionals to guide your treatment. You can hardly get help from a guy on the internet, inspiration yes absolutely..but for a success you need professional help.

          4. I don’t think you need professional help… I think you just need to read a little bit, have some caring for yourself and your well being and a little bit of patience… In my opinion, by the time you seek professional help, you already now there is something wrong and you want to change that! just get informed and use common sense. Everyone knows refined sugars are bad, everyone knows fried food is bad, everyone knows how to use a scale, everyone knows exercise is good and how to walk and eventually run.

          5. “read a little bit” how do you know that you are reading the thing that is right for you ? If someone gives you 10 books that deal with the same issue how would you choose the right one ?

          6. 1. common sense
            2. read from several sources
            3. and yes, sometimes consult professionals

          7. look at your stomach….. when you can see your toes, thats the right one!!! since i was a kid its been go play and eat your veggies…..
            if that isnt working , your cheating!!

          8. Thanks for the clarification. The problem is that these days it’s considered acceptable to think in non-literal terms. People redefine words to suit their opinions and to support bogus theories and attitudes.
            So while it may be technically correct for doctors to define obesity as a disease, the public hears that as meaning something completely different. Specifically, “It’s a disease, so I’m not the cause of the problem and there’s nothing I can or should do to fix it.”

    2. Pedro Mendes de Araújo

      1) People are aware of the negative effects of being obese. They know they are not healthy or “look good”; millions die each year from diseases caused by obesity. And people don’t think the extra fat is good because they can provide for themselves…this isn’t the middle ages. We are in the 21th century, and food is extremely cheap and widely available. Even extremely poor people don’t like being obese.

      2) Cushing’s is an extremely rare condition, and hypothyroidism, while also having weight gain as a symptom, is a disease that has many other complications and isn’t simply a disease where people get fat.

      3) Your attemps to create an analogy between obesity as a disease and Scooby’s muscle-building lifestyle don’t make any sense to me. They would make sense, if people that are obese actually enjoyed being obese. They don’t. That being fat is bad for you is no breaking news.

      4) If you tell someone that they have a disease, what will be their immediate reaction? Making big lifestyle changes so they can live better? Suddenly become educated on what they should and shouldn’t do to get their disease cured? No, they’ll seek out the easy way out for their “disease”, which is the bariatric surgery. In the meantime, they’ll resort to all kinds of easy possible “cures” to what they have, like taking diet pills or the next big weight-loss supplement, to no avail.

      1. 1. People are aware of the negative effects of cigarettes but they still smoke, people still drink its all bad for you. People may not like the way the look but that will not prevent them from eating..so I miss the point here.
        2. As you are proficient in Medicine you do make a difference between Cusshing’s disease and Cushing’s syndrome right ? as far as hypothyroidism you will be surprised that many patients are labeled lazy and fat before being diagnosed properly.
        3. Do you believe that bodybuilding is healthy- please don’t take my word for it google hypertrophic cardiomyopaty and subacute aortic stenosis, sudden cardiac death in athletes..Heart is muscle and grows with all of your muscles but the chambers inside get smaller and the heart is strong but can not accept large volumes to supply blood to the large muscles. Many people are obese on purpose. they believe that if you are fat you are attractive.
        4. Well when I tell people they have a disease that can kill them they usually are scared ..and at this point they rely on me for guidance. It is easy to give advice when you are healthy, once you get sick and you have to make decisions about yourself .. the game changes because you will start to have doubts. I can tell you with 20 years of experience, patients are very confused people.

        1. Greetings sir, I want to discuss something, I think we need to clarify some things, but first I have a cuestion, what the HCM isn’t a genetic condition? Can you show me some proof of that disease affects those who are actively exercise? I never read about it and if it’s is a risk in the physical activity then should be quite popular in the fitness world.

  23. It’s not the COST of gastric surgeries that bothers me as much as you. It’s the long term effect on health I’m concerned with. The removal/bypass/re-arrangement of the intestines will cause these people to lack the vital nutrients later in life when they’re needed the most. You know, the time when their absorption of nutrients is declining. I see it leading to an early death for the majority of the people having this surgery.

    1. Agree, the long term health effects are a big unknown in my book. Our gastrointestinal system is the way it is for a reason and playing God and redoing our plumbing is just asking for problems.

      1. That’s how the surgery works, it bypasses a portion of the intestines that would normally absorb the nutrients, and as a result, the person’s weight tends to drop in weight. What a way to lose weight, huh? Not a very healthy way at all.

          1. I’ve been to college and I’ve taken many biology, diet and nutritional classes. Are you suggesting surgery as a first resort? In my opinion, if the person is obese and has no other diseases, such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, graves disease, etc., then I think attention should be on diet alone, not expensive mutilating surgery that will make you sicker. That’s common sense.

          2. yes no one is doing surgery just because..but when its done its done in a way that one can predict the amount of weight loss over time. Its all controlled in a very precise way. Its not just cutting an organ out and let see how the person will do…there are formulas about the expected long term weight loss vs type of bypass or bowel resection..its all science.

      2. I guess they’re thinking “long term care”, since these people will later need injections to make up for the inadequate absorption of nutrients. Brilliant!

  24. There is a TV programme here in the UK called Secret Eaters, at the beginning the subjects are asked to provide a food diary which invariably adds upto about 2000 calories per day, after being observed for a week it usually transpires there consuming about 4000 calories per day

    1. I think a lot of people though truly dont understand that the calories in the three tablespoons of cream and five spoons of sugar in every cup of coffee need to be counted.

        1. Come on, agoraks. You know as well as I do that it doesn’t take a license in clinical nutrition to understand what is and isn’t healthy eating habits.

          1. ..and that is the problem with the modern times…everyone is a specialist or knows is all and then we blame people for the poor choices they make..no offence of course.

          2. Yes we choose to follow the person or methodology that makes sense for us. We are very very sensitive to suggestion and that is wildly used in advertising. People always bring the positive result before making a claim just to prime your mind. For example every page for weight loss will show you amazing results..the methodology might be BS but people will follow because they like it. Let me bring another example..every post that I make here that objects to Scooby point of view will be downgraded..because the followers that like Scooby sympathise and accept everything that he says as true..and the opposite opinion is not acceptable. Lets ask the question What makes Scooby a nutritional expert ? Well he has lifetime experience with diet and exercise..but dos that makes him an expert ? How do you know that Scooby advise is actually good for you ? Did Scooby study his methodology on people and demonstrated beyond doubt the positive effect ? that btw is by no means to put down or minimize Scooby effort..on a contrary I do admire his dedication.

  25. If there’s a disease for pillow screamers I’ve go that also.
    Have you ever been on a flight when a fat person sits on the side of you and some of the fat get into your personal space? The airlines should really buckle down and make these lard butts pay more to ship that extra fat around the country.

    Scooby, since you’re an engineer, can you calculate the amount of fuel those lard asses are wasting and creating more pollution?
    PILLOW SCREAM !!!
    glücklich Sommernachtstraum

    1. Actually, what I think airlines need to do is stop the “reclining” seat nonsense, with the cramped quarters it just makes for seat-wars and angry people. Make all the seats fixed, like in a bus and make the arm rests fixed and form a solid bucket, that way, each person must fit within their space – if they cannot then they need to buy a seat in business class where the seats are wider.

  26. I think that the government is conspiring to dumb down our society. With more unhealthy people we have more dependent people. With more dependent people the liberals can say, let us help you, vote for us, we will give you free health care. In the end, the government will have more power and control by promising them what can not be delivered in the end.

    1. There is devious angle that has been mentioned. AMA is big business. Their big business would become very, very rich should insurance companies be forced to start providing these expensive operations to people with the obesity disease.

  27. David Luzon Garces

    The people have the fault, everytime I tell them what they should eat all I hear is “this is too much” “I want to eat tasty food” “I’m not willing to do 30m of cardio” etc etc
    And you are completely right, starting to call the obesity a disease is a huge mistake, the best way to change the mindset of people is with education, because very few things about nutrtion are teached…

  28. Hi Scooby, I think you hit the target.
    In Europe we have food educational system working well at school. Education is the way to give people the choise of the type of life they can do.

  29. Kinda off topic, but how would someone with a job that has them strapped into a seat (I’m a field technician) get the chance to work out. My job has me sitting until I get to the customer location, then I sit to fix the computers, and I have online school. I’m thinking of eliminating my chair for schooling, but there doesn’t seem to be much time for a workout. My question is, is there a quick routine that someone on the go like myself can follow and get results?

    1. hey there
      what do you do after work? To motivate me, i constantly bring my trainig cloths to work so that i can (must) go to the gym (or wherever) to work out after :). or you could go to work by bike (dunno how far it is from your home). a friend of mine does this almost every day at every wheater (13miles, 600yd altitude). he has diabetes and feels much better when he does “excessive” cardio. we both have office jobs but we are in pretty good shape.

      1. I couldn’t work by bike because of the parts that I have to pick up not to mention the distance between myself and work. I have to drive from location to location to do my work, but I can manage with the program I found on here that build a workout plan and the nutrition plan seems simple enough to make a go of it, but thank you for your input it is much appreciated

  30. Personally Scooby, this is spot on. As somebody who’s overweight, I definitely don’t believe that I’m diseased in any way, shape or form. I am the way I am today because of the choices I’ve made and continue to make.

    This being labeled as a “disease” means it WILL be fought against more now because it’s an official public health concern. Americans were allowed to get fat to the point of it being an epidemic, but I think now that it’s in the books as a disease, it will allow fitness facilities to purchase the proper equipment in the name of fitness and curing this “disease”

    Another thing is that these people who claim that, “I have a disease so it’s pointless to work out!” don’t know the first thing about HAVING a disease. Diseases are fought by any and all who are plagued by them and some make it their life’s work to find a cure or enhance a cure that’s already in place. The only way to CURE this “disease” is by getting rid of it and that’s really all it comes down to.

    If you don’t have the drive to change your life, change your lifestyle for the better and rid yourself of the burden you put on yourself, then you don’t wholeheartedly appreciate life for everything it’s worth and you certainly don’t appreciate yourself as a human being.

    I’m making a conscious decision to change my body for a better future and I’m not gonna make any excuses as to why I am the way I am.
    My parents are both overweight, though they weren’t always this way.
    My father was in the Army during the Vietnam war and he was fit as a fiddle.
    My mom was a little overweight as a teen, but not so significantly that I can blame genetics.
    I used to play soccer like a champion. I was a prodigy and I let it all slip away to a life of sloth and video gaming. Now I’m 20 years old and I’m ready to take back my body and my life one step at a time.

  31. You’re asking the medical community to come up with a nutritional solution, where is the money for them in that!? Sadly I don’t think the big pharma and the medical industries want healthy people. Curing obesity, cardiovascular disease and cancer would be terrible for them from a financial point of view. What they need is a continuous supply of chronically sick, fat and miserable depressed people whose symptons they do not wish to cure, but rather alleviate with prescription pills that must be taken forever.

    1. Dear Sir, are you blaming doctors for keeping the people sick so we can get high pay checks ? It a little insulting ..let me clarify. The life expectancy in 15 century was 40 year old. The childhood mortality rates where 1 out of 5 will survive to become adult. Leprosy and Bubonic Plaque almost wiped out the entire Europe..Small pox exterminated over 500.000 people. Do you worry if you have a toothache..I guess not..but if you where in 15 century you would die from it. So it seems that the doctors and the “big pharma” have helped you to be more healthy and live well over the age of 80y. Why because we have cures..next time you visit your doctor just say thank you.

      1. Scooby is a typical leftist/socialist. He’s anti-business and anti-capitalism. The problem in America isn’t too much money in politics. The problem is that the government has too much power.

        You’re exactly right. Modern medicine has dramatically increased the lifespan of people.

        Also, the other thing that’s insulting is the people who think the government needs to educate people on how to be healthy.

        1. “Scooby is a typical leftist/socialist. He’s anti-business and anti-capitalism.”… lol… I think you’re an idiot, how’s that? what does this have to do with left or right political views?

          1. I’m not the one who started to inject politics into the debate. Scooby is the one who blames “Big Pharma” and money in politics.

        2. Left right..thats OK with me…my point is that as physician Im under Hippocratic oath to help preserve life and health. there no bigger joy to tell a patient that all of his labs are perfect and that he is a healthy man..I object strongly anyone who would think that I want people to be sick so I can get paid. I would gladly give up my diploma if we have no more diseases and tumors..doing something else for the good of the society is never my problem.

          1. MAYBE YOU DON’T WANT PEOPLE TO GET SICK BUT THE BIG BUSINESS CONGLOMERATES THAT OWN THE COMPANIES YOU WORK FOR DO!!! WAKE UP!!!

            GO HOME AGORAKS NO ONE WANTS YOU HERE!!!!!!!!!!! YOU’VE POSTED LIKE A HUNDRED RANTS ON HERE AND NO ONE CARES, AND ALL THIS “DEAR SIR” NONSENSE MAKES YOU SOUND SO PRETENTIOUS. GET OVER YOURSELF, GO AWAY!!!!!! EVERYTHING SCOOBY SAID IS CORRECT AND YOU ARE TRAILING OFF INTO AREAS THAT ARE IRRELEVANT!!! THE POINT IS OBESITY IS NOT A DISEASE!! YOU HAVE COMPLETELY MISSED THE POINT AND GONE OFF ON YOUR OWN CRUSADE!! …..

          2. Obesity is a disease..meaning you are wrong and there is noting you can do about it..

            Also the big business rules you …so stop whining and learn to like it…

        3. Having an opinion that is critical of big Pharma and other state created institutions (corporations) is not being anti-business or anti-capitalism. True free market principles are never at play when you’re dealing with corporations as their existence relies solely on laws. Our system, not just health care is based on stealing from Peter to pay Paul and losing half the money while doing so. Being critical of agencies and institutions that are constantly in the pocket of an oligarchy is not leftest or socialist, it is common sense. In terms of government educating people that is their job. Government steals by force half of income through taxes, education is the least they can do to increase the health of the cows they continue to milk.

      2. quality of life would be my measuring tool….. when people walk into my store and they are sweating on a cool day? being in your mid 50’s and relying on a rascal scooter? if they even make it to 70 thats 20 years on a scooter!! when they should be out and seeing the world they help build.

        stomach staples should only be used in cases that require dire need.
        i keep trying to create awareness for bike lanes…. if i didnt have to share a thin strip of asphalt with an f150, i would ride my bike everywhere. think about how many years of high quality living i could add. fyi the grocery store by my house has no place to chain up my bike, but has 7 motorized shopping carts. if you want to be fat and miserable it should be a hard choice, but i can stop off after work and eat over 1200 calories in roughly the same time it takes me to go straight home and open a can of beans!
        thanks scooby!!!!

          1. medicine is enabling people to live longer, but what quality of life does an obese person in their 50’s or 60’s have to look forward to.?
            the doctors are giving them pills and surgery when what they need is diet, exercise, accountability. if we provide the tools to succeed then they have to try and fail… give them easy ways out with excuses and pills keeps the symptoms going without trying to attack the “disease” which i believe is what medical professional should seek.
            btw basic hygiene, ship inspections and cats were primary reasons the plague ended, not medications .

          2. and how do you know what “they” need…and no antibiotics is what saved humanity, thanks to that you now do not care if you have sore throat..

          3. the “first” antibiotics were natural remedies… “real” antibiotics werent studied until the 1800’s….the black plague occured 500 years before that…. so cats saved humanity along with hygiene….the doctors who tried to isolate the patients to other areas actually helped spread the disease….

          4. you should be thankful that we don’t have to worry about the plaque anymore..only in Europe 500.000 people died and you talk about cats wow..how about the cholera cats again ?

          5. You seem to be very antagonistic…. I’m starting to think you are a sad individual who thinks this is the only way to interact with people.This is suppose to be a place for serious questions and insight. The fact you aren’t adding anything of value or substance tells me you just want to start fights and belittle every point ESP when you consistently miss the point or create a new one just to get your kicks. So wether you are a fat miserable slob who is taking this as an attack or if you really believe everything you have written even the contradictions, I am no longer playing your game. Please feel free to annoy people on a different site one where you may actually know what the hell your talking about. Have a good one!

          6. again what is the correlation between over eating and sore throats… if someone comes to me and weighs 500lbs, I KNOW WHAT THEY NEED!!!! WATER, EXERCISE, VEGGIES!!!! but i cant fit all that into a presciption bottle

          7. Casey, yes doctors give patients pills to hide their symptoms, but we can’t force feed them their veggies. We can only fix what we can fix. If you have a way to make people exercise, drink water and eat healthy, we wouldn’t need all the pills in the prescription bottle. But since we don’t have that, what do we do with those who are sick?

          8. Obesity is a “disease” the same way alcoholics and drug addicts have a “disease”. What helps them? Therapy! Realizing their mistakes and poor life decisions. Seeing how their life style hurts their own health along with how it affects others. There are churches that advertise addiction programs, there is even a billboard for AA by my house. Only a few places I know of offer weight assistance training and they are really expensive… Support groups , volunteer training, etc would even help put a bigger spot light on ways to help combat problem. The only thing I ever hear on tv or radio mixed amongst the fast food commercials for double bacon burgers is surgery for weight loss. Al Roker along with other celebs had the procedure done and they did a special about it. Jared the subway guy was total BS, because they never made the focal point the fact he did tons of cardio and that it took a long time!!! They do walks for cancers etc, and the radio stations usu do free advertisements…. Why not advertise weekend walks with volunteers offering classes and nutritional info. I am currently trying to help my obese neighbor. With the help of scooby a calorie counter and cheap healthy meals he has begun the change. When I go and walk my dog I ring his door bell, and I never take an excuse. Rain shine doesn’t matter…. Ponchos for 400+ lbs were hard to find but now he has 2! In the beginning I would still see the dominos pizza car at his house. Having ways to change their habits, and having people care has already made an impact. He has lost 30 plus pounds and you can see his attitude and energy levels improve. And if scooby reads this and when he wins your success stories I get a shirt too!!! ;)

          9. People realize that the food they eat is bad, the cigarettes are harmful and drugs will kill them. Yet they do it anyway. It’s not as easy to change as saying “they should just change… use therapy.”

            Your neighbor is lucky to have you to force him on walks and plan his meals for him.

          10. It’s not suppose to be easy… Easy is what gets us into trouble. It’s what fads promise us. Change is always going to be hard, and that’s why people fail. The therapy or support groups are a way to fit in with other people and to encourage accountability and repetition.

      3. Hear hear :) The “evil evil” medical establishment has been going on for decades how in this world of plenty, we’ll be having obesity epidemics. It seems if you’re a doctor you’re in a lose lose situation: if you voice your opinions about the obesity threat, people forget your advice, if you aren’t loud enough, you’re part of the big-pharma conspiracy.

        The medical establishment isn’t hiding the fact that obesity is a PREVENTABLE condition, nor are they hiding the fact that most cancers are preventable- you’re all just too lazy to have taken notice of what has been said in the past few decades.

    2. Kevin, you hit the nail on the head – sick people are good for business. They lobbyists who represent big pharma and the medical establishment do not want healthy people.

      1. ..so why do we give you medications..to keep you sick or to cure disease ? Actually I think you have a choice, you can always resort to Chinese traditional medicine or homeopathy..you don’t have to go to a doctor.

        1. You give us medications to offset the poisons we’re being fed on a daily basis. If the government actually cared, they’d stop feeding the average consumer 200lbs of sugar every year. But, the stuff is in everything, and in high amounts. Not only is processed foods tainted with poisons, toxins and chemicals, they’re adding it to our whole foods now as well. One way or another, they’re gonna getcha.

          1. I agree. You have a choice. The problem is that people aren’t aware the food is harmful. That’s why Scooby is stressing education. People think they’re eating healthy, but they are not. The government does control what goes into your mouth. It’s called the FDA.

          2. Agreed. The option for a healthy lifestyle is still available and I never want the government to be deciding what I can and cannot eat. All I need is the information to be available to me to make my own informed decision.

          3. Aspirin (salicylic acid) is also classified as GRAS. If you take more than you should it causes stomach pain. Do that too often and it will cause stomach, esophegeal or intestinal ulceration and potential perforation. And there is a dose of it that will kill you without prompt medical intervention.

            The moniker GRAS is given by the FDA to items that are not inherently dangerous to consume. It is not a guarantee of safety if the item is taken in excess or abused. You can die from drinking too much water. ALL consumption needs to be done responsibly.

        2. meds just keep you alive longer so you can buy more,”poisons”. my dad was overweight, and had weight related health issues. he got three prescriptions. i instead got him a trainer and nutritionist. he now runs everyday and health has dramatically improved…. back to treating the symptoms instead of “disease”. if the disease is cured…no more money!!! do you ever write a prescription for walking? as many as you want whenever you want, unlimited refills!!!

          1. I hope you and your relatives never need any doctor or hospital..ever, but if you do..well may be you should just walk it off.

          2. the keyword is “he” worked for him,good for him..can you walk off leukemia..if you do please come to my floor I will make U king of the world.

      2. i tried writing this earlier but i guess i hit the wrong button!!:) always curious about whole grains… they are important because you digest them more slowly than the white bread versions(more refined)…. they produce glucose(sugar) which is energy for the brain and body…. a heavy reliance on whole grains however can lead to hyper-tension, high blood pressure, and obesity, since unused glucose then gets stored as fat…..in the us the amount of land devoted to whole grain production increases every year….in 2010 8600 new products were introduced with the whole grain stamp, while only 15% of those appear outside the us. consumption has risen 38% amongst people 18 to 34 yr olds… now its time to think back to the food group pyramid from school….
        which food group is on the bottom, whose daily recommended intake is 6 to 11 servings? whole grains!!! so your told to eat more of an item we are growing more of, and has been linked to several health issues?

        1. I don’t think it’s fair to blame the food pyramid but rather the fact that the vegetable and fruit layer is so often ignored. I doubt any one got fat following diet advice from the USDA.

          1. It all goes back to education. My point is that when you watch tv, think about typical diets, or just walk around the grocery store you’ll quickly realize that big business is never focused on anything but profits. The reason is that healthy options dont make money. What does is food that taste good or ones being advertised hard with the agenda of making you believe they are healthy. The part the agricultural industry and money bought politics plays is that they aren’t working in your best interest. They have a surplus of product and they need to convince you, that good things will happen if you buy and consume lots of what they have. When the health food fads came out several universities did studies on nutrition and found that what was being told was incorrect…(fyi the study i found most helpful was university of Maryland medical).
            The health craze hit and one of the main focuses i remembered was whole grains. Turn on the news and all you hear is that high blood pressure, hyper-tension, and obesity are all on the rise. The three diseases mentioned all have direct links to a heavy whole grain diet, which again was being pushed as a way to live a healthy life. Big corporations seemed eager to jump on the whole grain train since every fast food place has a bread component; buns, tortillas, pitas, other flat breads….. several fast food places were even advertising their whole grain products,(which turned out just to be more refined flour that had been dyed; double whammy). If you draw it out further; most people eat cereal,snack crackers are offered every 10 feet, and most sit down restraunts offer you fancy bread before ordering. Still dont believe the push, then look at your grocery store; in every store there is an aisle of bread, an aisle of crackers, an aisle of cereal, not to mention all the microwavable meals that contain grain material.The fact that nearly 9000 products came out with whole grain labels tells me that this is being pushed or advertised hard. Agri-business is a multi billion dollar business.. Eating 6-11 servings of whole grains can be harmful and is contributing to the before mentioned problems, so why does government esp groups that are suppose to help and educate the public keep telling us differently, ie cdc..Im sure most people dont actually look at that pyramid to determine what and how they eat, but it perfectly illustrates my point. I sincerely hope this cleared up the confusion.

          2. Show some respect for the people you expect to read your comments.

            If you can’t be bothered to write correctly then I’m not gong to bother trying to make sense of what you’ve written.

          3. Yep! It’s a puzzle! You will only be safe from hyper-tension and obesity if can decipher the clues! I’m rooting for you Brett! Good luck!!

          4. Dear casey,

            6-11 servings of anything besides obviously water, will be harmful to your health. In the Netherlands, we also have a culture of consuming quite a lot of whole grain, whole wheat bread and it’s never been a health issue. On top of that there is also a returning trend towards traditional ways of producing this bread, including all the necessary nutrients in the bread. To be honest, it would be a real challenge to eat that much of the bread I’m currently buying at my baker shop, as it’s quite high in natural fibres. (This is also a plea to the return of more craftsmen in the food area i.e. bakers, butchers, fish mongers etc. Employees at a supermarket, no disrespect, usually don’t have proper connection with the product they’re selling. But that’s a different discussion and of course highly opiniated!)

            Besides that, if obesity was a disease, than it would be the same to say that drug abuse, smoking habits or alcoholism are diseases. Truth is, that the problems leading to these conditions, start with certain mental dependencies. it all boils down to proper education and applying this knowledge to our daily lives. Of course no genetic make up is the same, but I’m totally convinced there’s simply no excuse for permitting a 6 year old to be over 100lbs.

            For another perspective on things, please have a look at the documentary series made by a British guy named Jacques Peretti. He portrays the direct influence the food industry has had over the past 40 years, on the way people are eating these days. Furthermore he also interviewed a number of academic scholars who came to the conclusion that the amount of exercise hasn’t significantly declined or increased among children. The caloric intake however, has dramatically risen in this period. The overweight person, I’m afraid, is not always totally to blame for that. Without falling into the trap of conspiracy theories, I would have to say that both consumers AND producers have an obligation to be critical and wise. If we didn’t do that, everyone would be eating poisonous mushrooms or burning their steak to chardom. Food that is produced by corporations or fast food chains is NOT inherently bad, otherwise it would be prohibited. Society has enough checks and balances to not let it’s people be in immediate lethal danger. We do however have control over what and how much we eat out of that spectrum. Anyone should be able to make sense out of that without having to adhere to ridiculous diet programs or training like a triathlon athlete. I myself work out a lot, but that’s my choice and I design my diet around that. Nothing fancy, just a lot of common sense and some reading. Eat your vitamins, carbs and protein. That’s all there’s to it. Add a little if your highly active, reduce if not. It’s the way people have lived for centuries.

            I however, like the fine Mr. Scooby, do believe the way to eliminate obesity is by making incremental changes and not by attempting to do a full 180. Start by changing poor diet choices by healthy choices for just one day or even one meal, and then build it up until you are able to do it 7 days a week. IMO you don’t have to be an astronaut to accomplish this. As I’ve previously said, people have been doing it for centuries, but then again, I probably don’t have to say this to the majority of the visitors to this wonderful site, as you’re likely to take interest in a lot that has to do with proper training and nutrition! ;-)

            On that note, I wish all of you good health and constant improvement in your fitness schedule.

          5. 6 to 11 servings of veggies would NOT put you in the same category as a person consuming that much whole grain…… Kids are NOT getting the same exercise now that we use to get when i was in school.(please note i am referring to my experiances in the US). When i attended school, every year you had gym or physical education. My nieces and nephews are in schools now where gym is an elective, which means you dont have to take! When i was a child we use to play and ride bikes until it got dark, now i never see kids riding their bikes or even throwing a football in their yard.
            Im guessing in the Netherlands its probably like other parts of Europe, where walking and biking are used more than cars..In the US we drive everywhere, there is no encouragement for people to walk or even ride a bike. Most places i shop have no place to chain up a bike, but have plenty of motorized carts!
            My earlier response was not meant to be pure whole grain bashing, but more of the point that big corporations, and the agri-business do not have your health in mind. What would you say to a government who tells you to consume the most of a product that we grow and that brings in bilions of dollars, but also has direct links to the health problems we are discussing? I truly believe that corporations are in it for profit and not what is good for you, so I disagree with “not inherenty bad”. If your health was in mind chicken nuggets would be outlawed. The bottom line is trying to find a cheap form of food, add cheese, salt, deep fry, and then put up as many places to buy it as you can! I pass 3 mcdonalds on the way to work, and the closest farmers market is 25 minutes away!

          6. disqus_OYJ7gPZj7l

            Not this Wheat Belly-Paleo BS again. You are just as brainwashed as the people you’re attacking.

          7. I wish you would have elaborated more…. The medical field is preying off the policies that are creating theses medical conditions. I pointed out the food pyramid because it shows what an unhealthy lifestyle would look like. Whole grains is the biggest part of that diagram, while veggies take up a significantly smaller cube. I know most people dont check this pyramid to plan their daily meals, but why should whole grains be the largest part? Whole grains and wheat products make up a huge chunk of what is grown in this country, that followed by the whole grain splash that seems to be popping up everywhere, and its hard to not think that the wheels of high revenues were greased long before obese people go to the doctor. That doesnt make the doctors less guilty, they then get money from the pharma business, which push their high blood pressure meds, surgeries, etc.
            1. agri-business 2. politicians. then 3. medical field
            I go to triple A baseball games, and they have advertisements on the outfield walls…. The ads use to have signs for local business and services, now its all medication ads! ill try and a picture this weekend.

      3. I am on board with the trouble the big pharma lobbyist play in this problem, but i dont believe they are the first kink in the cog.( i think thats a phrase)
        Big pharma preys after the fact but what contributes to the start of these issues. Big medicine gets to force pills and surgeries down obese peoples throats and then throw up their hands and act like its not their fault, they get shielded by the fact they arent making you fat, however they are not helping you get healthy either. Big pharma will get you pills and even cut your stomach down, but they will never make you healthy. My dad had a long history with obesity and never once did the doctor recommend a nutritionist or a workout plan. Labeling fat as a disease only compounds this further by ignoring who is truly at fault, while still passing the blame to something else.
        Take a look at what the us grows the most of and what the food pyramid tells you to eat. Watch a fast food commercial and then look up the ingredients! Buy a grilled chicken salad and then look up its nutritional value,( i love lose it!). Mcdonald had the most recent ad for a salad as a way to eat healthy, but whats in it: Ice berg lettuce, cheese, maybe half a tomato , and dressing. Your grilled chicken salad just became a big mac!!!!

    3. You’re right: They DON’T want healthy people. I posted 2 comments on Scooby’s face book page a few minutes ago with you tube links I did in December 2010 and January 2011. I KNEW it would come to this horrific atrocity. You tube under : LiveWellTV: 2011 FATTEST STATES

    4. The medical community has railed on for decades about nutrition. The problem here is not only the political-correctness that a lot of obese people have tried to impose on the medical community, but for people like you who ignore the decades of previously published material about the issue, and make it seem as if the medical community is hiding the fact that obesity and other conditions are preventable. This material has been out there, published by the “evil” medical community, for decades. I wish people would stop being so lazy.

      1. I’m not talking about doctors and nurses. I’m talking about drug companies. They are “evil”, greedily trying to hold on to patents and denying life saving medicine to third world countries such as HIV drugs in Africa in order to continue to line their profits. Here in the UK the drug industry is the third biggest after finance and tourism with an £7 billion annual spend. Interestingly 80 percent of that income comes from drugs patented in the last decade mostly to treat nutritonal deficit related diseases, cholesterol lowering, depression and anxiety, ADHD disorder etc. In America in 2002 American pharma companies had a total sales income of over 200 billion dollars. Only 14% of that money went into research and development, over 30% went into marketing.

        Look at the history of drugs such as Loratadine that in the years before it’s patent ran out was price raised 13 times in just five years.

        Or the recent court case in India, an historic one, where the drug company Novartis had its patent bid for a new version of its cancer drug Glivec rejected on the grounds that it was an unethical and a cynical attempt to keep hold of a patent for monetary gain and thus denying hundreds of thousands of people in India access to cheaply available life saving drugs.

        Big pharmaceutical companies are ethically immoral just as giant agricultural companies such as Monsanto are! They are all part of what is wrong in the world, massive soulless corporations, driven by greed with a powerful political voice to ensure their demands are met. This material has been out there, published by the free press for decades. I wish people would stop being so lazy.

        1. Then you should have been clear, you should have said “drug companies”, not “medical community”. As for why drugs are patented, the amount of research that goes into those drugs costs billions. A single drug can cost £1billion to develop over a decade- and a majority of drugs fail drug trials.

          If you want for those drugs NOT to be patented, then the risks, the costs will have to be taken by someone else, i.e. the government. But I doubt people are willing to pay a little more in taxes so that medical science can be funded to generate knowledge. It may seem pessimistic to you that I think this way, but remember that “America = #1”, yet has no universal healthcare system, my pessimism is justified.

          1. Yes I apologise, I never meant to imply that doctors and nurses for example don’t care about patients, I absolutely believe they do. But corporations, run for profit, will never have patient care as a priority. This doesn’t just apply to drug companies, but oil, gas, water, electricity, agricultural etc. All pursue their own interests at the expense of public service.

            As for whether drugs should be patented, I certainly have no easy answers. All I know is that, in life, you are responsible for you, nobody else cares about our well being and if we want good health we need to educate ourselves and take the appropriate steps ourselves. Personal accountability is paramount to live well in every area of life. Labeling obesity a disease is just a way of better being able to offer ‘cures’, and then patent those ‘cures’ thus making more money for the drug companies.

  32. I agree with you, Scooby. It’s way cheaper and easier to prevent something, than reeducate or change it afterward. I’m a psychology student so I must know how hard is to break a bad habit and that there is always a chance that the cure just won’t work. It’s the same as in case of schizophrenia, we are trying to find a way, how to prevent it, because after the cure, 1/3 of patients still can’t get out of the mental hospitals, because the cure doesn’t work and they have to stay in them forever.

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