Fat and Sassy

my views on being larger than life.

the dangers of high fructose corn syrup March 27, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — erylin @ 2:51 pm
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As an anthropologist I have know how corn can LOWER the life expectancy of an individual while increasing populations.  When the maya switched to a corn-based diet, their teeth quality and average skeleton age went down.  (but it was easy to grow and store so it allowed for cities….but I digress)  ..I have long been suspicious of high fructose corn syrup and how it inches its way into everything we eat.   I see it in cereal, pop, yogurt, pizzas, lean cuisine for fucks sake.  It’s in sauces, in katschup…its shows up at restaurants (Chilies ribs for one) and just about every single prepared food under the sun.    well, a new study at Princeton university has found what may be the trigger for the obesity epidemic. 

A Princeton University research team has shown that not all sweeteners are created equal.   Rats with access to HFCS gained MUCH more weight than those with access to cane sugar, even if the total caloric intake was exactly the same.  In addition to causing significant weight gain in lab animals, long-term use of HFCS also led to abnormal increases in body fat, especially in the belly (and we all know the dangers  of OMG BELLY FAT) and a rise in circulating blood fats called triglycerides.  

Humm….maybe it IS big agribusiness selling us chemicals in everything that we eat making us fat……. sort of like I thought all along (thank GOD my dad had a degree in  chemistry and hated it as well…thank GOD growing up we thought Katie had corn allergies… wait a second…maybe the fact my little sister NEVER got HFCS until well into her teens as we thought she had a corn allergy.   We never had anything prepared…dad made almost everything from scratch.    Maybe I ended up fat because I DID eat HFCS until about 7 when we found her corn allergy.   but i digress…..

“Some people have claimed that high-fructose corn syrup is no different than other sweeteners when it comes to weight gain and obesity, but our results make it clear that this just isn’t true, at least under the conditions of our tests,” said psychology professor Bart Hoebel, who specializes in the neuroscience of appetite, weight and sugar addiction. “When rats are drinking high-fructose corn syrup at levels well below those in soda pop, they’re becoming obese — every single one, across the board. Even when rats are fed a high-fat diet, you don’t see this; they don’t all gain extra weight.”

The results were published online in the journal Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, the researchers from the Department of Psychology and the Princeton Neuroscience Institute reported on two experiments investigating the link between the consumption of high-fructose corn syrup and obesity.  the results were released on march 18th.

The first study gave rats HFCS water in one group, and cane or table sugar-water in another group, in addition to regular rat chow.  The concentration of sugar in the sucrose solution was the same as is found in some commercial soft drinks, while the high-fructose corn syrup solution was half as concentrated as most sodas.

The second experiment — the first long-term study of the effects of high-fructose corn syrup consumption on obesity in lab animals — monitored weight gain, body fat and triglyceride levels in rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup over a period of six months. Compared to animals eating only rat chow, rats on a diet rich in high-fructose corn syrup showed characteristic signs of a dangerous condition known in humans as the metabolic syndrome, including abnormal weight gain, significant increases in circulating triglycerides and augmented fat deposition, especially visceral fat around the belly. Male rats in particular ballooned in size: Animals with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained 48 percent more weight than those eating a normal diet.

These rats aren’t just getting fat; they’re demonstrating characteristics of obesity, including substantial increases in abdominal fat and circulating triglycerides,” said Princeton graduate student Miriam Bocarsly. “In humans, these same characteristics are known risk factors for high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, cancer and diabetes.” In addition to Hoebel and Bocarsly, the research team included Princeton undergraduate Elyse Powell and visiting research associate Nicole Avena, who was affiliated with Rockefeller University during the study and is now on the faculty at the University of Florida. The Princeton researchers note that they do not know yet why high-fructose corn syrup fed to rats in their study generated more triglycerides, and more body fat that resulted in obesity.

High-fructose corn syrup and sucrose are both compounds that contain the simple sugars fructose and glucose, but there at least two clear differences between them. First, sucrose is composed of equal amounts of the two simple sugars — it is 50 percent fructose and 50 percent glucose — but the typical high-fructose corn syrup used in this study features a slightly imbalanced ratio, containing 55 percent fructose and 42 percent glucose. Larger sugar molecules called higher saccharides make up the remaining 3 percent of the sweetener. Second, as a result of the manufacturing process for high-fructose corn syrup, the fructose molecules in the sweetener are free and unbound, ready for absorption and utilization. In contrast, every fructose molecule in sucrose that comes from cane sugar or beet sugar is bound to a corresponding glucose molecule and must go through an extra metabolic step before it can be utilized.

In the 40 years since the introduction of high-fructose corn syrup as a cost-effective sweetener in the American diet, rates of obesity in the U.S. have skyrocketed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 1970, around 15 percent of the U.S. population met the definition for obesity; today, roughly one-third of the American adults are considered obese, the CDC reported. High-fructose corn syrup is found in a wide range of foods and beverages, including fruit juice, soda, cereal, bread, yogurt, ketchup and mayonnaise. On average, Americans consume 60 pounds of the sweetener per person every year.

“Our findings lend support to the theory that the excessive consumption of high-fructose corn syrup found in many beverages may be an important factor in the obesity epidemic,” Avena said.

Some interesting food for thought…and it DEFINATELY will make me shop more on the OUTSIDE of the store as opposed to the inside.

 from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100322121115.htm

 

Quick hit : fat and work stress March 26, 2010

Filed under: FH,FN,FS — erylin @ 2:00 pm
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from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100324142133.htm

A new study that provides a snapshot of a typical American workplace observed that chronic job stress and lack of physical activity are strongly associated with being overweight or obese.

Unexpectedly, researchers also found that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables did little to offset the effect of chronic job stress on weight gain among the employees, who were mostly sedentary. Instead, exercise seemed to be the key to managing stress and keeping a healthy weight.

University of Rochester Medical Center researchers conducted the study of 2,782 employees at a large manufacturing facility in upstate New York, but the results could be applicable to almost any job situation in which layoffs, or lack of control at work, is a major concern.

The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine published the research in January 2010.

  the study found that over and over, Fernandez’s team heard the same story from the upstate workers: After spending the day sitting in stressful meetings or at their computers, they looked forward to going home and “vegging out” in front of the TV. Anecdotally, researchers also discovered that when pink slips were circulating, the snacks highest in fats and calories would disappear quickest from the vending machines. Some workers said they did not take the time to eat well or exercise at lunch because they were fearful of repercussions from leaving their desks for too long.

 

Quick hits round up 3 March 15, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — erylin @ 7:08 pm
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Time for a quick hit round-up.  As usual trigger warnings on all of this and beware the links…many are not exactly fat friendly, but much of it is interesting stuff.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100309111641.htm low-income women in small towns more likely to be obese.

Dzewaltowski said the findings indicate that the choice of supermarkets may be a more relevant issue than the availability of supermarkets. The findings also suggest that most of the low-income women reside within the urban cluster of the micropolitan areas and are likely to be exposed to multiple fast food restaurants and other high-caloric density eating opportunities, which are often absent in rural areas.

The researchers said policies that increase the accessibility of healthful foods at small grocery stores might be a promising strategy for reducing the higher prevalence of obesity in rural areas.

Stomach’s Sweet Tooth  Turns out taste is not just for the tongue (from http://www.sciencenews.org/view/feature/id/57132/title/Stomach%E2%80%99s_Sweet_Tooth)
              Turns out there are taste buds in the gut and it seems that these gut taste buds have some link to insulin and its use in the body.   There are taste cells in the stomach, intestine and, evidence suggests, the pancreas, colon and esophagus. These sensory cells are part of an ancient battalion tasked with guiding food choices since long before nutrition labels, Rachael Ray or even agriculture existed. While taste cells in the mouth make snap judgments about what should be let inside, new work suggests that gut taste cells serve as specialized ground forces, charged with preparing the digestive system for the aftermath of the tongue’s decisions. 
              Newly discovered taste cells in the gut appear to send a “prepare for fuel” message to the body, a finding that may explain a link between diet soda and diabetes risk.  Not so sure what this means for obesity, weight loss  or metabolism as of yet, the research is just beginning.  I will be keeping a close eye on this research.  stay tuned.  My Guess – some new pill to melt away the pounds using the new proven science of GUT taste buds.   Bitter will become the new Atkins diet since it sends DO NOT ABSORB signals when tasted by the gut.  bah.
 

some interesting links March 5, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — erylin @ 2:47 pm
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kids eat better when they grow their own

school kids eat better when they help grow it.  sounds logical, but they did a study to figure tha one out.  They looked at 1,600 kids in MO….. They found that preschool children who were almost always served homegrown fruits and vegetables were more than twice as likely to eat five servings a day than those who rarely or never ate homegrown produce.  In addition, children who grow up eating fresh-from-the-garden produce also prefer the taste of fruits and vegetables to other foods, the parents told researchers.   a great quote from the article:

“When children are involved with growing and cooking food, it improves their diet,” Haire-Joshu said. “Students at schools with gardens learn about math and science and they also eat more fruits and vegetables. Kids eat healthier and they know more about eating healthy. It’s a winning and low-cost strategy to improve the nutrition of our children at a time when the pediatric obesity is an epidemic problem.”

http://obesitynews.com.au/?p=368

Depression and obesity linked

So there was a big meta study done involving depression and obesity.  Floriana S. Luppino, M.D., of Leiden University Medical Center and GGZ Rivierduinen, Leiden, the Netherlands, and colleagues analyzed the results of 15 previously published studies involving 58,745 participants that examined the relationship over time between depression and overweight or obesity.  The results are a bit surprising.  Obese people had a 55 percent increased risk of developing depression over time, while depressed people had a 58 percent increased risk of becoming obese, even AFTER adjusting for medication side effects.    Pretty interesting stuff.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100301165728.htm

exersize keeps you healthy even through weight gain

YAY!  another study proving HAES.   ill leave it to their own words:

With the obesity rate rising for American adults and children, health concerns such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease are a frequent reality. Although obesity itself is a major risk factor for disease, most of the threat may be associated with a cluster of risk factors called the metabolic syndrome (MetS). Losing weight can improve health and reduce these risk factors, but many people have difficulty keeping the weight off. 

In the study, individuals who didn’t exercise during weight regain experienced significant deterioration in metabolic health, while those who exercised maintained improvements in almost all areas. The MU study, led by Tom R. Thomas, professor in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology in the College of Human Environmental Sciences, is the first to examine the role of exercise in countering the negative effects of weight regain on MetS and overall health status.

“Although many people are successful at losing weight through diet and exercise, the majority of them will relapse and regain the weight,” Thomas said. “The findings of this study indicate that regaining weight is very detrimental; however, exercise can counter those negative effects. The findings support the recommendation to continue exercising after weight loss, even if weight is regained.”

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100302131717.htm

 

No Brownies at Bake Sales, but Doritos May Be O.K. February 24, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — erylin @ 1:24 pm
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from http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/23/no-brownies-at-bake-sales-but-doritos-may-be-o-k/ an article at NYT:

What.  THE FUCK:  “Nine months after effectively banning most fund-raising food sales in city schools, a city panel will vote Wednesday on an amended regulation that will allow student groups to sell items like Pop-Tarts and Doritos during the school day, but not brownies, zucchini bread or anything else homemade.”  and the reason:  NOT because of fears with needles in food when i was a kid (remember having to x ray your trick or treat goodies?) but because homemade goodies are too fattening.   According to the school board “Under the new rules, students may sell fresh fruits and vegetables, or one of 27 specific packaged items that have been approved for sales in city vending machines, between the start of school and 6 p.m. on weekdays. The same goes for parent groups, except for an exception carved out for one no-brownies-barred Parent Teacher Association bake sale during the school day per month.”  I’m down with fruits and veggies, sell those all you want…but do you really think kids will chose an apple over Doritos?  and i know there were guidelines for choosing the “approved foods”: For example, all products must be in marked, single-serving packages with a maximum calorie count of 200. Artificial sweeteners, like Splenda, are banned. Less than 35 percent of the item’s total calories may come from either total sugars or fat. Grain-based products must contain at least 2 grams of fiber. 

 “No homemade or unpackaged items are on the list of “approved” foods because “it’s impossible to know what the content is, or what the portion size is,” said Kathleen Grimm, the deputy chancellor for infrastructure and portfolio planning, who oversees the regulation.”

yea it’s really impossible to know what the content of a given baked good is…unless the person baking  it followed a goddamn recipe stupid.   see, 3 cups of flour has x number of calories.   mix that with egg (y number of calories) and sugar (z number)  then add the numbers together and divide but the number of cookies you made…ta da you know how many calories are in a homemade cookie.  Oh, but its not from a big food company……its not “prepackaged”.   Somehow 20 chemicals are good for you, but banana bread with 4 ingredients is banned because it doenst fit regulations.  

And the kicker…..for student fundraising group, bake sales were a great money maker….you can take 5 dollars worth of ingredients and turn them into cookies, brownies or bread and each serving costs under 25 cents.    Now, the clubs have to go buy the “approved foods”  from sam’s club or costo and mark up….who wants to bet they are making WAY less money, and not selling as much to boot?  

To purchase food for approved sales, students may go to Costco or other stores to buy items for resale, said Eric Goldstein, the schools’ chief executive for food and busing.

The city’s new vending operator, The Answer Group, will also negotiate with vendors to produce fund-raising kits for students, probably by next September, said the group’s president, Tom Murn.

That also didn’t seem to excite students. “With the packaged goods, half the profits are going to the companies,” said Anya Lehr, a senior at LaGuardia High School for the Arts

Shame on you NYC school districts…once again you tried to do something “for our health and the health of our kids”   and instead ended up just supporting big agra business and food manufacturers, all the while taking money out of students hands.   Is it really gonna make teenagers fat if they buy hommade baked goods?  or wont the pop tarts, cookies chips and doritios that are approved do that for you?

 

Children’s Fitness Can Be Improved By Physical Activity Programs In Schools

Filed under: Uncategorized — erylin @ 11:29 am
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um duh!  I just wish they wouldn’t couch it in OMG HELP THE FATTIES terms.    When I was in school, I remember having 2 recesses a day, each was about 40 min long….AND gym 3 x a week…now kids get to go out 1x to recess, and for some kids, that gets taken away as a punishment, so there is no movement at all,  all day  long…they have gym 1 day a week.  just one.   I am ALLL for gym 5x a week…and recess 2x a day…but lets not blame it on the fatties shall we?  we have kids getting served hamburgers and fries as a lunch option EVERY DAY at some schools….ketchup was made a vegetable for schools (under Bush I belive, and I do belive it is now OFF the veggie list but still)   OF COURSE our kids are fatter…they lost 1/2 or more of their play time per day.   THe kids that are better at storing energy (ie the Fat ones) will just start storing it….    and I see something of a vicious cycle too…if fatties are “stupid” and do bad at school (like oh so much of the world wants to portray us)…then they lose their recess…..thereby LOSING the only time they have to go outside and run around and play (my kids teachers regularly takes recess away as a punishment) ……  /headdesk

oh but wait…i am a fat activist…im supposed to be AGAINST exercise in school right?  no im against exercise in school that shames fat kids and makes them feel awful….im against exercise for ONLY the fatties….give ALL our kids a chance at running around outside and playing more, not just the kids who can afford to go to active lessions after school.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/180132.php

 

biggest loser unsafe says experts February 21, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — erylin @ 5:22 pm
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Any of you familiar with me and my blog know my love of reality tv…and my utter hatred of the biggest loser and any other weight loss competition style show.   (see https://erylin.wordpress.com/2010/01/22/i-hate-jillian-michaels/ )  THis post over at yahoo ( i know not the best of sources, but they DID talk to professors form UT at Huston.   I’ll just quote extensively, no snark or explain really is required…someitimes it’s great to be validated by “experts.”

ON the dangers of the show

“They’re taking people who have been inactive and are not in good shape and boom, automatically subjecting them to this stress,” Carol Wolin-Riklin, the bariatric nutrition coordinator for the University of Texas Medical School at Houston, told LiveScience. “Things are going to happen.”

And indeed, things have. Two patients were hospitalized after collapsing during a one-mile (1.6 km) foot race for the season 8 premiere. This year’s season 9 opened with another strenuous challenge in which contestants raced 26.2 miles (42 km) on stationary bikes. Show medical consultant and UCLA professor Rob Huizenga had to drag one protesting contestant off her bike when she was stricken with severe cramps. A second contestant, 526-pound Michael Ventrella, was treated for exhaustion.

 ON the reality of losing weight that fast

For one thing, contestants start out in worse shape than most. Seventeen of the 22 contestants have a body mass index (BMI) over 40, meaning they are severely obese. In the “real world,” more than one-third of U.S. adults, or 72 million people, are considered obese with a BMI of 30 or higher, according to the CDC. But research published last month in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that the number of Americans with a BMI over 40 is just under 6 percent. In other words, the show’s claim that the contestants are the “epitome” of American Obeisty is a bit like saying that VH1’s “Rock of Love with Bret Michaels” epitomizes the American dating scene.

And then there’s the exercise program. Contestants work out five to six hours a day, eating strictly supervised diets. They routinely drop double-digit pounds each week. The contestant who loses the smallest percentage of body weight can be sent home.

In reality, said physician Robert Kushner, the clinical director of the Northwestern University Comprehensive Center on Obesity, a safe rate of weight loss is about one to two pounds per week.

“I think a lot of people can feel quite defeated that they’re losing weight in what we would call a recommended amount, but they would have been voted off the show immediately,” Kushner told LiveScience. “So the message, to me, is just all wrong.”

So is the science. Losing weight rapidly can be risky, according to Virginia Tech professor of human nutrition, foods and exercise Janet Walberg Rankin. Patients who lose weight quickly run the risk of gallstones, mineral deficiencies, loss of muscle tissue and reduced bone density.

ON regaining the weight

Risks aside, weight-loss experts say that the biggest problem with the Biggest Loser is that extreme methods of dropping pounds are less likely to work in the long run. Several former Biggest Loser contestants have regained some or all of the weight, which doesn’t surprise Kushner.

“They’re not working with a trainer every day, they’re not on national TV every day, they’re back to life,” he said. “It’s very difficult to sustain.”

While researchers aren’t sure if repeated cycles of weight lost and weight gained are more dangerous than staying overweight or obese, the psychological toll of failing to keep weight off can be grim, said Kushner. People often feel like failures and become hopeless about their health.

all quotes are from http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20100221/sc_livescience/thebiggestloserhasbigproblemshealthexpertssay by Stephanie Pappas LiveScience Contributor