Study Shows World-Wide Obesity

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A one day survey of weight the world over shows that the rest of the world is catching up with the leader in overweight people, the United States. You can read a BBC news story summarizing the results, but a few things caught my attention.

Overweight is defined by having a BMI over 25. A BMI of over 30 is defined as obese. The problem I have with the “overweight” category is this. I play hockey and hike regularly. My main hobby is gardening. No one that looks at me would say I am overweight by even a few of pounds. But… I have a BMI of 26. Years ago when I was working out with weights more regularly, my BMI was 28. So according to all of these studies, I am overweight and at risk for heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Clearly, because of the wide range of muscle and bone mass in humans, the use of just BMI to measure obesity is flawed. Some people with BMI’s of 22 could indeed be overweight, while others, like myself, with BMI’s well over 25 are not overweight at all.

Now this survey also looked at waist circumference in addition to BMI, but it is a bit unclear how that measurement factored into the interpretation of the results. I can not see how they determined what waist measurements were too high, but 56% of the men and 71% of the women in the study were said to be too fat around their mid-section.

There are also some numbers in the BBC report that are hard to figure out. One paragraph states that just 7% of people in eastern Asia were “obese” compared to 36% in Canada, and 40% in South Africa. It is stated that Canada, Europe and South Africa are catching up with the U.S., “long considered the country with the worst weight problem”. However, the article also states that 2/3 of Americans are overweight, with 1/3 of those obese. If I do the math correctly, this means 23% of Americans are obese, well below the levels in Canada and South Africa. Clearly something is wrong with the BBC’s interpretation of the numbers. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that the U.S. has an obesity rate of 32.9. Even the higher number now puts us below the level of Canada and South Africa.

It is also interesting to see that Americans, long thought of as the fattest humans on earth, may be less overweight than people in many other countries. It is also interesting that Eastern Asia, which I guess is basically Japan, has the lowest level of obesity at 7%. This is quite a low number compared to the rest of the world. Regardless of the true numbers, there can be no argument that falling into the BMI’s obese category of greater that 30 is an indication of real problems with your health. In the U.S. if 70% of people are overweight and 33% obese, we have a real problem. I wonder if any studies have shown exactly how much of our health care dollars are “eaten” up by this obesity epidemic?

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Will Sig
1 JJ Loch

Will,

Great blog!!!

It does sound like there is something wrong with the numbers.
I’ve always thought way too much sodium has been dumped into processed foods and feel this is one of the reasons for all the obesity.

I avoid salt as much as possible but realize I need some intake for the iodine.

Thanks so much for posting about the coddling moth larvae that could be the reason for my apple crop blight. Jeff and I will look into it.
We only had a bushel of good apples from six prolific trees.

Hugs, JJ

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2 Will

Thanks JJ! I found your comment in the spam filter and got it out quick as you certainly don’t belong there! Filtering is not perfect I guess, but is necessary. I get hundreds of spam posts to comments every week!

I don’t know if all the salt in processed food contains iodine. I know you can buy it with or without at the grocery. Here is a link with some information about iodine in salt. http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/bio99/bio99535.htm

There is a lot of info online about the coddling moth. I found that by using traps, I can catch a bunch of the moths before they lay their eggs, but timing is critical there. However I still lose more than 1/2 of my apples to the moth larvae. I do get enough apples even with the damage and prefer this to regular spraying with chemicals.

-Will

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3 Anna

Hi Will, did you hear that expression about ‘skinny fat people’, I think that is you, lol. I not sure where I stand, but I remember few years ago when I worked for large corp, the owner was very big on preventative medicine. We had heaven, however, he did not realize that he was killing us with demanding working hours etc. But one day they came up with this offer, that they will give us free day on top of our vacation days but in return we had to maintain our weight, eat healthy, and those who were overweigth by BMI standards, had to somehow bring it down in the certain period to get the one day off. We couldn’t believe how many people – skinny people, we had around with high BMI.

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4 Will

Ha Anna – I guess I am not really a skinny person. I have a larger than average muscle mass and probably could lose 5 pounds of fat to be at an ideal weight. But my blood pressure and cholesterol are low, I am quite active, and I eat a very healthy diet. No guarantees, but all things considered, probably lowering my health risks about as well as anyone can.

A doctor I know told me that he could often tell more about weight with one look at a person than he could by calculating BMI. But he said he still used the BMI also because sometimes he was fooled. He says that some people just have a larger bone and muscle density than others. He also said that many overweight see themselves as big-boned. Often that is not the case, but a good physical exam tells him the truth.

Other things like blood tests and blood pressure tests are important. Many skinny people have heart attacks or strokes and some fat people do not. Someone once said “you are what you eat”. To that I would add, “no matter what you look like”. A skinny person can have a horrible diet. An moderately overweight person can sometimes have a healthy diet. Within reason, I don’t think absolute body weight or BMI are terribly important factors.

-Will

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5 Jack Payne

I just recently wrote a blog piece on weight loss scams, really odd-ball stuff: caffeine patches, tights, and sunscreens; Slim Slippers (lose weight through reflexology and by walking on magnets); even weight loss earrings.

When I finished this piece I could only shake my head. Some of the worst scams I’ve ever seen. I’m amazed at the big numbers of people who actually fall for this stuff.

Nice to read this, get back to sensible approaches.

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6 Eating Disorder Treatment

Beeing overweight is one of the most common causes for heart disease and other health issues and, as it was said before, too much salt in our food is one of the causes of obesity. Anyway, all the eating disorder treatments should start by teaching people what and how much to eat.

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7 chess moves

Thanks for the update of uour journey..I really appreciate the efforts you have made for this article.A new study is the first attempt to quantify the strength of the cross-sectional relationships between duration of sleep and obesity in both children and adults. Cross-sectional studies from around the world show a consistent increased risk of obesity among short sleepers in children and adults, the study found.

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8 Roger OBrian

Toxins and Obesity

If you have a difficult time losing weight, it may be a result of the toxins that are constantly being introduced into your bloodstream. The more fat your body has, the more toxins it will retain, and as you lose weight those fat cells will release toxins into the bloodstream. Once the toxins are in the bloodstream, they can cause harm to the body.

Detoxification is the process of binding up these toxins and releasing them from the body.
Although the study of detoxification and its impact on obesity is relatively new, researchers do understand some of the mechanisms involved with how toxins impact weight gain. In particular, toxins can impact your ability to lose weight in three significant ways:

• Toxins slow your metabolism
• Toxins decrease your ability to burn fat
• Toxins slow down the satiety response time (the time it takes you to feel full)

Toxins Slow Your Metabolism
In the past it was thought that your resting metabolic rate (RMR) declined with weight loss primarily because of the decrease in caloric intake or changes in the ratio of muscle to fat. But clinical studies are now showing just how toxic internal toxins can be to our weight loss efforts.

One of the first things toxins do when released into the bloodstream is slow down your RMR. So, as you begin to lose weight, those surfacing toxins begin to inhibit your ability to lose weight. However, if you can eliminate those toxins from the body quickly enough during or before a period of weight loss, you may be able to reduce the decline in your metabolism.

Toxins Decrease Your Ability to Burn Fat
The last thing you want to hear is that something in your blood is preventing your body from burning fat, but that is just what toxins can do. In 1971, for example, a study at the University of Nevada Division of Biochemistry determined that chemical toxins weakened by 20 percent the co-enzyme necessary to burn fat in the body. In 2002, researchers concluded that toxins released during weight loss had the capacity to damage the fat-burning mitochondria.1

The damage was significant enough to negatively impact the body’s ability to burn calories and, in effect, fat.

I have dedicated my life to All Natural and Organic living. I’m trying to help educate others through my store, my facebook fan page and great blogs like this. You can click on my name and follow the link to my store, plus the links for my facebook fan page are located on my store’s website. I encourage everyone to post articles on my facebook fan page that help educate people and also take articles to post them on your websites. We can beat America’s Health problem by educating as many people as we can about the dangers of mass produced, genetically modified, un-natural and chemically enhanced food most people consume. Only when we can show big business that we’re incontrol because we demand better quality over their profits and quantity, can we really beat Obesity and other Health issues in the US.

Thank you and I hope to be posting more articles on this blog in the near future. I hope everyone will spread this information or their own on the subject.

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