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May 11, 2012


Ken Leebow

Unfortunately, our obsession with obesity is taking us down the wrong path. Talking about obesity is safe and diverts us from talking about the real problem ...

The Healthy Librarian

@Ken: If you read the IOM report & watch the documentary you'll realize it's not about name-calling. The consortia responsible for this multi-pronged effort realizes that it's all about the food that is so readily available in groceries & fast-food outlets & schools that has caused the problem. They get it. They mean business. They're hoping for a cultural change that will change---where fresh healthy food is plentiful & costs less--where our palate & tastes change--and when we realize that what we're eating us is killing us. This will take pressure on food manufacturer's, changes in ingredients, a whole massive effort, the same as that for smoking. You have to be educated first to understand the addiction to fat, salt, & sugar & there has to be a source of healthy fresh fast food in our schools, restaurants, & grocery stores.


I don't have HBO is there another way to watch this documentary? Will it be hosted free on the website you provided?


The 2012 Olympic Games will take place in July here in London: official sponsors? Coca-cola and McDonalds. You'd weep if it wasn't so hilarious.

Rebecca Cody

Unfortunately, as long as the big money interests of food processing and pharmaceuticals continue ruling this nation, we will go bust - our health and our nation. I hate feeling so negative about it, and if there is a big enough groundswell coming from the people, it can change. But it will take that. Positive change won't come from on top, but only from the people.

The Healthy Librarian

@Heidi: Yes, it's FREE to Everyone on the Weight of the Nation website---starting on Monday May 14th! Don't miss it.

@Anna: you're so right.

@Rebecca: 100% with you--the change has to come from us! Pretty soon it will be in our own economic & health interests to take control--because health insurance premiums will be tied to our weight & to chronic conditions that are caused by lifestyle. It's already happening. But, then I can't understand why anyone would choose to be sick without first making an all out effort to change what they eat & how they move.


While this special means well it misses the mark. Read Gary Taubes' Newsweek article that tells why and how it misses.

Healthy Librarian

Thanks, Julie. Haven't read Taubes latest piece, yet--but, I know Gary Taubes' take on obesity. Watch the entire special (if you haven't already)--I think they adequately cover all the bases. It's multifactorial--with many contributing causes--agricultural, political, corporate, metabolic, brain, biochemical--change in culture, change in eating habits, increase in caloric consumption, increased amounts of screen time, increase in sitting time at work & home, school lunches, little outside playtime, farm subsidies, advertising, cheap low-nutrient high-caloric readily available food, evolutionary DNA, etc. His meat, low-carb, fat solution isn't the answer--as you'll see with the people who failed on this approach. And it's more than just food!!

Healthy Librarian

@Julie: I read the article. Although Taubes quotes parts of the HBO special I can't believe he actually viewed it--or paid attention to the entire message. They specifically target sugar--and low-nutrient refined carbs that are cheap & readily available as a key driver in obesity & diabetes. They don't much mention meat--Taubes' champion food. Exercise can rarely counteract a diet full of fat, sugar, & refined carbs--no one has that much time---but, activity matters a lot--and building muscles that can metabolize sugar makes a big difference in preventing obesity, insulin resistance, & type 2 diabetes. Did he miss this part of the documentary? Has he read the diabetes research? I guess we all have our biases--but, eating plant-based no-added oil works for me--and everyone I know who follows this plan. On the other hand I know people who have followed Taubes' plan & they were tired & constipated.


I don't understand the hype about how we need a cultural change that will make "fresh healthy food" plentiful and affordable. Every grocery store I go into has a produce department with just about any kind of fresh fruit or vegetable you could want, and they are always running specials. When you consider our incomes, our food is proportionately much cheaper than most of the world pays. The problem isn't availability, it's preference. Most people walk right past the produce as if it weren't even there...

mistah charley, ph.d.

Maybe the previous poster will better understand the "cultural change" hype about making "fresh healthy food" plentiful and affordable if she believes the following assertions:

1) The kind of grocery stores that she is used to, with well-stocked produce departments, are NOT within everyone's reach, either because of transportation issues or limited income, or both.

2) Even food that you can afford, and is right there at the store, is not really "available" if you have no experience preparing and eating it. As a recent convert to plant-based nutrition, I find myself having a "beginner's experience" at an advanced age with regard to certain dishes. There are lots of other people with very limited experience in buying and cooking the food they eat.

3) Much food - maybe even most food - doesn't pass through the grocery store on its way to the consumer. School lunches, college and workplace and prison cafeterias, fast food and other restaurants, convenience stores on the corner and at the gas station, vending machines, etc. provide a substantial proportion of the food eaten in this country. It's possible for "fresh healthy food" to be available through these distribution channels, but it takes effort.

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