Grow Fat and Suffer the Consequences

Excess visceral fat tissue and other side-effects of the sort of high-calorie, low-exercise lifestyle required to pack on the fat will do you great harm in the long term. Getting fat is a choice is for the vast majority of people, a choice made again and again day after day by deciding to eat more calories and skip exercise in favor of other activities. For 99.9% of the audience here: you're not special, and there's nothing in your genes that's making it noticeably easier to gain weight or harder to lose it. But if you let yourself become fat, just as so many other people are doing in this age of comparative wealth and low-cost calories, then it will come back to bite you.

See this paper, for example:

In the second half of the 20th century it became obvious that a relentless increase in diabetes type 2 (DM) affecting the economically affluent countries, is gradually afflicting also the developing world. This review juxtaposes the threat that the DM epidemic represents to mankind, with the astonishing recent discoveries on the role of obesity and of the body fat in this metabolic disorder.

Presently, the highest prevalence of DM is in Saudi Arabia, a country deep in riches generated by its oil wells. DM is very high, in over 10% of adults in the USA, Switzerland and Austria. Prevalence is low in Norway, China and in Iceland. Predictions of epidemiologists for the first third of the 21st century claim up to 2.5 times increase in DM in the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, India, rest of Asia and in the Latin America. In China the number of patients with DM will double but in the economically advanced countries that experienced rise in DM in the 20th century, the increase will be only about 50%. Remarkably, a lowest increase in DM is expected in the countries that formerly belonged to the Soviet political space.

Increasing urbanization, aging populations, obesity, and falling levels of physical activity are all contributing to the rise of DM worldwide. The main cause of DM pandemic is growing prevalence of obesity, in Europe and in the Latin America. In the North America obesity is considered to be responsible for 90% of DM in females. Male obesity is associated with DM slightly less, at 70-80% in the European Union and in the US.

Thin, healthy people aren't thin and healthy because they have magic genes. They're thin and healthy because they are eating less and exercising more than the fat folk. This isn't rocket science, and it does have an impact on the bottom line of your life expectancy.

ResearchBlogging.orgGinter E, & Simko V (2010). Diabetes type 2 pandemic in 21st century. Bratislavske lekarske listy, 111 (3), 134-7 PMID: 20437822


While I agree with you, I don't agree with the acidic tone you choose.

It is easy to blame people for their fatness. I don't understand why there's not more restriction on food in 2010. If excessive sodium is bad for you, why do we still sell individual vegetable cocktail with 1/4 of the daily recommended sodium intake? I think that, as a society we should work together to make everyone more healthy and that goes with better food and incentive for exercising. Right now, there's a real industry for gyms that cost $600 per years.. and food that writes misleading "Light" in their product name.

Oh.. I don't throw the blame exclusively to them, I may not be dedicated enough myself. Yet, nobody's really helping me either.

Posted by: Simon Dufour at May 5th, 2010 1:39 PM

Simon, what do you mean by "nobody's really helping me either?"

Posted by: lazyfair at May 5th, 2010 2:37 PM

> If excessive sodium is bad for you, why do we still sell individual vegetable cocktail with 1/4 of the daily recommended sodium intake?

Otherwise it would be "bad" for many industries - e.g. the food industry wants to sell you a product, even if it's bad for you in the long run (and many are even in the short run). The only really important thing about the food product is that it tastes good, meaning that humans want to eat it, as much as they can - to their heart's desire. The industry will market it, even organize a sponsored "scientific" research which supports "health benefit claims" for their product. On the other hand, if no one was sick (let alone the idea of everyone living for a very, very long time in full health), the health industry would become less important.

> Excess visceral fat tissue and other side-effects of the sort of high-calorie, low-exercise lifestyle

From my own experiments (on myself, several different experiments over the last three years), I must comment on this widely prevalent statement because, from my perspective, it represents a partially done work on reverse engineering a human metabolism.

If I eat high-calorie diet comprising of digestible carbohydrates, I gain weight (rapidly up to a level [83kg], then slowly). Only if I do (most would say way excessive) exercise on a regular basis (each day endurance and strength training), I stay at the same weight [75-76kg]. The same results apply if I eat diet rich in AGE/ALE, although the weight gain happens more slowly.

However, if I eat something that "technically" can be described as "very low digestible carbohydrates (and high in indigestible carbs), very low AGE/ALE, high fat (mostly MUFA, less PUFA, low in SFA), adequate amount of protein (interestingly, my food sources are low in methionine), more than adequate vitamin content, more than adequate mineral content" (in other words: raw, thermally and industrially unprocessed food with very low amount of digestible carbs) I loose weight slowly even if I eat more than 3500-4000 calories per day and _do not_ exercise [72-73kg]. If I exercise while on this "diet regime" (albeit not as vigorously as in high-carbohydrate regime - the body says "no-no" to "explosive" exercise but on the other hand, endurance goes significantly up), I loose a bit more weight but stabilize soon [70kg] - and I'm still within the lower-normal BMI limits (and my blood tests are like I'm in my prime, just after the teen years). I can even "thrown in" occasional every-other-day-fast (lasting up to one month) with which I move toward the lower boundary of normal BMI (but still reside in the normal area) [65-66kg].

I know many scientists throw away the idea that food influences many aspects of one's metabolism (I've seen this too many times), but from the perspective of reverse engineering (I've got PhD in the field) I find that very disappointing (especially after discovering how the food, water, quality of air and amount and quality of sleep influence on my physical and mental health). In fact, the diet I've constructed for myself (after being badly surprised by seeing my blood pressure rise over the years in spite me being a very active sports person) is nothing more than research of more than 1000 papers from independent groups that focus on metabolism and aging processes. Hopefully, this will buy me enough time for the SENS techniques (or similar age-repairing, maintenance-enhancing techniques) to become an every-day reality.

Posted by: Reverse engineer at May 7th, 2010 2:45 AM

Reverse Engineeer: I agree with you 100%. The idea that obesity is caused by eating too much and exercising too little needs to go away. If bodyfat were dependant on careful counting of calories, and making sure that calories burned exactly equaled calories consumed, why wouldn't other wild animals become obese? There are obviously feedback mechanisms (hunger, resting metabolic rate) that prevent this from happening. Many humans (including me) have apparently broken their hormonal feedback mechanisms by eating a diet that they did not evolve to eat: One high in easily digestible carbohydrates. Happily, as you have discovered, there is a workaround.

Posted by: babblefrog at May 18th, 2010 11:21 AM
Comment Submission

Post a comment; thoughtful, considered opinions are valued. New comments can be edited for a few minutes following submission. Comments incorporating ad hominem attacks, advertising, and other forms of inappropriate behavior are likely to be deleted.

Note that there is a comment feed for those who like to keep up with conversations.