huge topic:Americans keep getting fatter

User Forum Topic
Submitted by desmond on June 29, 2010 - 3:37pm

http://news.yahoo.com/s/hsn/20100629/hl_...

Easy access to fast, cheap food, to busy to cook, many reasons why, and it is getting worse.

Submitted by afx114 on July 6, 2010 - 9:03am.

jpinpb wrote:
I went to the fair yesterday and was blown away by what people were eating. Fried butter and chocolate covered bacon! An ambulance was on standby. Also the funnel cakes loaded w/whip cream and chocolate and caramel syrup. I just don't know how people weren't going into diabetic shock. Looking around, people were morbidly obese. No wonder.

I hear you jp, but to me the fair is the one place where outright gluttony is allowed. One time a year, go crazy on the deep fried deep fry! But I agree, the majority of the people at the fair probably washed down their day of craptastic food with a double double on the way home. I say go crazy at the fair, but once outside the gates it's time to return to sanity.

Submitted by CBad on July 6, 2010 - 9:28am.

Russell wrote:

Let's have a food fight!
The last couple of post go back to what a few have said. It's the "too much food" thing. Instead we want to debate who's theory gets more brownie points(yes thin people can eat brownies).

Just look around, you see healthy people eat a variety of ways. But the fat people and the know it alls have to be special and be the only ones have a clue about what's best. Is it unfair to ask with all this specialized knowlege, "if you are so smart why are you so fat?". And the only person on this blog who indicated a need to be satiated all the time is the dieter. Ordinary people do not have to be, or should not be satieted all the time, unless the want to be overweight. Being healthy is a cycle of being hungry and reasonably full of decent food. Nobody ever died of a brief episode of hunger.

Seriously. This thread is comical at this point with everyone's food opinions on what to eat/what not to eat. I can always count on good diet/exercise info. from my morbidly obese relative. Said relative is also full of great financial info. though is past retirement age, lives in a small apartment, and has no assets or savings.

Submitted by Nachoman on July 6, 2010 - 9:33am.

jpinpb wrote:
I went to the fair yesterday and was blown away by what people were eating. Fried butter and chocolate covered bacon! An ambulance was on standby. Also the funnel cakes loaded w/whip cream and chocolate and caramel syrup. I just don't know how people weren't going into diabetic shock. Looking around, people were morbidly obese. No wonder.

Hopefully you saw me there eating a giant mound of chili cheese fries and a cinnamon roll. It was delicious. I'm rail thin though. =)

Submitted by ocrenter on July 6, 2010 - 10:37am.

The bottom line on the topic really is portion control and moderation.

Quite frankly, most people know exactly what they need to do. Most folks will go to the doctor and tell their doc that all they ever eat is whole grain cereal, turkey sandwich on wheat bread, and salad without dressing and only drink water. The patient and the doctor are then left with the medical mystery of how that patient managed to gain 30 lbs over the last year on that diet.

Submitted by briansd1 on July 6, 2010 - 10:50am.

Russell wrote:
Ordinary people do not have to be, or should not be satieted all the time, unless the want to be overweight. Being healthy is a cycle of being hungry and reasonably full of decent food. Nobody ever died of a brief episode of hunger.

That is very true.

When we are hungry, our bodies release enzymes that tell our cells to go into preservation mode. It's a survival mechanism that contributes to longevity.

In talking to people, I find that food is a cultural/emotional thing.

It used to be that food was expensive (relative to incomes) so people grew up to desire certain items. They believe that certain things are good for them. For example, eating lobster is "luxurious" but definitely not healthy.

It's not just an American thing anymore. People all over the world are getting fat. Stored fat in the body releases toxins which contribute to diseases and shorter life.

The problem is that people want quick solutions (like a diet pill) when health is a lifetime commitment.

Submitted by XBoxBoy on July 6, 2010 - 10:59am.

CA renter wrote:
XBoxBoy wrote:
Not all Americans are getting fatter. I've lost 38 lbs in the last year, so there!

SkinnyBoxBoy

Congratulations, XBoxBoy! That's fantastic! :)

How did you do it?

Sorry, haven't been following this thread too carefully. But I did it the old fashioned way. I ate less. I honestly think that's the only way that works. It's tough, you have to adjust to the idea that all you need is that small portion. Trust me on this, no one enjoys a nice big juicy steak more than I do. And accepting that I only need 5 of 6 oz of steak instead of a 16 oz rib eye is a real challenge. But that's what you gotta do if you want to loose weight. And oh yeah, you gotta stick to it, and be patient. The pounds don't just fall away, and any time you backslide will put you back a week or two.

XBoxBoy

Submitted by afx114 on July 6, 2010 - 11:03am.

I would argue that genes play a larger role than given credit. For example, Pacific Islanders evolved to survive on a minimal diet of plants and fish -- not a lot of red meat available on small islands. After millions of years evolving their systems to handle mostly fish as their source of meat, they now have easy access to red and white meat in the form of McDonalds and KFC. Their bodies don't metabolize these meats as well as they do fish, so what you end up with is the stereotypical 'big fat Samoan.' I doubt islanders are very well educated on their ancestral diets, so it's not as simple as saying "eat less red meat" for them. In reality, they should cut all red meat and go back to eating fish. Easier said than done. Point being, different body types and ancestral genes determine which diet is best for an individual. A diet that works best for a Samoan probably won't work well for an Anglo North American, and vice versa.

Submitted by CardiffBaseball on July 6, 2010 - 11:58am.

Operation wrote:
CardiffBaseball wrote:
The difference between you and me is that I don't talk about my way being best for everyone.

Cardiff, please re-read my post and tell me where I say a plant-based diet is best for everyone. Little defensive are we?

I was referring to this:

"Meat & dairy consumption, is simply not sustainable for both our waists, health and environment. "

This is an individual thing. If if works for you great, but realize there are many who sustain on a meat/fat based diet. It really comes down to, like I said, what can you handle. If the Samoans need to eat fish....

My example was of the Inuit Eskimo's who were able to sustain on a high fat, high protein diet without the amount of disease prevalent in western civilization. (diabetes, intestinal disorders, etc.) Only when they started to westernize did they start seeing a rise in these types of diseases.

Submitted by briansd1 on July 6, 2010 - 12:19pm.

afx114 wrote:
I would argue that genes play a larger role than given credit. For example, Pacific Islanders evolved to survive on a minimal diet of plants and fish -- not a lot of red meat available on small islands. After millions of years evolving their systems to handle mostly fish as their source of meat, they now have easy access to red and white meat in the form of McDonalds and KFC. Their bodies don't metabolize these meats as well as they do fish,

Samoan/Pacific Islander cultures (and many other cultures) equate being fat to high social status and wealth.

I betcha the calorie count of the meat diet is much higher than the fish diet.

I believe that there are 3 elements to diet as it relates to health.

1) People can only gain weight if they consume the calories.

2) Aside from the calories, there's the nutritional value of the food which contribute to health and longevity.

3) The amount of exercise. The more low-impact exercise, the better.

Submitted by afx114 on July 6, 2010 - 2:03pm.

Another anecdote showing that "just eat less/exercise more" isn't the silver bullet and that genetics gives people various advantages/disadvantages to controlling weight. My brother (2 years younger) grew up with the same parents, in the same household, playing the same sports, and eating the same food as myself. Yet I was always the "skinny" one and he was always the "big" one. We grew up with virtually the exact same environmental variables, yet our body types were always so different. This is further evidence that genetics play a large role and what works for one person may not work for another when it comes to weight loss/gain. So if your diet works for you, great... just don't assume that the same diet or eating habits will work for everyone else.

Shifting gears a bit, the USDA just completed a study on the estimated effect that a sugar tax would have on obesity:

A tax-induced 20-percent price increase on caloric sweetened beverages could cause an average reduction of 37 calories per day, or 3.8 pounds of body weight over a year, for adults and an average of 43 calories per day, or 4.5 pounds over a year, for children. Given these reductions in calorie consumption, results show an estimated decline in adult overweight prevalence (66.9 to 62.4 percent) and obesity prevalence (33.4 to 30.4 percent), as well as the child at-risk-for-overweight prevalence (32.3 to 27.0 percent) and the overweight prevalence (16.6 to 13.7 percent).

(via tpm)

I wonder if the public would support a tax increase like this, or would we see a "keep your damn hands off my soda" revolt?

Submitted by ocrenter on July 6, 2010 - 2:30pm.

afx114 wrote:
I wonder if the public would support a tax increase like this, or would we see a "keep your damn hands off my soda" revolt?

I think the American public will see this as an extension of Big Government and fight hard against it.

Like I said before, we have to get to 50% obesity rate and when large numbers of us are dying off or becoming disabled in our 50-60's before public opinion shift to allow the government to tax soda. (in the process, probably bankrupt the country)

Submitted by CA renter on July 6, 2010 - 3:01pm.

afx114 wrote:
Another anecdote showing that "just eat less/exercise more" isn't the silver bullet and that genetics gives people various advantages/disadvantages to controlling weight. My brother (2 years younger) grew up with the same parents, in the same household, playing the same sports, and eating the same food as myself. Yet I was always the "skinny" one and he was always the "big" one. We grew up with virtually the exact same environmental variables, yet our body types were always so different. This is further evidence that genetics play a large role and what works for one person may not work for another when it comes to weight loss/gain. So if your diet works for you, great... just don't assume that the same diet or eating habits will work for everyone else.

Totally agree with this, and have seen the same thing in my family. My sister weighed over 11 lbs. at birth, I was 6 1/2 lbs. She had the stereotypical endomorphic body, and was always overweight, even though she ate less food (and better food) than I did. Back in the day, I was very skinny.

We also see this with our kids. Our eldest is also endomorphic (like my sister and my husband), our middle is "normal" and our youngest is very muscular and athletic-looking with absolutely no fat anywhere on her body. Our biggest eater? The youngest -- the lean one.

There is no question in my mind that peoples' bodies use food differently. Some store calories as fat, while others convert it immediately into energy/movement (like my "hyperactive" youngest who eats us out of house and home). While some would suggest that it's the movement that causes food to be burned up more quickly, I think it's the opposite: the *type of body* that converts food to energy (as opposed to fat) will make that person much more active. It's the metabolism that makes one active/inactive, and the inactive people have less energy because their body doesn't convert their food into energy (it's stored as fat), so it's a catch-22.

Not scientific, but just based on what I've seen in real life. Everyone is built differently, and it's interesting when the "naturally skinny" types -- who don't have to work as hard at it -- look down on those who are naturally heavier. I'll bet you can take two different body types, feed them the same, exercise them the same, and you'll end up with two totally different outcomes.

That being said, not every overweight person has metabolic problems, and we all need to be more mindful of the quantity and quality of food we eat. I also think that our lifestyle is much more sendentary than it used to be. Remember when all of us kids would spend our days outdoors riding bikes, hiking around, building forts, etc.? It seems those days are long gone.

Another thing...I don't think it's a coincidence that the rise in obesity corresponds with the decline in smoking rates.

Submitted by ocrenter on July 6, 2010 - 3:03pm.

CA renter wrote:

Another thing...I don't think it's a coincidence that the rise in obesity corresponds with the decline in smoking rates.

before, people smoked to relieve stress.

now, people eat to relieve stress.

Submitted by briansd1 on July 6, 2010 - 3:07pm.

afx114 wrote:
My brother (2 years younger) grew up with the same parents, in the same household, playing the same sports, and eating the same food as myself. Yet I was always the "skinny" one and he was always the "big" one. We grew up with virtually the exact same environmental variables, yet our body types were always so different. This is further evidence that genetics play a large role and what works for one person may not work for another when it comes to weight loss/gain. So if your diet works for you, great... just don't assume that the same diet or eating habits will work for everyone else.

I would agree that some people have genes that makes it easier for them to stay thin.

But your brother likely consumed more calories than you did. Genetics made him crave food more. He had to have consumed more calories over the years to get big.

My two brothers were very much the same as me. But my older brother married a girl from the Midwest; and since then, he's grown bigger than us because of his wife's food.

Since our teenage years, we have diverged in thinking and outlook on life. My brother is a sloppy dresser who wears over-sized clothing and he's grown fat. He's kinda lackadaisical about his appearance.

My younger brother and I, however, are more conscious of our appearance. We both live downtown, whereas the "fat" brother lives in the 'burbs with his family.

Sure, genetics play a role. But ultimately, the calories you consume make you what you are. Society and environment affect you more than genetics.

People with "bad" genes have to work harder to discipline themselves. To me, food is like education, hard-work, financial management, or anything in life that requires discipline.

Submitted by Eugene on July 6, 2010 - 3:16pm.

Quote:
Pacific Islanders evolved to survive on a minimal diet of plants and fish -- not a lot of red meat available on small islands. After millions of years evolving their systems to handle mostly fish as their source of meat, they now have easy access to red and white meat in the form of McDonalds and KFC. ... A diet that works best for a Samoan probably won't work well for an Anglo North American, and vice versa.

FYI, humans only got to those islands around 30,000 years ago. That's not a lot of time to evolve. And their hunter-gatherer ancestors ate plenty of meat. The biggest difference between them and Anglos, I think, is that Anglo ancestors evolved the ability to digest cow milk, because they had domesticated cattle and Pacific Islanders did not.

Submitted by briansd1 on July 6, 2010 - 3:17pm.

CA renter wrote:
it's interesting when the "naturally skinny" types -- who don't have to work as hard at it -- look down on those who are naturally heavier.

What about the smart ones looking down upon the dumb ones? Or the rich ones looking down upon the poor ones?

That's life.

CA renter wrote:

I'll bet you can take two different body types, feed them the same, exercise them the same, and you'll end up with two totally different outcomes.

I don't believe it for a minute.

I've tested that on pets (dogs and horses). You can easily control the food intake of your pets. The pets will steal food from each other if you let them. Sure, certain pets will have propensities to get heavier more easily, but by controlling food intake, you can always achieve the desired result.

These days, kids open the fridge all the time and have money to buy food outside the home. Even parents can't control their kids' food intake.

Submitted by jpinpb on July 6, 2010 - 3:21pm.

Since aspartame was mentioned, I came across this today and thought I'd link it for you guys.
America's Deadliest Sweetener Betrays Millions, Then Hoodwinks You With Name Change. It's a little long, but worth the read.

Aspartame is the most controversial food additive in history, and its approval for use in food was the most contested in FDA history. In the end, the artificial sweetener was approved, not on scientific grounds, but rather because of strong political and financial pressure. After all, aspartame was previously listed by the Pentagon as a biochemical warfare agent!

It's hard to believe such a chemical would be allowed into the food supply, but it was, and it has been wreaking silent havoc with people's health for the past 30 years.

The truth is, it should never have been released onto the market, and allowing it to remain in the food chain is seriously hurting people -- no matter how many times you rebrand it under fancy new names.

The Deceptive Marketing of Aspartame

Sold commercially under names like NutraSweet, Canderel and now AminoSweet, aspartame can be found in more than 6,000 foods, including soft drinks, chewing gum, table-top sweeteners, diet and diabetic foods, breakfast cereals, jams, sweets, vitamins, prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

Aspartame producer Ajinomoto chose to rebrand it under the name AminoSweet, to "remind the industry that aspartame tastes just like sugar, and that it's made from amino acids -- the building blocks of protein that are abundant in our diet."

This is deception at its finest: begin with a shred of truth, and then spin it to fit your own agenda.

In this case, the agenda is to make you believe that aspartame is somehow a harmless, natural sweetener made with two amino acids that are essential for health and present in your diet already.

They want you to believe aspartame delivers all the benefits of sugar and none of its drawbacks. But nothing could be further from the truth.

How Aspartame Wreaks Havoc on Your Health

Did you know there have been more reports to the FDA for aspartame reactions than for all other food additives combined?

In fact, there are over 10,000 official complaints, but by the FDA's own admission, less than 1 percent of those who experience a reaction to a product ever report it. So in all likelihood, the toxic effects of aspartame may have affected roughly a million people already.

While a variety of symptoms have been reported, almost two-thirds of them fall into the neurological and behavioral category consisting mostly of headaches, mood alterations, and hallucinations. The remaining third is mostly gastrointestinal symptoms.

This chart will familiarize you with some of the terrifying side-effects and health problems you could encounter if you consume products containing this chemical.

Unfortunately, aspartame toxicity is not well-known by doctors, despite its frequency. Diagnosis is also hampered by the fact that it mimics several other common health conditions, such as:

Me:***You guys should link to see the chart.****

How Diet Foods and Drinks CAUSE Weight Problems

In recent years, food manufacturers have increasingly focused on developing low-calorie foods and drinks to help you maintain a healthy weight and avoid obesity. Unfortunately, the science behind these products is so flawed, most of these products can actually lead to increased weight gain!

For example, researchers have discovered that drinking diet soda increases your risk of metabolic syndrome, and may double your risk of obesity -- the complete opposite of the stated intention behind these "zero calorie" drinks.

The sad truth is that diet foods and drinks ruin your body's ability to count calories, and in fact stimulate your appetite, thus boosting your inclination to overindulge.

Unfortunately, most public health agencies and nutritionists in the United States recommend these toxic artificial sweeteners as an acceptable alternative to sugar, which is at best confusing and at worst harming the health of those who take their misguided advice.

Even More Toxic Dangers of Aspartame

Truly, there is enough evidence showing the dangers of consuming artificial sweeteners to fill an entire book -- which is exactly why I wrote Sweet Deception. If you or your loved ones drink diet beverages or eat diet foods, this book will explain how you've been deceived about the truth behind artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose -- for greed, for profits, and at the expense of your health.

As mentioned earlier, almost two-thirds of all documented side effects of aspartame consumption are neurological.

One of the reasons for this side effect, researchers have discovered, is because the phenylalanine in aspartame dissociates from the ester bond. While these amino acids are indeed completely natural and safe, they were never designed to be ingested as isolated amino acids in massive quantities, which in and of itself will cause complications.

Additionally this will also increase dopamine levels in your brain. This can lead to symptoms of depression because it distorts your serotonin/dopamine balance. It can also lead to migraine headaches and brain tumors through a similar mechanism.

The aspartic acid in aspartame is a well-documented excitotoxin. Excitotoxins are usually amino acids, such as glutamate and aspartate. These special amino acids cause particular brain cells to become excessively excited, to the point that they die.

Excitotoxins can also cause a loss of brain synapses and connecting fibers. A review conducted in 2008 by scientists from the University of Pretoria and the University of Limpopo found that consuming a lot of aspartame may inhibit the ability of enzymes in your brain to function normally, and may lead to neurodegeneration.

According to the researchers, consuming a lot of aspartame can disturb:

•The metabolism of amino acids
•Protein structure and metabolism
•The integrity of nucleic acids
•Neuronal function
•Endocrine balances
Furthermore, the ester bond in aspartame breaks down to formaldehyde and methanol, which are also toxic in their own right. So it is not surprising that this popular artificial sweetener has also been found to cause cancer.

One truly compelling case study that shows this all too well was done by a private citizen named Victoria Inness-Brown. She decided to perform her own aspartame experiment on 108 rats over a period of 2 years and 8 months.

Daily, she fed some of the rats the equivalent (for their body weight) of two-thirds the aspartame contained in 8-oz of diet soda. Thirty-seven percent of the females fed aspartame developed tumors, some of massive size.

How to Ditch Artificial Sweeteners, and Satiate Your Sweet Tooth

If you suffer from sweet cravings, it's easy to convince yourself you're doing the right thing by opting for a zero-calorie sweetener like aspartame. Please understand that you will do more harm than good to your body this way.

First, it's important to realize that your body craves sweets when you're not giving it the proper fuel it needs.

Finding out your nutritional type will tell you exactly which foods you need to eat to feel full and satisfied. It may sound hard to believe right now, but once you start eating right for your nutritional type, your sweet cravings will significantly lessen and may even disappear.

Meanwhile, be sure you address the emotional component to your food cravings using a tool such as the Meridian Tapping Technique (MTT). More than any traditional or alternative method I have used or researched, MTT works to overcome food cravings and helps you reach dietary success.

And, if diet soda is the culprit for you, be sure to check out Turbo Tapping, which is an extremely effective and simple tool to get rid of your soda addiction in a short period of time.

Non-Acceptable Alternative Sweeteners

I have written a few articles on fructose earlier this year, and I will be writing many more, so please be aware that I am absolutely convinced that fructose ingestion is at the core of our obesity epidemic.

And I'm not only talking about high fructose corn syrup, which is virtually identical to table sugar. The only major difference between the two is HFCS is much cheaper so it has contributed to massive increase in fructose ingestion, far beyond safe or healthy.

Please understand you need to keep your fructose levels BELOW 25 grams per day. The best way to do that is to avoid these "natural" sweeteners as they are loaded with a much higher percentage of fructose than HFCS.

•Fruit Juice
•Agave
•Honey
Please note that avoiding these beyond 25 grams per day is crucial, even if the source is fresh, raw, and organic. It just doesn't matter, fructose is fructose is fructose ...

Acceptable Alternative Sweeteners

For those times when you just want a taste of something sweet, your healthiest alternative is Stevia. It's a natural plant and, unlike aspartame and other artificial sweeteners that have been cited for dangerous toxicities, it is a safe, natural alternative that's ideal if you're watching your weight, or if you're maintaining your health by avoiding sugar.

It is hundreds of times sweeter than sugar and truly has virtually no calories.

I must tell you that I am biased; I prefer Stevia as my sweetener of choice, and I frequently use it. However, like most choices, especially sweeteners, I recommend using Stevia in moderation, just like sugar. In excess it is still far less likely to cause metabolic problems than sugar or any of the artificial sweeteners.

I want to emphasize, that if you have insulin issues, I suggest that you avoid sweeteners altogether, including Stevia, as they all can decrease your sensitivity to insulin.

Lo han is another sweetener like Stevia. It's an African sweet herb that can also be used, but it's a bit more expensive and harder to find.

So if you struggle with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes or extra weight, then you have insulin sensitivity issues and would benefit from avoiding ALL sweeteners.

But for everyone else, if you are going to sweeten your foods and beverages anyway, I strongly encourage you to consider using regular Stevia or Lo han, and toss out all artificial sweeteners and any products that contain them.

If you have experienced an adverse reaction to any aspartame product, call the FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator in your area.

Submitted by afx114 on July 6, 2010 - 3:55pm.

Eugene wrote:
FYI, humans only got to those islands around 30,000 years ago. That's not a lot of time to evolve.

Scientists have just discovered that Tibetans evolved the ability to survive on less oxygen than normal at higher altitudes over a mere 3,000 years:

http://articles.latimes.com/2010/jul/03/science/la-sci-tibet-gene-20100703

Evolution can happen a lot faster than most people think. Look at what we've done to dogs over a few centuries. Islanders may have gotten there as hunter/gatherers, but there was not a lot of hunting to be had on those islands. Plenty of fishing though, and their bodies evolved to better process seafood while their ability to digest red/white meats atrophied.

Submitted by CA renter on July 6, 2010 - 3:41pm.

briansd1 wrote:

I don't believe it for a minute.

I've tested that on pets (dogs and horses). You can easily control the food intake of your pets. The pets will steal food from each other if you let them. Sure, certain pets will have propensities to get heavier more easily, but by controlling food intake, you can always achieve the desired result.

These days, kids open the fridge all the time and have money to buy food outside the home. Even parents can't control their kids' food intake.

I prepare all of our meals and we eat all of our meals together. There is no question, whatsoever, in my mind that people store/use calories differently. You just have to see it yourself to understand. The difference exists even with my DH and I -- he eats about the same quantity as I do, and I tend to eat more sweets and starches. While I'm about 10 lbs. overweight, he's much bigger than I am. We use calories differently, that's a fact.

Submitted by natty on July 6, 2010 - 4:18pm.

jpinpb wrote:
Since aspartame was mentioned, I came across this today and thought I'd link it for you guys.
America's Deadliest Sweetener Betrays Millions, Then Hoodwinks You With Name Change. It's a little long, but worth the read.

Aspartame is the most controversial food additive in history, and its approval for use in food was the most contested in FDA history. In the end, the artificial sweetener was approved, not on scientific grounds, but rather because of strong political and financial pressure. After all, aspartame was previously listed by the Pentagon as a biochemical warfare agent!

It's hard to believe such a chemical would be allowed into the food supply, but it was, and it has been wreaking silent havoc with people's health for the past 30 years.

The truth is, it should never have been released onto the market, and allowing it to remain in the food chain is seriously hurting people -- no matter how many times you rebrand it under fancy new names.

The Deceptive Marketing of Aspartame

Sold commercially under names like NutraSweet, Canderel and now AminoSweet, aspartame can be found in more than 6,000 foods, including soft drinks, chewing gum, table-top sweeteners, diet and diabetic foods, breakfast cereals, jams, sweets, vitamins, prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

Aspartame producer Ajinomoto chose to rebrand it under the name AminoSweet, to "remind the industry that aspartame tastes just like sugar, and that it's made from amino acids -- the building blocks of protein that are abundant in our diet."

This is deception at its finest: begin with a shred of truth, and then spin it to fit your own agenda.

In this case, the agenda is to make you believe that aspartame is somehow a harmless, natural sweetener made with two amino acids that are essential for health and present in your diet already.

They want you to believe aspartame delivers all the benefits of sugar and none of its drawbacks. But nothing could be further from the truth.

How Aspartame Wreaks Havoc on Your Health

Did you know there have been more reports to the FDA for aspartame reactions than for all other food additives combined?

In fact, there are over 10,000 official complaints, but by the FDA's own admission, less than 1 percent of those who experience a reaction to a product ever report it. So in all likelihood, the toxic effects of aspartame may have affected roughly a million people already.

While a variety of symptoms have been reported, almost two-thirds of them fall into the neurological and behavioral category consisting mostly of headaches, mood alterations, and hallucinations. The remaining third is mostly gastrointestinal symptoms.

This chart will familiarize you with some of the terrifying side-effects and health problems you could encounter if you consume products containing this chemical.

Unfortunately, aspartame toxicity is not well-known by doctors, despite its frequency. Diagnosis is also hampered by the fact that it mimics several other common health conditions, such as:

Me:***You guys should link to see the chart.****

How Diet Foods and Drinks CAUSE Weight Problems

In recent years, food manufacturers have increasingly focused on developing low-calorie foods and drinks to help you maintain a healthy weight and avoid obesity. Unfortunately, the science behind these products is so flawed, most of these products can actually lead to increased weight gain!

For example, researchers have discovered that drinking diet soda increases your risk of metabolic syndrome, and may double your risk of obesity -- the complete opposite of the stated intention behind these "zero calorie" drinks.

The sad truth is that diet foods and drinks ruin your body's ability to count calories, and in fact stimulate your appetite, thus boosting your inclination to overindulge.

Unfortunately, most public health agencies and nutritionists in the United States recommend these toxic artificial sweeteners as an acceptable alternative to sugar, which is at best confusing and at worst harming the health of those who take their misguided advice.

Even More Toxic Dangers of Aspartame

Truly, there is enough evidence showing the dangers of consuming artificial sweeteners to fill an entire book -- which is exactly why I wrote Sweet Deception. If you or your loved ones drink diet beverages or eat diet foods, this book will explain how you've been deceived about the truth behind artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose -- for greed, for profits, and at the expense of your health.

As mentioned earlier, almost two-thirds of all documented side effects of aspartame consumption are neurological.

One of the reasons for this side effect, researchers have discovered, is because the phenylalanine in aspartame dissociates from the ester bond. While these amino acids are indeed completely natural and safe, they were never designed to be ingested as isolated amino acids in massive quantities, which in and of itself will cause complications.

Additionally this will also increase dopamine levels in your brain. This can lead to symptoms of depression because it distorts your serotonin/dopamine balance. It can also lead to migraine headaches and brain tumors through a similar mechanism.

The aspartic acid in aspartame is a well-documented excitotoxin. Excitotoxins are usually amino acids, such as glutamate and aspartate. These special amino acids cause particular brain cells to become excessively excited, to the point that they die.

Excitotoxins can also cause a loss of brain synapses and connecting fibers. A review conducted in 2008 by scientists from the University of Pretoria and the University of Limpopo found that consuming a lot of aspartame may inhibit the ability of enzymes in your brain to function normally, and may lead to neurodegeneration.

According to the researchers, consuming a lot of aspartame can disturb:

•The metabolism of amino acids
•Protein structure and metabolism
•The integrity of nucleic acids
•Neuronal function
•Endocrine balances
Furthermore, the ester bond in aspartame breaks down to formaldehyde and methanol, which are also toxic in their own right. So it is not surprising that this popular artificial sweetener has also been found to cause cancer.

One truly compelling case study that shows this all too well was done by a private citizen named Victoria Inness-Brown. She decided to perform her own aspartame experiment on 108 rats over a period of 2 years and 8 months.

Daily, she fed some of the rats the equivalent (for their body weight) of two-thirds the aspartame contained in 8-oz of diet soda. Thirty-seven percent of the females fed aspartame developed tumors, some of massive size.

How to Ditch Artificial Sweeteners, and Satiate Your Sweet Tooth

If you suffer from sweet cravings, it's easy to convince yourself you're doing the right thing by opting for a zero-calorie sweetener like aspartame. Please understand that you will do more harm than good to your body this way.

First, it's important to realize that your body craves sweets when you're not giving it the proper fuel it needs.

Finding out your nutritional type will tell you exactly which foods you need to eat to feel full and satisfied. It may sound hard to believe right now, but once you start eating right for your nutritional type, your sweet cravings will significantly lessen and may even disappear.

Meanwhile, be sure you address the emotional component to your food cravings using a tool such as the Meridian Tapping Technique (MTT). More than any traditional or alternative method I have used or researched, MTT works to overcome food cravings and helps you reach dietary success.

And, if diet soda is the culprit for you, be sure to check out Turbo Tapping, which is an extremely effective and simple tool to get rid of your soda addiction in a short period of time.

Non-Acceptable Alternative Sweeteners

I have written a few articles on fructose earlier this year, and I will be writing many more, so please be aware that I am absolutely convinced that fructose ingestion is at the core of our obesity epidemic.

And I'm not only talking about high fructose corn syrup, which is virtually identical to table sugar. The only major difference between the two is HFCS is much cheaper so it has contributed to massive increase in fructose ingestion, far beyond safe or healthy.

Please understand you need to keep your fructose levels BELOW 25 grams per day. The best way to do that is to avoid these "natural" sweeteners as they are loaded with a much higher percentage of fructose than HFCS.

•Fruit Juice
•Agave
•Honey
Please note that avoiding these beyond 25 grams per day is crucial, even if the source is fresh, raw, and organic. It just doesn't matter, fructose is fructose is fructose ...

Acceptable Alternative Sweeteners

For those times when you just want a taste of something sweet, your healthiest alternative is Stevia. It's a natural plant and, unlike aspartame and other artificial sweeteners that have been cited for dangerous toxicities, it is a safe, natural alternative that's ideal if you're watching your weight, or if you're maintaining your health by avoiding sugar.

It is hundreds of times sweeter than sugar and truly has virtually no calories.

I must tell you that I am biased; I prefer Stevia as my sweetener of choice, and I frequently use it. However, like most choices, especially sweeteners, I recommend using Stevia in moderation, just like sugar. In excess it is still far less likely to cause metabolic problems than sugar or any of the artificial sweeteners.

I want to emphasize, that if you have insulin issues, I suggest that you avoid sweeteners altogether, including Stevia, as they all can decrease your sensitivity to insulin.

Lo han is another sweetener like Stevia. It's an African sweet herb that can also be used, but it's a bit more expensive and harder to find.

So if you struggle with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes or extra weight, then you have insulin sensitivity issues and would benefit from avoiding ALL sweeteners.

But for everyone else, if you are going to sweeten your foods and beverages anyway, I strongly encourage you to consider using regular Stevia or Lo han, and toss out all artificial sweeteners and any products that contain them.

If you have experienced an adverse reaction to any aspartame product, call the FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator in your area.

http://www.cspinet.org/new/pdf/aspartame...

Above is not the end all conclusion, but does provide at the very least some 'semi specific' data. Where as the above linked report provides none.

going to read back through rest of this thread. not surprised to read some think weight has anything to do with 'health'.

Submitted by ocrenter on July 6, 2010 - 6:04pm.

afx114 wrote:

Scientists have just discovered that Tibetans evolved the ability to survive on less oxygen than normal at higher altitudes over a mere 3,000 years:

http://articles.latimes.com/2010/jul/03/science/la-sci-tibet-gene-20100703

Evolution can happen a lot faster than most people think. Look at what we've done to dogs over a few centuries. Islanders may have gotten there as hunter/gatherers, but there was not a lot of hunting to be had on those islands. Plenty of fishing though, and their bodies evolved to better process seafood while their ability to digest red/white meats atrophied.

well said. it isn't just the effect of red meat. the effect of refined carbs on the islanders is absolutely deadly. their bodies simply can not handle so much white rice and sugar. and everyone become diabetic.

you can see this in most native populations of the world who have evolved without a lot of carb exposure.

Submitted by mike92104 on July 6, 2010 - 8:52pm.

ocrenter wrote:

Like I said before, we have to get to 50% obesity rate and when large numbers of us are dying off or becoming disabled in our 50-60's . . .

That might fix the social security problem.

Submitted by Eugene on July 7, 2010 - 5:43pm.

Here's a nice picture that shows what happens to you when your diet contains excessive table sugar or HFCS:

http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/reprint/67/6/1186

Figure 4 (they messed up the labels, figure 4 really shows blood glucose, not fatty acids)

Low blood glucose (below fasting level just 3 hours after the meal) results in hunger and drives the desire to snack. And snacks are often sugary as well.

Interestingly, the article says that the primary culprit is fructose, because it is rapidly metabolized through a different pathway from glucose. Table sugar is 50% fructose, soft drink HFCS is 55% fructose, and food additive HFCS (such as the one that goes into candy bars) is 42% fructose. So, they are all very close to each other.

Submitted by CA renter on July 9, 2010 - 6:16pm.

Slightly O/T, but not really.

We were just informed by our neighbor that we should keep our kids off the sidewalk in front of her house, particularly when the kids are riding bikes, scooters, etc. She says that she and her husband (a childless couple) are afraid to leave their house because they worry that they might back out of their driveway and hit one of our kids.

FWIW, our kids do NOT play in their driveway, and only go by while riding on the sidewalk in front of the house.

She wants us to sign a release of liability of sorts so that we won't sue them if they hit our kids. She also wants to report us to our landlord because our kids ride their bikes up and down the sidewalk. Mind you, our kids know to look for cars backing out, and know to stop and make eye contact when a car is going in or out of a driveway.

I should also mention that a number of other neighbors like us playing out front because they bring their kids over and we all play/hang out together.

See, it's this kind of mentality that is making our kids obese, IMHO. Back in the day, we kids were like cockroaches all over the suburban streets. Now, we're all supposed to keep them in the house, busied with video games and TV, I suppose.

Needless to say, I'm pi$$ed. Just needed to vent... :(

Submitted by desmond on July 9, 2010 - 8:44pm.

OC, that sucks. All I know is I have burned myself with neighbors in the past, give them nothing but a smile and keep an eye on your kids. Maybe they can install those backup sirens on their cars!Pathetic.

Submitted by CBad on July 9, 2010 - 11:19pm.

CAR, that is beyond ridiculous! But personally I'd hold back the urge to tell the neighbor to suck it. I would just calmly thank them for their concern for your childrens' safety but as responsible parents you have taught them to ride safely.

My kids bike all over the neighborhood and beyond (we often do nearby errands on bikes) but we always ride right alongside them in the street and have always taught them to be very cautious of driveways, crossing streets, etc.

Submitted by CBad on July 9, 2010 - 11:21pm.

Oh and I love the bit about notifying the landlord. As if this is breaking the lease or something?

Submitted by scaredyclassic on July 9, 2010 - 11:54pm.

Jesus my blood is boiling and I'm not even involved; the duty is on the motorist to check; at this point it sounds like you could send them a note memorializing uour cobersation and sue them for intentionally hitting your kid since they're on notice to look out for them .... I am actually angry as o type this so maybe better to simmer down

Submitted by scaredyclassic on July 9, 2010 - 11:56pm.

What I'd want to say is hit my kid now and I'll come over and I wll kill you both and any pets you have; that should help them exercise better care. I'm sure this is bad advice so ignore me

Submitted by CA renter on July 10, 2010 - 2:48am.

Thanks desmond, CBad and Scaredy. It had me so upset I couldn't stop thinking about it.

Mind you, our kids aren't going far. They just ride a few houses up and down the street and around the cul-de-sac around the corner. If we want to go for longer rides, we go to Mission Bay and ride on the bike path as a family. They just like to go out front and play with the neighborhood kids, etc., and we are always out there with them.

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