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Is Obesity the New Moral Panic?

12357

Posts

  • WindbitWindbit Registered User
    edited August 2007
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    I was just going for a relatively maximum number.

    Yeah, some people can suffer from being fat right away.

    Others won't notice it until the heart attacks coincide with their mid-life crisis.

    Combine that with fatty food being cheap, and you've got:

    Being fat does not automatically cost more than being healthy.

    I find it interesting that we're living longer than ever, we're supposedly fatter than ever, but heart disease and diabetes is at an all-time low. Oh, and speaking of diabetes, this recent article reports an Australian study that claims that childhood obesity is not related with early onset of diabetes. Interesting, no?

    Incenjucar wrote: »
    The Cat wrote: »
    Oh, come off it, that's just a dressed up version of 'fat people are jolly lol!". They're just people, and run the same gamut of awesome-to-shitheel as the rest of us. Talk like this only serves to reinforce the notion that fat people belong to some Other class.

    *shrug* In my experience overweight people in social situations are noticeably more social and outgoing than the average thinner person. My presumption is it's compensation. It may, of course, just be that the less courageous simply don't show up, or I may exist in a magical microcosm.

    This may or may not be true on a superficial level, but I think that it is warranted to make the claim that obese people run a much higher risk of poor self-esteem, stress, and depression.

    And it's that poor self-esteem, stress, and depression that in my opinion are more important to health than weight. Stress has been proven to be harmful to a person's health. If the government is so intent on making overweight people healthy, why are they continuing to stress them out?

  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited August 2007
    Irond Will wrote: »
    The Cat wrote: »
    There's also something to be said for altering the way government does subsidise food. HFCS is the most obvious problem, but I've seen a few threads on mommy blogs describing the godawful state of food-stamp programs. A lot of state governments seem to use them as a clearinghouse for excess cheap stock - so you can buy fruit juice and sodas but not fresh fruit, you can't buy wholewheat bread, you can only buy the shitty fat-ful meat cuts, etc etc.

    The big one is generally in the time and expertise it requires to cook healthful food. It takes at least some know-how to know how to prepare a healthy, tasty meal, and it takes time to do so. The "healthy" alternatives to easy-to-cook meals like, say, Hamburger Helper tend to taste bad (well, worse).

    Also, fresh produce is expensive these days and prone to spoil, which means more trips to the store, which means more time.

    absolutely. some of the better poverty-proofing programs around teach budget shopping and cooking to people, and it works really well. I remember reading about people who'd do things like walk to the store every day for a packet of powdered mashed potatoes and things like that, just incredibly short-term thinking, and those habits had to be broken by convincing them that it was okay to buy ahead of what you'd need.

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  • WindbitWindbit Registered User
    edited August 2007
    Irond Will wrote: »
    Windbit wrote: »
    Just to put things in perspective: even though the US is 38th in life expectancy, the actual American life expectancy is 80. Compare that with the 18 countries where the average life expectancy is below 50. Swaziland in particular is the country with the lowest life expectancy: it ranks in at 195 with an average life expectancy of 39.6.

    Oh jesus can you concede that maybe there are other important factors besides obesity when looking at the different life expectancies between Swaziland and the US? I mean, being a lardass might kill you when you're 55 but machetes to the head kill you now and parasites can kill you within a few months.

    Okay, but that doesn't hurt my argument. Instead of freaking out over a slight increase in weight (which is also accompanied by an increase in height) that may be linked with a slight increase in mortality, we should be trying to eliminate more immediate causes of death, like homicide. Maybe the US is 48th in life expectancy due to violence? America does seem to produce a lot of fucked-up people.

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Irond Will wrote: »
    Windbit wrote: »
    Just to put things in perspective: even though the US is 38th in life expectancy, the actual American life expectancy is 80. Compare that with the 18 countries where the average life expectancy is below 50. Swaziland in particular is the country with the lowest life expectancy: it ranks in at 195 with an average life expectancy of 39.6.

    Oh jesus can you concede that maybe there are other important factors besides obesity when looking at the different life expectancies between Swaziland and the US? I mean, being a lardass might kill you when you're 55 but machetes to the head kill you now and parasites can kill you within a few months.

    Ya think? Fuck, my head almost blew up when I read that.

    @Windbit: If you are going to compare BMIs and life expectancy, the first thing you need to do is at least try to eliminate other variables...like epidemics and civil war. So, for instance, limit yourself to stable, modern, industrialized nations. Then have a blast.

    I mean, it'd still probably be worthless, but at least my head wouldn't be getting scraped off my monitor.

    And looking at those numbers you posted, it appears that there may be some weak correlation between high BMI and low life expectancy. Probably not, I'd have to see the rest. And I don't care enough, because I'm pretty sure it wouldn't mean anything.
    absolutely. some of the better poverty-proofing programs around teach budget shopping and cooking to people, and it works really well. I remember reading about people who'd do things like walk to the store every day for a packet of powdered mashed potatoes and things like that, just incredibly short-term thinking, and those habits had to be broken by convincing them that it was okay to buy ahead of what you'd need.

    Yeah, we're not exactly poor and we're still just learning this. It's a pain in the ass learning what you can buy ahead, what you can't, and how much to buy. Especially for just two people. We end up wasting more meat and veggies than we should (though we've gotten better), and certainly more than a poor single mom could manage (I should know, I was raised by one). Whereas stocking up on shit like TV dinners and Mac and Cheese is dead fucking simple.

  • WindbitWindbit Registered User
    edited August 2007
    I wasn't really comparing the US's BMI to Swaziland's. I was trying to point out that worrying about a little excess weight is nowhere near as bad as living in a country that's as close to Hell on Earth as it gets.
    mcdermott wrote:
    And looking at those numbers you posted, it appears that there may be some weak correlation between high BMI and low life expectancy. Probably not, I'd have to see the rest. And I don't care enough, because I'm pretty sure it wouldn't mean anything.

    WOW! SOMEBODY AGREES WITH MY ARGUMENT! I'VE BEEN VINDICATED! WOOHOO!

    Anyway, here are the numbers again. I wanna make sure no one misses them. The number to the left of the country's name is there rank in the number of individuals whose BMI exceeds 30, making them obese. The number to the right of the country's name is there rank in life expectancy. These are the statistics for the 2005-2010 period:

    1 United States of America 38
    2 Mexico 48
    3 United Kingdom 22
    4 Canada 11
    5 Greece 19
    6 Australia 5
    7 New Zealand 13

    If the obesity epidemic were as dangerous as we are lead to believe, surely we'd be seeing it's effects. Isn't it interesting that Australia, the sixth most obese nation, is fifth in life expectancy? Canada, the fourth most obese nation, is eleventh in life expectancy. If obesity is poised to significantly reduce our lifespans, why aren't the other obese nations near the United States and Mexico? Isn't it possible that some other factor is causing our relatively shorter lifespans? For example, maybe it's the epidemic of violence that plagues the US?

    Am I on to something here, or am I a pathetically confused fool?

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Windbit wrote: »
    I wasn't really comparing the US's BMI to Swaziland's. I was trying to point out that worrying about a little excess weight is nowhere near as bad as living in a country that's as close to Hell on Earth as it gets.

    Ah. Fair enough. The rest was still absolutely mind-numbing, but I suppose you have a point there.

    But then, why worry about anything in this country though? Also, by the time you qualify as "obese" we're generally not just talking about a little excess weight.

  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited August 2007
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Yeah, we're not exactly poor and we're still just learning this. It's a pain in the ass learning what you can buy ahead, what you can't, and how much to buy. Especially for just two people. We end up wasting more meat and veggies than we should (though we've gotten better), and certainly more than a poor single mom could manage (I should know, I was raised by one). Whereas stocking up on shit like TV dinners and Mac and Cheese is dead fucking simple.

    Join the club :P the worst thing is limited fridge space, that throws out all the estimates. I have one shelf and change in a 250L fridge to work with >_<

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  • WindbitWindbit Registered User
    edited August 2007
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Windbit wrote: »
    I wasn't really comparing the US's BMI to Swaziland's. I was trying to point out that worrying about a little excess weight is nowhere near as bad as living in a country that's as close to Hell on Earth as it gets.

    Ah. Fair enough. The rest was still absolutely mind-numbing, but I suppose you have a point there.

    But then, why worry about anything in this country though? Also, by the time you qualify as "obese" we're generally not just talking about a little excess weight.

    By "a little excess weight", I mean the overall average increase in weight, which is a far cry from the alarmist " Everyone will be 500 pounds by 2015! The end is nigh! The end is really fucking nigh!" shit that we hear on the news.

    EDIT: I can't wait to see what other people think of my argument once the forum gets busy again, although I'm predicting a lot of counter arguments and disagreement. But oh well! I've really enjoyed this debate.

  • ege02ege02 __BANNED USERS
    edited August 2007
    Windbit wrote: »
    Done a bit of quick research. The number to the left of the country's name is there rank in the number of individuals whose BMI exceeds 30, making them obese. The number to the right of the country's name is there rank in life expectancy. These are the statistics for the 2005-2010 period:

    1 United States of America 38
    2 Mexico 48
    3 United Kingdom 22
    4 Canada 11
    5 Greece 19
    6 Australia 5
    7 New Zealand 13

    If the obesity epidemic were as dangerous as we are lead to believe, surely we'd be seeing it's effects. Isn't it interesting that Australia, the sixth most obese nation, is fifth in life expectancy? Canada, the fourth most obese nation, is eleventh in life expectancy. If obesity is poised to significantly reduce our lifespans, why aren't the other obese nations near the United States and Mexico? Isn't it possible that some other factor is causing our relatively shorter lifespans? For example, maybe it's the epidemic of violence that plagues the US?

    Just to put things in perspective: even though the US is 38th in life expectancy, the actual American life expectancy is 80. Compare that with the 18 countries where the average life expectancy is below 50. Swaziland in particular is the country with the lowest life expectancy: it ranks in at 195 with an average life expectancy of 39.6.

    Maybe instead of pumping all that money into attempting to increase the lifespan of the average American by a couple more years so we can catch up with Australia, we should be using it to give people in other countries a chance.

    For example, the chance to live long enough to spend more time worrying "Do these pants make me look fat?" rather than "How am I going to live another day?"

    You're doing all this "research", which is nice I guess, but the problem is that you are doing it with a HUGE bias, which ends up making your results extremely convoluted and questionable. You basically are trying to convince yourself, not anyone else.

    For this specific case, your conclusions don't work because there are a huge number of other factors that affect people's health. Obesity is not the end-all-be-all health problem. But experts have proven, with actual scientific research rather than simply running statistics against each other like you have done above, that obesity dramatically reduces people's overall health, on average.
    Windbit wrote: »
    Irond Will wrote: »
    Windbit wrote: »
    Just to put things in perspective: even though the US is 38th in life expectancy, the actual American life expectancy is 80. Compare that with the 18 countries where the average life expectancy is below 50. Swaziland in particular is the country with the lowest life expectancy: it ranks in at 195 with an average life expectancy of 39.6.

    Oh jesus can you concede that maybe there are other important factors besides obesity when looking at the different life expectancies between Swaziland and the US? I mean, being a lardass might kill you when you're 55 but machetes to the head kill you now and parasites can kill you within a few months.

    Okay, but that doesn't hurt my argument.

    On the contrary, it completely destroys your argument.
    Instead of freaking out over a slight increase in weight (which is also accompanied by an increase in height) that may be linked with a slight increase in mortality, we should be trying to eliminate more immediate causes of death, like homicide.

    Newsflash: we can work on fixing more than one thing at a time.

    Medopine wrote: »
    Fuck that woman going "oh god oh no!!"

    It's nature, bitch
  • FirstComradeStalinFirstComradeStalin Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    OK, wouldn't it be much better if we had the life expectancies of a few first-world nations, then look at the life expectancy of the obese in those nations, so we could get a much better view of obesity's effects on life expectancy?

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  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    OK, wouldn't it be much better if we had the life expectancies of a few first-world nations, then look at the life expectancy of the obese in those nations, so we could get a much better view of obesity's effects on life expectancy?

    No.

    Because that doesn't establish causation.

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  • thundercakethundercake Registered User
    edited August 2007
    The idea that fat is suddenly more acceptable than ever is a total myth.. celebrities are getting thinner and thinner and health food is everywhere, and I do sense sort of a "scare" thing going on, especially in schools. A few companies (like Dove) have been promoting acceptance of everyone regardless of appearance, whether it be age or weight, recently. I really don't see how anyone could see that as a bad thing. But those commercials definitely do not represent the overall feeling of the world, and in fact, when one of them came on at a movie theater once, I heard a bunch of people loudly expressing their disgust and outrage at their showing a woman with a flabby stomach.

    As for self control, willpower and all that stuff...there is no way that you can tell just by looking at somebody what they are like in terms of willpower. I know PLENTY of people who eat (or drink alcohol) like a horse without any self-restraint and have the natural metabolism to stay thin. Myself, I exercise and eat healthy, and I'm still shy of my target weight because my genetic makeup comes from hundreds of years of heavy women. C'est la vie.

  • FirstComradeStalinFirstComradeStalin Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    OK, wouldn't it be much better if we had the life expectancies of a few first-world nations, then look at the life expectancy of the obese in those nations, so we could get a much better view of obesity's effects on life expectancy?

    No.

    Because that doesn't establish causation.

    How not? If you got a good number of nations to compare to, and if there is a trend to have a lower life expectancy for the obese, how does that not prove that being obese means you're more likely to die early?

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  • FirstComradeStalinFirstComradeStalin Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    OK, wouldn't it be much better if we had the life expectancies of a few first-world nations, then look at the life expectancy of the obese in those nations, so we could get a much better view of obesity's effects on life expectancy?

    No.

    Because that doesn't establish causation.

    How not? If you got a good number of nations to compare to, and if there is a trend to have a lower life expectancy for the obese, how does that not prove that being obese means you're more likely to die early?

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  • ege02ege02 __BANNED USERS
    edited August 2007
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    OK, wouldn't it be much better if we had the life expectancies of a few first-world nations, then look at the life expectancy of the obese in those nations, so we could get a much better view of obesity's effects on life expectancy?

    No.

    Because that doesn't establish causation.

    How not? If you got a good number of nations to compare to, and if there is a trend to have a lower life expectancy for the obese, how does that not prove that being obese means you're more likely to die early?

    You need to control every variable other than obesity. Which is impossible.

    Medopine wrote: »
    Fuck that woman going "oh god oh no!!"

    It's nature, bitch
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Please forgive this nonsense scenario, someone can come up with a better one using real situations:

    In Rich Country A, Obese people live 50 years on average.

    In Poor Country Z, Obese people live 60 years average.

    Does this mean that being rich makes fat people die sooner?

    No. Turns out that Rich Country A is cannibals or something.

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  • FirstComradeStalinFirstComradeStalin Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Please forgive this nonsense scenario, someone can come up with a better one using real situations:

    In Rich Country A, Obese people live 50 years on average.

    In Poor Country Z, Obese people live 60 years average.

    Does this mean that being rich makes fat people die sooner?

    No. Turns out that Rich Country A is cannibals or something.

    I mean comparing the difference between the life expectancies of normal and obese, judged on a per-country basis. If it's 10 years across the board, then obviously it would be harmful.

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  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    That's just correlation though.

    Which was my point.

    Which you missed.

    The life expectancies of a group does not necessarily mean that being part of that group is the actual CAUSE.

    It could be the MOTIVE, or a SYMPTOM, instead.

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  • FirstComradeStalinFirstComradeStalin Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Oh, I see your point now. But honestly, what other explanation could there be?

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  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Stress? Climate? Pollution? Local diseases? Nutrition? (Empty Calories, etc) Violence? Dangerous Hobbies? Suicide rate? Natural Disasters? Bad government?

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  • CasketCasket __BANNED USERS
    edited August 2007
    Incen that was a shitty example. Rich Country A could never be cannibals for very long. This has been discussed before and the result was inefficiency and reduced Net Gains from every meal.

    Please make a new example so we can understand what the hell you are talking about.

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  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Windbit wrote: »
    Wait till "they" link obesity and global warming. Fat people have a larger carbon footprint because they have more body mass... :x

    They already have, actually. Interestingly, they've also linked exercise to global warming: when people exercise, they produce carbon dioxide at a greater rate. However, the study that brought that up pointed out that the increase in carbon dioxide created by both exercise and obesity are negligible compared to other causes.
    Windbit wrote: »
    Are there any fit girls who like fat guys?

    I've talked to girls who like fat guys, yes. In fact, when my mom figured out that I liked big girls, she told me that the daughter of one of her coworkers likes guys who are pushing 300.

    D:

    EDIT: I mean, I can understand enjoying some padding, but that's just enjoying morbid obesity.

    Well, I like overweight girls, and I beat myself up about it pretty badly in a recent topic until I realized that a) Not all fat girls are guaranteed to have health problems b) I prefer girls that don't have big stomaches (and by big, I mean a huge gut the flows well over the waistband; a chubby belly is OK) so they're not as at high a risk statistically c) they're going to be heavy whether I date them or not, and d) stressing out about my preference will only cause my health to decline, too.

    In the case of that other girl, yes, being obese undoubtedly increases your risk for several health problems (although it is debatable to what extent), but it's better for a fat guy lover and a fat guy to be happy together than to be miserable apart, isn't it?
    Windbit wrote: »
    Are there any fit girls who like fat guys?
    Fevered ranting in which windbit shows he has no fucking idea how statistics work.

    Look, its not about living longer. Who wants to live to be 100 if for half of that time your life sucks do to disease? Its about prolonging the period in which you are still healthy. That is the real goal of doctors working in the field of longevity. "ololol people will live to be 150" gets the headlines but the real science is directed at trying to keep people who are 60 feeling like they did at 40.

    Even if you keep your weight down, you're not guaranteed better health. Car accidents, UV radiation, air pollution, contaminants in food, AIDS, even your genetic code for Dawkins sake! Smoked a bong once? Cancer, bitch! Everything's out to get us! The majority of Americans may be at least slightly overweight by current standards, but there are relatively few massive, 500 pound people who can barely move out there, and many of those extreme cases are probably that size because of a medical condition. I mean, really, how many people do you see daily who are obviously suffering from a poor quality of life due to their massive body? I might see two or three in a month.

    The quality of life is significantly better now that it has ever been. I've read this once, and I think it applies: "If the greatest health threat to a society is that they're eating too much, then they must be doing something right."
    O_o I was being facetious...
    They've linked every thing under the sun to global warming.
    Makes one wonder if it might be..... fake?
    Or at best a pseudo-science.
    There I said it.

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  • ege02ege02 __BANNED USERS
    edited August 2007
    I...

    You know what, fuck it. Arguing with windbit makes my head hurt.

    Medopine wrote: »
    Fuck that woman going "oh god oh no!!"

    It's nature, bitch
  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    ege02 wrote: »
    I...

    You know what, fuck it. Arguing with windbit makes my head hurt.
    I remember a year ago when you were quite stubborn as well ;-)

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  • ege02ege02 __BANNED USERS
    edited August 2007
    The difference is that I was right.

    :P

    Medopine wrote: »
    Fuck that woman going "oh god oh no!!"

    It's nature, bitch
  • FirstComradeStalinFirstComradeStalin Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Stress? Climate? Pollution? Local diseases? Nutrition? (Empty Calories, etc) Violence? Dangerous Hobbies? Suicide rate? Natural Disasters? Bad government?

    Uh, if you're saying that those things cause obesity, then I'm completely lost.

    OK, here's an example, completely hypothetical:

    USA LE: 70 Obese USA: 60
    UK LE: 73 Obese UK: 63
    Sweden LE: 76 Obese Sweden: 65
    Denmark LE: 75 Obese Denmark: 62

    Now, if this was the case, that would show that obesity is the cause of major drop in life expectancy.

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  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    If obesity was the only factor in the entire world ever, sure.

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  • FirstComradeStalinFirstComradeStalin Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    If obesity was the only factor in the entire world ever, sure.

    So you're saying that if those statistics were true, there is some characteristic that all obese people have that could be making them have a significantly different life expectancy?

    The other factors are being factored in. The only comparison is how many years are lost from the nation's regular life expectancy by having this one characteristic.

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  • ege02ege02 __BANNED USERS
    edited August 2007
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Stress? Climate? Pollution? Local diseases? Nutrition? (Empty Calories, etc) Violence? Dangerous Hobbies? Suicide rate? Natural Disasters? Bad government?

    Uh, if you're saying that those things cause obesity, then I'm completely lost.

    OK, here's an example, completely hypothetical:

    USA LE: 70 Obese USA: 60
    UK LE: 73 Obese UK: 63
    Sweden LE: 76 Obese Sweden: 65
    Denmark LE: 75 Obese Denmark: 62

    Now, if this was the case, that would show that obesity is the cause of major drop in life expectancy.

    No, it wouldn't. Do you know what a "controlled experiment" means?

    Let's say that we are comparing the life expectancy of chickens in Africa and chickens in North America. We're trying to figure out if high temperatures have a negative effect on chicken life expectancy.

    So we collect some data, and find that the average LE of African chickens (BLACK CHICKENZ ZOMG!) is 10, whereas that of American chickens is 12.

    Can we conclude that high temperatures is the cause of lower LE in African chickens?

    No, we cannot.

    Because there most likely are other factors that contribute to their low LE. There may be poisonous snakes in the desert that prey on chicken. Maybe the locals hunt chickens. Maybe the diet of American chickens is better for their health, which causes them to live longer. Etcetera.

    So if we want to find out the actual answer, we have to keep all those other factors constant to make sure they don't have different effects on our samples. We have to make sure they are on exactly the same diet. We have to make sure they are in environments that are completely safe from predators. We have to make sure a lot of other things. And then, we keep only the temperatures different. Only then can we definitively conclude the effects of temperature on LE.

    Exact same thing with obesity vs. life expectancy debate. You can't simply look at LE and obesity rates and come to conclusions like "obesity does not cause LE to go down".

    Medopine wrote: »
    Fuck that woman going "oh god oh no!!"

    It's nature, bitch
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    But.... it says it right there.
    There has to be a correlation between the two.
    I read something, and then it has to be true facts. :P

    This actually works, actually. Realistic results. But there's a trick to the interpretation.

    Sample size doesn't matter. The sample size could consist of the entire population throughout time.

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  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Correlations are pretty worthless when you can't tightly control the variables. Showing obesity drops life expectancy is only valid because it's been linked as a risk factor to a number of life style diseases which drop your life expectancy, but it's a poor argument to talk strictly about correlations. I mean, there's a correlation between GDP and cancer.

  • CasketCasket __BANNED USERS
    edited August 2007
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    But.... it says it right there.
    There has to be a correlation between the two.
    I read something, and then it has to be true facts. :P

    This actually works, actually. Realistic results. But there's a trick to the interpretation.

    Sample size doesn't matter. The sample size could consist of the entire population throughout time.

    Sample size matters.

    If you take it from 3 people you have conducted a shitty sample, and your data is worthless.

    If you conduct the test with everyone who has ever lived, then you can make a good amount of predictions.

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  • ege02ege02 __BANNED USERS
    edited August 2007
    Casket wrote: »
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    But.... it says it right there.
    There has to be a correlation between the two.
    I read something, and then it has to be true facts. :P

    This actually works, actually. Realistic results. But there's a trick to the interpretation.

    Sample size doesn't matter. The sample size could consist of the entire population throughout time.

    Sample size matters.

    If you take it from 3 people you have conducted a shitty sample, and your data is worthless.

    If you conduct the test with everyone who has ever lived, then you can make a good amount of predictions.

    The only thing a meaningfully large sample size ensures is higher accuracy.

    It doesn't make up for uncontrolled variables.

    Medopine wrote: »
    Fuck that woman going "oh god oh no!!"

    It's nature, bitch
  • CasketCasket __BANNED USERS
    edited August 2007
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    *sigh*

    Okay, the key to that: Your shoe size gets bigger as you age. On average, older kids are going to know more. Shoe size was related to AGE of tester.

    Now you see the issue?

    Yes, and the age was related to the score on the tests.

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  • CasketCasket __BANNED USERS
    edited August 2007
    ege02 wrote: »
    I just explained that yes, it does matter. Go read my chicken example.

    A cow eating a baby chick is an uncontrolled variable.

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  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Casket wrote: »
    ege02 wrote: »
    I just explained that yes, it does matter. Go read my chicken example.

    A cow eating a baby chick is an uncontrolled variable.
    Unless you knew it was going to eat the chick.
    Then it's controlled

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  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Casket wrote: »
    ege02 wrote: »
    I just explained that yes, it does matter. Go read my chicken example.

    A cow eating a baby chick is an uncontrolled variable.
    Unless you knew it was going to eat the chick.
    Then it's controlled
    The correct answer is that it is controlled because you can simply derive an "average losses per year/month/day" figure by surveying the farmers and asking how many chickens die over timespan X.

  • HeadlessChickens.IncHeadlessChickens.Inc Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Yeah, looks like I registered just to post this, but I actually can't retrieve my password from my old account.. it's linked to a long-abandoned email address, and it's really not worth trying to get it from forum admins.

    This post is very long, I know. If you're not willing to read things this long, you should not be debating science. The first part of this post is addressed to the "genes make people fat/skinny" crowd, who are just using anecdotal evidence to prove their PoV. The second part, that would be down at the bottom, extends this to explain how you can be fat+healthy or skinny+unhealthy, but are more likely to be unhealthy if fat. If you already know your basic bio on the subject of food, or you're just here for the obesity vs. health debate, skip on down.

    Anyway, I'm always amazed by the complete lack of public knowledge on the topic of food/weight gain. I realize that everyone has specialized areas of knowledge (I could hardly tell you where Michigan is.. north-ish?), and that not everyone studied biology in college, but this basic info should really be common knowledge (I'm not saying "you should already know this," I'm saying, "this should be taught to every person without question, and I'm shocked it isn't.") My intention is not to insult anyone, just to post the facts.. insulting people for being overweight is the wrong thing to do. This is the 21st century; we don't hate people for differing lifestyles anymore, right?

    There's nothing mysterious about how the body becomes overweight, how we process food, and how we later burn that energy. While it is true that each body has different resting metabolic rates, these differences are actually insignificant. A lot of this might be common knowledge to many, so I apologize in advance if it sounds like I'm talking down.. I just want it to be accessible to any level of knowledge on the subject.

    Before I begin I'll note that I'm talking about fat weight, not actual body weight. Changes in eating habits can result in the loss/gain of several pounds of water, so much so that many "get thin quick" diets are actually based on having a person lose 5 pounds of water in a week. This is not a healthy way to lose weight, nor does it actually work. Also, let it be known that poor dieting techniques will result in the loss of healthy skeletal muscle. Muscle weighs a ton, so you'll think you're losing fat when you're actually ruining your body; always eat sufficient protein when dieting.

    I'll spare us the details of how food is digested into more basic components; while this is important to understanding how everything works in food processing, it's way more academic than we need to get (you can also look it up pretty easily). For simplicity, understand that every gram of sugar or protein can be broken down and processed into about 4 kilo calories (in the US, we just call them calories, but the distinction is worth noting). Fats, about 9 kcal.

    This higher (more than double) density of energy in fats is the reason they're considered "fattening." A teaspoon of oil has more calories than a teaspoon of corn syrup, or an equal volume of fish, simply because the base component produces twice the energy when metabolized. It's worth busting a few myths here: Saturated fats are not worth more than unsaturated, eating 300 calories of fat is exactly the same as eating 300 calories of sugar/protein (for weight control purposes -- these nutrients have their own primary functions in the body which fall outside the range of this discussion), and you can get fat eating healthy food, assuming you eat enough of it.

    For the sake of simplicity, a pound of fat equals 3500 kcal. That means that gaining a pound of fat actually requires a decent bit of effort; you have to eat 3500 kcal more than you burn. To do this in a single day, you'd have to eat somewhere in the range of 5500 kcal, more/less depending on your current weight and activity level. That's about 8 Whoppers, 12 McDonalds double cheeseburgers, .. well, you get the idea.

    That said, the math of weight gain is extremely simple. Your body consumes "X" kcal per day if you do nothing. This is your resting metabolic rate; how many kcal you'd burn per day if you stayed in bed. You eat "Y" kcal worth of food per day. If Y > X, you gain weight. If X > Y, you lose weight, or your metabolism is adjusted down to keep the weight stable (in which case you will note these effects as weakness, lack of endurance, and generally being lethargic). While X, resting metabolic rate can change, there are limits; you must consume enough energy to keep all of your systems running, or you will lose consciousness and eventually die. That said, there is no such thing as a person with such a low metabolic rate that they are forced to be obese; you simply could not survive in that state without being comatose.

    This becomes more complex when you add in daily activity. Everything you do consumes energy, and that energy has to come from somewhere. If you start consuming more kcal than you've eaten, your body has no choice but to dip into reserves. While muscles themselves have reserves, within 10 minutes of continued activity, your body will likely be forced to access bodyfat to continue moving. This is why exercise is far more effective than diet alone; while your body can adjust its base metabolic rate to match your diet to a degree, it cannot alter the amount of energy it takes to run at a set speed (though, as you lose weight, this amount obviously decreases). It's not uncommon to be able to burn well over 500kcal/hour doing moderate exercise. There is no one, of any level of metabolism, who cannot lose weight with a serious exercise program. The weight comes from somewhere, and if you burn the energy, that energy has to come from somewhere too.

    If your body has deteriorated to the point where you cannot do 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise per day, barring unrelated injuries of course, you need to go to a hospital. Now. I'm not being an ass, I'm serious. If you can't find 30 minutes a day out of your schedule, you need to reconsider your priorities.

    So, I want to try to debunk the two most common Obesity Myths I hear.

    1) My metabolism is so slow, I can gain 10 pounds if I slip in my diet just a little! I was born to be fat!
    -Theory: People used to overeating have come to declare their level of food intake "normal." The body is so used to it that it has decreased metabolism to compensate (all that extra weight uses lots of extra energy, so the body turns down the temperature in general to keep things level). As such, initial response to a decrease in food intake is minimal, as the body's generally running cool anyway.

    -HIGHLY Theoretical: Long-term exposure to high kcal intake and low kcal usage, combined with high body weights, may also trigger gene keys which cause chemical changes akin to hibernation mechanisms, which further complicate the problem by 'convincing' the body that storing food instead of burning it is the appropriate course for survival. This is just a theory to explain the long-term down regulation of metabolism in people with severe obesity.

    -Case: Earlier in this thread I saw someone claim that a relative of theirs could gain "several pounds" from eating a few cookies. This is just absurd; when a statement like this is made, you're suggesting that the body, being exposed to cookies, literally created pounds of fat from, what, air? A more likely scenario is that this person has actually slipped for several days, possibly a week or more, eating huge quantities of junk food, and then only admits to having "eaten a few cookies" when confronted. The other possibility is that something in the cookies/whatever else, probably high salt levels, resulted in the body retaining a pound or two of water. In fact, even without a significant diet change, the body can shift up or down by a few pounds due to water; never watch your day-to-day weight and consider that to be accurate. Only long-term averages have any meaning.

    I was an overweight kid myself, yet I never felt that I ate a large amount. In fact, I often felt that I was keeping my intake low enough that I should be losing weight. It was only once I started looking at the numbers that I realized my idea of a normal amount of food was higher than baseline.

    2) I eat a ton, and I still can't gain a pound!
    -Theory: It's really just the opposite of #1. People who are used to being thin and not eating much simply feel that the amount they eat is normal, or even "a lot."

    -Case: I recently had the opportunity to test this concept on one of my house mates. He's about 6'1", and as thin as a stick. It wasn't really my idea to bring this up, I certainly wasn't thinking about it, but he mentioned that regardless of his massive consumption of food, he simply couldn't gain weight. I was skeptical; it's technically impossible that he could be eating more than he burns and not gaining weight, unless of course he had a more serious medical condition (a parasite, for example).

    So, I asked him to keep track of what he ate throughout the day. At the end, I counted about 1500 calories, which is actually less than his base metabolic rate should be. For the sake of accuracy, I asked him to attempt to recall what he'd eaten the previous day, and we repeated the experiment the following day. The results were similar: in the end, it became clear that his idea of "a ton of food" was the same as my idea of a hearty snack. When I pointed out how much I usually ate in a day, he agreed that his point of view might be based on coming from a family of people with similar body types and eating habits; my idea of eating "a lot" was basically double his version.

    Aaanyway, this has gotten a lot longer than I intended, but it's a topic I think people should be clear on; there's a ton of pseudo-science on the issue, while the actual science of it is very clear and easily available to anyone who wants to know. The problem is that, as lazy, modern, tech-era people, we'd often rather not know the answer to a problem if that answer includes words like "work" or "exercise." It especially doesn't help if the answer also clearly states, "it's your -- or your parents -- fault." There's a certain kind of comfort in knowing you can't do anything to make things better; at least it's not your fault, and you don't have to try. No one can blame you for failing against genes, but everyone can blame you for being too lazy to do simple addition and subtraction. 1400 - 2800 = -1400. So my net kcal for today is -1400 -- and that's actually true, BTW.. I'm trying to lose a few extra lbs I picked up while doing a strength training routine.

    To finish this off, those people who claim to not work for perfect bodies are full of it. Yes, it is true that many of them have a genetic predisposition towards burning more kcal/hour than the average person. Yeah, they may produce more of certain hormones and enzymes which aid in muscle development, and they may have more mitochondria (hah, PA forums doesn't know the word) per cell than average. Those differences are not as significant as they sound; they're base advantages, but one person isn't burning 1300 while another burns 4000.. it just doesn't range that wide. More realistically, these naturally athletic kids were constantly encouraged by (likely) athletic parents to play sports and go outside when some of us were sitting in front of a radioactive box or three. As adults, they probably have no idea just how much more active they are than baseline, and as such they're not actually lying when they say that it takes no effort. Constant childhood exercise means more mitochondria, which means more energy burned per unit of time, even resting! Their everyday ideas of fun often include things that chronically lazy people wouldn't touch with the proverbial 10-foot pole, like mountain biking, playing a game of pickup basketball, hiking, or just being inclined to walk/bike to places others would drive. They may be generally hyperactive, and as such, burn more calories doing "nothing," simply because they move more often and generally maintain a higher state of physical awareness.

    Conclusion: The real link to obesity? Lazy people raising lazy kids and the cycle of self-serving ignorance. That's also the link to being socially and politically retarded, but that's for another day.

    But is it healthier to...?

    Okay, if you're down here you either don't care about that stuff ^^^ or you skimmed/read it. I don't care either way. Anyway, here are some fun example cases to really throw some confusion into the obesity vs. health debate.

    The Health Nut Lard-Ass:
    As you may have noticed when I was talking about fats, it turns out you could become morbidly obese eating super-healthy food. You could balance all of your nutrients out, get plenty of vitamins and minerals, and keep your saturated fat and cholesterol levels at or near zero, but if you ate 6000 kcal worth of the super-healthy food a day, you'd gain 30+ lbs in a month. Maybe less; your body might start.. uh.. bypassing digestion on some of the food if you ate that much per day (read: explosive diarrhea).


    The Skinny Guy Who Eats Crap (imagine Dennis Leary :D)
    In contrast, you could eat the worst foods possible, with a scoop of lard on top for extra flavor, and be the skinniest guy around as long as you ate small portions of the crap. You could weigh 120 lbs and eat nothing but cake and bacon, so long as you only ate ~ 1500-2500 (depends on your weight and activity level) kcal per day.

    There are of course the unmentioned, normal cases, the fat guy who eats crap, and skinny guy who eats healthy, and the fat/skinny guys who eat "average."

    Honestly, if you're asking which of the two extreme examples will be healthier, I'll probably put my money on Fatty McSaladeater. What I mean by this is: I'm pretty sure the guy with massive cholesterol levels and clogged arteries who never gets his RDA of vitamins and minerals is going to be more likely to have heart disease or a stroke. The other guy's fat, sure, and side-by-side it looks like he's going in the ground first, but his cholesterol is low, he gets all the nutrients he needs in the right balance, and his weight is his only health problem. His weight does stress the heart somewhat, and it may mean his muscles atrophy due to disuse. His joints will likely deteriorate from carrying all that weight as he gets older, but that still presents no problems to sustaining life. There is such a thing as a fat embolism, but heart disease from artery blockage should be more common.

    Up until major problems present, the skinny guy probably feels better day-to-day. Not only does he look better, he's lighter and more physically capable. He can play sports, even, it's just that his heart might explode.

    Obviously, the fat guy who eats all the bacon and cake is the worst case; he has all the problems of the healthy fat guy and the unhealthy skinny guy combined.

    The healthy skinny guy, of course, wins; barring some genetic predisposition towards cancer or something, he probably has the longest "functional" lifetime.

    Of the two average nutrition guys, I think you can now see that the problems presented by being heavy give the fat guy a disadvantage. It's probably not a severe one until they get older, though. The randomness of genes and diseases can shift it either way, but if we had 10,000 of these people, more of the fat ones would have health problems than the skinny ones just because of the stress created by needing to get blood to all of that tissue.

    In the end, being fat alone is not the same as having a poor diet. Eating poorly is generally assumed when referring to obese people, because usually people don't get fat eating healthy food, but is not a requirement of obesity. So, how much of a health link there is really depends more on what the person eats than how much. Someone who became obese by eating cheap, poor-quality food is likely to have health problems, but the cause of these problems is going to be lack of key nutrients, cholesterol, and so forth. It will, of course, be aggravated by the obesity.

    It is therefore more difficult to link obesity directly to health problems than you might think, simply because doing so requires controlling health factors relating to the quality of the diet. The ideal test group would be 10,000 of the first case, the super-health-nut-fat-guy, and this isn't especially common.

  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Casket wrote: »
    ege02 wrote: »
    Casket wrote: »
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    But.... it says it right there.
    There has to be a correlation between the two.
    I read something, and then it has to be true facts. :P

    This actually works, actually. Realistic results. But there's a trick to the interpretation.

    Sample size doesn't matter. The sample size could consist of the entire population throughout time.

    Sample size matters.

    If you take it from 3 people you have conducted a shitty sample, and your data is worthless.

    If you conduct the test with everyone who has ever lived, then you can make a good amount of predictions.

    The only thing a meaningfully large sample size ensures is higher accuracy.

    It doesn't make up for uncontrolled variables.

    Does it matter?
    Let's say I do a study, and find that five out of five people were serial killers. I could then infer that 100% of the population have this problem.
    It's like that damn spotted cow joke that every modern writer puts in their book, not knowing that every other modern writer did the same damn thing.
    ( Life of Pi, A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time)
    Can someone reference this damn cow joke please.

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  • Shiekahn_boyShiekahn_boy Registered User
    edited August 2007
    Ok, this is what I see in school.

    Jr high:
    After 6th grade, they took out all cokes and put in Minute Maid and Yoohoo's. This really didn't help. Alot of kids just asked their parents to buy them cokes and they took them to school. Some took 2 or 3 makeing it worse then the 75 cents they use to buy the one canned 20 oz from the machine. Actually, alot of people started to get fatter when this happened so the idea of this just got slammed. Also, the expensive food. Kids ordered out of snack machines filled with chips and donuts and honeybuns to fill themselfs since a small pizza costs about 1.50 to 2.00 and it NEVER fills you up or even makes you less hungry. Trey food is mabye 1.50 to 3.00 and the food tastes like shit. I heard some of the teachers say "Be glad you have food to eat and in other country they STARVE!" Well give this crap to them then you cheap bastards!!

    Highschool:
    We still have cokes here in highschool since they think we can control ourselfs. Well, thats relief. I don't buy cokes at school that much anyways. The foods not really bad, but it's always expensive. If your not carefull you can get about 5 dollars worth of food on your trey that dosn't taste good or is in small portions. We have a snackline. Everything there is a little cheap, but its still good. The only problem is, the salads are worth 2.50 for about a small doggiebag full of salad. Ok, that's just dumb. You encourage us to eat healthier, but the health foods are more expensive and LESS filling then the damn trey and snackline food!!! It's bullshit. The good food is in the snackline, thats why alot of people line up in there. Yeah, they sell tings like apples, bananas, yogurt up in the front, but it's still a little pricey. They push us to not be obese in the schools and to have healthier choices and AGAIN the healthier choices are waaaay overpriced. It's that way because people will stare themselfs in the mirror and say "I need to eat healthier." The school KNOWS that when people feel fat in highschool, they feel left out, outcasted, and depressed. These people spend all their money on healthy foods so that they get thinner, but alas, it works slow. They get bankrupt and can't buy any food. So they STARVE themselfs makeing their bodies go into "HOLY SHIT" mode and store away calories by fat.

    Edit: Excuse my grammer and mis'spelling. I'm a little angry adn tired.

    "your a moron you know that wolves have packs wich they rely on nd they could ever here of lone wolves? you an idiot and your gay, wolves have packs and are smart with tactics" - Youtube Wolf Enthusiast.
    What the fuck are you people even arguing about? Shut up.
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