The Obesity Epidemic

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    I read most of the posts and lots of great ideas and thoughts.

    Ill try to offer another side as well since i didnt see any of the posts hit on this.

    I am in the military, Marine Corps specifically and most who know about the Marine Corps or know of others who have been in, know that we PT a pretty good amount. Ranging from cross fit workouts to running 5+ miles three times a week. We have weight and body composition standards that we must adhere to and physical fitness standards. If we do not adhere to these weight standards we get put on a weight control program.

    Since we have these standards, if they are not complied with, your career can be and will be affected. In my mind you would think this would be enough to ensure Marines would remain in good physical condition. Unfortunately this is not the case as many Marines remain out of shape.

    This seems to go hand in hand with the old saying, "You can lead a horse to water but you cant make him drink the water".

    While i think America does need to take necessary steps to try and work on the issue of obesity and help people lead healthier lives, it also requires leg work on behalf of the person themselves. This is a lot of times, where the problem lies.

    Like others have stated we live in a society where everyone is so used to comfort and lazy. Everyone wants a magic pill or potion that will do the trick. Well this obviously isnt the case. People must put in hard work and effort and they just arent accustomed to that.

    So while i agree with healthcare insurance providers providing incentives and food stamps only being for healthy foods or alternatives it still falls on the individual. Noone can make someone do something they dont want to do. Even if they do want to lose weight its a hard and long road for most and this in itself will deter a lot of people regardless of incentives provided.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr.cooper69 View Post
    Their discipline is obviously lacking (that's how they got here in the first place), but if you take anyone and put them in an obese person's shoes, most will fail to lose weight. The small percent that succeeds are health concious folk like those who populate this forum...and let me assure you, this makes up virtually none of the patients I've seen
    Your outlook is admirable and I imagine that quality is going to make you an outstanding physician. I wise I could be that optimistic and compassionate but I guess 7 years in an emergency room has sucked all the empathy out of me. I am all for teaching and helping but I have absolutely no desire to interact with individuals who dont want to learn or refuse to take action and from my experience this makes up most of the patients I interact with on a daily basis in the ER.
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    The world def needs to limit if not out right get rid of all fast food chains. Also limiting the amount of processed foods. Money should be spent elsewhere such as on areas of growing fresh food and healthy living environments for our meat sources. It is possible to get this now but at a higher price. I believe people that dont care to take care of themselves should be made to. Their disregard to their own health most of the time lands them into getting medical and disability payments from our money. People need to be informed how heath is essential for life at younger age. Starting with what they eat in school. In the us many schools are packed with vending machines. The schools are paid from the state per child per for each meal which i believe i read was somewhere around $0.57/ child on average. Most states dont have a nutritional guideline but rather a guideline stating they must have a meat source, a veggie, and a fruit. All of which usually is processed or comes from a can. We pay more to feed convicts and prison than we do for children to eat in school. I dont blame the schools but rater the states you can only do so much with $0.57. I could go on and on but here i have broke down my basic thoughts on changing obesity. Looking forward to reading everyones views on this topic.
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    For all those that think the state should limit or eliminate "X" from our diet (be it fast food, soda, or whatever) let me remind you what the FDAs position is on protein intake, fat intake and dietary cholesterol intake. This is not the states role nor should it be. The lack the agility to keep current and have too many compounding interest (specifically agriculture industry). Would you want a law that limited steak size? Egg sale? How about banning of butter and only allowing margarine?

    I know it sounds good (ban mcdonalds or limit soda) but these actions dont even compare to the effectiveness of behavioral modification and the key to this is having an educated and scientifically literate society. You want people to make the conscious decision to reach for broccoli over the fritos, not have them reach for broccoli because fritos arent an option.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JudoJosh View Post
    I guess 7 years in an emergency room has sucked all the empathy out of me..
    I am sorry this has happened for you Josh and I wish it was not happening especially if for the beginning it was there and now gone...especially too if for you are enthusiastic for helping with much empathy for others with it now all sucked away. It is something one of the very important things as human beings it is to hold to.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JudoJosh View Post
    For all those that think the state should limit or eliminate "X" from our diet (be it fast food, soda, or whatever) let me remind you what the FDAs position is on protein intake, fat intake and dietary cholesterol intake. This is not the states role nor should it be. The lack the agility to keep current and have too many compounding interest (specifically agriculture industry). Would you want a law that limited steak size? Egg sale? How about banning of butter and only allowing margarine?
    What would eliminating unnecessary foods and empty calories have to do with restricting portion sizes for good foods? Nothing is wrong with a good burger but like any product if people cant use it responsibly they shouldn't have the option to use it.
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    I dont think banning mcdonalds or any of the fast food chains is going to help solve this issue. On top of that i will indulge at times at some of these places and dont want that choice taken away.

    Where there is a will there is a way, so even if you ban mcdonalds or any other fast food chain, people will still find ways to push themselves into obesity or sustain it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3clipseGT View Post
    I dont think banning mcdonalds or any of the fast food chains is going to help solve this issue. On top of that i will indulge at times at some of these places and dont want that choice taken away.

    Where there is a will there is a way, so even if you ban mcdonalds or any other fast food chain, people will still find ways to push themselves into obesity or sustain it.
    I agree, I also like to indulge in some taco bell or white castle from time to time. I was watching a documentary on some guy who was eating healthy stuff but just way to much of it lol. He ate like 6 cans of tuna and 12 apples in one sitting as a regular meal without any issue and I see that as pretty healthful food just not in that quantity.
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    The mcdouble is the most bountiful and nutritious food in human history

    http://m.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/o...ZJ50x1KMCyGfTJ

    Are you sure you want others making the decision as to what is or isnt healthy for you?
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    Quote Originally Posted by JudoJosh View Post
    The mcdouble is the most bountiful and nutritious food in human history

    http://m.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/o...ZJ50x1KMCyGfTJ

    Are you sure you want others making the decision as to what is or isnt healthy for you?
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    For people like us that do eat healthy regularly going to a fast food joint occasionally is fine. My point being these places are adding to the problem of obesity which is the topic not whether fit and healthy people enjoy it. But i agree i personally would not like to see them go away but im trying to look at it from the other side. They make it to easy for someone to just stop and get fast food with a mcdonalds or wendys on every corner apposed going home and cooking a healthy meal. In the stone age food was scares and when the human body has more then in needs its told to put on fat incase of famine. The food that was ate was high in nutrition and low in calories. The problem today is our food such as fast food is low in nutrition and high in calories. People eat and eat but unlike then the famine never comes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JudoJosh View Post
    Your outlook is admirable and I imagine that quality is going to make you an outstanding physician. I wise I could be that optimistic and compassionate but I guess 7 years in an emergency room has sucked all the empathy out of me. I am all for teaching and helping but I have absolutely no desire to interact with individuals who dont want to learn or refuse to take action and from my experience this makes up most of the patients I interact with on a daily basis in the ER.
    It's easy to become jaded in the emergency room for sure. Unfortunately, you see the same people that continually make the same mistakes night after night.

    Quote Originally Posted by JudoJosh View Post
    I know it sounds good (ban mcdonalds or limit soda) but these actions dont even compare to the effectiveness of behavioral modification and the key to this is having an educated and scientifically literate society. You want people to make the conscious decision to reach for broccoli over the fritos, not have them reach for broccoli because fritos arent an option.
    Definitely but what are some actual viable ways to have an educated and scientifically literate society? Ideally that would be best no doubt but the logistics seem to make it not very realistic. Not only is there resistance trying to educate people on healthy living but could you imagine the resistance from people when you try and force critical and objective thinking on them? This would boil down to the very same reason your empathy, after being in the ER for 7 years has gone down - people don't give a ****.

    Using politics for obesity control measures is a last resort as seen with Bloomberg in NY. Obesity finally reached a point that some sort of law had to be initiated to slow the rate of people killing themselves. Well, since it hasn't been passed and probably won't, someone needed to attempt to do something. So while it may be the less favorable way to make an impact it may also be the most viable. Although, like you said we don't want the government controlling what we eat.

    I'm not at all for big government or government having any involvement in our day-to-day lives but the problem doesn't seem to be fixable when left up to the individuals themselves. It will eventually worsen and when it does the obese will not only be affecting themselves but the healthcare system as a whole. When this happens everyone will be affected to some degree. Maybe then people will be more apt to try and make a change.
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    Government intervention may be needed, but I don't believe it comes in the form of restricting or eliminating foods; it may perhaps come from reducing accessibility (we don't need 100+ McD stores in a 10 block radius). I like the idea of taxing certain foods and placing levies on others however this is open to interpretation. In our current society, fats would get hit the hardest which is not what you want. Also, where would the taxation end? Would it involve all fast food? Sushi and Salads included? Or would it just target foods the FDA considers to be the problem? i.e. McDs or B.K? Would this tax also stem to burger buns and meat patties available in supermarkets?

    The problem with this kind of tax is that it hurts the very people it is trying to protect. For instance, if a sandwich costs $6 to make and a cheeseburger costs $2 and you taxed the cheeseburger +20% and used that to reduce the tax on the Sandwich by -20% then you end up with a cheeseburger costing $2.40 and a sandwich costing 4.80. This still makes the cheeseburger a cheaper option but will just hurt the people who still cannot afford the more expensive food in the pocket. It will essentially just become a 20% food increase for them.

    Again, the issue isn't simply the prevalence of fast food joints. NZ has much less Mcd's or other fast food outlets than the US per capita, however the 2nd highest obesity rates. We have banned Ronald MCDonald from advertising on TV and fast food is no longer advertised during childrens TV watching hours (unless it is advertising McD's fruit bags and Salads) yet still we continue to get fat. Malls now have more "healthier" options and tend to have only 1 fast food chain, yet people still opt for fast food over the healthier options; why is that?

    I believe the issue stems far beyond simply 'overeating' but rather encompasses our current lifestyles. It involves societal, political, nutritional and our workplaces and preferred modes of transport.
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    I had a feeling that would happen; people dislike it when they feel like decisions are being made for them, even if they are in their best interest.

    NZ is currently (I heard it today on the radio) trying to introduce a "bad fat" tax which I will place a submission against it lol.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JudoJosh View Post
    This turns my stomach. I hate seeing people drink super size energy drinks or tons of sodas a day.
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    I do remember when I was young, early 80's and they didn't have such huge portions at restaurants. What was normal back then would be considered a "child size" portion today or be on the kids menus of today.
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    I've got to tell you guys what disgusts me the most. Those "reality" shows based on how much some fat ass can stuff down their gullet. People try to call "competitive eating" a sport when all it is gluttony. People sit there and cheer for these fatties. It's just nasty.
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    I think you guys really need to think before you get into taking away free will. Do we really need a black market of food?

    On the flip side what if they deem excess protein bad...would we be okay with monitoring that?
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    Quote Originally Posted by T-Bone View Post
    I've got to tell you guys what disgusts me the most. Those "reality" shows based on how much some fat ass can stuff down their gullet. People try to call "competitive eating" a sport when all it is gluttony. People sit there and cheer for these fatties. It's just nasty.


    Not all of them are "fatties" actually the one's that win aren't even close to fat. They treat it as a sport and "train" their stomachs for each event. Kobayashi or however you spell his name benches over 400 lbs and is very fit.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hardwork25 View Post
    Not all of them are "fatties" actually the one's that win aren't even close to fat. They treat it as a sport and "train" their stomachs for each event. Kobayashi or however you spell his name benches over 400 lbs and is very fit.

    I didn't mean "fatties" literally but figuratively. I don't care how much anyone can bench if your stuffing your face to see how much food you can eat without throwing up, in my opinion you are a "fattie". Benching over 400 pounds doesn't make you healthy or fit either. I just don't care, it doesn't impress me. I was just expressing my opinion on this so called "sport" of "competitive eating". It's absolutely disgusting and definitely relates to the subject of the thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by T-Bone View Post

    I didn't mean "fatties" literally but figuratively. I don't care how much anyone can bench if your stuffing your face to see how much food you can eat without throwing up, in my opinion you are a "fattie". Benching over 400 pounds doesn't make you healthy or fit either. I just don't care, it doesn't impress me. I was just expressing my opinion on this so called "sport" of "competitive eating". It's absolutely disgusting and definitely relates to the subject of the thread.

    Never said benching 400 lbs made you healthy or fit. Just stated he benches over 400 lbs and if he's doing that he's putting in some kind of work in the gym. You're not impressed with a man stuffing 63 hot dogs down his throat in 60 seconds or less? Tough crowd. Lol

    As far as a sport? yes that is debatable. The top athletes do "train" for each event. To be good they don't just get off the couch one day and shove 10 lbs of food in their far.

    How does competitive eating relate to the obesity epidemic in this country?

    Not trying to argue just playing devils advocate.
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    Nothing will change until obesity is socially unacceptable and frowned upon.

    Ill give you an example;

    Have you ever seen those truth commercials about cigarettes? Most of us probably have....

    --Now when was the last time you saw a similar message like that on any form of print, social media, radio, or television in regards to obesity??

    We have to put social pressure on these types of actions in my personal opinion for any type of change to occur.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hardwork25 View Post

    How does competitive eating relate to the obesity epidemic in this country?

    Not trying to argue just playing devils advocate.

    A lot of the fans of that type of thing may not be too bright and imitate what they see on television at a young age....Not so healthy for the mind of an adolescent....It could in fact lead to problems with food and how they see food in the future. Not saying it would be the route cause, but I could definitely see it causing some psychological problems. Eating as much as you can in as little time as possible shouldn't be a competitive sport. Normally something like this is thought as bad thing, associated with eating disorders such bulimia.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hardwork25 View Post
    Nothing will change until obesity is socially unacceptable and frowned upon.

    Ill give you an example;

    Have you ever seen those truth commercials about cigarettes? Most of us probably have....

    --Now when was the last time you saw a similar message like that on any form of print, social media, radio, or television in regards to obesity??

    We have to put social pressure on these types of actions in my personal opinion for any type of change to occur.
    People treat it like a "disease" because they don't want to hurt or offend people. Kinda like racism. We know it still exists, we just don't really talk about it..
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    Quote Originally Posted by puccah8808 View Post
    People treat it like a "disease" because they don't want to hurt or offend people. Kinda like racism. We know it still exists, we just don't really talk about it..
    No, they treat it like a disease because it is a medically recognized disease. Review the physiology I talked about in my previous post in this thread
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr.cooper69 View Post
    My problem with the "Let them die" approach is that they do care about themselves and want to lose weight. Every single obese person in the world wants to lose weight (except for those with psychological disorders). Much like quitting a drug (i.e. smoking), efforts to lose weight are typically unsustainable and short-lived. Why?

    Because obesity is a disease. Most people who become obese actually have very little excuse...the often cited "slow metabolism" is incredibly rare, and indeed, the #1 reason people get obese is overeating. That's inexcusable and something that needs to be addressed by society. But that's not the topic of this discussion.

    Once you are obese, you do need help. Obesity is co-morbid with other issues at rates of virtually 100%: insulin resistance and leptin resistance. Obesity is often due to a dysfunctional hunger system; that is, the people eat to satisfy the mesolimbic reward system rather than physiological hunger.

    So let's say you try to lose weight. With all your leptin resistance, it's tough for you to "feel full." Now start taking bodyfat out of the equation as you drop a few pounds. You now have leptin resistance (demonstrated to be almost irreversible) coupled with less leptin release. To make matters worse, you start hyper-secreting ghrelin (largely irreversible), with amplitudes hundreds of percent greater than normal people. Your body essentially thinks you are starving physiologically, and you perceive it as such. So now you take a pre-existent dysfunctional reward system (pleasure eating) and add in extremely powerful physiological hunger signaling, and suddenly you realize that it's not so easy to just "put down the fork." When you are this hungry, you can't think about anything else. You need to eat and end this starvation.

    But people have lives! They have jobs, responsibilities, etc. We're not all on "The Biggest Loser" where we can just say "Screw it, I'm just gonna focus on absolutely nothing but weight loss for the next _________ months." Obesity is often seen in poorer neighborhoods, where such an attention to weight loss is definitely out of the question...and access to filling food is minimal.

    Cliffs:

    -Obesity has several physiological, not psychological, factors that "lock you in" for life. The most significant of which is neuroendocrine signaling.
    -Gastric bypass surgeries have an exceptional track record for obesity recovery not because they reduce stomach size, but because they resection almost the entire ghrelin-secreting part of the stomach, reducing perceived hunger.
    Don't forget the effect of

    CART
    POMC
    Adiponectin
    And agouti have when under or over eating

    It's just insane how many things can be related
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    Ok... My friend pays extra for health insurance because he chews tobacco. Shouldn't this apply to being overweight too? Both are unhealthy and both are choices.
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    Quote Originally Posted by puccah8808 View Post
    Ok... My friend pays extra for health insurance because he chews tobacco. Shouldn't this apply to being overweight too? Both are unhealthy and both are choices.
    Totally different question, but again, please read my prior post. Once you are obese, it's not always "your choice." The same applies for drug addiction, of course, but to lump food consumption in there is beginning to infringe on inborn human rights. Regardless, I'm here for the science, not the ethics/politics
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr.cooper69 View Post

    Totally different question, but again, please read my prior post. Once you are obese, it's not always "your choice." The same applies for drug addiction, of course, but to lump food consumption in there is beginning to infringe on inborn human rights. Regardless, I'm here for the science, not the ethics/politics
    I understand where you're coming from and I should empathize more because I was once the obese person but the truth is I don't. I don't think I'm better than anyone but I honestly believe that we all have a choice to change.
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    Quote Originally Posted by puccah8808 View Post
    I understand where you're coming from and I should empathize more because I was once the obese person but the truth is I don't. I don't think I'm better than anyone but I honestly believe that we all have a choice to change.
    Choice is a neurophysiological construct, just like hunger. There is the illusion that we make choices, but these "choices" are merely a culmination of genetics, emotion, life experiences, and developmental exposure to stimuli. A good example is the correlations between high testosterone levels and low testosterone levels, and how these androgen levels affect choices and behaviors. Who's to say that things like leptin won't have the same effect on humans, altering their "freedom" to choose?

    That's enough philosophy from me for the next million years
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    Quote Originally Posted by puccah8808 View Post
    Ok... My friend pays extra for health insurance because he chews tobacco. Shouldn't this apply to being overweight too? Both are unhealthy and both are choices.
    Being overweight is a poor predictor of health

    http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article....icleid=1555137
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    My little niece was telling me that she had to exercise because she's fat!!! This is coming from a 7 year old! Her disease: her mother!
    DO IT FOR THE "HOLY, SH*T, YOU GOT HOT"...
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr.cooper69 View Post
    Choice is a neurophysiological construct, just like hunger. There is the illusion that we make choices, but these "choices" are merely a culmination of genetics, emotion, life experiences, and developmental exposure to stimuli. A good example is the correlations between high testosterone levels and low testosterone levels, and how these androgen levels affect choices and behaviors. Who's to say that things like leptin won't have the same effect on humans, altering their "freedom" to choose?

    That's enough philosophy from me for the next million years
    Great post.

    Quote Originally Posted by JudoJosh View Post
    Being overweight is a poor predictor of health

    http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article....icleid=1555137
    Somehow I knew this would find its way in here

    I'll just throw this in here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3104148/
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    I came into this thread thinking "I am a personal trainer. I work with people with varying body shapes and have worked with obese clients so I would like to think I understand their psychology more than most people do. I should be able to provide valuable input here."

    After reading the comments I actually think that there is very little I can add. So here is my relatively uninteresting but vaguely informed insight.

    As Cyrus has pointed out, obesity is a disease and obese people want to lose weight but do struggle with it like an addiction.

    I can testify that obese clients do often 'self sabotage' in some ways and getting them to lose weight feels like it is a constant battle with their own psychology. The amount of excuses that I have had from obese clients makes me wonder if they really believe what they are telling me.

    This puts me somewhere in the middle of Cyrus's and Josh's view. I understand that Josh says if someone won't help themselves then what can we do. I can empathise with this view because I have limited client time and try and ensure that my clients are going to get results. People who self sabotage (for whatever reason) are harder to work with because I might only see them for one hour per week.

    On the other hand I know that they are going through things which I simply do not understand. As much research as I do I can never simulate the feelings, emotions and hormonal profiles that being obese would cause to really know what they are going through.

    This is a brief example of psychology I have seen and if anything it demonstrates that despite working with people who fit the examples given in this thread for hours upon hours I am actually no further forward in understanding what they truly need to facilitate the results they are looking for.

    Interesting topic. Good work Valdez.
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    Quote Originally Posted by puccah8808 View Post
    My little niece was telling me that she had to exercise because she's fat!!! This is coming from a 7 year old! Her disease: her mother!
    My son had so much "love" from his "mother" that he weighed in at 276 lbs at 16. This is an emotional factor that should be called the "love factor". How many mothers and fathers out there that equate "love" with "food"?
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    Quote Originally Posted by puccah8808 View Post
    My little niece was telling me that she had to exercise because she's fat!!! This is coming from a 7 year old! Her disease: her mother!
    much like addiction, it is a disease that runs in families for a multitude of reasons: genetics, learned behavior, socio-economic conditions, etc.
    Quote Originally Posted by enhanced View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenpoengineer View Post
    My son had so much "love" from his "mother" that he weighed in at 276 lbs at 16. This is an emotional factor that should be called the "love factor". How many mothers and fathers out there that equate "love" with "food"?
    Yes, you are right that love and food do equate. A loving mother is truly priceless. I can still smell them cookies bakin' from my childhood memories! A loving woman not only feeds the belly, she feeds the soul, and a meal made with loving care can have a far greater benefit than just the macros you calculate in it. If you got a little Italian mom like that who loves to cook, you know what I'm talking about.

    However, a sensible father and coach helps too. If good intentions were all you needed then a mother's love could do it all, but you can still screw things up pretty badly (even with the best of intentions) if you don't know what your doing or if you allow your transient emotions and hungers to choose for you. So good intentions are important, but obviously not enough to insure good results. You need to be smart too.

    Nevertheless, all food has it's place, and a wise man has the discernment to put things in their proper place for just the right time of application. Be disciplined in your personal choices and consider helping others if they ask for help. Otherwise, mind your own business when you see someone eat something you might not. That's all you can do anyway whether you like it or not, but that's ok.
  

  
 

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