What % do you think obesity contributes to the health problems in our country?

Bamabuzzard

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I've got heart disease on both my mother and father's side of the family. When I turned 40 I began (for preventative maintenance) getting yearly checkups specifically for my heart. I had my yearly appointment today and as I looked around the waiting room I noticed one thing. Outside of about four to five of the approximately 30-40 people, everyone was either noticeably overweight or just down right obese. Though all these people may have been there for different medical reasons. They all had one thing in common. They were overweight or obese. I am not judging. Because it was only three or so years ago that I looked at a picture of myself from that Christmas and barely recognized myself. My wife showed me the picture and said "I want you around for a long time. You need to do something about this. This is unhealthy." I ended up losing over 50 lbs and am very thankful she didn't mind hurting my feelings. But the good thing is she did it with me. Though she didn't need to lose but about 10 lbs. It still helped that I had some support.

Since I've started paying a lot more attention to my health, what I eat and what I do (from an exercise standpoint). I've noticed how much a large portion of our society is overweight. I've got a buddy of mine who works in pharmaceuticals and he said 70% of the medicines they sell are for conditions that are caused by obesity. Granted, I'm not sure how accurate that statement is. But I do wonder. I remember when I lost the weight my blood pressure went down, cholesterol dropped, I quit snoring and just overall felt better. Got a great report today. Doctor said keep doing what I'm doing, it's working.
 
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tattooguy21

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I've got heart disease on both my mother and father's side of the family. When I turned 40 I began (for preventative maintenance) getting yearly checkups specifically for my heart. I had my yearly appointment today and as I looked around the waiting room I noticed one thing. Outside of about four to five of the approximately 30-40 people, everyone was either noticeably overweight or just down right obese. Though all these people may have been there for different medical reasons. They all had one thing in common. They were overweight or obese. I am not judging. Because it was only three or so years ago that I looked at a picture of myself from that Christmas and barely recognized myself. My wife showed me the picture and said "I want you around for a long time. You need to do something about this. This is unhealthy." I ended up losing over 50 lbs and am very thankful she didn't mind hurting my feelings. But the good thing is she did it with me. Though she didn't need to lose but about 10 lbs. It still helped that I had some support.

Since I've started paying a lot more attention to my health, what I eat and what I do (from an exercise standpoint). I've noticed how much a large portion of our society is overweight. I've got a buddy of mine who works in pharmaceuticals and he said 70% of the medicines they sell are for conditions that are caused by obesity. Granted, I'm not sure how accurate that statement is. But I do wonder. I remember when I lost the weight my blood pressure went down, cholesterol dropped, I quit snoring and just overall felt better. Got a great report today. Doctor said keep doing what I'm doing, it's working.
Look at the numbers for childhood obesity since 1980 to now. I use that year because it's the great I was born, and I was a generation that grew up WITH technology.

Early/Mid 80s - home game systems (large scale, like NES, not Atari. Some families had ataris, everyone and their mother had Nintendo's.)

Mid 90s rise of the PC

Early 2000s PC is standard in every home

2010ish the smart phone.

I believe that in many cases the link is between technology and the fattening.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
 

Bazza

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Can't offer a guess on your question about % but I'm sure it's a LOT! Good to hear you were able to trim down Buzz......we want to keep you around for many years to come as well!
 

NationalTitles17

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I don't believe it's possible to say at this time.

All we can do now is associate diseases with obesity. For some we have a good hypothesis for a causal or contributing relationship (think joint or heart problems and obesity), for others we just know they are related and grasp at straws for the reasons why without a clear and known mechanism (we can't say why some cancers are related but know they are). IOW, sometimes we can see a clear causal relationship and sometimes we just see a relationship that could share a common cause between disease and obesity.

It's very likely that a large enough % of problems are caused or made worse by what we call "obesity" and/or a combination or poor nutrition and inactivity (which are related to obesity and quite often a cause for it).

But there is another confounding factor other than finding direct and provable causal links between obesity and disease. That confounding factor is provider (doctor, nurse, etc;...) bias. Below is an article (link) to that point:

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/26/health/obese-patients-health-care.html

So how much is caused by the obesity itself and how much is contributed from provider bias? Perhaps the most egregious example from the article is of the woman who went with shortness of breath and was told it was because she was fat when she actually had pulmonary embolisms. That's a pretty big misdiagnosis rooted in lazy bias. Now did obesity (and perhaps inactivity) contribute to those PTE's? Good question. Easy to assume, but would you check for factor V leiden, protein S or C issues, and other hypercoagulable states (like an autoimmune disease) or just chalk it up to obesity/inactivity? Bias may lead to an easy/lazy answer while prudent diligence may lead to a better answer.

I worked with a DO once who refused to have a well qualified MA who was on the heavy side and took readily to a less experienced and less qualified skinny MA. The DO was a straight female, AFAIK (married to a man).

I take great care when broaching the subject. At times I have to state the obvious, but in a respectful way. I also have to emphasize good nutrition and activity as primary goals with weight loss as a secondary related goal because too many are discouraged when it takes longer or they hit a plateau and give up if weight is the primary goal. It also helps most folks (especially if they lack medical knowledge) to KISS (keep it simple stupid). I stress eating fruits and veggies and limiting carbs and "junk" that lacks nutritional value. I stress starting low and going slow to build up activity tolerance. The kicker? Better nutrition and increased activity will lead to a healthier individual regardless of weight, but more often than not as go those things so goes weight.

Nothing I've said should be taken to mean that I reject obesity as a cause of health problems; but there is plenty to indict health care providers' bias alongside obesity itself as a causal agent.

I have no idea what attitudes your friend holds, but some of his words do give pause.

Speaking of pharmaceuticals: There is a known link between some medications and the metabolic syndrome (linked with obesity). 2nd generation antipsychotics are chief contributors to this problem (zyprexa, seroquel, etc;...). I've seen those easily add 100lbs of weight to someone, but often there are few good alternatives and the benefits still outweigh the risks. Anti-seizure medications have this effect also (depakote, others). Bottom line here is that there are times when it's not as simple as "they are fat and it's their fault" (not that you ever said that). It's also very difficult for these people to lose the weight once it's been gained.

Sorry to take such a turn in a somewhat different direction. I'm just relaying what the evidence in research shows and what I've seen too often.
 

Bamabuzzard

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Thanks for that point of view NT17 and I do agree. Not all cases of obesity have to do with people not eating right or exercising. I know genetics (according to several doctors in my family) can play anywhere between 60%-70% of someone's health. And as you pointed to, there are also medicines in which to treat the problem the side effect is weight gain.

I know for me personally, I'd gotten so busy with other parts of my life that I didn't realize how much I was eating and how little I was moving. I remember when I first started I downloaded the MyFitnessPal app and began tracking what I ate. For the first two weeks all I did was track my food. I ate like I normally did. I was utterly shocked (and embarrassed) at the amount of food I was taking in. But what was even more embarrassing was I began looking back at all times we ate with other people at socials, family gatherings, restaurants etc. Though no one said a word in front of me. There's no doubt how much I was eating was noticed and more than likely talked about at some point on their ride home or not in my presence. Talk about embarrassing.

My friend who I mentioned in the original post is actually a great success story. He was overweight/obese (ballooned to over 350 lbs at his heaviest) for a lot of his teenage years and early adult life. I'm not sure when his road to Damascus moment was, but he completely changed his lifestyle, now runs marathons and is a picture of health. He told me he was shocked he didn't develop diabetes but he did have high blood pressure, cholesterol and other health issues that have now gone away.

Thanks again for the information.
 
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NationalTitles17

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Thanks for that point of view NT17 and I do agree. Not all cases of obesity have to do with people not eating right or exercising. I know genetics (according to several doctors in my family) can play anywhere between 60%-70% of someone's health. And as you pointed to, there are also medicines in which to treat the problem the side effect is weight gain.

I know for me personally, I'd gotten so busy with other parts of my life that I didn't realize how much I was eating and how little I was moving. I remember when I first started I downloaded the MyFitnessPal app and began tracking what I ate. For the first two weeks all I did was track my food. I ate like I normally did. I was utterly shocked (and embarrassed) at the amount of food I was taking in. But what was even more embarrassing was I began looking back at all times we ate with other people at socials, family gatherings, restaurants etc. Though no one said a word in front of me. There's no doubt how much I was eating was noticed and more than likely talked about at some point on their ride home or not in my presence. Talk about embarrassing.

My friend who I mentioned in the original post is actually a great success story. He was overweight/obese (ballooned to over 350 lbs at his heaviest) for a lot of his teenage years and early adult life. I'm not sure when his road to Damascus moment was, but he completely changed his lifestyle, now runs marathons and is a picture of health. He told me he was shocked he didn't develop diabetes but he did have high blood pressure, cholesterol and other health issues that have now gone away.

Thanks again for the information.
Good stuff, buzzard. I'm glad you and your friend made changes for better health. I've seen a number of people "cured" of the same problems once they took better care of themselves.
 

UAH

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I've got heart disease on both my mother and father's side of the family. When I turned 40 I began (for preventative maintenance) getting yearly checkups specifically for my heart. I had my yearly appointment today and as I looked around the waiting room I noticed one thing. Outside of about four to five of the approximately 30-40 people, everyone was either noticeably overweight or just down right obese. Though all these people may have been there for different medical reasons. They all had one thing in common. They were overweight or obese. I am not judging. Because it was only three or so years ago that I looked at a picture of myself from that Christmas and barely recognized myself. My wife showed me the picture and said "I want you around for a long time. You need to do something about this. This is unhealthy." I ended up losing over 50 lbs and am very thankful she didn't mind hurting my feelings. But the good thing is she did it with me. Though she didn't need to lose but about 10 lbs. It still helped that I had some support.

Since I've started paying a lot more attention to my health, what I eat and what I do (from an exercise standpoint). I've noticed how much a large portion of our society is overweight. I've got a buddy of mine who works in pharmaceuticals and he said 70% of the medicines they sell are for conditions that are caused by obesity. Granted, I'm not sure how accurate that statement is. But I do wonder. I remember when I lost the weight my blood pressure went down, cholesterol dropped, I quit snoring and just overall felt better. Got a great report today. Doctor said keep doing what I'm doing, it's working.
One comment I would add to the discussion is the topic of insulin resistance as we age. As background I have fought high blood lipid levels for my adult life. Much of that time being completely ignorant of its role in coronary artery disease. After being diagnosed with CAD many years ago and visiting Dr. Esselstyn at the Cleveland Clinic I undertook a total whole food plant based diet and took my weight back to when I was a skinny guy at 17 graduating from high school. Over the period I have pursued various exercise regimens. In the last year I was able to put in 1200 miles on my Fitbit.

The important point I wanted to make is that due to all of the exercise I allowed my diet to drift a bit into some tortilla chips, saltines and popcorn. After seeing my BP suddenly elevated and viewing research I believe that I have become insulin resistant and as a result have elevated glucose levels after meals that leads to CV inflammation.

Based on what I have read and researched over time I would encourage everyone at least by age 60 to undergo a coronary artery scan, have a blood test to assess inflammatory markers and measure their A1C levels (blood glucose levels over prior three month period).

As an indicator of how pervasive inflammatory disease can be I reviewed a study of a group of distance runners that were monitored over time and received coronary artery scans. What it found was an amazing number of them had coronary plaque (calcium) deposits. Several had extraordinarily high levels of calcium in their arteries.

I am not a doctor and obviously will appreciate any comments.
 

Bamabuzzard

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One comment I would add to the discussion is the topic of insulin resistance as we age. As background I have fought high blood lipid levels for my adult life. Much of that time being completely ignorant of its role in coronary artery disease. After being diagnosed with CAD many years ago and visiting Dr. Esselstyn at the Cleveland Clinic I undertook a total whole food plant based diet and took my weight back to when I was a skinny guy at 17 graduating from high school. Over the period I have pursued various exercise regimens. In the last year I was able to put in 1200 miles on my Fitbit.

The important point I wanted to make is that due to all of the exercise I allowed my diet to drift a bit into some tortilla chips, saltines and popcorn. After seeing my BP suddenly elevated and viewing research I believe that I have become insulin resistant and as a result have elevated glucose levels after meals that leads to CV inflammation.

Based on what I have read and researched over time I would encourage everyone at least by age 60 to undergo a coronary artery scan, have a blood test to assess inflammatory markers and measure their A1C levels (blood glucose levels over prior three month period).

As an indicator of how pervasive inflammatory disease can be I reviewed a study of a group of distance runners that were monitored over time and received coronary artery scans. What it found was an amazing number of them had coronary plaque (calcium) deposits. Several had extraordinarily high levels of calcium in their arteries.

I am not a doctor and obviously will appreciate any comments.
For me personally, now that I've lost the weight AND over 40 years of age. I've transitioned more to lifting weights/resistance training and significantly backed off the cardio. For me, I was beginning to lose muscle mass by simply doing cardio (45 minutes to an hour four to five days a week). I had a friend of mine suggest that I not necessarily stop doing cardio, but cut it way back within my routine and transition to more age specific weight and resistance training. I don't have a weight lifting routine like a 20-25 year old youngster. But since I've changed up my workout routine to more weight/resistance training. I can really see and feel the difference. I still incorporate cardio, but just nowhere near as much as I used to. But I'm for whatever works for the individual person. Everyone of our bodies are different and react different to food, diet, exercise etc. So if it works, keep doing it. If not, find something that does.

Regarding my diet, I stay very close to minimally processed and/or whole foods. I stay within a caloric intake each day and routinely incorporate some intermittent fasting. Then under the category of "we only live once". I do schedule times of eating and drinking things I enjoy. (Bourbon/Whiskey/Scotch/Beer, BBQ, Steak, fried foods etc.)


Note: 8-9 ounces of red wine (Cabernet) is part of my regular and weekly diet. My cardiologist said that is perfectly fine and gave the thumbs up.
 
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GrayTide

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Treadmill 6 days a week for 45 minutes (approximately 2.5 miles). Started yoga 10 minutes a day. It, yoga, is killing me but I intend to keep it up. Lots of grilled or baked chicken, almost no red meat, salads probably 3-4 nights a week, oatmeal for breakfast daily. Glass of wine nightly. With all of this I still need to drop 10 pounds. Annual checkup with cardiologist next month.

The next time you go out to eat, take a minute and check out the people in the restaurant. I guarantee you that 60%-75% of them should not be there. Lots of overweight people eating huge portions plus dessert.
 

day-day

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How much of the increase in obesity rate can be blamed on genetics? Aren't people carrying the same genes that were around when the rate of obesity was at much lower levels? I know a lot of people who are way overweight (maybe not obese by all definitions) who are not on medications; I don't think their genetics are putting the weight on them.

It can be a tough battle but a proper diet coupled with exercise would improve the overall health of a lot of folks and get them out of the obesity range.
 
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Bamabuzzard

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How much obesity can be blamed on genetics? Aren't people carrying the same genes that were around when the rate of obesity was at much lower levels? I know a lot of people who are way overweight (maybe not obese by all definitions) who are not on medications; I don't think their genetics are putting the weight on them.

It can be a tough battle but a proper diet coupled with exercise would improve the overall health of a lot of folks and get them out of the obesity range.
That's a good question. I'm not sure about that. But I do know there are people (my father in law is a great example) who are predisposed to medical conditions due to genetics regardless if they're over weight or not. My father in law is a very lean person, has always had a high metabolism. His weight falls exactly in the range for someone his size and build. Yet he is on medicine for high blood pressure and cholesterol. His father dropped dead of a massive heart attack at 35 years old. But to your original thought. I don't know if obesity is genetic. My grandma would say "He's just big boned". LOL!
 

DzynKingRTR

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I have my yearly physical on the 8th of March. I am always concerned about the results. My father died of a heart attack at 50 years old. He was not obese at all just had a ticking time bomb of a clogged artery. I am getting closer and closer to that age (only 43 right now). My dad was a heavy smoker (I have never touched it). My dad was also a heavy drinker (I am not). I used to drink heavily, but having your dad drop dead of a heart attack will sober your butt up quick. I am a bit overweight, but I am trying to get back out of bad habits. I was in shape and doing well until I got hit by a car and stopped exercising (I actually physically couldn't). It made me lazy and I got used to not exercising. I am trying again, as a matter of fact I am headed out to do it right now.
 

UAH

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That's a good question. I'm not sure about that. But I do know there are people (my father in law is a great example) who are predisposed to medical conditions due to genetics regardless if they're over weight or not. My father in law is a very lean person, has always had a high metabolism. His weight falls exactly in the range for someone his size and build. Yet he is on medicine for high blood pressure and cholesterol. His father dropped dead of a massive heart attack at 35 years old. But to your original thought. I don't know if obesity is genetic. My grandma would say "He's just big boned". LOL!
It is a fact that some genetic traits make individuals more prone to medical issues such as heart disease. There are inherited traits that can be identified in the DNA of individuals that do predispose to disease. Likewise there are individuals who smoke, drink in excess and have poor dietary habits who live to 100.

One important proven fact however is that rural Chinese, Okinawans, and natives of Papua New Guinea did not have heart disease, breast cancer, colon cancer and other diseases of affluence until KFC and McDonalds arrived. Prior to that Okinawans were the longest lived people on earth.

It is a verifiable fact that a very large majority of American's who are ill and obese due to their diet and lifestyle. To a great extent we dig our graves with our forks!
 

NationalTitles17

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One comment I would add to the discussion is the topic of insulin resistance as we age. As background I have fought high blood lipid levels for my adult life. Much of that time being completely ignorant of its role in coronary artery disease. After being diagnosed with CAD many years ago and visiting Dr. Esselstyn at the Cleveland Clinic I undertook a total whole food plant based diet and took my weight back to when I was a skinny guy at 17 graduating from high school. Over the period I have pursued various exercise regimens. In the last year I was able to put in 1200 miles on my Fitbit.

The important point I wanted to make is that due to all of the exercise I allowed my diet to drift a bit into some tortilla chips, saltines and popcorn. After seeing my BP suddenly elevated and viewing research I believe that I have become insulin resistant and as a result have elevated glucose levels after meals that leads to CV inflammation.

Based on what I have read and researched over time I would encourage everyone at least by age 60 to undergo a coronary artery scan, have a blood test to assess inflammatory markers and measure their A1C levels (blood glucose levels over prior three month period).

As an indicator of how pervasive inflammatory disease can be I reviewed a study of a group of distance runners that were monitored over time and received coronary artery scans. What it found was an amazing number of them had coronary plaque (calcium) deposits. Several had extraordinarily high levels of calcium in their arteries.

I am not a doctor and obviously will appreciate any comments.
Everyone should have a PCP and see them as often as recommended by the time they reach 40 if not before, but by then it's crucial to get regular check ups.

Long distance runners may have shorter lifespans than the general population (according to some studies).

Inflammation absolutely is tied to cardiovascular disease. The flu has long been tied to increased risk for heart attack.

https://www.drweil.com/health-wellness/body-mind-spirit/heart/can-the-flu-cause-a-heart-attack/

How much obesity can be blamed on genetics? Aren't people carrying the same genes that were around when the rate of obesity was at much lower levels? I know a lot of people who are way overweight (maybe not obese by all definitions) who are not on medications; I don't think their genetics are putting the weight on them.

It can be a tough battle but a proper diet coupled with exercise would improve the overall health of a lot of folks and get them out of the obesity range.
There does seem to be a genetic link. Genes have been discovered to predispose toward obesity and thinness. Certain ethnic groups tend to maintain higher BMI even with similar caloric intake as others. Not to be flippant, but the science doesn't care much what you think.What %? We don't know.

I never said every obese person is on medications that cause them to be obese. That is a gross distortion, but unless you know every medication those people are on you are just assuming. The whole point of me discussing that was to point out how bias (hello!) plays a part in how people are treated - in this case I focused on how they are treated by medical personnel, and it's not good.

Comparing a relatively wealthy population where food is plentiful and readily available to yesteryear is not really a good comparison.
I do agree with your last statement for the most part.
I have my yearly physical on the 8th of March. I am always concerned about the results. My father died of a heart attack at 50 years old. He was not obese at all just had a ticking time bomb of a clogged artery. I am getting closer and closer to that age (only 43 right now). My dad was a heavy smoker (I have never touched it). My dad was also a heavy drinker (I am not). I used to drink heavily, but having your dad drop dead of a heart attack will sober your butt up quick. I am a bit overweight, but I am trying to get back out of bad habits. I was in shape and doing well until I got hit by a car and stopped exercising (I actually physically couldn't). It made me lazy and I got used to not exercising. I am trying again, as a matter of fact I am headed out to do it right now.
Sorry about your dad. You are wise to take care of yourself.

It is a fact that some genetic traits make individuals more prone to medical issues such as heart disease. There are inherited traits that can be identified in the DNA of individuals that do predispose to disease. Likewise there are individuals who smoke, drink in excess and have poor dietary habits who live to 100.

One important proven fact however is that rural Chinese, Okinawans, and natives of Papua New Guinea did not have heart disease, breast cancer, colon cancer and other diseases of affluence until KFC and McDonalds arrived. Prior to that Okinawans were the longest lived people on earth.

It is a verifiable fact that a very large majority of American's who are ill and obese due to their diet and lifestyle. To a great extent we dig our graves with our forks!
Good points.
 

4Q Basket Case

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I don't know the answer to the question, but it's a lot.

It's hard to tell how much is genetics, how much is our own behavior, and how much is obesity itself vs. common causes. As in, the incidence of all kinds of cancers goes up with weight. Did the weight itself cause the problem, or was the cancer caused by doing stuff that also makes you overweight? And is that a distinction without a difference?

As for me, I could stand to lose 5-7 pounds, but I'm not really overweight. What I am is soft.

Long story short, I should soon be out of excuses for not exercising, and will be back on a regular schedule of medium-intensity CrossFit. That has a bad rep from some folks who obsess over it. But the underlying concepts -- mixed weight training and cardio, scalable to your fitness level, with minimal requirements for equipment -- are sound. Just don't get stupid with it.
 

Bamabuzzard

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It is a fact that some genetic traits make individuals more prone to medical issues such as heart disease. There are inherited traits that can be identified in the DNA of individuals that do predispose to disease. Likewise there are individuals who smoke, drink in excess and have poor dietary habits who live to 100.

One important proven fact however is that rural Chinese, Okinawans, and natives of Papua New Guinea did not have heart disease, breast cancer, colon cancer and other diseases of affluence until KFC and McDonalds arrived. Prior to that Okinawans were the longest lived people on earth.

It is a verifiable fact that a very large majority of American's who are ill and obese due to their diet and lifestyle. To a great extent we dig our graves with our forks!
You know that isn't the first time I've heard this and have always been baffled by it. Maybe because I mistakenly took it literally as in "No one from these areas EVER had heart disease, breast cancer, colon cancer etc. until fast food chains entered their society." Or is it not that people didn't have it, just it was not as common as it is in U.S.? Because I have known people who never smoked, drinked a drop of alcohol and didn't eat enough fried or fast foods in their lifetime to matter. Who died of heart disease, some form of cancer or struggled with high blood pressure and/or cholesterol. Heck, just last night I was attending my oldest son's scrimmage game and was talking to a guy in the medical field who is vegan and has been for years. He's 43 and he's having problems keeping his blood pressure and cholesterol down. He is very frustrated because he literally told me "I'm doing everything I know to do. But I guess my parents gifted me with bad genes."

So people in the places you mentioned only developed these health issues when fast food was introduced to their society?


And I completely agree the majority of Americans do not do themselves any favors by the diet they choose to have. Walk into any restaurant, retail store, doctor's office, sporting event etc. and just look at how many overweight people you see. It's alarming.
 
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4Q Basket Case

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You know that isn't the first time I've heard this and have always been baffled by it. Maybe because I mistakenly took it literally as in "No one from these areas EVER had heart disease, breast cancer, colon cancer etc. until fast food chains entered their society." Or is it not that people didn't have it, just it was not as common as it is in U.S.? Because I have known people who never smoked, drinked a drop of alcohol and didn't eat enough fried or fast foods in their lifetime to matter. Who died of heart disease, some form of cancer or struggled with high blood pressure and/or cholesterol. Heck, just last night I was attending my oldest son's scrimmage game and was talking to a guy in the medical field who is vegan and has been for years. He's 43 and he's having problems keeping his blood pressure and cholesterol down. He is very frustrated because he literally told me "I'm doing everything I know to do. But I guess my parents gifted me with bad genes."

So people in the places you mentioned only developed these health issues when fast food was introduced to their society?
There’s almost never zero incidence of any medical condition, good or bad, regardless of circumstances.

I think he meant.that before KFC, McD’s, etc., those conditions were rare. But now, after 30+ years exposure, they’re much more common.
 

UAH

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You know that isn't the first time I've heard this and have always been baffled by it. Maybe because I mistakenly took it literally as in "No one from these areas EVER had heart disease, breast cancer, colon cancer etc. until fast food chains entered their society." Or is it not that people didn't have it, just it was not as common as it is in U.S.? Because I have known people who never smoked, drinked a drop of alcohol and didn't eat enough fried or fast foods in their lifetime to matter. Who died of heart disease, some form of cancer or struggled with high blood pressure and/or cholesterol. Heck, just last night I was attending my oldest son's scrimmage game and was talking to a guy in the medical field who is vegan and has been for years. He's 43 and he's having problems keeping his blood pressure and cholesterol down. He is very frustrated because he literally told me "I'm doing everything I know to do. But I guess my parents gifted me with bad genes."

So people in the places you mentioned only developed these health issues when fast food was introduced to their society?
There have been many very broad studies of the affect of diet on longevity. The China Study by T Colin Campbell is summarized here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_China_Study

The Okinawan Centenarian Study is summarized here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okinawa_Centenarian_Study there have been follow on studies in Japan as to why Okinawa life span and disease statistics have changed so dramatically over the last thirty years.

There are many other studies around the world such as the Mediterranean Diet Study that attempt to understand why other societies have such extremely low mortality rates in comparison to the US that has nearly 800,000 strokes per year (one every six minutes) and over 600,000 deaths from heart disease annually.
 

Bamabuzzard

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There have been many very broad studies of the affect of diet on longevity. The China Study by T Colin Campbell is summarized here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_China_Study

The Okinawan Centenarian Study is summarized here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okinawa_Centenarian_Study there have been follow on studies in Japan as to why Okinawa life span and disease statistics have changed so dramatically over the last thirty years.

There are many other studies around the world such as the Mediterranean Diet Study that attempt to understand why other societies have such extremely low mortality rates in comparison to the US that has nearly 800,000 strokes per year (one every six minutes) and over 600,000 deaths from heart disease annually.
I would also throw in there stress level of corporate/working America as well. We have people retire in our department who've put in 30+ years. They'll come back to visit six months to a year later and they literally look 10-15 years younger. It's amazing. Stress will put you in the grave as well.
 

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