Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Position - Obesity

Disclaimer: I weigh in at 370 pounds. Each week I mow our 1/4 acre pushing our gas lawnmower up and down the irregular swales of our site. I can still walk a 6400 yd 18 hole course carrying my own bag. I can still put my foot on the table to tie my shoe.

Scientific American had a nice story about the 'obesity epidemic'. Pick up an issue if you want the whole story but I had just finished the story when I had the opportunity to talk to a surgeon that performs bariatric surgery (stomach stapling for you uninformed). About 14 years ago (and 100 pounds ago) I worked at a health club. Everyone wanted me to lose weight, so I ate my meals at the club (it was a full-service club), worked out 3 days a week with a trainer and gained weight over 12 weeks. I stopped that "diet" when the 'dietician' informed me that one pound of cake = three pounds of fat. I corrected her, I suggested that if I ate 1 pound of pure lard, I would not gain one ounce more than 1 pound. She disagreed and was very insistent. I left it alone....no educating the closed mind. I recounted that story to the surgeon upon which he lamented the state of education and the danger of a limited understanding of basic human physiology. About 10 minutes later, someone said they worried about the difference between their weight at home that morning and their weight at the clinic and he suggested that drinking the entire 20 ounce soda she had could cause a variation of as much as 5 pounds.

May I lament at the state of education and the danger of a limited understanding of basic PHYSICS?

In 1982 I was an assistant manager at a fast food restaurant. At a Saturday crew meeting (60-70 teenagers), we were discussing a problem that had occurred the week before. The freezer had stopped working but no one noticed for several hours, a situation that caused some food loss. After some questions, I realized a basic problem. I asked everyone to take a small slip of paper and write down the freezing and boiling temperatures for water. To get a correct answer they had to tell me if they were giving me C or F. 2 got it right....2.

The surgeon blamed the use of genetically enhanced corn, chicken and beef for the 'explosion' in American waistlines. All those steroids were getting into the food we eat and we are getting "fattened" up just like the cows on the farms, chickens in the coops.

The SA article raised one point I will bring up here.....is the rise in diabetes the cause, or the result, of obesity. I don't think there is a good answer and neither did the researchers in the story.

By EVERYONE's definition I am morbidly obese. Care to walk a mile...next to me?

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