How do we grow?
Children grow taller because they eat voraciously and consume more calories than they expend because they are growing. They need to take in more calories because they are secreting hormones that make them do so. So it makes sense that the growth of fat tissue that leads to being overweight and obesity is also driven and controlled by hormones. So, what if instead of obesity being a disorder of eating too much, it is actually fundamentally a disorder of excess fat accumulation?
When young, hormones or enzymes work to increase fat accumulation naturally, in order to promote growth. When insulin levels are elevated, fat accumulates in the fat tissue, and when those levels are full we burn the fat for fuel. Insulin levels are determined by the carbohydrates we eat, the more carbohydrates that are eaten, the more insulin we secrete, and the more fat is retained in our fat cells.
Hormones, enzymes, and growth factors regulate our fat tissue. As such, we do not get fat because we overeat, we get fat because the carbohydrates in our diet make us fat.
Obesity is therefore a result of hormonal imbalance. Carbohydrates drive us to accumulate fat, making us hungrier and more sedentary. Carbohydrate rich foods such as bread, pasta, potatoes, sweets, and beer are fattening. This information was made to be known in the 1960’s and yet, why has this message been so subdued?
There have been so many mixed messages since that time, and because of these mixed messages every thing in regards to food intake has been up for debate, making food intake controversial. This is because of the implication of livestock production, global warming, water shortages, and pollution. Basically, the question of ‘why are we fat?’ is actually not answerable because it is political.
In the mid 1990’s there became known something called the ‘obesity epidemic’ which was blamed on overeating and being sedentary. The cause of which was viewed as being based in prosperity, increased expendable income of consumers, and aggressively marketed foods high in energy and low in nutritional value. This meant that gaining weight was actually good for business. Too much money, too much food, too easily accessible, and too much need for entertainment such as TV, has caused the obesity epidemic. The World Health Organization (WHO), blamed increased obesity on rising incomes and urbanization.
Interesting, I think to myself, because a well documented fact is that being fat is associated with poverty, not prosperity. The thought is, that poor people cannot afford good food, so therefore the poorer you are the fatter you are likely to be. So how is it possible that the obesity epidemic is caused by prosperity? So lets think about that.
Because when I think of the house wives of the rich and famous, I think about women who are desperate to look good, fit into their size eight dress, and as such are thin because they are marrying up. When I think about obesity and poverty I think about women who marry into a lower social class where weight is actually really not an issue. Interestingly enough, I had the opportunity to watch ‘The Housewives of Orange County’ where I think at least one of the housewives had gained an exorbitant amount of weight. She had become huge by overeating all of the indulgences of the housewives and not being able to control herself. She had the opportunity to eat as much as she wanted when she wanted, she could afford to eat, and overeat well.
On the quest to lose 50 pounds in a year. Can she do it? Only time will tell....with the help of this blog.