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The documentary opens with former Surgeon General Richard Carmona giving a speech:

"I was at a press conference after 9/11 and everyone was talking about WMD and terrorists and chemical warfare. One reporter asked me, 'What is the most pressing thing threatening the country today?' and I said, 'Obesity.' Because obesity is the terror within."

"And if we don't do something about it, it will dwarf 9/11 or any other terrorist event you can point out to me."

2 years ago, I was approached by a doctor who had spent 10 years studying obesity. He had seen my first documentary film and decided that he'd ask me to make one on the obesity epidemic. I said, "Uh, didn't Super Size Me basically cover everything?" He said, "There's a lot more. A lot. Plus, nothing's changed since Spurlock's film came out. It's gotten worse." So, I spent the next 6 months reading books, research, and conducting interviews.

My mind was blown.

So I started production on a documentary called "Killer at Large".

I felt like a scientist after 2 years. I had read dozens of books, including Michael Pollan's "Omnivore's Dilemma", Marion Nestle's "Food Politics", Ann Cooper's "Lunch Lessons" and Kelly Brownell's "Food Fight".

On film, we interviewed Ralph Nader, Michael Pollan, filmmaker Neil LaBute, militant lunch lady Ann Cooper, and captured events with Bill Clinton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Senator Tom Harkin (who is actually a hero in this film).

I had shot over 400 hours of footage and had to edit it down to 102 minutes. How does one take a health crisis that is so complex and could fill an entire encyclopedia down to under 2 hours? Lots of coffee, Red Bull, and gut-wrenching compromises.

There were so many dots to connect:

-the evolution of humanity and our biological instinct to eat and store fat,
-cortisol hormones in our brains that tell our bodies to store calories
-modern body image expectations,
-sedentary lifestyles (we use quarters instead of spears for food now),
-a "toxic" food environment (I can buy Skittles at the car wash),
-a lack of fresh food availability in impoverished neighborhoods,
-government subsidies (Uncle Sam helps you buy the Big Mac but not the salad),
-Corn (HFCS) (Michael Pollan says 75% of what we eat has corn in it),
-Global Warming (it takes 10 calories of fossil fuel to produce 4 calories of food),
-etc, etc, etc...

Other things that blew me away were:

-Michael Pollan told us that usually when you trace back a piece of food's energy source, you end up at the sun. (Sun to grass to cow to you). Now you have to go back to oil fields in the Persian Gulf. (Oil to fertilizer to corn to cow).

-Rickets, a disease once thought to be banished, is now popping up in young  children living in impoverished neighborhoods due to no access to fresh food and exclusive fast food diets.

-12 year olds are getting Type II diabetes. When they're in their 30s, they'll start losing fingers, toes, and limbs.  

-Former President Bill Clinton has said, because of obesity, "This is the first generation of children to have lower life expectancies than their parents."

All in all, I'm proud of this film. And I feel even more passionate about at least getting the message out. Too many people want to point fingers at the government and industry as the problem. And too many people want to point fingers at overweight citizens for having a lack of personal responsibility. I think neither is productive and distracts from the real problem.

And you don't have enough fingers to point at the real problem.

Here's the movie trailer:

And for some reason, the website doesn't have a link to get the film. So just click here if you want to get a hold of it.

UPDATE: Military Has Had to Turn Away 48,000 Overweight Recruits Since 2005

and

American National Security Weakened By Obesity

Originally posted to minorityfilms on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 08:16 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I certainly endorse your focusing on this problem (11+ / 0-)

    I wouldn't try to depoliticize it, however.  Solutions depend in part on understanding and addressing the economic forces that contribute to obesity and poor nutrition.  Food companies market low quality foods intensely, because that's where the profit is.  Just look at your teevee -- nothing but empty calorie cereals and junk food, fast food restaurants selling bacon cheeseburgers and surgary sodas.  Go to the supermarket and the high quality foods -- fresh produce principally -- are along the edges, with all the processed junk foods in the middle.  You can put together a cheaper meal from the middle of the store, and it's easier.  Why is that? Because we subsidize corn and soybeans, and they're produced by vast agribusiness enterprises, and we don't subsidize produce growers.  At least that contributes to the problem.

    Also, physical inactivity is worsened not only by our conditions of work and teevee and computer games, but also by unsafe neighborhoods without parks, development patterns that discourage walking, inadequate public transit (at least you walk to the train station instead of driving everywhere) --

    There's a lot of tie in to political issues.

    •  The politics of obesity (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tmo, tbetz, FuddGate, Black Leather Rain

      When (if) we get a universal health plan obesity will become a huge political issue. The medical problems caused by obesity will cost us an enormous amount. There will have to be much emphasis put on preventive care in order to roll back the growing problem of obesity or a universal health care plan could be the cause of the next recession.

      The work begins anew. The hope rises again. And the dream lives on! -Ted Kennedy

      by cloudwatcher on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 08:50:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Which is the one thing that scares (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mark27, KozmoD, Virginia mom, Larsstephens

        the hell out of me about universal health care.  It will become in the government's best interest for as many people to be healthy as possible.  That's when laws will be passed to force people to be healthy.  At the very least, "sin taxes" will be placed on less healthy foods.  It will end up in more social engineering by the government.  I want people to be able to eat what they want and people should be able to get health care if they need it.  The government's place should be to educate people on the best choices to take, not force them.

        "There are few wars between good and evil; most are between one good and another good." - Yang Wen-li

        by MelloY on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 09:05:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  How about no "sin tax" but removal (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tbetz, MelloY, Larsstephens

          of subsidies to companies that produce this kind of crap?  Coke's price will rise if subsidies to it and its suppliers are removed (assuming they exist, even in the form of tax breaks).  It won't be a "tax" to the consumer, but the price will naturally rise because the company itself will pay more.

          I remember in a conference talking about consumer goods and global justice, there was a discussion about how rarely certain things would be consumed if the social cost of its production were translated into cost at the cash register.  Gas prices may be $15-25 per gallon.  Locally grown fresh foods would be far cheaper than highly-processed corn products, and even cheaper than third-world-grown farm products flown in and redistributed.  Beef's prices would raise tremendously.

          "I want people to be able to eat what they want."

          Sin taxes do not prevent that from happening, any more than cigarette taxes prevent people from smoking.  If you can afford it, you can indulge in it.  I'm not opposed to sin taxes, but I'm not necessarily a fan of them, either.  Frankly, I don't know what the solution to this is.

          What we don't know keeps the contracts alive and movin. They don't gotta burn the books, they just remove em while arms warehouses fill as quick as the cells.

          by Black Leather Rain on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 09:25:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not sure there is a solution. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Larsstephens

            This is a case that makes me question my views on the role of government.  My gut reaction is that removing the subsidies to companies that produce this stuff is fine.  Problem is, in the end it accomplishes the same thing as a sin tax for the same reasons.  Not only that, but it's something that penalizes the poor more than the rich.  To avoid this, I think social costs should be the burden of society as a whole.  We shouldn't be raising a tax on cigarettes.  We should be setting our income/sales tax rates based on the government financial cost of people smoking.  The obvious political reality here is that it is much easier to raise taxes on a product consumed by a minority of people than raise taxes for everyone.  

            The line of reasoning gets even murkier if I extend it to something like a carbon tax.  Here, it becomes even less of a personal issue because the emissions do effect everyone to some extent.  Unless we find a reasonable way to sequester released CO2, there's no way to calculate a social cost of it.  We can't pay off our environment.  If we use this to say that we need to tax CO2 emissions for the good of the environment, how is this any different logically than the government telling us they need to wiretap all of us to protect us from the next terrorist attack?  In both cases the government is limiting our freedoms in order to protect us.  What makes one more right than the other?

            Sorry for the rambling, it's the only way I know to describe my mixed feelings on this.  Given that, I'd still sign on to universal health care even knowing the risks.  In this case, the good of many people probably outweighs the risk.  That justification can be used to remove many of our freedoms though.

            "There are few wars between good and evil; most are between one good and another good." - Yang Wen-li

            by MelloY on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 12:15:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Diametrically Opposed to Reality.... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tbetz, Katie71

        The obese run up 11% lower lifetime health care bills than those of healthy weight.  My hope has always been that with universal health care we could finally begin to be honest about the fact that human longevity is a much larger cost factor in health care than is lifestyle, contrary to the decades of fictitious insurance industry spin that you and so many others have falsesly accepted as truth.

        •  Depends on the obese person, doesn't it? (0+ / 0-)

          A person can be obese and active, and be perfectly healthy.  It's sedentery lifestyles that have the greatest impact in terms of health and longevity.

          What we don't know keeps the contracts alive and movin. They don't gotta burn the books, they just remove em while arms warehouses fill as quick as the cells.

          by Black Leather Rain on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 09:26:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Let's kill off the healthy at an early age (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FuddGate

          Let's have government imposed suicide for any healthy person over the age of 40 and under 160 pounds. Those who are over 40, but glaringly obese, can live as long as they can because they probably won't live too much longer anyway. And by the way "Soylent Green" may be the ultimate answer. That way the truly long-living obese can just eat those pesky healthy over-40's. Problem solved!

          (For the snark impaired, please understand that all the above is sarcastic snark in response to the above post!)

          The work begins anew. The hope rises again. And the dream lives on! -Ted Kennedy

          by cloudwatcher on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 09:57:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You Can't Have it Both Ways, Buddy.... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sierrak9s

            In your mindless strawman, you grudgingly concede my point that "naughty" lifestyles do not in fact increase health care costs but lower them.  Since you couldn't back up your original erroneous claim, you resorted, flimsily, by attempting to paint me as morally challenged because I cited an inconvenient truth.  And God forbid, because I think the disproportionately low-income people whose lifestyles are already REDUCING public health care costs shouldn't be financially penalized for their backdoor contribution.  But with all your snarky bluster, you know what?  You only made a bigger fool out of yourself by completely obliterating your original thesis which you thought you were so damn clever when originally posting.

            •  And your solution to the problem (0+ / 0-)

              Other than murdering young healthy people is what....?

              The work begins anew. The hope rises again. And the dream lives on! -Ted Kennedy

              by cloudwatcher on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 10:33:10 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  My Solution..... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Black Leather Rain

                ....is that we recognize it's not really a problem in the first place.  Giving people the freedom to eat and smoke as they choose only equates to "murder" in your bankrupt strawman.  The fact that said activities reduce health care outlays is icing on the cake.

                Hard to find a "problem" in less need of a solution than this one.

    •  I remember growing up seeing PSAs for veggies. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Larsstephens

      Schoolhouse rock had one on strengthening teeth by eating veggies, if I remember correctly.

      I'd like to see this movie.  Thank you for sharing.

      What we don't know keeps the contracts alive and movin. They don't gotta burn the books, they just remove em while arms warehouses fill as quick as the cells.

      by Black Leather Rain on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 09:17:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Scary stuff (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    misreal, Larsstephens, Hybridity

    Big wake up call... just the trailer alone.

    Bipartisanship: what happens when an unstoppable force tries to reason with an immovable object!

    by Bobs Telecaster on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 08:25:27 AM PDT

  •  Soda should be treated like tobacco... (8+ / 0-)

    There is nothing redeeming about Coke, Pepsi or any other high sugar drink.  

    One problem is that junk food is cheaper than healthy foods because of their shelf life and processing.  One idea has been to tax junk foods to get folks to buy less and maybe choose the healthier alternative.

    I recently caught the end of a story where a 12 yr old had gastric bypass surgery.  It was ridiculous, and his Mother was oblivious that she did anything wrong.  It's child abuse.  

    If Progressives didn't criticize, they'd never have anything to say.

    by Jonze on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 08:27:23 AM PDT

    •  Agreed. Soda has WAY more sugar than anyone needs (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      subtropolis, ClapClapSnap, Dems 2008

      ... Of course, I'm not saying that we need to police food, but there needs to be more labels and warnings on these things because people don't think about this stuff.

      "We cannot meet 21st Century challenges with a 20th Century bureaucracy." - Barack Obama, 8/28/08

      by Hybridity on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 08:29:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Labels and warnings won't help. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pletzs

        There's already a crap ton of labeling on these products.  There has to be an impetus within the population to want to avoid these things.  If a bottle of soda says, "Warning: Contains HFCS," especially when paired with the bullshit HFCS commercials out there right now, a consumer will shrug and buy anyhow.

        What we don't know keeps the contracts alive and movin. They don't gotta burn the books, they just remove em while arms warehouses fill as quick as the cells.

        by Black Leather Rain on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 09:28:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The high fructose corn syrup evil in soda (3+ / 0-)

      is worse than if they used real sugar, which is a food. Not a good one, but it is recognized by the body and brain as food.

      When we trick our body with artificial food and sweetners, it creates cravings which create obesity.

    •  Yeah That's What We Need.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Virginia mom, Black Leather Rain

      Another reason for health snobs to look down their righteous noses at the working class lifestyle....and then make it personal with nanny-state bans and predatory sin taxes....all of which completely ignore the fact that smokers and the obese run up lifetime health care bills that are double-digit percentages lower than the lifetime health care bills of healthy-weight nonsmokers.

      •  Silly argument. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rk2

        If Progressives didn't criticize, they'd never have anything to say.

        by Jonze on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 09:20:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Silly How? It's a Fact. (0+ / 0-)

          See for yourself.

          http://www.omaha.com/...

          •  Silly because it isn't really about costs. (0+ / 0-)

            The blather about cost is just a smokescreen.  It's really about punishing those nasty slothful fat people and rewarding the good, virtuous thin people.  They work so hard to be thin, after all!

            •  I'm Convinced That More Than Anything Else.... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              sierrak9s, Katie71, Larsstephens

              ...this is how the left will lose power.  They absolutely can't control themselves from going out of their way to criticize and penalize the working-class grunts who don't live as righteously as they do.  We're essentially feeding the flames of a brand new and particularly mindless culture war, telling Joe from Missouri he's a disgusting slob who should pay both his share and our share of taxes because of his unacceptable BMI index.  The insults alone aren't productive, but it's abundantly clear that the health police plan to slap that fried chicken right out of his jaws.  And that's the point where Joe from Missouri has a vested interest in resisting the politicians who refuse to stay out of his refrigerator.

          •  It's flawed... (0+ / 0-)

            The study, paid for by the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports, did not take into account other potential costs of obesity and smoking, such as lost economic productivity or social costs.

            If Progressives didn't criticize, they'd never have anything to say.

            by Jonze on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 09:25:39 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Lost economic productivity... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Katie71, Black Leather Rain

              That part just grates.  It's often used by drug warriors as an argument against legalization of cannabis.  But if you think about it, it implies that we each have a responsibility to be strong, industrious workers for the State.

              My economic productivity is my own damn business, thankyouverymuch.  I am not a cog in your vast economic machine.

              •  Not to mention it implies (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                18038, sierrak9s, Katie71

                that the obese are slovenly and don't work as much.

                Lemme tell ya, I sit my big butt in my chair for 8-9 hours a day.  I complete every assignment that passes by my desk, and take on more work from others.  I'm one of the top producers and best employees in my group, and have been told as much.

                I fail to see how my obesity somehow makes me less productive to my company.  Now, if I were in a job that required manual labor (construction, landscaping, etc.?), I'd be absolutely useless for at least 6 months until I get in shape.

                Economic productivity arguments are BS when you look at a workforce that is largely sedentary at work.

                What we don't know keeps the contracts alive and movin. They don't gotta burn the books, they just remove em while arms warehouses fill as quick as the cells.

                by Black Leather Rain on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 09:37:46 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  So it would only take you 6 mos to get in shape (0+ / 0-)

                  and you choose not to?

                  If Progressives didn't criticize, they'd never have anything to say.

                  by Jonze on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 10:12:54 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Not "in shape" but rather, "productive," yes. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Katie71

                    I think if I went from a sedentary lifestyle to one that demanded 8-10 (sometimes 12) hours of heavy lifting and other back-breaking work, there would be a significant change in my body makeup.  I would not be fit by any means (that would take longer than 6 months), but there would be significant change.

                    Tell ya what, since you're so quick to snark - you pay me $46K a year to do nothing but go to the gym for 8-12 hours a day, and I'll consider putting in a request for a six month sabbatical here at work.  Until then, I think I'll stick with my job.

                    What we don't know keeps the contracts alive and movin. They don't gotta burn the books, they just remove em while arms warehouses fill as quick as the cells.

                    by Black Leather Rain on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 10:38:29 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Exactly....Always Funny To See These "Lefties"... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Katie71

                ....talk about the poverty imposed on the bourgeoise by those lazy claudes working for them when saying so provides them an opening to wax sanctimonious on smokers and the obese.

            •  It's Probably Left Out Because It's Impossible... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Katie71

              ....to rationally assess lost economic productivity and isolate that to the person's lifestyle activities as opposed to their personal characteristics.  Perhaps the "less productive" smokers and obese people are simply lazier and more prone to play hooky or take longer breaks in general than are healthy-weight nonsmokers.

  •  Nice work, and best of luck to you with (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FuddGate, Black Leather Rain

    the film. I'll be looking for it.

  •  Well MOST Things Dwarf 9/11 (9+ / 0-)

    Annual causes of death include
    Drowning 3,800
    Suicide 30,000
    Alzheimer's 50,000
    All doctor-related 250,000
    Tobacco 430,000 or so.

    Medical care kills a 9/11-worth just about every 4 days completely by accident.

    I see one Internet source citing poor diet and inactivity at 365,000 for several years ago, basically 1,000 of us every day.

    So yeah, health related issues do indeed dwarf 9/11, all told it might be up to 100-fold, and much of that could be cut way back by preventative medicine if we had a sane national health system.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 08:30:34 AM PDT

  •  kudos (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Black Leather Rain, Hybridity

    There are so many things wrong with our society but the food situation is way out of control. It seems that too few people really think about what they're eating. I go to the grocery store and am amazed at some of the crap i see. Of course, it's very difficult to know what's in something. The food industry doesn't exactly make it easy.

    And the rest of the world is staring down this particular gun, as well. If they're not the ones who are starving, that is.

    "They're telling us something we don't understand"
    General Charles de Gaulle, Mai '68

    by subtropolis on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 08:31:41 AM PDT

  •  Obesity is a complex issue. It's personal, it's (4+ / 0-)

    political and cultural, among other things. This is a tough topic because while on the one hand, we should give respect to people who experience obesity - at the same time - it's a killer, just as your film suggests. There seriously needs to be more education about this stuff. But no one pays attention. My family has problems with obesity and I have somehoe managed to escape it, but not everyone has the will or knowledge of how to keep the weight off

    "We cannot meet 21st Century challenges with a 20th Century bureaucracy." - Barack Obama, 8/28/08

    by Hybridity on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 08:33:18 AM PDT

  •  there should be a tax incentive for being fit (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Larry Madill

    troll rated for football!!!

    by superHappyInDC on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 08:34:27 AM PDT

  •  to paraphrase flavor flav (0+ / 0-)

    9/11 is a joke.

  •  I'm Tired Of (4+ / 0-)

    everything being compared to 9/11, Pearl Harbor, AIDS and the bubonic plague.

    It's not like I want to get back to eating my oatmeal or something, it's just that it's way too much outrage! terror! fatigue.

    That is all. Individually, I wish you the best, but collectively, my dearest hope is to outlive you - groovetronica

    by Nulwee on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 08:39:55 AM PDT

    •  So is the Surgeon General (4+ / 0-)

      He was tired of hearing the media 24/7 talk about 9/11 when there were so many pressing health issues. That's why he said what he said.

      •  Sounds Out of Touch....And Is..Big Time.... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dems 2008

        Regardless of how serious of a threat 9-11 may or may not have been, suggesting that certain people's personal choice to eat "naughty" foods poses a bigger threat to the world is the talk of almost unimaginable privilege and hubris for a guy of his position.

        •  Obesity costs the American Tax Payer $75 billion (4+ / 0-)

          that's a year BTW. And that number is from 2006. God knows what it is now. Heart Disease, diabates, liver and kidney diseases, kids with type II diabetes, prostate cancer, soldiers getting fatter and fatter (2 news reports on this last week), police getting fatter and fatter, workers getting fatter and fatter, sicker and sicker, and so on.

          •  Your Figure Is Gross, Not Net..... (0+ / 0-)

            The implication is that the obese cost the American taxpayer $75 billion per year and the nonobese cost $0.00 per year.  In reality, the nonobese are more likely to spend many year wasting away in a nursing home with their brains rotting at vastly higher taxpayer expense.  Take it to the bank that if your Big Brother fantasy of a nation with recommended BMI indexes was ever actually realized, overall health care costs in the country would positively explode.

      •  the problem with that approach (0+ / 0-)

        is that it isn't effective.

        It may be technically true and accurate, but it sounds over-hyped to the average ear.

        Anytime you try to say this is worse than insert traumatic event here you are going to engender a "come on" response.

        Whether it is 9/11 or Katrina or Cuban Missile Crisis.

  •  No doubt the crap in food plays a roll (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    karenc13

    in obesity. But I think even if you cut all the corn syrup and partially hydrogenated plutonium out of food, people would still be obese because I've come to the conclusion that a lot of Americans are just fundamentally lazy about their health.

    I half think a better use for healthcare dollars would be to train up an army of drill sergeants that come to your house every other day, holding a bamboo cane and a bullhorn, to berate you until you've exercised for an hour.

    "You Can't Piss on Hospitality... I WON'T ALLOW IT!" Michael Waits, Troll 2

    by Larry Madill on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 08:40:14 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for this important work. (0+ / 0-)

    one comment re: trailer: the background music is too loud — it's hard to hear the people speaking.

    Book excerpts: nonlynnear; other writings: mofembot.

    by mofembot on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 08:43:05 AM PDT

  •  i realllly don't like fat people (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FuddGate, sierrak9s, Dems 2008

    I've been overweight myself, and I realized I was just living a sloven lifestyle.

    I finally kicked my own ass recently and started running and eating smaller meals.
    I'm willing to trade the slight discomfort of an empty stomach for the health benefits. Thats all it really is. Anyone who tells you "I can't stop eating" is full of shit. You can stop eating, its a bit painful and perhaps similar to other kinds of substance withdrawal. But you can, anyone can do it. It just takes a level of self awareness and an acceptance of a slightly painful life for two weeks as your body adjusts.

    troll rated for football!!!

    by superHappyInDC on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 08:49:57 AM PDT

  •  If you think about it (0+ / 0-)

    -Michael Pollan told us that usually when you trace back a piece of food's energy source, you end up at the sun. (Sun to grass to cow to you). Now you have to go back to oil fields in the Persian Gulf. (Oil to fertilizer to corn to cow).

    Mr. Pollan is incomplete.  Always (not usually) when you trace back any energy source, you end up at nuclear power.

    Sunlight is a by-product of nuclear reactions on the Sun.

    Geothermal heat is a by-product of nuclear decay deep in the Earth.

    Oil, gas, and coal are just the energy from historic sunlight captured and stored for millions of years.

    Biomass, wind, and ethanol all get their energy from the Sun's nuclear reactions.

    I suppose even the chemicals involved in exothermic or endothermic chemical reactions  originated from nuclear reactions long or ago or from those chemical transformed (using the energy of the Sun) by plants.

  •  Obesity and anxiety (8+ / 0-)

    Most people eat more as a way to cover up feelings of anxiety. Many parents feed their kids more as a way to deal with their kids feeling anxious and as a way to deal with their own anxiety about their kids. It's a vicious cycle learned at our parents table. We now live in a culture that increases our anxiety by its demands on us and then advertises the way to overcome it is with food and pills. The problem is how do we reduce anxiety in a culture that economically exists by producing anxiety?

    The work begins anew. The hope rises again. And the dream lives on! -Ted Kennedy

    by cloudwatcher on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 09:15:18 AM PDT

  •  My neighbor that I've known my entire life died (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmo, FuddGate, Hybridity

    recently because of her obesity,leaving behind a 4 year old daughter. Her entire family is overweight. I took her daughter for a walk the other day and they were feeding her McDonalds! I love them so much, but it was just astonishing to me that they do not seem to get the connection. They put their love into over feeding, over eating, and cooking unhealthy meals. I'm just trying to take the daughter under my wing and keep her healthy!

    "indifference is the one thing that makes the very angels weep."-Cornell West

    by misreal on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 10:01:19 AM PDT

    •  What did your neighbor die of, (0+ / 0-)

      and how old was she?  People blame obesity for a lot of things, but few people actually die because they're carrying too much fat on their body - there are typically co-morbidities.

      At such a young age, and with a diet of fast food, I have to imagine your neighbor died of cardiac disease.  

      What we don't know keeps the contracts alive and movin. They don't gotta burn the books, they just remove em while arms warehouses fill as quick as the cells.

      by Black Leather Rain on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 10:41:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Touchy Subject (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pletzs

    This is an obviously touchy subject, inspiring various documentaries and loads of hype.  (New reality show called "more to love" coming to a flat screen near you?)?!?!?

    The obesity epidemic has been exploding since roughly 1980.  It is a locomotive running out of control. The biggest impression it has made on me is one of concern mixed with a large dose of sadness.  

    I find the concept of "healthy obesity" to be a bit of an oxymoron.  There are lots of "healthy" cigarette smokers out there.  Healthy in spite of not b/c of obesity.

    The wake up call obviously hasn't reached America yet, since the epidemic is still steaming straight ahead.  Perhaps only the economic crisis has the power to reverse the "Down Bound Train"

    "Seek above all for a game worth playing- such is the advice of the oracle to modern man." - Robert S. de Ropp

    by FuddGate on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 10:31:55 AM PDT

    •  It's very touchy, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Katie71

      as will be any subject when you have people who are looked down upon because of how they look.  Frankly, if obesity were considered attractive, people would generally not give a crap about the health concerns.  Sure they're unhealthy, but GAWD are they HAWT (see: how seriously eating disorders are truly treated in this country).

      A note: Thin people are also not healthy because they are thin.  It would be similarly unhelpful to suggest that some obese are healthy because of their weight.*

      * With the exception of older age groups, where longevity actually increases in heavier older Americans.

      What we don't know keeps the contracts alive and movin. They don't gotta burn the books, they just remove em while arms warehouses fill as quick as the cells.

      by Black Leather Rain on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 10:45:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just posted an update (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FuddGate

    Obesity is a national security. When you read those 2 articles, you can see why that isn't too alarmist.

    •  The Rest of the World.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Katie71

      ....is getting fat at the same speed America is, so the worst-case scenario is that both ally and axis forces in World War III will be equally impaired by their pot-bellies and junk in their trunk.

      Has it really come to this?  Here we are in America, dangerously close to surrendering our entire manufacturing base in the name of race-to-the-bottom globalization, but our incapacity to produce our missile, tanks, and rifles is not what's undermining our national security, it's those fat slobs!!!!!

  •  One of the implicit, but not fully unexplored (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Katie71

    issues here is the culture of eating. Some of the postings above speak to this, and I wanted to throw my 2 cents in. I myself have been overweight during several parts of my life, though I'm at a relatively "healthy" body-mass index now.

    The thing that the USA - hasn't fully addressed is the culture(s) of eating. There are so many practices, traditions and norms associated with eating, and they're often not fully analyzed. Some of the postings here have alluded to the question of why - and that's the significant one to ask.

    Why do people over-eat? I ask this, not to disrespect people who are heavier, but rather, to point to the ways our cultures cause over-eating and then scapegoat the heavier people for it. When we begin to address the "why" here - we'll be closer to offering solutions that will improve the health of people affected by over-eating.

    Of course, this matter is also part of another debate about whether any kind of intervention is necessary (since some would say: no, leave people alone to make their own choices), but I tend to lean towards the possibility of preventing over-eating because it's been clinically proven that obesity leads to both physical and emotional challenges. So then, the question remains, what can be done - in a way that is fair to people who have greater body mass and also - why does this phenomenon continue?  

    "We cannot meet 21st Century challenges with a 20th Century bureaucracy." - Barack Obama, 8/28/08

    by Hybridity on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 11:32:10 AM PDT

    •  Now that's a helpful comment. (0+ / 0-)

      Many Americans eat fast, too fast.  I think in part this is due to how food is served in schools and that if lunch hours were generally more leisurely, that even if other meals weren't, then hopefully that would go a long way to showing people how to eat to being full, not past full.

  •  Hope there's no "obesity is an inside job" CT's (0+ / 0-)
    That would just ruin my day.

    /snark

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