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Author’s Note: My report of the following findings should not lead anyone to believe that I think obese people are “stupid,” or that I am in any way “targeting” them.” I am not making an argument that thin people are smarter than overweight people. My mother is obese, and she is a brilliant and highly educated woman. However, I do think obesity is a health risk and believe in proper fitness and nutrition, though I am no “health nut.” I think the research that has been done over the past few years on obesity and the brain is very interesting, and I believe it’s something we should all take a closer look at, regardless of our size.

ADDITIONAL Author's Note: Yes, the sample sizes in these studies are small. No, correlation does not have to imply causation. Yes, there could be all sorts of other factors contributing to test results. I am posting some findings I find interesting. Pretty simple, pretty benign. Chill, people.

It has already been documented that obesity is linked with brain atrophy (PDF), though the findings have proven controversial. A review, for those who may not have read it, of a previous study from 2009:

A new brain-imaging study by researchers at UCLA and the University of Pittsburgh finds that the brains of overweight and obese subjects were on average 4% and 8% smaller, respectively, than the brains of those who were at a healthy weight--evidence, according to UCLA neurology professor and study author Paul Thompson, of "severe brain degeneration."

For the obese--those with a BMI over 30--the news is particularly bad: the areas of significant observed shrinkage were the frontal temporal lobes, the seat of higher-order reasoning and judgment; the anterior cingulate gyrus, key to attention and decision-making as well; the hippocampus, where long-term memories are processed, and the basal ganglia, from which smooth movement is initiated.

Overweight people--those with a BMI over 25--also had shrinkage in the basal ganglia, as well as in the parietal lobe, where we integrate sensory input and position ourselves in space, and in the brain's white matter, which helps speed messages among regions of the brain that must work together for us to function properly.

After virtually weighing and measuring the brains of 94 subjects over age 70, the study authors concluded that the brains of the overweight appeared, on average, eight years older than those of subjects at healthy weight. Brains of the obese appeared 16 years older. While the subjects scanned in the study showed no outward signs of cognitive impairment at the time of the study, the study's authors predicted the premature aging and loss of brain volume they observed would put heavier subjects at greater risk of Alzheimer's disease and other degenerative brain diseases.

Los Angeles Times

Some images from that study, which is available free online (PDF):

Further research is emerging that sheds additional light on the ways in which the brain appears to be damaged. A new study suggests that the reason memory and other aspects of thought may be impaired in some obese individuals has to do with damage to the wiring linking the brain’s information-processing regions. Historically, when cognitive deficits in overweight people were discovered in medical research, it has been difficult to determine how much of that impairment might be due to poor overall health rather than obesity alone. For the current study, John Gunstad of Kent State University in Ohio and his associates selected 150 obese (but otherwise healthy) individuals  to voluntarily undergo a battery of cognitive tests. Most participants weighed near 300 pounds, although some were significantly more overweight. The most “useful” factor about this group: Two thirds were scheduled to have weight loss surgery shortly thereafter.

The results:

Scores on the tests were assessed against those of people in the Brain Resource International Database, a large multicenter project with data on very healthy people. Obese individuals in the new study initially performed on the low end of the normal range for healthy individuals from the database on average, Gunstad says, although nearly one-quarter of the obese participants’ scores on memory and learning actually fell within what researchers consider the impaired range.

Tested again 12 weeks after bariatric surgery — when most had shed some 50 pounds — the lighter but still heavy patients scored substantially better. Most now performed “within the average or greater-than-average range for all cognitive tests,” the researchers report online in Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases.

Study participants who didn’t have surgery — or lose weight — performed worse on the second test. “That was a bit surprising,” Gunstad says.

Neurologist Stefan Knecht of the University of Münster in Germany, who is not involved in the new research, says he is not surprised that the untreated participants experienced rapid, continuing drops in cognitive performance. Among the morbidly obese, he says, “You can actually watch them getting worse from one three-month period to the next if you have sufficiently sensitive measures, which [Gunstad’s group] did.”

Science News

Another study used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to examine the wiring connecting nerve cells which allow signals and information to travel through the brain. In some obese individuals (BMI 30+), the white matter that protects this wiring appears damaged, as compared with normal-weight and overweight individuals. It should be noted that the damage being described is to the protective sheath, not to the nerve fibers themselves.

Both studies were done with a relatively low number of subjects, particularly the second. Further research into the mechanisms behind the possible link between brain deterioration and obesity is still needed.

Originally posted to sricki on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 01:01 AM PDT.

Also republished by SciTech and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  2/3rds of Americans are over weight (12+ / 0-)

    which is scary enough, add possible brain damage to that OMG!

    Walk it off.

    "Time is for careful people, not passionate ones."

    by roseeriter on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 01:23:48 AM PDT

    •  I'm one of those (20+ / 0-)

      March 6th I made my mind up to lose 30#
      the first week went great I dropped 10 #
      since then I haven't lost any.
      I eat 2 salads a day.
      I guess I have to give up peanuts   :(
      Cottage Cheese too :(

      •  Brava! Good on you. (9+ / 0-)

        Drinking lots of water helps also.
        Best wishes to your success!

        "Time is for careful people, not passionate ones."

        by roseeriter on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 03:03:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  If you go too far below a sensible calorie level, (21+ / 0-)

        . . . your body will think it is starving to death and weight loss will stall. And your body will start to consume muscle tissue instead of fat.

        If you are 100 pounds or more overweight, you might want to think about medical oversight.

        I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

        by CherryTheTart on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 03:07:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  maybe 40 # (5+ / 0-)

          over wieght
          I'm 6' & weigh about 220

            •  My pleasure. (21+ / 0-)

              Since you do not mind advice, I got some more.

              You can lose twenty pounds in a year without altering caloric intake by walking for a half hour at a moderate pace for 5 days a week.

              Side effects: the aerobic exercise will improve your heart and lung health and eventually alter the metabolic setpoint which will cause you to burn more calories just sitting still.

              And the endorphins created will increase your happiness level and smooth out the lumps and bumps.

              I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

              by CherryTheTart on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 03:43:52 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  totally (14+ / 0-)

                i do not recommend anyone cut caloric intake w/out exercising at the same time.  otherwise, you reset your metabolism to the lower caloric level and the body starts hoarding.  like you said.

                Judging from picturebooks, apparently Heaven is a partly cloudy place. - Rilo Kiley

                by Cedwyn on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 05:41:36 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  What if you cannot walk? n/t (5+ / 0-)

                Democrats give you the Bill of Rights; Republicans sell you a bill of goods!

                by barbwires on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 08:44:46 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Can you at least (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Kysen, gmb, CherryTheTart

                  ride an exercise bike?

                  "the Devil made me buy this dress!" Flip Wilson as Geraldine Jones

                  by BlueJessamine on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 09:33:45 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  newp, I can't even ride an incumbant bike :( (4+ / 0-)

                    but I think the premise of this Diary is wrong and I will use myself as an example of WHY.

                    I was born overweight and have been overweight my entire life but it has not had any effect on my brain functions because since kindergarten I have tested in the top 1 and/or 2 percentile for my age group (while being overweight)  BUT at times when I decided to lose weight and did it DUMB (severe caloric restriction) my brain function WAS impaired and I couldnt think straight BUT the moment a little 'sugar' was introduced back into my system my brain function became instantly unscrambled  :)

                    What I learned was that not everyone gets heavy for the same reasons...and without taking the time to learn what makes your body work (and not work) losing excess weight is kind of a futile effort but when you find out how different food groups effect you THEN you can correctly modify your diet and begin to drop pounds with relative ease.  (operative word...relative)

                    and WATER is your best friend whether dieting or just living your normal life  oh and if your body is CRAVING something and I mean a physical 'need' not just a want... do not ignore it because our bodies tell us what we need by sending a CRAVING message to our brains so if you are DYING for a pickle perhaps you need more vinegar based foods....   MUST HAVE STEAK (you need more iron)  etc etc etc  :)

                    as a disclaimer (because I am not a doctor)  i offer my suggestions based ONLY on my personal experience and success at losing (well) over 100lbs  :)

                    •  I don't think (5+ / 0-)

                      that the premise of the study is that fat people are "dumber" and have lower IQ's though. As I mentioned above, my mother is obese and she is bloody brilliant. I don't know what all the tests they used entailed, but I don't think they were IQ tests. I still haven't seen the full study.

                      Of course not everyone gains weight for the same reasons -- and some people can eat healthy all their lives and still be overweight. It very much varies by individual body chemistry. I think these findings are worth looking at, but don't get the impression that I think them conclusive, or that I think that being overweight in and of itself makes someone unable to think properly. As others in the thread have noted, stress, nutrition, and a host of other factors undoubtedly play a role.

                      Congratulations on your weight loss! And I am a water JUNKIE myself, so three cheers for that.

                      Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative. - William S. Burroughs

                      by sricki on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 01:31:29 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Glucose is the only source of energy available (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      KnotIookin, CherryTheTart

                      to the brain which would explain this occurrence:

                      BUT at times when I decided to lose weight and did it DUMB (severe caloric restriction) my brain function WAS impaired and I couldnt think straight BUT the moment a little 'sugar' was introduced back into my system my brain function became instantly unscrambled  :)

                      "I've taken up sculpting recently. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

                      by eXtina on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 06:08:46 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

              •  Weight-loss aside (14+ / 0-)

                I have had the experience of feeling very stressed-out and miserable, and tying on my shoes and taking a brisk walk, and coming back and, literally, not recognizing the person I was before I left. I am so much calmer and happier now that the endorphins are really pumping.

                Exercise is a powerful, probably under-rated way to alter your mood.

                It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

                by karmsy on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 11:18:50 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Resistance training is also (5+ / 0-)

                helpful to many for long term weight loss.  It particularly helps women over the age of 35 who lose about 1/2 pound of muscle every year if they don't do some type of resistance challenging to their muscles.  1/2 pound of muscle can burn approx 3 - 5 pounds of fat in a year.  Hence the notorious gradual weight gain and softness as time marches on - even if you don't eat more calories per day than you did at age 25.  One could gain 60 to 100 pounds between age 35 and 55 without some type of challenge to keep the muscles strong.
                Walking does not help build muscle much altho it has lots of other benefits and it is generally pretty safe from exercise related injuries.  It's a bit tough on the knees in people who are really heavy.
                For women to gain enough muscle to make a significant difference in resting metabolic rate (you burn more calories while you sleep!) it takes about 6 - 8 months of training.  One only works a specific muscle group every 2 - 3 days with the day(s) of rest in between absolutely necessary to allow building of muscle tissue.  If you want to do all your muscle groups on the same day, it only takes about 45 minutes.  
                To challenge a muscle to get it to build, one lifts or pushes or pulls a resistance such that one can do it sslllooooowwwwlllyyy 12 times but could not do it the 13th.  Rest a minute or two and repeat the set of 12.  When one gets a bit more advanced one can set the resistance to exhaust the muscle by the 8th or even 5th repetition.  
                Women rarely get too "buff" looking without steroids, so don't worry.  
                Men get buff more quickly and get the metabolic rate increase in as little as 6 weeks (assuming normal testosterone levels).  
                Prior to beginning resistance training see you health care provided to see if it's ok for you.

                I was wise enough to never grow up while fooling most people into believing I had. - Margaret Mead

                by fayea on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 12:01:02 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Resistance training is the best! (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  sricki, Kysen, fayea

                  I stumbled into it backwards, having hit a plateau with running I was googling around and found a downloadable book called something like "Running Fast and Injury-Free," written by one of those fitness crackpots of the 1920's. He claimed that weight training was the single best thing a runner could do for themselves.

                  Plus, it's fun.

                •  Though I would add, if one is concerned (5+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Kysen, fayea, sricki, 4Freedom, rosabw

                  about getting "buff," or even if one isn't, it's far better to concentrate on functional strength training than bodybuilding type exercises.

                  The difference between them is that functional strength is about integration, teaching the muscle groups to work together as a whole, while bodybuilding is about isolation, working each muscle alone to make it bigger.

                  It's the difference between Arnold Shwarzenegger and Jackie Chan. Arnold is beautiful, but does he ever really do anything other than drive big vehicles, shoot big guns and say funny one-liners? Jackie Chan, on the other hand, does not have bulging muscles but he can throw himself off a moving car without getting hurt.

                  •  I love Jackie Chan! I'd much rather (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    sricki, SadieB, Kysen

                    have his sort of strength, coordination and build than Arnold's.  
                    Of course, for total fitness, a mix of exercise types is best.  Aerobic, resistance, stretching, balancing, core strengthening, Tai Chi, etc.  My preceding comment was already way too long just focusing on resistance.  But resistance probably gives you the most bang for your buck with fat loss than anything else but my mother's weight loss exercise recommendation which is "push yourself away from the table".

                    I was wise enough to never grow up while fooling most people into believing I had. - Margaret Mead

                    by fayea on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 02:23:18 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Yesss, (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    SadieB, Kysen

                    well, I love them both actually! Big Arnold fan, my parents had me watching him as a kid. But Jackie Chan, that guy can do crazy cool stuff!

                    Sorry, substance-less, fawning comment on my part but... ah well. ;)

                    Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative. - William S. Burroughs

                    by sricki on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 02:56:00 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  What is a moderate pace? n/t (0+ / 0-)

                There are moments when the body is as numinous as words, days that are the good flesh continuing. -- Robert Hass

                by srkp23 on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 01:37:48 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Walking can be damaging for the obese. (0+ / 0-)

                Feet and joint problems.  It's a catch 22.  Water aerobics is best for the really heavy if you can afford it.

          •  Good that it is only 40 lbs. (6+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Cedwyn, raboof, sricki, Kysen, gmb, 4Freedom

            You are not obese. But I bet you don't feel all that energetic or good most days.

            I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

            by CherryTheTart on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 03:47:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  hmmmm....I see a lot of "you should" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sricki

          posts here.  Fact is, each individual's body metabolizes nutrients in its own unique way.

          Having OCD, while frustrating, is a boon for discovering how ones body works.   I tracked 10-15 variables over a four month period when I lost weight a few years ago (210-170).  I found my base metabolism was pretty high, the amount of water I drank or grams of fiber I consumed did not correlate with my weight loss.  Anaerobic exercise slowed down the rate of loss (retention of nutrients and water per inflammation and repairing muscle tissue), while aerobic exercise initially sped up weight loss, the impact lessoned over time, even with increased duration.  My caloric intake and salt intake were the biggest indicators of the number I would see on the scale the next day.  Yes, I weighed every single day, same time.  As I saw the diet as an experiment, daily weigh-ins were both motivating and scientifically interesting.   My caloric intake ranged from 600 calories a day (VCLD Very Low Calorie Diet) to damn near infinity, intentionally altered to keep my metabolism guessing.  

           And on VCLD.  I did do a liquid diet once.  My weight loss didn't stall...the weight melted off.  My most successful diets were diets that were or incorporated VLCD days.   Both bouts I kept the weight off for two years each, the longest I have kept weight off.  I can lose weight like a champ...keeping it off is my problem.  For some reason the quick success of VCLD's delays the inevitable creep back up the scale, compared to other eating plans.

          What does this mean for anyone else?  Not a Damn Thing.  I'll leave the finger-shaking to a doctor...someone who has probably actually met you.  

          ~I am pro-life. Pro WOMAN'S Life. Abortion should be free and on-demand~

          by CWalter on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 05:13:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  You have to be rich to get medical oversite (0+ / 0-)

          for obesity.

      •  10 lbs a week isn't healthy (15+ / 0-)

        i'm impressed as hell; don't get me wrong.  but the recommendation is 2 lbs per week.

        weight watchers kicks ass.  seriously.  it teaches you how to work with normal food in the ways you need.  none of this jenny craig buy our food crap; you actually learn new eating habits.

        but yes; eat all the veggies you can stand; they're basically freebies.

        good luck!

        Judging from picturebooks, apparently Heaven is a partly cloudy place. - Rilo Kiley

        by Cedwyn on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 05:43:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Be careful eating so little. (6+ / 0-)

        It can damage your metabolism -- and not getting good nutrition is... bad for the brain. ;)

        Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative. - William S. Burroughs

        by sricki on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 09:22:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  eeff, try this: (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        4Freedom, eXtina

        Read the book "Eat to Live" and do his program.  It's difficult, but guaranteed to get you down to your true size.  Also, you probably aren't eating enough, interestingly.  The salads are great, but try eating 2 oz. protein every 4 hours.  

        Good luck, I'm on a program too, and want to lose 40 (eegads).  

        Sarah Palin: All pistol and no squint.

        by CanyonWren on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 01:28:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Eating little, not losing (0+ / 0-)

        You have gone into starvation mode and shut down your metabolism.  Sorry to say, you have to up your calories to as many as possible to lose weight as slowly as possible if you want to keep your metabolism functional.
        Don't up those calories on junk.

      •  you should also get a check-up (0+ / 0-)

        on your thyroid function and whether you may have some degree of insulin resistance.  Either of those can cause difficulty in losing weight.  No doubt there are some other medical syndromes that I don't know about.

        Anyway, losing 10lb in a week is a lot, and probably some of it was just water weight.  You may actually be losing "real" weight, but it's hidden b/c you're better hydrated since the first week.  I think ~2lb per week is considered a healthy and sustainable amount to lose.

        Don't forget, it's hard to sustain eating fewer calories if you feel hungry all the time.  Fats and protein are essential to getting your stomach to feel satisfied (and to sustaining life, too!).  And fats from nuts are probably the healthiest WRT kind of fat and vitamins you get as part of the package.

        We must believe in free will. We’ve got no choice. –Isaac Bashevis Singer

        by Ruthtopia on Mon Mar 28, 2011 at 08:23:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  We are also overfed, undernourished, (11+ / 0-)

      spend too much time on the couch channel surfing or playing video games. We eat too much meat, don't get enough sleep, live highly stressful lives and drive too much.

      We are headed off the cliff headlong if we don't make social changes that promote well-being. If this sounds like the beginning of a pro-"nanny state" rant, it may be. But there are too many factors -- poverty being the worst, that exacerbate the problem.

      Republicans are slumlording America!!

      by Fe Bongolan on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 11:10:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Is correlation causation? (15+ / 0-)

    There could be a lot of reasons for such a correlation, including that people over age 70 who are starting down the path to some kind of dementia are less likely to maintain their former activity levels.  My dad has Parkinson's; his balance is affected and he is no longer able to keep up the habit of biking and swimming that he had when he was younger.

  •  Is any of this research looking at what people ate (16+ / 0-)

    as well as how much they weighed?

    There is research on how high-fat diets impair mental acuity:

    DALLAS, March 8, 2010 — The DASH diet, combined with exercise and calorie restriction, improved mental functioning by 30 percent in overweight adults with high blood pressure compared to those who didn’t diet or exercise, researchers reported in Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association.

    I can certainly corroborate how overeating leads to torpor, so I wonder if it's not fats and cheap carbs that might be altering the brain?

    "The face is at once the irreparable being-exposed of humans and the very opening in which they hide and stay hidden. The face is the only location of community, the only possible city. Giorgio Agamben: Means Without End: Notes on Politics

    by absolute beginner on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 04:53:44 AM PDT

    •  I have read that (5+ / 0-)

      about high fat diets too. I haven't gotten my hands on this full study yet, so I don't know whether the diets were well examined. These people lost weight through surgery, so I don't know if their diets actually changed when they retook the tests in Gunstad's study.

      And obviously just depriving the body of proper nutrition is going to affect brain function too. Some overweight individuals simply may not be getting adequate nutrients.

      Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative. - William S. Burroughs

      by sricki on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 09:30:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What do you think weight loss surgery does? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        eXtina

        Having a portion of stomach or gut removed or blocked off does not magically make adipose tissue evaporate.  It just makes eating more than a tiny portion of food horribly uncomfortable and interferes with the absorption of nutrients.

        That would be diet change.

  •  Attributing Decreased Cognitive Function (22+ / 0-)

    in this study to "obesity" seems facile.

    Might it not also be linked to poor nutrition?  That is, the edibles consumed by obese people may be low in essential vitamins and minerals that are necessary for top brain function.  Likewise, might those same nutritious elements cause the brain to react as if it were starving (lose mass) while the fat is deposited below the cranium?

    Similarly, few if any post-bariatric patients continue the same eating habits they engaged in prior to surgery.  Most, if not all, are put on diets by their attending physicians that are specially designed to be highly nutritious due to the reduced volumetric capacity of their patients' stomachs.

    While interesting, I retain a certain skepticism regarding the attributed source of lowered cognitive function to "obesity" alone.  In most cases ascribing a single physiological source as the font of a problem, that conclusion is found to be more complex and nuanced with additional and better research.

    I wonder if that might not hold true regarding this linkage as well.

    Readers & Book Lovers Pull up a chair! You're never too old to be a Meta Groupie

    by Limelite on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 04:59:10 AM PDT

    •  As I am reading this I am sitting (19+ / 0-)

      in the breakfast area of a Hampton Inn in Kentucky.  The room is packed with about 20 women age 55+ wearing matching pink shirts who seem to be on some sort of a church trip.  All but two are morbidly obese.  They are not merely overweight.  They are each could fill an elevator by herself overweight. Every lady has a plate laden with the scrambled eggs, several sausage patties and a muffin or danish.  By the time my kids get up there will be only the whole wheat toast left (which is fine by them- they are athletes and don't eat crap muffins and danish filled with transfats).  No one is eating the raisin bran with skim milk, the yogurt, the bananas or the whole wheat toast.

      One woman has two whole plates.  One is the aforementioned egg sausage muffin plate piled high.  The other plate contains an entire waffle.  I was hoping the waffle was at least to share, but she seems to be eating both. She is literally eating for two and she is not choosing well for either of them.

      I have the creepiest feeling of sitting in a room full of people  slowly committing suicide.  I frankly don't think I can eat at all and this coffee will have to do.  These are clearly not economically disadvantaged people.  They are just making incredibly poor choices if they want to live long healthy lives.  My conclusion is that they don't. I feel sad for their families and I wonder how any country on earth can afford healthcare for a population that is doing this to themselves.  

      We have a real problem with obesity in this country and it crosses all economic groups.

       

      Newt Gingrich: Believes marriage is between one man and a series of ever younger women. Wife #1 born ~ 1936, divorced when in her mid-40s...Wife #2 born ~1947, divorced when in her mid-40s...Wife #3 born ~1966.

      by trillian on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 05:55:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There's a restaurant in Arizona that 'exploits' (14+ / 0-)

        obesity by offering all you can eat if you weigh over 350 lbs

        and the waitresses are dressed as nurses.

        It was on huff post a couple days ago.

        Like alcoholism I think that kind of over-eating is another addiction/disease.

        Not to mention but many drugs have side effects that cause weight gain and then leads to diabetes.

        "Time is for careful people, not passionate ones."

        by roseeriter on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 06:16:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ironically (7+ / 0-)

          some drugs used to treat diabetes also cause weight gain.
          My husband was on a couple of them.  When he was taken off one (Actos) and switched to insulin he maintained his weight loss (long story on that) and is continuing to lose incrementally small amounts of weight.

          Sunlight is the best disinfectant

          by historys mysteries on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 09:45:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Interesting psych research in the '60s indicated (6+ / 0-)

          that healthy-weight people respond to internal hungry cues, while over-weight people respond to external cues, such as time of day, signs advertising food, etc.

          One group in the study was observant Jews. Those over-weight persons who attended a fasting holy day service reported no hunger on exiting (there were no food cues.)

          Another group were students kept after classes to perform routine tests. In one room the clock was an hour fast.

          When the fast clock showed the usual dinner hour, the over-weight students ate the snacks.  The healthy-weight students on average ate the snacks only after the actual dinner hour.

          In the other room, the clock was an hour slow.  There the over-weight students mostly took the snacks an hour after the actual dinner hour.

          Sorry this comment is so long.

          Attention Corporate Officers and Corporate Tools: You are not nobles, and the people of the United States of America are not serfs.

          by Mayfly on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 01:07:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Oh. My. God. (0+ / 0-)

          That is frightening and terrifying. That is definitely a sign of the Apocalypse or the end of civilization.

          "I've taken up sculpting recently. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

          by eXtina on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 06:16:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  That is really sad. (7+ / 0-)

        I have watched my mother destroy her health with food and lack of exercise over the years. And she knows better, but she has a really hard time staying on a "diet" -- her students and their parents bring her food, and there's always some sort of "thing" going on up at the school where eating is involved. EATING is such a huge part of this society. It's hard to get away from it. Another problem with my mom is, she puts too much focus on dieting, when she should just try to eat right (but enjoyably) and walk a bit. She burns herself out trying to do hardcore diets and then she gives up.

        Love your sig btw.

        Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative. - William S. Burroughs

        by sricki on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 09:40:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I've Seen It Too (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kysen, gmb, Limelite, sricki, qofdisks

        Plus people who are conditioned to clean their plates, when the plates at the average restaurant are two (or even three) meals for me.

        I've conditioned myself to ask for the doggie bag (ha!  As if the dog's lips will ever touch it) when I get the meal.  I'll need it.

        However, were I at a restaurant, I'll order what I want--but you'd see a gentleman of average height and below-average weight salivating over a large, greasy meal.  What you wouldn't see is my GERD making me pay for it later, but hey.

        We go out perhaps six times per year, so this does not make me feel guilty, nor do I allow myself to be programmed to think that these are normal meals of normal size.

        (-6.25, -6.77) Moderate left, moderate libertarian

        by Lonely Liberal in PA on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 11:59:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You have to understand about Protestantism (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sricki, Kysen, qofdisks

        They aren't allowed to eat, smoke or fool around. Even gossip is frowned upon and in some sects, dancing is forbidden.

        Food is the only pleasure they are allowed in this world.

      •  wow (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        qofdisks, rhubarb

        how dare those fat people do what they want!

         I weight 265 pounds but I am vegan. If you saw me, with my huge body in a pink shirt with a tray full of tofu -veggie  scramble and wheat toast, I wonder if I would gross you out as much. You might think I was dieting, of course. you might think that's okay, just a long a fat person is dieting.

        You don't notice the thin person with both waffles and eggs, because they aren't embarassingly noticeable as these fat people with their expensive healthcare you personally have to pay for.

        "I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being" -Abraham Lincoln

        by joojooluv on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 03:05:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually, I don't know about the (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          qofdisks, rhubarb

          commenter, but I'm very disgusted by thin people who eat that way. My brother grosses me the hell out eating like that, and he's skinny as they come without having a diagnosable "eating disorder."

          Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative. - William S. Burroughs

          by sricki on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 03:08:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Agreed. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rhubarb

          I am heavy.  When I go out for breakfast, I have a senior citizen's plate with child size portions.  Then a woman, lean as a cat, at the next table, tucks into a full size breakfast with a stack of pancakes covered with butter and syrup.

        •  If they are on Medicare then of (0+ / 0-)

          course we are paying for it  (electric scooters), and if we ever get single payer, we will be paying for it.

          "I've taken up sculpting recently. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

          by eXtina on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 06:20:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  and (0+ / 0-)

            maybe if someone has unprotected sex and gets HPV or HIV, and, they are on medicaid, then GODAMNIT, I have to pay for that too! Or if someone borrowed too much on their credit cards and lost their home, then I have to pay for their homeless services. WTF is that? Was if some asshole plugs in four things on one cheap extension cord, and his house burns down, and I pay taxes for the firemen....etc, etc, this moral judgement game works with a lot more stuff than ugly fat..

            "I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being" -Abraham Lincoln

            by joojooluv on Mon Mar 28, 2011 at 04:00:10 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  It can't (0+ / 0-)
        I feel sad for their families and I wonder how any country on earth can afford healthcare for a population that is doing this to themselves.  

        "I've taken up sculpting recently. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

        by eXtina on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 06:15:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Agreed that nutrition (6+ / 0-)

      is probably a key factor here. I haven't seen the full study, so I don't know whether the diets of the participants were well examined -- but it stands to reason that there was  probably a nutrition problem for these people.

      The researchers might do better to examine the data from the perspective of "eating habits" rather than solely the ultimate effects of those eating habits.

      Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative. - William S. Burroughs

      by sricki on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 09:35:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  They had studies like this about blacks and about (6+ / 0-)

    womens brains too.

    Fear is the Mind Killer

    by boophus on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 08:29:20 AM PDT

    •  That was completely unnecessary, (7+ / 0-)

      and I don't like the tenor of that commentary. If the link between obesity and cognitive impairment is proven to be complete bunk, so be it, but I do not see these studies as "prejudiced."

      Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative. - William S. Burroughs

      by sricki on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 09:42:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, I do. This is crap science. (6+ / 0-)

        The results you're popularizing here would be better characterized as a case study series than as anything with generalizability.  This is the kind of cluster that might (might, if the confounding variables aren't too messy) merit subsequent well-designed studies with enough participants and close enough controls to allow for hypothesis testing.

        If the science is that weak (and it is), then one must question the motives of those who are popularizing it. Who benefits? What narratives does it reinforce, at whose expense?

        •  That's your opinion, please enjoy it. n/t (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Fogiv, Kysen, psychodrew, gmb

          Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative. - William S. Burroughs

          by sricki on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 11:30:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  See, that's the problem with pseudoscience (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            radmul, Julie Waters

            popularizers.  If you can't be bothered with actually evaluating the strength of a piece of research, you get to dismiss legitimate critiques as "opinion."

            •  Your critique (6+ / 0-)

              IS opinion, but see my more considered response to you below (or above? I'm losing track of the thread). I will admit to finding your hostility frustrating -- and that makes me less inclined to pay attention to what you have to say -- but I have tried to provide a more thoughtful response elsewhere in the thread.

              Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative. - William S. Burroughs

              by sricki on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 11:55:18 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  This isn't pseudoscience, it's preliminary data. (8+ / 0-)

              You can keep calling sricki names, but that doesn't change the findings. These are preliminary findings. They need replication. Alternative explanations need to be explored.

              I have a question for you. Why are these findings so upsetting to you?

              I'm gay and I'm pissed. I'm not giving up, I'm not giving in, I'm not backing down, and I'm not going away. I'm one of the Angry Gays. Deal with it.

              by psychodrew on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 12:38:39 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Honestly, (5+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Fogiv, Kysen, gramofsam1, boriquasi, rhubarb

                My guess is I have touched on something personal, and that she is offended because she feels that I am either calling her -- or some of her friends/loved ones -- stupid. I'm really not, and I am truly sorry for any offense I may have caused. But, well.... *shrug*

                Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative. - William S. Burroughs

                by sricki on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 12:49:34 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  For the same reason it was upsetting to have (0+ / 0-)

                studies get wide spread acceptance about blacks brain size or womens cognitive abilities before serious work was done. Do you know the motives of the people doing these so called studies? Or does it just ring a chime in you thought processes that says "well that makes sense".But of course one more reason to harass people who are obese when one of the reason that they are obese is the hypercriticality and over -controlling nature of people with strong opinions.

                Studies like this purports to be are seen frequently in science. And funny thing is they frequently show exactly what the researcher sought to prove.  In fact, there are studies to prove just that fact. Therefor it is not a shortcoming of their own to want to shame, ridicule or nag people into following what they think they should.

                The findings are upsetting to me for many reasons not the least of which is a simple declaration that one is not trying to call the obese stupid or incapable of running their own life and making their own choices. Not enough to fix in the world  that is such an easy obvious target.. I especially like the 'I love an obese person' and they just aren't listening to my wisdom about how to live their life.

                Reminds me of people pushing to take children away from smokers when in fact the result is more harmful then the smoking. Easy targets.

                Fear is the Mind Killer

                by boophus on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 08:41:46 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  *sighs* (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Kysen, psychodrew, rhubarb

                  Really, I'm tired of beating this poor dead horse. I thought it was an interesting study -- I wrote a quick diary and posted it, having no idea 2-3 people would waste their valuable time getting so in a wad over it. Do you really think it's worth it?

                  I don't.

                  I have better things to do with my time, and I bet you do too.

                  I have already gone round and round about everything you've said with others in the thread, and I'm done repeating myself. After over 200 comments in this diary, I've babysat it enough and said all I have to say. I don't feel the need to defend myself or my reasons for posting this diary any further. I did not write it in bad faith. Look through my old posts if you have any doubt -- my diary and comment history speak for themselves. Read the thread if you are interested in any more of my opinion (I doubt you are).

                  Have a nice evening.

                  Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative. - William S. Burroughs

                  by sricki on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 09:28:15 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Really? (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Kysen, sricki
                  Studies like this purports to be are seen frequently in science. And funny thing is they frequently show exactly what the researcher sought to prove.  In fact, there are studies to prove just that fact.

                  Can you teach me this trick? I'm a PhD student and I have plenty of failed studies, data sets that yielded me data that doesn't make sense. I would love it if every study I did would magically turn out the way I wanted.

                  For the same reason it was upsetting to have (0+ / 0-)
                  studies get wide spread acceptance about blacks brain size or womens cognitive abilities before serious work was done. Do you know the motives of the people doing these so called studies?

                  First, those studies are crap. They used bad sampling and biased tests. Do these studies have these flaws? It's possible that there are biases somewhere in these findings that we don't know about, but the purpose of peer review is so that other experts can review the methodology before publication.

                  And do I know the motives of the researchers? No, I don't. Do you? They are required to disclose any possible financial conflicts. If you don't have any evidence that they are motivated by such bias, it's unfair to raise for no other reason than you don't like the results.

                  I'm gay and I'm pissed. I'm not giving up, I'm not giving in, I'm not backing down, and I'm not going away. I'm one of the Angry Gays. Deal with it.

                  by psychodrew on Mon Mar 28, 2011 at 05:50:20 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  I never saw where the author (7+ / 0-)

          of this diary alleged that these studies are conclusive and definitive of causality.  S/he just said these were interesting studies.  Pilot studies are not crap science.  It's only crap when someone jumps to final conclusions from pilot studies.  The only way to get to definitive studies is to have a few pilot studies first.  That's how science is done.  
          The diary author is not popularizing anything here.  No statement of generalization was made.  It was just food for thought.

          I was wise enough to never grow up while fooling most people into believing I had. - Margaret Mead

          by fayea on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 12:09:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thank you, fayea, (7+ / 0-)

            I really just found the studies interesting. I am insatiably curious -- about absolutely everything, including "inconclusive" research. In fact, I tend to find such things more interesting, in a way, than things we already understand inside and out.

            I'm not sure why reporting these findings is considered an attempt to popularize pseudoscience. I really had no ill intent, and I'm a bit taken aback to be honest.

            Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative. - William S. Burroughs

            by sricki on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 12:12:41 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  This is how scientists are treated. (9+ / 0-)

              When a scientist has a message that people don't like, this is how they react. It's always been this way.

              I'm gay and I'm pissed. I'm not giving up, I'm not giving in, I'm not backing down, and I'm not going away. I'm one of the Angry Gays. Deal with it.

              by psychodrew on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 12:28:35 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thanks for your support, psychodrew. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                psychodrew, Kysen, rhubarb

                Truly I wasn't trying to be hostile or acrimonious in posting this. I'm just overly curious and interested in everything. ;)

                Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative. - William S. Burroughs

                by sricki on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 12:46:10 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  It is interesting research. (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  sricki, greengemini, Kysen

                  I think science is fascinating.

                  I'm gay and I'm pissed. I'm not giving up, I'm not giving in, I'm not backing down, and I'm not going away. I'm one of the Angry Gays. Deal with it.

                  by psychodrew on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 12:47:15 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Good science is fascinating. Preliminary studies (0+ / 0-)

                    that may stigmatize or harm a group should not be spread any more then any speculations without actual hard facts. Because by the time real studies prove that it was an aberration or dependent upon some other factors it is too late ... 'Obese people are stupid' will be widely accepted by those who have not been there or have not been there yet... Makes them feel superior to a group. Gee that doesn't happen much with the human animal does it?

                    There are things peolple just know. Women are stigmatized as not being able to do math or science. I have a degree in math and actually had professors give me a lower grade on proofs that they gave a guy who copied my proof two grades higher.  These stigmas stick in the minds of those who need a reason to treat  a group differently.

                     Blacks are too stupid for some jobs. Gays, Boys, Jews...the list of speculations and hypotheses that are later proven to be wrong is really long especially in biological systems that are affected by many factors including psychology.  But what remains in the general info web is the original speculation and hypotheses  that was unproven. So it will allow a lot of Obese people to be kicked around and ridiculed when no such thing is eventually proven.  That is what makes me mad. BAD science or incomplete science that is widely circulated to the detriment of One group.

                    Fear is the Mind Killer

                    by boophus on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 08:53:04 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

  •  This is fascinating. (7+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlueJessamine, sricki, Kysen, ozsea1, Fogiv, gmb, rhubarb

    I'm curious about the mechanism which links obesity and changes in the brain. Perhaps the brain is denied essential nutrients? Very interesting. Thanks for the diary, sricki.

    I'm gay and I'm pissed. I'm not giving up, I'm not giving in, I'm not backing down, and I'm not going away. I'm one of the Angry Gays. Deal with it.

    by psychodrew on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 08:31:31 AM PDT

  •  Sample sizes in these studies are small (12+ / 0-)

    and stereology notoriously inaccurate.  Plus I really don't buy into the "improvement" after bariatric surgery being due to weight loss.  Time post surgery way too insufficient.  What it might be due to is the effect of bariatric surgery on glucose metabolism and insuling resistance--not because of weight loss but because taking out the upper small intestine seems to have an effect on underlying causes of insulin resistance.  And getting more glucose to the brain is a good thing.

    But with n=14 and 17, repectively, these "studies" are stupider than the poppulations they are purporting to evaluate.

    Democrats give you the Bill of Rights; Republicans sell you a bill of goods!

    by barbwires on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 08:43:48 AM PDT

    •  Seriously? 14 and 17? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      historys mysteries, SadieB

      No one can make credible claims of correlation with numbers like that, much less causation.

      •  It is a matter (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kysen, ozsea1, Fogiv, fayea

        of interest, not necessarily a matter of causation.

        Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative. - William S. Burroughs

        by sricki on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 09:46:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, I can make shit up based on anecdotes (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          radmul

          and consider it "interesting," but that doesn't make it relevant to anybody but me.

          "Studies" purporting to participate in science using sample sizes this small are little more than collections of anecdotes. It might be a place to start designing some real research, based on what appears to be a pattern in this small number of cases.  But no credible health researcher could make plausible cause-effect claims generalizable to any population based on sample sizes this small.

          And that's before you even start dealing with confounding variables.

          Who benefits from trying to foist off such preliminary inconclusive information as meaningful? Who suffers? Would any pharma company allow data from a sample size this small that made their product look bad into the light of day?

    •  Hence why I (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      psychodrew, Kysen, fayea, gramofsam1

      mentioned the small sample sizes. In the diary.

      And the studies are not saying fat people are "stupid." Somehow I seriously doubt the participants were administered the WAIS and found to have IQs below 70.

      Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative. - William S. Burroughs

      by sricki on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 09:45:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So why are you popularizing this? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        radmul

        It's so preliminary as to be meaningless.  What's your point?

        •  Gee.... (9+ / 0-)

          Could it be that she found the study interesting...and wanted to have an adult conversation about it?

          Something you seem incapable of doing.

          I agree with sricki..it is an interesting study....and something that ought be studied further.

          I do not understand your aggression towards the diarist. It is uncalled for, unbecoming, and, really, quite childish.  I can tell you that it makes me far less likely to take anything you have to say on the subject with anything more than a grain of salt. If you can't present your opinion on it without hissing and snarling...you aren't worth listening to.

          dKos is not "let us all post diaries that mamamedusa agrees with"...it is supposed to be a place where one can discuss an incredibly wide range of topics with an incredibly wide range of individuals.

          You have decided, it seems, to take someone's interest in a study found on a science news site rather personally. Your panties are in such a wad over it...perhaps you ought lash out at the sources of the studies rather than someone trying to have an adult discussion about them (because you certainly are not engaging in adult discussion here...doing nothing but pissin' vinegar up and down this thread)

          Jeez.

          Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.

          by Kysen on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 11:38:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Why thank you. I'm all better now. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            radmul

            This is supposed to be a reality-based community.  If someone posted a diary popularizing pseudo-science that suggested vaccines cause autism or that homeopathic remedies did anything at all or that homosexuality is bad for people, the community would have jumped all over it in a heartbeat.  You would have seen half a dozen people qualified to critique the material throwing links all over the place, quickly debunking the poor unsuspecting diarist.

            As it is, this particular nugget of pseudoscience reinforces a narrative that tends not to get challenged around here.  I'll continue to call bullshit when bullshit presents itself in front of me.  The subtext of this diary-- despite the diarist's protests to the contrary-- is that there's something pathological about the brains of fat people.  The evidence the diarist puts forth is so weak as to be laughable.

            So I'm laughing, and not in the nice way.

            •  Heh... (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              psychodrew, Fogiv, sricki, rhubarb
              So I'm laughing, and not in the nice way.

              Oh, trust me....I would not mistake anything from you in this diary as being nice.

              Get a grip.

              Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.

              by Kysen on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 11:56:07 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  It's not (11+ / 0-)

              pseudoscience, it's just a small sample size. Preliminary studies are often done with small sample sizes, to determine whether larger, more controlled studies are warranted. There is no harm in reporting these findings. You act like I'm "putting evidence forth" to PROVE "Hey fat people are stupid!" I just found the findings intriguing. Again, there is no harm in that, and nothing wrong with it.

              You are taking this incredibly personally, and there is truly no reason to do so. No one reading this diary is going to think, "Oh look, fat people are stupid." If they DO think that, then they are the idiots.

              Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative. - William S. Burroughs

              by sricki on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 11:59:05 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Look, I see your frustration. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kysen, Fogiv, rhubarb

          Anyone could. I am not trying to "popularize" the study -- I am offering it up for conjecture, suggestions, and -- yes -- criticisms. Thank you for offering the latter.

          You said above:

          Well, I can make shit up based on anecdotes (0+ / 0-)

          and consider it "interesting," but that doesn't make it relevant to anybody but me.

          But people DO talk anecdotes on this site all day long. Personal anecdotal diaries make the rec list more than any others! I consider these studies to have some scientific basis, flawed as they may be. You do not have to agree -- you can complain about sample sizes and methodology all you want, and those complaints are absolutely warranted.

          But don't accuse me -- or anyone who might agree with me -- of having "ulterior motives" or anything silly like that. My point -- or purpose -- was to start a discussion. I do not work for big pharma or weight loss gurus or anything of that nature. Just... relax a little. This diary is not meant to target anybody, or to sell diet pills or weight loss surgery.

          Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative. - William S. Burroughs

          by sricki on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 11:45:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Preliminary, but not meaningless. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kysen, pacotrey, sricki

          I'm gay and I'm pissed. I'm not giving up, I'm not giving in, I'm not backing down, and I'm not going away. I'm one of the Angry Gays. Deal with it.

          by psychodrew on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 12:21:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  The effects need to be replicated. (7+ / 0-)

      That is the nature of science.

      One reason for the small n might be that imaging studies are so expensive. I have a colleague who is looking into doing an fMRI study and I believe he told me he'd have to pay $500 for each participant. At this rate, 31 participants would have cost $15,000 for the imaging alone.

      I wouldn't call these findings "stupider" because you don't like the outcome. These are preliminary findings. They need to be replicated. Alternative explanations need to be explored and ruled out. This is a first step.

      I'm gay and I'm pissed. I'm not giving up, I'm not giving in, I'm not backing down, and I'm not going away. I'm one of the Angry Gays. Deal with it.

      by psychodrew on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 10:56:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Bingo on the glucose metabolism (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kysen

      even minor weight loss has the same effect, sans intestinal alteration.  So does building muscle bulk.

      And from what I understand, improving your a1C also helps hippocampal repair, hence memory.

      Sometimes a .sig is just a .sig.

      by rhubarb on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 12:11:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  which comes first, chicken or egg? (11+ / 0-)

    I've always been a bit overweight from childhood on - I have PCOS (poly-cystic ovarian syndrome), which is associated with obesity and diabetes.  Since I've gone on insulin, the weight gain has been steady and I am currently grossly obese.  At the same time, for the past 8 years or so, I've had cognitive difficulties - which a few months ago was finally traced to pernicious anemia.  My short-term memory is full of holes - I can forget to eat, forget my insulin, forget appointments, etc.  So it's no surprise that when I do eat, it's not always the healthiest foods in proper amounts.  I can't imagine I'm the only one in this boat.

  •  Interesting. When I went on amphetamines (9+ / 0-)

    I found my thought process improved, which meant that I could plan to buy and cook healthy food and budget my activity levels (I have a bad foot) so that I could cook it. I also didn't want a lot of the high-fat-high-carb items that tend to make up a lot of the American diet.

    Combined with yoga, I went down six sizes and twenty pounds of weight.

    I still look fat to most people, but I feel much better physically.

    Vert, a billet palewise or bearing three fleur-de-lys, two and one, sable, a bordure dancetty or. Numquam succumbe

    by Alexandra Lynch on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 09:16:29 AM PDT

    •  This is a good comment/observation (7+ / 0-)

      When I got diagnosed with ADHD two years ago and began Ritalin, without even realizing it I began to eat less, eat less impulsively, eat more healthfully, and I lost weight. Without even realizing it. Until I'd dropped 1 full size and then I noticed, but still did nothing intentional to make it happen. I have, over the last two years, lost about 60 lbs. and 5 sizes. Some of that has been getting more active again (I've gone thru more athletic periods in my life and knew how to do so again). But really, what I felt was a general calming of my whole system that allowed me to think more clearly, emotionally regulate better, plan, control my impulses, and focus on doing things that made me happy instead of eat out of frustration. Taking stimulants doesn't cause everyone to lose weight (although it does have an appetite suppressant effect for many) and it's not meant to be a goal of the medication, but it felt to me like a natural outgrowth of becoming more healthy overall. I am still not skinny, (about 150 at 5'4") but I'm very strong and very healthy. If I wanted to really get in shape, I'm not sure I'd lose much more weight, due to muscle being heavier. I think I'm well within my good weight window.

      It's interesting to me how brain function and eating habits intersect. I wonder how many of those who are obese have brain function issues that, if treated, would help them to be more at choice about food/eating/exercise. I say this w/ the caveat that some people are going to be fat, and healthy, no matter what they do. I am a firm believer in health at every size. I also know it's difficult to have discussions about weight/diet/exercise in a fat-phobic culture, so I do not wish to imply that any of this is easy, outside of a fucked up moral framework, or that I have any definitive answers.

      We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness.

      by Tookish on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 12:12:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Fascinating (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        eXtina, Tookish

        The brain controls the body...everything.  i am not surprised that the brain function is intimately involved with being overweight or obese.  The study did mention adhd and not being to focus is involved with decision making.  Why wouldn't body regulation not be affected?

    •  Great observation (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sricki, Kysen, qofdisks, rhubarb

      I've been on Adderall for about two years.  I lost 25 pounds rather quickly (180 to 155; I'm 5'7"), then leveled off and have stayed at 155 ever since.  It seems to suppress my appetite selectively, so when I do get physically hungry I crave fresh, nutritious food and don't "stress eat" as I used to.

      I'm a size 10-12 and I'm fine with that; modeling is not one of my career aspirations and I'm comfortable with my body.

      " ...the political narative has been captured by loosers. Liberals. Dems. The left. What ever you want to call them, they are loosers." -- some wingnut blogger

      by SteelerGrrl on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 01:09:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is why amphetamines were (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kysen

      marketed as diet pills for years.

  •  More Data Needed, Of Course (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sricki, Kysen, greengemini

    But possibly indicative if it continues to bear out.  Or not if it doesn't.

    Sidenote:  I don't personally think that weight-loss surgery is the best idea as, like anything else, it's been over-used pretty severely.  For some it's the perfect answer.  For most, no.

    I've always been a light eater, tending to graze through the day, and tending to graze on things I should.  Vegetables, grains, and so on.  Some meat, mostly fish.  Of course I like the occasional steak or peanut butter cup, and I have that when I do.  I weigh 140 pounds and I'm five nine.

    Do I think I'm smarter than the average obese person?  No--merely better trained.  That's how we ate when I was a child, and it stuck beautifully.

    Do I think that obesity has a lot of health effects we may not have even considered yet?  Absolutely; it's not a natural state for long periods of time.

    (-6.25, -6.77) Moderate left, moderate libertarian

    by Lonely Liberal in PA on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 11:44:46 AM PDT

    •  I agree, (4+ / 0-)

      weight loss surgery should not be the first line of defense. If someone wants to lose weight, I think they should try doing so first by eating healthily (not starving themselves) and exercising (because it's good for the body in SO many ways, not just in making us "look" better). Weight lost surgery should, in my opinion, be a last resort.

      I do not ever "diet" because it's too restrictive. Too much emphasis in this country is placed on dieting, and it actually sets people back more often than not. If they "fail," they get upset and depressed and feel bad about themselves, which they shouldn't. Strict diets set people up for failure. If I find myself gaining some weight, I run or go to the gym more often. I am a runner, and that is where I find the most joy in terms of exercising, but in the winter I will go to the gym more frequently.

      In terms of eating, I have a "weakness" for sweets. But the rest of my diet consists almost entirely of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and seafood (not fried), so my chocolate milk cravings don't hurt too much.

      Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative. - William S. Burroughs

      by sricki on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 11:53:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Obesity is complicated. All the answers (4+ / 0-)

    only compound the problem.

    I bet there is a higher rate of gaining the weight back than there is of recidivism rates of felons.

    On any given day you are bound to hear a factoid about obesity.  Probably that factoid is correct but there absolutely no correlation between all the correct factoids and the cure of obesity.  Or how opposing factoids can be opposing and true at the same time.

    Obesity is complicated.

    •  Food Can Be An Addiction (8+ / 0-)

      For some in my extended family, it is.  One eats because she's constantly depressed (which comes with its own suite of physical changes).  One does it out of habit.

      The most effective method I've seen is actually changing the habits of the person, but it requires that they never, ever go back.  I tend to be a fan of Weight Watchers as they do well (I believe their rate of recidivism is only in the mid-90% range, and most other plans will not release their data, if they even have any).

      I've seen a person on a diet eat something they shouldn't, say "That's blown it" out loud, and eat four more.  Had they stopped with one and compensated for it, it would have been fine.

      There's got to be a great deal of psychological interplay in the food thing.  I know there is for me--when upset, I want hot chocolate.  It can be friggin' 95° in July and I'll make some.  But I'll stop at one cup and nothing else.

      (-6.25, -6.77) Moderate left, moderate libertarian

      by Lonely Liberal in PA on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 11:53:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I read an article awhile back, (6+ / 0-)

        and granted the results can't necessarily be extrapolated to humans -- the tests were done on mice. But they showed that, at least in mice, high-fat foods had an effect on the brain similar to that of cocaine.

        Food can indeed be addictive, and research bears that out. The problem I've read for food addicts is... whereas a heroin addict can get clean and never look at/touch the drug again... a food addict still has to eat several times a day.

        Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative. - William S. Burroughs

        by sricki on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 12:02:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Absolutely true. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sricki, 88kathy, Kysen

          Some of it is that they simply can't eat the things that gave them the "high."  Anything else is fair game, so to speak.  That's very difficult.

          My mother has a Chocolate Issue, which means she never keeps it in the house.  Her Hallowe'en candy finds its way to our place (usually the day after trick or treat), where it'll sit until it turns white.

          I am fortunate in that very few foods call to me, and they tend to be oddball stuff.  Pomegranate season around here...don't get between me and the fridge, I'll go through a quarter of one a day.  Sour cherries, Bing cherries, peaches, some rye breads and the like are the same way.

          Looking at what I crave, it's all the stuff I should be eating anyway.  Like I said, I am very fortunate.

          (-6.25, -6.77) Moderate left, moderate libertarian

          by Lonely Liberal in PA on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 12:10:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Junk does call to me (4+ / 0-)

            on occasion, especially when I'm in a bad mood. Caught myself drinking coke and eating cheetos (yekh) the other night because I was in a foul temper. That sort of behavior, of course, only makes me feel worse hours later.

            I'm a fruit addict, but that doesn't do me any harm. In fact, if it weren't for fruit I'd have starved to death by now.

            My mom loves salty stuff. She doesn't have much of a sweets issue, but she'll eat a whole bag of chips. I am fortunate in that I'm not overfond of junk food most of the time -- just when I'm moody and cranky. There's probably some sort of psychological explanation for that, but I don't know what it is.

            Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative. - William S. Burroughs

            by sricki on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 12:17:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I like greasy carbs (0+ / 0-)
        •  What if you are a food addict and want to change (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lonely Liberal in PA, sricki, Kysen

          but have a body type that double-crosses you.  I have observed some people that are very slender but carry weight in their neck and shoulders.  They always look bigger than they actually are.

          Some people fighting food addiction can't take the realization that they can lose the weight, but they will never be 25 again.

          So unlike heroin, food addiction could also mean fighting a body image.  This body image may be true or untrue but will work against your resolve to kick the beautiful high.

          Then you are going along fine on your carrot diet and all around magazines are proclaiming that carrots will kill you.  You only need make a trip to a supermarket to see how screwed up the whole thing is.  Check out any magazine with a wonderful diet in one corner of a cover dominated by a chocolate cake.   If we knew why we did that, published the magazine and displayed the magazine and bought the magazine, well maybe we might be beginning to understand obesity.

          •  Oh, that too. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Kysen, 88kathy, sricki

            For my height and weight I'm extremely broad-shouldered but thin-necked.  It looks a little silly (a bit like a coat hanger), so I tend to wear tabbed collars.  

            My partner has Russian Hips.  No matter what he does, he'll always be pear-shaped.

            A lot of those magazines are what my parents and I call "faddy," or just riding the latest fad.  We're huge believers that if you want to make a change in lifestyle of whatever type, your doctor is probably the place to start.  If (s)he's no help, start exploring known good resources (like Weight Watchers for weight loss).

            (-6.25, -6.77) Moderate left, moderate libertarian

            by Lonely Liberal in PA on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 12:25:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  This is true too, (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            88kathy, Kysen

            body type has a lot to do with it.

            And metabolism and a million other things. I knew a guy in undergrad... no joke, he ate healthier than I do, and he was big -- truly through no "fault" of his own that I could tell.

            Like you said -- complicated.

            And as people all across the country struggle with their weight... some of them aren't even obese. Some are underweight, but their body image is so messed up because of what society has done to them with models and impossible standards of leanness. Truly sad, the problems this country has with weight.

            Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative. - William S. Burroughs

            by sricki on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 12:26:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  We (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            88kathy, qofdisks

            are all addicted to food. the only people cured of their food addiction are dead.

            "I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being" -Abraham Lincoln

            by joojooluv on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 03:09:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  I think we might find that weight gain and loss (5+ / 0-)

        rates might be the unhealthiest thing about the problem.  

        I think it is more about habits and psychological interplay than food.  I think that is complicated by a new factoid every day.  You are going along fine on your diet and then suddenly everywhere a factoid is being discussed that says what you are doing is wrong.  "That's blown it"  And you eat four more.

        You relate differently to everyone you know if you become a different weight.  

        And kids, kids can't play outside anymore, they have video games, there is no physical education in school, cafeteria food has become burger, fries, and pizza -- I wonder what exactly we expect.

        •  I wish we could multiple recommend (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sricki, Kysen, 88kathy

          What exactly DO we expect when we feed kids high-fat, high-sugar, high-calorie food and then sit them on the couch?

          We're training them for a life of eating like that...while sitting on the couch.  Eventually choosing to sit on the couch becomes not being able to do anything else.

          My nieces are being trained otherwise; the computer and games are very restricted.  Go outside.  Go.  They're fortunate to live in a safe neighborhood, however, so that isn't realistic for everybody.

          What would be realistic is safe, supervised phys ed classes, plus healthy school lunches.  Not the "healthy choice," don't give them another choice.  Shifting subsidies from some of the awful foods to some better ones would also help.

          (-6.25, -6.77) Moderate left, moderate libertarian

          by Lonely Liberal in PA on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 12:16:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  My parents were not (4+ / 0-)

            very good about teaching my brother and me how to eat properly. Somehow, I just gravitated toward healthier foods like fruits and vegetables -- and I never liked much meat. In later years, I had to make a conscious decision to cut back on processed things -- and to choose brown rice and whole wheat -- but really, I didn't have that much "work" to do in reforming my eating habits over the years. Now, I DO have a problem with WHEN I eat. I am baaaaaaaaad about skipping meals, even though I know how bad it is for my health. I am plenty forgetful though -- proving that that quality, at least, doesn't necessarily have anything to do with weight. ;)

            My brother, on the other hand, eats horribly. He is skinny as a rail, but he doesn't get any exercise -- and he eats JUNK. Fried chicken tenders, french fries, and soda are the foundations of his diet and always have been. My grandmother used to joke that he would turn into a french fry one day. Really not funny. It was all he wanted to eat as a kid, and so my parents gave it to him. He drinks almost no water -- just sugary soda.

            He's 18. He has spent the last 2 weeks in and out of the hospital fighting kidney stones. Eating/drinking poorly can lead to so many problems other than obesity. I hope my brother learns from this.

            Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative. - William S. Burroughs

            by sricki on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 12:33:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  "Obesity is complicated." -- Agreed. n/t (5+ / 0-)

      Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative. - William S. Burroughs

      by sricki on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 11:59:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think obesity is to our time what (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SuWho, 88kathy, betson08, Kysen, qofdisks, rhubarb

      yellow fever was to the 19th century.

      Back then, everyone knew that yellow fever was caused by human weakness, specifically the lower classes who were lazy, drank too much and had too many children. What they needed was stronger moral fiber!!

      Until . . . some egghead got the bright idea to close up the open drains running through the cities and replace them with closed sewers. And yellow fever went away.

      There is something similar going on here. Americans have gotten too obese, too quickly, for it to simply be a matter of "weak character" and "loose morals." There is something systemic at work.

      Or, to put it slightly differently, if you had 100 cows and one or two were obese, there's probably something wrong with those cows. If you have 100 cows and 75 are obese, there's something wrong with the way you're raising cows.

    •  88Kathy has it right, I think (7+ / 0-)

      about recidivism rates. I've gained and lost 80 pounds three times. I'm currently back up there, can only seem to maintain healthy eating with Weight Watchers for about three weeks and fall back off the wagon. I keep asking myself, what are you doing, you idiot? You WANT to gain more weight??? What? And it does seem like my brain doesn't function well enough to take charge and get me back on track. My friend who is also too fluffy reports the same weird lack of being able to take control.

      "We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are." Anais Nin

      by SuWho on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 12:28:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Restrictive diets (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tookish, Kysen, 88kathy, gramofsam1

        only make things worse in the long run in my opinion. They put people in a position to disappoint themselves. People try to drastically restrict caloric intake, and it's not fair to their bodies (or their brains). If people would focus on eating the things that will make them feel better (does anyone feel great after eating a Big Mac? I don't), both in the short term and in the long run, I think it would work better. People should ignore their scales (I have a bad habit of NOT ignoring mine) and eat to feel healthy, not to "diet."

        But I understand that this is extremely difficult for some people. Food truly IS addictive, and I get crazy cravings at times -- I usually don't resist them.

        Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative. - William S. Burroughs

        by sricki on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 12:39:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, Sricki, you're right. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sricki, Kysen, 88kathy, qofdisks

          And I know logically that my bag of potato chips or whatever isn't going to make me feel better, especially the next day when I've gained three pounds of water weight. But there's some real fuzzing thinking going on there -- and that fuzzy thinking makes it hard to see beyond the momentary buzz of salty yummies. I worked with felons for years trying to help them learn to pay attention to their thinking processes that led them to do stuff they shouldn't and I totally see that process going on in my head but can't seem to intervene most of the time. Not can't, won't, I guess. But I think part of it is that the stakes aren't huge, in my fuzzy thinking phase -- it's not like I'm going to prison for violating my probation by doing meth or robbing someone -- and I always seem to be able to tell myself "it's ok because..." Like because tomorrow I'll get on the right track, or because I've been good for awhile, or whatever. I have an app on my iphone I use to keep track of points and I find myself even lying to that -- "oh, really, there were only three points in that bag of Cheetos." Uh huh. Sigh.

          "We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are." Anais Nin

          by SuWho on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 01:18:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, I feel you -- (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SuWho, Kysen, 88kathy

            I know better than to eat 2 pieces of cheesecake, and I know it won't make me feel good. But in certain moods... well, I'm going to eat two pieces of cheesecake. Or half a box of cereal.

            Rationalization is a HUGE problem. I think, "Well, it's just this once" or "I'll do better tomorrow and eat LESS and the calories will even out." Bad way of thinking, but I think a LOT of us do it. "Fuzzy thinking" is a good way of putting it!

            Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative. - William S. Burroughs

            by sricki on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 01:25:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  A Great Program on PBS (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sricki, Kysen, betson08

    A Month ago I saw a Great Program on Public Television.
    "Change your Brain - Change your Body".  The author
    is Dr. Daniel Amen. He has been doing research on brain
    function and Obesity for over 10 Years. The program has
    very specific advice for folks that want to loose weight.

    Leave it to those God-Damned, Commie Liberals at
    Public Television to Actually try to HELP People.

    Don't they Know that Obesity is a Good Thing?
    It leads to other great things like Heart Disease and
    Diabetes.

    How are the Monster Healthcare companies going to make
    an Obscene amount of Profit if People figure out how to
    stay Healthy ON THEIR OWN?

    On Giving Advice: Smart People Don't Need It and Stupid People Don't Listen

    by Brian76239 on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 12:15:22 PM PDT

  •  It's an interesting topic (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tookish, Kysen, SuWho, sricki, greengemini

    Obesity, addictions, diseases like cancer and heart disease, all present neurological data related to brain methylation balance, or rather imbalance.

    Postnatal development

    Increasing evidence is revealing a role of methylation in the interaction of environmental factors with genetic expression. Differences in maternal care during the first 6 days of life in the rat induce differential methylation patterns in some promoter regions and, thus, influencing gene expression.[7] Furthermore, even-more-dynamic processes such as interleukin signaling have been shown to be regulated by methylation.[8]

    t'sthe collection of datapoints that's most important now, IMHO.

    I wrote a diary yesterday on childhood trauma that overlaps with this topic specifically where methylation imbalances as a result if childhood trauma is linked with adult disease, although this data is in the links rather than my diary.  The good news is it can be turned around for some or full recovery.  

    For anyone interested in drilling down deeper there's lots "out there" and it's got plenty of political connections to how the US allocates and spends health care dollars, how we treat poverty, the judicial system, foster care, education, etc.

    Once we choose to prioritize people over capitalism and empire the states of the arts in science and medicine are blooming with opportunities.

    •  It also highlights, again, the complexities of (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SadieB, sricki, kck, Kysen

      this issue and how important it is to TAKE IT OUT OF A MORAL FRAMEWORK!  Obviously you weren't doing this:

      For anyone interested in drilling down deeper there's lots "out there" and it's got plenty of political connections to how the US allocates and spends health care dollars, how we treat poverty, the judicial system, foster care, education, etc.

      b/c your very comment is a testament to complexity.

      But honestly, it's like patriarchy--we're swimming in it. And that's frustrating b/c there are a lot of unexplored understandings that we need to explore but many of us are still trying to argue about this from a moral basis--all ppl need to do is walk, or all people need to do is X. Fill in the blank. No. It's far more complicated and the best any of us can do is to continue, to the best of our ability, to ask good questions and question the findings that come out of good research. Or the interesting findings that come out of initial research that deserves follow-up.

      Health is affected by weight. Our weight affects our health. Brain function affects our health and our weight. How we are raised, our class/safety of our neighborhoods/access to healthy food/knowledge of how to make it/time to make it, the degree to which we are shamed for our normal but not anorexic bodies, our response to the male gaze, our production of dopamine or serotonin. All these things times a billion. Staying out of the "he/she should just x" and practicing asking good questions, staying open and curious is the best thing we can do to further our understanding of a very complex issue. I fundamentally believe people do the right thing for themselves when they are properly supported; it's understanding what proper support looks like that is key.

      We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness.

      by Tookish on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 12:31:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Can you explain this further? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tookish, Kysen
        TAKE IT OUT OF A MORAL FRAMEWORK!  Obviously you weren't doing this:
        I agree that these issues need to be addressed from out of the moral framework.
        •  Yes, that's what I meant when I said that (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kck, sricki, Kysen

          your comment was a testament to the complexities that obesity involve. I was "yelling" my frustration out to the universe, b/c it's difficult, between the internalized value judgments in my own head and those that exist out in world that validate/generate them--moralizing is most of where ppl go (not you!) in this discussion. Sorry that it wasn't clear. I was happy about your comment recognizing the complexities in this discussion.

          We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness.

          by Tookish on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 01:11:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  OK, good. I'm glad I asked. (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sricki, Kysen, SadieB, Tookish

            Not only are these issues very complex and multidisciplinary they can easily be laden with emotions, some correctly focused, some not. Add the emotional dimension to the moral and social judgements and it's easy to see how the science and politics get bogged down or purposefully obstructed.

            One reason why now is an important time to broaden our understanding of public health issues is that the PPACA insurance reforms and budget debate are both impacting funds and rules to help Americans. The more informed we are the better we can be vigilant about how resources are allocated.

            There's no shortage of money and no shortage of money spent on war, etc. so let's have at it, eh?

            •  Thank you for asking; I greatly appreciate (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              kck, sricki, Kysen

              the patience it takes someone to ask what is meant when we're in the midst of, as you said, emotionally laden discussions.

              It's one of the leverage points I think many people on DKos could utilize when they think someone might have just gotten upset with them. It takes pausing. I have spent quite a bit of time asking people what they have meant or clarifying my ideas when they are awkwardly expressed and misinterpreted. It's worth it to me b/c it usually furthers the discussion as well as furthering developing relationships. But I'm choosing to do that and others may not choose to ask (lack of time, patience, interest etc.), so I always feel like it's a gift when others use their own time and patience to ask for clarification.

              We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness.

              by Tookish on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 03:34:12 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  And to this: (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              sricki, kck, Kysen
              One reason why now is an important time to broaden our understanding of public health issues is that the PPACA insurance reforms and budget debate are both impacting funds and rules to help Americans. The more informed we are the better we can be vigilant about how resources are allocated.

              I have a resounding, "Hell yeah!" :-)

              We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness.

              by Tookish on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 03:49:23 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  It's probably been said already, but (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kysen, Tookish, greengemini, rhubarb

    correlation is not causation.

    Obesity is among other things a symptom of chronic stress. Most intriguingly, animals living in captivity and at the bottom of their social hierarchies develop obesity, and in the exact same form as many Americans have in the last couple of decades -- around the middle in the "apple-shaped," heart-threatening way.

    Is it not possible that the cortisol/stress connection that causes obesity is also affecting people's brains? In other words, that neither obesity nor brain shrinkage are causing each other, but both are symptoms of the same problem which is chronic stress?

  •  There's a doc that did PET scans of NFL players, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kysen, SuWho, psychodrew, sricki

    ...obese people, and Alzheimer patients and documented similarities in the abnormalities. Dr. Amen. The use of aerobic exercise was shown to alter the PET scans.  

    •  It's the stress. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kck, sricki, greengemini, Kysen

      The reason aerobic exercise helps is that stress is when your body wants to engage in "fight or flight," but for whatever reason you cannot do either. You can't cuss out your boss, you can't do anything about traffic, you can't acquire more badly needed resources by kicking someone's ass.

      But aerobic exercise feels like "flight," and it makes your body say "that's what I'm talking about!"

      It's no coincidence that interest in running as a hobby always coincides with times of economic hardship. The first wave of running in America came with the Great Depression, the next was during the 70's, and now we're seeing it again.

      •  Agreed (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sricki, SadieB, Kysen

        Stress is a natural physical condition (i.e., trigger noticed by brain incites cortisol hormone increase, etc.), a good thing as long as it comes and goes. But when we get stuck on stress then our bodies adapt and "embrace" disease states.

        I recall noticing that everyone I knew who ran a marathon was recently divorced. Huh!

  •  The issue is whether people who have been obese (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rhetoricus

    and then lost the weight would still show changes in brain size (assuming the original observation is correct).  
    There are populations of "post-obese" individuals who could provide the appropriate control group to distinguish whether any brain changes precede or are caused by obesity.

    Given that there seems to be a "breakthorugh" in obesity research nearly every week, one would think the problem would be solved by now.  They still haven't much more than a bunch of clues, many from incomplete experiments like these.

    P.S. -  Looking at any kind of function after bariatric surgery is problematic at best.  

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 12:33:05 PM PDT

    •  The more "breakthroughs" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kysen

      we have in obesity research, the more complicated and confusing the issue becomes actually. Interesting to note, most of them, but not easy to sift through.

      Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative. - William S. Burroughs

      by sricki on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 12:45:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The fact is more than most are not breakthroughs. (0+ / 0-)

        They make the news because the university or research organization issues a press release.  What does not make the news is if it's not replicated or is just wrong.

        The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

        by accumbens on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 03:12:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  shrinkage? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    betson08, Kysen

    Without pre-obesity and post-obesity measurements of various brain areas, how do we know atrophy and not congenital factors are at play here?

    •  I don't think (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kysen

      they know either way. This is just an early study, and I suspect it will be used as a model for future research. There's probably a lot that's at play here beyond the simple "poundage" of the subjects.

      Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative. - William S. Burroughs

      by sricki on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 12:52:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The hostility in this discussion (0+ / 0-)

    from all sides is absurd.  

    I'm just sayin'.

    "The first rule of pillow fight club is do not talk about pillow fight club." --Keith Olbermann

    by Julie Waters on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 01:30:14 PM PDT

    •  Other than comments by one (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kysen

      person, and a couple of responses to that person, there's not much hostility. And in some parts of the thread I think there's been a very productive discussion of fitness, nutrition, and stress.

      *shrugs*

      Always going to be some people who take things personally.

      Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative. - William S. Burroughs

      by sricki on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 01:39:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So, if you lost weight (0+ / 0-)

    would your brain get bigger?

    If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

    by rhetoricus on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 02:19:14 PM PDT

  •  My theory? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sricki, gramofsam1, Kysen

    HFCS, starch and sugar destroy your insulin sensitivity, which makes you hungry, which makes you eat more carbs, which makes more insulin, which tells your body to store fat. HFCS also probably destroys brain cells, it's such poisonous shit.

    Answer? Fresh foods.

    If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

    by rhetoricus on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 02:24:49 PM PDT

  •  so (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joojooluv, OHdog

    Am I now stupid because of my morbid obesity, or am I morbidly obese because I am stupid? Or is it still because morbidly obese people like me  don't love ourselves enough to take care of ourselves?

    Perhaps the diet available to most of us in the past 70 years, that is very unlike the diet most humans have had for the previous rest of history might have more to do with where our bodies are at on average that an study of this small of a sample.

    Perhaps if I was Normal Looking Enough To Pass, I wouldn't have Normal Looking Enough To Pass people suggesting reasons for what They consider to be My Problem, to my face in public and on the internet as concerned behavior police. If this study came out 50 years ago and substituted black males (or women) for obese, I'm sure you would have the same concern/curiosity and overwhelming belief that it must be true because it confirms your opinion, correct?

    My personal "concern and interest" led me to do a personal informal survey of MANY THOUSANDS of  participants in pornography on the internet that  leads to the overwhelming conclusion that they all ENJOY it. After all that is the way it LOOKS correct? Do your own study if you don't like the facts I have given here, don't be mad at the truth,  just "suck it down" like you expect obese people to do with your innocent post and conclusions n'kay? Don't get all irrational because that shows your just being "emotional"....

    I believe that people who focus on the  "health risk" trees versus the 100% fatality forest that they indeed live in, are generally stupider, and lead less satisfying lives. They also tend to look for health risks that they don't generally share themselves and dish advice for their perceived higher ground.

    •  Um, no one is pretending (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kysen

      to take any perceived higher ground. You have gotten defensive without cause. There is no need in it. The researchers are not condemning overweight people, nor am I -- they are reporting findings, and I am republishing them. Oh wait...

      Skimming over your comment, I see this:

      If this study came out 50 years ago and substituted black males (or women) for obese, I'm sure you would have the same concern/curiosity and overwhelming belief that it must be true because it confirms your opinion, correct?

      Shows me your intent is to be defensive, unreasonable, hostile, and personal. No need to give you a thoughtful reply. You will just scoff all over it.

      Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative. - William S. Burroughs

      by sricki on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 02:54:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OHdog

        fat people are told every day in every way, how inadequate, hideous, weak-willed, unsexy and lazy we are.

        This article just piles on the hate.

        Maybe being told by ads, televison, magazines and your peers  dozen of times a day that being fat is one of the worse self-caused calamities, might cause brain atrophy too.  

        For me, it's waaaaaay personal.

        I am sick and tired of everyone around me assuming they know what' s best for me, that they know I am sicker then they are, that I just need to get my fat ass out a McDonalds, and that I ever want to have or enjoy sex I better get some washboard abs.

        And everyone can cram their righteous concern about fat people's health. If those fat "concern-trolls"  cared about fat people, they would focus on healthful diets and phyiscal activity for ALL people and not some goddamn number on a scale, body shape or size. They would focus on actual health, not how comfortable they are with someone's appearance.

        Why? Because no gives a shit if some thin person never gets off a couch or eats meat for three meals a day, because they look acceptable.

        /end fat rant

        "I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being" -Abraham Lincoln

        by joojooluv on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 03:23:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Your comment, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gramofsam1, Kysen

          while still slightly hostile, does not strike me as quite as hateful as the one above mine in this thread -- so I'd like to respond to you. And perhaps a certain amount of hostility is understandable here.

          I am sorry that this is personal for you, and I am sorry that the diary obviously triggered some emotional distress about a topic which is sensitive for you. That truly was not my intent. I am a total nerd, who is interested in all kinds of new studies, and very truly I just thought this one was interesting -- and wanted to see if anyone else would be interested in talking about it. I don't imagine that eases your mind, but just know that whatever discomfort I have caused was not intended.

          That aside...

          To me, this sort of study is not "hateful" any more than a study linking obesity with cardiovascular problems is hateful. People have every right to choose what they eat and how they live, and I do not begrudge them that. That said, however, I think that a wealth of information -- yes, even preliminary, non-causal, tentative information -- should be disseminated for anyone who might be interested. This does not strike me as hateful, and keep in mind... even if the findings in the study are completely off base -- which they could well be -- this type of study may lead to future studies which could advance our understanding of obesity/nutrition/fitness, thereby helping a lot of people.

          The comments in this thread suggesting that I hate or discriminate against obese people are hurtful to me, because that is simply not the case -- and because I dearly love a hell of a lot of overweight people. As I noted up top -- because I did expect some pushback here -- my mother is obese. And while, yes, I do worry about her health -- because she has trouble going up stairs, and because she broke her ankle a few years ago with the doctor indicating that her weight was a contributing factor -- I do not have anything "against" people who carry extra weight.  And the comments which imply I would have been writing about brain abnormalities/inferiorities (think I just invented a word?) in women and African Americans 50 years ago is incredibly insulting (and it's altogether stupid on its face, since I am a woman).  

          I understand... no, sorry -- I don't. I don't understand what you personally go through in this society, which is hyperfocused on an "ideal" body image that most people (including myself) can never fully attain. But I can sympathize enough to see that it must be extraordinarily difficult for millions of people. I don't assume overweight people eat at McDonald's all the time. My kid brother does, and the wind could blow him away if he had an umbrella opened in the wrong weather.

          And everyone can cram their righteous concern about fat people's health. If those fat "concern-trolls"  cared about fat people, they would focus on healthful diets and phyiscal activity for ALL people and not some goddamn number on a scale, body shape or size. They would focus on actual health, not how comfortable they are with someone's appearance.

          Honestly, I don't much care about anyone's health who doesn't want me to care about it -- my family excluded, because I have a personal interest in wanting to keep them with me as long as possible. So yes, I badger my kid brother about McDonald's and not drinking enough water. And yes, I encourage my mother to take a walk a couple of times a week. And I absolutely want information about fitness and good health to be "out there" and available. I want kids to have the option of learning about it in school. But I am not cramming it down anyone's throat -- I found the study intriguing, but no one had to read it or even agree with it once they had. I don't care if you weigh 115 lbs or 360. I don't care if you've dieted before or never dieted -- I don't care if your diet consists of carrots or Domino's pizza. It really doesn't matter to me, and I don't have any particular preset notions of how you "should" look, and I am not going to push nutrition and exercise tips on you if you don't want them.

          I put the information out there, as I have said above, to be speculated on or criticized -- and to get a discussion going (which kind of worked in some parts of the thread).

          I know you probably DO have to deal with people discriminating against you every day -- and then trying to push information you don't want off on you. But in this case, truly, I am not here to lecture you. I do not have a problem with you or the way you look. And any constructive criticism of the study is welcome. In fact, your comment above was welcome, because it gives me more perspective.

          Just don't assume that everyone who talks about health and fitness is out to get you. I, at least, really am not.

          Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative. - William S. Burroughs

          by sricki on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 03:49:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  check (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            OHdog, freesia

            out "Health At Every Size" by Linda Bacon PhD. That' s good start for overturning the assumptions about 'obesity' and so-called health risks. It uncovers the corporate interest in promoting obesity studies, usually pharma. And it has a empirically-tested health-improvement plan based on ignoring weight with a focus on nutrition and exercize and explains why diets don't work for 95% of people.

            This book makes 'obesity' studies quite suspect. It even makes the government's guidelines suspect, as there is  more corporate influence over "skyrocketing obesity rates", BMI, etc, than one might hope.

            "I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being" -Abraham Lincoln

            by joojooluv on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 04:00:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't have (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Kysen

              an unlimited amount of money for books, but I do have a reading list. Since obesity is a problem in my family, I will add the book to my list.

              Now I DO at least know that the BMI stuff can be very misleading. I have read some articles on that.

              Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative. - William S. Burroughs

              by sricki on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 04:20:09 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  I doubt you capable of a thoughtful reply (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OHdog

        or you would have GIVEN  it. I'm all eyes, if you have the guts to reply or are able to formulate a response, though. Otherwise I will continue to out inflammatory bullshit for what it is.

        Your responses are a great example of someone who likes to get people to look at the fire they started on a blog but doesn't want to deal with the negative consequences of doing so. I hope you are at least happy with your negative attention, even if you can't be honest about it.

        I invite you to explain why people here should read this thread but not have any emotional reaction to it. Obesity IS PERSONAL for many of us, that's why you brought it up.

        Why the HELL should I sit here in 2011, and have some one assert that there is some reasonable "takeaway" from a sample of this size with so many other factors involved, to reach such a silly fucking conclusion. Do fatter heads make smaller brains, or are we just supposed to NOT talk about the "science" you found?

        "I think the research that has been done over the past few years on obesity and the brain is very interesting, and I believe it’s something we should all take a closer look at, regardless of our size."

        I believe that people who take a "closer look" and have their BS detector go off the scale, are not necessarily fat, stupid or WRONG. And if they ARE obese (and especially if they ARE obese),they should NOT be dismissed from this particular  conversation you so clearly do NOT want to have.

        That is the ultimate in disrespect to obese people, and I am disappointed (but not entirely shocked) to find it on this blog.

        •  I responded to the commenter below you (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kysen

          very politely. If you would like to rephrase your two comments in a civil manner, I will be happy to read them in full and respond.

          Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative. - William S. Burroughs

          by sricki on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 03:50:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  you have the right post post (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            OHdog

            whatever you find interesting. You do not get to decide whether or not I am being civil, that is again, just your opinion, and does not invalidate what I have to say as an obese person even if I don't kiss your ass and play a internet game of "Captain may I".

            As I suspected, you really do not wish to have a conversation UNLESS people take your "study" to be more than the trivial sample it is to start with (what is it then if not important, advice? Newsy news? Nothing here to see at all really (that's why you posted it))?

            Do you agree with the article you are asking us to consider, that brain size/function in obese people is less or not?

            Do you believe that I as a Obese Human being should pay attention to this information or not?

            Do you think this information can HELP an Obese person in any possible way?

            If so how?

            As an incentive to not want to be Obese? I consider that an over-reach of your beliefs to my, and the other Obese people here actual lives, and absolutely no different that coming up to my face with on the street with your "advice/science/study/I have no interest in this, its nothing really so don't be mad if I post it/tell you about it".

            •  Did you read my other response to you? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Kysen

              Or just lash out again because you had not yet read it?

              As for civility. Sorry, I was going with the dictionary definition:

              7. adhering to the norms of polite social intercourse; not deficient in common courtesy:

              8. marked by benevolence:

              Is there another you'd like to use?

              (Let it be noted that I can acknowledge that my sarcasm above was not particularly "civil.")

              As I suspected, you really do not wish to have a conversation UNLESS people take your "study" to be more than the trivial sample it is to start with (what is it then if not important, advice? Newsy news? Nothing here to see at all really (that's why you posted it))?

              How many times do I have to say that, yes, the sample size is small, and, no, it is hardly conclusive? I wanted a discussion. What you have given me is... a slew of insults.

              Do you agree with the article you are asking us to consider, that brain size/function in obese people is less or not?

              I neither agree or disagree with the findings of article. I also neither agree nor disagree with Yeats' theory on gyres. I still find The Second Coming interesting. Do we now have to agree with every article that we mention or repost here on dKos?

              Do you believe that I as a Obese Human being should pay attention to this information or not?

              Truly could not care less whether you or any obese or overweight or thin or anorexic person pays the slightest attention to the article. I wrote the diary to see if anyone was interested in discussing it. By and large, the discussions it created were very polite and pleasant. This one has not been.

              Do you think this information can HELP an Obese person in any possible way?

              Didn't write the diary to help obese people OR thin people. I wrote a poetry diary recently. Who did that help? Didn't see anyone getting upset over it.

              Seriously. I don't care what you look like or what you eat. You can eat half a stick of celery tonight for dinner... or 3 chocolate pies... and it makes literally no difference to me.

              Now. If you reply to me in a hostile manner again, I will not respond. I have bent over backwards to be respectful to you, and if the courtesy is not reciprocated next time... then I am well and done.

              Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative. - William S. Burroughs

              by sricki on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 04:51:30 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  You know what? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kysen

          I will give you a thoughtful reply, despite your refusal to interact with me civilly. I try not to lose my temper on blogs, or anywhere, really – because we are all human beings and are deserving of civil treatment. In light of that, I will take what you have said into account, despite the tone.

          Am I now stupid because of my morbid obesity, or am I morbidly obese because I am stupid? Or is it still because morbidly obese people like me  don't love ourselves enough to take care of ourselves?

          Of course not! These findings just interest me – I do not mean to make a claim that overweight people are stupid. I have known many brilliant overweight or obese people – some far smarter than myself, and I am no idiot (regardless of what you may think). Nor do I purport to know anything about your personal self-esteem. Plenty of overweight individuals I’ve known have tried repeatedly to lose weight and failed, and it had nothing to do with them not loving themselves. Rather, they are set up to fail by a society that expects too much or gives bad advice on how to lose weight. And some people, yes even morbidly obese people, retain their weight no matter what they do. Body chemistry plays a big role, as I have stated upthread.

          Perhaps the diet available to most of us in the past 70 years, that is very unlike the diet most humans have had for the previous rest of history might have more to do with where our bodies are at on average that an study of this small of a sample.

          Of course it does. We eat processed things that our bodies aren’t sure what to do with, and it’s not always our “fault.” A lot of people either can’t afford – or don’t have the time – to eat perfectly healthily. And surely we don’t eat the way we did 5000 years ago. I’d wager none of us manages it.

          Perhaps if I was Normal Looking Enough To Pass, I wouldn't have Normal Looking Enough To Pass people suggesting reasons for what They consider to be My Problem, to my face in public and on the internet as concerned behavior police. If this study came out 50 years ago and substituted black males (or women) for obese, I'm sure you would have the same concern/curiosity and overwhelming belief that it must be true because it confirms your opinion, correct?

          Again, as I have stated elsewhere in this thread, I don’t care what you look like or how you eat. Where in the diary did I tell you – or anyone else – to stay off the chocolates or any other stereotypical stupid garbage like that? I have never, EVER told an overweight person – except my mother – how to eat or work out unless s/he specifically ASKED me. Never. This study certainly does not do that. This study has not even adequately established, to my mind, that it is obesity itself which is the problem. I reported the findings, once again, because I found them to be of interest – not because I endorse every word the authors said or wrote. Once again, your commentary about women/African Americans is very offensive, and I see no need to respond to that with anything further.

          My personal "concern and interest" led me to do a personal informal survey of MANY THOUSANDS of  participants in pornography on the internet that  leads to the overwhelming conclusion that they all ENJOY it. After all that is the way it LOOKS correct? Do your own study if you don't like the facts I have given here, don't be mad at the truth,  just "suck it down" like you expect obese people to do with your innocent post and conclusions n'kay? Don't get all irrational because that shows your just being "emotional"....

          I didn’t say you couldn’t criticize the study. Nowhere have I asked that the study be lauded as genius or some ultimate truth. I posted it, in part, to get opinion and criticism. People have provided plenty, and with very few exceptions, civil and thoughtful responses have been offered. The point of this sort of thing is to promote discussion, but it is very difficult when you accuse me of bigotry. It truly is an “innocent post” – how about you look at my diary and comment history? I don’t have some sort anti-overweight person agenda on this site. If you knew anything about me, you would be aware of that. But you see, this is the problem with lashing out at someone you don’t know.

          I believe that people who focus on the  "health risk" trees versus the 100% fatality forest that they indeed live in, are generally stupider, and lead less satisfying lives. They also tend to look for health risks that they don't generally share themselves and dish advice for their perceived higher ground.

          Again, I believe in putting information out there for people to do with as they see fit. I don’t really care if you heed it or not, and I don’t think anyone’s behavior should be in any way altered based on a preliminary study of this nature. Where did I imply that it should?

          doubt you capable of a thoughtful reply (0+ / 0-)
          or you would have GIVEN  it. I'm all eyes, if you have the guts to reply or are able to formulate a response, though. Otherwise I will continue to out inflammatory bullshit for what it is.

          It is inflammatory because you have made it so. You and 2-3 other commenters in this diary have blown this completely out of proportion. It is a study. Refute it if you like, but personal attacks don’t help anyone.

          Your responses are a great example of someone who likes to get people to look at the fire they started on a blog but doesn't want to deal with the negative consequences of doing so. I hope you are at least happy with your negative attention, even if you can't be honest about it.

          Again, I point you to my comment and diary history on this site. Never have I “started a fire,” and this was not intended to start one either.

          I invite you to explain why people here should read this thread but not have any emotional reaction to it. Obesity IS PERSONAL for many of us, that's why you brought it up.

          Again, you mistake my motives. Don’t assume you know a stranger’s intent. Think about how easy it is to misunderstand a loved one’s intent – don’t you see that, of course, it is far more difficult to guess the intent of a stranger? Once again… truly… look at my bleeding diary history. I have a tendency to find random articles and report the findings without a whole lot of conjecture. I will grant you that this is a personal issue for many. Please read my response to joojooluv nearby in this thread. I apologize for any emotional distress I have caused you, but I ask you to be open-minded and reasonable enough to see that this diary was not written with malicious intent.

          Why the HELL should I sit here in 2011, and have some one assert that there is some reasonable "takeaway" from a sample of this size with so many other factors involved, to reach such a silly fucking conclusion. Do fatter heads make smaller brains, or are we just supposed to NOT talk about the "science" you found?

          Again, you are very welcome to talk about the small sample size. It was mentioned not only by other commenters, but by myself IN the diary. Of course it’s a problem, but as I’ve said elsewhere (I really feel I’m repeating myself), preliminary studies are often done with small sample sizes to determine whether larger, more intensive studies are needed. And again, as I have said elsewhere, even if these findings are totally off base, they may lead to future studies which discover something worthwhile. You are WELCOME to complain about the study as much as you want. Just please leave off the personal attacks – they aren’t getting you, or anyone else, anywhere.

          I believe that people who take a "closer look" and have their BS detector go off the scale, are not necessarily fat, stupid or WRONG. And if they ARE obese (and especially if they ARE obese),they should NOT be dismissed from this particular  conversation you so clearly do NOT want to have.

          Who have I dismissed from the conversation? Here, we are talking. What else have you to say?

          I intended no disrespect. Obese people are not any less human than thin people, and nowhere – nowhere – ever… in this diary, on this blog, or anywhere else… have I implied otherwise. I want to have a dialogue with you. I want to know how you feel about these issues. I want a productive discussion. But please understand how difficult it is for me to do that with you slinging insults at me.

          Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative. - William S. Burroughs

          by sricki on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 04:17:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  respond to the questions (0+ / 0-)

            in the post you are replying to. You said the post you are now responding to was not civil enough, so I broke it down for you. Lets have a real conversation on this.

            You chose the topic, but the topic is real peoples lives and you need to accept that not try to tell us not to care now. If I told you a study showed that a group of people like you had this outcome, how would you take it?

            Again I ask: What do you expect Obese people do with this information (you just randomly selected without any preconceived feelings or intent, apparently)?

            •  I truly (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Kysen

              do not suggest that you do anything with it. I think you'd have to be mad to change your lifestyle based on a small study like this. I wanted your thoughts on it -- and I certainly have them.

              What other questions am I failing to respond to? If there's something else, please repost it in your response because I'm getting lost in the thread -- and I really feel like we're talking over each other.

              Instead of lashing out (and thank you for not doing so in your above comment), why don't you tell me exactly why what I posted does harm to obese people? Is it because you feel it will ultimately make people hate overweight individuals? That we'll start to see you as unintelligent?

              See, for me that is not what the study does. But that's for me personally. If you truly believe that this study is harmful to obese people, then you are free to say so, and I will take it into account.

              In any case, if you checked my diary history you'll see that the likelihood of me diarying on the same topic twice (beyond "gawsh I hate the GOP" and mental illness) is pretty slim. And considering how hurt some people have apparently been by this diary, I will not consider it worth it in the future to point out this sort of thing, be assured.

              Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative. - William S. Burroughs

              by sricki on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 05:05:07 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  "why don't you tell me (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                OHdog

                exactly why what I posted does harm to obese people?"

                Because it can only help Obese people to feel WORSE About themselves, not BETTER, or even nothing at all.

                The article does not provide anything more useful than provide Obese people a further reason  to try to not be that way, if possible IMHO. What it does not do is provide any wisdom or guidance as to how not to be obese, nor am I one pound lighter for having read the article.

                Why not just go ahead and cite research for the book The Bell Curve, add a note its just some research about racial/ethnic differences and brain function, after all the authors use many of the same justifications you are using for presenting this information to us today (Google or Wiki it if you do not know what I am talking about). you are guaranteed to start an even bigger conversation if that is your goal.

                And please quit telling me how neutral you are about this subject, I get that you feel that you are innocent of any wrongdoing, and anyone who takes offense is reactionary. We disagree on that OK?

                Please then, do tell me what else information  provides, if you think it does any thing else remotely positive, I still haven't seen where you really get to why you found this important/interesting enough to start a thread about.

                 

                •  I think we just (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Kysen

                  disagree period.

                  You know, I'm reading a book right now about choice theory, which states that the reason people have trouble in their interactions with others... has to do with either one or the other wanting to control the way in which the other person thinks or behaves. Then, when we don't get our way, we choose to upset ourselves and feel angry/sad/miserable/what-have-you.

                  What you seem to want is for me to admit that I had some kind of nefarious purpose in posting this article and apologize for it. What I want for you is an acknowledgment that, no, I did not intend this diary to be hateful, hurtful, or prejudiced against anyone.

                  What is clear here is that neither of us is going to get what either of us wants.

                  So here is what I will do. I am choosing to apologize for the emotional distress I have caused you, and to acknowledge that this diary may have done more harm than good. The interesting discussions it spawned about health and fitness could have been brought about by writing on a less controversial topic. I am willing, even, to tell you that you will not see a similar diary (at least from me) in the future -- it is clearly not worth the emotional harm it seems to have done to you, and to a couple of others in this thread.

                  And now I am choosing not to let your continued insults affect me (yeah, most of us have heard of The Bell Curve, thx), and also choosing to part ways with you and leave this conversation, despite not having gotten what I want -- and to wish you a fine evening. I hope that you choose to let this diary -- and me -- roll off your back, and have a nice evening despite the acrimony here.

                  Have a good one.

                  Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative. - William S. Burroughs

                  by sricki on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 05:46:10 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  What are you NOT eating? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sricki, rosabw, Kysen

    About a year ago, I did a basic elimination diet and discovered that many of my health problems were related to food sensitivities. But I was miserable the entire time, because I constantly craved junk food and diet sodas. Six months ago, I chose a different elimination diet to corroborate my results. This diet didn't just suggest which foods to eliminate, but also a few to add: a lot of vegetables, water, vitamins, and flax products. My cravings went away instantly and completely. I discovered that it was the Omega 3 fatty acids that made the difference. Since then, I have had flax oil and powder every day and have not had a single diet soda since.

    We are so focused in this country on depriving ourselves, that we rarely consider that our diets may be deficient. Try adding the things you do need, and see how much easier it becomes to let go of those you don't.

    "We live now in hard times, not end times." Jon Stewart

    by tb92 on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 03:51:24 PM PDT

    •  Great point! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kysen

      I have read that cravings are often caused by depriving our bodies of essential nutrients. I should probably figure out what I'm depriving myself of, because I crave chocolate milk wayyyyyy more than could possibly be "normal."

      Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative. - William S. Burroughs

      by sricki on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 03:53:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not necessarily so. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sricki, Kysen

        the food industry has figured out that by combining salt, sugar and fat, they can create foods that humans will crave. These are also foods that we will eat more of than we intend to, and if they're soft and require little chewing, (think chicken mc nuggets, or most appetizers or desserts at chain restaurants), we will eat them faster than we intended.

        If you actually sit and savor your chocolate (particularly milk chocolate),  you'll taste the saltiness. Most processed cookies and sweets have it too.

        If you stick with just one or two (salty and fatty, sweet and fatty), you probably will have better control.

        But you'll likely have to make your own. Most chips contain sugar or a sugar product (especially fake chips like Baked Lays and Pringles) and most sweet treats contain copious amounts of salt.  The recipes are DESIGNED to make you crave more, thus buy more.

        It was the best of times, it was the worst of times... - C Dickens.

        by grover on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 05:34:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ah, I have (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kysen, grover

          heard that about making foods easier to eat so we can eat faster before we fill up and ultimately eat more of it. Really frightening how manipulative the food industry is.

          Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative. - William S. Burroughs

          by sricki on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 06:13:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  This book may interest you: (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sricki, Kysen

            The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite

            Lots of info about how Americans are manipulated into eating, especially by fast food and national chain restaurants. Many people who eschew fast food restaurants still go to Cheese Cake Factory, Olive Garden, Claim Jumper, etc. But these sell almost exclusively overprocessed unhealthy calorie-laden foods in extra large portions.

            A locally owned family restaurant at least sells real food and should be able to tell you all of the ingredients (because the food is made on premises and not at a corporate plant). And often, they can make food to order. And they usually can't afford to serve massive portions.

            :)

             

            It was the best of times, it was the worst of times... - C Dickens.

            by grover on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 07:33:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Yes. I also learned that fast food is (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sricki, Kysen

          extremely addictive. And it was only after I was properly nourished that I had the ability to resist.

          Nobody should feel bad for not having the "willpower" necessary to overcome cravings. The food industry is your enemy, and they have spent decades perfecting their weapons. The only way to beat them is to give your body what it needs to heal.

          "We live now in hard times, not end times." Jon Stewart

          by tb92 on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 07:33:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sure. There's a reason why they give you that soda (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sricki

            for free when you buy a combo: it adds the sugar that they need for the salt+fat+sugar = craving formula required for you to be a loyal costumer.

            And sugar substitutes in diet soda aren't any help:  "if it tastes sweet, your body thinks it is getting sugar."

            technical explanation here: http://www.diabeteslibrary.org/...

            You might enjoy that book I suggested above. I never looked at processed or prepared food the same again.

            It was the best of times, it was the worst of times... - C Dickens.

            by grover on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 08:17:13 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I'm very overweight, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sricki, Kysen

      obese, but am trying to lose the weight.  My father was diabetic at 50, and spent about the last 12 years of his life barely able to walk, the last 5 used a scooter.

      I've gone to FITDAY.COM and have lost 10 lbs in 2 months.  I am on target to lose 50 lbs by next February. I've never lost weight so slowly, but this time it is for GOOD! I put down all I eat, and I can look to see that I am receiving all the RDA of vitamins,etc.  (Sometimes I'll drink a glass of milk because I need the calcium.)   If I eat like 430 calories fewer per day than I eat, I will achieve my goal.  What it amounts to is I get quite a bit of food.  I have the calories I use up from just living(1800) plus those I burn exercising (200),cleaning (200), gardening (400), I will lose the weight, gur-an-teed! I eat about 2000 calories average per day.  I am seldom hungry.  And be cause I am aware of the nutritive value of common foods, I have become a connoisseur of highly nutritious foods.(Green beans suck, broccoli ROCKS!  Lettuce?  Meh...  Spinach, now you're talking!! Do you know what an excellent source of vitamin E sunflower seeds are?? )

      Fitday.com is free, but you can subscribe so you can have a total readout of your food, weight, mood, excercise, etc. to look for trends and weak spots.  It's AWESOME!!!!!!

      It doesn't matter if i'm wrong or right--i just love to argue.

      by rosabw on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 05:41:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Wait, that's (0+ / 0-)

        eat 430 fewer calories than I burn...Oh, my God...my fat head is making me stu...

        Aw, I'm just shittin' ya!

        It doesn't matter if i'm wrong or right--i just love to argue.

        by rosabw on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 05:47:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Awwww, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kysen

          maybe you're joking, but if the article made you think that way for even a moment in jest, then perhaps the very angry critics around here were right. I don't want anyone second-guessing their intellect or competence because of a study like this. I thought it was something to look at, but the results are hardly conclusive -- it would be ridiculous to extrapolate them to large numbers of people. I think it more likely that nutrition had an impact on these people's tests than obesity itself.

          Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative. - William S. Burroughs

          by sricki on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 05:53:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I can believe that. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sricki, Kysen

            You were just catching hell, I wanted you to feel better.

             Poor nutrition...I can't believe how poorly I have eaten for years.  Fitday.com is a real eye opener.

            It doesn't matter if i'm wrong or right--i just love to argue.

            by rosabw on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 06:11:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  *smiles* (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              rosabw, Kysen

              Thanks, that is very very nice of you. But... no one can make me feel badly unless I choose to allow them to -- so if I get angry and upset, it's my own bloody fault. ;)

              I'm glad you're enjoying the overhaul of your diet. In my experience, I just feel better when I eat healthy.

              Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative. - William S. Burroughs

              by sricki on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 06:15:19 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Congratulations! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kysen

        Best of luck in whatever your health goals are!

        Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative. - William S. Burroughs

        by sricki on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 05:49:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  And what if it's true? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sricki, Kysen

    What if there IS causation?  America's children and teens are overweight and obese at rates that we've never seen before: around 15% nationally and much higher in certain regions.  Setting aside concerns like type two diabetes and predisposition to liver cancer, America's kids are dropping out of school. Those that stay in often struggle to pass graduation competency tests. Many who go to college, especially public colleges, don't graduate within 6 years.

    Of course slender children struggle too. But it's possible that this study provides the key that opens a door. Kids generally are more sedentary than they were a generation ago. It's not as safe (or not perceived to be as safe) to send your kid out in the afternoon and call her in at dinnertime. We walked to/from school (or rode our bikes). We used to run, play, ride our bikes, etc til dinner every day. There were no video games. After school tv? Forget it! We did homework after dinner.

    Most of my friends' kids have very different schedules than we did.

    Even slender kids I see around town don't seem to be particularly healthy unless they play sports. Lots have flabby midsections:  that's unhealthy belly fat. Is that the result of less exercise (PE being eliminated in many schools) or the result of the kinds of foods they're eating? Exercise and brain function seem to be very interconnected. How does nutrition fit into this? If this study gives us any useable information, we owe it to our kids to take it seriously.

    Small sample size does not mean "crap" science. It simply doesn't. If it did, no political poll (which have tiny sample size vis-a-vis the general population) would ever be accurate. Audits would be useless. We use sampling all the time.

    We need to get over ourselves and look at the greater good that MIGHT come out if this. If it's a study that cant replicated, then we toss it in the trashcan of science history where it belongs. But dismissing a study because the results are uncomfortable?  When establishing causation or correlation could open whole new doors,  finally ending farm subsidies and tax breaks to those companies which  manufacture foods that are intended to be addictive (with the evil trifecta of salt, sugar and fat)?

    How can we say no? We have a whole generation of children we need to think of.

    It was the best of times, it was the worst of times... - C Dickens.

    by grover on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 05:17:44 PM PDT

    •  My wife has worked with seniors with Alzheimer's (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      grover, sricki

      disease and other dementias for years and compared to the general population the men have been average to slender and family members sometimes got concerned initially because their father started to lose weight he really couldn't afford to lose. She said that the women had the whole range but often had the pear shape (big middle) so common in older American ladies but not the very large arms and legs seen in very obese individuals.

      I don't dislike all conservatives... mainly just the ones that vote Republican.

      by OHdog on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 05:35:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  One thing is pretty true, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sricki, Kysen

    once it happens, you have a demon on your back the rest of your life.  Once obesity sets in, it will always dominate your life no matter what your weight.  Over weight and obesity is a chronic condition and the only cure is to avoid it in the first place.  This is why it is so vital to teach our children to be healthy and active early on.

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