Obesity-Alarm bells but no-one's listening

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Re: Obesity-Alarm bells but no-one's listening

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Thu Jun 12, 2014 3:00 pm

The WHO favours the waist to hip ratio.It is a good measure apparently. It has the advantage that it factors in subcutaneous fat (the "toxic" fat referred to n recnet health campaign). The worse your ratio, the more subcutaneous fat.

But no metric is perfect and we should not expect otherwise. I couldn't get the optimum ration without reducing my waist further than what is probably desirable.

The hip measurement on aging people, especially men, is, at some stage, going to drop even without any change in subcutaneous fat or fat anywhere else. The fat on our butt sags, redistributing south some from the the point of maximum girth. Just gravity and loss of firmness in derma.Then factor reduced muscle there as testosterone levels fall. Even Jean-Claude Van Dammes waist to hip ration will fall.
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Re: Obesity-Alarm bells but no-one's listening

Postby anttismo » Thu Jun 12, 2014 3:11 pm

I think one reason BMI is mentioned a lot in this thread and other threads relating to being overweight and obese is that the definitions are expressed in terms of BMI. One of the papers I posted ealier did discuss BMI as tool vs some others.
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Re: Obesity-Alarm bells but no-one's listening

Postby simonn » Thu Jun 12, 2014 3:26 pm

BMI is easy. You measure your height once (very difficult to get wrong enough for some good enough accuracy) and use a set of scales.

All the others require some skills - even measuring your waist and hips - which can affect the accuracy reasonably seriously.

Looking at other methods is definitely important, but BMI is a quick and easy to get an idea of how much you should weigh.

Of course, if you are fit, don't smoke, don't have a muffin top, rarely eat deep fried pie and chip cake burgers with an entre of lard soup, yet still have a higher BMI than you think you should, then you should certainly be looking at other methods. However, in this case, you are certainly in the minority.
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Re: Obesity-Alarm bells but no-one's listening

Postby Xplora » Thu Jun 12, 2014 4:40 pm

I'm 6'1". My results on the other tests like blood pressure and cholesterol came back as great. Yes, there is more than BMI, but it certainly gives you a good ballpark. Tests show I'm very healthy - although I'd argue that my inability to exercise hard, day in day out, betrays that.

BMI is best treated as it is. A broad brush approach that warrants further investigation if you are outside the good ranges. Tons of guys carry much more muscle than me. A fat % check would help assess if your 25 BMI is worse than my 20 BMI.

Ultimately, these are just tools, they aren't the goal. Epic FTP figures on your power meter might be great to see, but if you aren't winning races then it means nothing. :idea:
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Re: Obesity-Alarm bells but no-one's listening

Postby casual_cyclist » Thu Jun 12, 2014 6:52 pm

Perth kids among fattest in Australia

https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/242 ... australia/
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Re: Obesity-Alarm bells but no-one's listening

Postby mikesbytes » Thu Jun 12, 2014 10:46 pm

According to that BMI chart I'm overweight :)
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Re: Obesity-Alarm bells but no-one's listening

Postby Nobody » Thu Jun 12, 2014 10:57 pm

Sweeper59 wrote:Why is it that Australia can embrace a 30 year 'anti-smoking' campaign, which has seen a big drop in the number of cigarette smokers by making smoking 'socially unacceptable', but appear to accept obesity, which is killing just as many people, and affecting the lives of 75% of Australians?
Because the various food industries and pharmaceutical industries are doing an effective job at clouding the truth, by various methods. At least in the US, which AU seems to follow in many ways. I suggest reading "The China Study" if you want the big picture of how it's done. It was an eye opener for me.
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Re: Obesity-Alarm bells but no-one's listening

Postby anttismo » Fri Jun 13, 2014 5:26 am

Sweeper59 wrote:Why is it that Australia can embrace a 30 year 'anti-smoking' campaign, which has seen a big drop in the number of cigarette smokers by making smoking 'socially unacceptable', but appear to accept obesity, which is killing just as many people, and affecting the lives of 75% of Australians?


Because it is not true?
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Re: Obesity-Alarm bells but no-one's listening

Postby Xplora » Fri Jun 13, 2014 11:13 am

The problem is that obesity doesn't kill people, all the risks associated with it kill them. Obesity isn't a targeted death, and the heart disease it causes takes a VERY long time to kill them. It isn't reasonable to draw any connection with real world experiences of obesity with the deaths they create. Yes, you might live 20 years longer on a vegan diet and exercising an hour every day, but a lot of people would prefer to live to 60, eat whatever they like and do whatever they like. You've got to be pathologically obese (Morbidly Obese +++?) to die from being fat under 50.
Considering the choices you make to be obese will start when you are 20, and our goals at 20 aren't the same as 40 or 60, I think people box themselves into obesity and the lifestyle that it brings (you will not hang around fat people if you're a vegan exercising an hour every day) at an age where the impact of their obesity just isn't relevant. We live in a society where those choices are free to be made. I see at 30 the impact that it has - because once you've got kids, and you have obese parents who are now 65 and in the "kill zone" that can't enjoy time with their grandkids, it becomes clear that the choice to accept obesity in early life wasn't the best one.

I repeat - the choice to accept. My guess is anttismo is comfortable with being 30 BMI, while dynamictiger isn't comfortable with being 38 BMI. I'm not actually comfortable with my 20 BMI either - I don't accept my build is rather fragile for intense exercise. We can choose to fight in the struggle to achieve our body goals, or we can choose to accept that we won't succeed. You might still end up morbidly obese. But maybe you won't.

Just don't wait until your 60s to start losing the weight, it might be too late. :idea:
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Re: Obesity-Alarm bells but no-one's listening

Postby anttismo » Fri Jun 13, 2014 11:22 am

mikesbytes wrote:According to that BMI chart I'm overweight :)


That's because you are not a pro cyclist. Pro cyclists would want to be 20-25, ordinary people can be much heavier. I'm overweight even though I'm lean, fit and athletic. If you play other sport, particularly physical ones, than it may even be better to obese....

Now there's a story. What's with the obesity epidemic in professional rugby. Don't they know they are endangering the very lives of their players. They may as well be smoking :lol:
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Re: Obesity-Alarm bells but no-one's listening

Postby anttismo » Fri Jun 13, 2014 11:28 am

Xplora wrote:The problem is that obesity doesn't kill people, all the risks associated with it kill them. Obesity isn't a targeted death, and the heart disease it causes takes a VERY long time to kill them. It isn't reasonable to draw any connection with real world experiences of obesity with the deaths they create. Yes, you might live 20 years longer on a vegan diet and exercising an hour every day, but a lot of people would prefer to live to 60, eat whatever they like and do whatever they like. You've got to be pathologically obese (Morbidly Obese +++?) to die from being fat under 50....


The data suggest being bottom end morbidly obese reduces life expectancy 8-10 years, so in Oz you'd be looking at about 70...

Xplora wrote:...My guess is anttismo is comfortable with being 30 BMI....


I'm actually about BMI=27 and very comforatble with it. I've shed about 7kg in the last 6 weeks on my way to being BMI=24. Just for the sake of it - I want to see what it is like to be so horrendously skinny (for my muscle mass)...
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Re: Obesity-Alarm bells but no-one's listening

Postby WarbyD » Fri Jun 13, 2014 11:45 am

dynamictiger wrote:I am amazed at the other fatties.

Yes I am morbidly obese. To look at me you would not be able to discern me as being different to the fatty standing next to me when we are both dressed. I do suspect it will show when we aren't wearing a shirt, but that is irrelevant.

In our class we use small weights for some exercise like bicep curls. I choose the 3 kg dumbbell as it is the heaviest they had originally and I am thinking of popping into Kmart now to get a 4 or 5. However most of the other men are using 1 or 2 kg weights...go figure. Even though many of them are taller and wider than me. My logic has always been with great weight comes proportional strength...however this logic may not be correct for all.

I think and I am somewhat shocked to say this. Most of the people in my fatties group could not move a trailer load of mulch from the front to the back yard and spread it on the garden in under 4 hours. This to me is shocking. In 4 hours I would move about 4 tons of stone.

Medically I am not that different to the other fatties.

I do have high blood pressure, controlled with medication, I do have higher than ideal cholesterol but only just marginally, bad knees sometimes and bad hands as I tend to break them now and again as I get a bit older (its alright I have got another one).

Whilst it is great all the fatties in the class have taken a step toward doing the right thing, as I say I am amazed at the lack of fitness in all of them in comparison to myself.

It does bring up another point though.

If there were 12 fatties in a room and 6 were like me and 6 weren't. If the 6 like me moved a trailer load of mulch onto the garden and the other fatties saw us doing it. Would they then assume they could do it too? Why wouldn't they? In this instance then if we asked the six that could if they were obese chances are they would probably respond yes but I am fit or big boned or some equally silly answer, so what answer would the other 6 give?

I seriously think the entire obesity issue is way more complex than a simple one of diet and exercise. Perhaps this explains why some people do succeed at loosing weight and others struggle all their life with it.


I find this very interesting, personally, because I am in a similar boat.. I am ~120kg (AT) 6'2, so I am very much obese. Yet, put me next to my father-in-law who (after gastric banding has brought him down from 168kg) is a couple of KGs lighter than me and I am half his size and MUCH fitter than him. Put me next to almost any other similar weight fatty and I am significantly smaller and fitter than them. I have lifted weights on and off most of my adult life, and always tried to remain at least moderately active (even when I topped out at ~132kg), but I am not kidding myself about being a "muscular" 120kg - I have a big gut and have no issue with being identified as "fat" because, quite simply, I am!

I find the whole discussion quite interesting for this reason.. I do have a large frame naturally - I have broad shoulders, large arms, large chest and large legs (even when I wasn't fat). At one stage I got down to 82kg when I was a driller's offsider (running or swinging sledgehammers 12 hours a day, every day, in the WA desert) and I just looked well out of proportion. When I looked "best" was ~95-100kg. I'm a "big guy" and always have been (even as a kid, I was always "the big kid").. Chasing BMI, for me, will never work.

The important thing about it though, for me, is that I don't use this as an excuse to ignore it entirely as some other fatties do.. I've heard it used as an excuse not to lose weight plenty of times, always from other fatties. "Oh yeah I know I'm obese, according to my BMI, but BMI is inaccurate anyway so it doesn't matter." BS. Being obese is about the big wobbly bit around your midsection, not the coloured parts on a matrix. I look at BMI as a very rough guide, along the lines of your grandpa going "showtime boy, you look like you've put some weight on... should do something about that." It's not perfect, but it should serve as enough of a wake up call to go "oops, probably an issue there" and rectify it.
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Re: Obesity-Alarm bells but no-one's listening

Postby casual_cyclist » Fri Jun 13, 2014 12:14 pm

WarbyD wrote:I find the whole discussion quite interesting for this reason.. I do have a large frame naturally - I have broad shoulders, large arms, large chest and large legs (even when I wasn't fat). At one stage I got down to 82kg when I was a driller's offsider (running or swinging sledgehammers 12 hours a day, every day, in the WA desert) and I just looked well out of proportion. When I looked "best" was ~95-100kg. I'm a "big guy" and always have been (even as a kid, I was always "the big kid").. Chasing BMI, for me, will never work.

I'm 6'2" as well. Currently 93kg but still flabby around the middle. I heading to 85.

WarbyD wrote:The important thing about it though, for me, is that I don't use this as an excuse to ignore it entirely as some other fatties do.. I've heard it used as an excuse not to lose weight plenty of times, always from other fatties. "Oh yeah I know I'm obese, according to my BMI, but BMI is inaccurate anyway so it doesn't matter." BS. Being obese is about the big wobbly bit around your midsection, not the coloured parts on a matrix. I look at BMI as a very rough guide, along the lines of your grandpa going "showtime boy, you look like you've put some weight on... should do something about that." It's not perfect, but it should serve as enough of a wake up call to go "oops, probably an issue there" and rectify it.

The "wobbly bit around [my] midsection" is what is bothering me too. I don't care what height, weight or BMI I am. I can be anything. It does bother me how much fat I carry around my middle. That is why I am choosing to eat healthier food. To get rid of it!
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Re: Obesity-Alarm bells but no-one's listening

Postby casual_cyclist » Fri Jun 13, 2014 3:16 pm

anttismo wrote:Anyway, it seem being overweight is really little more unhealthy than being normal weight, in terms of mortality in general. Once cigarette smokers are removed, then sure, being overweight is mildly worse. But the effects are really quite small, kind of like being slightly underweight. Increasing you BMI from 24 (in the ideal range) to 28 (overweight) seems to lead to 1 year shorter life expectancy, and going to 32 (obese) equates to a further 2 year reduction. To me these seem not so worry some.

So, in summary, seems largely trivial to be merely overweight rather than normal weight. And even mild obesity doesn't seem to matter much. How it looks to me anyway :)

It is largely trivial to be merely overweight if all you care about is all cause mortality. However, death is not the only adverse health outcome from being overweight... although it is the most severe :wink:

According to the CDC:

Research has shown that as people become "overweight" and "obese,"* their risk for developing the following conditions increases:1
•Coronary heart disease
•Type 2 diabetes
•Cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon)
•Hypertension (high blood pressure)
•Dyslipidemia (for example, high total cholesterol or high levels of triglycerides)
•Stroke
•Liver and Gallbladder disease
•Sleep apnea and breathing problems
•Osteoarthritis (a breakdown of cartilage and bone within a joint)
•Gynecological problems (abnormal periods, infertility)

http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/effect ... d=tw_ob245

Not to mention knee or back pain.

It is known that overweight is associated with chronic knee pain (CKP)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24758895

As an example, my grandfather had a stroke that left him paralysed in bed for the last 5 years of his life. An adverse health outcome doesn't have to be fatal to completely screw up your life.
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Re: Obesity-Alarm bells but no-one's listening

Postby casual_cyclist » Fri Jun 13, 2014 7:26 pm

anttismo wrote:It all always seemed to be blown out of proportion - like the whole "avoid processed foods, and added sugars because they are poison" kind of things. Sure, obesity is problem, and perhaps we "have an epidemic" , but it always strikes me as storm in tea cup kind of thing.

Here's a nice article to calm you down.

There is no evidence that processed or artificial foods are necessarily less healthy than natural foods. There is also no clear definition of what constitutes a “processed” food, and there are many “processed” foods that have proven health benefits, like whey protein


It’s true that some foods are far more nutrient dense than others. Cake icing doesn’t have the same nutrient content as an apple. As long as the majority of your calories come from whole nutrient dense foods, there’s no evidence you can’t meet your micronutrient needs while still consuming some “empty calories.”


The trick (of course) it that it depends how active you are.

The athletes can be far more relaxed about their diet. They can eat more total calories, more calorie dense foods, and assuming they’re meeting their micro- and macronutrient needs, more “empty calories.”

The office worker needs to eat fewer total calories, and should probably focus on far more filling, low-calorie foods, less palatable foods to avoid over-eating. They may also need to focus on more nutrient-dense foods since they’re eating fewer calories.


http://evidencemag.com/clean-eating/

There you go. Good article by the way.
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Re: Obesity-Alarm bells but no-one's listening

Postby mikesbytes » Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:16 pm

I've cut back on processed foods a lot. When you prepare your own food its got what you want in it
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Re: Obesity-Alarm bells but no-one's listening

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Sat Jun 14, 2014 12:10 am

casual_cyclist wrote:The trick (of course) it that it depends how active you are.

The athletes can be far more relaxed about their diet. They can eat more total calories, more calorie dense foods, and assuming they’re meeting their micro- and macronutrient needs, more “empty calories.”

The office worker needs to eat fewer total calories, and should probably focus on far more filling, low-calorie foods, less palatable foods to avoid over-eating. They may also need to focus on more nutrient-dense foods since they’re eating fewer calories.


http://evidencemag.com/clean-eating/

There you go. Good article by the way.


To an extent heavily pysically intense people can get away with it. Also those with the intensity and focus to, for example, restrict themselves to only raw meat, or only veges or only thirty bananas a day or only what is on some strict list of dietary content. That focus and that single mindedness will allow them to get away with it - at least for a time. But it should not need a population with an iron will, PHDs in nutrition, twenty hours a week put aside and reading of peer reviewed papers.

Such focused and intense people are not the best role model for others though we may wish to be. Because being extreme or being focused on such a narrow part of existence is somewhat compulsive/obsessive and should not be a pre-requisite for being healthy enough to enjoy a good life. Indeed, until about the time of my generation people (aside from smoking relateed issues) had sufficient health outcomes. Something has changed for the worse in forty years.

I do all sorts of things really badly. My workmates and friends and people I see regularly think of me as the old guy in better condition most of those they know. And, on lots of measures I may be. But I am a terrible role model. Riding a unicyclyle thousands of kms a year? Taking over two hours to get to work? My activities are likely to appeal to about 0.0001%. Same goes for eating thirty bananas, eating only raw food, doing 12 hours a week in the pool, playing basketball until you are fifty (guilty), existing only for boot camp or pilates or yoga.

I am saying that there has to be better ways than doing what is basically un-achievable for almost everyone over more than a short term. At the same time I don't deny that too many live in denial about their health.

I break soooo many rules of good eating/drinking and probably many others too. I mean I REALLY break them. Not marginally. But I have got away with it so far. I would NEVER hold up my way as a way for anyone else to be healthy. That'd make as much sense as telling people they should only eat raw meat, no meat or thirty bananas a day.

Geez, if you actually like physical exercise or dieting or sweating and breathing hard for long periods of time or watching every calorie then you are, indeed, blessed. Most perfectly decent and honorable people are not.

For the record, my health is not as good as it appears to others - lotsa joint/connective tissue problems and a fear of more to come. In the fullness of time, ditto for everyone on this forum. My fat in-laws and cousins may still turnout to have a less painful and more enjoyalbe time in their 80's than I do. There are no certainties in life though it is still wise to try.
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Re: Obesity-Alarm bells but no-one's listening

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Sat Jun 14, 2014 12:33 am

Bearing in mind that I started this thread, my previous post may seem curiously out of whack. But I started this thread in the context of denial or deliberate avoidance my the mass of people.

It won't get better as long as most people either deny the obvious or ignore it. My previous post is not inconsistent with that.
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