The Men Who Made Us Fat ~ Episode 2: Portion Sizes

A bit behind the curve on this one, here's the first part (of 4)

So in this episode, obesity is blamed on the man who invented the large sized popcorn at the movie theater.    I'm not inclined to blame that guy, per se, but I'm much more in agreement with those who blame portion sizes at least in part for why we're eating too dang much.  

direct image link
I do think they were off the mark when they used bulk packaging to equate with larger sized containers.  I mean that a 12pk of 12oz cans of soda is cheaper per can than buying one can, or that a big bag of snack-sized bags of chips (or crisps) is cheaper per snack bag doesn't move me.  Indeed the big bag of snack-sized chips is rather more expensive than the same amount of chips in one family-sized bag.  

Anecdote alert!  Yep ... did you think they never sold potato chips in large packages?  Bzzzzzzzzzzz.  One of occasional treats my Dad would bring home was that tin on the right of Charles Chips.  Nobody -- not him or my Mom or gawd forbid any of us kidlets -- would even think about eating the whole thing, let alone do it.  Such a tin would last at least a week, probably more like two ... and we were given (note given, not told to go get and portion out ourselves) a hand full.  Note:  the Family Sized bag of Ruffles is only 14 oz, while this tin held 16oz.  Further down memory lane you'll find dieting Evelyn in her 20's.  If I was going through an "everything in moderation" phase, I might eat a snack sized Fritos -- in which case I would buy the big bag of snack sized baggies, or lots of little bags (they were cheap at those bakery outlet stores).  It did make for some expensive binges from time to time (and a whole lot more empty wrappers when it was all over!), but as a single person, bulk buying of individually portioned foods is a huge draw.  To this day, if we're going to get cookies or such, I'd rather my hubs buy a box of Little Debbies b/c they will last a long time in their individual wrappers vs. a box of cookies that will go stale.  

There's no denying portion sizes have gotten ridiculous.  I do note that Peretti didn't go to chain restaurants for his more absurd examples.  That 9 lb breakfast thing was a novelty, nobody eats that!  Same for the giant donut thing -- it's not intended to be a single serving.  I'm drawing a blank trying to recall what it was in college that you could go into town to get, and if you ate the whole thing it was free.  It was good for business -- brought the college kids in, and sold a lot of it (gosh the brain fart, maybe if Princess pokes in she can ask her hubs if he remembers any such thing) that us kids shared, and every once in a while someone took on the challenge to try to eat the whole thing.  I guess this was the 80's version of competitive eating.  Oh wait ... I want  to say it was ice cream now ... but not getting my mental image!

But tis true that the typical bagel with cream cheese at a deli is really 2X bagel with 3X the cream cheese you would get in the 70's.  And the can of soda has been replaced by the 20 oz bottle.  Still, nobody (I hope) ever thought a 2L bottle was intended as a single serving ... right?  I do think this Big Gulp thing is a bit overstated.  There is no 64oz size on McD's menu ... yeah 32oz is probably too much, but are you only going to allow 16oz sizes?  Is that really going to do anything??  In the piece they talk about how folks used to tilt back and try to get every last bit from the fry container, but wouldn't go back and get another fries.  Enter the larger size -- oh, and it didn't cost much more.  

Us just post baby-boomers were raised by parents who grew up in the depression or with parents who knew it well.  Thrift and value were instilled in them and they instilled it in us.   Having one's family never go hungry and even enjoy excess or the occasional luxury food was a source of pride.  Can we blame McD's for making bigger burgers, fries, drinks competing with BK?  Where are you going to eat if you've got a choice if you get more for the buck at BK vs. McD?  And what when Wendy's comes along ...

When I was growing up, the Hungry Man Dinner was a TV dinner that was just a wee bit bigger than a regular one, and none of those dinners were particularly appealing.  Now there are "family size" frozen entrees -- umm and some eat them all by themselves -- and the food scientists have had at them to make them quite tasty, gourmet even.  This is the fault of whom?   I'm as guilty as the next person that give me a box of Kraft Mac & Cheese in my 20's, I ate the whole thing.  Certainly one box was a one shot deal for me and hubs when I married.  It's intended to serve 4.  I mean I suppose I should get mad at Birdseye b/c my steam-in-bag veggies usually say they serve 2.5 or 3.5 -- what's that all about?  There are no half people in my house!  

Which brings me to my thoughts on why we eat more when foods are pre-portioned for us.  It's usually an inherent thrift/value thing, even if not conscious.  Full after 3/4 of that personal pizza?  What do you do?  Leave the last slice?  Wrap it up and take it back to work, put it in the community fridge and hopefully remember to take it home at the end of the day?  Or eat it?  I'm betting many do the latter out of some kind of guilt or whatever over wasting because that 1/4 pizza isn't really enough for a second meal ...

One more anecdote and I'm out.  We were at the new Korean market the other evening -- they have a three-restaurant "food court" in there, and it was packed.  I think we were the only caucasians in the place that day.  On the tables were huge bowls of food with families gathered around eating right from the community bowl or portioning some out onto their small plates.   We were back there a couple of days ago at lunch time, and one American family -- including a kid of maybe 10 y.o.a. -- was eating lunch.  EACH had a giant bowl in front of them.   Did they think the portions are intended for one?  Do they not have the thought capacity to think to share?  If it's a value for the big bowl, how much more value it will be if that one big bowl feeds the whole family!!  

I know one of the things that has really re-established a more normal relationship with food has been cooking in bulk with the intent of left-overs.  Left overs make easy meals.   Take what you need from the "big vat", save some in the fridge for later in the week and freeze the rest.   

I dunno, I still just find this whole series to be an (a) blame America for the UK's problems, and (b) blame some faceless greedy capitalist pig who manipulated you into eating more for profit whinefest.  We're all just effen spoiled brats about this at this point.  You can buy an easy to maneuver chest freezer for under $200 that uses like almost no electricity.  Anything precooked you freeze in that can be on the table in under 10 min  thanks to the invention of the microwave.  It doesn't get much easier than that.  I am happy that my grocery stores offer bulk packs of meats at considerably reduced price (often the price per pound is half what it would be) ... or is that just Perdue trying to get me to eat more chicken for their profit?  I'm happy when the 5 lb bags of potatoes go on sale -- or should I revile Denise Austin for advertising for the state of Idaho?

Beth @ Weight Maven and I are on different sides on this one.  I appreciate her arguments even if I obviously disagree.  Check her out!  


Mike said…
What puzzles me is why satiety mechanisms don't compensate for the excess when an unusually large portion is consumed.
perishedcore said…
Charles Chips! I couldn't think of that name to save myself. In our rural neighborhood, we had all sorts of food delivery services: the milkman/lady (Reiters or Smith), the bread lady (Nickels), and the pretzel/chips service, which must have been Charles because I remember that tin. We had the dairy and bakery services, but my mother refused to purchase the chips for unknown reasons because she bought bags of horrible stale from the get go chips at the A&P.

How you described getting them portioned out via parental units is identical to my experience. Our little town also did not get a franchise fast food place until my last years of high school. Check on the TV dinners, too.

My mother was a horrible jello/pinwheels/food from a can Betty Crocker cookbook cook, so we ate at diners and family restaurants several times a week. Those meals always included an iceberg/blue cheese dressing salad, a greasy entree served with a vegetable and mashed potatoes/gravy, and usually, but not always, a dessert about 1/3 today's portion for all dishes. There was usually iced tea and coffee, and not soda, as beverages. In summer, lemonade.

My parents ate at home for almost all their meals, and it was scratch prepared. They ate very little to no processed foods outside commercial bread and breakfast cereals. Meat came from local butchers. Most fruit and veg was in season because imported was more expensive. Desserts were usually prepared once weekly and portioned out during the week. If there were fridge raids, they tended toward leftovers and not desserts.

Big generational differences on what was served, what was available, where and how it was eaten. I've done best for myself following the traditions of the grandparents (pre WWII). Being single, I rely on crockpots and freezer for storing single servings and having enough variation that I don't become too bored to eat healthfully.

CarbSane said…
It does for some people. All those junk eating skinny folks who can "eat whatever they want". If you observe them from a less green-eyed view, most don't eat all day long. They may eat a lot in one sitting, but then they don't eat again until they're hungry.

With liquid calories, the evidence is quite strong that, whatever the exact mechanism, we just don't sense them well. There is definitely a role played by physical fullness -- distension. Even when not liquid, lots of these foods "distill" down to small volumes (if you have a vac pack thing, try a piece of bread in one - grin) with high calories.

The flip side of this portion size thing is that even normal sized portions have way more calories than one might think just looking at the food. I always drag this example out, but it's just so perfect to illustrate this. At TGIFridays they have a side of mashed potatoes, it's not very large. It appears they've revamped and taken these calorie bombs off the menu, a regular side of mashed potatoes is now only 210 calories. The "loaded" ones were 960 calories! That's more than a normal meal for a woman in one SIDE order. How many will get just an appetizer for dinner? Well, you probably should, and make sure it's intended for one! The appetizers are listed as "to share". Half an order of loaded potato skins comes in at 1260 calories!!!! I am imagining making my own mashed potatoes or potato skins with heaps of sour cream cream and butter and cheese and whatnot, and I cannot imagine being able to make anything edible with that amount of calories. Here is where I'll take some past criticism to heart and say, you know, maybe most people don't have a clue how many calories are in various foods, and chains ought to put that information right there on the menu. Looking at this newer menu, they've definitely scaled back their more calorific options. Almost all of their dinner salads used to top 1000 cals with one around 1700. But most people going there for a meal would be lucky to escape in caloric balance for the day with just one appetizer. There's the psychological factor that "all I ate for lunch today was an appetizer" -- well, "all" that was was 900 calories!

So it's a combination of chewed bulk being less and calories being more dense that leads to passive overeating. Not sure why so many get personally offended somehow by this notion. I don't think his 9 lb breakfast deal there was a good example as he didn't even make a dent in it after forcing himself to eat past fullness. I buy my microwave popcorn in a giant box of 40 mini bags from Costco. I don't eat more mini bags just because they're lying around and each one costs me a fraction of what they would cost me in a 4 or 6-pack box in the regular grocery.
CarbSane said…
Before I forget -- shoot me an email carbsane at gmail dot com. Barring some emergency of sorts I'm go for AHS12 and will likely hang around most of the day Sunday. I'm thinking meeting folks for breakfast or brunch sounds like a good plan.

" I've done best for myself following the traditions of the grandparents (pre WWII). "

Eat like Grandpa (or Grandma) just isn't quite as catchy as "eat like a caveman"!!

FWIW, we never had dessert as a matter of course in our home. If we had sweets or junk it was occasionally in place of the usual after school snack. I always loved going to friend's houses for dinner where I would almost always get a dessert. Whether this was for guests or not, I don't know, but my friends never seemed surprised or like it was a treat just for my benefit.
Zbig said…
Full after 3/4 of that personal pizza? What do you do? Leave the last slice? Wrap it up and take it back to work, put it in the community fridge and hopefully remember to take it home at the end of the day? Or eat it? I'm betting many do the latter

With pizza, it would probably work like this for me. Same with pasta, sweets etc (carbs :)
No change necessary in the consecutive meals schedule.

But with isocaloric intake of liver or eggs, if I force-fed myself like this then surely I would postpone or skip the next meal or at least reduce its size. My point is - quantity matters but so does quality
Sanjeev said…
OFF TOPIC Question for you all

When food nutrition values are assayed and reported, is cholesterol included in fat?

So for an XL egg with 5700mg of fat and 245 mg cholesterol, is the actual fat (chains, not rings) 5700mg or 5455 (5700-245)

(just curious, nothing world shattering resting on this)
bentleyj74 said…
"Certainly one box was a one shot deal for me and hubs when I married. It's intended to serve 4."

The serving suggestion also assumes it is a side dish. Just like the 160 cal 1/2 cup of ice cream is assumed to be "dessert" that you eat on top of everything else you also ate. It's all relative.
Sanjeev said…
> Full after 3/4 of that personal pizza?

Remember Hall & Chow's paper on food waste tracking very well with obesity.

so while people (and manufacturers) are eating the supersized, many actually are throwing some away
cwaiand said…
o.k,i need some clarification.the portion size is responsible for obesity(at least partially).you say skinny people over eat on the oversized portion but will then cut back later in the day to compensate.they then remain in caloric balance.the fatty overeats the large portions but doesn,t cut back later in the day.he now becomes hyper-caloric and gets fatter.
good so far.
how is this then about the portion sizeÉ.they are both eating the same oversized portion but responding differently to it.the food is the same the people are different.there is a fundamental difference between the over weight and the skinny.if the portion size mattered everyone who is exposed would be obese,correct.if not then it points out that it is not about the food but it is about the individual.

care to talk your way out of your opening remark.

It does for some people. All those junk eating skinny folks who can "eat whatever they want". If you observe them from a less green-eyed view, most don't eat all day long. They may eat a lot in one sitting, but then they don't eat again until they're hungry
v/vmary said…
i was born in 1965 to a depression baby (born 1935)father. we were yelled at if we did not finish everything on our plates- even if we were bursting. also i have the habit of going for food if i am under stress or bored. i don't think food was just laying around like that for my grandparents. and they were never really laying around, they equated that with laziness. my grandmom would always talk about the ant and the grasshopper fable and people who wound up in the 'poorhouse'.
Scott Russell said…
I want to try the breakfast in that episode!
As a side note, what's up with Brits and their crazy obsession with weight? (at least with tv.)
Go watch Supersize vs. Superskinny on Youtube. Craziest thing I've ever seen. Although oddly entertaining.
Sanjeev said…
when theyre skinny they look better in drag.

Right Nigel? (wink wink, say no more )
ItsTheWooo said…

My mother is 5'6 and her high weight was 260 pounds.

I am 5'5 and my high weight was 280 pounds (hurray for progressive intrauterine exacerbation of glucose intolerance/metabolic disease! Shorter from worse PCOS, fatter too! Hurry progress!)

My aunt is like 5'8 and naturally a skinny beam pole, probably doesn't weigh more than 125 pounds when she was young.

Her daughter, that lucky bitch, is the same. 5'8, super thin, no effort other than a trivial attempt not to eat like total crap.

Why is it when my skinny cousin, who LOVES food, enjoys the crap out of all sorts of fatty and sugary things...why is it when she goes to the buffet or has a very rich high calorie meal, she fails to gain weight?
Why doesn't her blood sugar zig zag like mine? Why doesn't she experience this paradoxical INCREASING hunger the more insulinogenic food she consumes?

Why does she feel extremely full after eating cheesecake and ridiculously rich appetizing food so that she naturally eats less?
Why does she feel eating anything normal, whether it tastes good or not, the way I am only ever capable of feeling if I am on a very low carb diet?

OH yea, food and portion sizes cause obesity. "Big food" causes obesity. Clearly so.

There is a difference between something causing something else, and something triggering/exacerbating it.
ItsTheWooo said…
Ever since I was a child, my mother had a container of charles chips on the top of the refrigerator. I remember observing how ancient it looked from my eyes as a child of the early 90s. My mother used it to store her dry rice for cooking.

I always assumed the charles chips container was a rustic looking piece of ornamentation, similar to how if you go to a homegoods store there will be old timey looking containers/home items to make your home artificially lived in/cozy.

I am shocked to learn today that charles chips was a real company and very likely my mother's family had purchased one when she was a child.

PS, my mother cooked everything when I was a child, we ate normal meals, a starch a meat and a vegetable, as my mother did as well. In my early childhood I rarely drank soda (once a week on fridays) and sweets were limited to a single little debbie dessert cake (or equivilent sized item), usually on fridays only but sometimes other days. This did not prevent my mother or myself from becoming a fatass.
ItsTheWooo said…
My afterschool snack was most commonly raw broccoli with salad dressing. I remember thinking it looked like trees.

Sometimes, raw cleaned string beans or carrots.

My school lunch was usually a slice or two american cheese on white, no mayo.

We NEVER ate out. On sundays my father sometimes took us to burger king or a restaurant. At burger king we always got a happy meal. Once in awhile my mother would order a pizza, but usually she would make her own out of pita bread, tomato sauce, and mozzarella.

I was always a fatass child. I wasn't enormously fat, but quite pudgy for such a healthy crap free diet. The fact I wasn't thin on this diet is all the evidence I need that my body is constitutionally driven to obesity. Any normal person should have been totally lean eating such ordinary things.

At puberty I gained weight excessively due to a combination of PCOS metabolic disease + independence (to eat all the crappy food I never was able to eat before). I gained weight rapidly once I introduced a standard american way of soda daily and takeout.
ItsTheWooo said…
"What puzzles me is why satiety mechanisms don't compensate for the excess when an unusually large portion is consumed."

Haha, it would seem as if obesity was an innate biological disorder, not some psychological/conceptual problem of overeating due to ignorance? NAAAAH that makes too much sense, scrap that. What we need are smaller portion sizes, lol.
Harry said…
Not as big a difference as you might think.

By your reasoning, smoking cigarettes does not cause merely triggers or exacerbates it.

There is natural variation in people's vulnerability/resilience to disease X...this does not alter the fact that agents that consistently raise the incidence of disease X are said to be 'causes', even if they do not bring about disease X in all cases.

It's not a binary deal's on a gradient.

And since obesity is multi-factorial, it's perfectly reasonable to say that larger portions cause obesity inter alia.

On the other hand, it makes little sense to say that genetics 'causes' obesity, insofar as it is a permissive, rather than regulating factor (which is why there are zero fat people in concentration camp photos, irrespective of their genetics).

The permissive factors (the necessary conditions as it were; fear not, I'm not going to launch into yet another discussion of necessary vs sufficient conditions!) do not bring about obesity any more than old age brings about cancer. They simply enable it.

The regulating factors (portion size, hyper-palatibility, ubiquity of snack foods etc.) do the work, with respect to distributing incidence of disease X among the population...and that's why they are the appropriate foci of discussions on the causes of obesity, as opposed to the merely permissive factors.

Nigel Kinbrum said…
Because life's a bitch, Woo! If you follow skinny people around for long periods of time, it soon becomes clear how & why they are skinny.

My ex-G/F is skinny. When she was at social occasions with me & her friends in restaurants, she would sit still and "eat like a horse". You could see her fat friends looking at her wondering "How on Earth can she eat so much yet stay so skinny?"

When she wasn't at social occasions (i.e. most of the time), she ate small meals, she didn't eat snack foods and she never stopped moving around while awake. She also walked a lot. She also watched very little TV and would get up and do something when ads came on. Most of the time, she unconsciously ate less and moved more. Her brain kept her skinny.
Nigel Kinbrum said…
You winking at me, Sanjeev?
Nigel Kinbrum said…
ItsTheWooo said...
"My school lunch was usually a slice or two american cheese on white, no mayo.

We NEVER ate out. On sundays my father sometimes took us to burger king or a restaurant. At burger king we always got a happy meal. Once in awhile my mother would order a pizza, but usually she would make her own out of pita bread, tomato sauce, and mozzarella.

I was always a fatass child. I wasn't enormously fat, but quite pudgy for such a healthy crap free diet."
Healthy crap-free diet? You have got to be kidding. Or...

"The fact I wasn't thin on this diet is all the evidence I need that my body is constitutionally driven to obesity. Any normal person should have been totally lean eating such ordinary things."
Your brain constitutionally drove you to be "quite pudgy" on a slightly crappy diet.

"At puberty I gained weight excessively due to a combination of PCOS metabolic disease + independence (to eat all the crappy food I never was able to eat before). I gained weight rapidly once I introduced a standard american way of soda daily and takeout."
Big Food made you obese!
Nigel Kinbrum said…
Neurological & psychological mechanisms override physiological mechanisms. Big Food has known & exploited this for decades.
ProudDaddy said…
It would be interesting to know what percentage of the population is like I was for 40 years - underweight, totally sedentary, CIAB everyday, and trying as hard as I could to GAIN weight. We know it is less than 30%, but how much less? If it's a significant number, how much science is there behind the cause?

I LAID IN BED to watch TV food commercials, and I always supersized. Of course a few such outliers don't prove much except that the commonly-offered reasons for the obesity epidemic don't always apply.

In my case, "in their genes" doesn't explain anything. Mom struggled to keep from becoming overweight, and I easily accomplished it upon reaching middle age. Perhaps "in their epigenetics" is more explanatory. If so, what was the switch?

Nigel is right in often reminding us that we are all different. I'm not so sure his CIAB/advertising ideas are as valid. My rant for the month is about studying the mean. I want to see the scatter plots! If the standard deviation is huge, but p is less than. 05, have you really proved anything?

It seems to me that the outliers might often tell us as much as the mean population without having to increase the sample size to the millions. Perhaps the LOW HDL ApoA -1 Milano folks can tell us more about CVD than Framingham.

My theory as to my sudden middle age weight gain: the tapeworm died. It's as good as any of the stuff floating around the blogosphere. Back on topic, I'm leaning towards Woo on this one.
CarbSane said…
Imagine that. Wooo got a little pudgy as a kid eating a semi-crap diet and got obese as a teen overeating a crap load of crap, drinking soda and eating takeout.

Wooo, the obesity epidemic most certainly can be contributed to by inflated portion sizes. We ARE eating more and portion sizes definitely contribute to that. It becomes a social norm to have an appetizer and entree eating out. Go out to eat one night per week and don't compensate elsewhere? You're gaining several pounds a year. Why did you eat all of that crappy food when you gained independence? I know why I did. I knew it wasn't good for me and that it was fattening too. But in my opinion, "Big Food" gave/gives us what we want. It is, however, quite easy to "unplug" from the crap food culture.
CarbSane said…
I think it's 5455, they are just "itemizing" the cholesterol, just as they may report 5g fat, 2g sat fat.
CarbSane said…
Yep, but we ate that as a side dish.
CarbSane said…
I don't find the "why don't we all get fat" argument very compelling. PDaddy, my brother could eat like a horse and stayed a beanpole until sometime in his late 30's after which he gained weight. Seems to happen to a lot of men, and it throws them for a loop because they're used to eating like a horse, and when they now have to restrict, it is difficult.
Nigel Kinbrum said…
PD, your case is as mysterious as those FIRKO mice with the damaged VMHs that ate more than undamaged mice but didn't gain any weight. In the case of the mice, they converted the extra kcals into heat via BAT and dissipated it. Maybe your BAT died.

If CIAB had never been invented, would you have starved to death? I think that you would have been skinnier but healthy. If CIAB had never been invented, I think that there wouldn't be an obesity epidemic. If quick-rise breads & other "easy-to-eat" grain products (e.g. pasta) had never been invented, I think that people would be even skinnier. Each food refinement increases consumption.
cwaiand said…
still doesn,t explain why your"skinny"person overeats on a large portion but then cuts back later in the day.why does the skinny person do that?hmm,maybe their system works normally to keep them in balance.portion size does not help explain why obese people don,t get that same full signal as a skinny person.

just another post that helps to explain NOTHING.
CarbSane said…
@cwaiand: I think Harry's response below applies here. It seems that humans are less finely tuned to avoid obesity than they are to avoid emaciation. That all of us don't succumb has a lot to do with conditioning. Most of the naturally thin people I know are not regular eaters. If they ate a big lunch they'll likely skip dinner and think nothing of it. I, like Wooo, gained weight (though I started from lean and ended up a little bottom heavy where most would not have considered me that overweight even, let alone obese) in HS as I gained some freedom, had my own money, had off-campus lunch privilege that allowed for several times a week lunches at BK. I ate dinner because that's what you did in my family. You sat down together as a family and ate what was served to us. Is it possible that had that not been the conditioned behavior I might not have eaten when I wasn't hungry? Who knows.

The larger portions have certainly changed our idea of what a normal serving is too. And you see it with "real food" too. We used to get prime rib take out from this one place. Their biggest cut was 22 oz I think. That is dinner for me and hubs and leftovers for the next day or two for me (love cold beef with a pinch of salt). This place also had a nice salad bar. It was not uncommon to pass tables while filling the take-out carton with empty plates bearing the evidence (bone) of the biggest cut having been consumed by one person. There also used to be an all you can eat prime rib place I went to a few times with my ex. Somehow you feel compelled to have more than one (they were served in about 6 oz portioned) even if you had to stuff yourself. Then at some point people would get a little embarrassed to ask for another helping.
Anonymous said…
Food refinement increases consumption. Sort of. There's also the matter of choice.

My favorite bread these days is the 'light' hamburger buns or 'light' hot dog buns that are 1) smaller in size and 2) have 4 grams of fiber in a bun. Does this refinement of a favorite food increase my consumption? Well, as a matter of fact, yes! Because they are 'light,' I had two this morning. I also had them with quorn instead of meat, mainly because I like the taste of quorn and the burgers had fewer calories.

This is a great benefit of food refinement. I fondly remember my childhood when the food supply was limited. However, if the food supply expands (as it has), then I really appreciate the choices.
cwaiand said…
if his bat died maybe all of your thoughts wouldn,t matter.with dead bat maybe he would have gained on a lower calorie healthful diet.any other "thoughts"?
CarbSane said…
Why does it have to? If you don't like my posts, don't read them is my best advice. The purpose of posts like this is more to generate discussion (and offer some of my own opinions, ask questions) on the program topic than to explain anything.

Why did my system work normally until I had access to and money for BK 3-4X per week for lunch? I was a lean kid. Lots of obese people weren't always that way. Why do some compensate better than others? Lots of possible reasons ... In my case, eating dinner with the family wasn't optional.
CarbSane said…
I think protein comes into play there as well.
CarbSane said…
Somewhere on this blog I have a post on a study comparing metabolic rates of similarly aged women who did or did not go through menopause during the duration of the study (it was a number of years that they were followed). If memory serves, the EE differential could have been as much as 300 cal/day between the groups. Male testosterone levels tend to drop quite rapidly in some beginning at age 40. May be a more significant factor in some than others.

I am skeptical of BAT playing a huge role in adult humans outside certain extremes. Up until a short time ago it was even thought we didn't even have any as adults. Our thermal equilibrium seems regulated more with whole body futile cycles than the rapid cycling in BAT we see in small furry rodents.
ItsTheWooo said…
@Nigel you think a happy meal ONCE A A WEEK, or a single piece of cheese on two slices of bread is obesigenic? You think an ordinary pita, fresh mozarella, and tomato sauce is unhealthy? Are you arguing just for fun? What would you feed a child then, if a normal serving of cheese is bad, and bread is bad, and a weekly indulgence of a small fries, small hamburger, and small soda is too much?

I guess I should have been limited to in between meal snacks of broccoli and string beans. CPS will be coming soon, lulz.

@Evelyn Portion size and crappy food only triggered my obesity, it did not cause it. This is the difference all these hand wringing moralists seem to be missing, you can't make someone fat with big portion sizes, as I described by comparing my family to my aunt's family, as my aunt's daughter is a hedonistic glutton but her body naturally compensates for food because shock of shock she DODES NOT have obesity.
ProudDaddy said…
Evelyn, maybe I just did my usual lousy job of explaining. Would it be bad science to instead ask "What changed?" in the case of your brother and me and a whole lot of other men upon reaching middle age. Our brains got tired and became more easily fooled by portion sizes, food commercials, energy-dense foods?

I know that you realize there are really many different conditions/causes under the umbrella of obesity. Finding the suddenly-defective mechanism in middle-aged men may not provide clues about childhood obesity, but then again it might. Thousands of studies of millions of subjects haven't made a dent in the problem. Maybe looking at the exceptions instead of the mean can provide some answers.

"Why don't we all get fat?" is not an argument; it's a question. "What changed?" is also a question, the first one you ask to solve a computer malfunction. ("It was working fine yesterday!")

Nigel, you might have read one of my posts about the only "fleshy" lady in my childhood universe. Pillsbury had long ago refined wheat into empty calories and the ladies of both farm and village had long ago made it a staple of every meal. Farm mechanization had become extensive, yet everybody looked like their grandparents had looked. The obesity and diabetes epidemics were decades away. CIAB is no doubt unhealthy, but methinks some elusive cofactors are also necessary if not sufficient. When someone can explain to me why our exquisite homeostatic mechanisms suddenly can't compensate for more carbs, or fatter meats, or sweeter taste, they will have my full attention.
cwaiand said…
still doesn,t explain why the skinny persons body tells them to eat less after a binge.this topic only helps explain why fat people get fatter,it doesn,t help to understand how our bodies work.
cwaiand said…
frig.i knew it would come to that.always does."i have no answer,if you don,t like my posts don,t read them:.

how is it that you are helping figure out the obesity problem exactly?with this post?really?

and you wonder why i ask you questions that i know you can,t answer.thanks for furthering the discussion.
Nigel Kinbrum said…
Sanjeev, you rotter! I just found this comment.
P2ZR said…
What's 'special' about skinny people?

Nothing that can't be undone by an environment that leads to deleterious habits. But everybody loves a simple dichotomy, so here we go, the two extremes of skinny people (based on extensive but unsystematic personal observations):

(1) The person who would have been called a 'sickly' child in a previous generation. Low appetite, not particularly high energy, always mildly sick with something. Just doesn't eat a lot.

(2) The hyperactive skinny person. Can't stop moving, energetic in quite a happy way, and eats liberally. But eats to appetite and *no more*, likely because the heaviness of being full interferes with their tendencies towards through-the-roof NEAT. This is type of skinny person people are usually envious of.

Obviously, few people fit tidily into either category. I was/am mostly (1), and as a child, had to be dragged to the table because I wasn't hungry and there were a million other things I'd rather do than eat. But if fed too many sweets, I would become hyperactive and jump around a lot more than usual.

But this is of little consequence in an obesogenic environment. I am a supertaster and an extremely picky eater, but when I arrived at college in America, where I was surrounded by SAD 24/7 (and it was 95% of the food available), I quickly found that I could NOT STOP eating this food that didn't even taste good. I started a tango with alcohol addiction early on, too, but it was NOTHING like the power of highly processed food. It's true that frankenfoods do little for satiety. But I ate till I was quite painfully almost bursting from all that frankenfood, and still wanted more. I grew fat overnight; my pants literally got tighter by the day. It was a nightmare, but until a certain breaking point, I felt utterly powerless to stop. All the enviable innate qualities of being 'naturally skinny' will do nothing against the power of such engineered comestibles.

It's the same with skinny (2) who survive college and grad school without the ballooning experience, but then take sedentary jobs. Suddenly, it is no longer acceptable to get up from your seat at any time and do a little dance because you have some energy to burn off. Not to mention that business attire doesn't exactly make dancing and movement all that irresistible. Not to mention that it becomes socially expected to pass around and consume boxes of pizza during a lunchtime conference (with sodas for all).

All people are perfectly capable of fattening when seemingly held hostage by an environment that encourages unhealthful behaviors. Given that we have limited control over these environments, it then becomes incumbent upon us to navigate them in a manner such that they are not a minefield to our well-being. (I'm beginning to sound like Bentley, without the trademark imaginative wit.)

You can stare hatefully at the 'naturally skinny' people until your jealousy bleeds you dead...or you can realize that their environment will do them in (and has in the past, or will at some point in the future) unless they take steps to make their own life routines un-obesogenic.
cwaiand said…
that doesn,t fit with the skinny people i know.skinny people stop eating(thru the course of a day)when they are one has ever told me why they 'KNOW' when to stop eating.if it was about the food size or palitability or what ever,they would be fat.

need to rethink that it is a hormonal and genetic problem and less about the food.
P2ZR said…
The point is that hyperrewarding foods make it nearly impossible to stop eating when full.

Some skinny people just aren't that interested in food. Almost all of them, *when fed normal, not overly processed foods*, WILL stop eating when full. They often won't even be inclined to start eating in the first place, simply because they're wired that way.

That doesn't mean they stand a chance when faced with a *day in, day out* *buffet* of SAD.
cwaiand said…
again,doesn,t wife buys tons of junk food,it sits in the cupboard and she only eat,s what she wants.never any thought to control it just happens.she is faced day in and day out with the same food as fatties.if she pigs out she will AUTOMATICALLY under eat the rest of the day.CAN ANYONE TELL ME WHY?everyone keeps talking in circles that it,s about the food(hyperpalitable,what the fuck does that even mean? or portion sizes).

figure out why the skinny person self regulates (upped calorie expenditure or automatic calorie reduction)and you will have figured out the main cause of obesity.

hint IT AINT THE FOOD,skinnies are exposed to all the same shit as fatties.

look to hormones(all of them ie' cortisol )and look to genetics.

i think in some time we will learn that most obesity is gene related and can,t be changed,slightly manipulated but not "cured".
P2ZR said…
Do you think the 'freshman 15' phenomenon among college students doesn't actually exist? I assure you that it is entirely real.

I may have fattened up more quickly than my peers (because the ubiquity of SAD food was so alien to me), but the majority of skinny students gain weight in college, and often more than I did. Parental enforcement of food types and eating times, out the window. Stress. The party scene, which includes copious alcohol (to lower inhibitions, including judgments on appropriate food intake).

And cwaiand, what is your goal, anyway? (a) To eat junk food to appetite every day and not get fat, like your wife (who is not going to get away with it forever, and will likely experience the metabolic issues of the 'skinny-fat' eventually)? Or (b) to figure out what foods and eating habits are going to help YOU achieve a certain level of leanness and/or health?
cwaiand said…
ahh,but my wife doesn,t eat it all day .self limiting system.47 years old.130lbs at 5'8" tall.same as high school.blood work of a teenager.raised on packaged food ,margarine,wonder bread and store bought cookies.her appetite is always sub consiously controlled.never count a calorie or a macro in her life.

i know a ton of people just like her.

hormones and mostly genetics.
ItsTheWooo said…
"By your reasoning, smoking cigarettes does not cause merely triggers or exacerbates it."

That would be correct, yes. Many people have cancer never smoked, even people with lung cancers.

This does not mean smoking is good (and it certainly doesn't mean large servings of shitty food are "good") . The distinction is important because cancer is a distinct disease, abnormal cell replication, and we MUST UNDERSTAND WHY CANCER HAPPENS if we hope to cure and prevent cancers. Saying "smoking causing cancer" helps NO ONE, because while smoking may trigger cancer, once you do have cancer whether or not you smoke is totally fucking irrelevant. Just like obesity, which is a distinct illness at best exacerbated by what you do (or do not) eat.

Think of it like this. Do you believe that smoking literally CAUSES cancer, that every time you smoke a cigarette, you are making more and more cancerous cells, that your "cell balance" is being disturbed by the cigarettes? This is what stupid people think large meals do in obesity...that they add calories into the body that cause fat growth.

No one with a half formed semi working brain thinks every puff of a cigarette adds cancerous cells into the body.

We all understand that cancer is distinct from cigarettes, although triggered by it.

We all understand that smoking may cause neoplasia, a dysregulated uncontrolled growth of cells, that is a process triggered by exposure to carcinogens but ultimately unrelated to those prior carcinogens once it begins.

We all understand that oncogenes being turned on, genetic damage, abnormal immune system, viral infections, lead to cancer...that cancer is ultimately an immunological/metabolic/endocrine proposition depending on type of cancer.

However, when we speak of food and obesity we LITERALLY THINK the food we put in our mouths cause our obesity, that every applebees meal we eat, is one meal closer to being 300 pounds. PREPOSTEROUS.

Harry you win the prize for most ironic argument. I WISH PEOPLE THOUGHT fast food in obesity was akin to cigarettes in cancer. Maybe then people would stop saying stupid innane things like "obesity is not caused by metabolism/endocrine system" and "obesity is caused by too many calories being consumed and not enough being used" and other such incomprehensibly stupid statement that make me wish for decapitation of either myself or them so the stupid can finally end.
Harry said…
Ok, setting aside the fact that you're employing a conception of causation that is most certainly not accepted in common usage (do you at least concede that common usage affirms the proposition "smoking causes cancer"?), you're making a rod for your own back here.

To wit, if you're going to hold that causation only occurs when one event necessarily (I think this is what you meant when you said 'literally'?) brings about another, then you're going to be unable to deal effectively with any pathologies that are multi-factorial (e.g. mental illnesses, cardio-vascular disease, Type 2 diabetes etc.).

It's perfectly reasonable (and actionable) to say that, iner alia, one event (say, the ubiquity of large portions sizes in fast food establishments) causes another (obesity), even if it does not necessarily bring it about in a directly mechanistic way.

To deny this is to contort our understanding of causation to the point that we would be reduced to a Humean agnosticism on induction (and that's a pretty useless place to be, for a health worker).

Incidentally, I think a lot of people DO see fast food to obesity as being the same kind of cause as cigarettes to lung cancer. The oft repeated maxim "all things in moderation" has passed many a pair of lips in justification of the odd treat. The problem is, the nature of the food, and its ready availability, and its absorption into our every-day eating habits, means that moderation is easier said that done!

v/vmary said…
i'm with cwaiand. my brother was and is a bean pole at 46. i have 3 other siblings as well. 2 are extremely obese, i'm normal weight with sugar and grain restriction (lost 15 pounds), and my brother will only get just the hint of a pot. we all grew up eating garbage and were equally as active. my mother said my brother takes after her father- it is genetic.
v/vmary said…
to add- my brothers are farmers. one brother haa huge belly- huge. the other is the skinny one. equally ative lifting heavy things every single day. almost the same diet- carb heavy wih junk. the skinny brother leans out even more and is rippling with visible muscle. the fat one must have muscle, but it is all covered with fat. he has to do all that hard physical labor and haul around his extra weight.
CarbSane said…
What IS it that cwaiand wants? Genetics DOES explain some obesity, but it cannot explain the epidemic, and even there environment/learned behavior is difficult to tease out. I had an overweight friend with three boys -- twins who were splitting images of her and built like trucks at age 5, and their older skinny brother. She was a single mom who despite her education fed her family total crap. So clearly just that is not enough to make someone obese. But I did notice that the skinny kid played with his food sometimes more than eating it. Even doing sedentary things like playing video games he was "active" and hyper fidgety. The twins were cuddlers when I baby sat, the skinny kid never sat down quietly long enough to be one. Clearly this behavior is more innate than imposed, because the fidgety kid did not have his skinny Dad around to influence his behavior.

I'm not here to save the world from obesity or answer all questions. Frankly if I never see another theory that seeks to explain all obesity again it will be too soon. If cwaiand seeks the answer that will turn him into his skinny wife ... I'm sorry, can't help you. Not the purpose of this blog. Never has been, never will be. Nor am I particularly interested in explaining "john's" metabolism. Certainly nothing actionable can ever come of it.

Humans are not wild animals or worms or bacteria. We are highly intelligent beings (compared to others) with characteristics that have enabled us to alter our environment (on that I agree with Kaptain Kool-Aid) -- sometimes for the better, and sometimes for the worst.
Nigel Kinbrum said…
@cwaiand: Your "solution" to the "Obesity Epidemic" appears to be:-
Treat fat people with drugs/gene therapy to turn them into skinny people, who can eat all the CIAB they want without getting fat.

Way to go for maximising the profits of both drug/gene therapy manufacturers & health providers and CIAB manufacturers!

As long as people continue to worship the great God "Maximise profits at all costs", they're doomed.

P.S. Captcha word = moreivo. Spooky!
ItsTheWooo said…
Cwaiand : you are dangerously close to the carb/insulin hypothesis. BACK AWAY MISTER. Don't you know calories are calories, and insulin is passive/facilitative of obesity?

@Nigel Well, lets see, pretending that obese people are making a lifestyle choice to be uncontrollably progressively fat has gotten us where exactly? I think it is time to perhaps accept, entertain the notion that excessive fat storage is a constitution of the body which can ideally be treated medically one day. I will advocate for dietary manipulation (of insulin dynamics) forever, but even I advocate even more strongly for medical assistance and intervention as appropriate. Leptin replacement therapy is practically curative post weight loss/fat cell atrophy, in the sense your metabolism works exactly the same as it does while heavier, in the dieted condition. Of course, surgical skin removal assists not only with weight loss by reducing fat cell sensitivity but aesthetically it can restore a more normal appearance to your body.

This awkward anti-industry "pull yourself up by your boostraps" thing is misguided. Obesity is real, it is not a figment of ones imagination or a failure of their willpower that they keep regaining weight after diets.
cwaiand said…
can you explain to me what the pupose of this blog is?you seam to wantto debunk bad science while suppling nothing constructive of your own.this is an obesisty blog is it not,i mean you only ever talk about fat people and obesity.what is your point?
cwaiand said…
you still have never adressed why you think the skinny person stops eating even after an over consumption of'LARGE PORTIONED FOOD'.no instead you told me if i didn,t like your blog i shouldn,t read it.good answer.

my wife can be craving a food (could be anything,lobster ,icecream,cake,steak,you name it).now she can be really jonesing for this food and start pigging out on it.then suddenly she just stops eating.i ask her why and she says "i,ve had enough ,i,m full".ask if it doesn,t taste good ,she says no it,s the best thing i evere ate.but she will just stop and leave even just one last mouthful,will not eat it(actually more like can,t eat it)she becomes repulsed at taking another bite.

please for the tenth time,why is she (or any skinny person )like this?

skinny peoples system works differently(obviosly)and it doesn,t matter one bit the type of food (HYPERPALITABLE,LARGE PORTION JUNK FOOD)they stay skinny and sub-consiuosly self regulate.

i am interested on your take on seem to think it doesn,t matter,like they are an anomilly.i think it is the key to understanding all obesity.

the skinny are a group of people who can eat any food and remain skinny and healthy.why?figure it out and you figure out obesity REGARDLESS OF FOOD CHOICE OR CALORIES IN CALORIES OUT OR ANY INSULIN THEORIES.
Anonymous said…
It's called satiety regulation. Some people have a lower point than others. Skinny people are more likely to have a robust mechanism that resists conscious overriding of their satiety. They just want to stop, so they do. This can be a problem when they need to eat more than their natural satiety, precisely because conscious overriding is so hard for them.
Nigel Kinbrum said…
Woo, you have hypoleptinaemia and would benefit from medical assistance and intervention. I've very recently blogged about Adipocyte Hyperplasia (Go on, read it. You know you want to!) and its Good/Bad aspects.

Leptin therapy is useless for people who are shovelling CIAB down their throats as fast as the manufacturers of the stuff want them to (it's not necessarily a lifestyle choice) and who don't have CIAB Resistance* (a term I just invented).

*A medical condition that naturally-skinny people "suffer" from and which sometimes mysteriously resolves without warning, usually around middle-age.
v/vmary said…

i have become more like your wife. before i would eat until bursting and then still be looking around for food 2 hours later. now I get full faster and the only way i will start craving food after 2 hours is if i have eaten a lot of fruit or icecream- in another words carb heavy food will bring on cravings.

before i wasn't morbidly obese: 5'3" at 148 lbs after the birth of my last child when i was 32 (i have 2 kids- they were both born at 8 lbs plus and both my parents are diabetics in their 70s). when i was 148 i had no soda in my house at all. sometimes juice. lots of microwave, beans, bread, soup in a can, etc. my weight was almost all on my abdomen, like my mom: the humpty dumpty body. i started to follow arthur de vany in 2009. i never count calories. my main thing is i eat no grains or refined sugar, i don't eat processed food except for the occasional icecream, coffee smoothie, etc. i use olive oil. i do IF once a week and I sprint and do about 15 minutes of hand weighs at the same time I IF. I was 128 for most of the time since 2009, lately i've been 130 alot, but not bad for not counting calories ever. my stomach shrunk a lot, but i still have it at about the 3 months preg look as opposed to my long time (like 13 years) 6 month preg look.

cwaiand, were you the Dick Cheese poster at freetheanimal? if so, you were hilarious. what is your weight situation? i don't have the theories right, but i have a lifestyle where it is easy and convenient to maintain a normal weight for my height.
cwaiand said…
o.k.find the mechanism,apply it to obese people(if possible)and cure obesity.

this is what researchers should be looking at,why are the skinny skinny,inspite of the fact they are exposed to all the "so called" causes of obesity.
CarbSane said…
@cwaiand: Jeez. When did it become a requirement to formulate some sort of "mission statement" for one's blog? C'mon! What is the purpose of anyone's blog? I share what I read, research and have an interest in, and in the course of that come across all manner of fraud and such I feel morally compelled to expose. If that doesn't float your boat, move on to find the blog that will satisfy your needs and answer your questions as to why your wife can eat crap with abandon and remain skinny while you cannot. The answer to that question does not interest me.
ItsTheWooo said…
@Nigel I have "hypoleptinemia" because I am a massive weight loss patient.

In other words, your advice to gluttonous fatties to stop shoving food down our throats will end up at hypoleptinemia... unless they stop losing weight while still fat, in which case, they have to face the scorn/guilt for failing to lose more weight (e.g. Jimmy Moore).
This isn't controversial at all, the abnormal decrease in leptin post weight loss, even well before thinness is achieved, is well documented.

It's just beyond hilarious you and others are saying we shouldn't use medicine, we should pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, but you want to ignore all the real scientific evidence about obesity in favor of fairy tales like "a calorie is a calorie" and "obesity is a lifestyle choice" and "eat less move more". Ridiculous. You acknowledge hypoleptinemia is real but for some reason you don't seem to get this is the inevitable outcome of successful long term dieting, unless the patient stops at a weight that is only slightly below their high weight.
CarbSane said…
How did your leptin levels compare to others in that study you were in?
Nigel Kinbrum said…
ItsTheWooo said...
"@Nigel I have "hypoleptinemia" because I am a massive weight loss patient."
You wouldn't have lost massive weight if you hadn't gained it in the first place (by eating loads of CIAB)! You wrote that eating loads of CIAB caused you to gain massive weight.

"In other words, your advice to gluttonous fatties to stop shoving food down our throats will end up at hypoleptinemia..."
No it won't! I'm trying to prevent people from gaining massive weight in the first place (by suggesting that ads for all foods are banned). It's losing massive weight after gaining it that causes hypoleptinaemia.

"unless they stop losing weight while still fat, in which case, they have to face the scorn/guilt for failing to lose more weight (e.g. Jimmy Moore)."
Blah, blah, blah.

"This isn't controversial at all, the abnormal decrease in leptin post weight loss, even well before thinness is achieved, is well documented. It's just beyond hilarious you and others are saying we shouldn't use medicine,"
Are you suffering from amnesia or something? I wrote above that you would benefit from medical assistance. Who is "we"?

"we should pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, but you want to ignore all the real scientific evidence about obesity in favor of fairy tales like "a calorie is a calorie" and "obesity is a lifestyle choice" and "eat less move more". Ridiculous. You acknowledge hypoleptinemia is real but for some reason you don't seem to get this is the inevitable outcome of successful long term dieting, unless the patient stops at a weight that is only slightly below their high weight."
How many times do I have to tell you that obesity isn't a lifestyle choice if people are influenced by ads & other pressures to eat CIAB? "A calorie is a calorie (where weight is concerned)" is only a fairy tale to you denialists. It's a real scientific fact. Get used to it. Hypoleptinaemia will not occur if people do not become massively over-fat in the first place from eating loads of CIAB. Also, who is "we"? Are you royalty or something?
Nigel Kinbrum said…
ItsTheWooo wrote...
"@Nigel you think a happy meal ONCE A A WEEK, or a single piece of cheese on two slices of bread is obesigenic?"
I never wrote that. You wrote that you were "quite pudgy for such a healthy crap free diet." I pointed out that your "healthy crap free diet" couldn't have been if it made you "quite pudgy".

"You think an ordinary pita, fresh mozarella, and tomato sauce is unhealthy?"
That + the other crap you mentioned certainly wasn't healthy for you. A healthy diet for you would have been animal produce, vegetables + some fruit. Y'know, like a paleo diet!

"Are you arguing just for fun? What would you feed a child then, if a normal serving of cheese is bad, and bread is bad, and a weekly indulgence of a small fries, small hamburger, and small soda is too much?"
See above.

"I guess I should have been limited to in between meal snacks of broccoli and string beans. CPS will be coming soon, lulz."
See above.

"@Evelyn Portion size and crappy food only triggered my obesity, it did not cause it."
Woo, are you going to spend your entire life in la-la land? Of course large portions of CIAB caused your obesity.
Nigel Kinbrum said…
@cwaiand: Pointing out that there are some CIAB-eating skinny people in the world helps the rest of us how exactly? I wasn't aware that Evelyn or any of us were under obligation to provide answers to all of life's problems.

The way people are complaining about efforts to reduce CIAB consumption, anybody would think that there weren't already enough things on this planet to make humongous profits on.
CarbSane said…
Wooo, rather than ranting against me on your blog, misquoting me and accusing me of lying/misrepresenting things, perhaps you can get your own anecdotes in order.

"We NEVER ate out. On sundays my father sometimes took us to burger king or a restaurant. ... you think a happy meal ONCE A A WEEK,... is obesigenic? "

Either you NEVER ate out (which statement I would cut some slack for once a month or so), or you ate out. Sounds like BK was a weekly thing. Oh, and they don't serve Happy Meals at BK. Sounds like soda and a Little Debbie was also a weekly thing.

You mention broccoli as a snack -- with salad dressing. Uhh, yeah, salads can be fattening when they're doused in fatty calorific dressing. American cheese (processed cheese food) on white bread with mayo -- yeah, that's healthy. One thing we can learn from LC and paleo and veggies alike, just because you can make a food fit into your rules, it's not necessarily healthy or not. I think your Mom probably thought broccoli trees were a healthy snack and didn't give much thought to the fact that the dressing was not. I think it's probably better for kids to not eat their veggies at all than to be cajoled into eating them incorporated with junk.

You say you got truly obese when you gained independence. Well, if your CIAB-vendor of choice didn't offer cheap large portions, you would have had a much harder time getting fat. Heck, according to the inventor of the supersizing, he got the idea from watching people tilt back the fry carton to get every last crumb, but they were too embarrassed or didn't think they needed a full second helping so they didn't buy another. Put a larger size on the menu? People bought it, and once they did, they usually finished it ... waste not, want not and all.

Heck, large sized stuff is binge enabling too. To some degree there is shame in buying the stuff -- like the faceless drive through cashier really gives a damn. But somehow buying a double burger, and largest fries didn't seem quite as "bad" as two burgers and two fries. You don't think buy one get one free (or half price) etc. promotions influence behavior?

@Nige, I think we agree on more than you think regarding influences, we just disagree on how to resolve it.
Anonymous said…
cwaiand already has the answer, he just doesn't like it. People who have trouble gaining enough weight to become obese have a more robust regulatory mechanism than those who do become obese. It's a continuum, with some people on the far end finding it hard to gain even in middle age, because their satiety easily shifts to compensate for less activity and/or more opportunities for intake. Others find the mechanism is less robust as they age and so they learn to consciously increase activity and/or reduce intake to avoid fat gain. And then there's the far extreme, where you are dealing with a high degree of dysregulation where it is very difficult to avoid becoming obese if there is any opportunity to consume excess calories.

The fact is, we can't just inject fat people with thin people blood or hormones and have them instantly acquire that level of regulation. We can maybe manipulate things a little, but ultimately you have to work with where you are on the continuum. Even thewoooo has to make certain conscious choices and she is clearly an outlier of some kind regarding satiety regulation.

For women, all of this is further complicated by fertility (if one does exercise it), as there is an overlapping range of responses the female body can have to fertility, often but not always causing shifts in one's satiety level over time.
ItsTheWooo said…
@Evelyn when I started the study my leptin after an 8 hr fast was measured at <2. For a reproductive aged female this is extremely insufficient and is similar to an anorexia nervosa patient, from what I gather via researching serum leptin levels (typically levels of ~2 are found in anoretic patients, levels <1 are found in people with lipodystrophy)
The inclusion criteria of the study was a fasting leptin of <5 plus all signs of leptin insufficiency, and I more than qualified.

My leptin was actually on the lower end of the participants.

Also interesting is that I responed to the leptin therapy ENTIRELY AND TOTALLY with a total reversal of signs/symptoms of metabolic conservation. The other participants were primarily exercised induced hypoleptinemia and had other confounding issues like nutrient deficiencies (eating very low calories, low fat diets, zinc deficiency) and excessive exercise mediated hypercortisolism which will interrupt fertility independent of leptin.

In my case nothing was of relevance other than the leptin; when I injected the leptin my body was like "ok, time to work properly". I enjoyed several months, years, of pretending I was normally naturally thin, until they took it away, haaa.

The fact I am able to be this size, in spite of my lifestyle where I routinely do not sleep for 2 days and have documented leptin insufficiency speaks volumes of the efficacy of a very low carbohydrate diet for some obese people. There is N.O. way I could do this w/o manipulating insulin dynamic via carb restriction. Totally not in my head.
ItsTheWooo said…
@Nigel what's your point? I won't argue modern food exacerbated my metabolic disease. WHAT IS YOUR POINT. The fact remains I gained 160 pounds, I had severe reactive hypoglycemia and clear cut signs of hyperinsulinism, I had PCOS. This does NOT happen to other people. Food did not make me obese, it just worsened my innate disease process. Similarly, salt doesn't cause high blood pressure it *may* just worsen some people's blood pressure who have abnormal blood pressure regulation.

You can blah blah blah all you want, it won't change the fact you are extremely ignorant and desperately want to be right at all costs, meanwhile I have lived my entire life with this condition and am now controlling it via my observation and experience. As far as I am concerned, you're a joke. Thanks for telling me about what is TEH REAL PROBLEM! IT'S BIG FOOD. Smartie, u r it!
Oh but wait, if I eat farina, or rice (brown or white), or potatos, SAME CRAP. Now what? How can I blame "big food" when perfectly normal carbohydrate foods are ill tolerated and the only thing that helps after years and years of observation is NOT EATING GLUCOSE, AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE? But no, it's big food, even though I just ate tons of chocolate and candy and salted roasted peanuts and am doing just fine right now.

I see no correlation to my weight problems with "big food" or "fast food" and I see a ONE HUNDRED PERCENT correlation to carbohydrate, whether refined processed sugared or salted or bland or whichever way.
Nigel Kinbrum said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nigel Kinbrum said…
I'm home now, so I can leave a longer & properly-indented reply.
@Wooo: I have made my point so bleedin' obvious, so many times. See my final comment.

Manipulation of the masses a la Bernays has been going on for over 90 years. "Big Food" took manipulation to a whole new level by bribing the US government to endorse a high starch diet for a relatively sedentary population, in addition to "Big Food"'s manipulation by marketing.

"Food did not make me obese..."
See my final comment.

"...meanwhile I have lived my entire life with this condition..."
If you had a "condition" from birth, then so did I. I was also slightly pudgy on a slightly crappy Standard English Diet. How come I didn't become humongously obese at puberty? I didn't shove hundreds of pounds of CIAB down my throat, that's why.

"As far as I am concerned, you're a joke."
See my final comment.

"Oh but wait, if I eat farina, or rice (brown or white), or potatos..."
Now that your endocrines & metabolisms are broken, you have to stay on a low-carb diet for the rest of your life. You can't say that those foods would have made you "slightly pudgy" as a child as part of an animal produce, veggies & fruit diet, unless you have a time machine. WTF is farina, anyway?

"I see no correlation to my weight problems with "big food"".
See my final comment.

Blaming the Insulin Fairy for what happens when you dance to "Big Food"'s tune is beyond retarded. It's insane. Is that clear enough for you?
ItsTheWooo said…
1) "Never" did not literally mean not ever in my life. I meant never as in, very rarely. Once a week outing with your father is not problematic fast food use.

2) What the hell ever the kids meal at BK is with the toy. Happy meal, kids meal, whatever. The small meal for children that comes with a toy. I ate that. It was a tiny burger a tiny fry and a tiny beverage.

3) So now you are saying vegetables and a small amount of dressing in between meals is obesigenic. Cool.

Apparently you and nigel are in fashion of your guru Dr G are prepared to label ANY FRIGGING THING obesigenic if it produces obesity. The difference between a gluttonous shameful diet and a pure healthy one is whether or not the adherent is thin. Gotcha.

Why was my brother thin, then, even though he ate the same foods? If the diet was obesigenic and horrible why is it my brother failed to gain excessive weight, but I did?

If my "CIAB vendor" made me very fat but still my brother avoided obesity in spite of the fact he too ate junk food as a teenager, loike pretty much all teenagers do?

This is such a joke. I feel like I am arguing evolution with christian creationists. If someone really wants to believe weight is about making good (or evil) choices and is not a biological illness/disease process, nothing can stop them I suppose.
Harry said…
The problem is, since both explanations involve inseparable components at the population level (i.e. societies that increase their overall energy intake invariably also increase their insulin load, and vice versa), it's pretty hard to falsify either stance at the level of anecdotal observation, or even documented observational studies.

So, unless you can come up with some commensurable ground, you're just going to keep hollering "idiots" at each other (which I've noticed you do quite a bit of, despite that the fact that your opponents, like you, are clearly not lacking in intelligence, irrespective of whether or not they're right).

Harry (idiot?)
RRX said…
Replace my father's birth year with 1960 and you with me in the 80s and you have my own experience growing up. I know exactly what you're saying.
RRX said…
Holy hell! That show would NEVER be on 'merican tellies. Lolz
Sanjeev said…
> Sanjeev, you rotter! I just found this comment.

seemed like a good idea at the time.

Still does ; )

Has Frank shown up again? Maybe my ploy worked and his head exploded (like the original Scanners)
CarbSane said…
@Wooo -- The food you describe growing up is processed junky food. American cheese is almost always not even allowed to be called cheese, it's cheese food. Even the deluxe is still labeled "processed cheese". Cheese, we had in our home, American cheese? That was stuff for the friend's house. Two slices of white bread, a slice of cheese and mayo is not low fat, or the idea of what anyone would think of when you tell us your mom prepared most foods at home. Assembling refined packaged stuff is not preparing. Pizza? There's no difference between getting a cheese pie from the pizzeria vs. making it at home. A habit of vegetables going with dressings can most certainly be obesigenic, it's like some people who eat sweetened fruit (most commercial apple sauces, canned fruits) or have to have it with jello or whipped cream. One quarter cup is a pretty small amount of dressing for dipping, that's 4T, up to 400 calories of usually soybean oil for a snack for a kid.

NEVER (you capped it) and weekly are mutually exclusive terms to describe the frequency with which you ate out.

But you do realize you have presented evidence that junky food made you fat, right? As a child under controlled circumstances, you got pudgy ... as a teen, you got obese because you ate more of it -- a lot more. Sounds to me like the type and amount of food made you obese. If you had not had access to all that junk as a teen, you could not have become obese. I don't see how you can argue that the type and amount of food you consumed played no role in your obesity.