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What Makes a Person Fat

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 
Lately there has been some controversy here about overweight people.

Probably the best way to clear things up is with credible source material.

The New York Times has a long and interesting new article about the matter.

Also, here is a study about genetic influences on weight.
post #2 of 40
If you want credible source material, you should probably skip the NY Times.
post #3 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by iammatt
If you want credible source material, you should probably skip the NY Times.

You quoting Karl Rove?

Jon.
post #4 of 40
I believe wikipedia is now the definitive source.
post #5 of 40
That is interesting. I don't know that I buy the whole microflora argument, but it does seem pretty certain that there's more to weight gain/loss than calorie intake alone. If that were the case, certain diets such as Atkins and the Zone which change the allocation of calories among proteins, carbs, and fat but do not change overall calorie intake would have no effect.
post #6 of 40
What makes people fat? Sitting around browsing internet forums all day...

I think that the lack of exercise is a major reason why people are fat in the US. I am slim by nature, yet I make it a point to bike at least 4 (I usually end by biking 8) hours a week, plus going to the gym and ab exercises.

Jon.
post #7 of 40
That study doesn't really show anything particularly new. Twins share a certain amount of environmental influences that you can't control in that type of study that would increase the measure of genetic influence (environmental influences occurring within the womb would be one example, those occuring closely after birth being another (breastfeeding vs nonbreastfeeding). Also the same study would give very different results depending on how similar the environment of the two twins were when they were growing up. If you gorged one and kept the other one on limited food and lots of exercise the mathematical measure of environmental influence would go up. You want clear evidence of environmental influence, look at how many people were obese 100 years ago and look at how many people are obese now. The genetic make up of the population didn't change very much, the environment did. Not that genetics don't contribute, but it is the interaction between genetics and environment that matters.
post #8 of 40
I think I read the Trilateral Commission has something to do with it.
post #9 of 40
Excess calories make you fat. Well known for a very long time.

One of the funniest cartoon I remember seeing was showing a group of women getting together to blast men. One of them stands up and shouts:

"Look at this information!! The men have kept it a secret from us!! Eating too much is what is causing us to be overweight!!"

If you wanted to gain weight, would you try to eat more? Or try to eat less - just drink more water?

The most relevant lines from the article:
Biology sets the context, and that is critical, but obesity still boils down to whether a person eats too much or exercises enough. The danger in bending too far in the direction of a biological explanation — whether that explanation is genetics, infectobesity or some theory yet to be discovered — is that it could be misinterpreted, by fat and thin alike, as saying that behavior is irrelevant.
post #10 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by iammatt
If you want credible source material, you should probably skip the NY Times.

Matt,

Maybe Krugman will also take up the topic of obesiety.
He has proved that he can lie like hell about economics - double talking is his specialty there. Once he burnt his credibility on that topic, he went morphed into a political nutter. Maybe he can morph himself into an expert on fat.
post #11 of 40
It's about excess calories and what either you or your body does with them. If you can't burn them off, your body puts the calories into fat storage.
post #12 of 40
I found this article interesting. It's not something I'm too worried about, luckily, but it the research discussed does give hope for people for whom nothing seems to work.

But oh yeah, it was in the NYT so it's not worth reading at all.
post #13 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by j
I found this article interesting. It's not something I'm too worried about, luckily, but it the research discussed does give hope for people for whom nothing seems to work.

But oh yeah, it was in the NYT so it's not worth reading at all.

Honestly, I think a lot of people just don't try very hard. People diet for a week and then give-up. Discipline is just as important and what you eat and how you excercise and is the fundamental ingredient that most people lack. There are probably millions of examples of people that have lost weight and kept it off. I'm guessing that the people for whom nothing seems to work don't have the discipline to see it through. There are more than likely exceptions, but I think that's generally the case.
post #14 of 40
The problem is that people diet and exercise for a certain amount of time get some weight off and then think they can go back to doing what they did before. A lifestyle made you fat, a different lifestyle is needed to make you normal weight.
post #15 of 40
That's all probably true, but if more efficient ways of being healthy can be found, all those obese "undisciplined" people will have less work to do and it will be less of a lifestyle change to do it. I think if you guys had to eat like half of what you wanted to (much less than a person of normal weight, for example) and work out 2 hours a day or whatever just to fit in normal clothes, you'd be happy to see advancements like this. For all the complaining people do about the fattening of America, they sure are dismissive of any research toward fixing it.

BTW, if you read it, and other information on obesity, you wouldn't just say "a lifestyle made you fat". Some people are very predisposed to becoming obese. I know if I were predisposed, I would probably be fat, just because I'm lazy. So I consider myself lucky that I don't have to worry about it.
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