A good bit of protein in locusts, Merv — big wing muscles. I have to say I dissected them but stopped short of cooking them. Go lovely in sandwiches. Here, have a crunch…. Jon, I remember getting a laugh from the Woody Allen movie Sleeper. We know now that the key to long life is to eat a lot of chocolate sundaes. The tendency to conservatism among doctors sometimes protects patients, but sometimes it delays something useful getting into practice.
We had all been told in med school that no bug could live in the stomach. My brother got over his ulcers probably because he had chronic bronchitis and the antibiotic therapy at least stopped the ulcers. And then someone tried it and it worked fine, although you would often get an antibody that only recognized the denatured protein and not the native form.
That was fine for probing denaturing protein gels to see if your protein was there in small amounts. On your population genetic analogy, it is true that you islanders retain a lot of hunter gatherer autosomal variants, but the late invading Y chromosome variants largely took over from the hunter gatherer Y types, except in Scandinavia. Marrying a hypothesis is usually a bad idea.
That was indeed a major breakthrough though masked a bit by the naturally decreasing prevalence of Helicobacter infection. On the other hand still in the gastric department I remember getting such a dramatically good response the first time I tried very expensive PPIs on someone with acid reflux that I knew a new era had dawned.
More on that, and on genealogy as it happens, in a post shortly. Apparently locust farming is on the increase as their nutritional value and acceptable flavour is becoming more widely recognised. Not available in Tesco yet. I cook with Olive oil. The damage was probably all done with sugary tinned and processed food back in the austere fifties, so I reckon whatever harm I do now just lessens the risk of Alzheimers.
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The Hump of the Camel. Skip to content. Nothing in life makes sense except in the light of genealogy? About Jon Garvey Training in medicine which was my career , social psychology and theology. Interests in most things, but especially the science-faith interface. The rest of my time, though, is spent writing, playing and recording music. This entry was posted in Medicine , Politics and sociology , Science. Bookmark the permalink. Log in to Reply. Jon Garvey says:.
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Merv Bitikofer says:. Peter Hickman says:. Leave a Reply Cancel reply You must be logged in to post a comment. Search Search for:. However, for those people who are obese, then life expectancy is decreased in comparison with people in a more healthy weight range. This is shown clearly in many epidemiological studies. One very rigorous study I would highlight is a collaborative analysis undertaken of baseline BMI versus mortality in 57 prospective studies with almost , participants, and published in the Lancet in Prospective Studies Collaboration.
Body-mass index and cause-specific mortality in , adults: collaborative analyses of 57 prospective studies. The data show that higher body weight may even be protective of health in older people. Obesity is also directly linked to the presence of a range of other health problems including type 2 diabetes, obstructive sleep apnoea, infertility, osteoarthritis and several cancers.
These and other ill-health consequences are not restricted to those at the upper end of the weight spectrum, but the risk rises as weight increases. This has been documented in many independent studies and are, for example, summarised in the following: o World Cancer Research Fund and American Institute for Cancer Research Food, nutrition, physical activity, and the prevention of cancer: a global perspective, Indeed continual attempts by fat people to lose weight can actually be negative to their health status if it involves extreme diets, being caught in a cycle of losing and gaining weight or poor dietary habits.
One example is the long-term Swedish Obese Subjects SOS Study, in which people who had received bariatric surgery or medical treatment for their severe obesity were followed up long-term for 10 years. The surgery group had improvements in quality of life and reductions in type 2 diabetes, a range of cardiovascular risk factors, some cancers and gender-, age- and risk factor-adjusted mortality rate.
Bariatric surgery and reduction in morbidity and mortality: experiences from the SOS study. Int J Obesity ; 32 Suppl 7:S RESPONSE: Obesity certainly can be secondary to a range of health problems, including the use of specific medications eg corticosteroids, antipsychotics, some anti-epileptics. In those situations, obesity needs to be carefully managed, as well as the underlying health problem.
However, obesity is much more commonly a primary problem, or risk factor, which in turn contributes to the development of other health concerns, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obstructive sleep apnoea, fatty liver disease and osteoarthritis. RESPONSE: Whilst it may be true that participation in sport and organised exercise is as high today in westernised communities as in previous decades, the vast bulk of our energy expenditure in the past has not come from leisure time activity but rather from occupational and incidental activity.
There is clear evidence of major drops in occupational activity, and energy expenditure through active transport walking, cycling for transport has decreased. However, there have also been dramatic changes in dietary intake, in sedentary behaviours a separate phenomenon from physical activity and sleep quality and duration over the past few decades, all of which influence the development of obesity.
RESPONSE: There is a wealth of data showing a link between sedentary behaviours such as TV viewing and the prevalence of obesity in children and young people, both in cross-sectional as well as longitudinal studies. Increasing central adiposity: the Nepean longitudinal study of young people aged to years. Int J Obesity ; Obesity in preschoolers: behavioural correlates and directions for treatment.
Obesity ; Medical research has not been able to show how much exercise should be undertaken and how often to achieve and maintain good health and which diseases are affected or prevented by taking regular exercise. RESPONSE: Again, the important role of physical activity to health and well-being is demonstrated in numerous studies over many years, and, is, I am sure, well known to all of us as individuals.
This includes a reduced risk of premature mortality and reduced comorbidities from heart disease, hypertension, colon cancer and diabetes, as well as a reduction in depression and anxiety, improved management of back pain and arthritis and reduced falls in elderly. RESPONSE: There are many scientifically rigorous twin, adoption and family studies showing the major genetic contribution to the population variance in various measures of body fatness including BMI, waist circumference, percentage body fat. This is one of the reasons that overweight tends to run in families shared environmental factors are also important.
Some key papers include those by Claude Bouchard and colleagues. However, the data in support of the health and economic burden of obesity are compelling. Just to stand and watch the passing parade of people will tell you a great deal about the impact of obesity on our community. Thank you for your detailed response, Louise. I was only able to give a brief summary of their arguments, but of course they provide much more detailed analysis to support their contentions in the books. And what is your view on the efficacy of the BMI in measuring obesity, given that this has come in for quite some criticism?
Also, how many of your comments above relate specifically to the health risks of severe morbid obesity as compared with less extreme obesity or overweight as classified by the BMI? I certainly have read some of the articles by Paul Campos and colleagues, although not the books. But there are now 6 more years of strong epidemiological data to support some of their comments, including, for example, the Lancet article by Whitlock et al that I cited above.
BMI is a reasonable measure of body fatness and is useful as both an epidemiological and a clinical screening tool. In fact, in the early and mid s I was involved in several of the studies first looking at the usefulness of BMI in assessing body fatness in children and adolescents.
Again, there are numerous papers highlighting this, including several from me and my colleagues. In clinical practice we would of course supplement measurement of BMI with other forms of clinical assessment eg history, family history, assessment of complications, measurement of fat distribution etc. However, it is impressive how robust BMI remains as the first line of assessment. There remains debate about the exact cut-point to denote healthy versus less healthy BMI — especially when considering ethnic variations.
Again, some of the articles I cited above highlight this. The NSW Schools Physical Activity and Nutrition Survey, which included a biomarker sub-study in 15 year olds, shows that even overweight not obese 15 year olds have a higher prevalence of abnormal cardio-metabolic risk markers than their more healthy weight peers.
There are many other studies in the paediatric and adolescent age group showing that disease risk markers accumulate as BMI increases. I know that others are anxious about that particular terminology, but it seems very reasonable to me. Final Comments: Even if I were unfamiliar with the epidemiological data on obesity, my work as a clinician working in western Sydney would leave me in no doubt as to the major impact of obesity on individuals, families and communities.
The health consequences of obesity are very real, and Australian health services are not coping with it. This was a very interesting read, it is always good to see a different point of view. However, as I see it, the arguments in the article look a lot like the arguments climate change skeptics make. What is your opinion on those, would you call them useless? Thank you for your comment. My post was summarising the main arguments of some very detailed arguments put forward by some of the obesity sceptics who themselves have gone through the medical and epidemiological research in much detail.
I myself have not examined this literature in as much detail as they have, but I would urge those interested in following up the debate to go directly to the books to which I refer above so as to see what evidence these writers are drawing upon in developing their critique.
What I do know is that there is a dissenting viewpoint, that this has been published in respected journals such as the International Journal of Epidemiology and that it should be acknowledged and engaged with. It is becoming more and more apparent that the science of body weight is extremely complex and that simplistic statements about diet eat less and exercise do more can serve to shame people who are deemed obese or engage them in a constant cycle of losing and regaining weight which is itself damaging of health.
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I am also interested in the ways in which the fat body is stigmatised, both as a result of obesity discourse but also as part of a longstanding cultural disdain for what is viewed as unregulated people who lack self-discipline. I will definitely check these books out.
Again, the fact that none of these authors seem to have a degree in the medical field makes me skeptical, but I am curious about what kind of sources they used and what their arguments or counter-arguments are. I agree with you that oversimplifying does more harm than good, and this is the exact cause why I found the statements in this article debatable. It might be the product of trying to summarize a book in a few words, Claiming that there is no statistical data or decisive evidence on something is definitely oversimplifying.
There is data that too much exercise is risky, or that losing weight in a short period is harmful; but there is also evidence that losing weight within a longer period with a balanced diet is beneficial, or that regular aerobic exercising is protective for the cardiovascular system. It is a fact that certain health conditions can cause weight gain or will make losing weight extremely difficult; but there is also an overwhelming amount of studies that indicate obesity as the main culprit behind diseases that are regrettably common,.
I also agree that fat-shaming leads nowhere; however, saying that there is no way obesity can cause harm does not seem more helpful to me. Please do answer the latter part of my previous comment, that is also an important question to me. As I said above, I did not myself go through the medical and epidemiological literature in detail, so I do not have a definite opinion on your question about disease and serological and other markers and how these are related to body weight. My own research focus is on different aspects of obesity: the sociocultural dimensions.
But I am aware that there are debates around blood cholesterol levels, for example, concerning whether or not high levels necessarily result in disease, and that demonstrating elevated levels of a marker is a different issue from then presuming that a disease state will eventuate.
Louise, you sound like a concerned professional anxious to help an ailing population. Have you read or heard about Health at Every Size HAES , which supports the idea that healthy habits lead to healthier bodies, regardless of size? As a result, HAES proponents—including thousands in the fields of medicine and nutrition—believe that focusing on increasing healthy habits is a more practical way to deal with so-called obesity-related diseases than trying to win the losing battle of food restriction and weight loss both of which are shown to result, in the long term, in further weight gain, emotional distress, and abandonment of self-care.
Corresponding author: Eric M. Relationship between low cardiorespiratory fitness and mortality in normal-weight, overweight, and obese men. Ninafel, thanks for bringing up the Health at Every Size perspective. This is certainly a position that Campos and his colleagues place a great deal of emphasis on: the importance of physical fitness over body weight as a marker of and contributor to good health.
I share your passion and concerns about the stigmatisation that can occur towards people affected by obesity. For example, osteoarthriitis in adults, a range of significant orthopaedic problems in childhood e. The hip and knee problems result from an increased mechanical loading on various joints, and the obstructive sleep apnoea from excess fatty tissues in the neck and oropharynx.
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These problems are much more common now than they were two decades ago, and they are all much better managed when weight loss occurs. And, as commented previously, obesity-associated complications, such as type 2 diabetes and fatty liver disease, are also much more common now, basically as a consequence of the increased prevalence of obesity. And, again, the reality is that management of both diseases — and many others linked to obesity — is vastly improved if weight loss occurs. However, in an area with which I am very familiar — management of child and adolescent obesity — there are many studies, and now systematic reviews, showing that good quality treatment programs can lead to improved weight status AND improvements in quality of life, self-esteem, cardiovascular risk markers, pre-diabetes, and so on — out to 2 — 5 years.
Indeed, most health professionals are poorly untrained, or untrained, in the assessment and effective and sensitive management of obesity. One of the many ways in which people who are already living with the problem of obesity could be helped is by provision of a range of accessible, high quality treatment services in the public health system by well-trained health professionals. I can but dream! Sadly, obesity is one of the last bastions of political incorrectness. Many experience regular stigmatisation and bullying.
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So I am in full agreement with you on this. But that just highlights the challenges of this wicked problem. A framework for health promotion: evidence, ethics and values. Am J Publ Health ; That should not be a point of controversy. And as I mentioned in a previous reply, I think the focus for academic and community research and debate should be around the issue of finding solutions to the problem of obesity — in both preventing the problem, and in helping people already affected by it.
Thank you again for your considered response, Louise. It is good to know that clinicians are aware of the social and cultural issues around obesity and are working to counter these.
Fat matters: from sociology to science.
You raise a number of sociological questions which are indeed important to research and discuss. I have read the article by Carter et al. Sociologists, anthropologists, media and cultural studies researchers, queer theory, feminist and literary studies researchers and historians have all addressed these issues in much detail and depth. Aphramor, L.
Positioning of Weight Bias: Moving towards Social Justice
Cooper, C. Evans, J. Gard, M. Holm, S. Inthorn, S. Kirkland, A. Murray, S. Warin, M. Engaging in this kind of dialogue and exchange of views is a good way to start the process. I think we need to be careful whenever we imply that Fat Activists are ignoring important health issues. Why not afford all people the respect they deserve by addressing their symptoms rather than their size?
She has captured all the issues very well indeed. These things are the bath water, and we as obesity researchers are wanting to kep the focus on the baby which, by the way, really is getting measurably bigger and really is facing increased health risks. There is a need for balance in all things, a precept of good health. But there are health risks, and these are denied for a range of reasons by different groups, challenged by others for ideological or academic reasons, and this obesity debate is no exception. A participant observer anthropologist might agree more with epidemiologists here about the presence of the problem!
Epidemiology is not always right, and it is not values free; but when the evidence lines up consistently and strongly for a risk condition, we tend to accept it. We accept causal relationships for tobacco and health, cholesterol and heart disease, and HIV virus and AIDS; but for each of these there are still dissenters, and this impedes public health action. And there is nothing that the media like more than dissent, as this makes good press, great counterpoint stories, and allows policymakers to delay taking action.
It seems a shame to be a denier; the counter-arguments may win academic accolades within disciplines, but they confuse the public. It seems that a balanced view is best. We need to be careful not to stigmatise and victim-blame the obese, [particularly as the cues are largely external to individuals, being the food and inactivity environments and policies that we have created and support politically], but we need great care to examine the data and evidence carefully in these situations of substantially increased population health risk.
And finally, from my own field, some thoughts on the role of physical activity. But weight loss is still the main health goal. So clinicians and others should promote activity, for its own heath benefits, not only as a part of weight loss.