January 8, 2013
I just recently read a very intriguing book, “Why We Get Fat and what to do about it” I say intriguing, because it is in the process of rearranging my concept of obese people and why they are the way they are. Our nation, and those who emulate us, are experiencing an epidemic of morbidly obese people. It doesn’t have much to do with the fast food joints all around us or sitting around on our butts either.
My opinion has often been, “Why can’t they just lay down the fork a little sooner at meal time?” I thought that they just lacked the will power to control their eating. But there has to be more to it than that. For example, both my father and I could eat just about anything, anytime. We were the lucky ones who could “clean up” after a potluck and not gain a pound. My father who was 6′ 2” and about 165 lbs for most of his life, was in his late 50’s before he began to look like he had over eaten … according to his belt-line. In his prime old age he weighed about 190 lbs, still not obese by any measure. From the time I graduated I weighed 135 lbs and I didn’t get above that until after my fourth child was born. Could that have anything to do with my weight gain? I was 35 years old before I tipped the scales at more than 145 lbs. The weight has been slowly accumulating to my current 185 lbs. For my height of 5′ 10” I FEEL fat.
Yet, there are others in my extended family who wage a constant battle of the bulge and they seem to never over eat. Is it, I wondered, because they handle their food with more efficiency than I or my father? Or maybe my body literally dumps the excess unprocessed food to make way for the next meal? My mother was overweight from my earliest recollections of her. But in photos of her before my time, she was a very trim lady. Did bearing me change all that? My sister and I seem to have inherited our tendency toward lean bodies from our father. However, our brother who was 6 years younger than me, had a body built like our mother and he out weighed me in his Junior year of high school.
These hereditary traits toward lean or fat are acknowledged by the author of the book, but not all obesity is hereditary, and for those for whom it is not, the question remains, “Why do some people get fat?” The author has searched the research extensively back to the early 1900’s to find his answers. Those answers are NOT what I would have guessed based on my education. The answer for many, lies in the balance of what they eat. Be prepared to learn that we have been lied to by the USDA ,who brought us the Food Pyramid. Which, incidentally, was created by the Dairy Lobby to enrich the Dairy Association.
Obesity and diabetes is found so often together in the same person that many believe that obesity caused diabetes or at least was its precursor. But research has shown that neither is the cause of the other, but that they have a common cause. They are so related that they should probably be renamed Di-obesity.
Furthermore, science explodes these myths:
That a high cholesterol diet causes high cholesterol or plaque in the arteries, nor hardening thereof.
That eating a fatty diet makes one fat.
That eating eggs or whole milk is in the least harmful, or that it will make you fat.
In short, I believe “Why We Get Fat” by Gary Taubes, has the potential to surprise you as much as it did me. Plus, it’s an easy read.