We Are Fat Because We Are Hungry, And Here’s Why

May 17, 2014 8:06 am 2 comments

In a long and well-read (over 200 comments) piece in the New York Times76444-354x233-Bagel, two obesity researchers explain why we are fat– because we eat too much; why we eat too much–because we are always hungry; and why we are always hungry–because we eat the wrong foods. By wrong foods, they mean processed foods and high carbohydrate foods. David S. Ludwig, director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Boston Children’s Hospital and a professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Mark I. Friedman, vice president of research at the Nutrition Science Initiative don’t say anything that hasn’t been said before, but they say it persuasively, because they back it up evidence, including two studies conducted by Ludwig. In one, the Times reports, Ludwig examined 21 overweight and obese young adults after they had lost 10 to 15 percent of their body weight, on diets ranging from low fat to low carbohydrate. Despite consuming the same number of calories on each diet, subjects burned about 325 more calories per day on the low carbohydrate than on the low fat diet — amounting to the energy expended in an hour of moderately intense physical activity. In another, Ludwig found that rats fed a diet with rapidly digesting (called high “glycemic index”) carbohydrate gained 71 percent more fat than their counterparts, who ate more calories over all, though in the form of slowly digesting carbohydrate. Here’s the bottom line:  “With reduced consumption of refined grains, concentrated sugar and potato products and a few other sensible lifestyle choices, our internal body weight control system should be able to do the rest. Eventually, we could bring the body weight set point back to pre-epidemic levels. Addressing the underlying biological drive to overeat may make for a far more practical and effective solution to obesity than counting calories.” Read more in the New York Times.

2 Comments

  • Add to that dysfunctional fat cells as evidenced by the “gut” which is indicative of shortening telomeres and is also evidence of dysfunctional cells in other body tissues. This is what we arrive at. Total calories is at issue especially for those who have this issue earlier in life then becomes exacerbated with the lack of effective cells otherwise we would not become ravenously hungry until the energy stores were closer to depletion. The addictive food additives(flavor enhancers magnify the problem dramatically.

  • Sugar and high fructose corn syrup among others more addictive than cocaine. Virtually all of us alive now are so because of the desire for high energy foods even today when foods are quite plentiful, someone without this trait would probably die of starvation specifically for lack of calories-energy as most other foods require more net energy to process than they provide. Those without the sweet tooth, including high calorie fats/carbohydrates probably succumbed during food shortages-famines.

Leave a Reply


Recent Posts

  • Gear How To Buy Running Shoes: An Authoritative Guide

    How To Buy Running Shoes: An Authoritative Guide

    How hard is it to buy running shoes? Slightly less hard than buying craft beer is these days, but only slightly. Fortunately, runners have the American College of Sports Medicine to turn to for advice, lots of advice. Look, here’s some now: The college recommends that a running shoe have “minimal heel-to-toe drop: This drop is the difference in the thickness of the heel cushion to the thickness in the forefoot cushion area. Shoes with no drop or a small […]

    Read more →
  • Fitness Pain Sex Cycling May Increase Prostate Cancer Risk. Or Not.

    Cycling May Increase Prostate Cancer Risk. Or Not.

    That’s right. Cycling may increase the risk of prostate cancer. Or, it may not. How helpful is that knowledge, which comes from a study at University College in London, where researchers took a hard look at the cycling habits and health of more than 5,000 male cyclists? The good news: the study appeared to disprove the suggestions of some research that cycling increases the risk of impotence and infertility. The possibly bad news: the men who biked the most, more […]

    Read more →
  • Pain Shin Splints. Funny Name, But Not Fun

    Shin Splints. Funny Name, But Not Fun

    Shin splints sound like the kind of thing that might be amusing, at least until you learn that their technical name is medial tibial stress syndrome. Ouch! That hurts, and shin splints can hurt for a long time, up to six months, according to this piece in the Los Angeles Times.  The Times tell us that the “stress” in “medial tibial stress syndrome” is exerted on the soft tissue surrounding the tibia, and that tissue becomes inflamed. What causes them? […]

    Read more →
  • Attitude Pain Men Would Rather Hurt Themselves Than Be Alone With Their Thoughts

    Men Would Rather Hurt Themselves Than Be Alone With Their Thoughts

    Apparently, it really does hurt to think. And researchers at the University of Virginia and Harvard have demonstrated just how much it can hurt, in a series of experiments that asked people to sit alone with their thoughts. A UVA news release reports that the researchers found that study participants did not enjoy spending even brief periods of time alone in a room with nothing to do but think, ponder or daydream. Most preferred listening to music or using a […]

    Read more →
  • Attitude Pain Another Medical Thing You Don’t Really Need: A Pelvic Exam

    Another Medical Thing You Don’t Really Need: A Pelvic Exam

    We are moving, slowly, toward the day when evidenced-based medicine is more than a buzzword. The latest victim of efforts to distinguish medical practices that actually do something good from those that just cost money and cause pain is the pelvic exam, declared unnecessary in guidelines issued last week by the American College of Physicians. The Wall Street Journal reports that the College examined research published from 1946 to 2014 that studied the effectiveness of the pelvic exam, and found […]

    Read more →
  • Fitness Pain Aspirin Cuts Pancreatic Cancer Risk In Half

    Aspirin Cuts Pancreatic Cancer Risk In Half

    Yet another remarkable thing that aspirin appears to do: cut the risk of pancreatic cancer by 50 percent. A Yale University news release reports that researchers at the school studied data from a Connecticut population of 362 newly diagnosed pancreatic cancer patients and a control group of 690 disease-free people. The study looked at regular use of both low-dose aspirin (75 to 325 mg. per day, taken for heart disease prevention) and regular-dose aspirin (325 to 1,200 mg. taken for […]

    Read more →
  • Fitness Pain TV Kills (Slowly)

    TV Kills (Slowly)

    Think about this: while you’re watching TV, the TV is watching you, and waiting. For what? You’ll find out. In the mean time, the American Heart Association would like you to know that adults who watch TV three hours or more a day may double their risk of premature death from any cause. That’s right. Three hours, double the risk. The calculation comes from an analysis of habits and health of 13,284 young and healthy Spanish university graduates (average age […]

    Read more →
  • Fitness Pain Testosterone May Impair Sleep

    Testosterone May Impair Sleep

    Men with many things to keep them up at night can add another suspect to the list: testosterone. Researchers at the University of Chicago Sleep, Metabolism and Health Center evaluated the sleep of 44 men, all of whom were overweight or obese, but otherwise healthy.  A news release from the Endocrine Society reports that the researchers studied the brain’s slow-wave activity during non-rapid eye movement sleep, a reliable marker of sleep depth. Too little slow-wave activity can leave a person […]

    Read more →