The video above was shared by our friend (and reader) Adam in the comments of our previous post ‘Who’s Cooking Your Food?‘. I hadn’t had a chance to watch the first video until last weekend. Right off the bat the chart on the increase in obesity from 1970 to 2010 was pretty shocking. For me it validates that there is a modern day obesity epidemic.
Another section I connected with was how the video attacks the notion that all you have to track to lose weight is calories in and calories out. I know there is a lot more to nutrition than just calories, so this message has always rung hollow to me. How can a calorie of pure sucrose equal the nutrients behind a calorie of leafy vegetables? Obviously it can’t, and on top of that only .26 grams of sugar gets you 1 calorie, whereas it takes 5.6 grams of green leaf lettuce to get 1 calorie. I’m pretty sure our bodies are going to get a little more bang for the buck out of the 5.6 grams of green leaf lettuce than the 1 gram of sugar. Now multiply the above results by the number of calories you need a day and you quickly get a sense of how easily empty calories can rob us of so much health.
The video also covers the diseases caused by metabolic syndrome: type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and lipid problems. As if these classic diseases weren’t enough, they are also now finding that non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, polycystic ovarian syndrome, cancer, and dementia can also be caused by metabolic syndrome.
To further dampen the mood, metabolic syndrome isn’t just for the “obese”. 20% of those that are obese show no metabolic syndrome and will live normal lives. Meanwhile 40% of normal weight patients have metabolic syndrome and will be susceptible to the same litany of diseases. In the United States today a full 60% of all American’s have signs of metabolic syndrome.
The video wraps up by comparing rising health care costs to the rise of the 8 diseases caused by metabolic syndrome, then looking at these impacts on developing nations as well. What other factors do you think are contributing to the rise of obesity and the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in the obese and the non-obese?
In other news I’ve been thinking some about future brown bag Monday topics. Leave a comment and let me know which topic you be interested in discussing first and I’ll do my best to write about it next week.
- The impact of fertilizer and pesticide use in conventional farming on our fresh water resources
- A look into the food trade of the United States with the rest of the world
- Genetically modified organisms and their impact on our health (covered a bit last Friday)
- Seed savers exchange and the importance of preserving open-pollinated seeds
- The decline in healthy top soil in the United States
- Specify your own topic