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Table of Contents



Have you ever asked, why do you crave certain food type so much? Why do you go food binge? Why are you depressed for no particular reason that you need to eat sweets? Why are you constantly hungry? Why are you always tired? Why are you dizzy so often? Why do you have to eat constantly in order to feel energized but only get momentary sugar rush and never a sustained energy after a meal? These are often the symptoms of weight problem and/or chronic fatigue. These are all symptoms that are related to eating wrong foods.

In any diet program, there are some who succeed and some who don't. This is because most of diet programs out in the market only provide certain aspects of weight loss, whereas human body is affected by many other factors then those. So if a diet program provides a person with certain aspect of nutrition / exercise, then that is the reason why the program works for the person.

People may think that obesity is problem but it is not a disease. Obesity is a disease, and it happens because your body and mind are out of balance from unhealthy lifestyle. Most people will say that in order to loose weight a person should just cut fat in diet and exercise more. Regarding weight loss, the question should not entirely focus on fat – i.e. how to cut down fat in diet, how to burn fat faster, etc., – but these are part of the more complete questions. Because obesity is related to many other factors, it causes many other symptoms, such as constant hunger, chronic fatigue, dizziness, etc. The big question is why do people get sick?

What you may have thought as totally unrelated foods and body functions are in fact very closely related to obesity and other undesirable body symptoms.

Modern western doctor's method of just cut fat and exercise does not work. Yet doctors still give that advice. The reason is because doctors do not know anything about nutrition and how body response from lack of the nutrition. Also they are trained to treat symptom of disease rather then the cause of disease. Regarding why doctors lack nutritional education, read here.

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Exercise More does Not Work – here is why

The food industry blames everything on lack of exercise for obesity epidemics in US. They would like to have people to think that people can eat as much as they want, and all that was eaten can be exercise off. However, this is almost impossible. Here's why.

In order to burn just 1 ounce of potato chips a person has to jog for 15 minutes. To burn the calories in 1 typical soda can, a person have to bike for 1 hour! A super sized meal at McDonald's (BigMac used to have, no more – thanks to the documentary, "Supersize Me"), has so many calories, a person have to walk for 6 hours to burn it off.

We should exercise. But that's only part of solution. Exercise alone cannot be the solve obesity problem.

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Factors that Contribute to Obesity

Please note that all if not most of these obesity causes listed in the table of contents are related to one another. I will try to cross reference them if I can. For example, hypothyroidism is related to eating mineral depleted food. Mineral depleted foods are refined flour and refined sugar. Junk food has refined flour, refined sugar, and trans-fat that prevents metabolism. Often times, junk foods have huge portion size.

I made a thorough example of cross referencing for one obesity cause, "Physical Activity." By looking at that example, one can see how a single cause is related to many others and how one obesity causing habit encourage other obesity causing habits. Generally people do not aware this fully, which is why it is so hard for people to loose weight.

Also if you look at psychological aspect, it is notable that getting fat leads to depression. So in order to lighten up the mood, many people resort to eating more refined sugar and fatty foods – which leads to weight gain. Also many people watch TV when they are depressed and this leads to lack of physical activity. TV also encourages people to eat junk foods. Depression and stress is also related to eating disorder.

This is why try to loss weight is such a hard work. It cannot be done just with one method. It requires entire lifestyle change. This is very possible thing, however. This is obvious to people who study nutrition careful enough, implement it little by little, and stick with it.

When you click the link, under explanations of each obesity cause, they are cross referenced with other obesity cause if they are related to one another. So that one can see if a person does something, it is not affecting just that one area, but affects multiple other factors.

Factors that Contribute to Obesity

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Dietary and Physical Factors

Many dietary and physical factors overlap with psychological factors and social / environmental factors. The biggest factor may be what the person eats due to social / cultural norm and economic viability of the food the person eats. When compared in equal calories, dollar per dollar, fresh fruits and vegetables cost more then junk foods and processed foods.

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Eating Refined Flour

Refined Flour is mineral depleted food. It gives sugar rush for a while, but in long run it only makes you tired and out of energy. Because of high glycemic index and lack of minerals, refined flour gives high sugar concentration in blood, which leads to obesity and diabetes. This kick-and-crash sugar rush without mineral also causes dizziness. To read more about in detail, read Refined Flour, Insulin, and Glycemic Index section in the Refined Flour page.

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Eating Refined Sugar

Refined Sugar is also mineral depleted food. It gives sugar rush for a while, but in long run it only makes you tired and out of energy just like refined flour. It has higher glycemic index then refined flour and lacking minerals more then refined flour. Refined sugar also gives high sugar concentration in blood, which leads to obesity and diabetes. Not only so, refined sugar is addictive. Of course, kick-and-crash sugar rush without mineral causes dizziness. To read more about in detail, read Refined Sugar page.

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Eating Animal Products – meat, poultry, daily, and fish

Dairy products and meat contain too much saturated fat to begin with. Generally in a cow and pork meat, the muscle to fat ratio is 40%-60%, (means fat is 40 to 60% of the entire meat). By the way, generally eating fish does not make you healthy – click on each links to read in more details.

Meat has many nitrogen compounds including urea (=carbamide =(NH2)2CO), uric acid, and purin (a type of nitrogenous base). Purin stimulates and excites our cell, especially nerve cells and brain cells, which results increased eating and sex desires.

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Eating Vitamin and Mineral Depleted Foods

Eating mineral depleted food such as average bread, muffins, cakes, cookies, and other similar processed foods sold in average supermarkets makes a person momentarily feel energized and fill stomach. However, those foods are devoid of mineral and people feel tired very quickly – majority of people in US eat this way. This mineral depleted foods with high in refined carbohydrate, refined sugar, and refined fat are the major cause of dizziness that so many people (especially women) experience these days. To read more about this in detail, read Nutritional Loss and Refined Flour, Insulin, and Glycemic Indexsections in refined flour page.

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Not Eating Enough Raw Fruits and Vegetables

Enzyme is also important in repairing out of balance organs which are responsible for hormonal regulations such as thyroid.

This is topic is also related to hypothyroidism and metabolic syndrome

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Calorie Dense Foods – without much nutrition

Calorie dense foods without much nutrition are made mostly from refined sugar, refined flour, and refined trans-fat oils often with harmful additives. Due to the refining processes, most of nutrition is stripped away and these are the foods that average Americans eat the most.

Nutrition – vitamins, minerals, and enzymes – are essential elements in order for cells to convert sugar and fat into energy. If theses are absent, cells cannot process sugar and fat into energy. So no matter how much a person eat supermarket shelf foods that are primarily made with refined sugar, refined flour, and refined oil, the person is not going to get more energy. Instead, the person is going to get fat.

The reason for this is, when there are excess fat and sugar intake without nutrition intake to process fat and sugar, these happen. When sugar and fat are digested, they are converted into a type of fatty acid called triglycerides. In order to do this, insulin need to be produced. Overproduction of insulin to convert excess fat and sugar into triglycerides makes pancreas tired, which may lead to diabetes. These triglycerides become subcutaneous fat (fat around muscle), which makes a person fat. This is why Americans do not have much energy but get fat fast by eating supermarket shelf foods.

One more thing about this process – triglycerides conversion is done in blood stream. Blood saturated triglycerides makes blood sticky. The sticky blood tends to interfere with blood flow and may block arteries, which may leads to high blood pressure and heart problems. Also excess sugar is also stored in liver as glycogen, which causes liver to become fat. The fat in the liver causes hepatocirrhosis (destruction and hardening of liver) which can further develop as liver cancer. Liver is very important in getting rid of toxins in our body along with other important functions. If liver does not function, a body's health goes downhill.

95% of supermarket shelf foods are such foods, which Americans eat every day.

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Portion Size

For a fast food lunch, teenagers consume average 1,652 calories. Note that 1700 calories are good for 3 to 4 adults. "Kid's meal" is 700 calories, but this is good enough for one adult. One can see why Americans got so fat so fast in last a few decades just by looking at the portion size.

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Junk Foods

Virtually majority of all supermarket shelf foods are junk foods. Reason? They are made out of refined grains, refined sugar, refined salt, refined / trans-fat oil.

Do not be fooled by "healthier choice." A lot of the low-fat products food industry introduced, when they take out the fat, they often put in more sweeteners (refined sweeteners that is – white / brown sugar, refined maltose, high fructose corn syrup), which means more calories and less nutrition.

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Trans-fat that Prevents Metabolism

Slow metabolism lead to sluggish body. To read about how trans-fat affects body metabolism, click here. There is no explicit federal regulation in regards to trans-fat. New York City has trans-fat regulation. However, most of restaurants and fast food chains use oils that are mixed with trans-fat because trans-fat extends oil shelf life.

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Food Additives

Food additives also interfere with body metabolism and depression. Depression can leads to drug and food addiction such as sugar addiction. Depression decreases physical activity; so as many other addictions.

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Out of Balance Body and Mind due to Eating Toxic and Junk Foods

When body and mind is out of balance, a person is likely to make more irrational judgment on what to eat and what to not to eat. Sadly this error leads body and mind to further out of balance.

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Genetic Factors

While gene is important, it is also important to note that many genes can be switched on and off according to diet. Through correct and balanced diet, genetic factor can be negligible for most people.

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Hypothyroidism and Metabolic Syndrome

Often, hypothyroidism is related with eating foods that are lack of vitamins and minerals. Hypothyroidism slows down metabolism – a thus make person sluggish and slows rate of fat burning in body. This also leads to many other symptoms. This can be cured with moderate amount of iodine nutrition. The iodine source must be natural, such as kelp.

This is also related to and caused by:

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Eating Disorder

Eating disorder is caused both by dietary and psychological factors.

Both binge eating and anorexia inhibit physical activity, because large portion meal makes a person sluggish whereas a person with anorexia would not have enough energy for physical activity.

Continuously eating food high in phosphorus and low in calcium, make the body acidic, which in turn depletes calcium and other minerals, increase inflammations, bone losses, weak immune systems, and etc.

On the other hand, continuously eating low phosphorus diet can cause anorexia, muscle weakness, and osteomalacia (= softening of bone, similar to rickets).

For good health, the ratio of calcium to phosphorus in the blood should be 5:2.

If calcium is low and phosphorus is rich, in a diet, this should be compensated by calcium high and phosphorus low food such as kelp, kale, sesame seeds, and etc. It is also important to eat alkaline food to keep the blood ph level in weak alkaline. Also the amount of other minerals which couples with calcium is important. Thus recommended daily calcium allowance is meaningless if blood ph level, phosphorus and magnesium level is not corresponded with calcium.

The calcium-phosphorus ratio is affected by our food choices. Even though human discard phosphorus more then calcium through urine, it is easy to obtain sufficient phosphorus but not enough calcium in our diet. So it is easy to have overdose of phosphorus and calcium depletion. In fact, if the calcium level is high, magnesium is generally in short supply rather than phosphorus.

Read more about this at Calcium and Phosphorus section at meat page.

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Poor Dental Health

Dental health extremely important and inexplicably related to the health of the whole body. This is researched but little is known and practiced among physicians.

The entire meridians end at teeth and if one of the teeth associated with meridians that affect thyroid goes wrong, then the metabolism of the person is affected as well.

Chronic depression can cause substance abuse and food addiction, including sugar addiction, which can lead to obesity. You can also get depression with excessive mercury filling (silver filling) in mouth.

There was a woman who had chronic depression throughout her adult life. She did not have any particular changes except getting a dozen or so silver fillings during her adolescent years. The doctor suggested removing all silver fillings, so she did. Her depression went away next day.

Also consider this: 40% of all infection goes into body through mouth and over 70% of US adult population has some kind of mouth / gum / tooth infection.

Some people also say brush kills craving foods. So it is good idea to brush after a meal.

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Lack of Physical Activity

Lack of physical activity is related to:
    Eating Refined Flour – Because eating refined flour is related to kick-and-crash energy level, therefore constant eating without continual energy and also chronic fatigue syndrome. Read Refined Sugar and Refined Flour pages for more details.

    Eating Refined Sugar – Same as refined flour but worse.

    Eating Animal Products (daily, meat, poultry, and fish) – This is because animal products reduces physical endurance. See Diet and Physical Strength section at meat page for more details.

    Eating Vitamin and Mineral Depleted Foods – Read Refined Sugar and Refined Flour pages for more details.

    Not Eating Enough Raw Fruits and Vegetables – Not eating raw fruits and vegetable leads to lacking vitamin and mineral. 'Nuff said.
    Calorie Dense Foods – without much nutrition – These foods are made out of refined flour, refined sugar, and/or transfat – 'nuff said.

    Portion Size – Too much portion makes you sluggish.

    Junk Foods – Junk foods should be redefined as "Calorie dense foods without much nutrition" because so many foods which are packaged as health foods are nothing but that.

    Trans-fat that Prevents Metabolism – Slow metabolism lead to sluggish body. To read about how trans-fat affects metabolism, click here. There is no explicit federal regulation in regards to trans-fat. New York City has trans-fat regulation. However, most of restaurants and fast food chains use oils that are mixed with trans-fat because trans-fat prolong oil shelf life.

    Food Additives – Food additives also interfere with body metabolism and depression. Depression can leads to drug and food addiction such as sugar addiction. Depression decreases physical activity; so as many other addictions.

    Out of Balance Body and Mind due to Eating Toxic and Junk Foods
    – When body and mind is out of balance, a person is likely to make more irrational judgment on what to eat and what to not to eat. Sadly this error leads body and mind to further out of balance.

    Genetic Factors – While gene is important, it is also important to note that many genes can be switched on and off according to diet. Through correct and balanced diet, genetic factor can be negligible for most people.

    Hypothyroidism and Metabolic Syndrome – Often times hypothyroidism is related with eating foods that are lack of vitamins and minerals. Hypothyroidism slows down metabolism – a thus make person sluggish and slows rate of fat burning in body. This also leads to many other symptoms. This can be cured with moderate amount of iodine nutrition. The iodine source must be natural, such as kelp.

    Eating Disorder – Both binge eating and anorexia inhibit physical activity, because large portion meal makes a person sluggish whereas a person with anorexia would not have enough energy for physical activity. To read more about eating disorder, click the title of this paragraph.

    Stress and Depression

    Government Policies – There are many example of this. One example is physical education class is often times cut down to give more emphasis on reading and math. When this happen kids suffer from lack of physical activities.

    Lack of Sleep – Lack of sleep makes a person to eat more. Read Lack of Sleep section to read more about this in detail.

    Lack of open spaces

Psychological Factors

Psychological factors are as big as contributor to obesity as physical one. Often, psychological factors are related to physical factors and affect each other.

One of the big psychological factors is media. All people are affected by advertisement in TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, and etc. If one says one is not affected by that because he/she is independent thinker and etc., the person is just kidding himself/herself. Most people do not even know they have been conditioned in one way or another by TV commercials. This is because children do not have critical thinking capacity and therefore take everything in TV. Have anyone in this country ever not watched TV, radio, saw pictures in newspapers, magazine, and etc. before the age of 6-8? I doubt it.

People also say commercials are not bad and it does not affect people's decision making capacity. I will not argue in this section. To read about how media and commercial affect your decision regarding obesity, click here.

Besides how media affect people, other psychological factors also always have been downplayed in any diseases in western medicine. Unfortunately, as many Americans suffer from psychological diseases as is of from physical diseases. For example, in the book, "Teaching as Subversive Activity" by Neil Postman and Charles Wingartner, it says;
  • There are more American suffering from mental illness then from all other form of illness combined.
  • 2nd most common cause of death among adolescents is suicide.
  • The most common cause of infant mortality is parental beating.

This was statistics form late 1960's and early 1970's.

Americans' overall health and overall state as nation was better during 1960's 1980's then nowadays. Even then state of mental health was such a degree. Imagine how it would be be now. Noam Chomsky, prominent scholar and professor at MIT said that nowadays in many places, American worker's standard is so low that it is comparable to countries in the third world, i.e. Uganda.

Psychological problem leads to physical inactivity, eating more refined sweets and fats.

Statistics show that half of US population has some type of clinical psychological disease at some point in their life. This statistic is not an estimate but is created by people who answered the questionnaires. Consider stigma attached to mental problems, there are probably a lot more people who has this problem then the statistic shows.

If you would like to read more about mental health, click here.

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Stress and Depression

– How stress contribute to obesity
    One of body's reactions to stress is eat more. When under stress, human body metabolism goes down and goes into storage mode. The hormone cortisol, made in adrenaline gland, tells brain to eat and stomach to store fat when we are under stress. This made sense when a human is under stressful condition, for primitive life style. After all, if a human is living primitive life style and a human become stressful because he/she cannot find food, one should try to conserve fat as much as one can and eat whatever is available. However, this does not suit the modern life style. For example, if you have stressful job, it does not help you to eat more and store more fat. It just makes you fatter and raises risk for diseases associated with obesity.

    Also, when a person is under stress, brain uses more sugar then it normally does. So the body craves for readily available sugar – not complex starch, not fat stored in the person's stomach, but only simple sugar. This is ok, as long as sugar the person take is from whole food. I will explain this in next section, "How to Deal with Stress and Depression"

– How depression contribute to obesity
    Depression contributes to obesity by reducing physical activity and craving for food that gives pleasure – namely sugar and fat.

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How to Deal with Stress and Depression

  • Eat raw (organic if possible) fruits, nuts, and vegetables.

      Make sure that you are not deficient in minerals. Most people do not get enough magnesium and potassium for example. Lack of magnesium results variety of symptoms, including anxiety. It is ok to eat something sweet as long as it is from whole foods (preferably raw) and not refined.

      The reason is because under stress, brain and body uses up sugar fast. However, as much as brain and body crave for sugar vitamin and minerals that can process those sugars is also important.

      Otherwise, the sugar the person eats stays in blood stream and/or converted into fat. If sugar stay in blood stream as a form of triglycerides, they thicken artery walls and risk for high blood pressure. If they are converted into fat, the person becomes fat.

      Sever hundreds of years ago, when there were no refined food whatsoever, this was not a problem. Only when refined food (largely refined sugar, refined flour, and white rice) became widely available in past 200-300 year this lack of vitamin and mineral became problem. This is why eating anything as a respond to stress is not recommended. Even if you are craving for foods and sugary stuffs.

      This is also why a person should not drink coffee and soda. They are loaded with refined sugar. They are also loaded with caffeine. Caffeine does not make you energized. Rather it leads to mental agitation and chronic fatigue syndrome. To read more about how caffeine affect your health negatively, click here.

      The best food when a person is stressed out, depressed, and/or any mental disease, is eat raw organic fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Raw fruits not only are rich in sugar, they are rich in minerals, vitamins, and enzymes, which are just what tired brain and body needs. In fact, it is essential to eat raw fruits and vegetables in every meal.

      It should be noted that Vitamin B-complex is the ones that are depleted first when a person is anxious or stressed out. However, vitamin B complex which are naturally present in bran of a grain is stripped off during flour refinery process. This goes same for making brown rice into white rice and making raw sugar into refined white/brown sugar. This is why it is so important to eat unrefined whole flour, brown rice, raw unrefined sugar only.

      Whole raw foods are in general excellent foods when a person is stressed out or tired. Brazil nut is also excellent food for stress and fatigue. It is rich in selenium mineral complex and this calms central nervous system during stress situations. Also eat foods with rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as walnut and pumpkin seeds reduce anxiety.

  • Meditate
      Meditate. Meditation brings brain wave level to alpha wave, which is relaxed mode and clear thinking. Beta brain wave is everyday brain wave and high beta brain wave brings agitation / depression etc.
  • Know the things you can/cannot control
      In general people are anxious about something they do not have any power to control, or if they try to or do it would make it worse. So it's useless to worry about them. It is useful to go through mental analysis periodically to figure out things you can/cannot control and remind yourself.
  • Do something, anything that are neutral / positive
      If you are continuously worried about too much, do something neutral and/or positive such as clean up, organize, cook, read, exercise (Exercise. yoga, Tai Chi, or meditation increase endorphin) and etc to turn your mind away from that subject.

      Watching TV is not recommended. If you would like to watch something, watch a movie or better yet, a documentary without any commercial breaks. This way, junk messages does not distract you from important matters, which would save your time and energy.
  • Build up habit and self esteem by doing what you are good at
      When you are tired and lacking mental energy to control yourself, you fall back to habits. If that habit is good habit, than there is nothing to worry about. Therefore, it is extremely important to build habit that is neutral-positive because habit governs most of our daily activities.

      Diet is closely related to habits. Write down every day – even if it is the same goal – good habit you want to build related to health. Run a mental rehearsal that you are doing it. If something doesn't work, modify that mental rehearsal. Try to do this every day.

      Build up your self esteem by doing what are good at and what you really like – not what other people think you are suppose to – such as your parents and/or peers expects and/or any other standard set not by you but by social norm and/or someone else.
  • Have a sounding board and/or write journal
      Have a sounding board. If you do not want to talk to another person, write or type it in your computer. This writing activity connects right brain to left brain which results both hemisphere to work in synchronized way. This helps to see the matters at hands in more holistic, objective, and logical way, which helps a person to see the situation more clearly.

      Also, Oxytocin is released during these processes. Oxytocin is a chemical that makes forget about the pain but retain memory of the event itself. This chemical also makes a person feel safe and secure.
  • Be in area with a lot of blue color
      Psychological studies show blue has calming effect on mind that, it instantly soothes overstressed adrenal glands and slows down anxious brain waves.

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Eating Disorder

Eating disorder is caused both by dietary and psychological factors. Read previous section on Eating disorder under Dietary and Physical Factors.

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Out of Balance Body and Mind due to Eating Toxic and Junk Foods

Out of balance body due to eating toxic food (junk food, contaminated food – esp. fish), use toxic stuffs, and live in toxic environment

When body and mind is out of balance, a person is likely to make more irrational judgment on what to eat and what to not to eat. Sadly this error leads body and mind to further out of balance.

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Social and Environmental Factors

It is a parse to discuss any matters without discussing social and environmental factor. Social and environmental factors and crucial if not most important factor in all matters of life. The reason why this is not discussed as widely, as deeply, and in detail is because of people's willful ignorance to the truth and hedonistic way of life.

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Media and Unregulated Marketing

It is probably true that at least three or more of what are previously listed ones are applicable to most Americans. However, diabetes, heart attack, osteoporosis, cancer, and etc. do not making to news as much as crime even though these diseases kill more then 20 times then any crimes per year.

Since TV/Radio/Papers make money through advertising, it is no surprising that they try not to talk too much or pointing the factors that these businesses contribute to obesity in US.

Bottom line is, do not watch TV and listen to radio – get rid of it if you can. You have more control in what to read newspapers. Even so, avoid look advertisement at newspapers and magazines. Try not to read too many popular magazines and Newspapers if you can because they are full of very effective advertisement and propaganda to shape your thinking – including Time and Newsweek.

Obesity is result of 2-3 generations of programming through advertising.

See how powerful advertising is:
    Among all the commercials children watch, 95% of them are junk foods. During Saturday morning, children who watch TV see 1 food commercial in every 5 minutes. A pre-schooler's risk for obesity increases 6% for every hour of TV watched per day. Children under 8 cannot distinguish between commercials and programs.

It is estimated that the food industry spent more than $12 billion in 2002 promoting food targeted to children. It is twice what they spent ten years ago. Peter Jennings asked to Paul Kurnit, an advertising executive who specializes in marketing to children, that why is so much time and money spent advertising to children. He answered, "Kids are, in many ways, unsocialized. They are fresh-eyed. They are open to new ideas. Kids are big business. There's no question about that."

Most of the food that is advertised to children is processed food. On average, children spend more of their own money on food than anything else and processed foods are exactly what children are buying. Children buy food more than CDs, movies, clothes, or toys. This health implication on children's diet is enormous.

Most of the foods that are marketed to children are unhealthy foods. Children are exposed to so many messages about junk food so much so that cultural norm around food has changed. Nowadays, children think they should be getting candies, cookies, chips, soda, and other junky foods all the time.

Whatever it makes you happy, a lot of people unconsciously related to commercial messages of foods. An average American child sees 10,000 food advertisements a year on television alone. Most of those advertisements are for fast food, sugar coated cereal, soft drinks, candies, and other foods dense in fat and calories and devoid of nutrition. This mental conditioning through commercial messages will carry on to adult life as it increasingly has been in past a few decades. Even in schools, there are encouragements to eat junk food.

Marion Nestle, Professor at New York University, said that parents who she talk to, with young children, tell her that the last thing in the world they want to argue with their kids about is food. The marketers know that. So they deliberately target the advertising to generate a "nag factor" as marketers call it.

For example, Professor Nestle's own children pestered her endlessly to buy Lucky Charms cereal, which was the one that they had the most fights over when they were young. So every now and then, she'd let them get it. It was too much trouble arguing with them.

The people who make the ads often blame parents for not protecting children from the effects of the advertising that they've created. Paul Kurnit, the Advertising Executive, said, "More often than not, children who nag their parents to buy them any kind of product are children and parents in whom the relationship is fundamentally flawed."

If companies think that parents should be making decisions about their children's food, then they should market child oriented food to parents – but they don't. They're bypassing the parents consent and talking directly to our kids. They try to get kids to nag parents to buy their unhealthy food. This is like having door-to-door sales person talking directly to kids without parents' permission to persuade kids to eat junk foods – no parent would ever allow that.

All the food marketing to children is feeding an epidemic of childhood obesity (after all, these food companies never promote fresh fruits and vegetables to kids). Nowadays, more then 15% of all children between 6 and 19 are overweight or obese. Many children already show signs of the serious diseases that result from being overweight. More then a quarter of elementary school aged children already have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or some other risk factor for heart disease. This means these little kids already are close to a heart attack. Very young children are now showing signs of type-two diabetes, a terrible disease that was never seen in such young children before. The diet of many American children may already be condemning them to a lifetime of illness.

Study after study shows that many young children under age 8 simply do not understand what advertising is all about. Also these young and older children cannot comprehend how advertising is manipulating them.

Professor Marion Nestle, New York University, said she is not sure what the cut point in regards to advertising to children. However, she says she often get calls from very high level executives of very large food companies. They ask questions such as, "What do you suppose the cut point should be to marketing to children?" "Do you think it's okay to market to 18 year olds?" "What about 15 year olds?" "What about 12 year olds?" They know they're doing something wrong – they know they are.

Grass root organizations try to pressure food companies from advertising to children. Kraft seems to know this. They said they won't intentionally design ads for children under 6. They have recently stopped advertising in schools.

In America, kids are fair game, but not everywhere else in the world. Italy prohibits all ads on cartoon shows. Australia doesn't allow advertising during television programs for pre-school kids. Norway and Sweden prohibit all television advertising to children under 12 years old. In South Korea, junk foods commercials are prohibited during after school hours, before and during dinner time.

In the US, there are no laws whatsoever prohibiting the food companies from advertising any food to children of any age. The companies, and the advertisers, like it this way. When asked by Peter Jennings the question, "Has it ever occurred to you that children should be protected by the government from certain food advertising?," Paul Kurnit, the Advertising Executive, said, "It has occurred to me. And I think it would be a very dangerous precedent. In a free society, in a commercial society where we advertise legal products to various consumers, advertising legal products to kids in a responsible and ethical way should definitely be permitted."

Some years ago, one government agency did try to protect children from food advertising. In the late 1970s, the Federal Trade Commission began investigating the marketing of unhealthy foods to children. Michael Pertschuk was Chairman at the time. According to him, the agency at the time certainly made a judgment that advertising to young children was unfair. Within the meaning of the law, the advertisements targeted to children was unfair because children don't have the capacity to deal with it.

The Federal Trade Commission made a couple of proposals. Either ban ads for sugar-coated foods to children under 11, or ban all television advertising to children under eight. In no time, the FTC was under attack. It got really ugly – there were even threats to shut do the FTC. So, the FTC had its head handed to it by Congress. Legislators and the Federal Trade Commission remember that. For the last 30+ years, there has been essentially no real attempt whatsoever about try to limiting junk food or advertising aimed to children.

Food industry spends $33 billion a year to try to promote these processed supermarket shelf foods. If someone was going to design a strategy to get people eat more food, then one would make food more convenient, more ubiquitous, encourage people to eat more often, on more different occasions, and encourage them to eat larger portions. Then associate all these into having a good time, pleasure, good feeling, self confidence, fun, and etc. This is what advertising does. These are deliberate strategies to sell more food which Americans are not suppose to eat much.

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Government Policies

A typical supermarket may have 30,000 to 50,000 products, most of them are made from processed and refined grains, fats, and sugar. In 2002, supermarkets sold $174 billion worth of processed food. Food industry has increased on mass distribution of low cost products in last 100 years. >

In the turn of 20th century most of farm was owned by family business, nowadays over 90% of farm is owned by agro business. Government subsidizes about $20 billion into agriculture, most of it directly to the farmers, means agro-business owners. Most of the food source for these ingredients came from government subsidizing this agro business. American farming business produce almost twice as much food as Americans can eat.

Farmers plant nearly 80 million acres of corn. In the last five years, they got an average of $5.5 billion in Federal subsidies every year. The vast majority of corn is feed corn. It's fed to chickens, hogs, and especially cattle. These corns make these live stocks to become fatter faster. This lowers meat price, which encourages Americans to eat more meat. Cattles were never intended to eat corn. This unnatural diet makes cattle more susceptible to various diseases, so have to be given all sorts of antibiotics to keep them alive.

Government subsidy also goes to soybean, and most of the soy that people eat is not in its healthy original soy form, but in the form of trans-fat oil, including cooking oil and margarine. Soybean oil is the largest source of added fats in the American diet.

Processed foods are typically made from a mixture of sugar, water, flour, starch, fat, artificial colorings and flavorings. And you could make almost anything out of that. Puddings, snack foods, beverages. Those are dirt-cheap to produce. This is where the profits are. If you look at the new foods that are being marketed each year, probably 90% of them are packaged foods, very often junk foods. Last year, in entire US, there were more than 2,800 new candies, desserts, ice creams, and snacks, but 230 new fruit or vegetable products.

Food pyramid is the government's guide to what people should be eating. Less of what is on top, sugars, fats, then, meats and dairy and more of what's on the bottom, grains and fresh fruits and vegetables. Of the total amount of money that supports American agriculture, less then 1% of that money goes towards fruits and vegetables, both production and promotion. Since 1995, meat and dairy got about 3 times the subsidies of grains. Also, according to data from the Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Working Group, sugars, fats, the foods government says we should eat least, got about 20 times more subsidies than fruits and vegetables.

If Americans were to follow a healthy diet, the Department of Agriculture says that nearly twice the number of acres of fruits and vegetables would have to be planted.

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Relationship between USDA and Food Industry

It is not just the government policies that is backward. Of all "fruits and vegetables," kids annually eat, 46% of them are ketchup and French fries, approved by USDA.

This is because there is revolving door between Food Industry (which makes tones of these supermarket shelf junk food) and USDA. This is same between Meat, Dairy agro business and USDA. Take a Look:

Industry Past and Present USDA officials' background:
  • Ann Veneman – Former USDA Head
    Former CEO of Nestle and also worked at Monsanto

  • Floyd Gaibler – Former USDA official
    Former Dairy Industry Lobbyist

  • Chuck Lambert – Current USDA
    Former Meat Industry Lobbyist

  • Eric Hentges – Current USDA Official
    Former Meat Industry Lobbyist

  • Dan Glickman – Former USDA Head
    Later Became Food Industry Lobbyist in Washington

  • Linda Fisher – Former USDA Official
    Current Executive at Monsanto

  • Susan Ferenc – Former USDA Official
    Current Food Industry Lobbyist

  • Chuck Conner – Former USDA Head
    Former Corn Industry Lobbyist
    (Remember more then 70% of corn goes to feed live stock to produce meat)

For those of who do not know what is Monsanto, it is bioengineering company who try to push genetic "rights" of crops – which means they have try to lobby and enforce the law that they alone have patented right to propagate these crops since they are the discoverer and manipulator of these genes in crops. They also try to push genetically modified crops to market.

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Food Pyramid

Porter Novelli made the first pyramid in the late 1980's," but the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) "delayed its release until 1992," due to complaints from meat and milk producers that "their products were placed in such a way that people might be discouraged from consuming them." (2005 April 10 NY Times).

So Porter Novelli International made the final new food pyramid called my pyramid – which is extremely misleading and confusing. Porter Novelli is PR Firm, which handles Government's Public Relation. Other Clients includes Snack Food Association and McDonalds.

This is why USDA Food Pyramid is not reliable. It was never to begin with even before Porter Novelli, due to pressure from meat and milk lobbyists and giant food companies. The portion size of fresh fruits and vegetables are too small. Meat and animal products are too much. Since there is no reliable official government food pyramid, anybody can make food pyramid. This is why I do not try to make any food pyramid. After all, the last authority of your health should be you, not government, not expert, not some health guru, nobody.

Many people are uncomfortable with this idea. People do not want to start research around these confusing data to make their own decision because it would take too much time and effort. Also many people do not want to take full responsibility for his/her a health but would rather differ it to authority figure. Also most people's body is in unbalanced state due to junk food, pollutions, environmental stress, family stress, job stress etc., and do not know how to properly deal with these stresses.

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Vending Machines

Vending machines are part of food companies strategy to sell more junk foods. Take a look at what is sold at vending machine. This is why some California school district banned vending machine in their schools. When Arnold Swalgeneger ban the junk food in entire California state, there were demonstrations demanding junk food back to school. There have even been "junk food dealers" in school. This shows how people are addicted to junk food and hopelessly conditioned to modern day advertisement.

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Lack of Sleep

National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey I (NHANES I) was conducted from 1982-1984. There were more than 9,000 people participated in the initial study. They were initially weighed, and later, researchers obtained a self-reported weight for follow up. More than 8,000 people took part in a 1987 follow up study.

According to this study, people who reported getting less than seven hours of sleep a night were more likely to be obese on initial evaluation. The study also showed that they were also more likely to develop obesity during follow up.

Columbia University professor of medicine Steven Heymsfield, and James Gangwisch said people who slept 5 hours per night were 73% more likely to become obese than those getting 7 to 9 nightly hours of sleep. People getting 6 hours of sleep per night were 27% more likely to become obese than those getting 7 to 8 hours. Those only slept 2 to 4 hours per night were 67% more likely to become obese than people who slept for 7 to 9 hours.

Although these numbers were calculated before taking other variables into consideration, the link between sleep and obesity held even after adjusting for those factors.

In 1960, Americans averaged 8 ½ hours of sleep a night, and our obesity rate was around 12%. Today we're averaging 6 ½ hours to 7 hours, and our obesity rate has climbed to around 30%.

Dr. Michael Decker, associate professor at Georgia State University and spokesman for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine said some people are genetically programmed to need just 5 or 6 hours of sleep per night to be healthy, but that's very small portion of the population. Children ages 2 to 3 need 10 to 12 hours of sleep per night, while children ages 5 to 10 need 9½ to 11 hours.

When we don't get the good quality and proper quantity of sleep, hormone levels are altered. Studies have shown that when sleeping hours are reduced, the hormone ghrelin increases and the hormone leptin decreases. Hormone ghrelin tells brain to eat more, while hormone leptin tells brain to eat less.

According to a study published in the journal Sleep Medicine by Dr. Eve Van Cauter, when sleep is deprived to 4 hours per night for 2 days, hormone ghrelin levels increased 28% and hormone leptin levels decreased 18%. In other words, when we don't get enough sleep we feel hungry, even if we've eaten enough. In another Van Cauter study, healthy young volunteers showed signs of prediabetes when they were restricted to 4 hours of sleep for 6 nights in a row.

According to Dr. Michael Breus, author of "The Sleep Doctor's Diet Plan," the stress hormone cortisol also raises when sleep is deprived. When that happens, the person craves high fat, high in carbohydrate glycemic index foods to increase serotonin levels in brain to calm down the agitation caused from sleep deprivation.

A research done by Dr Shahrad Taheri at Standford University with other scientists produced similar results. In this study, people who regularly slept 5 hours per day had 15% more ghrelin, (a hormone which increases feelings of hunger), than those who slept 8 hours. Those who slept less were also found to have 15% less leptin, a hormone which decrease appetite.

Dr Taheri said there was evidence that children as young as 2 years old might be in danger of becoming obese if they lost a lot of sleep. Dr Taheri's results of the study were replicated in a second piece of research, led by the University of Chicago. This study found people who slept for only 4 hours a night for 2 nights had an 18% reduction in leptin, anda 28% increase in ghrelin. The young men in the study also tended to eat more sweet and starchy foods when sleep was cut short. "….in societies where food is readily available, this may contribute to obesity," Dr Taheri said.

Dr. Francesco P. Cappuccio at Warwick Medical School in the UK, and colleagues did a systematic search of publications on the relationship between short sleep duration and obesity risk. "There is a striking consistent overall association, in that both obese children and adults had a significantly increased risk of being short sleepers compared to normal weight individuals.

According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the percentage of overweight children and teens has more than doubled in the past 30 years. Today, about 17% of American children aged 2 to 19 are overweight. About 61% of U.S. adults aged 20-74 years are either overweight or obese. About 34% of these people are overweight and 27% of entire US populations (50 millions) are obese. While eating healthy and exercising regularly are important, getting enough sleep is equally as important.

Our troubled economy is one of the biggest reasons why adults are sleeping less. "If you need to make more money, you reduce sleep and work longer hours," Dr. Michael Decker said. "Sleep's always been considered a disposable commodity."

Kids sleep less because parents are forced to stay at work longer, which leads to reduced time spending with parents. This often ends up with kids staying up late at night playing video games and regular schedule is not set.

The news for kids is just as alarming. A study of 8,234 children (starting at age 38 weeks) found that the odds of being obese by age 7 increased 50% for children averaging fewer than 10½ hours of sleep. Another study found that 58% of obese kids averaged fewer than 8 hours of sleep, while just 11% of non obese kids averaged fewer than 8 hours of sleep.

Dr. Amy Aronsky, medical director of the Center for Sleep Disorders in Portland, Oregon said, "We're a society that's essentially sleep deprived. We've put everything ahead of getting good sleep."

"We have to realize that sleeping is not a waste of time, we have to recognize that it impacts on our health," said Dr Shahrad Taheri.

Below are tips for getting and staying asleep from Dr. Michael Breus, author of "The Sleep Doctor's Diet Plan."
  • Go to bed at the same time every night.
  • Get up at the same time every day (even weekends).
  • Keep your bedroom cool.
  • Limit alcohol, nicotine and heavy meals before bedtime.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Clear mind of stressful clutter before bed with a worry journal. Briefly jot down what you're worried about and a solution to the issue. For example, I'm worried about my son's academics. Solution: Tomorrow I'll make a list of concerns and schedule a parent/teacher conference.
  • No caffeine after 2 p.m.
  • No alcohol within three hours of bedtime.
  • Make your bedroom comfortable. Replace the mattress if needed; buy comfy sheets and a supportive pillow that doesn't strain your neck.
  • Avoid television and computer screens before bedtime and in bed.

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Lack of Physical Activity

Physical activity is important but physical activity alone cannot solve obesity. Consider this: A muffin has 420 calories. But walking three miles only burn off 239. A regular 20 ounce soda has 250-275 calories. So three mile walking is not even enough to burn off 20 ounce soda.

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Lack of Open Spaces

Lack of open spaces prevents people from physical activities. This leads to less exercise.

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Obesity Facts in US

  • More then 15% of all children between 6 and 19 are overweight or obese
  • 2 out of 3 adults are obese
  • In US there are cases with children having hypotension
  • In veteran hospitals more then 70% of them are overweight or obese. This is a little higher then general civilian hospital
  • Majority of amputation are due to type II diabetes instead of battle wounds.
  • $3 saves for every $1 in wellness program
  • Obese employee cost 11% more then none obese employee epidemic
  • Obesity cost 115 billion dollars
  • 85% of Americans think obesity is an epidemic

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Fossil Fuel and Fat

Vast majority of oil is spent not on cars and factories, but on agriculture. Most of the oil spent on agriculture is dedicated to produce crops which feed live stock. This is not surprising because meat production process produce more pollution that car and industry pollution combined.

Oil (means Petroleum) is needed in producing ammonium nitrate fertilizer. Oil is used in making pesticides. Oil is used in spraying pesticides, tending crops and harvesting crops.

Most of the fossil fuel goes into tending, watering, fertilizing harvesting, transporting the crops. Most of these crops would go to feeding live stocks. Live stock by products – i.e., fecal matters, contribute to global warming. Yes, there are factors that our solar system is also due to global warming, but also because of our activities as well. Consider this – just in US, only methane by cows and pigs produce is equal to the amount of what human world population produce.

Oil is needed in processing crops to peel off not only husk, but nutritional bran part of grain. Oil is used in processing these grains into processed foods. Oil is needed to package them (plastic package of food is also come from oil). Oil is used in transporting crops. It takes 10 calories of fossil fuel to produce 1 calories of processed food. About 25% of fossil fuel burn goes into food people eat, which is as much as personal transportation. Thus vast amount of oil is used to produce foods that are harmful to body, and people want more of it.

Put this in another perspective, every 1 pound people loose slightly over 39 million additional gallons fossil fuel. On average, a person in US spend a billion gallon per year gasoline more then 1960's because people weigh more.

It should be also noted that animal foods fuel eating desire, so the vicious cycle continues. To read more about how meat oriented diet affect environment, click here.

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How to Lose Weight

With so many factors that contribute to obesity, how do you lose weight? The first logical step would be do not eat and do anything that contribute to obesity, and do everything that keeps you in shape. Read this page for more detail on what to eat and what to not to eat to loose weight and keep you in shape.

Click here to read how to keep yourself healthy and fit

For me, it is pretty clear what to do and how to go about daily routine on this matter. If you study everything on this website carefully and plan out, you should be able to loose weight and keep in shape. People may say it is difficult, but once you are settled down with new routine and steadily see result, it is not that difficult.

If you still is a bit confused after studying all the material on my website and others and still have not a good idea how and where to start in order to get back in shape, I have weight loss personal coach program.

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Herbert Shelton Quote

    "The mode of living in this age produces such a waste of power and such a sense of weariness that only the limited few ever know the supreme delights and the enviable luxury of power in reserve. They (average modern people) keep up their semblance of vigor by means of stimulation and seldom take sufficient time to re-charge their vital or nervous batteries. Nights are turned into day, while mental and nervous poise is exceedingly rare. All poison habits, all excesses, the indulgence of any or all the passions constitute distract drains upon the vital resources and are sources of diminished vitality, crippled usefulness and shortened life. Modern life presents us with an almost unlimited variety of means of stimulation, excitement, thrills and dissipation chiefly originating in the clever but perverted ingenuity of those who reap financial rewards from these things."

    – From Orthobionomics by Herbert Shelton

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