Saturday, 25 February 2012

Make Me Thin Fast


Two rants in the hour!  Another example of novelty and invention going in to the (very profitable area of) treating a symptom of obesity rather than the cause!  Here we go...

So then, let's ask the question 'What controls physical activity?'  As noted here, the common response will be along the lines of the availability of parks, gymnasiums, PE lessons, time to train.  Yet from an evolutionary perspective it doesn't seem right that our level of physical activity is just left to chance or is dependent on the city council's provision of a playground.

Despite what the skinny folk, the (usually fat) Doctors and (usually fat) dieticians say, it is NOT simply willpower and ELDM!  And as long as this crap advice persists, we' have people going down the route of The Diet Tube (see the image above, courtesy of The Guardian)!

The Diet Tube is just the latest development in bariatric surgery, joining a whole host of balloons, rings, sleeves and bands that would appear to treat a symptom rather than the cause.  Incidentally this technology is being pioneered in Rome, Italy.  That's right - the Mediterranean, home of the Mediterranean Diet.  Shome mishtake shurely?

This piece in today's Guardian suggests that the treatment of obesity is moving away from ELDM and contains this powerful illustration,

  • "If you have a Body Mass Index (a measurement based on an individual's height and weight. A healthy BMI is anywhere between 18.5 and 24.9.) of 40 and you are seven stone overweight, [losing] it would be like walking across the Atlantic and running five marathons. That is the straight calorie equation. And running marathons makes you hungry.

In the same interview, Alberic Fiennes, president of the British Obesity and Metabolic Surgery Society adds,

  • "There is a moral stigma to obesity," continues Fiennes. "These people are seen as weak, and stupid and greedy. But obesity is a disease."

So OK, there IS progress on how we understand this problem.  But what really lit me up was this bit at the end.  When the pioneer of the Diet Tube, Marco Gasparotti engaged in this exchange,

  • Has he tried Diet Tube himself?

    "Yes! Stavo benissimo. I felt happier. It was euphoric making."

    Like a medieval saint on a fast?

    Well, yes! Once, there was a week of fasting at Lent. And you only ate fish on Fridays. That's all gone now."

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