Fat Fiction Fat, lies and measuring tape


Fat round up

Suitable ambassador for fat stories

Alright, I’m not going to do this that often, but given all the headlines are all about Murdoch’s crumbling empire (and not the ever so slightly more serious unfurling financial crisis in the EU/US), there’s been a flood of fat news that’s been swept aside by Rebekah Brooks’ copious red hair.

There’s only so many times you can say the same thing before you just end up looking slightly deranged banging on about obesity, so this post is a one-off. But I couldn’t resist given this week:

1)      0.5 million kids in UK have liver disease.

2)      Nudging (that’s the government theory, not a literal nudge more’s the pity) is not enough to tackle obesity and binge drinking say Lords. No shit Sherlock, say general public.

3)      Fat children should be ‘taken into care’. Aye, it's got that bad.

And just to put all that into context, someone’s asked the rather bizarre but pertinent question, are vegetables and exercise causing childhood obesity in China?

No they’re not. But at least someone’s asking the right question. As they say, China’s obesity epidemic  is like watching the West in fast-forward. In just one generation the kids are becoming ginormous. They’ve explained it away by saying most vegetables are fried in oil. Hmmm.

The reason why China’s children are ballooning is because they’ve had less time to adapt that the West. They’ve jumped straight from relatively healthy food into processed food, and their gut and gut flora can’t cope. The foods they do eat strips nutrients, prevents ability to use fat stores, disrupts the gut flora’s ability to extract essential nutrients out the food, and screws up the lining of their guts to boot. All the rest of the issue that follow – insulin regulation, type 2 diabetes, liver cirrhosis, lethargy leading to less exercise, mood swings… they’re all point back to the same cause. Lay off the processed grains and sugar.

In generations to come, evolutionary selection will favour those with the flora that can cope with highly processed foods. Even now, you can see certain people clearly have better dispositions for crap food. But for now, we’ll have to see acres and acres more newsprint about the same old same old while kids are turning into younger Michelin-man lookalikes of their parents.

So, while the same old cobblers is being trotted out I’m going to change direction in this blog for a while. Not for the gallstones business –I’ll be sure to update you if anything changes.  But in favour of … bacteria. Not everyone’s cup of tea no doubt, but given you – yes you – are 90% bacterial cells, it’s only fair to pay attention to the little critters. Some of the most interesting stuff is about food, bacteria and behaviour. Sure, that sounds mind-crushingly dull but some of it is staggering. One one hand you can induce depression, anxiety attacks, bi-polar with certain bacteria, and on the other, increased learning, wellbeing, memory, and confidence. And if that’s not enough, extrapolating cell behaviour into societal patterns, you can start seeing how big ideas like the tipping point have microbial forefathers...

That’ll do for now, everyone back to phone hacking. Keith Vaz is back on telly grilling others on corruption, shattering all previous irony records (I so wish I’d said that – @fleetstreetfox).

Photo Michelin Man from Hyku

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  1. I like the new direction. I’m looking forward to the new material, because although I’ve heard a lot about the importance of our gut bacteria, details have been pretty scarce.

    • Thanks Angel, I know what you mean. In the absence of proper info, I’ve found a ton of stuff which some people have just well, basically made up.

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