Our Brains and Food
Our Brains and Food
A few weeks ago I ventured out of metropolitan Washington, DC to the vastness of our country. It is a large country, and, by god, it is inhabited by large people. Once out of the confines of the suburbs, one comes across a race of Americans unknown in the metropolis other than as an occasional curiosity. This race is voluminous. No differences in color or national origins here. All are giants.
The epidemic of obesity in the US is much discussed in the press. The economic devastation it will wreak on our society when our fat children grow up to be sick diabetics with enlarged hearts who are unable to work will add legions to the numbers of medically disabled. The few normal-weighted children will not be able to bear the burden of all the excess weight.
The truth is that people should not be wholly blamed. On my trip through this land of Brobdingnag, it became painfully apparent that there is no healthy choice for eating. The land is populated by fast food restaurants that serve food at ridiculously low industrialized prices. Eating healthy is a privilege for the rich in this country and the poor almost everywhere else!
Obesity is defined medically as having 100 lbs more than one’s normal weight based on height and body surface area. The insurance companies have created these norms and use them to determine whether you are a candidate for certain surgeries. Diets abound in our America. Low fat, high protein, no carbs, vegetarian, etc.
The simple fact is that the best way to lose weight is to decrease the number of calories you eat. Forget the other variables, though they do help and may speed up weight loss for some. For example, I recently read that if you snack in mid-morning during a diet, you lose less weight than if you snack in the afternoon! Such research will continue to develop more specific parameters for diets, but just eating less is the number one thing to do.
Our brains also play an important role in our eating more or less, and just knowing this will help you manipulate yourself into eating less food. In the past I have discussed the psychological aspects of diets, but recent research is very interesting. See this post for more: http://thecosmeticplasticsurgeon.com/2011/05/16/rules-for-eating/
Hold onto your seats for the next post!