The number of kids affected by obesity has tripled (in US) since 1980, and this can be traced in large part to lack of a healthy diet.

In the rural areas we see that our grand parents who even at this old age eat food filled with what we call in urban terms as fatty food – diet filled with ghee, butter, oils, curd etc and yet these elderly people are healthy, not overweight and are more active than most urban youth. Why?

The reason given is that a lack of physical exercise in the urban youth who spend most of their time in front of computers, play video games instead of physical games and so on. And that in the rural areas, people do a lot of physical activity everyday which burns out all excessive fat, keeping them healthy and fit.

 

Evolution of Obesity - Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/combinedmedia/3067501298/sizes/z/in/photostream/

Lack of Physical Exercises – Is that the ONLY reason for Obesity?

The commonest form of malnutrition in the western world is obesity. – Mervyn Deitel

Now look at this. We also have a lot of people in the urban areas who do a lot of physical activity, control their dietary intakes, use calorie charts counting each calorie of food they eat, spend a lot of time in gym, jogging, aerobics and fitness camps and yet are unable to shed their extra fat and obesity continues to be a major problem for them. Why?

Definitely it is not the lack of physical exercises alone that is the reason. We even have small kids who at a much younger age become obese. We have small kids who are willing to go out and play for long times just like any other kid, and yet has become obese, and they term such obesity as hereditary. How can it be possible? Humans never had this hereditarily obese population till recent times. What caused the sudden rise? Children who are still in their playful age becoming obese definitely cannot be because of lack of physical exercise, it has something to do with something else, which has nothing to do with physical activities, and it doesnt look to be heredity either.

Then we have those people who are on a calorie diet and do physical activities regularly like physical exercises and workouts in the gym, and yet are struggling to get rid of that extra fat. Why?

Overeating – Does just eating too much of food cause Obesity?

“To say that obesity is caused by merely consuming too many calories is like saying that the only cause of the American Revolution was the Boston Tea Party.” – Adelle Davis

As I pointed it out earlier, there are scores of people on this planet (especially in rural areas, villages and small towns) who eat much more than what a lot of obese people eat, and yet have a non obese morphology and a good body-mass index. They have a lot of ghee, butter, oil in their daily diet. Yes they do a lot of physical activities everyday than most in urban areas, but then at the same time even among those who dont do that kind of physical activities in these rural areas, you still do not find them to be obese! You rarely find any obese kid in Indian villages – Obesity is definitely not a hereditary problem here. How can it be possible that obesity by heredity has become a common phenomenon only in the developed societies?

Scientific Experiments to Study the effects of Obesity on Animals

Animals are rarely obese, and so are humans who are not part of the so called developed societies. Something is definitely wrong in the developed societies which is causing large developments in our bellies or tummies or whatever you call it.

So how do scientists study the effects of obesity or run the trials for anti-obesity drugs etc? Well, one of the favorite experimental animal of humans are rats. Rats are by nature NOT obese, just like any other animal. Scientists have to make them obese first before conducting any obesity related experiments on them. So how do they make rats obese?

They inject a chemical called MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) into these rats which makes them obese. Infact these obese rats have a nick name “MSG treated rats”. Now that you know how scientists create obese rats, let us move on to obese humans.

Not the Food, but what that Food contains is the real reason for common Obesity

Obesity now contributes to the death of more than 360000 Americans a year. The incidence of childhood obesity is now at epidemic levels. Alarm bells are going off all over the place. But our government has done virtually nothing. – Tom Harkin

As mentioned in this article earlier, there are a lot of people in rural India, in the villages, small towns, who consume a lot of food fried in fresh oil, whose daily diet is filled with dairy products like curd, butter, ghee etc, and yet are rarely obese. On the other hand we see that in the urban areas, in the developed societies we have people who eat a lot of the very same products, fried stuff, oily food, etc and are usually obese.

Lack of physical exercises alone can’t be the differentiator here because as mentioned earlier, children at a very young much before we can blame the lack of exercises for their obesity are becoming obese in the urban societies. And it can’t be heredity either because in that case the ratio should not have been so different between the urban societies and rural societies. How many obese children do you find in rural areas, in villages, small towns etc?

So the real reason should lie in some difference between the diet of rural sections of the society where obesity is not a menace, and the urban sections of the society where obesity is a major issue.

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/brainfag/4159368166/

The difference between the common urban diet (artificial diet) and the common rural diet (natural diet)

The most obvious difference is that in rural areas the food people eat is completely home made, and I call it natural food – no additives, artificial flavors, no preservatives of whatever type and so on.

On the other hand, a lot of those living in urban areas rarely have any time (or even knowledge) to cook and usually go to fast food joints, instant pizza deliveries and so on. Even the ones who cook at home very frequently consume outside food. And as we know these pre-packaged food, with attractive labels like, no need to cook, no need to boil, just heat and eat, etc – they all contain some or the other preservative, artificial flavor, approved chemicals, colors and what not. I call this food artificial food – it is  not prepared the way we prepare the food naturally – in natural preparations at home we dont add preservatives, colors, artificial substances etc.

So it has to be some substance added to this artificial food that is causing obesity. Which one is that?

MSG – The missing link ?

Remember how rats who are naturally not overweight are made obese by injecting MSG into them?

Now here comes the most startling picture. MSG, or Monosodium Glutamate which is used to create obese rats in experiments is found in almost every single packaged and processed food we eat. And it is a part of all these food packages hidden behind more than 25 different names! It is used in almost all the restaurants, fast food joints etc under different names. You cant easily make out the presence of MSG just by reading the list of ingredients because it comes under different names like ‘natural flavouring’, ‘hydrolyzed or textured vegetable protein’, ‘calcium caseinate’, ‘autolyzed yeast extract’, ‘Gelatin’, ‘Accent, ‘Aginomoto, ‘Natural Meat Tenderiser,’ etc.

For more details on the toxins in our food – read the book The Slow Poisoning of America by John Erb.

MSG injected into rats – Obese Rats

MSG ingested by humans – Obese Humans?

Why is MSG used in Packed and Processed Food?

Packed and Processed Food is a business and business thrives on sales – the more the sale, the more profit the business can make. The more people eat, the more the sales of these food items. MSG is to food what nicotine is to cigarettes. It is an addictive and makes you eat more and more. That is the only reason why MSG is used so widely in the food industry.

MSG can be found in coffee shops, in turkeys and chicken to make them plump, in potato chips, canned gravies, salad dressings, frozen food, its everywhere. MSG is also found in food meant to be used as a weight loss diet! So if a person has been eating very little, and is on a packaged or processed weight loss diet and yet is unable to lose weight, then probably the reason behind it is the MSG in that very little food he takes!

(Reference: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/beverley-golden/obesity-msg-and-rats_b_842332.html)

How does MSG cause Obesity?

Biologically what MSG does is to increase the production of insulin. Insulin is a hormone which naturally gets released after we eat food when the blood sugar level increases due to the entry of glucose (obtained from digested food) into the blood stream. Insulin helps in bringing back the blood sugar level to normal limits.

MSG causes a very large insulin release after it is ingested since there are glutamate receptors in the pancreas.  MSG manufacturers claim that ingested MSG does not result in a corresponding increase in blood levels of free glutamic acid, but according to the following research done in Canada, ingested MSG DOES result in higher plasma concentrations of free glutamic acid AND higher insulin levels as well.

MSG is also an excitotoxin – chemicals which excite the brain cells ie neurons to the point of cell damage leading eventually to cell death. MSG affects the hypothalamus region of the brain – which is not protected against harmful toxins by the blood brain barrier. MSG creates a lesion in the hypothalamus that correlates with abnormal development, including obesity, short stature and sexual reproduction problems.

According to Dr. Russell L. Blaylock, author of the book Excitotoxins,

One can only wonder if the large number of people having difficulty with obesity in the United States is related to early exposure to food additive excitotoxins, since this obesity is one of the most consistent features of the syndrome. One characteristic of the obesity induced by excitotoxins is that it doesn’t appear to depend on food intake. This could explain why some people cannot diet away their obesity

Now one can see why getting rid of obesity is so difficult – it is not as simple as the formula commonly used to fight obesity – calories in, calories out

And here is more about the impact of Excitotoxins on our health.

Excitotoxicity may be involved in spinal cord injury, stroke, traumatic brain injury and neurodegenerative diseases of the central nervous system (CNS) such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s disease, alcoholism or alcohol withdrawal and Huntington’s disease. Other common conditions that cause excessive glutamate concentrations around neurons are hypoglycemia and status epilepticus. – References

How to Protect Children (and yourself) from Obesity

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/joe_13/188297063/sizes/z/in/photostream/

This might be the first generation where kids are dying at a younger age than their parents and it’s related primarily to the obesity problem. – Judy Davis

If you care about your child’s health, then stop feeding them with any kind of packaged or processed or junk food. If you care about your own health, the same rule applies again. The more you eat home made naturally prepared food – free of any flavors, preservatives, additives – the more healthy you stay. Remember that most obese children are also becoming victims of Type II diabetes at a very early age, and this is a very very serious health concern.

Particularly disturbing is the later obesity after MSG exposure during the neonatal and infant period even after only a short or limited exposure.
In Bad Taste by George R Schwartz MD, page 22

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