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#733#734#735#736 Episode #737 - The War On Obesity
(The Ongoing Global Poisoning)

#738#739#740#741

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Sun 17 April 2016  Rebecca Anshell Song, Robert H. Lustig
Listen to hour#1 in New Tab (Right Click + Save As... to download)Listen to hour#2 in New Tab (Right Click + Save As... to download)
Download Hour1 Download Hour2 Two powerful and informative speakers with complementary perspectives on the declining health of the US population. First we hear Rebecca Anshell Song on Sexism and the Food and Diet Industry. She highlights the impossibility of the modern targets set for feminine beauty - and the consequences ranging from suicide and despair of affected women to the millions of cosmetic operations carried out in an effort to achieve physically impossible ideals of feminine beauty. Our main speaker is Professor Robert H. Lustig who observes that the "war on obesity", just like the war on drugs and the war on terrorism, is having counterproductive effects and in fact promoting obesity, as well as making large profits for corporations in the process.
Rebecca Anshell Song's presentation from the Socialist 2013 conference is entitled "Sexism and the Food and Diet Industry", and forms the first 23 minutes of Hour#1. She is lively in her denunciation of capitalism and the disregard of multinational corporations for people's health and happiness. She speaks on how the US has aggressively intervened globally to try to impose an (impossible) standard of beauty - pale skinned, long legged with a thin waist and huge breasts. The second part of her talk deals with the "weight loss industry" which is almost completely ineffective at helping people to lose weight, but which is however effective at taking money from gullible and vulnerable consumers, especially women. She also notes how in the 1980's food companies noticed that they could make extra profits by substituting cheaper, synthetic ingredients for natural ones - whilst then charging consumers a premium by marketing these as diet foods.

Our main speaker is a speech by Robert Lustig, UCSF Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology. His 2009 video has been seen over 6,000,000 times. In it, he traces the origins of the increasing weight of people in USA and worldwide. As well as being an engaging speaker, he provides a good overview not only of the biochemistry in the presentation, but of the politics and social dimensions of food technology and legislation. I found it particularly interesting that he mentions the harm done to people's health by laws passed under the government of Richard M. Nixon. As I was making this, I recalled that Nixon was in Dallas (one of 3 other US presidents known to be there on the day that Kennedy was murdered) working as a senior lawyer Pepsi-Cola.

Lustig's talk is thick both references to his own research and that of others. He begins by challenging the simplistic idea of "calories in - calories out = calories gained". As his talk makes clear, the form of these calories affects their availability to different organs of the body. The "low fat" foods which began to be marketed by food companies are probably worse in health terms, he explains, because of the extra sugar. He highlights carbonated beverages in particular for causing obesity in children and adults. Fructose is especially harmful and cheap to manufacture as is HFCS. Since fructose is naturally occurring, it was assumed to be 'G.R.A.S.' without any tests - but he explains why in its refined form it meets the definition of a poison, causing or aggravating a range of health problems including the "metabolic syndrome": diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. As a trained statistician, his statistics struck me as sound, though I found that I needed multiple listenings to grasp the biochemistry.


The bottom line of his advice:- Cut sugar (especially fructose) out of your diet as much as possible.
Make sure that you get plenty of fiber (which is much reduced in processed foods to increase shelf life).

Music: Underwear Goes Inside The Pants by Lazyboy
Thanks to University of California Television for the Robert H. Lustig talk and to We Are Many for the Rebecca Anshell Song speech.
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