The BEST Way To Stop a 'Beer Belly'
by Joseph Mercola: New
Evidence Against These Cancer-Causing Foods and the Massive Cover-Up
- In an effort
to combat rising obesity rates, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg
has proposed a ban on the sale of sugary drinks larger than 16
ounces in restaurants, movie theaters, sports arenas, and other
food establishments. If approved, the ban could take effect as
early as March 2013
certain sizes of drinks is in no way, shape or form going to solve
the problem of obesity. All it will do is increase profits for
manufacturers and sellers of sugary drinks, and lead to an increased
plastic waste problem
is 'isocaloric but not isometabolic." This means you can have
the same amount of calories from fructose or glucose, fructose
and protein, or fructose and fat, but the metabolic effect will
be entirely different despite the identical calorie count. Excessive
fructose consumption is at the heart of the obesity crisis, but
cutting down on fructose consumption will require much more comprehensive
changes to the American food industry, as well as dramatic changes
to nutritional recommendations issued by the US government
If you've paid
any attention to the US news over the past week, you've surely heard
that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has proposed a ban on
the sale of sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces, in an effort to
was made just days before Mayor Bloomberg celebrated National Donut
Day in Madison Square Park, where, on June 1, the largest box of
Entenmann's Donuts ever created was proudly unveiledi...
plan would prohibit the sale of cups or bottles of sugary drinks
larger than 16 ounces from restaurants, delis, movie theaters, sports
arenas, street vendors, and any other establishment that is regulated
by the New York City Department of Health. According to CNN, the
NYC Department of Health will submit the proposed measure to the
Board of Health on June 12. The board will then accept comments
for next three months, after which it will make its decision. If
approved, the proposal would take effect six months later
as early as March of next year and restaurant owners would
have nine months from the adoption of the proposal to comply before
any fines would be levied.
Bloomberg, New York City spends $4 billion a year on medical care
for overweight people, and he wants to "do" something about that.
CNN recently quoted the Mayor as sayingii:
something we think we have the legal authority to do. Wečre not
taking away anybody's right to do something; we're simply making
it different for them in how they do it." He said he hoped the move
will help lead to different behaviors."
a Measure that Cannot Achieve its Stated Aim?
is a perfect example of nonsensical Big Brother intervention. It's
a knee-jerk "solution" that doesn't solve anything.
people from buying one large rather than two smaller sized sodas
is in no way, shape or form going to solve the problem of obesity.
Of all the hare-brained ideas out there, this one really takes the
cake. All it will do is increase profits for the manufacturers and
sellers, as people who want more will buy more, and drive up industry
consumption of plastic and create more waste... I truly do not believe
that this plan will have any major impact on altering consumer behavior.
While it is
encouraging to see the increased appreciation of the contribution
of soda to the obesity epidemic, it's extremely disappointing to
see such short-sightedness and narrow-mindedness among our political
leaders. This legislation will actually encourage people who want
the large sizes to select diet sodas, which are not included in
the ban. This will have the paradoxical effect of actually worsening
obesity rates, as many studies show diet soda is worse than regular
soda at increasing obesity.
is one of the absolute worst things you can consume, and yes, it
certainly contributes to obesity.
prohibitions on serving sizes is not a real solution because it
does not address the fundamental problem; which is that people have
been, and still are, being lied to by health officials and industry-owned
media on virtually every health and dietary issue there is. In fact,
most of the nutritional information distributed by our public health
agencies was created and /or manipulated by the processed food and
beverage industry. Public dietary recommendations have no real basis
in actual knowledge of nutrition, and commonly used tools such as
the food pyramid are designed to protect profits of industries such
as Big Sugar and Big Ag, which is now led by multi-national corporations
like Monsanto, which is now fighting tooth and nail to prevent having
to disclose genetically engineered products on food labels...
and truthful information, how will the average consumer know how
to optimize their health?
If our government
truly wants to address the obesity problem, they must stop supporting
and protecting the profits of the industries that are running our
food and health system into the ground. That's a tall order, and
a measure like this one is nothing but political grandstanding that
will have no real effect whatsoever, other than indoctrinating the
public into thinking it's okay for our government to dictate what
foods and drinks you are and are not allowed to buy.
All of that
said, there are those who stand behind Bloomberg's proposal. In
a recent article for Time Magazine, Shannon Brownlee writesiii:
mayor wouldn't be trying to outlaw giant sugary drinks if we hadn't
lost all sense of a normal serving size...
has gotten a lot of flack from the beverage industry and free marketeers,
but he's right to propose such a ban: we shouldn't really be drinking
anything out of those bathtub-sized cups but water, and
certainly not a 7/11 Double Gulp that contains 55 ounces and more
than 700 calories. But huge has become the new normal. The fact
that such a ban is even being proposed shows you how out of whack
our sense of proportion has become.
was a kid, Coca-Cola came in 6-ounce glass bottles, and that seemed
like plenty. It wasn't all that long ago that a 12-ounce soda was
considered perfectly sufficient even large. But walk into
any pizzeria or deli these days and you'll have a very hard time
even finding 12-ounce cans of anything. 20-ounce plastic bottles
are now considered the standard single-serving size.
ban on large drinks, on the other hand, could reset our notion of
what a normal beverage serving looks like, and that could make all
She makes an
excellent point. Many if not most Americans have indeed lost all
sense of proportion. Especially our youth, to whom "bathtub-sized"
portions are the norm. Still, I believe there are many problems
with Mayor Bloomberg's proposal. Besides the fact that it places
unnecessary restrictions on personal freedom of choice, it does
nothing to address the core issue of public education about the
dangers of sugar, particularly fructose in the form of high fructose
corn syrup. Furthermore, the measure does not apply to diet sodas
(which are even more pernicious), fruit juices, dairy-based drinks,
"enhanced" water beverages, or alcohol.
This is a clear
sign that the Mayor simply does not understand the basics of nutrition
and obesity, as not only is there is no major difference between
soda and other fructose-laden drinks, but diet soda is in many ways
even more hazardous to your health than regular soda. In fact, studies
have shown that diet
sodas, which contain artificial sweeteners such as aspartame,
actually boost your risk of obesity more than regular soda
does! Artificial sweeteners are also associated with an increased
risk of diabetes and metabolic syndrome just like regular
not proposing that all of these excluded drinks be placed under
the same size-prohibition; I'm simply pointing out that singling
out certain types of sugary drinks and restricting sale of larger
sizes is not a viable or sensible solution. What's needed is proper
education by people who are not beholden to industry interests,
along with fundamental changes to the entire food industry, starting
with our agricultural subsidies.
Obesity is Related to Misleading the Public on Health Issues
the result of inappropriate lifestyle choices, and unfortunately,
our government has done an abysmal job at disseminating accurate
information about diet and health. For example, conventional advice
that is driving public health in the wrong direction includes:
saturated fat: The myth that saturated fat causes heart
disease has undoubtedly harmed an incalculable number of lives
over the past several decades, even though it all began as little
more than a scientifically unsupported marketing strategy for
cooking oil. Most people actually need at least 50 percent of
their diet to include healthful saturated
fats such as organic, pastured eggs, avocados, coconut oil,
real butter and grass-fed beef in order to optimize their health
calories: Not all calories are created equal, and counting
calories will not help you lose weight if you're consuming
the wrong kind of calories
your cholesterol to extremely low levels: Cholesterol
is actually NOT the major culprit in heart disease or any disease,
and the guidelines that dictate what number your cholesterol
levels should be to keep you "healthy" are fraught with conflict
of interest -- and have never been proven to be good for your
diet foods will help you lose weight: Substances like
may have zero calories, but your body isn't fooled. When it gets
a "sweet" taste, it expects calories to follow, and when this
doesn't occur it leads to distortions in your biochemistry that
may actually lead to weight gain
This is just
a tiny sampling of the misleading information on weight and obesity
disseminated by our government agencies. A more complete list of
myths could easily fill an entire series of books. The reason
behind this sad state of affairs is the fact that the very industries
that profit from these lies are the ones funding most of the research;
infiltrating our regulatory agencies; and bribing our political
officials to support their financially-driven agenda through any
number of legal, and at times not so legal, means.
How Much Fructose
Do You Consume Daily?
American now consumes 1/3 of a pound of sugar daily. That's five
ounces or 150 grams, half of which is fructose, which is 300 percent
more than the amount that will trigger biochemical havoc. And many
Americans consume more than twice that amount.
could easily keep their total grams of fructose to below about 25
grams per day then I believe we would start seeing some radical
changes in obesity statistics. But the key issue is that while that
is theoretically possible, few people are actually doing it, and
the reliance on processed food is the primary reason for this failure.
Soda is certainly
a MAJOR culprit, but again, restricting the sale of Big Gulps is
not going to do much to curb this epidemic as long as people fail
to realize the metabolic ramifications of fructose the majority
of which is hidden in processed foods. High fructose corn
syrup is used in virtually everything, making it very difficult
to determine just how much fructose you're consuming every single
day. So the problem is much bigger than the fact that it's "too
easy" to order a larger size drink when you're in a fast food restaurant...
The entire meal is laden with sugar!
formula and baby starter foods contain massive amounts of fructose,
even though babies have absolutely no biological need for it. The
fact of the matter is, it's a cheap ingredient that makes the food
taste good, which, naturally, is good for sales. Sugar also has
the same addictive quality as cocaine, which further promotes incessant
snacking and overeating, in addition to overconsumption of soda
and other sweet beverages.
Metabolic Havoc in Your Body...
Thanks to the
excellent work of researchers like Dr.
Robert Lustig, and Dr.
Richard Johnson, we now know that fructose:
- Is metabolized
differently from glucose, with the majority being turned directly
- Tricks your
body into gaining weight by fooling your metabolism, as it turns
off your body's appetite-control system. Fructose does not appropriately
stimulate insulin, which in turn does not suppress ghrelin (the
"hunger hormone") and doesn't stimulate leptin (the "satiety hormone"),
which together result in your eating more and developing insulin
leads to weight gain and abdominal obesity ("beer belly"), decreased
HDL, increased LDL, elevated triglycerides, elevated blood sugar,
and high blood pressure i.e., classic metabolic syndrome.
- Over time
leads to insulin resistance, which is not only an underlying factor
of type 2 diabetes and heart disease, but also many cancers.
If you have
not yet taken the time to watch Dr. Lustig's excellent lecture
on sugar, I urge you to do so now. This is the kind of information
that needs to be taught to school children and nutritionists across
the country if we're ever going to change consumer behavior.
This is a Flash-based video and may not be viewable on mobile
Two Keys that
Can Curb Out-of-Control Obesity
Robert Lustig, fructose is 'isocaloric but not isometabolic."
This means you can have the same amount of calories from fructose
or glucose, fructose and protein, or fructose and fat, but the metabolic
effect will be entirely different despite the identical calorie
count. The reason for this is primarily related to the fact that
different nutrients provoke different hormonal responses, and those
hormonal responses determine, among other things, how much fat you
accumulate. This is why the idea that you can lose weight by counting
calories simply doesn't work.
other sugars and grains are likely the most excessively consumed
food that promotes weight gain and chronic disease. Other sugars
can easily include items that are typically viewed as healthy, such
as fruit juice or even large amounts of high fructose fruits. In
large amounts these items will adversely affect your insulin, which
is a crucially potent fat regulator.
I believe there
are two primary dietary recommendations that could make all the
difference in the world, were they to be widely advocated. Unfortunately,
this is not likely to happen anytime soon, because accepting these
recommendations would mean cutting profitability for the food industry
not to mention the fact that major health agencies would
have to confess that they've been misleading you for a very long
The two primary
keys I'm talking about are:
restricting carbohydrates (sugars, fructose, and grains) in your
healthy fat consumption
authorities insist that sugar is fine "in moderation," and that
grains are an essential part of a healthy diet and can actually
help you prevent heart disease, they fail to take into consideration
is the NUMBER ONE source of calories in the US, which means our
consumption of it is far from "moderate." As stated earlier, this
is not at all surprising when you consider that fructose, primarily
in the form of cheap high fructose corn syrup, is in just about
everything even food items you'd never expect
would need it, including diet foods and 'enhanced' water products
carbohydrates (breakfast cereals, bagels, waffles etc) quickly
breaks down to sugar, increase your insulin levels, and cause
insulin resistance, which is the number one underlying factor
of nearly every chronic disease known to man, including heart
of Your Own Health
need to address obesity. But that entails addressing our entire
food system from agricultural subsidies, to advertising,
to public dietary recommendations; school lunches, and nutritional
education in general. In order to do that, we must face these giant
food and beverage industries head on... Bloomberg is obviously not
up for that task. Hopefully some day, someone will be.
In the meantime,
I urge you to take control of your own health, and take the time
to educate yourself about the facts of how to achieve optimal health.
My web site contains tens of thousands of articles addressing virtually
every facet of health, from how to optimize your diet and exercise
routine, to the dangers of various drugs and the safest alternatives.
To get you
started, I recommend reviewing my Nutritional
Plan, which will guide you step-by-step from the beginner's
level to advanced. Making small incremental changes is perhaps the
easiest way to change your lifestyle into one that will support
and promote good health well into your old age.
2012 Dr. Joseph Mercola
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