Posts Tagged ‘obesity’

Are You a Carboholic? Why Cutting Carbs Is So Tough – The New York Times

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

The conventional thinking, held by the large proportion of the many researchers and clinicians I’ve interviewed over the years, is that obesity is caused by caloric excess. They refer to it as an “energy balance” disorder, and so the treatment is to consume less energy (fewer calories) and expend more. When we fail to maintain this prescription, the implication is that we simply lack will power or self-discipline.

“It’s viewed as a psychological issue or even a question of
character,” says Dr. David Ludwig, who studies and treats obesity at Harvard Medical School.

The minority position in this field — one that Dr. Ludwig holds, as do I after years of reporting — is that obesity is actually a hormonal regulatory disorder, and the hormone that dominates this process is insulin. It directly links what we eat to the accumulation of excess fat and that, in turn, is tied to the foods we crave and the hunger we experience. It’s been known since the 1960s that insulin signals fat cells to accumulate fat, while telling the other cells in our body to burn carbohydrates for fuel. By this thinking these carbohydrates are uniquely fattening.


Are You a Carboholic? Why Cutting #Carbs Is So Tough #Obesity as an energy-balance v hormonal-regulatory disorder

We Need a New Green Revolution

Saturday, January 9th, 2016

We Need a New Green Revolution Advocates US agri-science funding to grow yields. Sensible given #obesity epidemic?

“Today, farm production has stopped growing in the United States, and agriculture research is no longer a priority; it constitutes only 2 percent of federal research and development spending. And, according to the Department of Agriculture, total agricultural production has slowed significantly since the turn of the century. We need another ambitious surge in agricultural science.”

Are some people doomed to be fat? – health – 12 November 2014 – New Scientist

Friday, December 19th, 2014

Are some people doomed to be fat? Overview of metabolism & #obesity; addresses common myths, eg don’t eat before bed

14 myths and maybes about burning fat

PepsiCo, Snack Foods, and the Obesity Epidemic : The New Yorker

Sunday, December 1st, 2013

A good look at big food R&D, as it moves towards personalized nutrition: PepsiCo, Snack Foods & the #Obesity Epidemic

PepsiCo takes stock of the obesity epidemic.
MAY 16, 2011

Nevertheless, collaborating with crystal technologists in Munich, PepsiCo was able to develop “15 micron salt,” a new kind of salt that produces the same taste curve as the salt the company has been using—a pyramid-shaped crystal known as Alberger salt—but contains twenty-five to forty per cent less sodium. PepsiCo first used the new salt on its Walker brand of chips, which it sells in the U.K. By the end of 2012, 15 micron salt will be flavoring many of the Lay’s plain chips made in the U.S.

The samples that are approved by the robot are further refined and analyzed and, eventually, incorporated into test batches of drinks and snacks that are presented to human tasters. But this is not merely a question of deciding what tastes good, or comparing one kind of taste with another; PepsiCo is also trying to understand how product descriptions like “healthy” or “good for you” might affect the way things taste. The company has conducted fMRI studies to test the hypothesis that calling a product “healthy” may lower taste
expectations in the brain. In one study, a forty-calorie beverage was described as a “treat” to people just before they tasted it, and then the same beverage was called “healthy” and offered to the tasters again. The tests showed that people who scored high in reward sensitivity—i.e., those who are easily satisfied—found the beverage labelled “treat” to be more satisfying, while the people who scored low in reward sensitivity found the “healthy” beverage to be more satisfying.

We went down the hall to a conference room where Jonathan McIntyre, a biochemist who came to PepsiCo from DuPont, and several staff members had set up the tasting. The first phase was a “triangle tasting” of three experimental mid-calorie colas that PepsiCo has been tinkering with, which contain about half the sugar of blue-can Pepsi. In front of us were three trays, each bearing three small sampling cups filled with cola, and some salted crackers, a water glass, and a spit glass. The contest between Nooyi and me, on which we would be scored, was, in each round of tasting, to pick out the experimental cola from two regular Pepsis.