Tag Archives: obesity

30 million deaths every year – our next pandemic is already here

Large and lonely
It’s not fair – getting fat without eating more – and it’s going to be the death of you

30 million deaths – almost half the population of Britain. With a waiting list of 1.4 billion. That’s a pandemic alright.

All driven by the one thing we know about, but prefer not to think about – our rapidly expending waistlines.

Unwanted obesity

Bigger tummies, fatter figures, unstoppable obesity.

We never used to be like this, but we are now.

In the UK, fully two thirds of us are already clinically overweight or obese – 1.4 billion worldwide. Already on the downhill slope to serious health complications – heart disease, cancer, diabetes, asthma. Known killers with a combined death rate of 30 million a year worldwide – and rapidly accelerating.

How did this happen? We’re not stupid, we’re not irresponsible.

Damn it, we’re not even confirmed gluttons, for goodness sake. Sure, some fat people eat like there’s no tomorrow – but most of us are miserable with our weight and eat like birds.

It’s as if we’re cursed.

Oh yes, indeed – there’s a curse alright. For far too many of us, obesity is a long and lasting illness ending in a death sentence.

We can play around with diets, we can delude ourselves with exercise – and for a lucky and very determined few, maybe that will work.

For the rest of us, there is no escape. Like it or not, at some time in the future we’ll be going to hospital more and more often – closer and closer to our one-way ticket with destiny.

The curse of antibiotics

Most unpalatable of all is the truth of how we got here.

“It is impossible to be obese unless one is eating too many calories,” said Lord McColl, emeritus professor of surgery at Guys Hospital, in an address to the House of Lords last week.

Yeah right, we’re dying of hunger and ridiculed as fatties, what the hell’s going on?

The real curse is antibiotics.

Miracle lifesavers in the medical field, miracle money-makers in agriculture.

Because antibiotics are champion growth promoters bar none. Added to livestock feed in small doses every day, they boost growth like crazy, accelerate development up to four times faster.  From egg to full-grown roasting chicken in 6 weeks. From calf to Aberdeen Angus sirloin steak in 16 months instead of four years.

And the same thing is happening to us.

We eat them, so small traces of antibiotics get through in our diet with every meal we eat. Either directly from their meat, or indirectly from the manure they produce – laced through with antibiotics that fertilise every kind of vegetable and fruit crop.

Just like the animals, the antibiotics make our bodies resistant to the hormone that tells us when we’ve had enough to eat – leptin resistance – we keep eating unconsciously. As Lord McColl says, ” Obesity is a hormonal disorder leading to abnormal energy partitioning, which cannot be solely fixed by increasing exercise.”

Growth promoters – the fat makers

Unfortunately, that’s not all that antibiotics do. As champion growth promoters, they make us more efficient at absorbing the nutrients we do consume. Even if we’re not eating more, we’re EXTRACTING more – squeezing out more calories than normal people are capable of.

Not difficult when you think how digestive systems work. As part of Nature’s wonderful cycle that interrelates everything to everything else, most livestock only digest 80-90% of what they eat, the rest is excreted as waste. That’s where the manure comes from that fertilises almost all commercial plant life – and where we get our daily dose of antibiotics from, pooed out with other nutrients.

But antibiotics cause animals to grab a whole chunk more nosh value than just 10%. Squeezing more calories out, they beef up bigger and faster – and we do exactly the same. Instead of passing through 80%, we might pass through 60% or even 50%. Without our knowing it, we’re absorbing the equivalent of two meals instead of one, every time we eat.

No wonder we’re the size of a house without any effort!

And all the rest

Which is how come we’re obese – and how come we’ve developed all those other disorders that have crept up on us since bacteria-killing antibiotics started messing with the delicate balance of our own internal gut bacteria. Allergies, immune system deficiencies – phantom disorders that feel very real, making our bodies react to conditions that just aren’t there.

Is there anything that can be done about it?

Not a lot.

We all have to eat – but round the world, our food production process is a gigantic machine almost impossible to stop.

We could try to eat less – deliberately try to bring our calorie count down. Going serious cold turkey, like giving up smoking. Very, very hard if you’ve never tried. But we NEED those nutrients to keep our systems ticking over. Starving ourselves is dicey and unlikely to be healthy.

Or we can change our food source. Get off the antibiotics and hope that by removing our daily fix, we can reverse some of the damage they’ve done. Which means organic foods, growing our own at home without fertilisers – and eating fish that’s only deep sea fresh, none of the farmed stuff.

Ways of winning

Which leaves exercise. We’re small eaters already, shamed by our bodies – so with antibiotics off the menu together with some sensible workouts, maybe expending energy will be a little less like pushing water uphill.

There is hope. Reducing even a teaspoon of fat from around our pancreas can have the effect of reversing type 2 diabetes.

One down, fewer to go.

With luck you’ll lose more of the right kind of weight before any of the other big hitters kick in.

Picture Copyright: iahulbak / 123RF Stock Photo

Originally posted 2016-06-14 17:00:24.

Antibiotics are becoming like terrorists with nukes – AMR is just a sideshow

Sniper
Know your enemy! Antibiotics are set to kill more of us than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined

We don’t see terrorists coming. We don’t see the dangers of antibiotics either – both of them set to nuke us when we least expect it.

A terrorist bomb might take out a city the size of Greater Manchester – thousands dead, hundreds of thousands more facing years of radiation sickness – like being dead before it actually happens.

Antibiotics are no prettier.

An invisible war

Because to the trillions and trillions of beneficial bacteria in our own gut, nukes are exactly what antibiotics are. Evil invaders who only want to destroy. Mass killers.

Imagine Greater Manchester, millions of times over. That’s what life is like down there in our insides, more bacteria than there are human cells. Reality is, we’re a harmonious, co-existing  miracle that’s 90% germs.

Now comes an oral dose of antibiotics – amoxicillin, say – prescribed for some troubling ailment, often unnecessarily. Trillions and trillions of microscopic but benevolent bacteria – versus 250 mg of devastating nuclear destruction.

A massive chunk of your gut, nuked to nothing.

You’re right. The medicine might clobber whatever the problem is – but the body will never return to exactly the way it was. Too many innocent bystanders caught in the fallout. Billions killed, vital diversity reduced. The system is not as strong as the way it was, no longer as all-round resilient.

Resistance movement

But there are survivors. Maybe a bit damaged, or not fully functioning – but wise to what antibiotics are capable of, and aware of what they need to do to escape. Next time, even more will endure. And even more after that.

Until the day comes that an antibiotic hits the gut, and our bacteria are impervious. Even to nukes.

Nothing happens.

Our bacteria have learned how to resist the drugs – even shared their survival skills with others, so all of them are immune. Antimicrobial resistance it’s called – AMR. Wish we could have the same resistance to terrorists.

Except big-scale calamities are not usually the way terrorists work, are they? 9/11 doesn’t happen every day.

More effective – and more insidious – are the little attacks that do. Happen every day, that is. Always there, never letting up, determined to bring us down, little by little. Charlie Hebdo, Bataclan theatre, Brussels airport.

The real killers

Exactly like antibiotics do.

Better believe it.

Because without our even thinking about it, we’re swallowing down antibiotics into our gut little by little with every meal.

In the milk with our corn flakes. In the oats for our porridge. In our bacon and eggs. In the chicken for our sandwich, and the lettuce with it. In the bangers and mash for tea, including in the baked beans.

Little hand grenades in our gut, or letting loose with a machine pistol. Nothing serious, but always damage. Little bits of us that suddenly aren’t working any more.

How is this possible?

We-he-hell.

Growth promoters

It all started back in 1946, when a researcher named Moore discovered the growth stimulation of antibiotics fed to chicks. A colleague named Jukes reached the same conclusion in 1952 – feed small amounts of antibiotics to livestock every day, and they bulk up like crazy.

Money, money, money. Fat, fatter, fattest.

And did we mention money?

Today, 240,000 tonnes of antibiotics are pumped into farm livestock every year.  Bigger, better, fatter than ever – and more of them. Enabling our own human world population to explode from 2½ billion in the 1950s, to 7½ billion now.

And of course, all these animals poo – excreting, would you believe, more than 75% of the nutrients they consume – including the antibiotics. “In 2002, 185 million swine sold in the US generated about 280 million tons of fresh manure; in 2006, chicken produced even more (460 million tons), while, in 2007, beef cattle produced 3.6 million tons of manure.”

Manure, huh?

Knee-deep in trouble

Used as fertiliser for all kinds of agricultural crops – fruit, veg, cereals, grains. And of course feedstuffs for livestock – so that farm animals re-eat the same antibiotics they ate before, with the same effect.

They keep getting fatter and fatter, growing faster and faster – and making more and more money.

Must be tough, being an antibiotics manufacturing company. 240,000 tonnes of stuff turned out by machine ka-chunk-ka-chunk, no effort, no investment – just keep rolling and take the money. No need to invest in new research, the goldmine is already working overtime.

Need proof? Just check your own waistline.

Bigger than it was, huh? You didn’t always wear a Size 16.

But look around, it’s not just you – this is a world-wide epidemic. Two-thirds of us are already way overweight or positively obese. All thanks to the same trigger that makes farm animals fat too – antibiotics.

Whatever food we ingest, antibiotics are in there somewhere. Directly in the food, or absorbed from manure-enriched soil, or leached through into our river systems so even the water we drink is spiked. Antibiotics pollution.

Too big for our own good

Result: obesity is a condition we’re all of us beginning to share – and no way is that healthy.

In fact it’s deadly.

Check the numbers and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) – which means illnesses that cannot be treated by antibiotics – kills about 50,000 of us a year.

But obesity works like the terrorist’s nuclear bomb – wide-reaching, slow-acting, with extreme pain and suffering. The equivalent of radiation sickness – attacking our bodies in the form of diabetes, heart disease, cancer or worse – killing 30 million of us or more every year, and climbing all the time.

Yup – long-term, obesity is going to get most of us. Looking forward to 20 years of medicines, time off in bed, hospital visits, and feeling more and more unwell – more pressure on the NHS than any of us could ever imagine.

Two-thirds of adults – world-wide that’s around 3 billion people.  Which kinda makes deaths from AMR look like chicken-feed.

Worse than any terrorist, nuke or no nuke. Worse than any threat we’ve ever faced before – including plagues and world wars.

Is there a solution?

Stop, stop, stop

Short term, eat only organic or ocean fresh – and drink only rainwater.

Long term, STOP USING ANTIBIOTICS and find a replacement.

Anything less and we might as well nuke ourselves.

Picture Copyright: keeweeboy / 123RF Stock Photo

Originally posted 2016-06-06 13:31:26.

“Handed out like sweets.” Useless antibiotic fat pills

Large lady
Look what antibiotics can do – and you never even knew

Fat pills? You bet. They’re called antibiotics and they don’t work.

Except to make you fat.

They don’t work for your cold – and they’ve stopped working for more serious stuff too.

So if you’re dying from some superbug illness, the Doc can’t help you.

Miracle drug failure

They’ll make you plenty big though, without even trying.

Because that’s what they do on the farm – fatten up animals big and fast, for a quick buck on the market. Which is why it happens to you. You eat them, you get fat too. Very.

Which is why two-thirds of us are already overweight and the rest are following.

Don’t believe it? We’ve already got ourselves a Size 26 supermodel – and she’s not the only one.

And because so many of these same pills get shovelled into so many farm animals, the bugs they’re used against have become resistant. They are immune. However many you take, nothing happens.

Except you get fatter.

Agricultural ban

Which is why the powers that be want to restrict use of non-medical antibiotics, or get them banned altogether. The few antibiotics we do have left that work will be overwhelmed otherwise – total collapse of the modern medical system.

Of course, across the EU, antibiotics are banned as growth promoters – have been since 2006. Still allowed for health reasons though. Which with animals farmed intensively 2,000 or 3,000 together in tight spaces and nowhere to exercise or escape their own dung, becomes vitally necessary.

Which also explains why world use of antibiotics is currently around 240,000 tonnes – and set to grow 70% by 2030.

Killer drugs

Better believe it, we’re going to get even fatter. With all those one-way disorders to look forward to that being overweight brings – diabetes, cancer, heart disease, asthma. Slow, debilitating illnesses that take years  to claim you.

So it’s not just that antibiotics don’t work any more.

They’re actually going to kill you.

Picture Copyright: stphotography / 123RF Stock Photo

Originally posted 2016-05-16 17:22:28.

Ooh! Fatness is catching? How can we ever escape?

Beautiful girl running
ANYTHING can be catching – if you’re not specially careful

Oops. For the first time, researchers suspicion that fatness can hit you, just like catching a bug.

Until now, getting fat happened only to individuals, one at a time.

Obesity beckons

Something upsets the balance of our gut bacteria – and our hunger control goes wild. Without even being aware of it, we start gorging ourselves compulsively. We’re on the slippery slope.

Villain of the piece is usually antibiotics. The Doc prescribes them when we’re ill and they go to work, killing the bacteria that causes it.

Trouble is, they kill a lot of good bacteria too – like the ones that keep us fit and trim. With nothing to stop us getting fat, we bulk up incredibly fast – Size 16 in weeks.

Farmers use exactly this method to fatten up animals and make them grow faster. Which is why antibiotics are used on the farm in massive amounts worldwide – anywhere between 65,000 – 240,000 tonnes a year and rocketing.

Which means there’s antibiotics in the food we eat too, explaining why so many of us are tending to fat. Two thirds of us are already overweight or obese – an epidemic that is slowly killing us, nudging us steadily towards diabetes, heart disease and cancer – all consequences of being fat.

Come clean, stay slim

But overnight, these latest findings bring a new urgency to cleanliness and personal hygiene.

Because they show that one third of the bacteria in our gut can produce spores, kind of like dormant seeds. The bacteria can’t exist outside our bodies, oxygen will kill them. But the spores can.

And being able to survive, these spores are free to disperse and float around all over the place. Released in our poo, coughed up or breathed out – for any other one of us to pick up by touch, swallowing or breathing in – just like any regular germs, which is of course exactly what they are.

Zap, and it happens.

Unless we all keep ourselves scrupulously clean and wash our hands every opportunity we get, these spores can relocate easily. From healthy person to healthy person – or from fat person to thin – transferring the same hunger control defects to our own good bacteria. With the same results.

Our bodies no longer know when we’ve had enough – inevitably, we get fat.

OK, so we can’t go around not breathing or eating anything for fear we’ll take spores in. The world is too big, plus there’s other stuff out there– airborne exhaust fumes, smoke, dust, germs and the very oxygen we breathe.

Obesity protection

Ah, but we can protect ourselves INDOORS – which, because of the cold and our chosen lifestyles, is where we spend 90% of our time.

All we need is to keep our hands clean – and treat the air around us with hydrogen peroxide mist so that all germs are oxidised to nothing.

Not ordinary hydrogen peroxide mind, but ionised.

Charged through with electrical energy that changes the mist to a plasma, releasing additional antimicrobials like hydroxyl radicals, reactive oxygen species, reactive nitrogen species, ozone and ultraviolet. More than a match for any microorganisms, including bacteria, yeasts, fungi, viruses, and spores.

Yes, it can be done – and yes, the technology exists now.

So there’s no reason why your home or workplace, or any other enclosed surroundings, cannot be kept sterile – safe from fatness or any other kind of microbial threat, from day-to-day contamination or transferred from anyone you might share your space with.

It’s up to you though to eat sensibly and exercise.

Look after your bacteria and they will look after you.

Picture Copyright: aleshyn / 123RF Stock Photo

Originally posted 2016-05-05 12:21:43.

Not so fatso, your gut feel goodbye to losing a whole ton of weight

Slimmers success
Go with your gut, keep your bacteria happy and avoid being fat

Imagine. Fatso is not you any more.

The real you is back, and looking good. Rescued by gut feel.

It CAN be done

OK, so the workouts and careful eating help.

But the real success is down to your gut – more accurately to the teeming colonies of 100 trillion essential bacteria that live there – the ones that handle digestion, control your immune system, and yes, manage your weight.

Keep these guys in balance and your body works just fine, your weight stays normal, you’re in good health and full of natural energy.

Upset them and you pay the price. As most of us do from the constant inclusion of antibiotics in our diet. Yes, the same stuff the Doc prescribes when you’re not well – but swallowed unconsciously with every meal because farmers use antibiotics big time to boost plant and animal growth.

Gobbling fat-makers

Which means with every mouthful you’re chowing down traces of the same stuff used to make beef cattle grow faster, fruit to grow bigger and sweeter, grain crops to yield twice as much for every harvest – with more body and taste.

Getting fat might be good for producing food on the farm – but it’s sure destructive to human beings. You look like a podge – and all that extra weight triggers a slew of health problems. Diabetes, cancer and heart disease are just some of the ailments facing you if you can’t get the weight off.

You see, what antibiotics do is kill bacteria. Good if you’re fighting a life-threatening bug that’s making you ill. But disastrous to the trillions and trillions of other bacteria living in your gut and doing useful work. Without their diversity and continued well-being, things go wrong quickly – especially if they’re damaged or missing completely.

The leptin balance

Like over-production of leptin, the hormone that signals satiety to your body – telling the brain you’ve had enough to eat, it’s time to stop.

Yes, you read that right, over-production. Because when that happens, the brain becomes resistant to the signals – the same as receiving no signals at all – leptin resistance. Your body keeps saying it’s hungry, so you go on eating and eating and… you know how it goes.

Thankfully, you can do something about it. Leptin is closely tied to insulin production, which in turn is regulated by sugar intake. Get your sugar levels down, and you can start taking back control. Fatso no more.

Why you are what you eat

Uh huh, it becomes a diet thing – you have to cut down on fructose and processed foods. Supported by the right kind of exercise to help things along – nothing excessive and going easy on the cardio, good high intensity stuff like weight lifting, but avoiding stress.

Hard work and boring, right?

But thankfully, researchers are beginning to recognise gut bacteria is way more significant to our health than anyone realised. Every day now, new treatments are emerging that work directly on these vital microorganisms inside our bodies – easier and more effective than punishing diets and exercise.

Hope for the heavy

For instance, tucked away in today’s papers is a report on using small doses of a particular type of bacteria – escherichia coli – to blunt the desire for sweet tastes, emulating the normal switch-off effect of leptin.

E.coli is not a bug to play around with, in other forms it triggers highly dangerous symptoms of food poisoning. But using bacteria to control bacteria makes a lot more sense than using killers like antibiotics.

Other researchers are playing around with a body enzyme called histone deacetylase 5 (HDAC5), an alternative sidestep to counter leptin resistance. By activating HDAC5, scientists found they could restore leptin sensitivity and actually reverse obesity under lab conditions.

Yet another option we’re likely to see soon is the poo transplant – transferring bacteria from the faeces of a “thin” healthy person to a “fat” unhealthy one. So far this method is mostly used for controlling infections difficult to get rid of such as clostridium difficile. By redressing the bacteria balance – and reintroducing bacteria killed in continual antibiotic attacks, again obesity can be reversed.

All of which is life-saving stuff for the two thirds of us who are already overweight or obese.

But developing these treatments properly for humans will take a while yet, so stick to the diet and exercise.

Fatso? Not you.

Picture Copyright: tobkatrina / 123RF Stock Photo

Originally posted 2016-04-20 14:23:47.

No, no, George – we need to REPLACE antibiotics, not discover new ones

Research lab
Time for alternatives – 240,000 tonnes of antibiotics a year aren’t helping

George Osborne is absolutely right about one thing. We need coordinated global action on antibiotics ASAP or millions of people will die.

Not because superbugs are resistant to them so our miracle life-savers don’t work any more. But because our miracle life-savers are super killers in their own right – far deadlier than killing just the 10 million people a year George anticipates by 2050.

Killer life-savers

And make no mistake, they ARE killers. That’s how they work. Killing is what they’re designed to do. It’s why they’ve been so successful at saving lives in the past – they kill harmful bacteria that try to kill us.

Trouble is, that’s not all they kill. They’re not targeted that tightly. So in destroying the one harmful bacterium that’s so dangerous to us, they take out other  bacteria too. Modifying and maiming others. Collateral damage among the 100 trillion bacteria that naturally inhabit our human gut – not unlike setting off a hydrogen bomb.

Kind of devastating to our bodies, because those bacteria are supposed to be there. Without them we wouldn’t be able to digest food or control most of our bodily functions. Nor would our immune systems work.

Sure, a course of antibiotics can cure us of an illness. But our systems never come back 100% to where they were before. While many bacteria can quickly reproduce themselves to make up numbers, whole colonies of others are simply wiped out. The essential diversity that defends us is lost. We are more at risk, less resilient, weaker than we were.

As for the damage antibiotics cause, we’re seeing the results every day – in the spreading waistlines of our rapidly fattening population. Today, two-thirds of adults are either overweight or obese. So are one third of children. And as any doctor can advise, obesity puts us well on the road to diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

Not just 10 million a year, George. More like 100 times that.

The glutton factory

Caused by the side effect that antibiotics glitch the mechanism that controls our hunger. It switches on, but never switches off – unconsciously we’re always craving food, even though we’ve just eaten. We become gluttons, OD-ing on quick-charge power foods like burgers, pizza, hot dogs and chips.

Of course farmers lucked onto this decades ago. That feeding antibiotics to livestock would make them bulk up quicker. Four times as big, in quarter of the time, all for the same amount of food. The ultimate growth booster. Today, 70% of all antibiotics goes into agriculture.

Jackpot!

Which is why world consumption of antibiotics is now between 65,000 and 240,000 TONNES a year. Not our thumb-suck either, that’s straight out of the Prime Minister’s specially requested review of antibiotics: Antimicrobials in Agriculture and the Environment.

Which also means George, that it’s not exactly necessary to incentivise pharmaceutical companies to produce antibiotics. At 240,000 tonnes a year, they’re making a mint already.

Now we get to the nasty bit.

Super growth promoters

OK, so those 240,000 tonnes get fed to cows (and sheep and pigs and poultry and fish) along with their daily feedstuff. They chew it around and digest it, extracting the nutrients they need, then promptly poo 80-90% of it straight out again as waste.

Well no, not waste. Manure – rich, fertile nutrition for plants, laced through with antibiotics. Grazing grass, feed crops like sugar beet, soya and rapeseed, fed BACK into animals. Fertiliser for fruit, veg and grain staples like rice and wheat and maize.

Yup, you’ve got it. Pretty well everything that we humans eat these days has residual antibiotics in it. Our share of the 240,000 tonnes a year.

Not big doses, mind. Strictly sub-therapeutic. Small enough for our own gut bacteria to develop their own built-in antibiotic resistance. And of course small enough to knock our hunger switches out of kilter so we all become food gluttons – bulking up on power foods just like the cows do. Four times as big, in quarter of the time. Gimme another five burgers.

Yeah, so antibiotics, George. Not one of your best ideas.

But a replacement for them, now you’re talking.

Bacteriophages

The topdog medics will probably throw up their hands, but one option might be bacteriophages – using VIRUSES to kill harmful bacteria, the way the Soviets did back in the Cold War. Easier to target more precisely – more rifle than shotgun – easy to mutate in parallel as bacteria themselves mutate to find resistance.

Easy to fund too – just take it out of the profits being used to produce 240,000 tonnes of antibiotics a year that the world no longer needs because they’re killing us. Or at least the diabetes, heart disease and cancer they trigger through obesity that are killing us.

One snag. It takes 12 or more years to develop a new drug and release it to patients. In the meantime, we have no defence – as antibiotics literally become worse than useless.

Hygiene to the rescue

Ah, but we’re not dead yet.

Because the one sure way to compensate for antibiotics is AVOID needing them in the first place.

We can’t get sick if there are no germs. So we need to ensure that there aren’t any.

Right now, our daily hygiene is so iffy, it’s a wonder we’re not dying in droves already.

Easy peasy, right George?

Soap and water when we can, antibacterial wipes or gel when we can’t. A lot more affordable than 240,000 tonnes of killer antibiotics.

But it’s not just germs on our hands. We need to look at our living space as well. The enclosed rooms we share at school, work, eating out or being entertained – they’re full of germs too. Unless we mist them up overnight when we’re not there – sterilise germs in the air and on all surfaces with ionised hydrogen peroxide.

No germs on our hands, no germs where we live. Barring accidents we could get by without antibiotics – at least in the short term.

Over to you, George.

Picture Copyright: kovalvs / 123RF Stock Photo

Originally posted 2016-04-14 14:00:12.

You really want to sue for fast food making you fat?

Gob-stopper
Sentenced to obesity – driven by antibiotics

Actually sue?

Just don’t bite off more than you can chew.

Because if any Tom, Dick or Nina walks in off the street and orders a burger, you don’t see them get fat do you? They don’t get fat tomorrow either, or the next day – so it’s not a residual thing.

Time to get real

One burger won’t make you fat. Twenty burgers might.

But it’s not the burger people forcing them on you is it? It’s you, ordering however many you’re lusting after.

Of your own free will. It’s you eating them too. Nobody’s holding a gun to your head.

So why are you fat?

You never used to be like this. Always ate responsibly, good balanced meals. Stayed off the fast food too. A burger maybe once a blue moon. So how come this sudden ballooning up to Size 18?

Yes, you are what you eat, but most of the time it’s salad. Cottage cheese maybe, dry bread crackers. Where’s the fatness in that? It’s not fair, your body’s not meant to be like this. Someone has to pay.

Hold that thought – your body’s not meant to be like this.

No it isn’t. But it’s not the burger people’s fault.

Nor is it yours.

Nor is it any of the two-thirds adult population of Britain who are reluctantly becoming overweight, hating every second of their unwanted, unjustified and entirely blameless obesity.

Blameless?

But aren’t those people fat because they eat too much? Pigging out on junk food all the time, no self control, careless people who let themselves go?

Not like you at all.

The unexpected truth

Actually, exactly like you. And yes, entirely blameless.

It’s perfectly true most of them eat too much. You may well find your own body dragging you that way soon enough. You eat like a bird now, but the terrible cravings will come and your system will demand it. Power up for a big effort ahead, rest ready for the big push.

Except the effort never comes and the lazing around becomes indulgent. Overnight you’re a couch potato.

NO!

No wonder you feel like suing. And maybe you should. Because SOMETHING has made you fat, you were never this way before. Somebody ought to pay.

Might be difficult to make it stick though. Because the SOMETHING that’s made you fat is antibiotics. Not the stuff you get from the Doc, though that could have triggered the start of it all.

Unseen growth promoters

We’re talking the stuff you unknowingly eat every day, contained within your ordinary meals – the background antibiotics present in nearly all farm-produced foods – regularly fed to livestock as a prophylactic to stop them getting ill, but really shovelled in because they’re proven growth promoters.

You’re getting fat from the same source that fattens up farm animals for market. From the manure they produce that’s used  to grow everything else – fruit, vegetables, grain crops, animal feed – laced through with growth-boosting antibiotics, without the farmer or anyone else knowing a thing about it.

The antibiotics mess with your gut bacteria, upsetting the fine balance that controls digestion, your immune system and yes, hunger control.

When you’re hungry, your bacteria produce ghrelin, a hormone that tells the brain it’s time to eat, the tank is empty. When you’re full they produce leptin, which says that’s enough, stop, the tank is full.

Hunger Glitch

 

Trouble is, with constant exposure to antibiotics, your system becomes resistant to leptin causing the brain to ignore the STOP signals. The ghrelin hunger signal is still loud and clear, causing you to crave food – high octane stuff that can fill you up, the sooner the better.

Fast food junkies

Which is where the addiction to fast food comes from. Not junk food at all, the body knows it’s the fastest way to to get high powered energy. But eat all that stuff when there’s no real demand and that power has got to go somewhere.

You bulk up, not meaning to, and hate yourself doing it – “junk food” is your way of showing it contempt. But to a starving child a Big Mac is a nutritious bonanza, the quickest way back to healthy living again.

OK, so who are you going to sue? You bought food in good faith, thinking it was healthy, unaware it was loaded with antibiotics. Maybe you should sue the supermarkets.

Except wait a minute, they can’t afford people like you raising health issues – and they probably don’t know either. They bought from suppliers in good faith that their produce was healthy. Look how quickly they whip things off the shelves if there’s the slightest alarm – products recalled for impurities, contamination, deterioration, insecure packaging. They should sue their suppliers.

It’s always the poor farmer that gets it in the neck isn’t it? Yes, he uses antibiotics – and has to account for them meticulously with every animal he sells. Has to keep records that prove antibiotics were withdrawn from diet for a safe period before sale. He uses them in good faith that they’re safe. He should sue the manufacturers.

How far do you take this? The manufacturer sells antibiotics in good faith that they will be used properly and responsibly – world demand is currently anywhere between 63,000 tonnes and 240,000 tonnes. There are hungry people to feed, how can they be culpable? It’s the politicians who are responsible, sue them.

Yeah, right. Sue politicians. Like when is that ever going to work? Best you can do is vote them out – then get down to the gym and switch to salad. Yeah, you’re fat and it’s not your fault, but it’s unlikely you’ll nail anyone for criminal negligence.

At least you know sweat will work – no pain, no gain. And you won’t be fat any more.

Good luck, we’re on the treadmill next to you.

Picture Copyright: poznyakov / 123RF Stock Photo

Originally posted 2016-04-13 16:37:31.

Our obesity war – what THEY’RE not telling us

Obesity victim
Diets help, but not enough – so does exercise – but no-one ever admits why you’re fat in the first place

THEY’RE worried. THEY’RE scared. THEY’RE also in denial.

Because THEY know exactly why we’re fat and getting fatter.  Only THEY don’t make the connection. It’s not directly in THEIR field. Therefore it’s off the radar. A fringe issue.

The inconvenient truth

OK, so try this.

Every day we’re in the cross-hairs of the world’s most efficient and No 1 growth booster. Every meal, every mouthful, exposes us more – and this has been happening for more than 50 years.

This growth booster does two things.

The first is, it makes us eat as much as we can and no stopping. Go for the power foods, the ones that give us instant charge and power – quick grab, go, go, go.

The second is, it makes us conserve all the energy we get. Avoid running round burning it all off again, keep calm, relax and chill.

Food production phenomenon

Put both of these together and growth accelerates four times, five times, ten.  Just like it does on the farm. From egg to full-grown roasting chicken in 6 weeks. From calf to Aberdeen Angus sirloin steak in 16 months instead of four years.

Yup, it’s the growth boosters they use in food production that are making us bulk up, the CAUSE of our obesity epidemic.

Quite right, we eat too much and don’t take enough exercise and that makes us pile on the pounds.

But we never think what MAKES us do it. Just try to come up with answers – all of them half-baked and doomed to failure.

Diets, gastric bands, punishment sessions in the gym – they’re all useless until we plug the source of these high powered growth boosters.

UNTIL OUR PHANTOM HUNGER IS SWITCHED OFF.

Because we eat to satisfy a hunger that isn’t really there. Constantly goaded by our continual ingestion of antibiotics.

Not what the doctor ordered

Not on antibiotics right now?

Oh yes, you are. All of us are.

But we’re all different, so they affect us in different ways. Some of us get fat faster than others. But we’re ALL of us putting on inches.

Since the 1970s, every person in Britain has roughly gained more than three pounds (1.5kg) per decade – that’s twelve pounds (6kg), a third of your baggage allowance on EasyJet.

Not surprising. World use of antibiotics in agriculture is currently around 65,000 tonnes if you believe official reports. Even higher if you probe deeper.

China for instance, acknowledges its overall consumption at 162,000 tonnes – “almost half of world usage” – which means that internationally we’re galloping through around 324,000 tonnes a year.

So where does all this stuff go?

Let’s leave out medical uses for the moment, they’re already a headache with something like one-third prescribed for unnecessary situations. Chickenfeed on farms – and we mean that literally.

Super-beef, super-chicken, super-salad

Pumping antibiotics into animals means farmers can produce market-ready products that are bigger, better and faster than ever before. Compared with the 1950s, a super-duper enlarged output big enough to feed 7½ billion people off the SAME land, 5 billion more than back then. Beef, dairy, poultry, mutton, fish, veg and grain crops – everything in the food spectrum is on turbo from antibiotics.

Yes, the stuff accelerates growth, but not all of it goes in and stays there – no animal absorbs everything it eats. Per Nature’s grand plan that everything is interrelated, the average cow excretes anything from 80-90% of the feedstuff it chows down, nutrients for plants and other animals that feed on them.  Other types of animal are the same – and even our own poo is full of nutrients, prized in China as the best there is.

Result, there’s antibiotics in the soil that grows everything, antibiotics in the waste water run-off, antibiotics in our streams and river systems, antibiotics in our drinking water. Everything on your supermarket shelves is laced with them – and THEY don’t know or pretend not to.

Head in the sand tactics

Obvious though it is, the penny never drops. Not among retailers, or farmers, or doctors, or government, or manufacturers. They all know antibiotics are a super growth booster – and they all know we’re riding the tsunami of a worldwide obesity epidemic. Yet all they’re worried about is antibiotic resistance – that these miracle drugs are beginning not to work as lifesaver any more.

Lifesavers! These things are killing us!

That’s how they work, by the way. By killing bacteria. Killing whatever bacteria might be making us ill – and killing several million of our vital gut bacteria at the same time – the ones that process our digestion, produce our proteins and control our immune systems.

Which is why our immune systems don’t work as well as they used to.  Why we’re less resistant to colds and flu like back in the 60s. Why we’ve got phantom illnesses we never used to have in the form of allergies. And why we’re getting fatter and fatter – on our way to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, asthma – whichever slow-burn killer our own particular metabolism is most vulnerable to.

Big train smash coming

Because antibiotics have become so big, they’re a train we cannot get off. Pull the plug on farming and we go back to food production levels of the 50s – 5 billion people with nothing to eat. Pull the plug in medicine and we’re back to the Dark Ages. No more heart bypasses or hip replacements – infection is either avoided by washing beforehand, or cut away from the suffering body with scalpels.

Not the end of the world, but a pretty devastating substitute. No wonder THEY’RE not telling us. Though if it’s any consolation, you have the satisfaction of knowing that it’s happening to THEM too. THEY’RE getting fat like you, THEY’RE on the same train.

Watch this space, there are ways to jump off – and we will bring them to you.

Picture Copyright: luislouro / 123RF Stock Photo

Originally posted 2016-04-04 14:19:22.

Nice one Westminster! Now ban sugar outright and we’ll get even fatter

Big and blindfolded
Blind and in denial –
to what’s REALLY making us fat

Here we go, another parliamentary sidestep. Sugar taxed. Job done. No more obesity.

If only. Note that nobody’s singing, especially the fat ladies.

Badder than bad

Because parliament doesn’t have a clue what happens next, does it? The ultimate can of worms. Worse than terrorism, the migrant crisis, climate change and World War III combined.

Of course current members will be out of office when it happens, out to retirement too, probably. But they’re always going to know it started on their watch – the day they voted for sugary drinks to be taxed as the curb against obesity.

Fat chance – even though yes, we do guzzle too many gallons of fizzy-pop.

You won’t see fewer fat people though, despite Coke sales taking a dip. Because MPs haven’t clobbered WHY people chug so much – and WHY they gorge themselves on power foods too.

None so blind

They haven’t addressed the cause, so people will just keep getting fatter. Bigger and bigger, more and more – way beyond the two-thirds of us who are overweight or obese already. Probably including themselves, even though they never touch the stuff – unless you include tonic water.

Yeah, yeah – too many sugary drinks make people bulk up, especially kids. They have the taste, they crave the stuff. Yet nobody twigs that such craving is not natural, that something is wrong if their bodies demand hit after hit of sugary reward they don’t actually need.

They don’t need the power food they hanker for either, do they? What you call “junk food”. Some junk – there’s instant energy in them, that’s why they’re popular. And they’re only unhealthy if you eat too much of them. If you glutton and have two. Even Jamie Oliver sells superburgers.

See it’s not sugary drinks that make people fat – one Coke didn’t swell you up in 1966, it doesn’t swell you up now. But too many sugary drinks. Too many burgers. Too many chips. Yeah sure, it’s the road to fat-dom.

Except everybody’s so busy scoring headlines that nobody asks why.

WHY IS THE SWITCH THAT STOPS BINGE EATING BROKEN?

Time to get real

Simples. All the food we’ve been chowing down over the last twenty years – meat and veg both – is shot through and through with every farmer’s No 1 growth booster.

The binge switch is busted by antibiotics.

Check the facts – antibiotics have been used on farms in industrial quantities for the last fifty years. Right now, today, the world uses 65,000 tonnes a year. Which is how come there’s enough food for the 7½ billion people we are today – from the same land resource that could only feed 2½ billion of us back in 1952.

We’re bulking up from the super-fatteners in our food – and no wonder.  From egg to full-grown roasting chicken in 6 weeks. From calf to Aberdeen Angus sirloin steak in 16 months instead of four years. That’s the power of antibiotics.

OK, so tax sugary drinks double. Tax them to hell and gone off the market – we’ll still get fat. Because the super-fatteners we eat every day have jammed the binge control wide open – so it’s not just sugary drinks we’re pigging out on, it’s everything.

Two full-size helpings at dinner, double pudding – chips, snacks, chocolate bars, the works. And then we sit down to watch our favourite Great British Sugar Factor on TV – binge food before the watershed.

So who’s in charge?

But hold it, antibiotics – shouldn’t these be controlled by the medics?

In a word, yes. But these days any Tom, Dick or Hans-Gustav can shovel pretty much as many antibiotics into his cows as he likes and no-one will say them nay – not Public Health England, not DEFRA, not the Food Standards Agency, nobody.

And certainly not the General Medical Council – they’ve got their hands full worrying about antibiotics in medicine. About how they’re not working thanks to the snowballing number of superbugs with antibiotic resistance. About how any day now, our life-saving miracle drugs won’t work any more.

Which puts them in a nasty Catch 22 – no heart bypass or hip replacement – no life-changing wonder surgery – is possible without antibiotics. But superbugs like MRSA are increasingly immune. They know they’ve got to stop prescribing antibiotics, but also know they can’t.

Until the day finally comes when they achieve zero. When the only defence against infection will be how clean and free of germs we can keep ourselves. And cutting away infection – amputating – any part of us that becomes infected, because there is no other way.

Uh huh. Meantime, we’re still chowing down antibiotics with every meal we eat. And those antibiotics, like they’re supposed to, kill more and more of our gut bacteria every time. The same gut bacteria that control our immune system and directly manipulate so many other vital body functions.

Until inevitably, our surviving bacteria become resistant to antibiotics themselves. So that whatever drugs we’re prescribed have no chance of working anyway.

Fatter and fatter

And all the time, we’re getting fatter and fatter and fatter. To the point where governments realise we can’t go on and antibiotics are finally withdrawn from agriculture altogether. No more fatteners, people might stand a better chance.

As if. Because the damage has been done.

By that time most of us will be seriously obese  – well in the grip of terminal illnesses like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer and a zillion others resulting from immune system meltdown.

Which is when the food chain will conk out. Not enough quick-grow animals to supply world hunger. Not enough health protection against the overcrowded and unsanitary conditions of intense factory farms. Too much for the system. The world goes back to pre-antibiotic methods, like in 1952.

Oops. A food shortfall for 5 billion people. World-wide famine and disease. See how misplaced a sugar tax really is? How totally irrelevant and off-target? The headache is solving the antibiotics crisis, not pushing up the price of Coke. Like we said, nice one Westminster.

Which leaves it up to us if we’re going to survive. We ourselves, and the heck with the politicians.

With the old one-two. Hiked up hygiene standards in everything we do, always washing our hands, cleaning things. And taking out germs around us wherever we can, sterilising the place everywhere we gather. At work, in schools, in restaurants, at home – eliminating harmful pathogens down to nothing.

The first takes soap and water, every chance we get – always before food, and always after the loo.

The second takes a Hypersteriliser, misting up living spaces when we’re not there, eliminating germs with ionised hydrogen peroxide. If the rooms we live in are sterile, nothing can touch us.

Better shift to organic foods while we’re at it too. The Heathrow runway’s taken more than twenty years – how long will it be before Westminster finally takes action on antibiotics?

A bitter pill to swallow, eh? Maybe a spoonful of sugar will help.

Picture Copyright: darkbird / 123RF Stock Photo

Originally posted 2016-03-29 14:35:05.

Sugar tax, yay! Now let’s watch obesity accelerate

Overweight and pigging out
Think fat people WANT to be fat?
Hey Jamie, wait till you’re a Size 18 too.

Congratulations Jamie, congratulations all, sugar tax is going to happen.

All those nasty drinks that everyone hates so much are going to go up in price, people will a stop buying, everyone will get thinner, yay!

As if.

Just like cigarettes

Exactly like they did when a packet of fags cost 7/6 in old money – £10 and more now, more than 25 times times the price. Because smoking is BAD, yeah? So look at the keep-fit celebs secretly puffing away to maintain that super-trim bod. Are we back to the dark days of using cigarettes to reduce weight?

Yeah, but sugar tax works. Look at Mexico. The sugar tax there cut sales by 12%.

Like wow.

Cut SALES by 12%, NOT obesity. Seriously clever.

The highest rate of overweight people in the world and an estimated 10 million with diabetes. Sugary drinks BAD. But nobody ever asks WHY so many people are drinking the stuff.

Muddied waters

Know much about Mexico? A hot country, right? A lot of it desert, or semi-desert. Dry, dry, dry – the definition of arid. Tropical temperatures. Not a place to get thirsty. Keep yourself properly hydrated, or die.

Ah yes, and how about the water? Until a few years ago, to be avoided like the plague. Full of noxious organisms and bugs – instant illness. As the Kingston Trio sang in Coplas back in 1958 – tell your parents not to muddy the water around us, they may have to drink it soon.

OK, so they chlorinated it – heavily. So if the pipes aren’t too rusty, maybe you can drink it – if you can stand the taste. Oh, and the local bottled water tends to be ropey too.

Hmm, so a lot of Mexicans reckon it’s safer to drink Coke. The Coca Cola Company has a lot to lose – and it’s easier trust a big Americano company with something when you take the cap off yourself.

So you’re Mexican, you drink Coke and you’re fat. Never touch the water. But you’re not writhing on the ground with stomach cramps – and better believe it, try a hot taco with enchilada sauce you’ll know that Mexicans have cast-iron stomachs.

And they’re obese anyway, including those who don’t drink Coke. But they’re not stupid either, they know the sugar connection. So aside from the big thirst of a dry country, WHY do their bodies crave sugar to such levels?

Why does ANYONE’S body crave food that it knows is not right and in such excess?

Wrong body language

Something’s wrong, right? Because we might not be Mexicans, but our bodies aren’t stupid either. Most of the time the benign and absolutely vital bacteria in our gut tell us what we need and our bodies react according – the brain is hardly even consulted.

Yet obese people crave super sweet drinks and high energy foods like they’re preparing for a major physical challenge in Arctic conditions, even though there’s no sign of one. The body is getting mixed signals, why?

Those vital gut bacteria produce two crucial hormones, ghrelin and leptin – the on/off control for the body’s appetite. In obese people, the ghrelin switch is jammed ON and the leptin switch for OFF is not recognised because something has glitched the bacteria.

So what glitches bacteria? Not sugar, that’s for sure. The bacteria digest it with no trouble, but absorb way more than they ever should without ever signalling STOP, SATISFIED. They’ve become leptin resistant.

No, not sugar. Between Jamie and Westminster, they got it all wrong. Because the one thing DESIGNED to kill and damage bacteria that ALL of us are regularly dosed with is antibiotics.

Guaranteed obesity

Antibiotics? All of us?

Oh yeah. Antibiotics before two years old, overweight by five. And average teenagers today have been through at least twenty courses of medicinal antibiotics by the time they reach majority.

But that’s not even the half of it. Kids, teenagers, adults, we ALL ingest residual antibiotics from the food we eat. And guess what? Two thirds of us are overweight.

Because farmers have been using antibiotics to BOOST GROWTH of plant and livestock crops for the last 50 years, ramping up particularly in the last two decades with advances in factory farms and intense production methods.

Boost growth. That means MAKE FATTER.

From egg to full-grown roasting chicken in 6 weeks. From calf to Aberdeen Angus sirloin steak in 16 months instead of four years. And worldwide, farmers are currently using antibiotics at the rate of 65,000 tonnes a year to make this happen. They’re guaranteed to work for billions and billions of animals, why not us?

65,000 tonnes a year to make us fatter – because they’re in the food we eat – unchecked, unregulated and unhealthy. A bigger trigger than sugar could ever be. Pumping us up, even though many of us DON’T have a sweet tooth.

Like how many fat people do you know who eat almost nothing, exercise like crazy, but still stay fat anyway?

So yeah, a sugar tax to fight obesity. Brilliant. Cart before the horse and all that rubbish.

Come on, Jamie, get with the programme.

Because we’re all going to look pretty stupid when the tax comes in and our obesity epidemic lurches from bad to worse.

Picture Copyright: poznyakov / 123RF Stock Photo

Originally posted 2016-03-17 13:31:36.