Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Limited Horizon

Horizon, a pretty decent science series, overall, purported to explore if a scientific approach could make dieting work better. You mean it not been used up till now? *eyeroll.* I somehow expected the focus to be on the dieting approach in relation to human anatomy, how and why it fails.

Not so. It went a bit reality tv gathering some people carefully selected to fit eating categories coined by the programme-makers. Their "solutions" turned out not to be designed on some further scientific understanding-oxymoronic though that is.

Instead they were the fad diets du nos jours;

5:2 or intermittent fasting-when you eat normally 5 days a week and up to 600 calories a day for two.

A low-GI (glycemic index) diet-basically, low carb, sugar, protein and vegetable based; currently passing as paleo, stone age etc.,

And a low calorie diet.

As you'd expect, the group bore no reflection to the true make-up of those in the 'obese' categorization. They featured mainly people around or above BMI 40+. 

There were some amusing shots composed of them assembled together, with the "experts in obesity" standing in a row ahead of them. They of course looked tiny-in comparison, you couldn't miss that visual humdinger. Not sure if it was me but, it seemed to be saying, wisdom, over here-slim, ignorance over there, fat. 

The structure of the programme was created around the usual pre-determination conclusions about weight. It's designed for the comfort and satisfaction of those heading the process, to help fat people achieve the unlikely. Any sustained, objective rigour must fit around that, with a bit of resorting to the tediously predictable genetic determinism, behavioural psych plus some biochemical snow jobbery currently beloved of the slimstream.

I wasn't impressed by another appearance of "psychology" with an emphasis mainly on eating as if its a psychological not a physiological impulse. I don't know how much this borrows from ED's, but it's not a good sign.

Eating is not like mood. Analyzing the way (you think) someone eats isn't a form of psycho-analysis.

How much awareness there is of this extent of self fulfilling prophecy is hard to fathom. In the programme a couple of the experts claimed to have had their predictions confirmed, one exclaimed she was happy and reassured by this. What she was on about exactly, went over my head.  

Greedy, lazy are giving way to more subtle inference-mentally below par, emotionally incontinent and/or incompetent. Unedifying though that is, it's movement from the sadistic humiliation and ripping apart of people.

Though mostly made to look stupid, bovine and infantile with liberal use of shot and brass heavy music when on the move, we were at least spared a masochistic parade of fat people abasing themselves, begging for absolution-one must remember to be thankful for small mercies.

The programme showed again why 'obesity' as a field is a self defeating ghetto-assuming that isn't the intent. Metabolic study should be based on anatomy, not size, it's an artificial divide, reducing the ability to perceive real similarity and difference. Creating confusion and false conclusions.

Imagine, not recognizing a slim person's "Hello," as the same as a fat person's "Hello". Falsely investing  bodies/people with health and pathology, corrupts and distorts the interpretation of anything observed in either of them. Disconnecting people from commonality and indeed, universality. 'Obesity' is pointlessly divisive.

For instance diet failure being presented as a characteristic of deathfatz rather than everyone from thin to fat alike.

It would be going too far to say this is the opposite of science, but its up with directly altering the conditions of those you purport to study and reporting findings as intrinsic to your focus.

The three definitions of fat people's purported eating problems/types were;

Feasters - People who once they start eating can't stop. This was said to be down the failure of a gut hormone which signals you to stop.

Emotional Eaters -Those who "used" food to cope/ate in response to stress.

Constant Cravers - Those who felt like eating all the time.

Sounds reasonable. Its not as if what they say has no meaning, however-it would tend to mislead the unwary.

I'm in an interesting position to assess these given my experience with hyperactive hunger/appetite mechanisms. I experienced all three together and had to (re)solve them. Formulating your life and diet around this is repugnant to me and wouldn't have worked.

Looking at weight or even eating in terms of food cannot adequately represent the nature of eating whether normal or disordered. Eating disorders are basically dysfunctions of the hunger/appetite mechanisms, usually caused by trying to control weight via calorie restriction. Forget complex emeashuns for now.

Being fat isn't an ED, though that was the inference, i.e. throwing around the term "overeating", making that an inevitable component of being fat. Speaking as a person who's had an ED, is not necessarily representative of fat people, nor excludes many who aren't. Again, seek and ye shall find what you want to.

I'm sure many if not most of the rest of them could identify with these as well- at varying levels- so could most if not all slim and thin people too. Not only do these not necessarily signify ED's, they can also signify them too! ED's are a question of degree, they aren't special diseases. They're more imbalances. Like having a heightened temperature.

If they'd had representative sample of fat people as well as all weights with honest investigation, they'd have realised that. Of course, ob sci doesn't work like that.

There was some info to be had from this. I was strangely heartened to find that they explained something I learned years ago and have been banging on about. Your ready energy stores. We all know about fat stores on your body, but before you can get to those, you have a system in place to supply you with constant (ready) energy. Kind of like the change you have as everyday spending money.

If you didn't have this system, you'd be in danger of swooning or conking out every time an extra demand was made on your body-one that required any surge in energy. Your (fat) stores aren't that instantly accessible.

Something amused me, they first explained using the 5:2 diet/ intermittent fasting, that during the fast days of 600 cals or under, your body would resort to digging into your fat stores. They used an animated graphic of this and missed out the chump change (ready energy.) They then cut straight to Dr Giles Yeo, who explained it properly-that your body uses up this ready energy first, then goes for your stores-if it needs to make up for any deficit! He seemed a little ticked off and was keen to emphasis the missing point, not sure the presenter (a doctor himself) was getting his point.

He really seemed to know what he was talking about. So why he involved himself with this I'm not entirely sure.

Claiming, this is what makes fat people fat is unconvincing. There are plenty of slimz and thinz who'll tell you they feel hungry all the time, some or other of them are often found eating sweets , chocolates and desserts. Indeed, snacking. It struck me that their bodies too seem to have established this loop where the body seems to have said, "Hey, I can make more use of my chump change loop to cover more of my energy needs."

It doesn't just stabilize fatness, it stabilizes weight, including thin/slimness too. Quite a few people have told me they can only stay slim on a diet of calorie dense or junk food diet-(what you eat) with  occasional veg thrown in. I must admit I find this loop interesting. I've no idea what it means or whether its a good/bad sign or neutral.

The emotional eaters category was misleading. It really meant with certain people, stress triggered their hunger and appetite mechanisms to fire in conjunction. The programme put a selection through a frustrating and therefore stressful driving test.

But that only changed the hunger and appetite (what they ate) levels for some. It was claimed there's a gut hormone, I think it might have been GLP-1, my bad, some times its hard to take it in with the distancing effect of extreme skepticism, interferes with the ability to stop eating.

That could have just been a feature of being in that state. In other words, your biochemistry as cause. So, if you are in a permanent state of anxiety and analysis of your blood shows the preponderance of certain chemicals, then that is assigned as cause, rather than effect, when it could be either. A feature of defining bodies/people as 'disease', their function becomes their 'disease' it's ridiculous.

Getting rid of the triggering of hunger due to my nervous system being in a state where hunger/appetite was being stimulated by (a certain level of) stimulus in my system, was the basis of ending my ED.

I was and still am ecstatic to be liberated from both the ED and being in that state.

Which raised something else which is hard to say even in an FA context, fat people are stuck in and limited by the standards slimz apply to themselves, but look really slack in fat people, seeming to confirm all the abuse we receive.


The missing service ethic of service means the demand  for people to cease to be fat, doesn't become an instigator of progress. The kind that would be progress for everyone.

This was part one of three, I've yet to see the others. They follow the group to see how they fare with the same old same old.

As if we can't guess.

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