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Scientists Locate Binge Eating Gene

By thelizman in News
Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 08:39:17 PM EST
Tags: Science (all tags)
Science

A joint Swiss, American, and German working group has discovered a gene believed to be responsible for obesity in people prone to "binge eating". The melanocortin 4 receptor gene is believed to produce a protein which controls hunger impulses in the hypothalamus.


Obesity is reaching epidemic proportions in the world, most noticeably in the US where diets are rich in fatty carbohydrate-riddled foods. The discovery may be a breakthrough for some of the 4 million morbidly obese individuals who are unable to successfully change their eating habits due to strong impulses.

Obesity is now the number one killer, responsible for a wide variety of otherwise unrelated health problems. Worldwide, researchers have made advanced in understanding the metabolism, but treating obesity remains difficult compared to other forms of dependancy, because food is essential to life. The global weight management industry generates billions of dollars in revenue each year through companies like Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, The Zone, and Atkins Research.

Other external causes of obesity include Adenovirus 36, a coldlike virus which increases the bodies storage of fat.

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o discovered a gene
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Scientists Locate Binge Eating Gene | 85 comments (76 topical, 9 editorial, 1 hidden)
Yippee! (3.66 / 3) (#1)
by Rogerborg on Thu Mar 20, 2003 at 09:50:03 AM EST

Now I'll be able to eat twinkies all day long and not get fat!

</sarcasm>, might it be the case that anyone too self destructive and weak willed to step away from the refrigirator before taking a dose of Fat-B-Gone isn't in the demographic that will benefit from being given a choice about whether to eat a roast ox for breakfast.

"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs

How curious (none / 0) (#2)
by Rogerborg on Thu Mar 20, 2003 at 11:37:53 AM EST

I'm almost certain that I fixed the spelling and added a question mark before posting.

No biggie, just another "I'm sure I selected editorial" scooby snack for the scoop conspiracists.

"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs
[ Parent ]

Argh. (none / 0) (#6)
by Jman1 on Thu Mar 20, 2003 at 04:25:39 PM EST

"might it be the case that anyone too self destructive and weak willed to step away from the refrigirator..."

Your lack of compassion is disturbing. Do you really think it's that simple? Everybody in America is stupid and weak willed except for you, right?

[ Parent ]

Yes! (none / 0) (#9)
by carbon on Thu Mar 20, 2003 at 05:20:03 PM EST

Bow! Bow to your leader, Rogerborg! He will lead us to the Promised Land! There is much Mako and Twinkies there!


Wasn't Dr. Claus the bad guy on Inspector Gadget? - dirvish
[ Parent ]
Don't blaspheme (none / 0) (#24)
by Rogerborg on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 09:38:42 AM EST

I'm only the Prophet of turmeric

"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs
[ Parent ]

Psst... (5.00 / 2) (#12)
by mrgoat on Thu Mar 20, 2003 at 09:05:05 PM EST

There's things that everyone *can* control, and things that are a grey area, and things that are out of people's control. What you eat and how much of it, sits firmly in the first group.

"I'm having sex right now?" - Joh3n
--Top Hat--
[ Parent ]

And compulsives don't exist... [n/t] (5.00 / 3) (#13)
by subversion on Thu Mar 20, 2003 at 10:53:44 PM EST



If you disagree, reply, don't moderate.
[ Parent ]
*puts fingers in ears* (5.00 / 3) (#15)
by mrgoat on Thu Mar 20, 2003 at 11:39:44 PM EST

LALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU! LALALA!

"I'm having sex right now?" - Joh3n
--Top Hat--
[ Parent ]

overly simplistic (none / 0) (#35)
by radish on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 11:33:20 AM EST

the number of people who really can't control (for some reasonable definition of control) their food intake is very small, but greater than zero, just as there are a small number of people who can't control their temper, or can't stop banging their heads against the wall.  for a less reasonable definition of control, people can also control their blood pressure, digestive system, brain chemistry etc...

and if you doubt that genetics can have a profound influence on behavior, ask a dog breeder.

[ Parent ]

I agree. (none / 0) (#54)
by mrgoat on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 01:53:22 PM EST

I can't tell wether you missed the sarcasm in my post or not. What can and can't be controlled by someone isn't a universal, and it's definitely complicated.

"I'm having sex right now?" - Joh3n
--Top Hat--
[ Parent ]

Absolutely (5.00 / 1) (#22)
by Rogerborg on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 09:38:07 AM EST

Except for the exception for me.  I'm a UKian.

"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs
[ Parent ]

yes (none / 0) (#41)
by Danse on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 12:24:55 PM EST

fatty :)






An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
Fundamentally missing the point.. (5.00 / 1) (#47)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 01:13:59 PM EST

Try reading the article.

A treatment altering the expression of this gene would eliminate the urge to eat twinkies, not let you eat more of them...


--
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him go off the high dive.


[ Parent ]
Obesity is now the number one killer (5.00 / 2) (#4)
by beijaflor on Thu Mar 20, 2003 at 03:47:19 PM EST

amongst fat Americans.
Why can't we find the genes responsible for starvation?

I know where to look (none / 0) (#10)
by X3nocide on Thu Mar 20, 2003 at 05:35:36 PM EST

Levi-Strauss!

pwnguin.net
[ Parent ]
The problem is (4.00 / 1) (#36)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 11:36:04 AM EST

they've been looking in the wrong place for the starvation genes. They aren't in the genes of the starving people - they're in the genes of the war lords and dictators who keep them starving.


--
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him go off the high dive.


[ Parent ]
Absurd. (1.00 / 1) (#5)
by Mr Hogan on Thu Mar 20, 2003 at 04:11:16 PM EST

Ok so this is ridiculous - the only way to become obese is to have been viciously spayed or neutered as a puppy - not normal not natural to live a full life catching Frisbees and get fat - can't catch a cat by rolling you have to run leap change direction without touching the ground - unless you eat more than rape - a ridiculous proposition in light of the American Pit Bull's temperament.

--
Life is food and rape, then tilt.

Let me guess: (5.00 / 2) (#7)
by fluffy grue on Thu Mar 20, 2003 at 04:54:06 PM EST

Random websearch on "obesity," fed through Markov chain dissociator?
--
"Is a hyperlink" is a hyperlink.
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.

Cats: Nature's entropy generators

[ [ Parent ]

Speak English, cat! (none / 0) (#8)
by Mr Hogan on Thu Mar 20, 2003 at 05:08:15 PM EST


--
Life is food and rape, then tilt.
[ Parent ]

So when are they going to locate (4.50 / 4) (#14)
by Kasreyn on Thu Mar 20, 2003 at 10:57:55 PM EST

the Low Willpower gene?

"Other external causes of obesity include Adenovirus 36, a coldlike virus which increases the bodies storage of fat."

I believe Denis Leary said it best on this one (paraphrased, as I can't remember exactly):

"Whereas every other virus is a flesh-eating virus, we've finally found the one that makes you bigger, yeah, ok, yeah. That's all everyone needs, is being at thanksgiving with the fat person going 'Oh I'm not actually overeating SCARF SCARF MUNCH GLARP I'm just trying to keep the virus at bay!! GLURP SMACK UMPH GULP'"

Sheesh.


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
Slight nit (1.50 / 4) (#16)
by PullNoPunches on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 12:14:14 AM EST

morbidly obese individuals who are unable to successfully change their eating habits due to strong impulses.

That should be "unwilling to change their eating habits due to strong impulses"

Otherwise, good article.

------------------------

Although generally safe, turmeric in large doses may cause gastrointestinal problems or even ulcers. -- Reader's Digest (UK)

I wonder why I have a beer belly..... (4.50 / 2) (#17)
by Blarney on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 02:06:28 AM EST

At last some research which will help me!

I'd thought that I was chubby because I eat about a pound of meat, a loaf of bread, and half a pound of cheese and wash it down with a gallon of Coca-Cola every single day. And also because the only exercise I get is walking a couple miles to work and back.

But now I know that it's a virus! Or a gene. Something incurable, at any rate.

heh (none / 0) (#80)
by Work on Sat Mar 22, 2003 at 02:14:27 AM EST

And also because the only exercise I get is walking a couple miles to work and back.

If everyone walked this much, there wouldnt be many fat people around.

Many people get very little physical movement in a day. This varies from city to city (Houston is the worst because of the way its spread out - it is impossible to go anywhere useful without a vehicle)

A good 45 minutes of constant physical movement, like walking, every day is enough to keep almost anyone in reasonable health.

[ Parent ]

Scientists make new breakthrough (2.75 / 4) (#19)
by twistedfirestarter on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 08:32:16 AM EST

BOSTON (AP) -- "Shoving your face with fucking junk food" - not weak willpower - makes some binge-eaters stuff themselves, a study suggests. But it also points to possible help: an innovative new process dubbed by scientists, "eating meals that wouldn't feed an Ethiopian family for a month".

The joint Swiss-German-American study makes the strongest case yet "gorging on giant greasy wads of fat and sugar" can cause an eating disorder, researchers say. Traditionally, eating behavior has been viewed as complex and cultural in its causes.

However, some researchers have also begun to link "being a big fat greedy American" to obesity, implicating "being a fat fucking TV-watching, mouth-breathing gluttonous fool" as an important underlying factor. Increasingly, eating problems are thought to stem from a subtle interaction of lifestyle and "just eating way too fucking much".


it's funny (4.71 / 7) (#21)
by tps12 on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 09:36:38 AM EST

It amuses me how many people are actually angry about there being a genetic explanation for overeating. Is your self-image so fragile that it's threatened when you can no longer feel superior to fat people?

Is that what it is? (none / 0) (#23)
by etherdeath on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 09:38:23 AM EST

I was trying to figure it out.

[ Parent ]
It's the way it's phrased (4.50 / 4) (#25)
by Rogerborg on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 09:44:15 AM EST

That the "gene is responsible".

That's (strawmannishly) equivelant to the argument - actually being made in US courts - that you deserve leniency if you can show that you're genetically predisposed to commit murder.

I applaud the fact that hopefully this will cut down on over consumption, but I don't have to like the way that the issue is presented.

"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs
[ Parent ]

hm (5.00 / 1) (#29)
by tps12 on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 10:18:13 AM EST

I agree that we should steer clear of scapegoating, but I also hesitate to succumb to the flippant (and frequently hostile) comments to "just stop eating so much."

Depression and ADD (before it was called that) were once attributed to a failing of "willpower." Now we know that they are often symptoms of measurable defects in brain chemistry, and may have genetic roots as well. And while we can't remove all blame from the individual (since people can and do learn to adapt to and live with things like depression and eating compulsion), anything that allows us to better understand and treat these conditions benefits us all.

[ Parent ]

Sure (4.00 / 3) (#39)
by Rogerborg on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 11:56:29 AM EST

Compare and contrast:

Depression
Solution: Stop feeling so bad.
Reply: I just can't.

Obesity
Solution: Put the burger down.
Reply: I just can't.

I'm open to persuasion, but you need a better example.

"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs
[ Parent ]

wow (nt) (none / 0) (#46)
by tps12 on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 01:13:40 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Makes sense to me... (4.00 / 1) (#77)
by Squidward on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 11:18:03 PM EST

Some people, when they find themselves gaining weight, can decide to cut out the junk food and eat veggies and exercise. No big deal.

Others have more trouble.

Some people, when they find themselves moping around the house, depressed, can decide to get active and start socializing and do something about it. No big deal.

Others have more trouble.

There are people who can just put down the burger with no problem. Likewise, there are people who can pull themselves out of it when they are down in the dumps. This discussion isn't about those people, and comparing a casual junk food eater with a clinically depressed person just doesn't wash.

[ Parent ]

Ii's entirely (3.00 / 4) (#32)
by starsky on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 10:52:11 AM EST

human nature for me to want to screw all the hot young chicks that I see, so how pissed was I when I was arrested after raping 12 of them in one week?

It's only nature - it's not my fault.

[ Parent ]

non-sequitor? (nt) (1.00 / 1) (#55)
by tps12 on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 01:54:02 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Laugh while you can, Monkey-boy! (3.80 / 5) (#26)
by Bad Harmony on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 09:47:53 AM EST

Wait another 10 or 20 years, and tell us again how obesity is just a problem for weak-willed pigs who stuff their faces with junk food.

5440' or Fight!

I recently lost 20lbs (4.42 / 7) (#28)
by criquet on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 10:03:07 AM EST

by exercising and reducing the amount that I eat. It was hard. Let me emphasize, IT WAS HARD because I love good, tasty food and I love chocolate. But fuck! Suck it up! My frigin stomach was growling at me more often than not. When it started acting up, I'd down a huge glass of water and tell it to shut the fuck up.

Now, I graze eat small amounts (I wouldn't call them meals) throughout the day and exercise three times a week. I'm still losing a little but I'm in great shape and getting better.

So get the fuck off the couch and start moving around and stop eating so much. Otherwise, shut the fuck up, just enjoy being fat and tell everyone else to fuck off.

Bottom line is, for most people, if you can't lose weight, you don't really want to. I say most because my sister honestly had a medical condition. I don't remember exactly, but something about her brain was malfunctioning causing hormones or something to make her gain weight. Once that was under control she begain to lose weight.

20 pounds? and you've kept it off how long? (3.50 / 2) (#34)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 11:30:04 AM EST

Come back when you've lost 90 - and kept it off for five years - then you'll have the right to lecture me on nutrition and excercise.


--
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him go off the high dive.


[ Parent ]
You're assuming that 20 lbs (none / 0) (#37)
by Rogerborg on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 11:52:26 AM EST

Is not a significant fraction of criquet's body weight, and that 90 lbs is an reasonable amount to lose.  That says a lot about what your view of what a normal body weight is.

"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs
[ Parent ]

In my case (none / 0) (#45)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 01:10:07 PM EST

It was about 1/3 of total body weight.

You think cricket weighs 60 pounds?

In any case, the point still stands - criquet doesn't have the same issues as a chronically obese person and doesn't have the insights into the problem he thinks he has, anymore than a casual drinker has any real insight into what it means to be an alcoholic.


--
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him go off the high dive.


[ Parent ]
Sorry, my bad (5.00 / 1) (#50)
by Rogerborg on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 01:33:38 PM EST

So, can you please specify exactly how fat a commentator has to be to understand the issue.

"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs
[ Parent ]

It's not how fat you are - it's how fat you were (none / 0) (#57)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 01:58:19 PM EST

that determines your standing on this issue.


--
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him go off the high dive.


[ Parent ]
And the number is? (n/t) (none / 0) (#72)
by Rogerborg on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 04:59:23 PM EST


"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs
[ Parent ]

That's not even it. (none / 0) (#75)
by jjayson on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 09:09:32 PM EST

It takes incredible will power, planning, and desire to lose that last few pounds. If you weigh 300 pounds, shedding that first 100 is easier than losing that last 20 from 170 to 150.
_______
Smile =)
* bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
<bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

[ Parent ]
Oh, sure, brag... (none / 0) (#78)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 11:39:50 PM EST

you're exactly right, about the difficulty getting worse as you lose. I got from 310 to 220, but absolutely couldn't get to a round 100 pounds lost - I was riding a bike 20 miles, 3x per week, and I still couldn't do it.

But, the worst part, *I* think, is just keeping it off. It's hard to maintain the discipline once you can't greet yourself each morning with a merry "hey, lardbutt - take off a few pounds!"


--
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him go off the high dive.


[ Parent ]
Hehe (none / 0) (#42)
by A Proud American on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 12:39:22 PM EST

If I lost 90 lbs I'd be in a fucking death bed hearing my last rites ;-)

____________________________
The weak are killed and eaten...


[ Parent ]
That's just wrong (5.00 / 1) (#43)
by criquet on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 12:59:36 PM EST

The only way to lose weight and keep it off is to alter your mentality about eating, exercise and generally just being healthy. Saying not to lecture someone about that is rediculous. That's what everyone should be (is) saying regardless of whether they do it themselves.

I have a perfect example in my life that shows me that it is the best approach. My step father is 75 and is in better shape than relatively healthy people I know in their 30s. He plays 3 sets of tennis weekly, golfs almost daily and maintains and refurbishes several houses almost nonstop. He attributes it to being active and eating well throughout his life.

So if you don't accept my advice. Accept his.

BTW, although I can't lose 90 lbs because I'd probably be dead, I can keep weight off because I've been relatively fit and active throughout my youth. I lost touch with that when I started overworking myself but have since regained the desire the be healthy and active. It won't be a problem for me to maintain my weight loss. I suspect it'll be more work for some but after sticking with it for a while it becomes easier and even very satisfying to eat well and feel fit.

[ Parent ]

Actually, you are just wrong. (none / 0) (#44)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 01:07:13 PM EST

You are assuming that all people process food the same way - which is the same as assuming all people can be long distance runners and all people can be great tennis players.

Your attitude is the same as someone telling an alcoholic to lay off the booze. Of course "not drinking" is the answer! Even the drunk knows that. The actual effort for him to stop drinking is rather different than that of a normal social drinker, however...


--
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him go off the high dive.


[ Parent ]
I understand addiction (none / 0) (#51)
by criquet on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 01:38:05 PM EST

I was addicted to cocaine for a year and I think I almost had a food addiction. You know how I stopped the blow? I stopped doing it. It was hard. It was very, very difficult and it took a while (I still find myself craving it now and then). Just writing this is making me crave it a little. The thing is though, I don't give in to the craving because I know where it will lead. You see I've conditioned myself to have a negative reaction to it (I've been doing the same with sugar of late). So when I feel a craving, part of my conditioned response now it to think of how horrible I felt after a weekend of blow. So I understand addiction and I am living, breathing proof that it can be overcome.

I don't think i'm making assumptions about all people being the same. I'm saying that if someone's overweight and they want to lose it, it can be done but it won't be easy and in fact it must be expected to be very difficult. But everyone that doesn't have a medical condition or physical addiction can do it and can probably do it on their own. As I said before, if they can't, then they don't really want to.

Please explain to me how someone processing food differently than me contributes to their not being able to lose weight. I understand that I may be able to lose weight more easily. That doesn't mean others can't lose weight though.

What people seem to overlook is the importance of being active. Diet is almost useless if you're not active. Being active is what burns the calories. If you just diet, your body will simply adjust to the fewer calories and you're right back where you where or worse because if the eating increases while your body needs fewer calories the weight gains more rapidly.

[ Parent ]

So, actually, you do understand. (none / 0) (#56)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 01:56:05 PM EST

My relationship with food is a lot like cocaine addiction; except an addict isn't expected to do three healthy doses per day, or have to stare at the cocaine vending machine in the corner. It's far easier to abstain than it is to eat a small meal and get up from the table still hungry...

And, I agree that physical activity is essential to weight control. That 90 pounds I lost was thru the classic combination of starvation and heavy exercise. The problem is that I will spend the rest of my life trying to talk myself out of wandering down to the candy machine. That's the part that the "just stop stuffing your face" crowd doesn't seem to understand.


--
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him go off the high dive.


[ Parent ]
I agree (none / 0) (#61)
by criquet on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 02:15:29 PM EST

People do not seem to understand how difficult it is for some people not to partake. It's one reason why rehab programs recommend that ex-addicts avoid people that they associated with when addicted.

I do agree that it is tiresome having to tell people all the time "No, no, the meal was wonderful, I've just eaten enough. I know I didn't eat a lot, but I loved the meal. No more, please. Really! No more, mom!" Overcoming my eating related issues (teachings) from childhood was a big hurdle in learning how to eat healthy amounts.

an addict [cocaine] isn't expected to do three healthy doses per day

No, cocaine just makes you stay up for 48 hours and miss work and get dangerously close to losing your job. Did you ever see that commercial with the monkeys where they said something like "monkeys, when given the choice between cocaine and food will always chose the cocaine, until they die"? That's how strong the desire it is to keep doing it once you're on it. For some people, it's almost as strong even when the effects have fully passed (at least several hours to fully subside though the initial high is gone after 30 minutes or so) which is at least partly why people will steal and kill for it.


[ Parent ]

That's right. Blame poor mom! (none / 0) (#63)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 02:34:49 PM EST

My dad (who was even heavier than I used to be) always blamed his mother - and I never understood until I went to her house for dinner and it was me, her and a turkey with all the trimmings.... Worst part was, she's been as thin as a rail all the years I've known her...

But again, sorry - I'm not trying to equate the severity of food addiction to cocaine addiction; simply point out that it's much harder to avoid relapse by simply "avoiding the occasion to sin."


--
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him go off the high dive.


[ Parent ]
:) I'm all about the blame game (none / 0) (#67)
by criquet on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 03:08:18 PM EST

Not really. I accept that my parents raised me the best they knew how (which was quite good actually, I think). I don't blame them for the way I am/was. Quite the opposite. It's just been important for me to know why I am/was the way I am/was so I could try to figure out what to do to overcome the things I don't/didn't like so much about myself.

No worries about the food==coke. I just didn't express myself clearly enough to show that I understood what you meant.

[ Parent ]

I would agree... (none / 0) (#79)
by Aphexian on Sat Mar 22, 2003 at 12:37:18 AM EST

Given an infinite amount of anything (body mass to dose ratio) you could get addicted to pretty much anything. Are you trying to say you were addicted because you (like lab rats) had an unlimited supply? That is pretty telling about your upbringing and your attitude.. If not, then listen to my public service announcement - I LOVE coke. Can't get enough. Just can't afford it. So I stopped. Apparantly I'm not addicted, am I? I can afford alcohol, I love that too... Does that mean I'm addicted? I don't mean to be an ass, but I think you're overblowing your little 'scary habit'.
[I]f there were NO religions, there would be actual, true peace... Bunny Vomit
[ Parent ]
"little 'scary habit'"? (none / 0) (#85)
by criquet on Sat Mar 22, 2003 at 02:40:54 PM EST

First, it's pretty telling about you making assumptions about my addiction and then extrapolating on that to claim that you can know something, anything, about my upbringing and attitude.

As i've written elsewhere, I was addicted to cocaine for about a year. I spent $300-$400/wk on it, i was high every weekend and sometimes several weekdays and it almost made me loose my job. I couldn't go a day if I wasn't high without thinking about getting high. I think it's pretty clear that I didn't stop because I couldn't afford it.

So, just curious, it seems I virtually had an unlimited supply of coke, how and what does that say to you about my upbringing and my attitude. And my attitude towards what exactly? Maybe you can skim this to better understand my upbringing and my attitude before you jump to your false conclusions about me.

Do you understand, once an addict, always an addict? I'm still a coke addict, that's why I don't do it. Not because I can't afford it. Because it almost destroyed my life which is a pretty good sign that it was an addiction. If I had coke in front of me today, I can't say that I could refuse it. I'd want to refuse it but I just don't know if I could. The only thing I know is that I won't buy it and I won't go anywhere that I know it'll be available.

If you love something so much that it starts tearing your life apart or severely interfering with normal living and you don't want that something to have that affect but you can't seem to stop, then I'd say you're addicted.

[ Parent ]

Another point. Alcoholism is a physical addiction. (none / 0) (#52)
by criquet on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 01:45:26 PM EST

Food addicts will not go through physical withdrawal from not eating. Alcoholics will when trying to stop drinking.

[ Parent ]
You'd be surprised. (5.00 / 1) (#53)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 01:51:48 PM EST

Certainly, "withdrawl" from food isn't anything like the DTs, and I don't want to imply that it is, but it certainly causes mood swings, fatigue, and insomnia for me.


--
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him go off the high dive.


[ Parent ]
Your attitude (none / 0) (#81)
by auraslip on Sat Mar 22, 2003 at 04:18:20 AM EST

is the only way to lose weight.
That and being thin to begin with.
124
[ Parent ]
Interesting Tidbit (none / 0) (#31)
by starsky on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 10:50:02 AM EST

Somewhere in America, they recently worked with some inner city kids to help improve their diet. During the scheme, many kids complained of 'stomach ache'. It turned out that they were actually just experiencing hunger for the first time, since the podgy little fuckers had always had their mouth full of some snack or other previously.

There's no link, so you'll just have to trust I haven't made this up.

Great. Where do I go to have mine removed? [nt] (none / 0) (#33)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 11:27:59 AM EST


--
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him go off the high dive.


genes vs diet and carbs vs fats (4.66 / 3) (#40)
by radish on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 12:14:39 PM EST

I doubt very much that the "obesity epidemic" (shouldn't it be called it a pandemic if it's not geographically limited?) has much to do with neuro-driven compulsive eating.  just more people adopting sugar-driven junk food diets I reckon.  though I'm actually kind of surprised that a diet pill based on neurotransmitters hasn't been released yet - I know the pharms are all desperately hunting for one.

my girlfriend and others have lost enough weight on high-fat Atkins diets to convince me that fats by themselves really don't contribute to obesity.  Atkins' logic is that by themselves fats (and proteins, obviously) require more calories to metabolize than what they provide, which appears to be borne out in practice.  fits in nicely with evolutionary biology too - we tend to forget that agriculture is essentially a recent form of symbiosis...

I've also read elsewhere (idle perusal of a book at friend's house) that there are profound differences in the metabolic fallout of meals with different combinations of carbs, fats, proteins, and fiber...  can't vouch for its validity but it seems likely, and I think there are other diets based on this.

Yes and No.... (none / 0) (#62)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 02:26:17 PM EST

Certainly, availability of high calorie foods is a major factor. My personal belief is that for most people, junk food is "habit forming" and a smaller minority become more compulsive about the whole thing. In other words, for some number of people, if you aren't exposed to a high sugar diet, it's not a problem - but once you're habituated to it, it's extremely hard to change.

I'm really not sure why people consider this to be significantly different from homosexuality or even male pattern baldness. Believe me, if you could burn out the sugar-craving part of my brain with a soldering iron - I'd let you do it!


--
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him go off the high dive.


[ Parent ]
Habit Forming Food (none / 0) (#73)
by PullNoPunches on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 05:22:35 PM EST

junk food is "habit forming" and a smaller minority become more compulsive about the whole thing

If you are referring to high-carb junk food, you're absolutely right. The mechanism originates in the amount of insulin sensitivity. More carbs leads to a spike in blood gluconse, which leads to more insulin released, which leads to a drop in blood glucose, which leads to cravings for carbs.

For most people, this doesn't cause a problem. They have the normal liking for starches and sugars, and at worst feel a satisfying relaxation after a meal. For others, genetics or habituation predisposes this cycle to be highly sensitive, with dramatic swings from high blood glucose and too much energy to low blood glucose and no energy. This wild fluctuation causes even greater sensitivity, and larger fluctuations.

The person feels cravings for starch and sugar, and lives a life of low energy, strong cravings, and increasingly rare spikes of high energy, too much to know what to do with.

That said, no gene is responsible for how fat a person gets. Every bite of food is a conscious decision, and only ignorance can be any excuse for eating the kinds of food, whatever they may be for any given individual, that makes him fat.

------------------------

Although generally safe, turmeric in large doses may cause gastrointestinal problems or even ulcers. -- Reader's Digest (UK)
[ Parent ]

A different yes and no... (none / 0) (#84)
by gidds on Sat Mar 22, 2003 at 08:55:30 AM EST

fats... require more calories to metabolize than what they provide

That's not Atkins' reasoning at all. Protein does indeed take some energy to process, though IIRC less than half of what it gives. But fat, like carbohydrate, takes very little; that's not the reason why his diet works.

AIUI, it's connected with body chemistry, and in particular, insulin. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood glucose (sugar) level. After being eaten, carbohydrate is broken down and absorbed into the bloodstream as glucose, but the body can't use it without insulin. So as the blood glucose level rises, the pancreas produces insulin. This has several effects:

  1. It enables the rest of the body to burn the glucose for energy. This helps to lower the blood glucose level again, keeping it stable.
  2. It enables excess fat and carbohydrate to be stored in the fat cells.
  3. It prevents fat being burned for energy.
The upshot of the last two is that while you're using carbohydrate for energy, you're storing away fat instead of burning it. The only way you can start to burn fat is to run out of carbohydrate to burn.

This is why Atkins is different from most other diets: you can eat lost of fat and protein without storing it as fat, because without carbohydrate you're not producing much insulin, and without insulin you can't store fat.

As you say, in some ways Atkins is like returning to a pre-agriculture diet. Back then carbohydrate was an occasional treat, burned immediately, and people quickly switched back to burning fat again - these days, with our carbohydrate-rich Western diet, our bodies are in `sugar mode' most or all of the time. We get sudden spikes of blood glucose, and our pancreas has to work overtime to dump enough insulin in our systems to use it. That may well be why we're seeing a rise in cases of diabetes (the inability to regulate blood glucose properly). No carbohydrate means no spikes in blood glucose; fewer food cravings, less of the bloated, lethargic feeling after meals, steadier energy levels throughout the day, &c. So Atkins is healthier in other ways too.

There are a lot of exaggerated claims made for many diets, Atkins included; but in this case there does seem to be some sound biological reasoning for it. (I lost a stone and a half on an Atkins-like diet myself; it might not be suitable for everyone, but I can vouch for its effectiveness.)

Andy/
[ Parent ]

It wouldn't be so bad (none / 0) (#48)
by tang gnat on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 01:21:03 PM EST

If they ever got off their butt and moved a bodypart.

Now that I Have an Excuse (none / 0) (#49)
by OldCoder on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 01:21:28 PM EST

Will I be as popular as my skinny competitors? Will I get the hot chicks and sexy babes? Huh?

--
By reading this signature, you have agreed.
Copyright © 2003 OldCoder
Have you tried bribing them with ho-ho's? (none / 0) (#64)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 02:35:59 PM EST

Always works for me...


--
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him go off the high dive.


[ Parent ]
And here I was happy when (none / 0) (#58)
by AtADeadRun on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 02:03:47 PM EST

I gained five pounds and topped 150 (about 68 kilos). Then again, I'm a marathoner who eats approx 4000 calories a day when not training, and 6000 when I'm doing more than 50 miles a week.

-------
Pain heals. Glory is forever. Keep running.

We would not die in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
Hold still you! (none / 0) (#59)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 02:08:20 PM EST

I'm gonna eat you.

:-P

My brother-in-law is the same way; he works in construction, drinks protein shakes and lifts weights - and can't break 160.


--
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him go off the high dive.


[ Parent ]
Eh. On second thought... (none / 0) (#60)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 02:09:24 PM EST

never mind - you'd probably be way to gristley and tough to eat.


--
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him go off the high dive.


[ Parent ]
You are correct, sir. (none / 0) (#71)
by AtADeadRun on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 04:28:14 PM EST

But if it makes you feel any better, if I were to stop lifting for a couple weeks, I'd lose those hard-earned five pounds in a heartbeat.

-------
Pain heals. Glory is forever. Keep running.

We would not die in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
[ Parent ]
probably true (4.00 / 1) (#68)
by nickco on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 03:22:03 PM EST

i think some people have a legitimate problem with overeating that relates to a neurochemical dysfunction. whether or not this is because of a metabolic disorder as a result of overreating or if it is an inherent problem they were born with i'm not so sure. whatever the reason, i don't think it's fair to tell someone to 'stop stuffing their face' or whatever. to me, 90% of food i eat is bland and i rarely notice the taste of what i am eating regardless of it's price or it's reputation as a good tasting food. in my mind that means that the organization of my taste buds or something like that actually facilitates my ability to avoid gaining weight. if everything i ate actually had a taste that i could appreciate i would no doubt be as overweight as some of my friends. some people just like food more than others, and i don't believe a person should sacrifice quality of life for quantity of life because of the this idiotic health-craze that currently exists in America.

i also know that at least some foods are legitimately addictive. anyone consuming large amounts of sugar can become addicted to their bodies endogenous opioids. i used to drink a lot of caffeinated soda and when i drastically cut back my intake i experienced nasty withdrawals. it wasn't the caffeine because i replaced the soda with No-Doz. i take that on a daily basis with an average cumulative dose of 700mg.. the most i get if i abruptly stop my intake of caffeine is a mild headache. i wouldn't be surprised if sugar was not the only foodstuff that a person could become addicted to. it's not just about a lack of willpower.

Same for alcoholism? (1.00 / 2) (#69)
by jjayson on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 04:14:12 PM EST

It is well known that certain races of people suffer from higher incidences of alcoholism and addiction for genetic reasons, however we still know that this is conquerable by will power. Everybody has vices and it is a challenge to not give into them.

Sadly, people will now use this to sit around eating all day, killing themselves with food, because they have an excuse: "It's genetic and not my fault."

I don't understand why people do this sort of research. It is not as if we can alter a person's gentics yet to remove the expression of these traits. Instead, more effort needs to go into teaching people how not to stuff that extra Twinky in their face and to eat better.
_______
Smile =)
* bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
<bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

Are you serious? (4.00 / 1) (#76)
by Jman1 on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 09:26:04 PM EST

If we find a gene, we may find a treatment. While it is possible that willpower alone may be sufficient to cure obesity, obesity remains a very very serious problem. If it could be fixed with a simple treatment, it would improve and lengthen the lives of millions.

On the other hand, it might keep you from feeling slightly more superior.

[ Parent ]

Maybe his point (none / 0) (#83)
by AmberEyes on Sat Mar 22, 2003 at 08:46:30 AM EST

Is that we should strive to take responsibility for our actions ourselves, instead of popping a handful of pills and downing them with some bottled water?

Focusing on simply ceasing the apparent instinct to cram another bag of Ruffles potato chips down your throat doesn't seem like an unreasonable expectation. But hey, if people want plastic surgery because they have horrible self-esteem issues, the idea of "Make my problems go away because I'm weak" pills might seem attractive to some people.

-AmberEyes


"But you [AmberEyes] have never admitted defeat your entire life, so why should you start now. It seems the only perfect human being since Jesus Christ himself is in our presence." -my Uncle Dean
[ Parent ]
come one (none / 0) (#74)
by nodsmasher on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 06:10:17 PM EST

scientist discovered the gene for eating the whole goddamn bag of potato chips awhile back
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Most people don't realise just how funny cannibalism can actually be.
-Tatarigami
I just "binged" (4.00 / 1) (#82)
by auraslip on Sat Mar 22, 2003 at 04:21:16 AM EST

Although I believe the reason to be Tetra-hydro-cannabinol, and not genetics.
124
Scientists Locate Binge Eating Gene | 85 comments (76 topical, 9 editorial, 1 hidden)
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