From Discover Magazine blog:
“We aren’t single individuals, but colonies of trillions. Our bodies, and our guts in particular, are home to vast swarms of bacteria and other microbes. This “microbiota” helps us to harvest energy from our food by breaking down the complex molecules that our own cells cannot cope with. They build vitamins that we cannot manufacture. They ‘talk to’ our immune system to ensure that it develops correctly, and they prevent invasions from other more harmful microbes. They’re our partners in life.
What happens when we kill them?
Farmers have been doing that experiment in animals for more than 50 years. By feeding low doses of antibiotics to healthy farm animals, they’ve found that they could fatten up their livestock by as much as 15 percent. You can put the antibiotics in their feed or in their water. You can give the drugs to cows, sheep, pigs or chickens. You can try penicillins, or tetracyclines, or many other classes of antibiotics. The effect is the same: more weight. Continue reading
From the Institute for Science in Society (ISIS):
Persistent environmental pollutants responsible for obesity epidemic Prof. Joe Cummins. A fully referenced version of this report is posted on ISIS members website and is otherwise available for download here
Metabolic diseases and obesity are on the increase over the last decades. In France, the proportion of population overweight or obese rose 12 % between 1997 and 2003, from 36.7 to 41.6% . In the United States, the prevalence of obesity was 32.2% among adult men and 35.5% among adult women in 2007-2008 ; and obesity in adolescence was significantly associated with increased risk of severe obesity in adulthood . In 2011, a national cohort study of infants and toddlers in the US found that nearly one-third were overweight or obese at 9 months and 2 years of age . Continue reading
Via Mercola.com, here are 23 minutes from a program shown on the Qatar-based TV news network Al Jazeera, about obesity, food culture and food business in contemporary America:
“Domino’s Pizza’s domestic sales were falling last year. Then an organization called Dairy Management offered to help. They developed pizzas for Domino’s that contained 40 percent more cheese, and then devised and paid for a $12-million marketing campaign. Continue reading
Here’s a significant story from syndicated columnist Ellen Goodman, writing from Boston, but published in the Seattle Times under the title “Tables are turning on Big Food”.
Will "Big Food" soon be riding off into the sunset the way "Big Tobacco" has?
The Times’ preamble: “Now that two-thirds of Americans are overweight, the lethal effects of fat are catching up to those of smoke, writes columnist Ellen Goodman. We are beginning to see that Overweight America is not some collective collapse of national willpower, but a business plan”
Excerpts from the story: “BOSTON — What caught my eye was not just the ashtray sitting forlornly on the yard-sale table. It was the sign that marked it “vintage,” as if we needed to label this relic of midcentury America.
Ashtrays that once graced every airline armrest, coffee table and office have gone the way of spittoons. Today the car’s cigarette lighter is used to juice up the cellphone. Ask any restaurant for the smoking section, and you’ll be shown the doorway.
If I had to pick the year attitudes changed, it would 1994, when seven CEOs of Big Tobacco came before Congress and swore that nicotine wasn’t addictive. A lobby too big to fail and too powerful to oppose began to lose clout. Smokers are no longer seen as sexy and glamorous but as the addicted dupes. Continue reading