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Fri, 24 Jan 2020
The World for People who Think

Health & Wellness


Why we eat too much: the new science of appetite (and what it tells us about losing weight)

© E+/Rouzes
These treats are bad for you... but so is starving yourself.

Obesity is on the rise, and our approach to weight loss isn't working. Dr Andrew Jenkinson explains why it's time for a rethink

Dr Andrew Jenkinson was once as prejudiced as most people are about obesity. He thought those who tipped the scales at 20st but carried on eating regardless, often bingeing on calorific foods, were irresponsible and lacked will power. Indeed when a patient once walked into his bariatric clinic carrying a plastic bag full of sausage rolls, crisps and snacks, he told the man to take some responsibility for himself and go on a diet, he tells me a little sheepishly.

Today he thinks differently. His understanding of the science of hunger and weight means he appreciates being obese isn't the lifestyle choice he once thought it was.

Comment: Most of the advice given in this article, and presumably in Dr Jenkinson's book, is reasonable. But the doctor seems to pull back at the point that most would start to see real benefit - entering ketosis. It's a moderate approach, which may serve some people just fine. But one has to wonder if being a proponent bariatric surgery, a drastic and highly invasive 'solution' to the obesity problem, has tainted his perspective in some ways.

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The truth about 'Game Changers' documentary

game changers movie poster
In recent weeks, I have been asked many times if I have seen 'Game Changers' and what I thought about it. Apparently, this film is regarded as convincing by many people. I watched it so that I can give my honest appraisal.

Having spent several years researching the science of our dietary needs and our evolution, I can state categorically that it is impossible for a vegan diet to be superior to an omnivore diet or, indeed, an entirely carnivorous diet. I can make this statement because we are not herbivores. This is the only indisputable fact that anyone needs to remember when wondering if veganism is for them. If you are a member of the human race, veganism cannot be your optimum diet: it is lacking in too many essential nutrients.

My book is called Stop Feeding Us Lies for a very good reason. We are constantly bombarded with myths, misinformation, fake news and downright lies. You just have to watch a political debate to know that. 'Game Changers' is just another big lie. It is part of a large and well-coordinated attack on our traditional foods by vested interests. Those vested interests are food manufacturing companies that stand to make a fortune if they persuade enough people to stop eating the animal foods our ancestors have been eating for a million years and switch to fake foods made in their laboratories.

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Propaganda push: Channel 4's less meaty deal with plant-based firm

channel 4
Channel 4 has secured a seven-figure equity deal with a Yorkshire-based company that sells meat-free products.

The Meatless Farm Co, a plant-based company based in Leeds, struck the deal through the broadcaster's Commercial Growth Fund, an initiative that was set up in 2015.

The fund offers high growth potential companies not currently advertising on television, the opportunity to build their business through advertising on Channel 4 marketing platforms - by exchanging equity stakes or striking revenue share arrangements.

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Bee population recovering due to regenerative farming, producers say

Honey bee
Paul Kernaleguen says regenerative agriculture has brought bees back to his farm.

"With the flowering species [of plants] we have now, you definitely see more," he said.

He's referring to the mixture of plants in his fields, near Birch Hills, Sask. Along with his partner, Erin Dancey, he now grows flowers like red clover, phacelia and sunflowers, along with barley, oats and peas they grow to feed their dairy cattle.

Dancey and Kernaleguen manage their fields with regenerative agriculture. They said the practice has brought greater profits, efficiency and a higher bee population.

Wine n Glass

So why aren't we talking about it? Alcohol is killing more people than the opioid epidemic

In recent years, we have been hearing a lot about the opioid epidemic that is sweeping the nation. The Center for Disease Control reported that over 47,000 people died in the United States alone from an opiate overdose in 2017, that is almost 5 times the amount of deaths caused by opiates in 1999. This is important, and yes it is good this is getting the attention that it deserves. However, in the same year, an estimated 88,000 people died from alcohol related causes — Did anyone hear about that?

Alcohol is the third leading cause of preventable death in the United States, the first is tobacco and the second is poor diet and minimal physical activity. Given this, why aren't we talking about it? And why don't we see warning labels on alcoholic beverages? Why are we promoting such a harmful substance? We certainly don't see huge billboards with people in bikinis popping oxycontin or injecting heroin, because we are well aware that these substances are addictive and can cause harm, so again, why are we openly promoting alcohol? Especially to young people?

Is It Because It's Legal?

Is it possible that alcohol related deaths do not garner as much of a cause for concern because it is legal, easily available and socially acceptable? Most likely. Alcohol sales reached $253.8 billion in the US in 2018 — this might also have something to do with it.


Healthy soil is the real key to feeding the world

Healthy soil

Planting a diverse blend of crops and cover crops, and not tilling, helps promote soil health.
One of the biggest modern myths about agriculture is that organic farming is inherently sustainable. It can be, but it isn't necessarily. After all, soil erosion from chemical-free tilled fields undermined the Roman Empire and other ancient societies around the world. Other agricultural myths hinder recognizing the potential to restore degraded soils to feed the world using fewer agrochemicals.

When I embarked on a six-month trip to visit farms around the world to research my forthcoming book, "Growing a Revolution: Bringing Our Soil Back to Life," the innovative farmers I met showed me that regenerative farming practices can restore the world's agricultural soils. In both the developed and developing worlds, these farmers rapidly rebuilt the fertility of their degraded soil, which then allowed them to maintain high yields using far less fertilizer and fewer pesticides.

Their experiences, and the results that I saw on their farms in North and South Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Ghana and Costa Rica, offer compelling evidence that the key to sustaining highly productive agriculture lies in rebuilding healthy, fertile soil. This journey also led me to question three pillars of conventional wisdom about today's industrialized agrochemical agriculture: that it feeds the world, is a more efficient way to produce food and will be necessary to feed the future.

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Red Flag

Big Pharma empire behind opioid epidemic now profiting from overdose cure

Mundipharma is owned by the billionaire Sackler family, which also owns OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma.

An affiliate of the U.S.-based pharmaceutical company that brought us OxyContin, the blockbuster painkiller blamed for propelling opiate addiction to epidemic proportions, is now seeking to cash in by selling the cure to overdosing on the same drug.

While Purdue Pharma, the major pharma firm owned by the notorious Sackler family, is engulfed in a tidal wave of negative public opinion and lawsuits across the United States, its overseas affiliate Mundipharma has quietly expanded across the globe in a bid to monopolize the market for treating opioid overdoses, the Associated Press reports.


What happens to the brain when you diffuse essential oils

essential oil

Nature itself is the Best Physician. - Hippocrates
Many are diagnosed with ADHD, depression, anxiety and sleep disorders. In 2013, a medical expenditure survey determined that 1 in 6 Americans take psychiatric medication on a daily basis. Consequently, 90,000 adults and countless children visit the emergency room yearly for side-effects of these medications including, increased depressive or anxious symptoms, brain fog, confusion, heart palpitations, dizziness, muscle spasms, seizures, tics, and psychosis.

Despite these side-effects and the many black box warnings including death by suicide, many continue using them. It is about time we start addressing root causes of these emotional issues such as poor diet, trauma, leaky gut syndrome, toxicity, and nutritional deficiencies. It is also important that everyone recognize the power of plant medicine. Here we take a look at the healing benefits of essential oils.

Comment: Odor and the brain: What the nose knows


Your personality determines how you experience pain - and it's the same with your pet

Dog with cone
Would you brush off a serious injury as "just a scratch"? Perhaps you're the opposite and a stubbed toe is unbearable. Anyone who follows sports will be used to seeing rugby players spending 90 minutes pretending they're unhurt while the footballer writhes in apparent agony (though that usually happens in the penalty area, strangely enough). People often find it difficult to understand others who are more or less stoic than themselves - but personality often has a great deal to do with why some people are better at tolerating pain than others.

The first thing to understand about pain is that it's an emotional response. The signal that the body has been damaged is sent to the brain via the nervous system. There, the brain interprets those signals and creates the unpleasant emotional experience of pain. This modifies your behaviour, protecting you from the present threat, and it also helps you learn from the experience so that you avoid it in future.

Personality reflects individual differences in how people respond emotionally and behaviourally to their environment. People who are more extroverted tend to be louder and more likely to share their thoughts and experiences with others. Little wonder that these people tend to express their pain very clearly, too, often by telling others the gory details or making a very clear physical demonstration like an exaggerated limp. It's important to extroverts that people recognise and acknowledge their suffering, while someone who's more introverted might prefer to suffer in silence and avoid seeking help from others.

Even though extroversion has a great deal to do with how people communicate their suffering, it has very little to do with how people actually feel about pain. That has more to do with neuroticism, which reflects how emotionally stable people are. Since pain is an emotional response, it makes sense that people who score highly for neuroticism experience pain more severely. They protect the injury more carefully and may "catastrophise" their prognosis and struggle to imagine a time when the pain will be resolved.

Bacon n Eggs

Clueless about nutritional science: Doctors in Scotland to trial an 850-calorie 'porridge and lentil soup' diet to curb the nation's spiraling diabetes epidemic

© Shutterstock
A low-calorie 'porridge and lentil soup' diet will be trialled in Scotland in a bid to curb the nation's growing diabetes epidemic. Participants in the trial will eat a bowl of porridge for breakfast.
A low-calorie 'porridge and lentil soup' diet will be trialled in Scotland in a bid to curb the nation's growing diabetes epidemic.

Experts believe the simple, cheap regime based on traditional Scottish staples could be the key to losing weight and reversing the effects of type 2 diabetes.

NHS figures published last year showed more than 300,000 are living with the condition in Scotland - the highest number on record.

Comment: Putting people on a re starvation diet will likely work for weight loss and regaining control of insulin. The major problem with this approach, and why these ultra-low calorie diets are doomed to failure, is that no one can stay in a calorie deficit this severe for extended periods of time. There is inevitably a breaking point, after which most will gain back all the weight and then some. The stigma against fat and animal foods is so strong that doctors would rather starve people and serve them nothing but gruel than try a high-fat low-carbohydrate approach. It's pathetic.

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