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Greece tops fat league as diet of the Med decays

Greece, the nation that gave rise to the idea of well-formed muscular men in the name of Adonis, now has the highest prevalence of obesity in the EU, according to a report issued yesterday.

“Greece today is the EU state with the highest average body mass index and highest prevalence of overweight [people] and obesity,” says the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation report.

It reveals that the XXXL factor is one effect of a dramatic retreat from the Mediterranean diet in the region itself.

Josef Schmidhuber, an FAO senior economist, said people, not only in southern Europe, but also in north Africa and parts of Asia, were increasingly eating food that was “too fat, too salty and too sweet”. The diet of fruit and vegetables, taken by their forebears, was in “a moribund state”.

His findings appear in a report given to a workshop on Mediterranean products, organised by the California-Mediterranean Consortium of academic institutions.

Schmidhuber said that in 40 years, up to 2002, there had been a 20% rise in the average daily calorie intake of people living in the former 15-nation EU – but in the countries bordering the Mediterranean the increase had been steeper. Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Cyprus and Malta had increased calorie consumption by an average of 30%. Three-quarters of the Greek population was overweight or obese by the end of that period.

Spain, Greece and Italy are now the EU’s biggest consumers of lipids (fats and oils), the report says. In Spain fat made up 25% of the diet 40 years ago but now accounts for 40%, the FAO said. But sedentary lifestyles, supermarkets and fast-food restaurants, and a fall in home cooking, were also to blame, it said.


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From Michael Kahn, Reuters:

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Obese and overweight people require more fuel to transport them and the food they eat, and a literally swelling global population will make this source of greenhouse emissions worse, say UK researchers.

Dr Phil Edwards and Dr Ian Roberts from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine argue their point in this week’s issue of The Lancet.

“We are all becoming heavier and it is a global responsibility,” Edwards says. “Obesity is a key part of the big picture.”

At least 400 million adults worldwide are obese. The World Health Organization (WHO) projects 2.3 billion adults will be overweight and more than 700 million will be obese by 2015.

In their model, Edwards and Roberts pegged 40% of the global population as obese with a body mass index of near 30. Many nations are fast approaching or have surpassed this level, says Edwards.

BMI is a calculation of height to weight, and the normal range is usually considered to be 18 to 25, with more than 25 considered overweight and above 30 obese.

The researchers found that obese people require 1,680 daily calories to sustain normal energy and another 1,280 calories to maintain daily activities, 18% more than someone with a stable BMI.

Because thinner people eat less and are more likely to walk than rely on cars, a slimmer population would lower demand for fuel for transportation and for agriculture, says Edwards.

This would take the pressure off food and energy supplies and reduce greenhouse gases from agriculture and transport, he says.

The researchers now aim to quantify how much a heavier population is contributing to climate change, higher fuel prices and food shortages.

But meanwhile, they call for policies that reduce obesity and the global demand for both fuel and food.

This includes transport policies that promote walking and cycling, they say.

“Decreased car use would reduce greenhouse gas emissions and thus the need for biofuels, and increased physical activity levels would reduce injury risk and air pollution, improving population health,” the researchers conclude.
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Eat responsibly, please. You owe it to the earth.

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LAPD has hired Rana Parker, a dietician, as a a full-time diet coach for the increasingly pudgy police force

Here’s what we probably want from our police officers:

Skinny cop Takedown

(Lean, polite, but can be real mean).

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A very simple pair of measurements gives a good indicator of potential for cardiovascular disease risk.

If your height is less than two times your waist measurement then you are significantly more likely (up to 11 times more likely) to have a higher cardiovascular disease risk than those people whose height is more than twice their waist.

These results come from a study Waist-to-height ratio: a simple option for determining excess central adiposity in young people, carried out by Drs. S. P. Garnett, L. A. Baur and C. T. Cowell and reported in the International Journal of Obesity (2008).

Everyone knows their height. Measure your waist in the same units (inches, or cm, for example) and divide the waist measurement into the height measurement. So, if you are 5 feet 7 inches tall that’s 67 inches, and if your waist is 36 inches then your height to waist ratio is 67/36 = 1.9, marginally below 2. If you are 5 feet 2 inches (= 62 inches) with a 38 inch waist then your height to waist ratio is a low 1.6

With a low height to waist ratio you know you aren’t going to get any taller – unless you are a kid, still growing – so the only way to increase the height to weight ratio to 2 or more is … you guessed it, lose weight to reduce that belly fat, which, as we already know, is an organ, sending out hormonal messages to the rest of your body.

Here’s a height-waist chart inidicating the maximum waist measurement for a given height that gives a height-waist ratio of 2 or greater:

See also:

Short And Fat Is Beautiful, As Required By Massachusetts State Law

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Sure enough. Chris says it about as straight as anyone can.

Check out his blog on fat people.

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