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Thread: Fast-Food as Addictive as Heroin

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    Exclamation Fast-Food as Addictive as Heroin

    Obesity: Who is to blame?

    By Ray Dunne
    BBC News Online health staff


    Fast food is often high in calories

    Around 300m people around the world are obese and that figure is predicted to rise sharply in the years ahead. Who, if anyone, is to blame?

    This week, the world's largest fast food chain announced plans to introduce healthier menus in many of its restaurants.

    Out go super-sized fries and drinks and in come chicken salads, yoghurts and chopped fruit.

    But what should have been a public relations triumph for McDonald's quickly turned sour when it emerged that its salads may contain more fat than its burgers.

    The subsequent headlines put the company back in the firing line over obesity.

    The corporate giant, like many others in the food industry, has been accused of contributing to rising rates of obesity in many western countries, something it strongly denies.

    The numbers
    ° Around 300m people worldwide are obese
    ° One in three American adults is obese
    ° One in four Britons is obese
    ° Obesity is estimated to cost the US $75bn annually


    "The obesity debate is a very complex one and is widely recognised to include considerations not just of diet but also individual responsibility and increasingly sedentary lifestyles," the company said in a statement.

    The courts appear to agree. Last year, a group of New York teenagers tried to take McDonald's to court claiming its food was addictive and had made them obese.

    The case was quickly dismissed. The presiding judge Robert Sweet said: "It's not the place of the law to protect them against their own excesses."

    Certainly, there has been a growing trend, in the United States at least, towards shifting blame away from the fast food sector.

    'Cheeseburger Bill'

    It's a view shared by many American politicians. This week, the US House of Representatives voted in favour of legislation which would make it illegal for anyone to sue fast food companies claiming they made them obese.

    The so-called Cheeseburger Bill needs the backing of the US Senate if it is to become law, but reports suggest it already has the support of the White House.

    Nevertheless, many scientists insist fast food is contributing to rising rates of obesity.

    Last year, researchers at Princeton University published a study which suggested fast food may be as addictive as heroin.

    The health risks
    ° Being obese increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease and cancer
    ° Obesity can reduce life expectancy by up to nine years
    ° Poor diet and a lack of exercise killed 400,000 Americans in 2000


    They said rats fed a diet of high-sugar, high-fat foods suffered withdrawal symptoms when they went without.

    In October, British scientists warned that the human body simply wasn't designed to eat the high-calorie food being sold in fast food outlets and supermarkets.

    "The systems regulating human appetite have evolved for the low-energy diet still being consumed in rural areas of the developing world where obesity is almost non-existent," said Professor Andrew Prentice of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

    "Our bodies were never designed to cope with the very energy-dense foods consumed in the West and this is contributing to a major rise in obesity."

    Most experts maintain that the causes of obesity are complex.

    "We don't think there is one actor to blame in this," said David Porter of the World Health Organization. "It is a consequence of a much greater availability of calories and less physical activity."

    Changing lifestyles

    The facts are that high-energy or high-calorie food is much more widely available than it was just a generation ago.

    Lifestyles have also changed. Cars, computers and television have all contributed to making people less active.

    "People like to be able to point the finger at one particular thing," said Dr Toni Steer, a nutritionist at the UK's Medical Research Council.

    "But I don't think it is constructive or helpful. We need to stop trying to find someone to blame. We need to start recognising the solutions."

    Certainly, there is growing pressure in many countries for decisive action to defuse what some experts describe as the obesity time bomb.

    In the UK, there have been calls for a tax on fatty foods and a ban on junk food ads, particularly those targeted at children.

    So far, the government appears to be shying away from going down this road, although ministers insist that obesity is top of their agenda.

    The Department of Health is in the middle of a major consultation exercise aimed at canvassing the views of the public on how best to improve the nation's health.

    The results are expected to be fed into a new white paper on public health to be published later this year.

    The issue is also expected to dominate this year's meeting of the World Health Organization assembly in May.

    In the meantime, ministers and scientists will no doubt continue to encourage companies like McDonald's to explore healthier ways of making money.

    "The decision by McDonald's to introduce healthier foods in its restaurants will not by itself solve the problem of obesity," said Dr Steer.

    "But they are the market leaders and if it starts a trend and others follow, it could help."


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    Post Re: Princeton: Fast-Food as Addictive as Heroin

    I think people blaming the fast food industry for being fat is really getting old. No one is forcing 12 cheeseburgers down their throats and no one is forcing them to spend every spare minute sitting in front of the TV or the computer. Americans are fat because Americans are lazy. If they'd get off their asses and excercise to burn off those 12 cheeseburgers maybe they wouldn't be so damn fat.

    This is one of my pet peeves.

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    Post Re: Princeton: Fast-Food as Addictive as Heroin

    Fast food fits into today's life-style. The problem is not it being addictive in itself. Sugar is addictive in itself. I was buying 10 pounds of sugar every other week at one point. This was for myself and my wife. I was eating most of it. "Food" became a vehicle to get sugar into my system. I am a recovering sugar addict---I admit it.

    McDonalds has super-sized sugar drinks, ice cream, pastry, and even the hamburger buns are made with refined flour. Potatoes, french-fried or otherwise go directly to your middle.

    Pizza is a ton of white, refined flour. American hot dogs are poisonous.

    If you stay away from these things and as much processed food as possible, you will drop body fat. Also, you will decrease your risk of cancer and heart problems.

    I may seem like a "nut" to you but consider this. My daughter has a B.S. in Nutrition and she won't even eat at my house unless she buys and prepares the food, herself. Things are worse than any of us can imagine.

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    Post Re: Princeton: Fast-Food as Addictive as Heroin

    It's mostly the sugar. Sugar is definitely addictive.

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    I hate when people use fast food as a scapegoat for why they are obese and unhealthy. It's common knowledge that fast food is fattening and unhealthy, yet millions of people (myself included) eat it anyways, knowing the health risks that they are taking.

    Guess what people? You can sue McDonalds and Burger King and Wendys and whoever else you want, but it's not going to change the fact that you will never be saved from yourselves. Ever heard of self-control? Most people (and I speak primarily of Americans) haven't. Instead, it's much easier to blame some big, evil, ominous and completely filthy rich corporation and clame that hey, "McDonalds made me fat and gave me heart disease!"

    Bullshit.
    Stop lying.
    Stop being a lazy fatass.
    Put the BigMac down and exercise (and I know how much you hate that word) a bit of self-control.

    You cannot take every single indulgence away from the people in an effort to keep us safe and healthy.

    The maker of the film "Super Size Me" claims to have lived on nothing but McDonalds french fries for 30 days straight. Is it really any wonder that his health deteriorated so rapidly? Guess what, asshole? If you eat anything everyday for 30 straight days, your health is going to decline, no matter what it is!

    If you sit at home everyday and cook your OWN french fries, eat them everyday for 30 days, your health will suffer. The same logic applies to anything. If you eat only lettuce, or apples, or ketchup, or chicken breasts, or even water, your health will decline. Some foods will make you fatter, and some will make you lose an very unhealthy amount of weight.

    Reason why? Humans require a balanced diet. What is so balanced about McDonalds fries for 30 days? Nothing! But I promise you that this wasn't taken into consideration when they decided to sue McDonalds or make a slam film against the corporation.

    So what's the point in creating such a film? Money.
    Plain and simple.
    Sue McDonalds and win = $$$$
    Sue McDonalds and settle = $$$$
    Make a film which claims to put the "spotlight" on these big evil corporations = $$$$

    I get truly sickened by these paranoid, delusional, self-deprecating, leftist, communist, cry-baby, whinos who lead these ridiculous crusades trying to protect us from ourselves, and in turn only take the fun away from everyone simply because they were unable to exhibit even the slightest amount of self-control.

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    Senior Member Mac Seafraidh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wôðanaz
    I hate when people use fast food as a scapegoat for why they are obese and unhealthy. It's common knowledge that fast food is fattening and unhealthy, yet millions of people (myself included) eat it anyways, knowing the health risks that they are taking.

    Guess what people? You can sue McDonalds and Burger King and Wendys and whoever else you want, but it's not going to change the fact that you will never be saved from yourselves. Ever heard of self-control? Most people (and I speak primarily of Americans) haven't. Instead, it's much easier to blame some big, evil, ominous and completely filthy rich corporation and clame that hey, "McDonalds made me fat and gave me heart disease!"

    Bullshit.
    Stop lying.
    Stop being a lazy fatass.
    Put the BigMac down and exercise (and I know how much you hate that word) a bit of self-control.

    You cannot take every single indulgence away from the people in an effort to keep us safe and healthy.

    The maker of the film "Super Size Me" claims to have lived on nothing but McDonalds french fries for 30 days straight. Is it really any wonder that his health deteriorated so rapidly? Guess what, asshole? If you eat anything everyday for 30 straight days, your health is going to decline, no matter what it is!

    If you sit at home everyday and cook your OWN french fries, eat them everyday for 30 days, your healthy will suffer. The same logic applies to anything. If you eat only lettuce, or apples, or ketchup, or chicken breasts, or even water, your health will decline. Some foods will make you fatter, and some will make you lose an very unhealthy amount of weight.

    Reason why? Humans require a balanced diet. What is so balanced about McDonalds fries for 30 days? Nothing! But I promise you that this wasn't taken into consideration when they decided to sue McDonalds or make a slam film against the corporation.

    So what's the point in creating such a film? Money.
    Plain and simple.
    Sue McDonalds and win = $$$$
    Sue McDonalds and settle = $$$$
    Make a film which claims to put the "spotlight" on these big evil corporations = $$$$

    I get truly sickened by these paranoid, delusional, self-deprecating, leftist, communist, cry-baby, whinos who lead these ridiculous crusades trying to protect us from ourselves, and in turn only take the fun away from everyone simply because they were unable to exhibit even the slightest amount of self-control.
    Troy, I totally agree on your comments, but the fast food industry in general is a complete waste. Regardless of the bantering of people getting fat over it, they should have complained 30 years ago. I do not think America needs it and it is destroying European culture. McDonald's = Multiculturalism and many funds support MuliCulti society. I hate Fast Food for what it is. I personally do not eat it.

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    I used to be shocked by the number of people that find any reason to start litigation, but not anymore. I suppose the surprise has faded due to my line of work. However, I still find it pathetic.

    Personally, I love the greasy shiz! Fortunately, I try to live in moderation. Every once in a blue moon, I crave it and I will have it, however, I don't go overboard and I do exercise 5 days per week.

    Heard the phrase, "You made your bed, now lie in it b*tch!" Yep, I believe if you eat like a whale, you will eventually become one for the most part.

    There are the rare few (and I know a great lady personally) whose systems are so off and screwed up that regardless of what they eat or don't eat, they are still obese. There are imbalances in some that make them labeled a stereotype and that is sad. But, for the majority of us who do have a say in what we look like.....well, there's really no excuse. :smt016
    ~Those who cannot hear the music, think the dancer mad~

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nefertari
    I used to be shocked by the number of people that find any reason to start litigation, but not anymore. I suppose the surprise has faded due to my line of work. However, I still find it pathetic.

    Personally, I love the greasy shiz! Fortunately, I try to live in moderation. Every once in a blue moon, I crave it and I will have it, however, I don't go overboard and I do exercise 5 days per week.

    Heard the phrase, "You made your bed, now lie in it b*tch!" Yep, I believe if you eat like a whale, you will eventually become one for the most part.

    There are the rare few (and I know a great lady personally) whose systems are so off and screwed up that regardless of what they eat or don't eat, they are still obese. There are imbalances in some that make them labeled a stereotype and that is sad. But, for the majority of us who do have a say in what we look like.....well, there's really no excuse. :smt016
    Lately, I have not worked out because I have been sleeping too much and I cannot go work out when I am in a bad mood even though that is the best time to. My bones have been achy latley, but that is a "Piss and Moan" topic, so I shall not continue of complaining.

  10. #10
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    Ha-ha Soil! If we had rep points here, I'd flood you with them for your post in this thread!

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