Lunch is the new dinner, who else sees this as a potential problem?

Monday, 19 November, 2012

Could increasing instances of obesity in Australia, and I dare say elsewhere, be partly attributed to eating large meals late in the day?

Back in the day, being a couple of hundred years ago, dinner, now a late in the day meal, was once eaten at what is now closer to lunchtime. The arrival of artificial lighting began to see the meal gradually pushed later into the day:

Dinner was the one meal the Romans did eat, even if it was at a different time of day. In the UK the heyday of dinner was in the Middle Ages. It was known as “cena”, Latin for dinner. The aristocracy ate formal, outrageously lavish dinners around noon. Despite their reputation for being unruly affairs, they were actually very sophisticated, with strict table manners. They were an ostentatious display of wealth and power, with cooks working in the kitchen from dawn to get things ready, says Yeldham. With no electricity cooking dinner in the evening was not an option. Peasants ate dinner around midday too, although it was a much more modest affair. As artificial lighting spread, dinner started to be eaten later and later in the day. It was in the 17th Century that the working lunch started, where men with aspirations would network. The middle and lower classes eating patterns were also defined by their working hours. By the late 18th Century most people were eating three meals a day in towns and cities, says Day.

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If obesity is a personal issue perhaps individuals should remedy it

Monday, 11 April, 2011

Might healthy-living vouchers, an idea advanced by Canadian researchers Neil Seeman and Patrick Luciani, be the way to tackle obesity?

So instead of spending large sums on ads to shame us into better eating habits, spend the money on vouchers handed out to the overweight and let them find whatever provider of goods or services best meets their particular dieting needs. After all, the root causes of obesity are multifarious and new ones are being added all the time – such as diet sodas, gut bacteria, genes, sleep apnea, leptin levels, medication, depression, poverty and peer pressure. So the solutions need to be multipronged, too. What works for you may not work for me.

Meanwhile locally there is the new Swap It, Don’t Stop It initiative, which suggests healthy alternatives to over eating.

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Less is more in terms of food satisfaction when it comes to eating

Wednesday, 6 October, 2010

While many people experience pleasure from eating this is not so for those who are overweight… indeed to catch the buzz – as it were – that eating brings they need to eat more, something that only further diminishes the feeling, resulting in the need to eat yet more again.

The result suggests that overeating may push people onto a slippery slope akin to a drug addict’s craving for ever-larger doses. “People are having to eat more and more to chase the high,” says Stice. It remains to be seen whether losing weight can reverse the cycle and restore normal functioning of the reward pathway.

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Our nation’s bigger bottom line figures are adding to waist lines

Tuesday, 28 September, 2010

The more prosperous the nation, the greater the instance of rising obesity… so is Australia really that well off that obesity rates have almost doubled in the last 20 or so years?

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Food and beverage servings are supersizing before our eyes

Monday, 26 October, 2009

I think if I lived in a time when there was only the one serving size of coffee available, that is regular, or medium – as was certainly the case prior to the 80s – I’d need to buy two cups each time.

While I’m all for large and larger serves of coffee, I can’t say the same for the way some of the coffee-shop-chain places embellish their coffees… supersized servings of coffee with dollops of whipped cream has got to be asking for trouble.

When our parents ordered a coffee two decades ago, they weren’t given as many size options – a standard cup of joe was eight ounces, the size of a small coffee cup. Nowadays, most of us feel like we don’t get our money’s worth unless the cup is at least twelve ounces; it’s not unusual to see thirty-two ounce coffee cups, four times the size they used to be. When made into a mocha, the morning coffee has as many calories as a full meal.

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Tax on junk food may not deter the hard core hamburger lovers

Monday, 3 August, 2009

A tax on fast food certainly interests me as I had a McDonald’s meal for the first time in at least a year the other day, but those hopeful that such an excise will eventually help reduce obesity may be disappointed… it seems the most hardened of fast food affectionados would continue to indulge themselves regardless of how expensive their favourite food becomes.

An analysis of data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health shows that American teenagers who smoke more than five cigarettes a day are only one-third as responsive to cigarette prices as lighter smokers. A complementary study of data from America’s Health and Retirement Survey shows that alcohol taxes are far less effective for the large minority of heavy drinkers. The biggest consumers of fattening food may prove similarly resilient to price increases, so a fat tax may do little to improve health, at least for today’s junk-food addicts.

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We may not be so big after all if the BMI scale is warped

Monday, 27 July, 2009

The effectiveness of the Body Mass Index (BMI) has been called into question as an accurate indicator of body fat

For years, critics of the body mass index have griped that it fails to distinguish between lean and fatty mass. (Muscular people are often misclassifed as overweight or obese.) The measure is mum, too, about the distribution of body fat, which makes a big difference when it comes to health risks. And the BMI cutoffs for “underweight,” “normal,” “overweight,” and “obese” have an undeserved air of mathematical authority. So how did we end up with such a lousy statistic?

I once asked my doctor how the BMI could possibly be applied to athletes and sport-players, particularly rugby front-rowers, whose weight-to-height ratio would be well outside the BMI “safe” scales, and he replied that it is just one measure used to gauge levels of body fat.

It made me wonder why use the BMI at all, rather why not use the same metric for everyone then?

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The more time we spend eating the less obese we are?

Friday, 8 May, 2009

I’m not sure if this is correct or not, but that’s what the data seems to suggest.

Food for thought?

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City living better for your waistline than the suburbs?

Monday, 15 December, 2008

Apparently people living in urban centres are more likely to walk, rather than drive, to local shops and amenities, and this plays a part in keeping them slimmer than their suburban cousins, who are obliged to drive to reach shopping centres and the like.

“It seems that people living in purely residential areas tend to drive more and we know that people who drive more tend to be more obese,” Professor Jalaludin said. Anthony Capon, who studies the relationship between the urban environment and health at the Australian National University, agrees with the findings. “Today, people living in regional areas are less likely to walk down the road to a local shop and will more likely drive longer distances to larger shopping centres,” Professor Capon said.

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Law Would Ban Serving Obese Diners

Wednesday, 6 February, 2008

Law Would Ban Serving Obese Diners

Well we have “responsible service of alcohol” regulations in Australia (supposedly) preventing the service of alcohol, in licensed premises and bottle shops, to anyone who is, or appears to be, intoxicated.

I’m not sure how similar laws, preventing the service of food at restaurants, for those deemed to be obese, as proposed by a legislator in the US state of Mississippi, would go down here however.

Come to that, there’s a fair degree of speculation as to how such laws will go down in Mississippi.

A state lawmaker wants to ban restaurants from serving food to obese customers – but please, don’t be offended. He says he never even expected his plan to become law. “I was trying to shed a little light on the number one problem in Mississippi,” said Republican Rep. John Read of Gautier, who acknowledges that at 5-foot-11 and 230 pounds (104 kilograms), he’d probably have a tough time under his own bill.

My question, how would such a law ever be enforced? Would restaurant owners be required to check a potential diner’s BMI before serving them?

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