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Weight, diet & exercise

Some of my colleagues now run triathlons and, like them, I wonder why. I am certain that my body wouldn’t take this type of punishment and also unsure whether, from the viewpoint of fitness, such extreme forms of exercise are a good idea for relatively sedentary souls such as myself. My uncertainty increases when I […]

Obesity & carbohydrates – Atkins was right

Gary Taubes has an article in NewScientist discrediting current theories of obesity (eat less, exercise more) and (again) endorsing the ideas of Robert Atkins. These ideas I have strongly supported in the face of opposition for many years.

There is considerable evidence that the obesity epidemic is caused by a hormonal phenomenon, specifically by […]

Obesity cure

Fat taxes – regressive & ineffective

This paper examines the case for leving fat taxes via dairy products.

The conclusion:

In an attempt to improve the nation’s health, many U.S. policy makers have or are considering imposing taxes on the fat in food. Dairy products constitute a large portion of at home fat consumption of particularly harmful types of fat, and […]

World weight loss record

Did he look better? Well, yes, but it took a bit of cutting & stitching.

Thanks LC

Dollars to doughnuts

Sir Henry sent me this link to a paper by Jay Bhattacharya for the Hoover Institute on the so-called ‘obesity crisis’. I saw Jay speak at the American Economic Association meetings in Chicago early this year. He is a livewire and a top theorist/empirical researcher in the area of obesity economics. He is […]

Agricultural subsidies make Americans fat

This intriguing article from the New York Times blames farm subsidies, which often favour junk high carbohydrate foods, as the reason for record US obesity.

Payments for farmers were started in the 1930s during the Depression to help save family farms but now it costs billions and benefits 1/3 of the nation’s farmers. The 2002 […]

Obsessive fatties grow in number

I haven’t posted for a while on obesity. I have not lost interest in the area, it is just that I think economists and others have frustratingly little to offer in the way of robust analysis of what is going on. It is not clear what is causing increased average body weights, whether weight increase […]

Sugar dummies provide advice to sugar daddies & sugar mummies

A Deakin study has found that kids who drink fruit juices are twice as likely as kids overall to get fat. Has that got something to do with the fact that fruit juices contain nearly as much sugar as soft drinks? Is is just that loving parents, teachers and government bureaucrats ‘encourage’ kids to drink […]

What makes us fat?

The standard answer, consistent with the first law of thermodynamics, is that we intake too many calories as food or we expend insufficient calories because of our sedentary lifestyle. We either eat too much or are slobs. There’s evidence that these factors alone however cannot explain it all – see here. New Scientist sets out […]

Tony Abbott gets stuck into Coke

In view of his past ‘weak-knees’ this broadside from Health Minister Tony Abbott directed at the most sacred institution of Western capitalism has pleasantly shocked me.

It is an extraordinary reversal of his position that childhood obesity issues are a problem for parents not for food and drink manufactures.

Indigenous diabetes epidemic

In an earlier post I pointed out the problems indigenous Australians have with licit drugs like alcohol and tobacco. If aborigines do drink (and most don’t) they tend to drink at destructive levels. The incidence of smoking among indigenous Australians is about twice that of others. Aboriginals also suffer an extremely high incidence – roughly […]

Keep thin eat fat

I am a fan of Dr Robert Atkins. He showed people how to lose weight and emphasised that the problem with modern diets is that we consume too much carbohydrate. He had argued for decades (until he died after slipping onto the pavement on an icy New York St) that low fat diets miss the […]

Getting fat in Australia

I talked to researcher Samantha Farmakis this afternoon about her work on obesity and, yes, some interesting things already seem to pop out. As measured by trends in BMI since 1990 Australians are getting fatter — no ambiguity about that (there is elsewhere in the literature!) except for some bizarre trends at older ages. There […]