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Turning established thinking on its head

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Sunny Clouds:
I was thinking a lot about this yesterday.  I absolutely love it when this happens. 

The latest example that came to my attention was this.  It relates to unhealthy eating.  There were divided opinions in a discussion else-site where some were rather scathing about fat people.  I pointed out various factors, including that when you see a child eating crisps, you don't know whether they've got lots of money or whether they got them from the foodbank.  I suggested that people look at their half dozen nearest foodbank collection points and see how they're full of crisps, biscuits, chocolate bars etc.

A couple of us also mentioned how if you're struggling financially, buying whichever food happens to be on special offer in the takeaway can be a cheap way of filling your belly, especially if you've no money for the leccy meter for the cooker and fridge.

But someone else said something I'd never thought of but won't forget.  Protein can be expensive.  When people, especially those that others like to call 'chavs', don't eat as others think they should, then the cheapness of things like carrots comes up.  But ready-cooked or quick-to cook meat, fish etc. aren't necessarily that cheap in whichever shop's nearest to you.  So you might buy chicken nuggets, pizza, doner kebab or whatever, and accept the fat and refined carbs/sugar as the price you pay for affordable protein.

I shall remember that next time people are slagging off poor people for eating takeaways.

I'm currently too fat, but not because I can't afford to eat better.  It's a combination of a malfunctioning pituitary and comfort eating.  I'm currently losing weight but I've no time for being lectured by people who are getting a brain-chemical kick out of bitching and trolling.  (Which is why I feel safe here where we may disagree strongly but  none of us tries to make others feel bad.)

I think there is something in what Sunny says.

I am overweight, not excessively so, but I could do with loosing about a stone. Having an arthritic knee exercise is not easy apart from the fact that it is not a very efficient way to loose weight.

The easy way is to eat less. I don't think I eat lots but I cannot shift those last pounds. Why can't I eat less? Its because I find food tasty. Particularly those things like fats and sugar which are allegedly unhealthy.

I can afford to by 'healthy' food but don't choose to because mostly it is not tasty unless effort is made in it s preparation. I am also inclined to be lazy.

I do not suffer from stress to any extent, but I do find tasty food comforting, and I think this why very many people eat too much. I not necessarily economics its their daily stresses lives.

Food is also entertaining and distracting I think this is another reason as takes up time one might otherwise spend on less pleasant tasks. Why else are the tasty foods called treats?

Finally whilst food may not be 'addictive' technically is does play on the brain's pleasure centres and thus is difficult to moderate. The problem is that to cure an addiction one has to give up the substance, giving up food altogether is not an option. Cutting down is hard, even impossible, ask any true addict.

Sunny Clouds:
I have yet to read of any culture/society round the world through history that didn't engage in the use of substances and/or activities to give people a 'lift'.  I get the general gist that there are two types of good feelings, that are labelled in lots of ways, but I think of as a buzz and happiness.  But how many of us ever analyse what of what we're doing produces which?

We've put pressure on people not to do this, not to do that, and often for very good reasons, but it leaves a vacuum, and we seem to have forbidden most of the 'thin' feelgoods, leaving people with the 'fat' feelgoods, except certain prescription meds and feelgoods like the exercise of power and bolstering one's sense of superiority.

One of my favourite obesity rants is about how most of the most commonly used prescription drugs for psychosis and mood disorders, including some personality disorders, cause metabolic syndrome, and are therefore obesogenic for many that use them.  We live in a country where at least 2% of the population are on drugs like antipsychotics, lithium, 'anticonvulsant' mood stabilisers, SSRIs etc.  I'd guess it's actually a lot more.  So if just one in four of them puts on significant weight, that's 1/2% of the population that are actively encouraged, or even forced, to take pills that will make them fat.  The same goes for various other drugs that Bigpharma have managed to turn into normal essentials.

Another analogy.  I drink coffee.  It's normal in our society to use xanthines, which are particularly found in coffee (caffeine), tea (theobromine) and chocolate (theophylline)(chocolate).  But there's a bitterness there, hence an incentive to match with sugar and for all the holier-than-thou people that enjoy their xanthine kicks but manage not to supplement with sugar, there are those that got hooked on xanthines + sugar.

I don't smoke and I drink very little, but when I see people hooked on them I don't feel superior.  I observe, for example, that smoking is prevalent amongst people with severe mental illness.  I used to think it was primarily about trying to 'self medicate' dysfunctionally, but now I believe that either nicotine or other substances in tobacco actually help people with psychosis. 

I want to lose more fat but not to satisfy the smug so-and-sos, merely to make it easier to get up again when I fall over, and of all those in our society I feel for, one category is those that are bombarded with advertising for junk food, hit financially by austerity, living in 'food deserts', and of a social class that others feel able to look down on.  (I come from a mixed family background including travellers and titled.  I went to what used to be called a 'decent' school, have studied at five universities (blah, snobby blah) but have also been street homeless, very fat, very mad, and 'socially excluded', so I've seen the top and bottom of it.

Have to say, I've sometimes wondered if there's any link between smoking rates falling and obesity rates rising... ie, if people no longer have a cigarette in their mouths, they're putting food there instead   >erm<

I have a feeling your right with that  Kizzy. :-(


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