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“What we do not know is what the risk looks like while you are in transition – a phase of malnutrition in the first place!”
Starvation is different from malnutrition. You can get the required nutrients and roughage with less energy than you will burn with normal activity.
My understanding is that only after 49 minutes exercise will you use fat stores instead of glycogen. That means probably walking, with rests, but no food.
And BMI is a strange measure. Muscle is not the same as fat.
PS the last time I ate at Macdonald’s, (June 2018), it’s chicken salad was the healthiest I could find in Grimsby town centre.)

EGPE, United Kingdom

the healthiest I could find in Grimsby town centre

No comment

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

It is really interesting that if you look at photographs and film archive from the sixties/seventies there are no fat people. And yet there was poverty, in spades. What we did not have was processed, junk food. I was in school in the late sixties and a fat person was actually an abnormality. there were so few. In fact we used to say that the poor fat person had a glandular problem, not that they overate. Also our health services were not overrun as they are today. So it is very definitely a new problem. My wife is currently completing a degree course on nutrition and food. Some of the ’’facts’’ as regards food processing are truly horrifying.Perhaps we could develop a vaccine for it??

Fly safe. I want this thing to land l...
EGPF Glasgow

It is always interesting to read how "easy " it is to loose weight, particularly if the assessment comes from people who have never experienced the attempt.

Changes of diet and the possibility to do that depend on a lot of factors. Only people living alone or who have very tolerant parnters really can eat what they want on a daily basis. Many more simply are happy to come home to a cooked meal once a day.

It is time to stop the public shaming of overweight people and if anything reckognize the condition as an illness or addiction. And no the “government” can not do much about it.

It is also totally false accusing fat people to be Mc Donalds addicts. Some may be. Most I have come to know in my own never ending attempt to loose weight are normal people who have high intensity jobs and hardly manage to sit down for meals at all, let alone go out to restaurants. Hardly any (myself included) would spend money at fast food joints, they are way too expensive and even the most retarded of us know by now they are no-go.

When one is living in conditions where everything lncluding food intake is largely determined by others, then it is next to impossible to impose diets or “special wishes” and refusal to take part in the only time a family sits together for a few minutes per day would be seen as highly insulting. So get of your pulpits unless you really have been in this situation and have actually succeeded to slim down a considerable amount of weight AND keeping it down.

LSZH, Switzerland

I don’t think anyone has said it is easy, but clearly some find it harder than others – as with most things in life.

The point is not whether it’s easy or hard, but that if you actually do the necessary (cut out junk, limit calorie intake, get plenty of exercise) then the excess weight will fall off. It has to. No other outcome is possible. The reason it doesn’t happen is not because it “doesn’t work” but because people cannot do the necessary – they simply don’t have the willpower and the self-control.

I don’t buy your circumstantial arguments. To argue that you are not responsible for, or have no real control over, what you put in your mouth is to deny yourself agency. What you eat is your decision.


It is not about responsibility, it is about the daily trott of life which for many low rank employees rule what they do day by thay. To have control over your life, you need to have a certain financial freedom and the possibility e.g. to choose your job and, possibly, get out of a relationship if it limits your life too much. Add to that the fact that just about everyone around you will try to limit your life further by telling you what to eat, what to do and what to think in the maybe 2 hours you have to yourself by day and tell you what new kind of belief or religion such as veganism e.t.c. is the bees knees for the next 2 weeks before something else comes up doesn´t help either.

Again, most here are in well paid jobs and secure futures, so putting themselves in the mind of a low rank worker drone with family whose own personal wishes or desires are at the bottom of a 24/7 duty rooster is a thing they can´t imagine. So better not try.

LSZH, Switzerland

what you put in your mouth is to deny yourself agency. What you eat is your decision.

I agree, of course, but there is one proviso: you need a buy-in from your partner or family.

If you are a woman and your bloke likes to eat stodge (from what I see, this is the more common situation because in general women look after themselves better than men – particularly pre-marriage ) then are you going to cook two different dinners? The other way round, you have a bloke who either doesn’t cook so has to eat whatever the woman puts on the table, or in the rare case of him being a competent cook he very likely cooks stodge (and eats a load of statins, which “makes it all ok”). I say “very likely” because cooking healthy food isn’t really “cooking” – as the link I posted above shows.

In most scenarios where a lot of “cooking” is done, the food will be stodge, because “cooking sweetcorn” is not “cooking”. “Cooking” is spending hours preparing meat, loads of ingredients, sauces, desserts, operating the ice cream making machine, sticking loads of oil and grease everywhere and all over everything, and showing to the guests you are a fantastic host who can cook. The result is that the food is consumed very late, too close to sleeping, which is another problem. The last “dinner party” we went to, we got back about 1am.

If you prepare healthy food, you won’t have many guests coming to your house Well, you will if you revolve in similar circles.

Most socialising is based around food because historically people were poor and consuming as much food as one could shove down was a demonstration of wealth and achievement. Obesity itself is another such demonstration and is highly valued in many societies – India is a good example. If you look at present-day cultures where a lot of food-based socialising is done the food is usually crap for health. Greece is a great example of closer to home – lots of social eating, lots of cakes, and look at the size of Greek children today.

This is the real problem: the emotional attachment to food. Once you get rid of that, and treat food as just something you eat (and still enjoy the taste) then eating healthy is dead easy.

In France they don’t yet have this issue much because the culture (and crucially even among the poor) is to go to the market and buy a load of veg. Also, my guess is that France has a lot more women at home, relatively speaking. If the “cook” has to go to work, not much food preparation will be done.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Mooney_Driver wrote:

it is about the daily trott of life

Reminds me of many years ago on an oil rig in the North Sea. They have very nice food there. I was there a few times with a couple of others to test some equipment. The life on those oil rigs is a bit different. They work 8h, then 8h free, 24/7. We on the other hand thought this was hopeless, we wanted to get some continuity each day, so we worked (did the test etc) for 12h, than we had the other 12 h for paper work and sleep. That way we could also keep a normal day.

What we didn’t take into account was that 8/8 shifts creates a certain rhythm, repeating every 48h. 1/3 wake up every 8 h. 1/3 eat lunch every 8 h and so on. This requires all the meals to be served every 8 h also. Some of the meals were of the simpler sort (less man hours to cook). In short, dinner for breakfast, lunch and dinner and a steak at 23:00 (steaks requires very little man hours to cook) definitely does not let you lose weight


I apologise if you thought I was linking obesity and junk food. That was not my intention. My comment referring to McDonalds was in regard to @Peter linking poverty and obesity. In that respect and in the UK and USA that would appear to be correct, but not the only reason.
My comment was based on the correlation between people living on the bread line, obesity, and eating fast food which is often not nutritionally great and whilst often paying more for it. It could be, for instance, that a family where each parent has to hold down 2 or 3 jobs in order to survive has no time to prepare and eat a healthy meal. If this leads to obesity in members of the family, then IMO it is the function of Governments to intercede in one way or another, otherwise they risk the need to spend a lot more on hospitals, doctors and nurses.

I am quite aware of how difficult it is to give up anything which one has become used to. I hate to say dependent on, whether that is smoking, alcohol, or food. What I have found useful to some is to note things.
Eg every time you light a cigarette note it.
In the case of eating, note everything that passes your lips solid or liquid. If you are trying to give up something, sometimes it is good to look back on the day or the week and ask the question did I really need or even want that?
What becomes more difficult, especially in the elderly is that they appear to eat nothing. A tiny plate of food at each meal, yet they do not lose a gramme, in fact many gain weight for several years before suddenly shedding it in the year before they die.
At least, that’s anecdotally, what I have discovered in acting as a carer to several family members.


BeechBaby wrote:

It is really interesting that if you look at photographs and film archive from the sixties/seventies there are no fat people.

SUre – but it might tell you as much about what has been filmed/photographed (at a time in which marginal cost for each photo has been in the ballpark of 50ct. compared to 0 ct. today) as it tells you about nutrition.

Mooney_Driver wrote:

It is always interesting to read how "easy " it is to loose weight, particularly if the assessment comes from people who have never experienced the attempt.

It is a general rule that problems are easier to solve the further they are away from yourself – this is the reason why Europeans do much easier to “solve” the problems of the US and vice versa…

Peter wrote:

In France they don’t yet have this issue much because the culture (and crucially even among the poor) is to go to the market and buy a load of veg

It is very well understood – esp. when comparing the different European countries – that on population level it doesn’t matter that much what you eat or how much you eat per meal, but by far more how often you eat.
The difference between e.g. France and UK is not, that French eat (on average) more healthy food – foie gras is not particularly healthy in any dimension – it is that on average a French eats about 2.5 meals a day while a Brit eats almost 5 (again: on average).

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