Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login
A letter to a patient (wherein.posterous.com)
5 points by niels_olson on May 16, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 5 comments

About a third of Americans are obese today, so to say that only 42% will be obese in 2030 seems optimistic.

Colorado has about 1 in 5 obese people. That's already making "overweight" look normal and normal look thin.

If you're a non-hispanic black in America you're already in a group that's over the articles 42% in 2030 obesity rate: 44.1%

These are CDC figures. They are gently tricky because they're self-reported.


This post has the feel of a well-written article but then succumbs to the unscientific process of telling the reader not to eat X,Y, and Z like every other diet book. That's pretty much the pattern for the modern diet book. First, bash other books in the industry. Then put forward your own approach as unique.

Rice isn't bad for you. Healthy people around the world have been eating it for hundreds of years!

It's eating patterns, amounts and composition of the rest of the food environment. How thais eat rice (one small scoop) and the rest of their food culture is very different from USA's food culture. It's a huge inconvenient effort to avoid unhealthy calorie and carb ratios in america, so you must compensate by avoiding carbs as much as you can. In thailand, it's very easy to avoid crap and eat very healthily. Even thai desserts and candy is significantly healthier with significantly less amounts of sugar and other crap.

It's as easy to avoid unhealthy foods in America as elsewhere. It begins with a trip to the grocery store buying vegetables, rice, and lean meat. The problem is that articles like this are so dogmatic that they teach people things that are incorrect. Carbohydrates aren't the problem. They provide essential energy and should make up a majority of a healthy person's diet.

That is the problem. You have to cook all of the food yourself and bring it with you wherever you go. When you go out, you probably have to refuse most food people offer you because it will get in the way of your goals, especially if you want to reduce to a healthy body fat %. You end up not being able to eat for hours at a time and that makes you non performant and irritable. It creates social friction and it can take an extra 10 work hours out of your week, a significant chunk of productive time.

You cannot go to the convenient and ubiquitous street food vendors/fast food places in america and consistently eat food that will stabilize you to a flat stomach body. In Thailand, you can. It is a large reason why many Thai's are amongst the least overweight people in the world, and you see similar results in developed asian countries. It's not because they have more 'willpower' or other such things. Even though they have carbs in their diet, they have a very different composition and ratios of the types of nutrients they eat and sell as fast food.

This food environment difference results in the statistical difference in obesity statistics, it's nearly inevitable. That is why I said to compensate for the negative food environment in the USA, you have to do more extreme things.

The carb heavy and low fat diet you espouse is a part of the problem. Since the USA started espousing a high carb diet in 1984, obesity rates have been rising linearly and haven't been stopping[1].

[1] http://youtu.be/FSeSTq-N4U4?t=2m35s

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact