Disney Small World ride a casualty of the obesity epidemic

Small World small

MD and I just spent a couple of days with the grandkids at Disneyland.  They’re here visiting for a couple of weeks, so we decided to bite the bullet and take them on the front end and get it over with instead of waiting until the end, as we usually do, and dreading it the entire time.  It was brutal but it is now over.

I loathe Disneyland and refer to it as the biggest people trap ever built by a mouse.  Which isn’t an original, but I’ve been saying it for so long that I’ve forgotten where I heard it years ago.

This year I at least was able to avoid the Small World ride.  Our 7-year-old grandson informed us that it was ‘lame.’  I couldn’t have agreed more.  I wasn’t so lucky a couple of years ago, however.  We took the kids then and did end up going on the Small World ride, which experience the grandkid remembered when he referred to the ride as being lame.

For those of you lucky enough to have escaped the Disneyland experience, the Small World ride is easily the most inane amusement park ride ever conceived by the mind of man.  You get in these little fiberglass flat-bottomed boats and cruise through this serpentine canal that wends its way around  tableaus of little dolls of various nationalities (as in photo above) doing their mechanical dances to what is easily the most nauseating piece of music ever written. Unlike most Disneyland rides that you wait an hour to get on and are then over in about 45 seconds, the Small World ride is interminable.  It goes on and on and on.  Which is, I suppose, its only virtue because at least it is dark and air conditioned, a welcome change from the heat radiating up from the vast concrete underpinnings of the park. (The downside is that you’ve been exposed to the nauseating song for so long that it has wedged itself into your brain and you can’t get it out for the rest of the day.)

When I last rode the ride,  it had just reopened after having been closed for almost a year for renovations.  I asked one of the attendants what had changed, hoping for an de-inane-ation of the ride.  The guy told me it hadn’t changed at all; they had just made the boats a little bigger and deepened the channel.  Then he told me it was because the guests of the park had become so much larger than when the ride went in in the 60s and were causing the boats to bottom out.

The park was so crowded and hot when we went two years ago that I kind of went brain dead.  All I wanted to do was slog through and get it behind me.  This time the weather was better and, thanks to the recession, the park wasn’t as crowded.  And I wasn’t so miserable, so I had a chance to look around a little more.

If Disneyland is any indication, there is no question we’re in the midst of an obesity epidemic.  I tried to make some kind of semi-accurate estimate by doing little statistical analyses when  was waiting around for rides.  It looked to me that about 40 percent of adults were out and out obese, some morbidly so.  And I would estimate that of the folks who weren’t actually obese, at least 85 percent of them were overweight. A normal weight adult at Disneyland was a rarity.

What really surprised me was the state of obesity of the Disneyland staff.  When I was in college I got a job at Disneyland (which in part accounts for my loathing of the place).  I was a conductor on the train that circumnavigates the park.  It was one of the worst jobs I ever had.  But it did have its perks.  At that time, all the employees were college students or college dropouts who were the full time workers.  In keeping with the Disney image at the time, just about all the young employees selected were clean cut and nice looking.  As a consequence, the place was kind of a meat market.  Employee parties were legendary.  That part I enjoyed, but my enjoyment was somewhat tempered by the fact that I had a steady girlfriend at the time who also worked at Disneyland.

Now, the young employees are a reflection of the population in general.  At least half of them are obese, some almost morbidly so.  I don’t know if this represents the student body of the local college or what, but it certainly has changed over the past few decades.

Despite my kind of flippant tone in this post, I don’t find the large numbers of obese guests (as the Disneyland staff refers to the people paying to go there) and staff amusing in the slightest.  I think it is tragic.  As I’ve said many times before, we have all been the unwitting subjects of a long experiment, the hypothesis of which is that since fat is bad and carbs are good, we should all eat low-fat, high-carb diets.  If so, says this hypothesis, obesity will go away.  Well, it hasn’t.  It has gotten much, much worse.  And the sad, sad thing is that this hypothesis was never validated scientifically before we were all enrolled in the experiment.  When I see dozens and dozens of young people looking like the one pictured above, it makes my blood boil.  Most of the people who inflicted this nonsense on us are still around and still pushing the carbs and still blaming the fat in the diet. Tar and feathers spring to mind.

When I thought I was going to have to subject myself to the Small World again before my grandson got me out of it by not wanting to go himself, I remembered what the attendant had told me previously about the ride being renovated because of the increase in obesity.  I wondered if it were an urban legend or if it were really true.  When I got back to a computer, I checked it out.

There are a number of investigative reports on the idea, and the consensus seems to be that the renovation was due to the boats bottoming out due to the increased weight of the passengers.  Based on what I saw, I suspect that’s the case because just taking the average weight gain over the last 40 years means the boats are carrying 200 extra pounds more than they were designed for..  Disney officials are staying mum, however.

During my own investigation on the issue, I ran across an interesting article on Snopes.com.  A new twist has been added to many of the rides at Disneyland, especially the ones that hurtle you along in the dark.  Cameras are placed in strategic locations and take photos as the ride comes through.  After you get off, you can go see a photo of yourself and your entire boat or log or train car or whatever conveyance dropping over a precipice projected on a screen near the exit.  Most people are pictured screaming and holding on for dear life.

One of the rides – Splash Mountain – has achieved some notoriety because it has become common for female riders to pull up (or down) their tops as they approach the cameras.  This flashing has become so common that the ride has become known as Flash Mountain.  All of the photos are looked at by park officials before being put up on the screens for all to see.  Here is the Snopes link to the article – a little (very little, actually) navigating will get those with a prurient bent to a page of these photos.  I, of course, had to look as part of my investigation for this blog post.

The Disney officials are good at weeding out these bawdy photos and they are very good at feeding the hordes of overweight people exactly what they want.  Disneyland is carb heaven.  That’s just about all you can find.  There are sweetened cold drinks, a variety of ice cream products, cotton candy, gummy sweets, funnel cakes and other high-carb junk of every stripe.  It is almost impossible to avoid carbs there.  It can be done, but it is difficult and requires a lot of effort.  The vast majority of the people I saw weren’t making the effort.

If I’m lucky, I’ll be able to avoid the Magic Kingdom for at least another couple of years. When I do get dragged there again, I’ll stumble along as I normally do, putting one tired foot in front of the other counting the hours until it’s over. But, admittedly, I will approach Splash Mountain with a little more exuberance than I have in the past.

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88 thoughts on “Disney Small World ride a casualty of the obesity epidemic

  1. I’m sure you are aware of similar accommodation changes in commercial aircraft outfitting: extra leg space and seat widths are being factored into economy standard seating, reducing the maximum number of passengers, so a higher breakeven “load factor” is needed. Presumably the mechanical/engineering specifications have been upgraded to reflect “bottoming out”, or more exactly, “bottoms out”.

    Of course, the “size challenged” also exhibit another present a difficulty to those of BMI 25 or under while travelling by air, namely “shoulder and elbows out”, which can result in one being sqeeezed against the window, or alternatively being rammed by the carts of the cabin crew.

    Might your pic be an example of a different kind of adherence effect – induced by the lipostat or the thrifty gene?

    BTW, does your Amazon arrangement for “click thro'” extend to other Amazon sites such as amazon.co.uk? In Dublin, Ireland I get fast and economical service from UK.

    Thank you the post.

    As of yet the Amazon deal doesn’t work through the UK site, but I’m working on it.

  2. I’m so awfully, awfully glad that I reside, here at the Great Lakes, nowhere near D-Land (or D-World)–and can’t afford the travel cost. Ah, the advantages of genteel poverty!

  3. I couldn’t agree more. You wrote, “We have all been the unwitting subjects of a long experiment, the hypothesis of which is that since fat is bad and carbs are good, we should all eat low-fat, high-carb diets. If so, says this hypothesis, obesity will go away. Well, it hasn’t. It has gotten much, much worse.”

    Whenever I point this out to people, however, they always say it’s not the low-fat/high-carb diet that is to blame for the continuing obesity epidemic, but that people don’t follow it closely enough. If everyone really DID eat low-fat/high-carb, no one would be fat.

    In other words, “Don’t confuse me with the facts.”

  4. I hated “It’s a Small World” by the time I was 10 years old. It’s the worst ear worm song (one you can’t get of your head) I know.

  5. I completely agree; it is tragic, and criminal.

    I work with a woman who was the size of the gal in your photograph. She’s down to 180 pounds now, but through the standard low-fat & exercise program. However–big however–she did this once before about five years ago, and couldn’t keep up the three-hours-a-day cardio regimen (yes, THREE hours). Plus, of course, she was starving all the time.

    All my co-workers are supportive to her face, but behind her back they snicker that it’s just going to come back (even the other obese ones). Of course it will, but not because she’s a fat lazy pig. It’s because she, and they, have bought the low-fat line completely. I’ve talked to her about my own low-carb diet, which has helped me maintain a normal-ish weight for almost two years, but she’s convinced I’m going to drop dead of a heart attack.

    It’s very, very sad.

  6. Dr. Mike, if you would kindly click on the people that are following you on Twitter, you will be able to see what we’re writing to you!

    signed: one of your twitter followers.

    I thought I was clicking on all the places on Twitter that I could. I’ll recheck.

  7. In re: about your latest blog about Disneyland..
    Did you happen to count all the motorized scooters in the park?
    The last time we were in DisneyWorld, my feet were run over by scooters at least 4 times..
    and they won’t let you walk around them when they are scooting 2 and 3 at a time together.

    I have come to the conclusion that the theme parks need to designate a scooter day for all people on scooters.. this way the park corridors will be more open to the walkers.

    It’s gotten to be very sad to see all these people in electric scooters.

    Countless scooters everywhere. I meant to add a bit to my post about them. Most of them for obese riders who can’t or won’t walk the park.

  8. I could not agree more on all points in your post. Another adventure for picturing taking would be in Las Vegas. I had the bad fortune to attend a meeting there a few months ago. The poster child picture in my mind is the one of the very large women in a scooter, with an oxygen tank playing a slot machine and smoking a cig. at 6:00a.m. I will give you odds that the % of obese people in Vegas rivals Disney.

  9. Ha ha! Great post, Dr. Mike, but I thought you were a “leg” man!

    I am, but I didn’t have to ride ‘Flash’ Mountain to see plenty of legs at D’land.

  10. I was also floored at the amount of scooters in Disney. As for the food, we never at a single thing in the parks. I packed our families lunch everyday and we only drank water. I actually found it very easy to stay on plan in Disney and the numerous overweight people were a constant reminder as to why I do not eat carbs. My 6 year old was also one of the only children not having constant temper tantrums in the park.

  11. I have long considered being an employee at Disneyland/Disneyworld and working on “It’s A Small World After All” to be perhaps the worst job ever. Probably akin to cleaning out cow manure from stables at a dairy farm. I’m SO grateful I’ve never even come close to having to do this.

    It’s really frightening to see how people STILL buy into the “low-fat must equal good-for-you” mentality. There’s a good friend who is quite obese, and I’ve tried to talk to him a few times about how a reasonable amount of fats (the right ones, of course) in the diet isn’t all that bad, and that eating lots of processed carbs is really the culprit contributing to his weight issues. Like leading a horse to water…only this one walks away from the water. It’s tough to counter the “fat in your diet = fat on your waist” argument that has been going on for years.

    Thanks for the laugh about Flash Mountain. Made my day!

  12. Desmondo, Taubes addressed the thrifty gene in GC/BC and as he pointed out, if the thrifty gene hypothesis held any water, there should be a raging Type 2 epidemic going on in Europe, which there isn’t. The types of people most often accused of possessing such a gene frequently hail from populations with a recent hunter-gatherer past. Contrary to popular misconception, farmers are more likely to suffer famine than foragers are, because foragers are not limited to what’s growing in the field, and have a broader definition of what constitutes “food” rather than merely what is edible. Just the fact that what few foragers remain in the world have mostly been forced off fertile ground into the wastelands and are still surviving and thriving where a farmer would have dropped dead by now, should tell you something. Virtually none of them are fat, either.

    Dr. Eades, I respect you greatly for this post. Usually when slender people talk about all the fat people they’ve seen in X locale, they then go on to make fun of the fat people for being lazy gluttons. You know the score. Thank you. Not knowing what constitutes a healthy diet for the average human being is exactly what tripped me up weightwise. I’m not any lazier nor any more of a glutton now than I was when I was slender. And I was slender for my first twenty-one years!

    As for the scooters, I’d say that it’s more like “can’t” walk the park. If Disneyland is anything like Disney World, it’s a huge expanse of walking space and no way will you get through it unassisted if you have any impairments whatsoever. Personally I’m carrying around a hundred extra pounds and some of these people are carrying much more. If they could walk with it, they would–I do. It sucks to be disabled. I had severe joint inflammation for a week or two when I was pregnant with my daughter, just out of nowhere, that limited my range of motion–I needed help getting up from the sofa, for instance, or getting out of the car. I hated it, quite aside from the pain. I was so glad when I got better.

    I agree with you about the Disney parks being giant people traps built by a rodent, though. I had my experience, it felt like a huge tourist trap, and I doubt I’ll ever go back.

  13. This is off topic but I hope you will respond or perhaps address this issue in a coming episode…………..
    Stalling or plateaus.
    Been following the low carb WOE for a year but have not lost an ounce for over 4 months. Is this normal? How long can these plateaus last before finally seeing some progress again?

  14. I think it is interesting that homes today are almost always built with a pantry in the home. Perhaps the homes years ago that were on the upper end of the price ranges had pantries, but today – that seems to be as required as a bathroom in the Master Bedroom.
    When we shop low-carb – healthy – we move from the pantry to the refrigerator. From processed to fresh. As such, the pantry becomes quite empty and the refrigerator quite full.

  15. Here is an interesting ‘thesis’ topic (no doubt an excellent Ph.D. topic in some of the more… basketweaving disciplines?)

    A population/weight study of the differences in population density (of both sorts ) Disneyland and Disney World.

    My ‘thesis’ is that Disneyland may present a more ‘healthy’ (at least by the skinnyness factor) overall population, both in visitors and in employees, given California’s very body-Nazi environment. Florida? Not so much.

    Sigh… Don’t you just sometimes feel like grabbing people by the shoulders and yelling in their face “I can help you, let me, please!!!!”. They’ve tried and tried and tried and fail and fail and fail again… It brings me to tears.

    People barely able to walk because their knees are so arthritic from years of being overweight, the thinning and damage to the cartilage that could have lasted them a lifetime, nearly gone by the time they are 40. More sadness for this gym-rat when I see ‘professional trainers’ putting big fat women on the treadmill and forcing them to ‘run’. That should be a hanging offense in my book. I have given up trying to talk sense about it as that form of stupidity is far too ingrained to overcome. Lift weights, I would plead! Oh no. Weights make you ‘musclebound’ Aerobics burns fat!

    As my husband says (truthfully) 90% of the people in the world just don’t have the mental faculties necessary to think their way out of a problem, even when given a simple multiple choice quiz. It is so amazing, that we ‘knew’ what the answer to fat was in the 50’s. Look at an old Jack LaLanne rerun and he tells you point blank: Drop the starches. Drop the sugars. Lift weights! It worked then, it worked now. My Mum just followed that rule whenever she put on a few pounds, she would stop eating potatoes and desserts. Period. Pounds gone. All women back then ‘knew it’. Until they were brainwashed, that is.

    I don’t know about you, but I just love Jack LaLanne, then and now. What a guy! 94 years old, coming up to a birthday in September… The Godfather of Fitness.

    Ah well. That’s my rant for today.

    I can’t imagine the population at Disney World could be any worse than what I saw at Disneyland. If so, we’re in bigger trouble than I thought.

    In case you haven’t seen it, here’s a post I did on Jack LaLanne a while back.

  16. Okay, call me geeky, but I really loved Disneyworld (not Disneyland very much though). Not the Magic Kingdom, which does nothing for me, but Epcot Center. It’s like a permanent World’s Fair! I took my son there twice when he was little (plus we went to Disneyland in the summer of 1985, when I was working temporarily in San Jose). I’d happily go to Epcot again. But of course there is no “Small World” ride at Epcot. Darn, just reading your post has put that song into my head now. I’ll be humming it all day long. Sheesh. :-)

    Okay, I’m sure most of those obese folks go face-down in the carbs. I was at the supermarket the other day and the obese couple in line behind me were loading up the conveyor belt with Ring-Dings, Drake’s Coffee Cakes, Stella D’Oro biscotti, chocolate chip cookies, several boxes of macaroni and cheese, several boxes of Hamburger Helper … well then they actually did put out something “real” – a bunch of bananas!

    But sadly, my butt looks very much like the Disney employee’s above, and I am very stringent on my low carb diet and eat no grains, no sugars, no PUFA oils, no trans or hydrogenated fats. I feel great and my blood pressure and blood sugars are both great now too. I just am not losing any weight. I get so depressed when I read about how ‘easy’ it is to normalize your weight by eating a healthy low-carb diet. It has not happened for me in 12 years, on-and-off, of low carb dieting (falling off the wagon occasionally when I get discouraged about still being so fat despite rigid adherence).

    So don’t assume that *every* fat person you see is stuffing junk into their bodies! They may be people like me instead, and there are plenty others like me on low-carb boards on the internet, people who are still well over 250-350 pounds and stalled for years despite being absolutely faithful to low carb.

    I know there are many people out there struggling even with low-carb diets, but, believe me, they are in the minority.

  17. Dr. Mike,

    I am a Brazilian who travels to the US every three or five years since 1974. Every time I go to America, the obesity problem is worse. What is going on?

    Doc, you’ve got to solve this puzzle. I agree that high carbohydrate food is part of the explanation. But the phenomenon is much more complex. If you travel to most countries in Europe, Africa, Asia or Latin America you’ll notice that very few people eat low carbohydrate food. But these countries do not have an incidence of obesity as high as in the US. So there’s got to be some particular foods that are fattening your country.

    Believe me, American obesity is a medical puzzle like the ones in House, the TV series.

    Most other countries don’t use high-fructose corn syrup and don’t use as much vegetable oil as we do. I think both of these are major contributors.

  18. THANK YOU for pointing out the obvious. We DO have an obesity epidemic. It is right there in front of you at the shopping mall, grocery store, amusement park. For some reason, some folks in the low carb community like to argue that we really do not have an obesity epidemic – it is just that the powers that be changed the definition of obesity. This is the major beef I have with FAT HEAD, Tom McNaughton’s film. It was one of the first points he made in the film – that he had to look really hard to find big fat people to take photos of. I don’t have any trouble finding them any time I go out in public. And I have been noticing it for years, long before I found low carb and became a close to normal weight person. I don’t get this need to deny the obvious. What exactly is the point of that?

    And I would also agree with the other point that you made – that it is rare to see an acutal slim person. So that they may not be obese, but they have that carb belly going on – particularly the guys – even very young ones. And NO, the shirt hanging out is not hiding it!

    Last evening, we watched a film that had some footage of crowds from the early 60s. And you know the drill – there was not a fat person to be seen! Hmmm…and what changed not long after that?

  19. 1. Disneyland is no longer “weeding out the bawdy photos”, as they are so rare as to not be worth assigning employees to the task.


    2. Americans consume high-fructose corn syrup largely because the US tariff and quota regime makes imported sugar more expensive. This tariff is designed to protect the domestic sweetener industry, and is one reason why corn syrup is used instead of sugar.

    The UK has no such tariff, and use sugar in their soft drinks (Coca-Cola, for example). Nevertheless, the Brits are supposedly getting fatter too.

    Good to know about the bawdy photos. Sorry to hear they’re so rare.

    I wrote a post about three years ago on the HFCS tariff issue, which is actually a price support issue. Makes sugar too expensive here, thus the ubiquity of HFCS.

  20. Count me as another who hates the world of Disney. I didn’t get a chance to see either theme park until I was about 30 yo and happened to have be in the Orlando area. I visited Disney alone, so I had no distractions. Epcot center was atrocious – a huge advertisement for mega-agribusiness and an ersatz travel experience around the “world” (without going farther than Orlando), with the exits strategically placed on the far end of gift shops. I felt sad for the people scooping up “mementos” in the gift shops who thought they had really “experienced” world travel via Epcot.

    Not long after that I listened to an NPR interview with a marketing executive for Disney movie-related merchandise (I think Pocohontas was the current movie and merchandise campaign). It was disgusting the way she talked about “penetration of the children’s market”, using the movie to market stuff to little kids and their parents. At that point, all the luster and patina on my Disney movie memories tarnished.

    I’ve managed to avoid Disneyland since moving to So Cal a little over a dozen years ago, except once, about 6-7 years ago when my sister and her kids visited (my own child was about 3-4 yo). That was a year or two before I adopted LC WOE so I hadn’t clued into the carbs being the culprit at that point, but I remember being struck by the number of young families at Disney who were obese – young parents right down to the youngest kid – and the ramifications of that trend.

    You’re right. The marketing is everywhere. When you get spilled out of any kind of theme ride, you have to go through a store with all the merchandise for said theme. It’s really disgusting.

  21. If I hadn’t been so busy I would have written a similar review of Disney World in Florida. I went along with the rest of the family in an effort to be a good sport, but found it to be everything you described but in 95 degree weather with 95 percent humidity. Except for the hang-glider ride (which I love!) it was total misery.

    One interesting observation–the crowds were definitely down and would have been even more so were it not for several large tour groups of young people, mostly from Brazil and Argentina. I was struck by how beautiful these teenagers were. Not one of them was fat and I didn’t see a single case of acne among them. They had beautiful skin, hair, and teeth (no braces). It reminded me of Weston Price’s observations from back in the 30s about how much our modern diet damages us. Now, I’m wondering, what do they eat in Brazil? (Feef, right?)

  22. Hi Doc.

    You mentioned the fact that for years Americans have been urged to eat low fat, high carb diets. In my reading about low carb diets I frequently come across statements that people have dropped their fat intake over the last 30 years or so in trying to comply with the ‘expert’s advice to cut fat and load up on carbs. I’m currently reading David Kessler’s book “The end of Overeating” and he states (p. 83) that Americans’ consumption of fats and oils has increased by 63 percent in the last 33 years, ‘from per capita annual consumption of about fifty-three pounds to about eighty-six pounds’. So which is right? Are Americans eating more fat or less?

    Kessler, unsurprisingly, has it wrong. Fat consumption as a percentage of calories has fallen by about 25-30 percent (I’m quoting from memory here, but I’m sure I’m pretty close), but overall fat consumption has stayed about the same. We are eating more calories, but most of those additional calories come from carbohydrate, making the fat calories as a percent of overall calories fall. But we’re eating about the same number of calories of fats and oils as we always have. The big difference is in the types of fat. Vegetable oil consumption has skyrocketed while fats of animal origin have fallen markedly.

  23. You are so funny Dr Eades. “Lame”… I love it. Touche’ to your grandson… Its a small world… at 7? He’s ready for guy things — spash mountain (good choice), space mountain, roller coasters, water slides. Back when I went (my son happened to be 7 also), there was a Raiders of the Lost Ark theater presentation which was great.

    I don’t know if this would still apply because it was around 15 years ago that I went but for those who have yet to partake in the Disneyworld experience, I have some advice — go the week of Thanksgiving. We went then; the weather was beautiful and there were no lines because there just weren’t that many people. The food was even more of a challenge for me because back then I was a vegetarian. I managed though and actually found the trip to be enjoyable. Of course the look on my son’s face when I scored an autograph from his favorite ninja turtle made it all worthwhile.

    He went on all the big rides. He didn’t want to go on Small World because he remembered it as being ‘lame’ from his last visit when he was five.

  24. Going to work at the phone company and san diego county in 68 I had to meet a Met life weight chart standard to be employed. Now I think only the military requires fitness. The last place I worked the managers couldn’t walk a mile given all day. Of course in the sixties docs would give you amphetamines and you were allowed to smoke.

  25. I did a blog post on eating low carb at Disneyland (warning: avoid turkey legs … they only look low carb, but have up to 1100 calories each … they must be soaked in sugar!). There are a couple of places you can get a chicken Cesar salad (Red Rocket’s Pizza Port in Tomorrowland). In the other park, there are more options (see blog post at http://www.lowcarbage.com/?p=42 for more). I stayed on plan, but also brought my own snacks (almonds, beef jerky) and ate salads without dressing. You can do it … but you have to avoid the temptations. The visuals of the other guests help in that regard.

    I love Disneyland, but then all my memories are good. Except one. After being treated to truly revolutionary rides and shows like Pirates of the Caribbean and Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln that astounded me back in the 1960s, I was taken on Its a Small World. Those creepy little dolls, all singing and kicking in Stepford Wives synchronization, gave me nightmares. Real nightmares. I can’t stand the ride now.

  26. I’m at work right now, reading these comments on a break — at Disney World. I’m constantly shocked at the number of overweight and obese families I see here. I’d say at least 1/3, and probably closer to 1/2, of the Americans I see here are overweight. Including the children.

    As someone else mentioned earlier, there are a LOT of Brazilian tour groups here right now, and they’re almost all beautiful, slender teens. Many of the guests from other countries are also slim.

    At work at Disney World?!?! God help you.

  27. At least 34 million Americans suffer from chronic pain caused by conditions including arthritis, lower back problems, neuralgia, or migraine headaches. Some 15 million working Americans have pain on a chronic basis.
    Having injured my back this summer, I have come to learn a lot about pain firsthand. Pain can be hard to define. It means different things to different people and your own perception of pain can change over time. For some people, acknowledging pain is a sign of weakness. What most people don’t realize is that pain is a medical problem — and that it can be treated.
    How do you measure your pain? It is difficult. No lab tests or X-rays can convey to your doctor what you are feeling , it indicates findrxonline in his article about this topic.But even when pain is intense, many people struggle to find the words to describe it to the doctor. It is important to understand whether you suffer from acute or chronic pain.

  28. This post made me laugh. We took our son there at age 5, and went on that ride. He must have known it was lame too, because for years afterward, if he wanted to get under my skin, he would get close to my ear and start singing “It’s a Small World” over and over. We had a lot of fun with the lameness of it, kind of put it in the Hall of Fame of Lame.

    Thanks for the laugh. If anything deserves a prominent spot in the Hall of Fame of Lame it is that song and that ride.

  29. Thanks for a most interesting post. Brings back memories–we lived in Orlando when I was a kid and so went to Disney World many times. I was creeped out by It’s a Small World whereas Dad loved it–go figure. This was in the 70s and an obese person was a rare sight at Disney. I don’t think I ever saw anyone using a motor scooter there.

    Interesting that you worked at Disney. A friend from college worked at Disney World for one summer. Most of the employees, as you say, were college kids and at DW most of them lived in a large park filled with trailers, said park being maintained by Disney to provide cheap employee housing. You can imagine the fun that all those college kids had when thrown together without adult supervision. My friend told lots of stories that made me jealous!

    Yeah I’m sick of hearing that “low fat high carb works, people just dont follow the advice.” There is some truth to that in that almost everyone will lose weight on low fat/high carb if the calories are low enough (I believe you made the point that there were no obese people in concentration camps). Unfortunately on a low fat, high carb, low calorie diet one is hungry all the time and if one thing will derail a diet, it’s constant hunger.

  30. “I just am not losing any weight. I get so depressed when I read about how ‘easy’ it is to normalize your weight by eating a healthy low-carb diet. It has not happened for me in 12 years, on-and-off, of low carb dieting (falling off the wagon occasionally when I get discouraged about still being so fat despite rigid adherence).

    So don’t assume that *every* fat person you see is stuffing junk into their bodies!”

    Glad to see another person respond with “plateau” issues.
    Dr. Eades, I do hope you will address this issue, in depth, and soon

  31. Going to Disneyland has got to be a symptom of something. I can’t imagine wanting to vacation in LA (or live there, for that matter) and then compounding the error by going to Disneyland.

    But if you must ride Flesh Mountain, please be mindful of your audience and lay off the Doritos!

    Thank you

  32. Last evening at a Chinese restaurant, an amusing thing happened. We were seated by a nice Chinese waiter who has been in the US for a short while. He seated us in a booth as we requested but the space between the table and the seat was so wide that when we sat, we were at least 1 1/2 feet from the table! When we asked if there were smaller booths, he said no and explained that here in America, the booths must accomodate all the “many fat people with stomachs out to here” as he held his hands almost two feet from his stomach! Then he told my husband that he was “skinny” even though my husband is of normal weight and not the least bit skinny! I totally agreed with his observations and when I see what these people eat, it astounds me even though I have come to expect it.

    I, too, have noticed that those motorized carts that stores make available to their “disabled” customers are ALWAYS occupied by mainly middle-aged obese people who do not appear to be really disabled (no canes, crutches, walkers, oxygen bags, etc.) as they get up and walk with no help to their cars which have no handicap licenses and then drive away with their grocery bags full of frosted flakes, twinkies, chips, and all sorts of convenience food.


  33. C’mon guys – the “It’s a Small World” ride is purely and simply a make-out ride. Duh!

    I disagree. It’s hard to make out while you’re gagging.

  34. I agree that something is going on with our health. Just running the normal errands around town I see more and more truly huge people. Not just overweight, but heartbreakingly fat. And young girls are the saddest. Very large, soft, sagging midriffs bulging over the tops of their pants. This is more than just too many calories/too little exercise. It almost looks like a poison has been put into our water supply. The problem seems to be accelerating, as well. I am actually reaching a point when normal-weight adults appear to be the abberration rather than the rule.
    I am starting to wonder if carbohydrates alone can be the cause of all of this metabolic mutilation. There must be more than that going on. It is getting so much worse so fast.

  35. “C’mon guys – the “It’s a Small World” ride is purely and simply a make-out ride. Duh!”

    Hey, you’re right IMHO! At least that’s what I did when I went on that ride with my fiance back in the early 80s. LOL.

  36. “I am starting to wonder if carbohydrates alone can be the cause of all of this metabolic mutilation.”

    Well, it is a mystery, as I say. I am very rigid on my low carb diet – no grains, no sugars, no trans or hydrogenated fats, no PUFA oils, no processed foods, cook everything from scratch, etc. and I can’t seem to lose weight at all.

    My sister, on the other hand, knows the address of every Dunkin Donuts within a 20-mile radius, is always including cakes and cookies and brownies in her diet, is a sweet carboholic of major proportions …. yet she is slender and gorgeous, and even in her mid-50s looks like a fashion model, and weighs about half of what I do.

  37. Sorry I don’t have time to read all your comments right now, as I’m sure that many say the same thing I’m about to say, but I just had to thank you for *cracking me up*! I needed it.

    I just got home from visiting with family today, some of whom are obese. It never ceases to amaze me (and to test my ability to zip my lip) when they are all over me about how we try to avoid the crap foods. Granted, I could stand to lose 10#, but I so badly want to say to them, “Let’s look in the mirror and see which diets are working.”

    Of course I don’t say it. After all, I used to eat the crap, too.

    Didn’t we all, didn’t we all…

  38. The saddest part is that people fail to realize that obesity is only a symptom of the metabolic disorder of high insulin. As I like to say, only the lucky ones get fat. The rest progress straight to other symptoms such as diabetes, heart disease or even cancer. People really need to stop solely looking to their carbohydrate intake or that of others to assess their health. It is about so much more than that. When chronic disease hit an isolated population, each and every one of the symptoms of metabolic syndrome appeared all at once — and this happened from the same incident, the introduction of carbohydrates.

    Even if one is not losing weight, it’s best to eat a proper, healthy diet for your health and be happy that you are not exhibiting any other symptoms.

  39. Maybe you would have liked Small World if you had squealing-with-delight granddaughters…nah probably not…we must have gone on the ride 15 times with our 5yo DD. The last time which was also the last ride of the night for us, some guy behind me was cackling this gawdawful laugh the whole way which just compounded my headache. I connect horrible and annoying laughter with Small World now.

    If you really want to get back at somebody, give their child a spinning ladybug with the Small World song. (I don’t know what *we* did to deserve this.) And our children are smart enough, darnit, to know that we can buy new batteries.

    Thanks for the chuckle!

  40. I recently read an article showing pictures of a truly healthy child as opposed to the now-typical overweight child. Those surveyed for the article had labeled the healthy children as underweight or from third-world countries. There are so many factors that we can attribute the increase in obesity to, and certainly poor nutritional education is one of the biggies. But really – what chance do we have in educating people when their perception of what is normal or healthy now reflects the image of an overweight and diseased people?!

    I guess it just makes it all the more important to spread the word as best we can, and provide education not only on nutrition but also on practical tips to follow a healthy lifestyle in the midst of the frantic ‘go-go-go’ that is most people’s lives. It’s usually too much to teach someone every element of healthy living from the get-go but small steps can go a long way. Eat food in its natural state. Move more. Sleep more. So simple in theory, but obviously not so easy to apply!

  41. I haven’t been on the hideous “Small World” ride with the creepy dolls since the 1964-1965 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows at age 10. I found it “lame” too, although back then the word was only used to mean “has difficulty walking”.

  42. Another member of the permanent plateau here. Sometimes i wonder if I did permanent damage during those high carb years – is that possible?

    All these comments bring up something that has been worrying me – a lot. There is a much higher level of vocal anti-obesity. Combine that with the almost daily news items about the high cost of obesity, and I feel that it is going to get very ugly here shortly. Not that I am in favor of obesity, mine or anybody else’s. But I am sincerely worried about being forced onto a mandatory low fat, high carb diet. Which has been the only conversation my doctors will have with me, one even wanting to throw in statins.

    Low carbers see me and assume I’m in the high carb junk food group. Low fat /high carb proponents see me in the high fat group – totally borne out by the contents of my grocery cart . Which makes them right in their eyes ’cause gee, obviously it’s not working….

    If I had to choose, I’ld take overweight & healthy over thin and & unhealthy. But I’ld rather find what is going on with my body and be healthy AND not-obese!

    In the mean time, I’ll stay away from ‘Its a Small World’ and look forward to “…Middle-Aged Middle…”


    The “Middle-Aged Middle” book won’t be long in coming. I hope it’s better than the Small World.

  43. Hi Doc,
    You poor sod! The things we do for family!
    I suppose it would have been asking too much if Disney had have combined Flash Mountain and Small World by depicting a topless Sydney beach (i.e. practically any Sydney beach!) on the ride???
    I did see an item a couple of weeks ago about a streaker who ran onto the pitch of a NZ nude rugby match — fully clothed!
    Yep, it’s a small world after all!

    A poor sod, indeed. At least it’s over. And, yes, a touch of Flash Mountain embedded in the Small World might make it a little more interesting. But that song… I still don’t think I could do it.

  44. I have never been to Disneyland so was going to skip the post, but I’m glad I didn’t! That was a very entertaining post Dr Mike, and the comments are really great.

    Did you see the news on the mother who had her 555 lb boy taken away and charged with criminal child neglect?


    I grew up in the ’60’s and ’70’s and was laughed at for being the fattest kid in school at 30 lbs overweight. I think nowadays that stigma is gone. I see lean fit young men with hugely fat women or vice versa. So I think it’s not only the food that has changed, but somehow our instinct to seek fit partners has been compromised. I’m not sure as to why yet (still pondering).

    Another thing is exercise. I know Gary Taubes thinks it doesn’t matter simply based on calories. But I think the missing part of that equation is the way exercise impacts brain chemistry and mood. When I was a kid we all got around on foot or bicycle.

    There are a number of reasons this poor kid could be so overweight that have nothing to do with parental neglect. It’s a sad state of affairs. I posted on such a kid a couple of years ago.

  45. Dr. Eades,
    Love, love, love your blog. It’s your fault I don’t get enough sleep since I cannot stop reading the old posts. I love your responses when people comment about what topics you should stick to. Haha! Thanks so much, and please… keep blogging about whatever the hell you want to!

    Thanks. But you may not be so accommodating when you see my next post.

  46. Well, I’m not the hostess of this blog – so not much accommodation required! But thanks for the “teaser” :-)

    It’s up. Take a look.

  47. I think I finally discovered a subject on which we disagree. I love WDW and just about everything about it. It’s truly an escape from the “real” world. I live in New England, but have visited the mouse three times this year, own property there, and will go again before the end of the year. In fact, my goal is to live in Celebration and attend Illuminations weekly. (If you don’t know what either of those are, you’re probably more sane than I am.)

    It’s not hard to stay LC there, though I tend to eat at the resort restaurants rather than all the snack counters.

    I don’t know what either of the terms you mentioned mean other than in their dictionary definition sense.

  48. Dr. Mike,
    My aunt and uncle listened to me about low-carb eating. I also sent them your book and the last I’d heard they’d lost 75 lbs between them and they were saying it was a “no-stress” way of life. In most of my family though no one is interested in anything I tell them about it. Frustrating!!!

    I also can’t get funding to start a low-carb obesity intervention program at our local schools. The teachers and principals are begging for it but the funding organizations just want to fund more bike trails and programs that tell kids to eat more fruits and vegetables and reduce the fat.


    It’s certainly frustrating to bang your head against the idiocy of those with closed minds.

  49. I, too, am at a plateau and have been here for about 1 year. Problem is, I am relatively sure I could push it down if I lowered my calories and allowed myself to ‘be hungry’ for a few weeks. I am an ‘ex’ powerlifter (I no longer lift at all – but may start that as well, given a lifting of time constraints).

    In fact, I am going to lower my calories by 500 starting today. Given my age (59 -5′ 7″) and my lack of exercise, that may be important. I still carry significant muscle, however and my body may need to accommodate the muscle by retaining ‘energy stores’.

    Still it bugs me that I have stalled so thoroughly. But I gotta say that I love this diet! Unless there is compelling evidence that it is hurting me (I am a statistician, I know what ‘good’ data is), I am sticking with it, even if I stay at 160 for the rest of my life.

    I’ll report back if the lowered calories help – I don’t look forward to being hungry, but if it is only for a month, I can stand it. After a month, if I have lost some fat, I will go back to eating the way I am now for a month and see if I regain. If I do, then there may be something to the ‘set point’ – MAY be. Then I will resume exercise, as it will fit into my schedule by then.

    I’ll report back on this anecdotal ‘unofficial study of one’. I would like to know why people stall, after being initially successful. Clearly there is an issue that we don’t understand, and my guess is people ARE truthful about what they are eating.

    Cheers – and thanks for the back reference to your LaLanne blog! His birthday is coming up – if you can find more information about him, maybe you could do a special.

    I think I’ll send him GCBC for his birthday! I AM a long time fan (I watched his show as much as I could – which wasn’t that often as I was in grade school in the 50’s. But I was out sick a lot (hated school, not really that sick)). I wonder if his mind is still ‘good’, in that he would be able to read and absorb it. He is a powerhouse (mentally and physically). If he has at least some of his faculties, he may be able to take something good from the book. Any road, it will make me feel good to have touched him even slightly.

    Cheers, Dr. Mike!


    Let me know if you hear back from him.

  50. Of all your blog posts, this is the most hilarious. You are biting the hand that fed you as a college student while at the same time feeding the hand you’re biting by taking your grandkids to the park!

    To the Disney fans lurking: please follow the good doctor’s ACTIONS, not his WORDS. Disney does not equal HCFS. As a Disney shareholder, I encourage you to have a big heaping bite of Disney, as much as you want. And as a McDonald’s shareholder, I encourage you NOT to bring your lunch, but have a Big Mac sans bun. And as a Coke shareholder….you get the idea.

    Meanwhile, I eagerly await the opening of EADESWorld, to compete for the American leisure dollar. It will embody the recreational standards of a man whose idea of fun is apparently reading a thousand books a year, writing constantly, attending medical conventions, and topping it off with international travel and classical music. I can see it now: the concession stands will carry a full line of provisions from bacon to hard-boiled eggs. A weekend highlight: the paleo hunt, where guests get to club their own antelope, dress it and suck out the bones in front of a roaring fire.

    Count me in!!!

    Fondly, Bonnie

    Hmmm. Your idea of my idea of fun makes me sound about as dull as dishwater, which, I guess, if the truth be known, I am. :-)


  51. I came to this smallish 4 year college town in 1993 and have stayed. Now I’m working on campus again, and I’ve noticed that the freshman are 1)heavier than they were in the early 90s, and 2)there are more morbidly obese among them than in the early 90s. Very sad indeed!

    Personally, I’m glad to be only about 20 lbs overfat, instead of the average of 30. Thank goodness for low carbing!

  52. I am reading this on vacation in Hawaii. we bought a time share at Ko Olina, Oahu and are here for two weeks. I lived in Hawaii in the 1970’s and went on my first Atkins diet here. At that time is was really difficult as most meals had multi carbos – rice, bread, and macaroni. The interesting thing that I noted on this trip is that the local people seem thiner. There are still many large people, but I do not see more of them than before. We drove past a middle school today. The kids were thinner that those in Minnesota. Maybe its the Spam.

  53. There are still many large people, but I do not see more of them than before. We drove past a middle school today. The kids were thinner that those in Minnesota. Maybe its the Spam.

    Coould be…and maybe the locals going back to coconut oil and fish in the diet?

  54. To all those who have plateaued, please try intermittent fasting. It worked great for me and is very compatible with low-carb. Fast-5 is not difficult to adhere to and it is most definitely NOT an eating disorder; it is NOT about starvation; it will NOT “slow your metabolism”.

  55. I grew up in So Cal and have been to Disneyland a billion times but only once in the last several years. It is true that the “guests” have gotten larger!
    The only reasons to ride Small World are the air conditioning and the fact that there usually isn’t a long line because the ride really sucks. The Haunted Mansion is much better for making out! :)
    A tip for food at Disneyland if you don’t want to pack your own food…go outside to “downtown disney”. You can get back in to the park afterward. There are actual restaurants there with some choices. Plus there is alcohol, which you need for a day at Disneyland.

  56. Dr. Mike:

    I’m following a low-carb diet for 4-6 months: under 30 effective carbs a day, almost every day. By societal standards, I’m a thin middle-aged guy (5′ 10″, 144 lbs), but with the merchandise unwrapped there’s a bit of a “snake that swallowed a basketball” look. Waist around the thickest part is probably between 32″ and 33″.

    I tell you all this, because although I’m sure many dieters would kill to get the results I’m getting, when I was on Fuhrman’s “Eat to Live Diet”, high carb, low fat, it was much easier to lose weight than on low-carb. I was down around 130 lbs (from a top of 184 lbs originally), a thin adolescent-like waist of 29″-30″, plenty of energy, clear skin, clear eyes, armpits didn’t smell at all. Bowel movements came out in a split second, clean, rarely requiring any wiping of the posterior.

    Now admittedly, unlike most low-fatters, Dr. Fuhrman doesn’t recommend much in the way of starchy, sugary foodstuffs. He allows some small amount of grains, but doesn’t seem to promote them. He focuses on greens, beans, and fruit. But despite the ample fruit and bean carbs, I was significantly thinner than I am now.

    Why didn’t I just stay with that diet? Two reasons: first, I want to master various diets as a matter of personal knowledge and mastery of longevity principles. After reading your relentless exposes of medical “studies”, I’m skeptical of much of anything other than personal experience. Second, I don’t want to daily eat and digest as much as I needed to eat and digest on Eat to Live. The main dish at every meal was huge blended salads, huge salads, or huge more salads. And did I mention huge salads? (Well, there was also main dishes of green vegetables. A lb of lightly steamed broccoli, for example, was a not uncommon meal for me). Not that I minded. My palate got to like the taste of salad and green vegetables quite a bit. And I was never hungry, despite the claims of others who supposedly tried similar diets. (Trust me, they never properly upward adjusted their ideas about portion size. I got a scale right at the beginning and weighed my greens and green vegetables, until my eyes readjusted. Example: a lb of greens, a typical amount for me in a large salad, is at least 8 times more than we’re normally given in a restaurant salad.)

    But I just didn’t want to be putting that much energy into eating and digesting so many pounds of food a day, all day long. So I’m experimenting with eating significantly less food on low-carb, high fat.

    Hey, I ain’t complaining. I know I can take the weight off anytime I want by going back to the salads. And I love the taste of meat. And the way I look now, I get lots of compliments.

    Anyway, I’m curious to hear your comments. I know from reading your blog for quite some time now, that you’re a fair and objective critic, and will give credit where it’s due. Sure wish you’d read Eat to Live and critique it in your blog. Not sure that Fuhrman has done you the same favor. I don’t remember whether he specifically has mentioned you, but his general take on low-carb diets is that they’re an excuse for eating indulgently, and that animal foods and fat calories “spend” a persons daily calorie “account” unwisely, since there’s all those greens, beans, and fruit calories that could have been eaten instead and contain infinitely more micronutrients per calorie. He positions his diet as a “maximum micronutrient bang for the calorie buck” diet, essentially.

    I’m curious about his “bang for the buck” idea. But, I’ve been eating low-carb long enough to know that Fuhrman is incorrect about the indulgence of low-carb. It requires just as much, or more, discipline to stay on low-carb than it does to stay on Eat to Live. With all the sweet fruit available to eat on Eat to Live, it’s in many ways an easier diet to get used to.

    I’ve challenged Fuhrman about the fact that he prescribes foods that humans could not possibly be designed to eat. For example, many beans are very poisonous and can only be safely eaten by humans by cooking them to deactivate the poisons. Kidney beans are just one example.

    Interestingly, Fuhrman was completely undefensive and readily admitted that beans are not human food. Contrary to a comment you made elsewhere in your blog, Fuhrman does not claim that we humans were designed to eat these foods. His answer is more practical and purportedly empirical: “Yes, but I’d give an apple to a tiger if it would extend his life for 20-30 years.”

    In sum: despite my current following of your prescription, I sure wish you’d read Eat to Live and give it a critique it in the blog. My (and other folks I know) substantial weight loss, and Fuhrman’s claims of a zillion diseases reversed (diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, etc.), raise legitimate questions about the benefits of low-fat that deserve at least a fair hearing.

    Regards, and thanks as always for your blog and your “seeker of truth” personal values. Always a pleasure to read what you have to say.


    Don’t know when I’ll get the time to read Fuhrman’s book, but will do so if I get the time and the chance. I wonder if he really believes feeding apples to tigers would extend their lives by 20-30 years? I suspect it’s just a smart assed sound bite used to shut people up when he can’t really answer their questions. There is no evidence that a vegetarian diet makes people live longer – if he thinks so, he’s living in a fairy tale world.

    The problem with the whole diet business is that anyone who comes up with any kind of diet generally helps people. The Standard American Diet (SAD) is so lousy that any other diet is an improvement – even the Ornish diet. The goal isn’t to help people lose weight or get healthier – any deviation from the SAD will bring about weight loss and an improvement in health. The goal is to find the optimal diet – the one that brings about the greatest improvement. Since the forces of natural selection molded us to perform best on a diet that is rich in fat, moderate in protein and low in carbs (since that was what was available during human evolution), it would make sense that people would perform better all around on such a diet. The anthropological evidence and evidence from medical studies seems to bear this out.

  57. What I find sad is that some very obese people just don’t care about their health, they would rather live to eat instead of eat to live. My father-in-law is in his mid 60s, very very obese, had surgery for blood clots in his legs, the next year bypass heart surgery, then the next year a stroke. Following the stroke he’s since become diabetic and will eat donuts followed by giving himself a shot of insulin. My husband and I who have been low carbin for about 8 years have tried talking to him several times, continue to buy him books on this subject, and one time he admitted to us that he would “rather enjoy that piece of cherry pie” instead of getting healthier. His wife is also morbidly obese, with MS, and now diabetic also. While MS is disabling, I’m sure losing 100 pounds would benefit her immensely just for the act of walking. He is so out of shape himself, they had to buy a lift (whatever they are called) for when she falls on the floor because they can’t get her up. Such a sad, sad story that’s only going to get worse. I cannot say cherry pie is worth that price.

    A sad, sad story, but one that is all too common. To many people, food is their best friend. A friend who never lets them down (other, of course, than by destroying their health, but, for some reason, that doesn’t seem to count). They don’t want to do anything that might destroy that friendship.

  58. “To all those who have plateaued, please try intermittent fasting. It worked great for me and is very compatible with low-carb. Fast-5 is not difficult to adhere to and it is most definitely NOT an eating disorder; it is NOT about starvation; it will NOT “slow your metabolism”.”

    Tom, please give more info if possible. Fasting, for me, is a little frightening. If I go too long without something to eat, I get the shakes, etc. So, how does this help?

    Here is a post I wrote about intermittent fasting a couple of years ago. Read it and read the comments, and you will take away a lot of ideas.

  59. For the past three weeks, a close female friend of mine has embarked on a diet suggested by me on a quest to tone up for an upcoming beach holiday. While it might not seem too drastic to many of us, it was a big change for her, a former carb-aholic. Essentially, I told her to eat as much food as possible as long as it was whole food. In addition, I told her to consume protein, along with fat, at every meal and snack. The results have been impressive. She has lost weight and no longer suffers immense hunger pangs; of course, a lot of her weight loss could be due to water but that is still a good thing. She still finds it scary to consume a lot of fat, but i simply tell her that fat is not really an issue if your food sources are good. Her two favorite meals at present are bacon and cabbage, and peanut butter and bacon on rye bread washed down with milk or coconut milk. Prior to my dietary suggestions, she ate little protein and even less fat. According to my calculations, she is presently eating more calories than before, but i figure she now has much better blood sugar and insulin control given the added fat and protein. When she craves additional carbs, i tell her to eat popcorn with plenty of butter or some nuts covered in dark chocolate. This has worked thus far.

  60. Hey doctor, recently i have been supplementing my diet with L-Lysine powder, typically two grams first thing in the morning on an empty stomach along with vitamin-c. Sometimes i repeat this later in the day. The reason i am taking these two supplements together is for dermatologcal reasons. However, from what i understand, lysine might inhibit the production and nitric oxide. From a man’s standpoint, this is not necessarily a good thing. Perhaps i should only consume lysine in supplement form once a day. Maybe i am worrying about nothing. I do not want to stop supplementing with lysine has it is helping my skin problem, but at the same time i do not want decrease NO production.

    I don’t think a couple of grams of lysine is going to adversely impact NO formation. I would keep it up if you’re getting benefit from it.

  61. I think disneyland represents a particular type of american who is especially prone to obesity – midwestern, with a young family, early middle aged. People are undoubtedly fatter today, but going to disneyland to provide evidence of that is like going to weight watchers to do the same thing. Disneyland is a family trap. People with families tend to be fatter. They live in places that require driving, they make easy crappy carb dinners for their kids, they are middle aged and their metabolisms suck, and most aren’t too concerned with their apperance because of the fact they are middle aged and settled and they let themselves go.

    I don’t think people are becoming morbidly obese on low fat food. They are becoming morbidly obese on carb + fat food which is more insulinogenic than low fat food if for no other reason than it is more palatable and calories are so much higher. The calories in one of those fast food milkshakes are like, 1000. It’s ridiculous. People just aren’t eating right anymore, they don’t eat meals. They eat treat foods.

    I eat nuts when I am in a place which offers drug food (e.g. work meetings, vacation spots and other places people typically numb themselves with carbs). Nuts are the best food ever, because they are perfectly high mono fat & low carb , and they are convenient and portable. I actually do a lot better with nuts than I do meats and things like that. Nuts have almost no ability to raise insulin and they provide heaps of energy to keep you moving and your sugar stable. I srsly love nuts and I don’t know why they get such a bad wrap amongst low carbers. I eat at least 2 ounces per day. I think if everyone ate a few ounces of nuts per day, we would be a lot thinner and healthier as a society. Nuts not only keep insulin low and stabilize blood sugar but they fill you up like crazy so you can’t eat crap that will mess you up.
    No, I am not affiliated with any nut growers or manufacturers, I JUST REALLY LOVE NUTS. 😀

  62. Dr. Mike wrote:

    Don’t know when I’ll get the time to read Fuhrman’s book, but will do so if I get the time and the chance. I wonder if he really believes feeding apples to tigers would extend their lives by 20-30 years? I suspect it’s just a smart assed sound bite used to shut people up when he can’t really answer their questions. There is no evidence that a vegetarian diet makes people live longer – if he thinks so, he’s living in a fairy tale world.

    Harry responds:

    It was a long time ago he told me that. Now, with you challenging the statement, I’m wondering if what he said is that it could add 20-30 years of _healthy_ life. In other words, no longevity increase necessarily, but the last 20 or 30 years would be significantly healthier. I really don’t remember for sure. Either way, I believe your comments answer the question: we should care about what is optimal, even if other diets show health improvements over SAD.

  63. For “ItsTheWooo”: most of the people in Disneyland on any particular day are actually annual passholders. While Disney doesn’t provide statistics, journalists and bloggers following the company estimate that a majority of the people are locals, with estimates running up to 75% or more. WDW, in Florida, is mostly tourists.

    The problem with low fat diets … and I speak from experience having been on one for years … is that you are hungry. The “legal snacks” are usually loaded with carbs even if you are avoiding sugar, so you load up on them. The insulin bump and subsequent crash causes you to eat more more of those legal snacks … carbs … even though they may be labeled “made from whole grain” or otherwise disguised as healthy.

    A low carb diet is easier to maintain because you, or at least I, don’t get hungry.

    Nuts are great snack foods, but some are high in calories, a consideration if you are also trying to lose weight. Still, its hard to argue with the high omega-3s in almonds and walnuts. Dr. Eades book Protein Power and Protein Power Life Plan doesn’t discourage eating nuts at all; they list the effective carb count of many nuts for people to consider as part of their new way of eating.

  64. “If Disneyland is any indication, there is no question we’re in the midst of an obesity epidemic.”

    The obesity epidemic has come to Manhattan, where I live. Manhattan is supposed to be so skinny but it’s not. The NY Times recently ran a snotty article about how thin Manhattanites are:


    But embedded in this article is this strange fact, right in the first paragraph: “42 percent of Manhattanites were overweight or obese.”

    Wow, so thin people roam in Manhattan, where 42 percent of the people are overweight or obese? What is it, NY Times?

    I can tell you we have plenty of fat people. More fat people in fashion-conscious latter-day Manhattan than in working-class Queens in 1970, where & when I grew up.

    Regarding plateaus, I’ve found that the Kekwick “fat fast” diet gets you into fat burning mode much better than fasting.

  65. To Its The Wooo — All nuts raise my blood sugar. I know because I’ve tested with a meter trying to find a good nutritious snack that doesn’t. And I LOVE walnuts, peanuts, and all kinds of nuts. But, I just can’t eat them without at least a little spike afterwards. The point is, they DO NOT keep my blood sugar level. Of course, unless you have insulin resistance, you might never realize what some foods do the the blood sugar level because your body would deal with it immediately just fine. But, for some people the carbs in nuts (which they DO have) may be a problem. They may indeed be far more nutritious than what I do eat for snacks but, each of us has to find out for ourselves what works and what doesn’t work for our priority goal (mine is blood sugar levels). One junk food snack I can eat that has NO carbs is fried pork rinds so if I am really craving a salty junk food out of a bag when every one else is eating chips, etc. I eat those. But, most of the time, it’s string cheese, boiled egg, pepperoni stick, or other virtually carbless “snacks”.


  66. Frank Hagan, not for nothing, but nuts are not a good source of omega-3 oils. The ratio of omega-6 oils to omega-3 oils in most the majority of nuts is quite drastic, though walnuts are the best of the bunch in this regard.

  67. My mother grew up in Florida so every year we’d go down there and we’d always hit Disney World, a/k/a the Mouse Hole. It’s A Small World has been annoying people for close to forty years; even as a five-year-old in 1972 I loathed it. A far better bet for sitting down in air conditioning is the Hall of Presidents (not sure if they have it at Disneyland). I still think there’s a certain element of wonder to Disney World but it’s ruined by the fat, whining Disney Commandos who barrel through the parks as if they’re on a mission from God to get into every attraction listed in the Birnbaum Guide, dragging their screaming kids behind them. As for food it is possible to do low-carb there pretty well, particularly at the hotels. One of the best LC meals of my life was at the Artist Point restaurant at the Wilderness Lodge Hotel–a rare buffalo ribeye steak, sauteed spinach, and a perfect berry and cream mix. You’ll pay, but it’s worth it.

  68. Is it possible that some people do better on low carb, and others do better on low fat?

    Possible but not probable.

  69. Gloria – Things might be different for you since you are diabetic. I imagine a severe diabetic may have to avoid all carbohydrate, and perhaps protein/pure fat would be a better choice.

    I have blood sugar problems myself but mine tend toward hypoglycemia (reactive type) and a tendency toward hyperinsulinemia (hx/of PCOS, morbid obesity, acanthosis / darkening of skin develops rapidly when I let my eating go lax). It is shown in studies nuts balance blood sugar (raising if low, lowering if high) and promote very little insulin release. For diabetics nuts might be more problematic than pork rinds because of the lack of insulin and bolus of fatty acids could bump up sugar? For a hypoglycemic it works out better because my sugar bumps up without much insulin production. Very, very low appetite for hours. I don’t think it’s the extra carbs because I generally do better the fewer I eat. I think the reason nuts are so good for me is simply because they offer a wonderful calorie to insulin ratio. Much better than, say, meat (which often makes me hungry for this reason).

    Nuts are probably a good thing if the problem is insulin overproduction (as opposed to hyperglycemia/diabetes which may include insulin overproduction but only as a symptom secondary to sugar overproduction from liver and other metabolic problems related to sugar processing problems).

    One poster said a problem with nuts is that they are high calorie. That’s true, but you’re falling into the low-fat/low-calorie mindtrap. It’s not about the total number of calories, but how they affect your endocrine system and metabolism. If I eat 500 calories of nuts, but they cause my body to pour out energy and fill up my appetite for the rest of the day, I”m much more ahead of the game than if I ate a lean chicken breast for 300 calories, and this caused my appetite to increase later, and my sugar to go up and down from the protein-mediated insulin production. I’m definitely ahead of the game than if I ate a 200 calorie bowl of special K with milk, which would have me sweating and shaking from hypoglycemia within an hour and a half.

    I only worry about calories long term (like, “gee I’m eating a lot of calories these past few days”). Worrying about calories in a meal is myopic, 9 times out of 10 I’ll eat a lot less if I fill up on nuts earlier.

  70. Gloria, the calories in versus out debate is certainly tedious, and life is too short to worry about such calculations. When i ate an all-meat diet, oftentimes i would consume between 6000-8000 calories, and not gain body fat. Rather the opposite, i’d lose body fat and gain musculature ( i weigh in the neighbourhood of 160 lbs). that said, even when following a low-carb diet, too many nuts can cause me to gain body fat, most obviosuly because of their carb content and high calorie make-up.

    Speaking of an all-meat diet, i remember when i first experimented with one a few years ago. I ate nothing but meat, eggs and butter for three weeks. Then i went on a trip out of town and veered from the diet, eating plenty of carbs namely in the form of peanut butter and honey sandwiches. My god, during the trip, i was never as vascular in my life. The veins in my forearms and upper arms were so prominent, as evidenced by the fact that some females in a nighclub first pointed them out to me. I even had veins protruding from my deltoids and abdomen, which i noticed later on at home when looking in a mirror. The only downfall was that my skin broke out in pimples. I felt incredible, but my face suggested otherwise. This short anecdote refers to what people call carb-loading. It was the first time i had ever really carb-loaded. Upon my return home, i re-commenced an all-meat diet. From them on, a carb-load consisted of some fruit or raw honey. The concept of carb-loading, such as some low-carb diet proponents advocate, does not sit well me. I understand the rationale, but i don’t understand why someone would advocate eating foods that can be deleterious to health for the sake of looking good for a brief period of time. I’m ranting…….

  71. While this probably won’t help all metabolic problems achieve control (i.e. some types of diabetics won’t benefit), the insulin index is a good guide to help people with the problem of insulin overproduction to choose foods. If you are like me and your primary problems all relate to excessive insulin production (as opposed to excessive glucose production/diabetes) then the insulin index is a good thing to check out:


    Peanuts for teh win!

    I had figured all this out intuitively (hence why I carry a bag of peanuts at all times for snacks since nothing keeps me more stable than peanuts) but it might help others out there who can’t figure out why eating “normal low carb” with meats and veggies makes them feel “bad” and hungry. If I ate meat for most of my meals I would be fatter and hungrier. Meat isn’t always the best choice, even though it is ubiquitous with “low carbing”. Sometimes, a small portion of all bran and nuts and a bit of cream is a better choice than meat. I mean, if your goal is low insulin production anyway.
    It’s too bad there isn’t more data on this insulin index… it would be hugely important for a lot of people (no, perhaps not the mild type 2 diabetic, but for women with PCOS and people with hypoglycemia is sure as heck would help… type 2 diabetics/spectrumed benefit from maximizing their insulin/glucose ratio).

    Pete – Try a sympathetic nervous system stimulant to achieve the same vascular look, if you so like it. The carbs do it because the increase of insulin and glucose tells your body’s nervous system to raise blood pressure and retain water – veins then become prominent. Maybe more caffeine? :)

    I sorta experience the reverse. When my blood sugar/insulin is better controlled, when losing weight/eating less/ very energetic (redundant with lower insulin) I am plagued by hypotension. I have a conditioned appreciation of dizziness, especially when standing or moving suddenly, because I know this correlates with all sorts of desirable things (high energy, high mood, low appetite and weight loss). Strange that something unpleasant like a hypotension can be conditioned associated with positive feelings.
    I have a genetic low activity nervous system, even when hyperinsulinemic with bad PCOS and morbidly obese my pressure wasn’t more than 120/80 range. When I restrict the food, my pressure can get as low as 80/50.

    The effect insulin and glucose has on the nervous system is why low carbing will rapidly correct or improve hypertensives.

  72. ItsTheWoo, good post. I am vascular all year round due to a low body fat percentage. However, i was just recalling an experience of carb-loading after following a strict all-meat diet.

    The link you provided about the insulin index of certain foods is interesting. However, if i recall correctly, foods such as meat and eggs contain factors that negate the rise in insulin. Perhaps Dr. Mike could chime in on this issue.

  73. Interestingly enough, I was conducting a similar informal survey yesterday. I use public transport everyday, and as we were going by the downtown core in Ottawa, I was observing the mass of people waiting at the various bus stops along the way. What I observed was that there were very few visibly obese people. Most people looked slim, or at least no more than a little overweight. Women or men such as the girl in the picture above is a fairly rare sight here. Rare enough that I notice and remember when I see one. In our building at work, there is only two such person, that I can remember. When I lived in Montreal, it was the same.

    Yet, Canadians eat the same food that Americans do, and are subject to the same low-fat, high carb brainwashing and live in similar cultures.

  74. Speaking of obesity and children, here are Dr. Joanna Dolgoff’s suggestions for replacing that naughty birthday cupcake — it would be funny if it weren’t so bloody sad:

    Healthy Birthday Snack Ideas:

    A child’s school birthday celebration should be centered around the child; instead, it has become centered around cupcakes. Parents bring in these unhealthy treats and kids rejoice. Yet with the current child obesity crisis, many are rethinking this caloric tradition. In response, I have created this list of healthy birthday school celebrations. Enjoy them! And please, let me know if you have any additional suggestions.

    Non-Food Options:

    1) Allow extra recess time in honor of each student’s birthday and allow the birthday child to choose an active activity or game. The birthday student’s parents are welcome to participate.

    2) Craft project: Bring in supplies so each student can make a birthday card for the birthday child.

    3) Craft project: Decorate a balloon with stickers and glitter. Each child gets to take their creation home.

    4) Bring in a large balloon bouquet and let each child pick a balloon to take home.

    5) Parent reads selected book of choice to class.

    6) Create a birthday book for child; each classmate creates a special page about the birthday child.

    7) Provide goodie bags with stickers, pencils, pens, school supplies, crayons, noise makers etc.

    8) Arrange a classroom scavenger hunt with small non-food gifts for each child.

    9) Decorate a birthday crown.

    10) Bring in coloring books for each student. Have each child color a page from their book and then hang up the masterpieces and have a ‘gallery showing’.

    11) Bring in small fun activity gifts for the students, i.e. jump ropes, mini-Frisbees, waffle balls. Allow some time for the students to play with their new gift.

    12) Give each child elastic bracelets with birthday child’s name stamped on it.

    Healthy (Or At Least Healthier) Food Options:

    1) ‘Make your own’ yogurt parfait with fat-free yogurt, low-fat granola, and fresh berries.

    2) Fruit Kebobs: Cut fruit into interesting shapes and let children put the fruit onto skewers with a few marshmallows.

    3) Frozen Banana Krispie Treats: Cut a banana in half. Put a Popsicle stick in the banana and then smear with low-fat vanilla yogurt. Roll in rice krispies, freeze.

    4) Fresh fruit topped with low-fat whipped cream.

    5) Waffle topped with fruit and chocolate syrup.

    6) Low-fat pudding with low-fat whipped cream.

    7) Frozen fruit bars.

    8) Create a trail mix: Let each child choose their own mixture of whole grain pretzels, multi-grain chex, and dried fruit.

    9) Yogurt covered raisins.

    10) Apples slices dipped in caramel dipping sauce.

    11) Baked apples with cinnamon.

    12) Sorbet.

    13) Orange frizzes: Mix chilled orange juice with carbonated water and a scoop of sorbet.

    14) One scoop of low-fat ice cream with sprinkles.

    15) Exotic fruit of choice.

    16) Jell-o topped with low-fat whipped cream.

    17) Baked tortilla chips with salsa.

    18) Homemade low-fat rice krispie treats.

    19) Yogurt covered pretzels.

    20) Baked potato chips.

    21) Low-fat pita with hummus.

    22) Baked tortilla with guacamole.

    23) One scoop of fat free ice cream in a wafer cone.

    Starting with her misuse of the word healthy and ending with the recommendation of a scoop of fat free ice cream in a wafer cone, the entire piece is an exercise in idiocy.

  75. Next time take your grand-babies to Disney WORLD in Florida. Go in the Spring (not anywhere around Easter) and you’ll find minimal crowds and LOADS of low-carb choices. EPCOT is a wonderful experience of international food with Chefs and Servers willing to custom make what you want. They pride themselves on catering to guests with special dietary needs. The resorts offer some of the best dining experience around with 4 Star restuarants at your beck and call.

    We had one dining experience at The Contemporary Resort, at their restaurant up on the top of the building (with GORGEOUS views), called California Grill and the waiter was a fellow low-carber and had the chef make a CUSTOM meal for my diabetic husband. They bent over backwards to accommodate us. We were even offered a cheese board, that was AMAZING, for our dessert.

    Disney World is nothing like Disneyland, it’s WAY bigger (4 parks compared to 2) and there are actually times of the year without oppressive heat and crowds. There are 100’s of attractions that are FAR better than It’s a Small World (not a family favorite here either).

    PS – Don’t forget that there are people with HIDDEN illness’ that ride those carts. We take 10+ day trips to Disney and my Fibromyalgia prevent me from walking/standing for long periods of time. Too bad you can’t see my illness, because I’m sure I look like another fat lady who doesn’t want to to exercise. I have lost close to 100lbs, but due to severe insulin resistance – PCOS etc., may never be super skinny. BTW – in all the trips we’ve been on, I’ve never once ran over anyone’s foot or ran into anyone. I DO, however, have people who are walking, step right in front of me and don’t even look before they do so. ;o)

    Please don’t hate the place that is OUR Happiest Place on Earth.

  76. oh gee shucks – it’s not just too much food you americans have got! Why not give your tickets to some poor family that wants to go!

    I wish we had.

  77. Angelyne wrote:
    “Most people looked slim, or at least no more than a little overweight. … Yet, Canadians eat the same food that Americans do, and are subject to the same low-fat, high carb brainwashing and live in similar cultures.”

    I agree with Angelyne. I noticed the same thing in Brazil and Europe. The whole world is following the lowfat high carb nonsense. Yet, the obesity problem is heavily concentrated in the US. Why?

    Dr. Eades wrote:
    “Most other countries don’t use high-fructose corn syrup and don’t use as much vegetable oil as we do. I think both of these are major contributors.”

    Well, Dr. Eades, except for my house and a few others, Brazil has a high consumption of vegetable oil. But I agree that high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) might be a major contributor.

    As a matter of fact, I noticed an amazing coincidence. The consumption of HFCS and American obesity started to increase at the same time. In the late seventies, a system of sugar tariffs and sugar quotas was imposed in the United States. The cost of imported sugar went dramatically up and HFCS became the American sugar. I also read that HFCS is very cheap in the US because the price of corn is kept low through government subsidies.

    Price incentives usually work. Because of a government subsidy, Americans started to consume HFCS more than other country. It might be the food that is fattening US citizens.

  78. My children have lived overseas for most of the last 10 years. One of the first comments they made was that the desserts and pastries, though they looked wonderful, just were not sweet enough. I thought they were pretty good, but I had already started cutting back on carbs/sugar.

    I’ve often wondered if , because the HFC was so much cheaper, the food industry added more ‘sweet’ to increase sales and in so doing desensitized our tastebuds thus calling for ever more sweetness just to stay even. Like a drug addiction.

    Has anybody ever been able to do a study comparing formulations through the years? I remember once in the 80’s having my first Hershey bar in several years (this was before my low carb days ) and thought it was disgustingly sweet – nothing like I was expecting.


    Fructose is much sweeter than both regular table sugar (which is half fructose) and glucose. Adding the same amount of fructose or HFCS to recipes calling for a given amount of sugar is going to make the products sweeter. Increasing sweetness does tend to blunt the sweet receptors making them require more sweetener for a given sweet effect.

  79. I think the reason other countries eat similar to us, but aren’t as fat as us (YET) is because we are 3-4 generations into the low fat theory here in the good ole USA, and places like Brazil are just now getting as “smart” as America. If you really look you will see rapidy rising obesity rates in these other countries.

  80. “agree with Angelyne. I noticed the same thing in Brazil and Europe. The whole world is following the lowfat high carb nonsense. Yet, the obesity problem is heavily concentrated in the US. Why?”

    Forgive me for sounding a bit peeved, but what you are BOTH saying is total nonsense.

    The metabolic disorders epidemic (which includes obesity) is a worldwide phenomenon. Just because you happened not to see it once in an affluent part of Ottawa is totally meaningless.

    Here are some stats:


    “In 2004, approximately 6.8 million Canadian adults ages 20 to 64 were overweight, and an additional 4.5 million were obese.(1) ”

    Let’s not even talk about UK. OK, let’s talk about the UK:


    “Latest obesity rates (2001 figures) show 21% of men and 23.5% of women over 16 years have a Body Mass Index of 30 or more in England. These figures compare with 13/2% of men and 16.4% of women in 1993 and just 6% among men and 8% among women just 20 years ago.”


    * overall 32.6% of adults were reported as overweight in 2004–05
    * 40.5% of males and 24.9% of females were overweight
    * overall 16.4% of adults were reported as obese in 2004–05
    * 17.8% of males and 15.1% of females were obese.

    I rest my case.

    THIS IS NOT A US PHENOMENON, so get off your high horse and face facts.

    Regarding sweetness of desserts, clearly you’ve never been to France or Greece, where desserts are intensely sweet. The thing is, portions are tiny and dessert is not an everyday thing but something you indulge in on special occasions.

  81. More on obesity rates worldwide:



    “Yet a controversial government study released late last month confirms it: Brazil is experiencing an epidemic of obesity.”

    Huzzah, the article mentions sugar & carbs as culprits.


    This being Time it contains the usual journalistic claptrap:



    “The presented population-based data revealed that the prevalence of overweight and obesity among 8- to 9-year-old Greek children is alarmingly elevated, with the overweight rates rising continuously.”

  82. Sophia,

    I did not say obesity was a US phenomenon. What I said was that most foreign countries do not have an incidence of obesity as high as the US. This is not a new observation. I’ve read it in every other diet book published in the US in the last five years.

    The NY Times article about Brazilian obesity (whose link is in your post) states that: “40 percent of Brazil’s adult population is overweight. Over all, 1 adult in 10, or more than 10 million people, are obese…”. Let’s do the math. The NY Times article is saying that 60% of Brazilian adults are not overweight and only 10% are obese.

    American incidence of obesity is a lot higher. According to a recent report “adult obesity rates in the US now surpass 25 percent in 31 states and exceed 20 percent in 49 states and Washington, D.C.”

    I’ve lived a few years in the US as a graduate student. I noticed that most Americans are more athletic than Brazilians. I was very impressed with the way American college girls volunteered to play soccer. Brazilian women won’t do it even if we beg. I had the impression that most Americans try hard to stay in shape. So there’s got to be a reason for the higher incidence of obesity in the US.

    I am inclined to agree with Mary’s observation. HFCS, being so sweet, might have “desensitized your taste buds thus calling for ever more sweetness just to stay even, like a drug addiction”. I noticed that Dr. Eades is very interested in HFCS. I hope he will include a chapter about it in one of his books.

    A also think Amina has a point. Foreigners don’t take the lowfat teology as seriously as the Americans. But, unfortunately, most countries are trying to follow the American steps. This afternoon, when I went to the supermarket to buy cottage cheese, I noticed that two of the three brands had 0% fat. I hate lowfat food; but I belong to a shrinking minority in my country. :-)


  83. “I did not say obesity was a US phenomenon. What I said was that most foreign countries do not have an incidence of obesity as high as the US. This is not a new observation. I’ve read it in every other diet book published in the US in the last five years.”

    Petronio, the comment you made is still listed. What you said was:

    “Yet, the obesity problem is heavily concentrated in the US. Why?”

    That is what I disagreed with, because you are wrong, as in: wrong, flat out, mistaken, wrong.

    The obesity problem is NOT heavily concentrated in the US. It’s a worldwide phenomenon. It’s a disease of so-called civilization.

    You can’t make a statement and then say you didn’t make the statement when what you said is recorded in black and white.

    I mentioned the obesity epidemic hitting Brazil because someone mentioned Brazil. Of course Brazilians aren’t yet as fat as Americans. But they will be. And the pattern is exactly the same as the US: heavily concentrated in the poorer segments of the population, and correlated with race.

    “I noticed that most Americans are more athletic than Brazilians. I was very impressed with the way American college girls volunteered to play soccer. Brazilian women won’t do it even if we beg. I had the impression that most Americans try hard to stay in shape. So there’s got to be a reason for the higher incidence of obesity in the US.”

    Look, I don’t have the time to point out all the illogic in this paragraph and the faulty reasoning based on limited data.

    As a grad student, you are observing a tiny privileged subset of Americans. The American college girls who volunteer to play soccer are an elite group. They are already thin. Most Americans do not try hard to stay in shape but in any case exercise is mostly irrelevant to the obesity epidemic, which is caused by insulin resistance, which is caused by lifelong overconsumption of refined carbs, and eating too little fat and protein.

  84. For Petronio, “overweight” and “obese” are two separate terms. When using body mass index, for instance, the “overweight” category is a BMI of 25 – 29.9, “obese” is a BMI of 30 – 34.9, and “exrtremely obese” is a BMI above 35.

    What’s interesting is that some longevity studies have shown that being in a normal BMI range of 18.8 – 24.9 may not be the healthiest place to be; if you are “overweight”, you have a 17% reduced risk of death, and even being “obese” is statistically insignificant from being “normal”. This may have more to do with the limitations of the BMI as a gauge of health, but it is interesting (I link the studies at http://www.lowcarbage.com/?p=89).

  85. For Sophia: You don’t have to sound so peeved. All my three posts were humble, good-humored and highly speculative I was not defending a thesis or anything.

    I used the verb concentrate to mean “make thicker or stronger”. I should have used a different verb. English is not my native language. My intention was saying that most foreign countries do not have an incidence of obesity as high as the US. Please let me be the interpreter of my own words. If you read my first post in this discussion, you will see my point.

    For Frank Hagan: I see your point. But my interpretation of the data was correct. I’ve read the original IBGE research, which is written in Portuguese. The overweight category includes obese citizens. The site address is http://www.ibge.gov.br.


  86. I have to disagree with the negativity. Obesity should have nothing to do with Disney.

    I remember going to Disney World when I was 10 and my brother was 6. It was his birthday present. I was so excited and I happened to enjoy it’s a smal world and went on it several times.

    I am exciteldy looking forward to my next trip there in April with my 7 year old son. I have been to theme park in Ontario, PEI and the states and after being to wonderland and busch gardens lineups i expect them to be the norm because the parks are popular and magical for children. If you don’t like waiting in lines and crowds then obviously these are not the palces for you to be. Let’s think about the children and how much fun it is for them. It is supposed to be the happiest place on earth, but is not for everybody apparently.

  87. I couldn’t agree more. I just been there last week in July 2015, and I could guess that half of the staff are obese and 40% of the people who go there are also obese. There are so many obese people who can’t walk and ride on scooters. I thought it was a Disney policy to hire obese people?