Processed Foods May Kill Off Bugs that Keep You Thin


Original post from Shape

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Corbis Images

Piling your plate with fast food will pile on the pounds—that much isn’t a surprise. But new research sheds more light on exactly how eating processed food wrecks our bodies, starting with some of our smallest parts: our gut bacteria. Tim Spector, Ph.D., author of The Diet Myth and lead researcher of this new study, found that eating fast food for just one week killed a third of beneficial bacteria in the gut. (Gut bacteria is essential for everything from maintaining a healthy immune system to heart health to being in a good mood.) And as more and more research shows the role that bacteria play in our bodies, this new study has implications not only for our waistlines but our entire health, Spector says. (Read this: 7 Surprising Ways Junk Food Makes You Miserable.)

In his book, Spector shares how he recruited his son to try out eating only fast food for a week—not exactly the most rigorous research, but a study that millions of people are unconsciously doing every day. “Before I started my father’s fast food diet, there were about 3,500 bacterial species in my gut, dominated by a type called firmicutes,” his son, a genetics student, told The Australian. “Once on the diet, I rapidly lost 1,300 species of bacteria and my gut was dominated by a different group called bacteroidetes. The implication is that the McDonald’s diet killed 1,300 of my gut species.” (That’s not all fast food can do. A High-Fat Diet Can Torped Your Metabolism.)

No one is trying to ban fast food (or say you can never have a treat), but eating a wide variety of mostly healthy foods is the key to good health, Spector writes. “Changes in our gut microbe community, or microbiome, are likely to be responsible for much of the obesity epidemic, and consequences like diabetes, cancer and heart disease,” Spector writes. “It is clear that the more diverse your diet, the more diverse your microbes and the better your health at any age.”

More scientific research needs to be done studying the link between fast food and the gut microbiome, but many researchers say they aren’t surprised by the results. Previous studies have linked eating processed foods with diabetes, depression, multiple types of cancer, alowered immune system, taking years off your life, and of course, obesity.

“Remember that obesity is the second leading cause of preventable death after smoking. This is the first generation in history in which children will die younger than their parents—due to obesity,” says Susan Albers, Ph.D., psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic and author of But I Deserve This Chocolate.

Yet there is also a risk to making something “forbidden fruit,” Albers adds. Focus on this mantra instead, she suggests: “Eat food with purpose, on purpose. Pinpoint what function this food has, such as filling hunger or looks fun to eat, and make it part of a healthy meal.” As for treats, make sure they’re just that—a treat, and not all you eat. (A healthy diet isn’t always just about what foods you’re choosing. Watch out for these 7 Zero-Calorie Factors That Derail Weight Loss.)

Topics:

Obesity; Ban Fast Food


Obesity appoint Tsars

An obesitytsar’ should be appointed at every NHS trust to tackle a crisis affecting  millions, leading doctors say. Is this feasible, can the NHS afford for each trust to appoint an Obesity Tsar, when apparently there is already a NHS funding crisis.  Wards closing, fewer nurses and complaints rising, perhaps an additional member of staff for each Trust is pushing it.

But what can be done, lets have a look.  Over the years some other activities have been cause for concern and they were or are being dealt with.

Cigarettes are bad for your health, so they are heavily taxed, advertising is virtually banned, plain wrapped cartons with explicit health warnings. Alcohol is bad for health, still heavily taxed and threat of minimum prices and buying offers to be banned to try to restrict binge drinking.

Now it is obesity, lets look at some causes, lack of exercise, bad diets and drinking. What more can be done about drinking, with the exception of banning it completely. Oh, just a minute, tried in the USA 1920-1933. Exercise, favourable taxes could be applied for Gym membership, but this would favour some of the rich (Labour and Lib Dems object) and no money available due to current financial circumstances of the country.

I know, what about banning or heavily taxing fast food, precedent set , see cigarettes and to some extent drinking. This is unlikely to affect the rich, therefore Tories may be in favour. But just a minute, what about the not so rich, Oh go ahead, does anyone care.

But obesity is a problem, but is mainly of ones own making, the only way for obesity to be tackled is for everyone who has an obesity problem, to want to over come it. But in the first instance, it may be convincing some people that they have an obesity problem.  Possibly a second is the thought that they have a right to be obese, if they so wish. Obesity will be a major problem for some time, possibly for ever, do you have the answer?

Now it is too much sugar

So The Royal College of Physicians needs to alter their thinking, an ‘Obesity Tzar’ is not required, just reduce sugar content.

But if sugar content is reduced, how will the food taste, we have all grown accustomed to the sweetish taste in our foods.

Lets face it, ingest too much of anything and it is in some way not good for you.

There are now so many answers to so few questions, so how do we know what to do?