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Obesity and its connection to Insulin and Leptin

I am watching an interesting video series regrding obesity being produced by the University of California and available via their YouTube channel called UCTV Prime. The series is called "The Skinny on Obesity" and they have a web site for the series at It is quite informative and offers another view on why and how we have become such an obese society over the last 40 years. And it presents an argument that goes against some of the more conventional wisdom regarding the topic.

And today, I read another article on The Daily Beast that discussed this very same theory, calling into question the general wisdom that we get fat because we consume too many calories and expend too few. If we could just control our impulses -- or at least control our environment, thereby removing temptation -- and push ourselves to exercise, we’d be fine. This logic is everywhere you look in the official guidelines, commentary, and advice. "The same amount of energy IN and energy OUT over time = weight stays the same," the NIH website counsels Americans, while the CDC site tells us, "Overweight and obesity result from an energy imbalance."

The alternative theory in this article and the video series -- one that has also been around for decades but that the establishment has largely ignored -- implicates specific foods—refined sugars and grains—because of their effect on the hormone insulin, which regulates fat accumulation. If this hormonal-defect hypothesis is true, not all calories are created equal, as the conventional wisdom holds. And if it is true, the problem is not only controlling our impulses, but also changing the entire American food economy and rewriting our beliefs about what constitutes a healthy diet.

The description of the video series speaks this clearly enough: "Is sugar a toxin that's fueling the global obesity epidemic? That's the argument UCSF's Dr. Robert Lustig made in "Sugar: The Bitter Truth," a 2009 UCTV video that's since gone viral and sparked a national dialogue. In "The Skinny on Obesity," a 7-part series from UCTV Prime, Dr. Lustig and two of his UCSF colleagues tease out the science behind this alarming claim and the dire threat it poses to global public health."

I am not doctor or scientist, but I have been doing some reading about all of this since starting my own journey to lose weight, become more fit, and no longer be characterized as "obese". I find the information presented in this article and video series to be very solid and credible.

I do not believe this absolves people from the personal responsibility to monitoring their food intake, portion sizes, and food choices. I believe that having this kind of information will help me make even better choices. If we understand the reasons why the body responds to the things we consume, and we are presented with alternatives that cause a different response, then we can be more successful in our journey towards a healthier person.

Take a read and watch the videos. There are four already available with another three to be pubished in upcoming weeks. I am going to be following this theory unfold and see if I can use this information to help me reach my goals.

Make up your own minds. Let me know what you think about the connection between insulin, leptin, and sugar in our diets. Does this make sense to you? Or do you think it is all 'bunk'?

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    Obesity and its connection to Insulin and Leptin - Blog - Rick Peete's Journey to Better Health

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