Are Conspiring Men…Making us Fat?

by: Mormon Heretic

July 8, 2013

Behold, verily, thus saith the Lord unto you: In consequence of aevils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of bconspiring men in the last days, I have cwarned you, and forewarn you, by giving unto you this word of wisdom by revelation—

That’s D&C 89:4 (emphasis mine).  While most of us think of tobacco and alcohol companies as the “conspiring men”, I wonder if there is another interpretation that we should look at.  Often left out of the discussion of the Word of Wisdom are the parts about healthy eating. From verse 11

Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with aprudence and bthanksgiving.

With modern farm techniques and global transportation, much of the fruits we eat can be eaten out of season.  We often get fruits from South America–so is this advice really necessary about being “in season”?

The Word of Wisdom also says that we should eat meat sparingly.  Let’s talk about meat eating.

12 Yea, aflesh also of bbeasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used csparingly;

13 And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be aused, only in times of winter, or of cold, or bfamine.

Who eats meat sparingly?  The Atkins Diet actually promotes meat eating.  Is it against the Word of Wisdom?

Modern farm techniques now prevent chickens and turkeys from wandering around.  They get fat faster if we restrict their movements.  At slaughter time, many chickens can’t walk because they are so fat (and tasty.)  Additionally, we feed corn to cows and prevent them from moving so they also get fat faster (and are much tastier, but less healthy to eat.)  You can see these techniques in action via Food, Inc as well as King of Corn (available at Netflix.)  While these farm techniques certainly help us produce food cheaper, faster, and tastier, it is more unhealthy for us.  Could these be considered the “conspiring men” of verse 4?  Maybe we should take this advice to eat meat sparingly more seriously?

On the other hand, I’ve recently lost 35 pounds using the HCG diet.  (Hawkgrrrl’s post at Wheat and Tares introduced me to the idea.)  In a nutshell, while you are taking your drops, you can only eat 500 calories per day, and your diet is severely limited.  You can pretty much eat as many fruits and vegetables as you want (though they limit those choices), and they encourage you to eat protein (usually via meat) every meal.  I found that a 4-5 ounce can of tuna for lunch, or 4 ounces of tilapia or shrimp helped me lose weight the best.  When I ate roast beef, hamburger, or steak, I just didn’t lose weight those days.  In some ways, I did feel that I was eating more meat than normal (though with 500 calories, I wasn’t eating much.)

I’m now one week into my maintenance phase–the most critical point.  For the past week, I’ve been trying to stick to a 1500 calorie diet.  HCG says that you still have to avoid sugar and bread during the first 2 weeks of the maintenance phase, and if you gain weight, you need to cut back on them.  Of course, my daughter celebrated her birthday, and I felt obligated to eat some cake (a no-no), but I was modest and didn’t gain any weight that day.  But a few days later, I’ve been yo-yo-ing up and down 4 pounds.  I find that if I go back to HCG diet foods (though I eat more fish than I did on my 500 calorie diet), I’m ok.  But if I eat more normally (minus bread) I’m back up.  I’m still trying to stabilize at my current weight.

But this whole thing about no carbs (and bread) is a huge turn off.  I like to eat sandwiches.  One day last week, I came home and my wife made pizza.  After I took a bite, she said, “I thought you weren’t supposed to eat bread.”  Arrrggggh!  I LOVE PIZZA!  But it also got me thinking about this piece of advice in the Word of Wisdom:

14 All agrain is ordained for the use of man and of beasts, to be the staff of life, not only for man but for the beasts of the field

So why am I gaining weight by eating bread?

Let’s look closer at verse 14:  beasts that eat corn seems to be against the Word of Wisdom (grain is for beasts, corn is not for beasts.)  As I mentioned earlier, grass fed cows are much leaner and healthier to eat than corn-fed cows.  Farmers in the King of Corn video freely admitted that it is good to slaughter the cows at 3-4 months of age because if they continued on a corn-fed diet, the cows would get sick and die.  Is it any wonder why humans get heart disease?  Once again, are these techniques related to the “conspiring men” mentioned in the Word of Wisdom?

With these types of problems, many people choose to go on a diet, which doesn’t seem to work in the long run.  Jon Gabriel, author of “The Gabriel Method” once weighed over 400 pounds, but he has kept the weight off.  In  Hungry For Change he talked about why diets don’t work.


Jon Gabriel

You can lose weight on a diet, but it’s a little bit like borrowing from Peter to pay Paul.  You can get 10 pounds off your body through sheer force, but you’re going to have to pay it back with interest.  You’ll pay back with 15 pounds because your body–every time you force yourself to lose weight, your body is going to want to have extra weight to protect you from a perceived famine and I lived through this.  I would lose 10 pounds, gain 15, lose 10 pounds, gain 15, until I gained over 200 pounds.

Jon demonstrating Accupressure

Jon demonstrating Accupressure

When I say I tried every diet, besides meeting face to face with Atkins, going to a Pritikan, naturopaths, homeopaths, acupuncture–I had these seeds taped to my ear from an acupuncturist, and they’re supposed to be like an acupressure point, so every time you’re hungry you’re supposed to press it.  I walked through the streets of New York, every time I’d smell pizza, I’d sit there and press these seeds in my ears.  This is what I lived with.

I really did work at it.  People think that overweight people are just weak and lazy and overindulgent.  I’m a very disciplined person, but I could not–when my body wanted to be fat, I could not lose the weight.”

Dr. Alejandro Junger, author of “Clean”, “I think we are barking up the wrong tree.  People are looking for a result that is superficial.  They’re looking just to look good.  They don’t really consider that could be done from the inside out.  So people go into diets and all these fads in order to lose weight and lose weight fast.  And that is not the way to approach it.  The results prove it.”

Gabriel, “You know we’re violating our bodies basic survival laws, over and over and over again.  The whole dieting paradigm is flawed.  Every diet comes out–every week there’s a new diet based on the idea that you can somehow force yourself to lose weight, and it’s flawed.  It’s based on a fundamental flaw that every time your force yourself to lose weight, your body will force yourself to gain weight.”

Daniel Vitalis, Wild Food expert, “So I think what happens is we set ourselves up for failure because yes you can manipulate the ratios of calories, you can manipulate the ratios of fat to protein to carbohydrate infinitely.  We keep seeing all these variations so I remember the high carbohydrate, low fat, and then it switched to let’s go to high protein, low carbohydrate, and then it switched to high fat, moderate carbohydrate–it just keeps switching around and all of these things have an effect because what you’re doing is restricting calories from people, or you’re manipulating the way their metabolism works.”

Gabriel, “And that’s why the Atkins Diet was so miserable for me because I was so addicted to carbs, you know to what I now call dead food.  I was so addicted to it that to try to go off that at the end of the day, it was just miserable.  What I used to do was I used to swap diets because the Atkins Diet is zero carbs, and then the Pritikin Diet is all carbs, you know, so my wife used to joke with me that I was on the Atkins Diet during the day, and the Pritikin Diet at night because I’d come home at the end of the day and couldn’t take going a whole day without carbs.  I had to have bread.”

Vitalis, “The definition of a diet is that the foods and organism habitually eats to sustain itself.  So what we’re talking about is a real diet in the sense of what a species eats.  When we get on to our real diet, we don’t have to think about these things anymore.  If we’re going to eat from that suite of foods that we get in the supermarket, we’re going to constantly have problems, we’re going to constantly have to monitor ourselves because these foods make you fat.

So if we look around the world we see human beings that have been able to inhabit the whole globe and they’ve been able to do it on a host of different foods…  From the extreme arctic where people ate almost exclusively animal fat and muscle and organ meats, to the jungle where people had access to far more fruits and far more plant material.  We see people thriving and people staying lean and healthy and avoiding degenerative disease and not putting on all that extra weight almost no matter what they eat.

Now, we are eating a diet that no longer resembles that, so it’s kind of like if we lived in a zoo.  If you put a human being in a zoo the way you put a chimpanzee in a zoo, well the question would be what do we feed that human being in the zoo?  Well we don’t feed chimpanzees in zoos Captain Crunch cereal, Twinkies and doughnuts, we feed them a diet that looks like the diet they eat in their ecosystem.  We sort of live in a zoo-like environment now–we live in this artificial environment, and unfortunately we’re not feeding ourselves the foods we’re biologically adapted to.”

So why do we crave certain foods, like chocolate.  Are they addictive?  Are companies purposely addicting us to bad food?  Hungry For Change has compared sugar to cocaine in its addictive qualities.

Jon Gabriel Before and After

Jon Gabriel Before and After

Gabriel, “I had very bad sleep apnea, I was borderline Type 2 Diabetic, elevated triglycerides and cholesterol.  I had worked with Dr. Atkins, the late Dr. Atkins face to face in New York and in the end the best thing he could do was yell at me for being so fat and because I was killing myself.  He goes, ‘What are you doing?  You’re killing yourself.’  And I thought to myself, ‘you sold 200 million copies of your book.  You think I’m going to lose weight because you’re mad at me?  Is that really the best you can do?’

So I was over 400 pounds and after I had that sort of epiphany and changed my focus from diet to finding the real reasons why my body wanted to be fat, I then went on to lose over 200 pounds.  I lost about 220 pounds over a two and a half year period, and that was 7 years ago.

A recent Radio West interview noted that food scientists are adding salt, sugar, and fat to food to not only make them taste better, but to make us crave them.    Hungry For Change continues,

Jason Vale, addiction specialist, “For me, the biggest cause of obesity, bar none, is addiction.  But to understand the level of addiction that we’ve got might be challenging for some, because of course people can understand the addiction to cigarettes because that now has been proven.  They can understand the addiction to alcohol, but with food people say look, I can stop eating but unfortunately, like the tobacco companies if you go back in the late 1960’s early 70s, and they knowingly added more nicotine to cigarettes in order to make them addictive.

I used to smoke 40-60 cigarettes in one day. Why did I?  One cigarette let to a chain reaction that then led to another one, and then another one, and then another one.  Now look.  I said to people look.  The reason why I smoke is because I enjoy it, because I love it, but I would hit my head on the pillow praying that I would become a non-smoker every day.   Every smoker on earth would love to not want cigarettes if they could.  There is an invisible prism if you will that captures people in a nicotine trap….

The way that cigarettes are addictive is much in the same way that certain foods are addictive.  They know why they shouldn’t do it, but they have no idea why they are doing it.

Mike Adams, Health Food Journalist, “The food companies engineer addictions, I believe into many of the foods.  ”

Dr. Joseph Mercola, physician, “The food industry is multi-billions, tens of millions of dollars and they have the wherewithal, and the science resources to really identify very carefully what appeals to the average consumer.  As a result of that they can use these chemical derivatives to create these concoctions which really taste quite good and can have an addictive component.


Vale, “If I was in the food industry, what do I do?  I want to sell you more food.  That’s all I want to do.  Now, how can I do that?  I can manipulate the chemical structure of their food so that now it becomes not fulfilling, but empty.  But gives the impression when they very first ingest it that it is the most fulfilling thing they’ve ever had.

Adams “We know that the food companies that many of their ingredients are very addictive, and the tobacco companies did it for decades, they’re still doing it.  If you addict a customer, you have a customer for life.  Food companies do much the same thing with different chemicals.  It’s not nicotine, it’s the msg, it’s the processed sugars, it’s the aspartame, it’s these other chemicals, but it’s the same idea.  It’s just like selling cigarettes.  You’re selling food that’s harmful, and you want to keep coming back, so you put in those chemicals that make them want it again and again.”

The movie then quotes Raymond Francis of MIT saying “msg and free glutamates are used to enhance flavor in 80% of all processed foods.”  Jon Gabriel goes on to say that the standard protocol to make mice fat is to feed them msg in order to find out what can be done with obese mice.  If it is known that msg makes mice fat, and humans also consume msg, is there any wonder that we have an obesity epidemic?

Sugar also is converted to fat in the body.  High Fructose corn syrup, invented by Japanese scientists as a very inexpensive sweetener in the 1970s, has replaced regular sugar which is much more expensive.  Hungry for Change quotes several people who compare sugar to cocaine for it’s addictive properties.  One man lost 100 pounds simply by cutting soda out of his diet.

Adams “When it comes to high fructose corn syrup, a lot of people don’t realize the dangers of refining and concentrating ingredients from a product….  So high fructose comes from corn, obviously, but it’s not natural because it’s so concentrated and so refined, it’s an isolated nutrient.

For example, cocaine is probably not good for your health, but it comes from the coca leaf, and coca leaf tea is perfectly safe for your health.  I drank it when I was hiking in the Andes Mountains in Venezuela, and it’s used throughout the culture there.  It’s a very important nutraceutical, medicinal plant that’s used throughout South America, and there’s no harm in drinking coca tea.  It’s not addictive, nothing like that.  But you wouldn’t want to snort cocaine from the highly refined coca tea.

Well, eating high fructose corn syrup in my view is a lot like snorting cocaine.  It is the highly refined, isolated, concentrated, chemically manipulated of something that’s found in corn and grown in corn….  But if you eat corn, it’s fine.  You’re not going to get that much high fructose corn syrup.”

Mercola, “The number one source of calories in the United States is fructose, and fructose is highly addictive.  In the 1900s the average person was exposed to about 15 grams of fructose, and fructose, another term for that is fruit sugar.  Of course it’s why most fruits are sweet.  Fructose in small amounts, 15-25 grams which is less than an ounce a day is probably ok and healthy, but the average person is 70-80 grams a day, and there are many kids, primarily teenagers who are taking 120-150 grams of fructose a day, literally 10 times the amount they were taking a century ago.  So when you abuse that type of sugar and when you have that exposure, it has a very severe metabolic consequences that can lead to these addictive processes and change brain chemistry and really make it very difficult to get out of this cycle where you have these food cravings and really addicted to food that’s not healthy.

These are the types of reasons that New York Mayor Bloomberg has tried to outlaw large soda drinks.  So you may think that diet drinks are the answer, right?  Well, not so fast.  They also state that sugar-free diet drinks actually increase a person’s appetite and cause them to eat more food.  Aspartame and Caffeine are a dangerous combination, and cause carbohydrate cravings.

So that takes me back to my HCG diet.  Was it a mistake for me to do it?  The diet says to do the drops for 40 days, then do maintenance for 40 days, then you can repeat if you want to lose another 20-30 pounds.  (I am still considered overweight by the BMI calculations, and I want to get to the middle of the “normal” range.  I also note that despite losing 35 pounds, nobody seems to have noticed that I’ve lost weight unless I tell them I have.)  When I finish, my pamphlet says

After the HCG diet, you will find your appetite has changed,  (Well, maybe a little, but I still miss carbs) your eating behavior will be changed and your body will of course, have changed.  This is the perfect opportunity to adopt that healthy lifestyle to maintain your weight.  You will find that some exercise will be sufficient for maintaining a very healthy body-from yoga, to 15 minutes of cardio a day, or whatever you enjoy, that gets your heart moving.  With your hypothalamus reset, your metabolism will be different and you will be able to eat moderately without feeling the need to overeat.  (I hope so, but is this marketing hype?)

Finally, I want to conclude with a few quotes from Jon Gabriel:

  • “You can be eating to your heart’s content.  You can eat 10,000 calories a day, and if you’re not getting the specific nutrients your body needs in a way that they can digest and assimilate, then you’re starving on a nutritional basis and as long as you’re starving on a nutritional basis, your body is going to stay hungry.”
  • “I can eat as much healthy food as I want without gaining weight.”
  • “It used to be that our diets were high in nutrients and low in calories.  Now our diets are high in calories and low in nutrients.”

Do you think that conspiring men are adding sugar, salt, and fat to make us more addicted to their products?  Is it a problem with self-control that has led to the obesity epidemic in the United States, or do food companies deserve some blame for the addictive qualities of the food they market?  Have you used HCG and kept the weight off for an extended period of time (more than a year or two)?

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22 Responses to Are Conspiring Men…Making us Fat?

  1. Hedgehog on July 8, 2013 at 2:04 AM

    I tend to agree with you. And the whole, what size do our bodies want to be (or why do they have the need to store) genetic inheritance is very interesting to me too.
    As someone who is overweight, I can point back to maternal grandmother, great-grandmother who both became quite rotund, but lived into their 80s. On the other hand paternal grandparents who were at one point seriously obese, and lost that weight, but who died relatively young.
    My husband eats more than twice as much as I do, yet stays slim.
    For myself, it’s as much as I can do to keep my weight static. I did try taking products with statin-like vegetable extracts, and they did help with weight loss, but with unfortunate side-effects for my joints (really painful – presumably suffering a loss of lubrication due to the lower fat absorbtion), and had to desist. My weight returned to it’s previous level, but thankfully not beyond. I try to remind myself that a stable weight is better than yoyoing.
    On account of my age, I was recently invited for a health check. Cholestrol and other blood fats were fine, I don’t ‘need’ statins. So clearly I do store fat efficiently (clear it out of the blood stream anyway). But my blood pressure was/is just that little bit too high. What’s left – more exercise, and salt reduction. Well, I was baffled because I walk most places, and haul the groceries back, as I don’t drive, and certainly use very little salt in cooking, I mean I last bought salt a few years ago, and haven’t used it much.
    So now I’m having to cycle vigorously several times a week to get that heart working harder, and am driven to examining the salt content in every purchase. Far too much seems to be added. And I would seem to be particularly sensitive to it. Blood pressure reduced marginally for that effort. Still, it’s early days. But the additional cardio-vascular exercise is not shifting any weight so far, which they tell me would be of great benefit to my blood pressure. It feels like I get to choose between overwight and elevated blood pressure, or skinny and athritic (and my mobility wouldn’t last long with the athritic element, so I don’t suppose the skinny would either).
    I tend to crave dairy products rather than carbohydrates: milk, cheese, butter, yoghurt, ice cream and milk chocolate. (I guess most of my salt intake could be the cheese!) So I try to make sure those things are all high quality. Certainly a small amount of the top quality product is much more satisfying than a lot of a poor quality product. I try to use only natural products for cooking, olive oil, butter (having been raised on those horrible hydrogenated vegetable fats that turned out to be *much worse* than butter – all those trans-fats, whilst being promoted as healthy). Also I crave vegetables and salads and eat masses of them. I like a fair amount of protein but try to go for free range meats. I don’t like too much carbohydrate. And in writing this I both appreciate and cringe at my privilege, at being able to afford to be so picky.
    I do think many of us are probably lacking in trace elements that would once have been found in foods, and that could fuel many of our cravings. (I once heard chocolate craving was linked to magnesium deficiency for instance – but that was so long ago I remember little about it).
    I also heard a very interesting radio program a few years ago about the science of taste. And how snack companies use this in designing their products; deliberately making them more-ish, so that we keep eating in a subconscious effort to complete a taste experience that will never be completed with that product. Ouch. So yes, conspiring men.

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  2. SilverRain on July 8, 2013 at 5:19 AM

    Conspiracies? Try the diet gurus and the BMI.

    Amy diet with a name attached is probably a bad idea. You want to be healthy? Make your own meals from basic ingredients, include plenty of natural fiber (especially on veggies,) drink water most of the time, and learn how to listen to your body and stop eating when you’re full (not stuffed.)

    Oh, and get rid of your scale.

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  3. SilverRain on July 8, 2013 at 5:20 AM

    *Any diet.

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  4. Hedgehog on July 8, 2013 at 5:56 AM

    SilverRain; “Conspiracies? Try the diet gurus and the BMI.”
    I’d certainly agree with you on that one.

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  5. Jack Hughes on July 8, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    When we had this lesson in Sunday School a few weeks back, it caused some heated arguments that divided the class. In one camp were the mostly sedentary, middle-aged and older folks (led by a particularly strident, somewhat corpulent former bishop) who asserted that their food choices were personal, and that individuals should not be judged by what (or how much) they choose to eat. Meanwhile, the other group (mainly younger, fitter folks) maintained that the Word of Wisdom (and its modern interpretations) does not give license to stuff one’s face with abandon, and obese individuals are disobedient to commandments. Someone even floated the idea (half-sarcastically, mind you) that bishops and SPs should be checking BMIs and body fat percentages as part of the temple recommend renewal process, effectively excluding the obese from temple privileges.

    While that might be a tad excessive, I think it is shameful that we as a church haven’t been taking the lead in the fight against obesity and diabetes, especially being bound to live by a code of health as we are.

    Alcohol and tobacco are naturally addictive substances. Manufactured snack foods and soft drinks, however, are specifically engineered to be addictive. Conspiracy? You bet. Several evil (or at least, indifferent) men are amassing vast fortunes by robbing millions more of their agency and sentencing them to early deaths.

    In the history and culture of our church, we have managed to draw a very hard line in the sand about things like alcohol and tobacco use. But it is still a matter of “personal choice” if one prefers to frequently replace balanced meals with junk food, eat excessively, and avoid regular physical activity.

    There is tragic irony in getting Word of Wisdom lessons from a man who exceeds 350 lbs and has a severe case of type II diabetes, yet still eats donuts without remorse.

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  6. Jeff Spector on July 8, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    While I subscribe to the theory that our dear friends, the mulitnational food companies are manulating the food supply for their own gain, I would never say that they are “robbing millions of their agency. Even an addiction begins with a choice.

    But, it seems apparent that our engineered and tainted food supply is contributing to more health problems such as obesity, diabetes, autism, food alergies and may otehr things.

    Unfortunately, the WoW has become a “don’t” list rather than a “do” list.

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  7. Mormon Heretic on July 8, 2013 at 4:04 PM

    Jeff, to a point I agree with you, but I ask you to look at baby food. Even the vegetables have sugar in them. So you have a parent, thinking he/she is being a good parent feeding their infant vegetables, but they didn’t check the label to see if it has msg or sugar in it. Is this really a choice for the infant that they are ingesting diabetes inducing sugar cravings?

    On my HCG diet, the instructions said to avoid salad dressing because it has sugar in it. I had no idea that salad dressing has sugar. Are adults really using their agency if sugar is added to everything, even things that one wouldn’t expect sugar to be in? I mean Super Size Me said that a “healthy” McDonalds salad has as many calories as the “unhealthy” big mac. Is it fair to say that we are using our agency when these seemingly healthy choices aren’t all that healthy?

    Yes there are conspiring men that want to addict us to junk food, but even the conspiring men at the grocery store want us to buy their sugar-laden salad dressing. I mean of course it tastes better, but the cost is obesity, even when we think we’re eating healthy.

    Then we have to struggle with “fresh” produce, full of pesticides. Organic produce has been shown to have salmonella and e coli. Are we to become farmers again and grow our own produce, which is still subject to spoilage? Who has the time to weed the garden? My wife loves a garden, but I’d rather spend my time not weeding.

    It makes me shake my head and feel that nothing is good to eat. It is easy to see that Twinkies makers are conspiring men, but not so easy to see that Kraft Foods Salad Dressing also has conspiring men.

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  8. Jettboy on July 8, 2013 at 4:42 PM

    Isn’t there a Bible qoute of Jesus not to fear those who kill the body, but those who can destroy the soul?

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  9. el oso on July 8, 2013 at 5:39 PM

    Yes, they are trying to addict us and make us fat. Is it because they are “evil” drug pushers? No, they are capitalists and many do not think of addiction or health consequences, they just want to improve the bottom line.

    The mayor is trying to ban large soda drinks in NYC, but corporate change would almost require national action. Hey, the farm bill is being debated in Congress right now. Everyone contact your local rep and ask them to sponsor an amendment to restrict food stamp use to healthy, unprocessed foods. That would solve so many problems (Obamacare would have less justification with a healthy population), but right now that bill is ridiculous fantasy.
    The alternative is to change your lifestyle and eating choices. If you do, the destroying angel of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, etc. might pass you by.

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  10. Jeff Spector on July 8, 2013 at 9:52 PM


    Not that I am an example of healthy eating by any stretch, but one can assume that everything that comes from a bottle, can or other packaging has sugar and/or salt and/or preservatives. the organic produce market has become something of a joke from a commercial standpoint as the so-called corporate growers do the least possible to have their produce called organic and then charge an arm and a leg. the local guys are probably more trustworthy.

    Grow your own.

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  11. Jeff Spector on July 8, 2013 at 9:54 PM

    BTW, I’ll check out that diet. If it works, i might try it.

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  12. Hedgehog on July 9, 2013 at 1:37 AM

    #7 MH,
    That’s such a good point about baby foods, and also what we feed our children. I see so many small children eating processed salty snack foods. I know, quite a number of years ago now, when I was at the baby food stage with my children I was appalled by how many were bulked out with cornflour. I was really picky about baby foods for my children. And, as babies, I refused to give them anything sweet at all. (I was so mean maybe!)

    #2 SilverRain: “learn how to listen to your body and stop eating when you’re full (not stuffed.)”
    Missed this the first time around. It’s a good point. In Britan at least, my generation are the children of the baby boomers (who themselves experienced the post WW2 rationing which went on for many years), and the attitude was: eat what’s on your plate and be grateful for it (because they themselves had had an enforced restricted diet). Plus you didn’t get the treat/desert without finishing the savoury course. Listening to our bodies was absolutely trained out of us. I tried not to do that to my children, don’t usually provide desert, and my daughter especially is very good at saying: actually I don’t want that, I’m full. I still tend not to recognise it until it’s too late…

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  13. Mike S on July 9, 2013 at 8:15 AM

    #2: SilverRain: Conspiracies? Try the diet gurus and the BMI.

    Whether the BMI is a “conspiracy” or not is completely missing the point. It is merely a tool to measure trends in our society. Consider the following map and it is SHOCKING: CDC obesity trends. Scroll down a bit to the map that changes color by year.

    This is essentially the same population – the same genetics – the same starting point. The big difference is what is outlined in the OP – our food. As a country, we can talk about whether BMI is the best measure, or whether it is something else, but the reality is that using the same scale over the past 2 decades, we have become staggeringly obese.

    And there are very real costs to this. The need for a knee replacement in someone with a BMI over 35 is almost 10 TIMES more than someone of a normal weight. Obesity is directly and unequivocally related to sleep apnea, strokes, heart disease, diabetes, etc. The increased costs to our country for things directly related to obesity is nearly $200 BILLION a year. This could more than pay for the estimated $160 billion annual cost of “Obamacare” – ie. we could insure all of the uninsured.

    With regards to this being a Mormon-themed blog, it is supremely ironic that, as mentioned by Jack in comment #5, someone can be morbidly obese yet look “down upon” someone else for not following our “code of health” – as we like to term the Word of Wisdom – for having a glass of red wine. The reality is that the Word of Wisdom, as currently lived and interpreted, is not as much about health per se, but about cultural markers to set us apart from other people. If it were truly about health, we would actually eat meat sparingly, would be ok with a beer now and then (a mild barley drink), and would all eat much differently than we do. And BMI would actually be a better measure than if we drank a glass of wine.

    Nice post about an expanding problem (pun intended). And congrats on your efforts so far.

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  14. Llenrad on July 9, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    I have really struggled with accepting the WOW more and more over the last few years. I seemed to be more OK with it when I re-read that grains were to be used in times of famine or excess hunger. It made sense. Grains store well, but are not healthy for regular consumtion.

    A few months back is when my doubts crept back in. In no way are grains good for farm animals (herbavores).

    LDS Anarchist has an article on how the WOW is actually designed to make us weak and unhealthy on purpose so we must rely on the strength of the Lord. This even goes for feeding our animals diets they are not adapted to.

    I’m not sure I can buy it, but other than ignoring the WOW, I don’t see how else we can explain the bad science concerning grains.

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  15. Rigel Hawthorne on July 10, 2013 at 2:48 PM

    All grain is ordained for the use of man and of beasts, to be the staff of life

    A friend of mine suggested looking at it this way…the staff of life is like a walking stick, intended to help someone stand who can’t stand on their own. Herbs (vegetables) could be looked at as the ‘legs of life’. So as suggested above, the staff of life (grain) might be needed when life is challenged (famine/off season–perhaps), but the legs of life should be herbs (vegetables) always.

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  16. Rigel Hawthorne on July 10, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    By the way,

    I have just broken my blender from the last 6 months of daily creation of morning ‘green smoothies’ out of leafy greens, vegetable stalks, fruits and ground flaxseed meal. I never thought I could find vegetables appetizing as a breakfast food, but love spinach, kale and other greens with breakfast smoothies now. And I got my HDL cholesterol to go from 42 to 52 with the added omega 3. Now to get a bigger/better blender.

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  17. natebergin on July 10, 2013 at 4:54 PM

    “Conspiring men” is one way to look at agribusiness I suppose, and it is the term the Lord uses.

    But I think all of these negative practices are the natural fruit of a capitalist system. Businesses can’t be blamed for trying to survive in a competitive environment, to put food on their own tables, and keep their companies from going bankrupt.

    Socialist government practices are responsible to bridle the passions of capitalism, as the Netherlands does amazingly: highly subsidized local food, which is then marketed for convenience, using capitalist principles. The result: an incredible selection of convenient, pre-packaged and sliced vegitable and fruit combinations to be used in stir-frys, salads, and other popular dishes, and all fairly inexpensive nonetheless.

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  18. Douglas on July 11, 2013 at 8:11 PM

    MH, great post! I’ll weigh in with some bona fide commentary later when I’m using my PC that has Dragon (lifesaver for someone with arthritis). Moderator(s), I give permission to give contact info to Mike S, there’s medical info that I’m willing to share with him for purposes of commentary on this subject but it’s both confidential and too lengthy for this thread. I’m a bariatric patient who lost a considerable amount of weight and my insights will hopefully help others. Thanks

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  19. Douglas on July 12, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    “Two of my fave scriptures come to mind on this topic: D&C 29:34 and D&C 58:26. The first b/c it answers that question posed by one of me fave balladeers: George Thorogood (Who do ya love?).

    A barometer of our spirituality is the way we show love for Deity, for others, but just as important, for ourselves. We care for our bodies b/c we appreciate what Heavenly Father and Mother have given us. Our love for our families impels us to maintain our health so at least we don’t burden them. An extreme example of this concept is in SM Siirling’s “Domination” series, where able-bodied Citizens, even those somewhat eldery, keep themselves honed to levels of fitness,strength, and muscle definition that would challenge a Navy Seal, not merely due to being reservists ready at a moment’s notice, but also out of a sense of familial honor. Lastly, is not maintaining one’s fitness an act of self-love? Not necessarily narcissism, and I’ve too much of that, but self-respect.

    The second scripture I mention b/c there was mention of withholding a temple recommend due to obesity. I hope it was said tongue-in-cheek and not meant to be serious. I find it disconcerting that members who’ve received the gift of the Holy Ghost would presume to judge their fellow Saints that struggle with managing their weight. I know of no specific revelation or instructions to Priesthood leaders to judge temple worthiness on the basis of weight (mis)management. So why the need to heap on additional commandments? A notion that obesity is simply a result of gluttony or indiscipline still persists in society, and is found among the Saints, especially leadership. The factors leading to obesity are complicated and varied, probably as many as obese persons. We should proactively manage our health not b/c we fear God’s wrath, but b/c we respect ourselves and want to reap the benefits of health.

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  20. Douglas on July 13, 2013 at 6:08 PM

    To elaborate further on the OP “are CONSPIRING men causing us to be fat?” Well I suppose evily-disposed men pour over CDC data on obesity and deliberate on how Americans may let out their belts even further. Or perhaps it’s nothing more than the sum of collective individual choices. Employing “Occam’s razor”, which would you think?

    Certainly the interests of the foods industry, particularly the fast food sector, doesn’t necessarily coincide with the best nutritional needs of most Americans. The Libertarian in me says that it’s the inalienable right of Americans to shovel down their gullets whatever crap they’re willing to pay for. This, of course, runs at odds with virtually any socialized medicine scheme, to definitely include Medicare and Medicaid, and also “ObamaCare” when it’s implemented. An interesting discussion of freedom of choice versus social costs.

    It’s one thing for a school district to yank vending machines selling the sugar (or high fructose corn syrup) water and to review school meal menus. That’s a legitimate function of the schools when acting as surrogate parents. It’s another when the mayor of a city presumes to dictate to restaurants or other vendors what size servings of soda pop they may sell. That couldn’t be a better example of the intrusive Nanny state, its beneficent intent notwithstanding.

    This is where I like D&C 58:26. We’ve been taught correct principles and should be able to employ our minds with the guidance of the Holy Ghost to make wise choices. We should not need to have further commandments and laws heaped upon us to properly manage our lives.

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  21. SilverRain on July 15, 2013 at 5:29 AM

    Mike S, I don’t think you read the article I linked to. The BMI is a scale that has been used for some time, but the interpretation of the numbers has shifted. Read the article, it’s really quite good.

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  22. Stephen R. Marsh on July 15, 2013 at 7:16 PM

    I’d spend some time over at

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