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Do Antibiotics Contribute To Obesity?

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the what-about-if-you-take-them-with-a-giant-chocolate-shake dept.

Medicine 252

sciencehabit writes "Farmers have long used antibiotics to make cows, pigs, and turkeys gain weight faster. Now, scientists claim that receiving antibiotics early in life may also make children grow fat (abstract). The researchers believe the drugs change the composition of the bacterial population in the gut in a crucial developmental stage that may have a long-lasting impact."

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252 comments

No. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41086299)

nt

They Do, Just Not By Much (5, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | about a year and a half ago | (#41086379)

No.

That's not exactly right. I read NPR's coverage of this earlier today [npr.org] and vastly prefer their title and interpretation of results:

Could Antibiotics Be A Factor In Childhood Obesity?

It turns out that it's a factor but it's likely a small factor quoting an expert from the NPR coverage:

"Although the effect was small on an individual level," Dr. Leonardo Trasande, the lead pediatrician on the study, tells Shots, "we predict that that this rise in body mass would increase the overweight population in the U.S. by about 1.6 percent."

And to summarize, this is not some over hyped stop using antibiotics trash, the conclusion is:

"We're not saying that children with severe infections shouldn't be treated with antibiotics," Blaser says. These findings just reinforce our need for judicious use of them.

Sounds pretty reasonable to me.

Re:They Do, Just Not By Much (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41086437)

If anyone needs a reason for judicious use of antibiotics beyond "could create a drug-resistant super-bug that brings about the zombie apocalypse", then that person deserves some MRSA to the face.

Re:They Do, Just Not By Much (-1, Troll)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a year and a half ago | (#41086483)

Sadly their interpretation is not what I expect to be hearing soon in my (liberal-biased) community. Instead, I'll hear something like "See? This is one more reason not to use antibiotic cleanser in my bathroom, even when sick! And I'll keep my kids far away from the hospital, because they use antibiotics everywhere!"

Sensational journalism is a disservice to the research it presents. Kudos to NPR for trying to keep things level-headed.

Re:They Do, Just Not By Much (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41086513)

There is no need to use antibiotic cleanser in your bathroom unless you plan on performing surgery in there..

Re:They Do, Just Not By Much (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41086583)

Indeed. Antibacterial is a-okay; I use bleach derivative, personally. Antibiotic? Who the hell would do that?

Re:They Do, Just Not By Much (1, Informative)

teg (97890) | about a year and a half ago | (#41086769)

Indeed. Antibacterial is a-okay; I use bleach derivative, personally. Antibiotic? Who the hell would do that?

Actually, antibacterial isn't too good either - you create bacterial communities of resistant bacteria [wikipedia.org]. Use of antibiotics and antibacterial should be avoided when it's not strictly needed, so that it continues to work when it is [guardian.co.uk].

Re:They Do, Just Not By Much (1)

RMingin (985478) | about a year and a half ago | (#41086891)

Resistant to bleach? Really? Did you even read the post you're replying to?

Re:They Do, Just Not By Much (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about a year and a half ago | (#41087543)

If full animals can develop immunities to large quantities of arsenic in a few hundred years then bacteria can develop a bleach immunity in no time at all.

Re:They Do, Just Not By Much (1)

RMingin (985478) | about a year and a half ago | (#41087635)

Right, just like the Jews developed resistance to Xyklon-B, or how the victims of the Spanish Inquisition developed resistance to fire and trauma.

Some things just don't develop resistance the same way.

Re:They Do, Just Not By Much (1)

sexconker (1179573) | about a year and a half ago | (#41087997)

Resistant to bleach? Really? Did you even read the post you're replying to?

Bacteria, virii, molds, etc. can and do develop resistances to bleach, alcohol, fire, radiation etc.

Re:They Do, Just Not By Much (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about a year and a half ago | (#41087205)

The GP is using antibacterial in it's literal sense. Bleach is antibacterial. However, many things that are labelled "antibacterial" use antibiotics, which can lead to resistance.

Re:They Do, Just Not By Much (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about a year and a half ago | (#41086903)

Overuse of antibiotics and antibiotic cleaners is merely creating creating superbacteria. They kill 99.9% of germs, but the 0.1% left behind proliferate and carry their immunity to the next generation. It's like evolution in action..... in your bathroom.

Re:They Do, Just Not By Much (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41087141)

Sadly their interpretation is not what I expect to be hearing soon in my (liberal-biased) community. Instead, I'll hear something like "See? This is one more reason not to use antibiotic cleanser in my bathroom, even when sick!"

Sounds good to me. They're doing the right thing for the wrong reason, but it is better than doing the wrong thing for the wrong reason.

I have two friends who are experts in the area - one who currently research on the effects of antibiotic resistance in medical context, another who is a food microbiologist and worked with research on food preservatives for two decades (and has a PhD on it) and now is a pensioner, but somewhat active. I've talked to both of them about antibiotic soaps. Both says that antibiotic soaps are pointless and very mildly harmful. Just use bleach if you need to sterilize (very little risk of cross-mutations), and otherwise use normal soap. I asked the medical microbiologist about whether this was an effect that was dangerous in the large (as the soaps contribute to creating antibiotic resistance), but he thought thought it wasn't an important source of antibiotic resistance overall, and more likely to be a problem for the families that use it than create an overall antibiotic resistance.

Of course, if you do this just as you're ill, you're doing it just at the time when you're likely to create your own personal antibiotic-resistant strain of something that *do* infect humans, so it's the worst possible time to do it.

And I'll keep my kids far away from the hospital, because they use antibiotics everywhere!"

Reasonable advice if you can keep to it, especially for hospitals in areas where the medical profession is careless about prescribing antibiotics. A hospital is for when you really need it.

Don't get me wrong: I think antibiotics are fantastic drugs - in fact, I think they are the best drugs ever invented. I just think they're being abused in most of the world, and that this is unfortunate - it risks destroying their usefulness, for no benefit whatsoever, and with some immediate harm (an antibiotic cure will upset your natural bacterial fauna). If we keep people from demanding antibiotics when they're not needed (and therefore decrease the amount of prescriptions when they're not needed) because people are afraid of getting fat, that's a good effect.

Sensational journalism is a disservice to the research it presents. Kudos to NPR for trying to keep things level-headed.

I concur. Just be careful in both directions.

Re:They Do, Just Not By Much (4, Interesting)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year and a half ago | (#41087331)

It turns out that it's a factor but it's likely a small factor quoting an expert from the NPR coverage:

"Although the effect was small on an individual level," Dr. Leonardo Trasande, the lead pediatrician on the study, tells Shots, "we predict that that this rise in body mass would increase the overweight population in the U.S. by about 1.6 percent."

It's not even a matter of the size of the overweight population, IMO. I think it's more a matter of the types of obesity we're seeing. It is common to see people who have gone way beyond "fat" or "obese" and have moved well into the category of comic book science-experiment-gone-wrong fat. I was looking at some family pictures going back to the Eisenhower Administration -weddings and stuff- and some photos from Riverview Amusement Park (which closed in the '60s), and while there are fat people there, you don't see the Jabba-size, extra blubbery, gunt-fat that you see today. People are fat now in places they were never fat before. Rolls on the neck and in the upper-arm and their ankles and along the sides of their heads. Slabs of fat along the tops of the feet that cover the shoes. Chins and jowls that lay outside the collar like blubber lapels. Hands that look like catchers' mitts. Butts bigger around than an innertube from a semi. Curtains of blubber from the shoulder to beneath the back of the armpit that look like they might be some kind of navigation flaps on a deep ocean creature.

If you ride the bus or walk down a busy street in a less-affluent area, you're going to see people today who would never have been seen in 1955 outside of a circus. There's a website where they show pictures from side-shows of the 40's and 50's and the fattest of the fat person exhibitions were smaller than folks you'll see every single day. Go over to Wal-Mart right now and just walk around the grocery section for 10 minutes if you don't believe me.

This isn't normal fat any more. There's something else going on. You cannot get that fat just by having an extra cheeseburger or too many oreo cookies. This is lab-accident fat. Freak fat.

I'm pretty sure we'll learn sometime in the next few years that there are some specific industrial pollutants (some which are probably common ingredients in processed foods) that are causing this strange effect. It can't be from overeating alone. There have always been people who overeat, but there were never the kind of mutant-looking fat people who are so common today.

Re:They Do, Just Not By Much (3, Insightful)

alexander_686 (957440) | about a year and a half ago | (#41087863)

The answer, like all good scientific answers, is maybe – with many different avenues. There is a feedback loop between antibiotics, obesity, and nutation that we are just figuring out.

For a better article, go to the Economist’s “Me, Myself, US”. There are a lot of other good articles out there. http://www.economist.com/node/21560523 [economist.com]. The NPR Article is only a small part of the beginning of the bigger question on how we interact with our friendly bacteria.

Feed cows antibiotics and you change their gut flora – change the gut flora and you change how fast they can put on weight.

Or better yet, take a look at fat mice/humans and skinny mice humans – they have different gut flora and thus different nutritional profiles (production of vitamins, storage of fat, etc.). Swap skinny/fat and the gut flora follows. Swap gut flora and the nutritional profile follows.

Re:No. (1)

ElmoGonzo (627753) | about a year and a half ago | (#41086431)

I'm inclined to agree. IF they do, I can offer a counter-example where they didn't. My son had a series of ear infections during the 1st year of his life and was on antibiotics almost continually from 3 months to 9 months. He also had a serious problem with allergy-induced bronchial infections as well as the odd case of Scarlet Fever. At 23 he's what most people would call "skinny".

Re:No. (5, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | about a year and a half ago | (#41086459)

The plural of "anecdote" is not "data". And for that matter, neither is the singular.

More to the point (1)

reiisi (1211052) | about a year and a half ago | (#41088273)

There are other things in this particular anecdote which are known to negatively affect weight gain in both children and adults.

(In anecdotes, such contributing factors are often overlooked and/or hidden, which is a big part of the reason why anecdotes, even from people you trust, are hard to integrate with data.)

Re:No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41086493)

I think you just got nailed to the anecdote cross. Next time you'll feel the pain before lighting up the keyboard big boy.

Brilliant! (2)

eldavojohn (898314) | about a year and a half ago | (#41086563)

I'm inclined to agree. IF they do, I can offer a counter-example where they didn't. My son had a series of ear infections during the 1st year of his life and was on antibiotics almost continually from 3 months to 9 months. He also had a serious problem with allergy-induced bronchial infections as well as the odd case of Scarlet Fever. At 23 he's what most people would call "skinny".

Wow, massive sample set there, Elmo, with impeccable use of controls and a double blind study. If you read the actual research, this is talking primarily about childhood obesity so your son's weight at age 23 is particularly useless at this juncture -- he could well be eating tubs of greek yogurt daily for all I know. From the article:

Those who had been treated with antibiotics in the first 6 months of their lives had a higher chance of being overweight at 10, 20, and 38 months of age.

Notice that they don't go into year 23. From another article [npr.org]:

we predict that that this rise in body mass would increase the overweight population in the U.S. by about 1.6 percent.

So at the time of taking antibiotics, this study says that your infant son could have had a slight increase in body weight that would probably not put him into the overweight category. Where he went from there was up to your parenting and his dietary and active habits.

Me, on the other hand, I chained my children to an I-beam in the basement and force-fed them industrial grade lard all day for 10 years until I had to bury them in piano boxes but I didn't give them antibiotics and this proves that antibiotics are not linked to a slight increase in weight.

Flamebait? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41087699)

What the fuck? Since when is pointing out logical fallacies flamebait?

Re:No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41086791)

Most people in the States?...

If so, that could still mean he's overweight.

Re:No. (1)

Spy Handler (822350) | about a year and a half ago | (#41086449)

To expand on AC's short (but correct) answer, no because there are nations where people take antibiotics more often than they take baths or change underwear, where no prescription is needed, and America is fatter than all of them. U.S. is actually quite strict (relatively speaking) on the use of antibiotics.

And whatever happened to personal responsibility? Why must there be an external source of blame for one's obesity (or poverty or stupidity or...)? You're fat cus you ate too much. Not because the evil industry forced corn syrup on you or the 1% took all the good food for themselves or whatever.

Re:No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41086569)

because there are nations where people take antibiotics more often than they take baths or change underwear, where no prescription is needed, and America is fatter than all of them. U.S. is actually quite strict (relatively speaking) on the use of antibiotics.

Except that what's being suggested is that antibiotics are a contributing factor, not that they automagically make people fat. It's entirely possible, for example, that those other nations you allude to are simply far enough ahead of the US in other ways (diet and exercise being the most obvious) that it more than makes up for the higher use of antibiotics. It's not as simple as you're making it out to be.

And whatever happened to personal responsibility?

It got picked up by people like you to use as a club with which to whack strawmen.

Can make them lose weight so why not? (3, Interesting)

Ameryll (2390886) | about a year and a half ago | (#41086355)

My horse is currently on Doxycycline for Lyme Disease and she lost ~100lbs in 4 days as a result. So if it can make her lose weight by throwing off her gut's bacteria I can certainly see it going the other way as well.

Farm Animals (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41086387)

Farmers use antibiotics on cows, pigs, and turkeys because they can't digest corn properly which leads to excessive gut bacteria (the corn diet makes them gain weight), and due to the unhealthy living conditions of shoving hundreds to thousands of animals together in a cramped warehouse.

Re:Farm Animals (3, Funny)

mekkab (133181) | about a year and a half ago | (#41086439)

Since 2006-ish I've eaten nothing but locally raised, grass fed beef/chicken/pork. And lots of it. And I'm still fat.

Re:Farm Animals (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41086603)

Chicken labeled as "fed vegetarian diet" is amusing on at least a couple levels.
1) A true chickens eat bugs, insects, et al.
2) I'm going to eat it!

Re:Farm Animals (5, Funny)

Nos. (179609) | about a year and a half ago | (#41086665)

Perhaps you should try eating some fruits and vegetables as well.

Re:Farm Animals (3, Informative)

demonlapin (527802) | about a year and a half ago | (#41086871)

I was 275 pounds on March 13 this year. I'm now at 225 and still falling. If you haven't tried it before, and there isn't a medical reason you should not, I would really strongly recommend you try a low carb plan for a month. Don't even weigh. Just go buy yourself an item of clothing that is just a little too small (cheap end of season deals on t shirts and shorts) and see how much looser it gets in that month.

It's not for everyone, and some GI disturbance is normal in the first week or two. But it works for me, very well, and it works because I'm never forced to be hungry. If I want food, I eat something from my list (which is actually pretty extensive, even with some pretty extreme carb limits of < 10 g/day). My long term plan is to stay off all the sugars and starches, eating a more or less paleo type diet (carbs come from veggies and fruits only), and I'm basically cool with never eating sugar/starch on a regular basis ever again. Why? Because this has transformed my life. I'm 37, I've almost always struggled with weight, and this has been pure magic to me. So if you haven't, give it a shot. And stay away from all the processed crap that is being sold in the Atkins name. It's processed crap. Have a couple of chicken breasts tossed in Buffalo wing sauce and served on some nice green leaf lettuce with a little Ranch dressing instead. That whole meal has less than 5 g carbs.

IAAD, IANYD, this isn't medical advice. Just personal experience. But it's an amazing experience.

Re:Farm Animals (1)

demonlapin (527802) | about a year and a half ago | (#41086977)

I should have specified: when I say GI disturbance, I mean that your GI tract will be the vehicle by which you rid yourself of a lot of water weight early on. Don't trust that sensation that feels like a little air needs out until you're used to it, or it could be messy. Not a good thing to start while traveling, for the same reason.

Re:Farm Animals (2)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about a year and a half ago | (#41087247)

Sounds wonderful. I think I'll stick to running, the gym and my kayak.

Wait... (1)

tlambert (566799) | about a year and a half ago | (#41087927)

Sounds wonderful. I think I'll stick to running, the gym and my kayak.

I can see running in the gym; how do you run in a kayak?

Re:Wait... (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about a year and a half ago | (#41088081)

Strange, I don't see the word "in" anywhere in my post. Have you had your coffee today?

Re:Farm Animals (1)

demonlapin (527802) | about a year and a half ago | (#41088211)

Hey, whatever works for you. I tried a lot of things. This worked. A week of pooping water vs losing 50 pounds without being hungry or portion controlling...

Re:Farm Animals (1)

lasvegasseo (2708229) | about a year and a half ago | (#41088149)

Worked well for my roommate. He dropped 20 pounds in 1 1/2 months after ditching the carbs. Works well for most people.

Re:Farm Animals (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41086887)

Try cutting out the cupcakes and bread. Go paleo, cut out all grains, eat only vegetables, meat, fatty meat, organ meat, and a bit of fruit. I am fairly sure you'd not be fat after two years on such a diet. Not kidding either so don't mod me funny.

Re:Farm Animals (2)

PeanutButterBreath (1224570) | about a year and a half ago | (#41087097)

Try cutting out the cupcakes and bread. Go paleo, cut out all grains, eat only vegetables, meat, fatty meat, organ meat, and a bit of fruit. I am fairly sure you'd not be fat after two years on such a diet. Not kidding either so don't mod me funny.

Or keep the bread, eat mostly real* food and get a few active hobbies. If you can get in good enough shape to maintain a high level of physical activity and find ways to make that physical activity enjoyable, you can eat all of the cupcakes you'll want (made with real ingredients, not that processed crap).

All this is assuming no other medical abnormalities.

*Avoid foods made by faceless, profit driven strangers.

Re:Farm Animals (1)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about a year and a half ago | (#41087203)

As far I know chickens do not eat grass (even if it force fed, I am not certain they can survive on it). Are you sure about that?

Re:Farm Animals (3, Informative)

berashith (222128) | about a year and a half ago | (#41086675)

yup. the antibiotics are to correct the improper diet, not to cause weight gain. The prophylactic use is just bad, but the fact that these medicines are given to all livestock even when they are not sick yet is only because they will get sick eventually. The feed lots have nothing to do with healthy conditions.

Re:Farm Animals (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year and a half ago | (#41086867)

Being packed in together hip deep in their own waste doesn't have anything to do with healthy conditions? We should subject you to the same and see how long you last.

Re:Farm Animals (1)

cffrost (885375) | about a year and a half ago | (#41087627)

Being packed in together hip deep in their own waste doesn't have anything to do with healthy conditions? We should subject you to the same and see how long you last.

I'm not certain berashith was saying what you think he was saying. I would be if he'd said that feedlots have nothing to do with unhealthy conditions. Either way, I believe it would be more useful and ethical to not subject livestock to hostile living conditions than to begin subjecting humans to them.

Oh goody. (2, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a year and a half ago | (#41086397)

Just what we need... yet another anti-medicine headline. I'll go ahead and invoke the rule [wikipedia.org]: No.

Look, parents... it's not the antibiotics making your kids fat, it's you feeding them too much, then telling them to clean their plate because kids in Africa are starving. It's not the antibiotic-resistant superbugs making your kids sick, it's the day care center and school you send them to with myriad other kids and their bacterial cornucopia. It's not the vaccines giving your kids learning disabilities, it's the school's beancounters putting pressure on the psychiatrist to get those special-education dollars.

It's not that hard to live a healthy and decent life: Do not do anything to excess, and listen to what your body wants. When it wants rest, rest. When it wants exercise, do something active. When it wants food, eat. Do nothing more than what's reasonable, and do nothing less than what's sufficient.

Re:Oh goody. (1)

Ameryll (2390886) | about a year and a half ago | (#41086441)

As I understood the article: The big piece in the article that makes me skeptical is they that tested their mice antibiotic group while still on the antibiotics. That means that the mice had a weight change while on antibiotics, but it did not show whether that continued in the long term after the antibiotics were removed. That's the part that would matter since humans don't take antibiotics every day.

The part that looked at human data was tenuous at best and had a much smaller margin of weight increase than the lab mice did.

Re:Oh goody. (1)

swb (14022) | about a year and a half ago | (#41086553)

Humans don't take antibiotics every day, but when my son was very young (under three years of age) he was frequently on antibiotics due to recurring ear infections. We wouldn't even know about it (they didn't produce the kinds of crying or ear-tugging that is supposedly symptomatic) until we went to the pediatrician for other reasons and he said "wow, his ear is really infected" and gave us more antibiotics.

Ultimately we ended up getting tubes put in his ears, which largely cleared up the chronic ear infections, but it's not hard for me to believe that very young developing children could be on antibiotics frequently enough to make some kind of difference.

Personally I think the massive volumes of sugar and refined carbohydrates we feed our kids has more to do with obesity than an esoteric gut flora question.

Re:Oh goody. (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about a year and a half ago | (#41086591)

While I don't disagree with most of what you said, I do think you're overstating your disagreement a bit. They said "contribute", not "cause". Is it fair to say that antibiotics may contribute to obesity? Quite likely, yes. The extent to which they contribute is a second discussion, and by all indications it's not significant. Even so, acknowledging that there may be an issue is a first step to better medical practices in the future. If antibiotics' contribution made the difference in pushing a mere 1% of obese Americans over the line into obesity (note: I pulled 1% out of thin air), fixing that issue would mean helping about 1 million people drop below the obesity threshold (math check: there are 311M Americans [google.com] and roughly 35% of adults are obese according to the CDC [cdc.gov]).

Re:Oh goody. (3)

Hatta (162192) | about a year and a half ago | (#41086613)

Just what we need... yet another ant-science post.

Did you read the peer-reviewed paper linked in the article? They gave antibiotics to one group of inbred (genetically identical) mice, and witheld them from a control group of mice. The mice given antibiotics early in life had increased fat mass, altered GI bacteria populations, and alterations in genes that control lipid metabolism.

That's not caused by failing to eat well and exercise. These were the same strain of mice raised in the same conditions. Tell me, since you're so sure this can't be true, how do *you* interpret this data?

Re:Oh goody. (1)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about a year and a half ago | (#41086929)

Besides this is not anti-medicine. The study proposes judicious use of antibiotics and discourages overuse, I dont see any conclusion that could be consider anti-medicine.

Re:Oh goody. (4, Insightful)

darkmeridian (119044) | about a year and a half ago | (#41086949)

Just what we need .. yet another self-righteous poster who didn't bother to read the freaking article. No one is saying that antibiotics are the sole or even the major reason that children are fat. No one is denying that over-eating is a huge reason for obesity. All these scientists have concluded is that, based on their analysis of evidence, babies who were exposed to antibiotics within the first six months of life were more prone to being overweight at 10, 20, and 38 months of age. They only reported this correlation, and cautioned that there was no causal relationship yet.

But no matter. Random Internet poster dude who didn't read the article is going to rail against anti-medicine when it is actually he who is railing against a team of scientists making a scientific conclusion.

Re:Oh goody. (1)

cffrost (885375) | about a year and a half ago | (#41087745)

Just what we need... yet another anti-medicine headline. I'll go ahead and invoke the rule [wikipedia.org]: No.

It's not; if it's anti- anything, it's anti-misuse. Also, Betteridge's Law of Headlines is a poor tool for disputing the validity of a scientific study.

Simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41086407)

Energy intake in excess of energy used makes any animal (including Homo sapiens) fat.

Re:Simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41086451)

Hetero ones have the same problem.

Re:Simple (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41086815)

Not if you have edema. You could drink nothing but water, and gain weight. Horrible condition.

Aside from that, while technicly true it doesn't resolve the issue. You could eat 1000 calories a day and your body could decide to use 500 of them for fat. The 500 calories isn't enough to power you through the day, so you eat more just so you can function. You eat 2000 which would sustain a normal person, but your screwed up body still insists on building fat and not giving you enough energy to walk the dog, take the kids to school, etc. Now you bump up to 2500 and you can get through the day without passing out; but you're fat.

Reply hazy, try again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41086413)

Reply hazy, try again

Re:Reply hazy, try again (0)

cvtan (752695) | about a year and a half ago | (#41086745)

The 20 answers inside a Magic 8 Ball are:

It is certain

It is decidedly so

Without a doubt

Yes – definitely

You may rely on it

As I see it, yes

Most likely

Outlook good

Yes

Signs point to yes

Reply hazy, try again

Ask again later

Better not tell you now

Cannot predict now

Concentrate and ask again

Don't count on it

My reply is no

My sources say no

Outlook not so good

Very doubtful

oh, That's why I'm fat? (5, Funny)

mekkab (133181) | about a year and a half ago | (#41086417)

[looks at the 280 calorie coke bottle at my desk and two crumpled baggies of Cheddar Jalapeno Cheetos] Yep, That's it. Exposure to antibiotics at an early age. QED.

Re:oh, That's why I'm fat? (1)

frosty_tsm (933163) | about a year and a half ago | (#41087685)

[looks at the 280 calorie coke bottle at my desk and two crumpled baggies of Cheddar Jalapeno Cheetos] Yep, That's it. Exposure to antibiotics at an early age. QED.

If you hadn't had the childhood antibiotics, you could have enjoyed an extra baggie of Cheetos.

antibotics are used by farmers ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41086435)

To prevent bacterial infection.

I grew up on a cattle ranch, and never thought of using anti-bacterial stuff to get them to grow faster...

Re:antibotics are used by farmers ... (1)

Amouth (879122) | about a year and a half ago | (#41086755)

well a side effect of not having infections is not having to expend energy fighting them, when you don't expend energy you store it and become larger as a result.

Sugar consumption makes kids get fat (4, Informative)

swb (14022) | about a year and a half ago | (#41086469)

Followed very closely by a diet heavy in carbohydrates, thanks to a failed and scientifically baseless "low fat" dietary guidelines that promote a "low fat" diet high in carbohydrates.

It staggers me to watch fellow parents pour gallons of sugar down their kids throats -- "look, it's low fat and free from high fructose corn syrup!!!!" despite the fact that it contains apple juice as a "natural" ingredient, which is just injected for its fructose content -- it's like HFCS without the corn syrup.

If you don't want your kids to get fat, feed them eggs and sausage. If you want them to get fat, feed them juice, soda, and lots of grains and watch them swell like cows in a feedlot.

Re:Sugar consumption makes kids get fat (3, Insightful)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about a year and a half ago | (#41086577)

Fruit juice is a horrible way to get your vitamins. Eat the actual fruit which includes the fiber (also an important ingredient). I'm gonna go eat some fiber right now: Popcorn.

Re:Sugar consumption makes kids get fat (1)

cvtan (752695) | about a year and a half ago | (#41086779)

Popcorn often has lots of fat unless you make it yourself.

Re:Sugar consumption makes kids get fat (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year and a half ago | (#41086895)

Thankfully, that is a rediculously easy process that requires no special equipment. Doesn't take that much longer than the microwave either.

Re:Sugar consumption makes kids get fat (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year and a half ago | (#41087195)

Popcorn often has lots of fat unless you make it yourself.

And don't be afraid of a little bit of good quality fat. I use about 1 Tablespoon of high quality peanut oil to pop about 1/2 c of popcorn in a large pot. Given the residue still on the bottom of the pot, probably only half of that makes it onto the popcorn, and the yield is enough for about six people to have a good-sized serving. The quality peanut oil has a nice peanut flavor, so you don't need to pour butter on it (or even worse - manufactured popcorn topping [scare music here]). Grind up half a teaspoon of sea salt in the mortar and pestle and you're good to go.

When I was young, air poppers were very popular and they had a little melting tray on top to hold a stick's worth of butter. I have no idea why anybody ever bought these things when a simple pot works much better. Or why people use microwave popcorn at home, which is just awful, nasty stuff.

Re:Sugar consumption makes kids get fat (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year and a half ago | (#41087277)

It staggers me to watch fellow parents pour gallons of sugar down their kids throats -- "look, it's low fat and free from high fructose corn syrup!!!!" despite the fact that it contains apple juice as a "natural" ingredient, which is just injected for its fructose content -- it's like HFCS without the corn syrup.

I was in the Target cereal aisle last night, looking for something for the kids to eat (once in a while) and only two of the cereals had fewer than 6 g of sugar per serving (I eat one with no sugar, but those require more of an adult palette). My kids shouldn't have more than about 30g of sugar a day for their weight, and many of those cereals (with orange juice "as part of this complete breakfast") were up in the 23-28g range (per small-side-of-normal serving).

I was in the grocery store at lunch time and two enormous pre-teen boys (possibly brother, hard to be sure about their features or gender) were each there to pick up a 12-pack of Mountain Dew.

If it weren't for the pace of medical science, we'd probably be looking at a generation who would die much younger than their parents. There has to be more to it than just one guy who wrote a BS paper in the 70's.

Re:Sugar consumption makes kids get fat (1)

jxander (2605655) | about a year and a half ago | (#41088051)

You forgot the increasingly sedentary lifestyle as a major contributor.

I'm 30 now. While I grew up with an Atari, Nintendo, etc in the house, I always found plenty of time to go outside, ride a bike, climb a tree, etc. PhysEd was an integral part of school at every level. We had an "Olympics" at various grades where every kid in that grade would compete in track and field events. Every kid I knew was at least somewhat active, and there wasn't a single kid nearly as obese as your common fatty today.

No. (3, Insightful)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about a year and a half ago | (#41086505)

The reason 85% of Americans over age 30 are fat is because (1) they eat too much sugar and (2) too large portions. See the video "sugar the bitter truth".

It seems people keep trying to blame other things (too much TV, too much gaming, too much bacteria or antibiotics) instead of themselves. You weighed 120-140 when you were 18 (less for girls)..... no reason you can't weigh that now.

Re:No. (4, Informative)

swb (14022) | about a year and a half ago | (#41086641)

Even portion size can be less of an issue if you are eating 20% or fewer calories in carbohydrates. Fat intake will produce a leptin response, making you feel full and not wanting to eat any more.

Carbohydrates, especially fructose (as Dr. Lustig points out in "Bitter Truth) suppresses the leptin response -- you don't feel full, the metabolization process of simple carbs just locks away the energy as fat accumulation and preventing you from using it for energy, making you even more hungry.

I went low carb about 8 months ago and I took the idea of "eat until you were full" seriously, thinking maybe I could knock back a couple of steaks at a time. I couldn't; I lost all interest in eating once the full feeling kicked in.

Re:No. (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | about a year and a half ago | (#41088063)

I wish that worked for me. I remember eating 1.5 lbs of hamburger and still feeling hungry. downing steaks like there was no tomorrow. In fact the high protein low carb diet for me almost as bad as no monitoring at all. Low calorie has been the only thing that has any effect on my weight, and it is the hardest one to actually maintain due to the excessive hunger pains, shakes and mood swings along with an easy access remedy to them; to eat.

Re:No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41086799)

It seems people keep trying to blame other things (too much TV, too much gaming, too much bacteria or antibiotics) instead of themselves.

But too much tv/gaming can be to "blame". Just because you "blame" tv/gaming, does not mean you are shifting responsibility off of yourself. At most, all you are doing is acknowledging that a sedentary lifestyle can lead to being obese, regardless of the particular vice a person partakes of (watching lots of tv, lots of gaming, lots of reading, lots of quilting, etc).

Re:No. (1)

PeanutButterBreath (1224570) | about a year and a half ago | (#41087257)

It seems people keep trying to blame other things (too much TV, too much gaming, too much bacteria or antibiotics) instead of themselves. You weighed 120-140 when you were 18 (less for girls)..... no reason you can't weigh that now.

I can somewhat apprciate what you are saying, because I think the only "secret" to maintaining a healthy weight is eating a sensible diet of real food (not fast food or frozen dinners) and being active.

However, to do so requires resisting fairly strong social and economic pressures to a) work as much as possible and b) devote every other minute towards consumption, usually of industrialized foods and sedentary entertainments. These pressures are woven into our economy and reinforced constantly by advertising.

I'm not saying it is impossible or even necessarily difficult to eat well and be active. I weigh less than I did in HS more than 20 years later, having spent most of that time working desk jobs. On the other hand, people who live life "the way they are supposed to" like "normal Americans" are likely to end up overweight.

Oh the epidemic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41086527)

Each and every individual in the history of the planet when consuming more calories than they expend get fatter.

The opposite is also true. How many Biggest loosers does the world need to watch before they get it.

US Obesity (2)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year and a half ago | (#41086531)

In the 90s, McDonald's started the "Super Size" program, where you could get tons of extra food for a small extra price. Every other restaurant started following, and soon the portions were massive everywhere you went. A typical restaurant meal is 1000 calories, without dessert. Look at this example [mnginteractive.com].

A decade later, we have an obesity epidemic. Is there really a need for an explanation?

Re:US Obesity (1)

demonlapin (527802) | about a year and a half ago | (#41086915)

The obesity "epidemic" is getting press because people are tipping over the 30 BMI point in bigg numbers. But the average weight of Americans has been a steady climb since at least the 50s.

Re:US Obesity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41087035)

For people like me who tend to eat two meals a day (I'm in the habit of skipping breakfast as I tend to feel sick if I eat shortly after waking up), a 1000 Calorie meal is just about right. What makes me mad about all this stuff about fat people and messing with portions and taxing or removing certain types of food is that it also effects skinny people such as myself (I'm 5'11 and 120 pounds).

I have enough self control to stop eating when I'm full, why should I be punished because of morons who can't put down the fork?

Re:US Obesity (1)

PeanutButterBreath (1224570) | about a year and a half ago | (#41087505)

For people like me who tend to eat two meals a day (I'm in the habit of skipping breakfast as I tend to feel sick if I eat shortly after waking up), a 1000 Calorie meal is just about right. What makes me mad about all this stuff about fat people and messing with portions and taxing or removing certain types of food is that it also effects skinny people such as myself (I'm 5'11 and 120 pounds).

If you only eat two meals a day, that is all the more reason to make both of them good meals and not garbage convenience foods. Moreover, if you are buying real food you tend to get a discount if you buy in bulk. So that is a win-win for you.

Re:US Obesity (1)

frosty_tsm (933163) | about a year and a half ago | (#41087713)

For people like me who tend to eat two meals a day (I'm in the habit of skipping breakfast as I tend to feel sick if I eat shortly after waking up), a 1000 Calorie meal is just about right. What makes me mad about all this stuff about fat people and messing with portions and taxing or removing certain types of food is that it also effects skinny people such as myself (I'm 5'11 and 120 pounds).

If you only eat two meals a day

Or are very active. Or breakfast is something light and not high calorie.

Re:US Obesity (1)

cmiller173 (641510) | about a year and a half ago | (#41087137)

Whereas before the OPTIONAL "Super Size" program people we incapable of ordering a large fry and drink with their meal? and after it was impossible not to?

Re:US Obesity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41087159)

If medical research and the science was done right, then we would know. All of these little studies do nothing great.

Only report on it after human studies, both in a controlled environment and seeing that it matches overall what is seen in the real world (general population).

And look at multiple factors. HFCS, sugar, preservatives, antibiotics, medications, calories, exercise, meat, veggies, etc for a few years. Look at different ages, family history, bacterial infections... Why am I 150lbs, but can eat whatever and have a very hard time gaining weight?

Yes, it will cost money, yes it is a complex problem, but we need to find the truth to solve it. They always say further research is necessary, but nobody every does the big study to figure out how everything works to solve it.

Corn Syrup is likely a larger contributor (2)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about a year and a half ago | (#41086571)

Nearly every kind of childhood snack (soda, corn chips, candy) contains corn syrup in one form or another. I'd suspect that long before anti-biotics.

http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S26/91/22K07/ [princeton.edu]
http://www.naturalnews.com/036886_cattle_feed_candy_corn_syrup.html [naturalnews.com]

Re:Corn Syrup is likely a larger contributor (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about a year and a half ago | (#41086731)

Could the Princeton lab photo be any more obviously-posed? Well at least the girls are cute.
Reminds me of a Playboy video of similarly cute girls.
Except they took their labcoats off.

Re:Corn Syrup is likely a larger contributor (1)

serbanp (139486) | about a year and a half ago | (#41087923)

I think you're confusing corn syrup with HFCS. It's the F in HFCS that is detrimental to a healthy metabolism, not the maltose in standard corn syrup.

Worth it (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41086575)

I had some minor surgery recently that involved a course of Amoxicillin. One nice consequence is that it completely straightened out my digestive system; I had been making excessive gas, among other things, and the antibiotic completely ended that. Wonderful stuff.

Life is too short to indulge these anti-everything malcontents. We are not going back to yurts people. Grow up and deal with it.

Re:Worth it (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about a year and a half ago | (#41087317)

I'm to sure where you got yurts from. The suggestion is that quite a few problems might be solved if children (never mind adults) didn't undergo an average of 20 courses of antibiotics, many unnecessary, before they become adults.

quotes from the article (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year and a half ago | (#41086599)

There's some evidence, but it's weak. Here's the crucial bit:

The researchers looked at data collected from more than 11,000 children born in Avon, U.K., in 1991 and 1992. Those who had been treated with antibiotics in the first 6 months of their lives had a higher chance of being overweight at 10, 20, and 38 months of age.....The differences in weight were small, and there was no correlation between antibiotic use in the first 6 months and weight at 7 years

Clearly it's a preliminary study, and not all variables have been controlled for. They have two other quotes from scientists:

The new data are "not convincing," says Michael Blaut, a microbiologist at the German Institute of Human Nutrition in Potsdam, Germany. And David Relman, a microbiologist at the Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California, calls the work "provocative" but says some of the data are "a bit vague and unclear."

Re:quotes from the article (1)

retroworks (652802) | about a year and a half ago | (#41087849)

This could also mean - drumroll, please - that kids who are sick longer tend to weigh less. If you have a society which tends to be fat, a child having an untreated illness (no antibiotic) may tend to be sick longer, which would reduce their weight. The sickness being treated with the antibiotic may be a cause of weight loss.

Duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41086765)

They NOW think this? Why wouldn't folks assume so from day one? Why would anyone think that feeding something to animals wouldn't have the same effect on feeding it to humans?

Grains, not Antibiotics make Livestock gain Weight (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41086875)

Farmers don't give livestock antibiotics to make them gain weight, they give them grains to do that, and then they have to give them antibiotics so that they don't die from the grains. Cows, for example, are ruminates which are designed (or evolved, I guess I should say) to eat grass, not grain, which would kill them before they could be brought to market without the use of antibiotics. Antibiotics makes grain feeding possible, but it is actually the grain, not the antibiotics which leads to the weight gain.

 

Bulletin!!! (1)

mark-t (151149) | about a year and a half ago | (#41087143)

Eating too much, especially too much fatty foods, makes you fat.

Instead of blaming arbitrary organizations for society's problem with obesity, how about putting the blame squarely on the people who are eating too much in the first place?

Re:Bulletin!!! (3, Insightful)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about a year and a half ago | (#41087351)

Eating too much, especially too much fatty foods, makes you fat.

Eating does not make you fat. Marriage makes you fat. Compare the waistlines of your single and married friends, and you'll see what I mean.

A bachelor opens his refrigerator, looks at what is inside, and then goes to bed. A married man goes to bed, looks what is in inside, and then goes to the refrigerator.

For the love of god! (3, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year and a half ago | (#41087363)

Stop giving the morbidly obese excuses to continue eating and not exercising!

I used to work with a Morbidly obese man that ate 3 LARGE subs from the local sub place every day. He would also order a full sized bag of potato chips along with it which he wouldn't eat with the subs... he'd finish the subs, then need to go to the bathroom to drop a deuce and would take the chips with him and eat them while he was taking a dump. Not kidding. He would sit in there for 45 minutes crapping, eating his chips and talking to people that came and went from the bathroom as he did. It was insane.

One day I walked by his desk and instead of his usual 3 subs he had a full rotisary chicken and a 2 liter of coke (not diet) sitting on his desk. I stopped in shock and asked "Why do you have a rotisary chicken on your desk?!?" He replied "My doctor has had me on a diet for months and I'm just not loosing weight. I've been sticking to turkey sandwiches, but they weren't working so he told me to try chicken instead. They don't have chicken subs at the sub place so I picked this up at the grocery store." He then proceeded to pick the rotisary chicken clean.

If you're over 200lbs it's either because you don't exorcise or your a body builder. If you're over 250, it's because you don't exorcise and you eat too much (or your an Olympic body builder) STOP EATING

Re:For the love of god! (1)

PeanutButterBreath (1224570) | about a year and a half ago | (#41087549)

He would sit in there for 45 minutes crapping, eating his chips and talking to people that came and went from the bathroom as he did. It was insane.

Or genius? One time I lost 10 pounds after being laid up for a week with a stomach virus.

Re:For the love of god! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41087827)

Are you sure he is a man? Sounds like a device for converting food into crap.

Re:For the love of god! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41087831)

If you're over 200lbs it's either because you don't exorcise or your a body builder. If you're over 250, it's because you don't exorcise and you eat too much (or your an Olympic body builder) STOP EATING

Or you could be over 6ft tall.

Re:For the love of god! (1)

SplashMyBandit (1543257) | about a year and a half ago | (#41087955)

Actually it is the *eating less* that controls body mass ("earth weight" if you must use the term "weight"). There is no normal (non-surgical, non-diahorrea) way of losing mass without eating less. Smaller portions, less sugar and almost no snacks will work.

Exercising will not counter the effects of eating too many calories (not matter what form they come in - fruit has plenty of calories too, it's just they are not "empty" as you get additional vitamins and minerals too). I exercise nearly every day of the week doing either 40 min runs, cycles or weights. This toned me up a great deal but made zero difference to my mass. This was a surprise to me, for a normal person (moderately active, non-couch potato) the extra calories burnt in exercise (and resulting extended metabolic increase) can't compensate if you are eating too much. This is a big danger in those that exercise, "Oh I worked out, I can afford to reward myself with a coke/beer/cheezeburger etc" - the exercise can't really compensate for those treats. You have to cut them out to lose body mass. I hope this helps someone else out there that is exercising enough but wondering why their mass is not monotonically decreasing - the exercise is not enough to make up for any level (even if small) of over-eating.

Yes they do! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41087467)

Ok well they do contribute to it if youre already a fatso slob blob and need something you can point your finger at and say "Hey that made me fat! It isnt me or my eating habits or lack of exercise that makes me a obese pig, its that product right theres fault!". Like so many gigantic and disgusting americans already do. Always looking for something else to blame for your problems instead of looking at the fact your problems are caused by you.

Oh and they cause it also if youre some asshole who needs some quick cash flow and will perform a stupid "study" and get the results your backers want to get it.

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