Archive for the ‘Medicare’ Category

A Teaser…

June 29, 2020

Soon I Shall Tell You





Speaking of Politicians…

We know what American politicians love best – WAR. These maniacs see everything as a YOU AGAINST ME proposition. War on Poverty… War on Drugs… War on a Virus… Mostly war against some nation with a GDP far less than the monetary value of the bombs dropped on them, blowing them up so we can have a sense of “victory”. Politicians know that using WAR is a war to quash dissent. People question the loyalty, patriotism, even the SANITY of anyone who asks WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?
What a deadly way to live! Here is a book I believe EVERYONE should read! It tells, bluntly, who we as a nation are AND WHY WE HAVE GONE TO WAR almost non-stop since we began as a nation!

War Is A Racket Announcement

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Click HERE To See This Book At AMAZON.COM!

FROM MOJO BROS. PUBLISHING: Two-Time Medal of Honor recipient Maj. Gen. Smedley D. Butler’s famous essay on the horrors and futility of war – now in a facsimile edition. Peeling away the patriotic veneer used to win support for war, Butler tells why we go to war, who is behind it and who profits.
This book contains a FACSIMILE of the 1935 original. And more!
In the 1930s, a cabal of Wall Street businessmen, alarmed by what President Franklin D. Roosevelt was doing to spur the economy, planned to remove FDR. The plan – known as The Business Plot – called for rallying disaffected WW1 Veterans under a military leader who could unite them. That man, these plotters thought, was the retired Maj. Gen. Butler. They tried to win Butler to their cause with a promise of making him the a national dictator. They could not have been more mistaken! This book has a section showing Butler’s role in revealing this treasonous plot.
In an ALL-NEW forward, we tell the story of those times and – for the first time ever! – present recently declassified documents from Smedley Butler’s FBI file!


Don’t Be A Mark

February 15, 2020

You think these people have changed since 2016?
The smirking fair-haired chap below is democrat stalwart RICHARD GEPHARDT – one of the founders of the Democratic Leadership Council, along with the odious Clintons and the world’s biggest hypocrite, that major pot-head Al Gore who helped wage the war on… pot smokers.

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THESE are the behind-the-scenes “Leaders” democrat voters support out of sheer ignorance, hatred, and baldfaced stupidity. And by “support,” I mean anyone in that party. If you participate in this nefarious group of neo-liberal money-grubbers YOU are part of the problem. Unless you honestly believe that electing democrats will make things better. In that case you may be well served by having a psychiatric team look into your symptoms…
(AND NOTE THAT IN 2016 WE WERE STILL TALKING ABOUT “SINGLE-PAYER”. Since that time these con-artists moved the whole conversation from Single-Payer to Medicare For All – which will leave the insurance companies in charge and still bankrupt millions of Americans annually, so they can apply for Medicaid just as the democrats start to dismantle the program. Thanks, saps! By demanding Medicare for All instead of SINGLE-PAYER, you helped Gephardt KEEP HIS VILE PROMISE TO THE INSURANCE EXECUTIVES.)

Cuomo Medicaid copy

THIS is the classic 1940 study of Con Artists – including politicians. Reading this book will show exactly how today’s millionaire democrats so easily shifted the conversation from SINGLE-PAYER healthcare to MEDICARE FOR ALL which is run by insurance companies. Medicare is USELESS without private insurance. And the Drug part is ALL run by insurance companies.
The hallmark of a con is that the marks REFUSE TO ADMIT THEY WERE CONNED.
And so today people justify their healthcare gullibility with such inanities as: “Bernie’s got a WRITTEN bill that’s CALLED Medicare but it is really SINGLE PAYER.”
The guy who sells the Brooklyn Bridge also flashes written documents… it’s an essential part of any con.
BTW, THE BIG CON is the book that writer David S. Ward plagiarized for THE STING. The case was settled in favor of the writer of The Big Con.

Up DateWell THAT didn’t take long… See below for an example of how a self-deluded mark suckered by “Senator BS” excuses his call for Americans to TURN IN people who work with the EEEEEVIL Russians. It’s no big deal because… IT COULD HAPPEN TO ANYBODY. Guess that whole McCarthy Era was just a minor glitch… Coulda happened to anyone…

Deluded Sanders Mark

Worth Reposting

January 14, 2020

Key Record Banner

One Of My More Popular Posts…
Updated To Reflect Current
“Liberal” Lunacy

Brought To You By The John Birch Society

What sour, negative, scared people conservatives were in 1965. Alas, after listening to this LP, and 11 others from the same company (see link below) it’s clear to me that today’s liberals have become just like the conservatives of yesteryear who they hated so much: Using childish nicknames to disparage political opponents… calling for the impeachment of every elected official they don’t agree with… hysterical about The Kremlin plotting to take over America… demanding the blacklisting of anyone merely accused of some “heinous” crime… shouting “TREASON!” when they hear an opposing point of view. I find it ineffably sad.

This LP set the template for today’s hysteria-laden politics. Back in 1965 cuddly, avuncular actor Walter Brennan recorded a screed to warn about how commies and beatniks are plotting to take over America through LBJ’s War on Poverty. That record was called HE’S YOUR UNCLE, NOT YOUR DAD, released by KEY RECORDS, the show-biz arm of the far-right JOHN BIRCH SOCIETY. Here is how the record is described on the back cover:

“Hilarious, yet completely factual, this record album finds Walter Brennan throwing a million-candlepower floodlight on the evils of imported and duty-free collectivism in our nation. Then, it brings into vivid focus the brave moves we must make if we are to preserve the dream of our founding fathers to save our constitutional Republic from the man-made nightmare it is becoming.”

So about this nightmare… exactly how will the commies destroy the United States? According to Brennan and his writer, they will accomplish this nefarious nightmare plot through (are you sitting down?)… Area Codes and Zip Codes! Yup. Area Codes and Zip Codes are a commie plot devised in the WATTS GHETTO by Adam Clayton Powell! (Then Brennan slyly shifts gears to praise PATRIOTIC NEGRO AMERICANS – he even names two! – so it’s ok. No bigot he.) Brennan then launches an attack on free-spending “DO-GOODERS.” I never got that about conservatives. To them, doing good is bad? Yes. Because then, as now conservatives hate poor people. The poor are spongers. The poor are loafers. They are all welfare cheats riding high. For a while there, I thought I was listening to a Mitt Romney speech from 2012, or a Bill Clinton “End Welfare As We Know It” con-job (remember “The Era of Big Government Is Over”?), Or Pres. Obama slashing the food stamp budget by almost $9 billion – not a political Neanderthal from crying voters1965. Here, in an LP undoubtedly owned by the disgruntled parents of today’s conservatives and neo-liberals alike, you will discover the seeds of our current whining form of politics – in which adult babies CRY when their preferred candidate for office loses. The fact that such deeply immature people vote explains a hell of a lot about the present state of our nation.

A few years after recording this diatribe, Brennan refused to support Richard Nixon for president, claiming Nixon was a “do-gooder” liberal. Nixon! Nobody escapes Brennan’s angry conservative stereotyping and vituperation. So we get Welfare queens with 16 illegitimate children. African “head-hunters” populating UN delegations. Farm worker unions are all controlled by Castro. Of course, Castro was installed by our own State Department, according to the delusions presented here. No mention of Batista, the corrupt dictator who raped and pillaged the island of Cuba. No. Instead we hear about the Free Cubans Castro overthrew. Brennan knew Batista was good because… his corrupt regime repaid American foreign aide with 20% interest. All this man cares about is money. At times Brennan’s harangue sounds more like a psychotic accounting lesson than a man talking about “The Greatest Country In The World.”

Naturally, since this record is a product of the John Birch Society, international communist plots abound, abetted by what Brennan calls lazy student beatnik agitators. It may seem funny today, but overall this exercise in political rage and hate makes Archie Bunker sound like St. Francis of Assisi. And then, today, look at all the “liberal” hysteria over Russia and how Putin controls the White House… Plus ça Change, baby…

Listen as Brennan reveals that the LBJ administration is, according to “sworn affidavits,” filled with IDENTIFIED COMMUNIST AGENTS. How does Brennan know this? Sources include “ACCORDING TO THE GRAPEVINE.” It’s a riot! And today, it calls to mind the utter lunacy of so-called liberals like Adam Schiff, Nancy Pelosi, and Charles Schumer, always announcing some new BOMBSHELL political disclosure that invariably fizzles before the end of the day. With Schiff, Pelosi, Schumer, these “bombshells” all comes from “reliable unnamed sources”… When did these once-liberal Baby-Boomers morph into their conservative grandfathers? How did that happen? WHY did it happen?

Back to Uncle Walt… What would a right wing paranoia festival be without a rant against France? I’ll refrain from quoting that. It has to be heard. And get this… THIS WAS SOLD AS A COMEDY ALBUM. You know, like Woody Woodbury, Lenny Bruce, or Bill Cosby… So how are the jokes? Although the carefully chosen audience guffaws with wild abandon, most all of the alleged zingers just made me cringe. Witticisms like, “What did Italy ever give us? The mafia.” Yikes. He even tells a Jewish joke but, being essentially a coward as all conservatives are, he changes them to “Dutchmen.” I guess Brennan’s writers knew better than to screw with Jews.

PATRIOTIC TWADDLE

And what, I ask you, would a zany rightwing screed be without those homey but totally bullshit little stories that Paul Harvey once specialized in? This record does not omit them. For just two examples Brennan makes the utterly false claim that George Washington, as a result of his sacrifice to the nation, died broke. Old George was the wealthiest man of his time and at his death left an estate worth over $19 million dollars in today’s dollars. We should all be so broke. Brennan also tells the nonsensical story that Martha Washington had to melt down her silver tea service so the new nation could make coins. While there is no evidence whatsoever that she did this, what if she did? For a woman married to the richest man in America to give up her teaspoons hardly qualifies as a sacrifice. Now, had she given up all their slaves, THAT would have been a sacrifice for it would indeed have broken them financially.

MONEY IS ALL THAT MATTERS

This fixation on money and riches in this record is typical of the Goldwater republicans. As Brennan sums up his philosophy, he actually says that Life is merely a chase to get money to come in. How bloody sad! We all know that Life is so much more than that. But the creators of this thing dwell on money. This is all Brennan carps about: all the money being “wasted” on “do good” efforts. We get dollars and cents from him but nary a trace of compassion for the “loafers, spongers, welfare cheats, students” which all poor people must be. Stripping money out of government programs is justified, according to Brennan, because The Founding Fathers didn’t want a free ride. Tell that to their slave labor… In the world of this record, stealing money from the poor is designed to HELP them. But it is clear that what we have here is plain old greed, pure and simple. They crave the money in exactly the same way today’s conservatives DROOL when they think of the $2.7 Trillion surplus in social security. And yes, Brennan says that social security is a way to steal your money. This, again, is not limited to conservatives. Mrs. Clinton, in her disastrous 2016 campaign, promised to MEANS TEST Social Security while slashing its payments to elders. And she’s considered a liberal! How did we come to this state?

All the now-standard conservative and neo-liberal bullshit memes are here. This record is the acorn from which a rotted oak tree grew and now throws its feculent shade across the land.

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The Biggest Threat To Human Survival NOW

July 14, 2019

“Unbalanced forces perish in the void.” – The Zohar.
“In all things, not too much.” – Socrates

I have written a long post but I believe it well worth the time and effort – both the time I took to compose it and the time it takes to read it. Although I suspect many visitors will not read this in-depth post, I refuse to give the issue short shrift and I do not wish to break this up into several parts. Many thanks.

foods

Ask anyone to name the biggest, most alarming, most dangerous threat to the survival of humanity and you will invariably hear two words: “climate change.”

How could we expect otherwise, with Climate Change the Big Fear relentlessly promoted by corporate media? But data proves that answer wrong. Dead wrong.

While predictions of a dire future have plunged millions of people into a state of anxiety and panic, the greatest current threat to human survival does not come from climate change, a nebulous thing lurking somewhere off in the future. Scientific data shows that the worst threat to human survival comes from something happening right now: the world’s unchecked explosion in obesity and obesity-related diseases (metabolic syndrome, sleep apnea, stroke, gout, cancer, osteoarthritis, hypertension, mitochondrial disease, gall bladder disease, etc.).

In recent years, from China to Mexico…. From India to Brazil… and all across the United States, people have grown fatter and fatter. And sicker and sicker. The medical data on our health should alarm everyone, yet the story barely rates news coverage. Right now, not off in the future but today, obesity-related diabetes ranks as the number one killer in Mexico. In Brazil, 52% of the population is overweight with 20% of the population obese. In India today, a newborn baby has a 1 in 2 chance of developing Type 2 Diabetes. India reports an estimated 15,000,000 of its citizens have diabetes and don’t know it. In Scotland, 29% of the adult population suffers from obesity. The rest of the developed world across the board, has also seen an eruption of obesity. Here in New York City, the Dept. of Health reports that 56% of adults weigh in as overweight or obese. A shocking 20% of kindergarten students, and 25% of Head Start children suffer from obesity. Contrary to myth, diet and exercise simply cannot account for this.

WE FEAR WHAT MEDIA WANTS US TO FEAR

Corporate News Media speaks of the horrors they say climate change will bring to us in the future. As a result, 56% of Americans fear climate change. Here in America, the typical local news show (and make no mistake, it is just a TV show; an entertainment) will lead with tales of murder and shootings. This keeps people afraid of getting murdered. Although murder rates have dropped for many years now, 40% of Americans fear getting murdered. In reality, homicide ranks as America’s #15 cause of death. At #1 comes heart disease with cancer, stroke, respiratory illness, and diabetes hot on its heels. Obesity-related illnesses all. While people live in fear of murder, data confirms that an American has a greater likelihood of dying from Parkinson’s Disease than of murder. Figures from the Centers for Disease Control show homicide accounts for under 1% of all U.S. deaths. The odds of getting murdered in a given year stand at 1 in 18,989. The National Safety Council puts the odds of dying from a fall at 1 in 127. Death in a pedestrian incident? 1 in 647. We have a more than five times greater chance of choking to death on than getting murdered (1 in 3,461). Get the picture?

Nevertheless, as I write these words the nation’s newsrooms enthusiastically grind out reports of a young woman murdered in Utah. In 2017, Utah – a state with a population of only 3,161,105 – had a total of 75 homicides (defined by the FBI as “the willful, non-negligent killing of one human being by another,” excluding negligent manslaughter.) In a day or so, the Utah tragedy will get elbowed off the front-pages by another murder. Then another. You know the drill. As they say in the news business, “If it bleeds, it leads.”

While relatively few Americans die as a result of homicide, obesity has grown common. Obesity exacts a rigorous price in terms of life expectancy. Studies put the risk of premature death from obesity at two to three times that of “normal-weight” people. Yet murder gets the attention in news.

“People who are overweight have a moderately increased risk of premature death, and people who are obese have a greatly increased risk of premature death,” said lead researcher Dr. Michael Leitzmann, an investigator at the National Cancer Institute. The Aug. 24, 2006 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine published Leitzmann’s report. It barely made a dent in the news. Remember the Big Story, the urgent Front Page News, of that same day 13 years ago:Breaking News – Pluto Not A Planet!This story led news reports all over the world. What affect did that knowledge have on your life?

A BRIEF CALL ON SHERLOCK HOLMES AND DR. WATSON

FROM THE NOTES OF DR. JOHN WATSON, UPON GETTING
TO KNOW HIS NEW ROOMMATE, SHERLOCK HOLMES:

His ignorance was as remarkable as his knowledge. Of contemporary literature, philosophy and politics he appeared to know next to nothing. Upon my quoting Thomas Carlyle, he inquired in the naivest way who he might be and what he had done. My surprise reached a climax, however, when I found incidentally that he was ignorant of the Copernican Theory and of the composition of the Solar System. That any civilized human being in this nineteenth century should not be aware that the earth travelled round the sun appeared to be to me such an extraordinary fact that I could hardly realize it.
“You appear to be astonished,” he said, smiling at my expression of surprise. “Now that I do know it I shall do my best to forget it.”
“To forget it!”
“You see,” he explained, “I consider that a man’s brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands upon it. Now the skilful workman is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his brain-attic. He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing his work, but of these he has a large assortment, and all in the most perfect order. It is a mistake to think that that little room has elastic walls and can distend to any extent. Depend upon it there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.”
“But the Solar System!” I protested.
“What the deuce is it to me?” he interrupted impatiently; “you say that we go round the sun. If we went round the moon it would not make a pennyworth of difference to me or to my work.”
– A Study in Scarlet, Arthur Conan Doyle, 1887

And there we have a marvelous précis of the dangers that come from allowing our minds to get jam-packed full of inconsequential, trivial, and frivolous information at the behest of complete strangers. Why allow people to do this just because they happen to own and operate sensationalist newspapers, magazines, or television and radio stations? Millions of Americans know intimate details of the life, loves, and income of a particular movie actor, or someone as inconsequential to our daily existence as members of the British royal family. Yet when polled, many of these same people know nothing of things that have a serious affect on their health.

Murder not only receives unwarranted news coverage but it remains a staple of our entertainment and amusement. Think of all the TV shows and movies that deal in murder. In 2018, murder in America scored its biggest drop in 5 years, yet the murder stories in news and fiction go on and on, contributing to a baseless fear – especially if the murders involve children or a record-setting number of victims. Remember that point about children, by the way, because if we really cared about children well… you will see what I mean when I get to the section on childhood obesity.

Logically, if we had to fear anything lethal today, we should fear obesity. Obesity shows up as a factor in 33% of American cancer deaths. Ten years ago, studies tied obesity to ovarian cancer. Didn’t know that, did you? But you have probably heard about the latest grisly murder case or celebrity divorce or royal wedding. Among these, which news item do you think has more importance in your life?

DENIAL: THE AMERICAN NATIONAL PASTIME

Medical science defines obesity as a Body Mass Index over 30. We all know obese people. Talking to Obese people often reveals a strange quirk. When discussing their weight, many among the morbidly obese (BMI over 50) will insist that aside from having put on a bit of weight, they remain in perfect health. Look at something that corpulent politician Chris Christie told David Letterman on national television in February 2013 (with a straight face, no less): “I’m like basically the healthiest fat guy you’ve ever seen in your life.” Yet just days later Christie, with a 59 BMI (Obese, Class III – Morbidly Obese), underwent bariatric surgery. If Christie believed what he told Letterman, why would he have that surgery? Would you pay to have someone cut out your guts for the sake of mere vanity? (By the way, over a year after the surgery, Christie had lost about 100 pounds yet he still registered a BMI of Obese, Class III, just below Morbidly Obese)

As Christie’s experience with Letterman shows, people can lie to others, but we cannot long fool ourselves. Morbidly obese persons who claim to have no health problems need only get a liver MRI to find out the truth (more on that below when I discuss sugars). Over the years, I have encountered the most preposterous excuses for obesity. Not just the old stuff like, big bones or a “slow” metabolism, but more than one morbidly obese person has told me that both their parents suffered from obesity, as did all of their siblings. Ergo, the reasoning goes, the condition of obesity must come from their genes. It never occurs to them that their parents had no idea of how to eat properly and they probably passed that toxic ignorance on to their children. For people who pin it all on genetics, obesity becomes a simple matter of post hoc ergo propter hoc which absolves them of all personal responsibility. The people who say that obesity just comes from their particular genes miss a crucial point. We mammals evolved to use excess calories by gaining and then losing, weight. Losing weight works just as naturally as gaining weight; if not, gaining weight would make absolutely no biological or evolutionary sense. BUT: we cannot truthfully call obese people slothful and irresponsible as so many people want to believe. For a complex set of cultural and, yes, even genetic reasons, we do this to ourselves, however unintentionally. We cannot lay Obesity at the feet of any one factor with the possible exception of taking in more calories than we burn. But even that constitutes a gross oversimplification. How and why we take in so many more calories than we burn – or we evencan burn – sits at the crux of the problem. As does the sugar Fructose. I will get to that.

Despite the fictions and rationalizations of many obese people, at some time or other most overweight people come to a point where they yearn to do something about their condition. But hopelessness creeps up on people, and that leads to a spiral of depression and self-loathing. Can you imagine the crushing mental and emotional torture of undergoing radical surgery, losing almost 100 pounds, and still remaining obese, as happened to politician Christie? Such an experience must have a devastating affect, especially in our age of instant gratification. As a result of this passion to lose weight, the number of bariatric surgeries has gone up steadily, from 158,000 in 2011 to 228,000 in 2017 with substantial increases in each year in between. As another indication of the extent of the desire to shed weight, we see stores filled to the brim with books and videos selling us the latest fad diets that come and go: The South Beach Diet… The Mediterranean Diet… The Drinking Man’s Diet…The Zone Diet…The Scarsdale Diet… The Atkins Diet… The Paleo Diet…The Raw Food Diet…The Grapefruit Diet… The Cabbage Soup Diet… The 3-Day Diet…The 3-Hour Diet. Overweight comedian Buddy Hackett once lost weight with The Rice Diet, and when he spoke about it on network television he sparked an immediate upswing in the sale of rice. Viewers desperate to lose weight failed to realize that Hackett meant a diet developed by Rice University.

Sales figures for diet books and videos, not to mention the sales of rice spurred by Mr. Hackett, show how deeply people feel the need to lose weight. The lowest selling diet book on the Self-Help Best Seller List will always outsell the top seller on the Fiction Best Seller list.

Now here’s the rub. These fad diets, if adhered to, will work! They work for one important reason and it has nothing to do with reduced calories. These diets work as a result of getting people off the standard American diet of low-fiber, high-sugar processed foods. During the course of the diet people eat real food. When the weight comes off and the dieter goes back to eating standard American processed foods (often labeled “LITE” or “LOW FAT”) the weight comes right back. This brings me to a revealing point which everyone in the business world knows, but the public does not: The weight-loss industry is the only growth industry in America with a totally dissatisfied customer base.

DREADING CLIMATE CHANGE

Our political representatives and media “pundits,” heartily encourage public dread and fear of climate change. Nearly 56% of Americans say that climate change scares them. Elementary Schools teach the coming disaster of climate change to small children in the starkest and bleakest of terms. Rallies and demonstrations to publicize climate change often feature small children who timorously face the crowd to speak of the miserable future that awaits them. We terrify the daylights out of children even as we neglect to teach them how to eat properly or shop for food properly. That ignorance creates a bigger risk to a child’s future than something as remote and vague as climate change. Unbalanced eating hurts children now. With nary a second thought, parents let children as young as 3 years old decide what they want to eat and drink, and children make their choice based solely upon taste and cravings. This means they mostly eat sugars and grease and salt. We allow our children to have their desires formed by television advertising aimed at them. We make things worse when we fail to educate children in something as simple as understanding nutritional information on packaging. If a child does not yet know how to read, we can safely consider that child too young to decide what to eat or drink. Go feed a pet dog a diet of mainly sugar-filled, nutrition-free junk, with sugary soda in place of water. If an animal even eats that stuff, you risk getting cited and fined for animal abuse. Yet I have seen mothers pouring sugared soda into a pre-ambulatory baby’s bottle. In any case, few adults bother to read a product’s nutritional information, so why would we expect them to teach this vital skill to their offspring? As a result of this ignorance, combined with industry propaganda (endless TV commercials for junk food), one-third of American children now rate as overweight. Millions of our children have grown obese. Now. Today. Not in the future, but right now. Despite this genuine, existing threat, we indoctrinate children in the horrors of a possiblefuture in which the world faces destruction if we do not somehow fix climate change within 12 years. Sad to say, statistics show us that 12 years from now many of these children will have long since died. American children have gotten so fat that pediatric healthcare workers report treating eight-year olds with severe, life-threatening medical conditions previously seen only in people of late middle age. All of this while McDonald’s runs ads in which a clown frolics on TV, telling children how we all need to save the planet. They manage to shoe-horn a “responsible” message into ads designed to entice children into eating thousands upon thousands of empty calories laced with deadly sugars. Do you have any idea how much money McDonald’s expends on marketing? They lay out over $2.5 million per day on advertising – with a staggering 40% of that spending dedicated exclusively to children’s ads.

A MOST DEADLY BABYSITTER

The growth in TV watching among sedentary children aids and abets the ruthless advertising aimed at our children. The advertising community, people highly trained in the methods of creating desires, sees our children as nothing but a market segment to get reeled in and delivered to their clients. Parents support ad agencies in this quest by carelessly handing their kids over to these people. According to the University of Michigan Health System, over 70 % of children ages 8 to 18 have a personal TV in their bedroom. In 2009, the Nielsen Co. found that children’s TV viewing had hit an eight-year high. Children aged 2 to 5 watched TV for more than 32 hours a week. Children aged 6 to 8 devoted less time watching TV – 28 hours per week – but the number only drops because at that age children attend school. Research conducted by The Kaiser Family Foundation showed that children ages 8 to 18 spent 4½ hours each day watching TV in various forms, including the use of mobile phones and computers connected to the internet. Parents supply all the equipment needed to allow predatory advertisers to target their children. If parents stopped buying TV sets, the advertising industry would give sets away free because they use TV as the linchpin in their Child-Targeted economy. Look at it this way: Would responsible parents permit a highly paid, expertly trained sales executive to babysit in a child’s room as the child reads a book? Would they allow that person to interrupt their child’s reading every few minutes to tell the child what to eat? What to wear? What to drink? Phrase it that way, and everyone says, “No way!” but what else happens when parents supply their children with a TV and then plop them in front of it for hours at a time? Responsible parents know enough to warn their children about the dangers of dealing with strangers on the street and on the internet – but most parents think nothing of allowing a cadre of devious, deceitful, highly paid and highly trained mind-control experts to have unfettered access to their children through a TV that they themselves gave to the child. Please remember the precise meaning of the verb TO ENTERTAIN: it means to occupy, to hold on toas in “entertaining an idea.” Commercial television entertainment has only one point: to hold on to viewers, to keep them watching in order to get them to see the commercials. Nothing else matters to TV executives. As someone who has spent the bulk of his working career in the entertainment business, I will let you in on a secret. Television networks do not cancel programs. Programs get cancelled when the marketing agencies that sell commercial time to advertisers refuse to sell time on a given show. When the ad revenue ceases, a show gets the chop. The advertisers control everything. The early days of what TV networks called “Sustained Shows,” programs kept in the line-up without a sponsor, died years ago. TV shows do not exist for our amusement, although “amusement” has become the accepted meaning of the word “entertainment.” TV shows exist to move products off the shelves. So what of Pay-TV shows and web-streaming services? They don’t run commercials, right? Oh, they do but in a more devious manner. As with theatrical movies, these shows generate income through stealth-advertising called “Product Placement.” You know that term. In the mid-1960s, for example, movies and TV shows started showing people using Touch-Tone telephones. In no time flat, demand for this more expensive phone service exploded. Check out movies and TV shows from 1965 into the early 70s. Odds are you will see people driving a Ford Mustang. Ford executive Lee Iacocca “made his bones” in the auto industry by working hard at supplying Mustangs to all manner of filmed productions. Today, because of Iacocca’s efforts, people revere the old Mustangs. In American business, only sales figures count. Not responsible corporate citizenship… just sales figures. If a time-selling agency refuses to sell time on a given show, bye-bye baby.

Today, product placement has grown more sophisticated than most in the audience realize. Say there is a scene in a TV show in which a character enjoys a bowl of breakfast cereal. On the first run, viewers may have seen a box of Corn Flakes. But on subsequent showings, after an advertiser auction, that same scene may show Rice Krispies or Apple Jacks. The next time, Lucky Charms or Honey Nut Cheerios – all thanks to computer technology. The original box on the set, before the camera, was solid blue or green allowing the product to get changed later on at will. When that TV show hits local syndication, regional brands may pop up. These shows only exist to push products to an audience held in trance (entranced) by a show. Advertising professionals count on a parent’s willingness to let them form their child’s opinions, shape their tastes, and create their view of the world. They do it by keeping children entertained through television programs created just for children. The success and wealth of the advertisers and manufacturers depend on filling immature heads with desires that hurt the child. Some babysitter!

LIFE EXPECTANCY DROPS

For young people, born in 2000 or after, life expectancy has gone down – a first in over 50,000 years of human history. Obesity in children, once a rarity, plays a large part in this tragedy. According to the Centers for Disease Control:

Childhood obesity is a serious problem in the United States putting children and adolescents at risk for poor health. For children and adolescents aged 2-19 years:

  • The prevalence of obesity was 18.5% and affected about 13.7 million children and adolescents.
  • Obesity prevalence was 13.9% among 2- to 5-year-olds, 18.4% among 6- to 11-year-olds, and 20.6% among 12- to 19-year-olds.

Statistics show that 80% of obese children who manage to survive into adulthood will remain obese as adults. Yet caring medical professionals who dare to ring the alarm about this explosion in obesity get accused of “fat-shaming,” as though mentioning the need to lose weight amounted to some sort of a bigoted Civil Rights violation. A recent NY Times article about women so extremely fat that fertility clinics rejected them when they applied for In Vitro Fertilization drew hundreds of such angry comments. Only a few people commenting on the article mentioned that a morbidly obese woman will, as a matter of course, deliver sick, at-risk children. The helpless individual gestating in the womb will, for 9 months, eat everything that the mother eats. And what the mother eats contributes to her own obesity. As a result, according to research from the University of Colorado School of Medicine, a fetus developing inside an obese woman has a high likelihood of growing into an obese child who suffers medical problems from the moment of birth.  A new research report published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes) shows obesity during pregnancy associated with a 3.5-times increased future risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D) in the child.

As the Mayo Clinic notes:

Obesity during pregnancy can cause various health problems for a baby, including:

  • Being significantly larger than average (fetal macrosomia) and having more body fat than normal, which increases the risk of metabolic syndrome and childhood obesity
  • Having birth defects — and obesity makes it harder to detect these conditions with ultrasound

Further, doctors know that throughout pregnancy, right up to the moment of birth, the obese mother herself faces enormous medical risks. Patients with a body too gross to safely deliver a baby via the birth canal require Caesarean Section. This means they need general anesthesia.

“If you or a loved one are overweight or obese and planning to have surgery, you should be aware that excess weight can put you at risk for certain side effects and complications,” notes The American Society of Anesthesiologists. “These can result from the surgery itself, or from the anesthesia you may need during your surgery. One of the biggest concerns is that being overweight makes you more likely to have a condition called sleep apnea, which causes you to temporarily stop breathing while you sleep. This can make anesthesia riskier, especially general anesthesia, which causes you to lose consciousness.” Among the surgical risks cited by anesthesiologists are:

  • Locating veins to deliver anesthesia and life-saving emergency medications intravenously
  • Determining the right dose of medications
  • Ensuring you get enough oxygen and airflow, especially if you have sleep apnea
  • Adding to the time it takes to regain consciousness after surgery and your recovery time
  • Increasing the risk of breathing problems with narcotics and other pain medicines
  • Placing a breathing tube

Further, a C-Section calls for making an incision through a wall of fat tissue often more than one solid foot thick, and that in itself presents dangers. Yet in the NY Times comment section about this situation, physicians and surgeons – professionals in their field – who refused to provide elective fertility treatments to obese women saw themselves denounced as “sexist,” “misogynist,” “paternalistic,” and that new malediction meant to stop all conversation: “Fat Shamer.”

OBESITY AFFECTS ALL OF US

Things have gotten so bizarre that we frequently see dreadfully obese women selling books, videos, and other products that enthusiastically promote obesity as “curvy” and “beautiful.” They peddle morbid obesity as nothing more than a matter of personal choice and aesthetics. One would think, listening to these irresponsible people, that the history of Western art begins and ends with Reubens (the painter, not, presumably, the sandwich). Health, to this way of thinking, takes a back seat to the subjective notion of what these Hucksters of Heft invariably call “Body Positive Image.” The website for the “Big Beautiful Women Pageant International” boasts of promoting what they call “plus size beauty… designed to show the public that full-figured women are beautiful, intelligent, talented, sexy, elegant, and look great in their choice of clothing.”

Plus-Size… Full-Figured… I’m old enough to remember earlier euphemisms of choice such as the nonsensical “big-boned” or the all-purpose “Husky.”

An article about this distressing cultural aberration begins: “At 371 pounds and wearing a size 32 dress, Kristie doesn’t look like a conventional beauty queen. But thanks to the Miss Big Beautiful Woman (BBW) International pageant, the 17-year-old is able to celebrate her shape along other plus-size women.” I cannot imagine anything to celebrate in the shape of a 371-pound child.

Obesity affects more than surface appearances. In point of fact, obesity negatively affects us all. Consider the overwhelming financial burden on the economy arising from the obesity explosion. For one thing, data suggests that obese workers miss 450 million more days of work annually than compared to workers who are not obese. Obese people suffer more health problems, energy issues, and emotional problems than the non-obese, so corporations lose money in the form of reduced work force productivity.

For another example of the negative affect of obesity on all of us, and on the environment, look to the additional fossil fuel that we must burn in transportation because of obesity. This mind-bending situation definitely harms the environment which so many people claim to care about saving. In terms of jet fuel alone, in just one year, the recent increase in passenger weight adds up to $5 billion more in fuel than airlines would have needed to fly people using the standards of 1960s weights. Obese people in cars require the purchase of $4 billion worth of extra gasoline per year. Overall, it adds up to around a billion gallons of extra fuel annually, all because of the burden of transporting extremely overweight people. A billion gallons. Clearly, we will not lower the much-feared American carbon footprint until we end rampant obesity. Knowing this, a question arises: Why doesn’t the usual “Save The Planet” litany include obesity? Presently, I shall delve into that “mystery.”

Can overweight or obese people harm or kill other people around them, as with the whole “second-hand smoke” commotion? No doubt about it. From Washington State comes the news that the Coast Guard recently introduced changes in ferryboat capacity, dropping the maximum number of passengers from 2,000 to 1,783. The older capacity figures for these boats date back to the 1960s when the average ferry rider weighed 140-160 pounds. Today, the average American weighs in at 185 pounds, so the Coast Guard had to recalculate capacity for safety reasons. Around the world, the growth in obesity has caused several ferries to capsize, killing those aboard.

Additionally, people die when obese drivers suffer weight-related heart attack, blackout, or stroke while behind the wheel of a car, bus, or truck. We occasionally hear news of a driver blacking out because of diabetes, with the out of control car slamming into pedestrians or surrounding buildings. These accidents have grown so common that the state of Pennsylvania recently enacted a strong “driving while diabetic” law. Studies suggest that people with diabetes have anywhere from a 12% to 19% increased risk of causing an auto accident as compared to drivers without diabetes. Such accidents happen so frequently that auto makers have begun developing a device that allows a car to alert its driver of a low blood glucose level. Based on Ford’s “Sync System,” the system will connect a car to a glucose monitor. Auto makers anticipate a sizeable demand for this option – meaning big profits – and they have every reason to feel that way. As of 2017, 30.3 million Americans have diabetes, with type 2 diabetes accounting for a whopping 90% to 95% of all cases. 90% of type 2 diabetics are overweight or obese. And the number of obese people increases annually. How much news coverage does this driving danger get? The bulk of the news coverage about the PA law, for instance, centered on public outrage at the law, which people perceived as discriminatory and unfair, while all but ignoring the underlying reasons for the law. And that brings us to media coverage of the obesity explosion.

MEDIA CULPABILITY

When TV news condescends to cover obesity, they invariably blow it off with pathetic tales of emergency workers using a construction crane to rescue some housebound person weighing over 1,000 pounds (hardly any such people exist) or they present hackneyed puns about people fighting “The Battle of the Bulge.” Personally, I find it repellent when media personalities crack lame jokes about the second deadliest battle in American history. In order to report accurately and responsibly – meaning truthfully – on this widespread health emergency, Media Executives would have to offend and enrage some of their most profitable sponsors. This puts media executives in the position of biting the hand that feeds them, even as that very hand poisons their own children. Breakfast cereal makers, for instance, annually spend $156 Million to entice kids into eating their addictive sugary products. Manufacturers know that by artfully enhancing their products with a bit of Vitamin D here, a dollop of Vitamin C there, and by adding a trifling percentage of whole-grains, they can market their empty sugar calories to look like a healthy and wholesome food. Because of this dodge we see breakfast cereal boxes festooned with words like WHOLE GRAIN, FORTIFIED, GOOD SOURCE OF FIBER, ESSENTIAL NUTRIENTS, and 0 TRANSFATS to provide the appearance of nutrition in products suffused with carbohydrates and sugar. Processed food manufacturers must love slapping that 0 TRANSFATS banner on a product. That seems to impress people who don’t know that the government has completely banned transfats since June 18, 2018. That raises a question: what now substitutes for the outlawed transfats? Generally, manufacturers have replaced transfats with Palm Oil which not only may possess health risks of its own, but its production has led to an environmental calamity on a giant scale. See: Palm Oil Was Supposed to Help Save the Planet. Instead It Unleashed a Catastrophe– NY Times November 20, 2018. This informative piece begins, “A decade ago, the U.S. mandated the use of vegetable oil in biofuels, leading to industrial-scale deforestation – and a huge spike in carbon emissions.” So much for saving the planet…

Sugary drink advertisers spend more lavishly than cereal makers on their media outlay. “I’ve seen 2-year-olds with fatty liver disease and teenagers with Type 2 diabetes,” said Dr. Natalie Muth, a California pediatrician and a lead author of the recommendations [to tax sugary sodas]. “These are diseases we used to see in their grandparents. It’s frustrating because as pediatricians we feel like we’re doing everything we can, but it’s hard to compete with an $800-million-a-year marketing strategy by the soda industry.” – “Two Top Medical Groups Call for Soda Taxes and Advertising Curbs on Sugary Drinks”, NY Times March 25, 2019. An $800-million-a-year marketing strategy… That number alone tells us not to expect TV or radio news to delve too deeply into this situation. As the old saying goes, “Whose bread I eat, his song I sing.”

THE COSTS ADD UP

Obesity hits us all in the wallet. The biggest medical problems we face, the situations that seriously rack up medical expenses for all of us, come from the explosion in obesity – especially childhood obesity, a condition not widely seen until modern times. Pediatric Obesity has emerged as a burgeoning field of medicine. It even has its own literature, “Pediatric Obesity,” a peer-reviewed medical journal covering research into obesity during childhood and adolescence.

Obesity adds about $180 billion annually to America’s medical expenses, much of it paid by Medicare and Medicaid, meaning tax-payers, with another hefty chunk coming from increased insurance premiums. 75% of American healthcare expenditure treats type 2 diabetes, hypertension, lipid problems, cardiovascular disease, cancer, dementia; meaning: Metabolic Syndrome.

In fact, obesity and Metabolic Syndrome have strained Medicare almost to the breaking point. Current numbers show Medicare spending projected to almost triple – from 3% of U.S. gross domestic product in 2006 to 8.8% by 2030, a financially untenable situation.

Every year, the American weight numbers grow alarmingly: Quoting from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2013–2014, in America:
More than 1 in 3 adults were overweight.

More than 2 in 3 adults were overweight or obese.
More than 1 in 3 adults were obese.
About 1 in 13 adults were categorized as extreme obese.
About 1 in 6 children and adolescents ages 2 to 19 were obese.

The above stats come from five years ago. Since then, the situation has gotten worse. For instance, data from 2018 lists 41% of California 5th graders as overweight or obese.  A study from University College London, released June 19, 2019, found that people who stayed obese from childhood through to middle age find themselves more than twice as likely as non-obese people to have difficulty with daily tasks such as lifting, climbing stairs and carrying shopping by the time they reach age 50.

Yet elected officials do not discuss this. They deliberately focus our attention way over there on Climate Change – something we, as individuals, can do nothing about. I cannot stress this enough: Of all the problems we face, from climate change, to war, to election financing, to the state of our schools, to government spying on citizens, only the explosion in obesity presents a situation that people can do something about as individuals and get positive results. But politicians need to generate PERPETUAL FEAR in order to control us.

ALL FRUCKED UP

Around the globe, humans die – and die prematurely – because of the way we poison ourselves with what we eat and drink. The biggest danger in this mass suicide, without doubt, comes from sugary soft drinks – including so-called “juices” made with a mere 10% fruit fleshed out with sweetened water. Even 100% fruit juice presents a grave danger, because it gives us all the sugars of a fruit without any of the fruit’s natural fiber. “The sugar in the fruit,” says pediatric endocrinologist Dr. Robert H. Lustig, “is the way fruit gets us to eat its fiber.”

So if you think of drinking fruit juice, even 100% natural fruit juice, as a healthier alternative to sugary soda, think again. “Eating Fruit Significantly Cuts Diabetes Risk – But Drinking Juice Increases It, Says Study” Quoting from the article: “Eating blueberries, grapes, apples and pears cuts the risk of type 2 diabetes but drinking fruit juice can increase it, a large study has found. Experts from the UK, Singapore and a team from Harvard School of Public Health in the US have examined whether certain fruits impact on type 2, which affects more than 3,000,000 people in Britain. The scientists found that blueberries, grapes, raisins, apples and pears were especially protective, while drinking fruit juice could increase the risk of developing the condition by as much as 8 percent. People who ate three standard servings of blueberries a week had a 26 percent lower chance of developing the condition, they found. Those who replaced fruit juices with three helpings of particular whole fruits a week, including apples and pears could expect a 7 percent drop in their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.” The article continues with “The relatively high glycaemic load of fruit juice along with ‘reduced levels of beneficial nutrients through juicing processes’ may explain why juice increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, the [study] authors suggest.” – The Independent, August 30, 2013 (stress added)

Americans, per person, eat and drink more sugar every day than anyone in the world: a bit over a quarter of a pound of sugar per day, 365 days a year. This adds up to over 91 pounds of sugar per person per year or… 140,525 empty calories. At 3,500 calories per pound of body fat, you end up with 40 pounds of weight gain per year.

Processed foods have a high sugar content. In terms of money spent on food: from 1982 to 2012 the money Americans spend on processed foods items went from 11% of their food money to 22.9%; more than double in 30 years. And that mean we now eat more low-fiber, high-sugar meals than ever before. That spending represents the single biggest increase among food items, and it puts our spending on processed food at the top of the list showing where our food dollars go. This carries much of the blame for the obesity explosion.

For a nation that swallows so much sugar, public ignorance concerning this product boggles the mind. More than merely supplying empty calories, sugar in the form of Fructose and High Fructose Corn Syrup poisons the liver. It will, over time, kill the liver. But sugar works as a chronic hepatic poison, not an acute poison, so the FDA allows its use as an ingredient.

Note: We should not confuse HFCS with Corn Syrup, a product people have used since the early 19thCentury. While both products derive from Corn Starch, Corn Syrup contains 100% Glucose. Some Corn Syrup providers have added HFCS to their product, so read the label if you buy Corn Syrup for cooking.

In a nutshell, here’s what happens with fructose in the body: Glucose gets used by every organ in the body. Life runs on glucose, but fructose works quite differently. It gets metabolized only by, and in, the liver where it gets turned right into fat. We cannot do anything about that. Fructose, and High Fructose Corn Syrup poison the body. Fructose acts on the body in the same way ethanol (alcohol) does, inflicting upon the user conditions similar to that of the chronic alcoholic (non-alcoholic liver disease). See this explained in detail in the sugar video below. Click here for a handy rundown about sugars: What Is the Difference Between Sucrose, Glucose & Fructose?

Below I offer pertinent data from The Diabetes Council (I felt it necessary to quote this section in its entirety with links):

Sugar and Connection to Health

1)   A 15-year longitudinal study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that individuals had more than twice the risk of dying from heart disease if they consumed 25% or more of their total daily calories intake from sugar. (JAMA Internal Medicine)

2)   Fructose is known to increase uric acid buildup in the body. Research studies have shown that men who drink 2 or more servings of soft drinks a day are 69% more likely to develop gouts than men who drink 5 to 6 servings a week. (BMJ “Soft Drinks, Fructose Consumption, and the Risk of Gout in men: Prospective Cohort Study”)

3)   High sugar intake can lead to chromium deficiency. Because chromium is an important mineral that helps regulating blood sugar level, the deficiency increases the chance of individuals to suffer from hyperglycemia and even develop pre-diabetes symptoms. Research studies have shown that high sugar diets can increase urinary Chromium loss by as much as 300%. (PlumX Metrics “Effects of Diets High in Simple Sugars on Urinary Chromium Losses”)

4)   Sugar is known to suppress immune system. Just by consuming 100 grams of sugar (similar amount found in a medium soft drink) can already suppress white blood cells functioning by 40% for at least 5 hours. (Daily Mail)

5)   Sugar accelerates aging process. Science research studies have found that sugar speeds up the cell aging process. By measuring the cell telomere lengths, scientists can find out the aging speed on an individual. In a study of 5,309 individuals, those who drink sugary drinks on a regular basis are shown to have much shorter telomere lengths than individuals who do not drink sugary drinks. (AJPH “Soda and Cell Aging”)

6)   Sugar can increase the risk of cavities as it can drop the oral environment to an acidic pH level of less than 5.5 within 30 minutes of consumption, allowing bacteria to demineralize the teeth surfaces. (Oxford Academic)

7)   Glucose is known to amplify cortisol secretion during a psychological stress event. Research tests were able to measure the cortisol level before and after a stressful exercise. Unlike protein and fat, glucose increased the cortisol level by almost 4 times from 5 nmol/l to 23nmol/l. (Hormones and Behavior)

8)   High fructose consumption is also linked to non-alcoholic liver disease. Longitudinal studies have found that daily fructose consumption is directly related to increased risk of liver inflammation in individuals that are already suffering from fatty liver disease. (Hepatology “Increased Fructose Consumption Is Associated with Fibrosis Severity in Patients with Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease”)

9)   High intake of fructose is linked to significant increased risk of developing certain type of cancer such as brain cancer, pancreatic cancer (up to 53% increased risk), oral cancer (increased 10% to 15%), and prostate cancer (increased 33% risk). (Journal of the National Cancer Institute)(Oral Oncology)(Cancer Research)

For more, click HERE.

As noted above, a simple tax on sugary soft drinks, perhaps 1¢ or 2¢ per gram of sugar, will inhibit purchases and save lives. Ending all advertising of sugary foods to children – including breakfast cereals and juices – will also save lives. Without doubt, these measures will go a long way toward reducing childhood obesity. We have ample precedent for these types of actions. Under enormous public pressure, government did both those things with cigarettes, taxing them and banning advertising, starting with advertising that appealed to children. Now, this very day, local governments repeat this with vaping. As I write these words, San Francisco has banned E-Cigarettes because of the appeal they have for children. San Francisco Bans Sale of Juul and Other E-Cigarettes” – NY Times, 6/25/19

So why not do the same thing with an addictive, poisonous ingredient like sugar? Because doing so little as merely proposing, or discussing, such policies will ignite forceful, hostile, and influential opposition from big-money concerns that donate (as we call bribery) to politicians. Among others, these interests include the giant agricultural corporations, fast “food” purveyors, advertisers who target children, and most dishearteningly of all, the very individuals who, in fact, consume these products; people dying as a result of their excessive sugar and fructose consumption. These sugar addicts will fight, literally to their death, for their right to ingest inexpensive sugar in whatever quantity suits them, while claiming that they hurt nobody but themselves – a fallacy I dealt with above.

So yes, let’s work to clean up pollution. Yes, let’s aim to reduce carbon emissions. I see both as worthwhile goals – goals that ending obesity will help us to achieve. But we need some proportion here. What project has a greater chance of success? Without doubt, fixing ourselves will present a higher chance of attainment. But in an act of manipulation that recalls a stage magician’s sleight-of-hand, corporate media, which makes billions from advertising these sugary products, deliberately shifts our attention away from the immediate consequences of obesity, preferring to send people into a panic over “saving the planet,” a vague and deeply grandiose delusion. The idea that people who can neither feed themselves properly nor raise healthy children can “save the planet” would seem laughable if we did not know the dimensions of the obesity tragedy. Save yourself first. Without taking care of ourselves, we will never have the power to help anything or anyone else. The planet faces no danger. With nature we have a balanced, sensible system that heals itself. Because of extensive obesity across the globe, HUMANITY faces the risk, and at risk right this very moment. But as the murder statistics show, people get irrationally frightened by whatever media tells them to fear. At the moment, as the summer of 2019 gets under way, media’s fixation on fear and death has led people to fear vacationing in The Dominican Republic (“What you need to know about canceling a trip to the Dominican Republic,” Washington Post, June 27, 2019). Corporate media uses irrational fear to shunt our attention away from present dangers and off into “the future.” Thus, most of us willingly refuse to see the very real, immediate, and current threat that exists right under our shirts.

Humanity faces death because of the way we now eat and drink. Our children fall into serious illness because of the garbage they ingest. Unlike fixing climate change, people can remedy this with minimal effort – but only if we first acknowledge the situation. As I noted above, losing weight works just as naturally as gaining weight; otherwise gaining weight would make no sense at all. And again, I cannot stress this enough: Of all the problems we face, from climate change, to war, to election financing, to the state of our schools, to government spying on citizens, only the explosion in obesity presents a situation that people can do something about as individuals and get positive results.

WHAT WE CAN DO ABOUT OBESITY NOW

Ending obesity will save lives, relieve a massive strain on the economy, help the environment by curbing the additional need for fossil fuels, ease medical costs, and save a generation of children who now age before their time.

Taxing sugary drinks can work. But the one thing that can all but guarantee success in the fight against obesity will not happen: banning the poison called High Fructose Corn Syrup. It took a hard enough struggle to win the fight against deadly transfats. That legislation only came about as more and more people decided not to buy items containing transfats. The food culture had changed just a bit and that made the removal of transfats possible. Remember, only money and sales matter. Only when something lethal stops selling, will businesses stop making it – and then they will congratulate themselves for being so responsive to health needs.

The metabolism of fructose leads directly to de novo lipogenesisa fancy way of saying: the creation of fat. A calorie of fructose differs from a calorie of almost anything else. Now here comes the clincher: A recent study shows the good that happens when we restrict dietary fructose. From Effects of Dietary Fructose Restriction on Liver Fat, De Novo Lipogenesis and Insulin Kinetics in Children with Obesity:

Doctors Jean-Marc Schwarz and Robert Lustig analyzed data from a trial exploring the effects of adolescent fructose restriction (published in Gastroenterology, February 2017): 43 obese adolescent children were fed a diet similar to their habitual diets (51% carbohydrate, 16% protein, and 33% fat, at a level of calories anticipated to lead to weight maintenance) but with most of the dietary sugar replaced with starch (the share of calories from sugar dropped from a baseline of 27.7% to 10.2%). All food was provided for the duration of the study and purchased from local supermarkets to best mimic foods available to subjects in the real world.
Subjects followed this diet for nine days. By day 10, the following metabolic changes had occurred:

  • Median liver fat content decreased from 7.1% to 3.8%, and 37 out of 38 tested subjects showed a decrease in liver fat.
  • Visceral adipose tissue volume decreased from 123 cm³ to 110 cm³.
  • De novo lipogenesis (DNL) decreased significantly overall and in 37 out of 40 subjects.
  • Measures of insulin sensitivity significantly improved.

Ten days without fructose, folks. Just TEN days. That’s all it took. And this was not a “reducing” diet. It was, rather, a life-saving diet.

Charts show that the explosion in obesity corresponds directly to the widespread use of HFCS, especially in soft drinks. In 1980, the companies that make Coca-Cola and Pepsi began the domestic transition from sugar to HFCS, completing the changeover in 1984. Because this move drastically lowered the cost of sugared sodas, the standard 10-ounce serving gave way to one-liter and two-liter bottles. Between 1970 and 1990, according to Consumer Reports, American eating habits led to a 1,000% percent increase in the consumption of high-fructose corn syrup. Again: A calorie of HFCS does not work the same as a calorie of sugar. Unlike sugar, more of HFCS turns into fat that gets stored in the liver. Could this explain why so many people now try to, but cannot, lose weight?

YOUR MONEY OR YOUR LIFE

Remember what I wrote at the start? “people have grown fatter and fatter. And sicker and sicker.” Clearly, fructose consumption has made us sicker and fatter. Many studies back this up. Despite this ever-growing body of knowledge, politicians will never vote to ban HFCS. To do that amounts to the same as casting a vote to triple (at least) processed food prices, and, as noted above, we spend most of our food dollars on processed foods. Government subsidizing of HFCS has made it near ubiquitous in the food system and raised the price of table sugar (sucrose) while lowering the price of HFCS, making it the most inexpensive sugared sweetener. “Very simply,” writes Michael Pollan, “we subsidize high-fructose corn syrup in this country, but not carrots. While the surgeon general is raising alarms over the epidemic of obesity, the president is signing farm bills designed to keep the river of cheap corn flowing, guaranteeing that the cheapest calories in the supermarket will continue to be the unhealthiest.” (The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, 2006) You may think of a bottle of soda as cheap, but we all pay for it through tax-payer subsidies.

HFCS only exists to keep food prices artificially low. Manufacturers have made Sweetening an essential ingredient in the packaged, low-fat, processed foods that people now gobble up in place of wholesome foods. They need to add large doses of sugar to keep low-fat processed foods from tasting like cardboard. To keep these sweetened foods affordable, the government subsidizes corn growers, making HFCS inexpensive. Large agricultural corporations lobby heavily for those government corn subsidies, so don’t expect HFCS to go away. As long as consumers make the conscious decision to rely on processed foods instead of cooking real food, as long as we crave inexpensive sweetened snacks and sugary beverages, HFCS will remain legal and in wide use, no matter how much it poisons us. It will remain legal and unregulated, but that does not mean we have to eat this stuff.

As individuals, we have the ability to stop eating High Fructose Corn Syrup. As you saw above, go just ten days without fructose and the body improves. The government can subsidize this deleterious product all they want, but they cannot compel us to eat it. We have the power to decide not to eat anything containing HFCS and we damn well need to exercise that power.

The peddling of HFCS reaches its zenith (or nadir) with the popular “Arizona Iced Tea” line of soft drinks. NY Times describes Arizona products as “made from high-fructose corn syrup diluted with water or tea” (This Menu Is Brought to You by Arizona Iced Tea, May 7, 2019). So rather than using HFCS as a flavoring ingredient, it constitutes the main part of the drink. Tea, not HFCS, gets used as the flavoring. How then can they legally call this stuff “Arizona iced tea” and not “Arizona High Fructose Corn Syrup”?  The Times article notes, “Every eight ounces of Arizona’s Mucho Mango or Grapeade contains 110 calories, 10 more than in the same amount of Coca-Cola.” The Times then goes on to boast that for more than 25 years Arizona has kept the price of its 23-ounce cans of liquid to just 99¢. They don’t mention that this happened because of government subsidies. The word SUBSIDY doesn’t even appear in the story, a PR puff-piece piece disguised as news. In their own tangy vernacular, journalists call this kind of story… “a blow-job.”

In our copiously stocked food marts, bulging with items, Americans have access to more than 600,000 items. 80% of these items contain added sucrose and/or the baleful High Fructose Corn Syrup. We need not buy these items. We have a choice. As a nation, Americans make a fetish of “choice”. When it comes to toilet paper, we can decide from among almost 20 popular brands (Charmin Ultra Soft, Quilted Northern Ultra Plush, Quilted Northern Ultra Soft & Strong, Angel Soft Toilet Paper, Great Value Ultra Strong, Scott 1000, etc.) and innumerable “off-brands”. Despite this need to choose, we have become remarkably consistent in our eating choices, leaning heavily on processed, sweetened, low-fiber items. Processed meals shot through with HFCS get washed down with inexpensive sugary drinks consumed by the quart at each sitting. The CDC reports that on a given day in America, 63% of youths and 49% of adults drink a sugared beverage. Per day that adds up to 143 calories from sugary sweetened beverages for the young, and 145 calories for adults. For decades now, the typical American lunch has consisted of a fast-food cheeseburger, fries, and a quart of sugary soda. Do people who regularly eat at fast-food places know exactly what ingredients they eat? Do they bother to find out? In 2016, McDonald’s announced that it would transition away from HFCS in their hamburger buns. Did you even know they put HFCS in the buns in the first place? Take a look at some Burger King products that contain HFCS: Breakfast Syrup, Buffalo Sauce, Chocolate Shake Syrup, Coca Cola Classic, Corn Dusted Buns, Croissant (Croissan’wich), Dr Pepper, Dutch Apple Pie, Hershey’s Sundae Pie, Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce, Honey Mustard Spread, Icee – Coca Cola Classic, Icee – Minute Maid Cherry, Ketchup, Milk Shake, Milk, 1% Lowfat Chocolate, Mott’s Strawberry Flavored Applesauce, Sesame Seed Buns, Specialty Buns, Sprite, Steak Sauce, Strawberry Shake Syrup, Tartar Sauce.

When it comes to sweeteners, what happened to that beloved freedom of choice we so deeply cherish? Please don’t tell me that we can decide among scores of toilet paper brands, but we can’t show a sense of discrimination when it comes to our food. As a nation, we can start to return to health by refusing to eat so many empty calories, especially calories which our bodies have not biologically evolved to handle. We simply do not have to eat HFCS. We need not fill our pantries with items containing HFCS. It may seem a bit costlier, but we have to decide what we would most prefer to save: our money or our life.

Must humanity end this way? Not with a bang but with a soda pop? As the imaginary Martian invaders of H.G. Wells fell victim to the power of the lowly bacteria, it now appears that unless we decide to stop eating HFCS, and low-fiber, high sugar processed food, humanity will fall before the power of the lowly fructose molecule.

We can do something about this. As you shop for food remember: Eat real food, not processed food-ish garbage. Real food = high fiber, low sugar. Processed food = low fiber, high sugar. We need dietary fiber to properly digest food. Also, throw out all sugary sodas and stop drinking fruit juice. You may drink “natural” fruit juice but that does not make it something salubrious. Instead of drinking the fruit, eatthe fruit. Fruit’s natural fiber gives us exactly what we need with sweet fruit because the fiber reduces the rate of sugar absorption from gut into bloodstream, thereby keeping insulin down. Before I learned about this, I thought I did good for myself by starting the day with fresh-squeezed orange juice or grapefruit juice. I may as well have knocked back a pint of Bourbon considering what fruit juice does to the body. As fructose in foods acts on the liver we become insulin resistant. That makes us crave more sugar. We get trapped in a cycle, making us buy more food containing sugar.

Dietary fiber plus carbohydrates will work wonders for health and digestion. And forget about dumping Metamucil® into a glass of fruit juice. Fiber doesn’t work that way. No fiber additive yet concocted can replace natural fiber.

Do not think of the situation as not hopeless. Endocrinologist Robert Lustig offers a list of four simple “musts” when treating obese children. His data shows this list will succeed every time, provided we do them all:

1) get rid of all sugar drinks in the house.
2) eat carbs with fiber because fiber acts as the antidote to carbohydrate.
3) wait 20 minutes for any 2nd portions for satiety signals to work.
4) buy screen time with an equal amount of activity. An hour of activity for an hour of TV or internet time.

SUMMING UP

IMPORTANT POINT: Sugar itself, not merely the empty calories from sugar, causes the problems. We cannot consider sugar as a food. Nothing we eat on a regular basis that contains excessive sugar (HFCS) can replace real food. In the 1970s, prior to HFCS, Americans, per capita, consumed about 38 lbs. of sugar a year. At the peak of our sugar consumption, in 2004, that number shot up to a horrific 110 lbs. per person, per year. Now the amount comes to under 100 because sugared soda consumption has dropped, but still that represents a shocking amount of empty calories. And let’s be clear, despite the Old Wives’ Tale a calorie is NOT a calorie. As I have related above, empty calories from fructose present far more danger than empty calories from table sugar. The calories in fructose act more like calories in booze.

Fructose leads to the worst health problem now facing the world: metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome can lead to obesity, a condition that we may easily see with a cursory glance. Metabolic syndrome, however, does not always make itself visible.

Medical research has supplied thoroughly reliable Causal Medical Inference that sugar causes diabetes. We have solid research. Consumption of vast amounts of sugars in soda holds the biggest responsibility for the growth of diabetes. An econometric analysis of diet and diabetes in developed nations shows that every extra 150 calories consumed per person increases diabetes prevalence by 0.1%. But if those same 150 calories come from soda, then diabetes prevalence increases eleven times (1.1%). This kills people. Medical science has come to see obesity as the sign of a much deeper problem.

Sugars create addiction and sugars create medical damage, as do alcohol and tobacco – both of which we regulate stringently. Yet sugars remain unregulated. It seems to me that since Fructose gets metabolized the same as Ethanol, using it now and then like a responsible, adult drinker uses alcohol may not present a drastic danger. But now imagine Ethanol added to 80% of foods… or in the glue we lick on envelopes… Or consuming Ethanol from age 2 in all meals and snacks… Therein lies the problem. We have made Fructose damn near ubiquitous and most people don’t care about it, so long as a meal or a drink costs 99¢. People who think nothing of starting their day with orange juice would never consider starting that same day with a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon.  But they may as well do that for all the good fructose-laden, fiber-free fruit juice does us.

The US Constitution lists the reasons for the government to exist. Right at the top, in the preamble we see an important reason: to “promote the general welfare.” We can achieve that by regulating sugar (a pipe-dream, I know). By not regulating sugars, and by financially subsidizing HFCS – making it so inexpensive that we find added sugars in over three quarters of the food sold to the public – the government in fact promotes and encourages a general degeneration and corruption of the general welfare. This goes contrary to our very Constitution.

In the absence of government action, that leaves it up to us, as individuals, to do something. We can start with dropping fruit juices and sugared sodas immediately and by purchasing and consuming only real food. We can improve the situation by ridding our shelves entirely of processed food-like stuff. If we stop buying it, the producers of this chazereiwill stop stocking store shelves with it. Think money as the pressure point that gets results. Here in New York City, the Upper Westside once had a lovely independent bookstore called Shakespeare & Co. In time, a Barnes & Noble megastore opened right across the street. And little Shakespeare’s died. The people in the neighborhood had abandoned the small store to do their book/magazine shopping at B&N. When the store closed, many neighborhood people appeared on TV news and gave newspaper interviews to mourn the loss of this charming store. But who killed the store by by abandoning it? Those very people.  Contrast that with this: I knew someone who lived in the small town of Hallowell, Maine. He told me that over the years many corporate chain stores opened up in the area only to go out of business almost immediately because nobody shopped there. One after another, chain stores would open up thinking this was virgin territory ripe for the picking. They soon found out why chain stores didn’t fill the landscape: The people who lived in the area preferred to patronize their local businesses. And there we see the power of the consumer dollar.

The late Flo Kennedy, a political activist, agitator, artist, and actor, used to tell a story. A frail, elderly woman went to her dentist for some needed dental work. As the dentist leaned over her, examining her teeth, he became aware of an uncomfortable feeling of pressure in his groin. He looked down and saw the woman’s hand in his groin where, through the dentist’s trousers, she gently clasped his scrotum. He looked at her, astonished, and she softly said, “Now doctor. I know we’re not going to hurt each other, are we?” Kennedy summed up the moral of that story as: “The only way to get anything done in this society is by applying testicular pressure.” For the companies that produce low fiber, high sugar processed foods, and stores that sell them, we need to use our money to apply Flo Kennedy’s testicular pressure. These businesses understand only money. They do not exist to nourish people. They exist to sell things and they will not try to sell what nobody buys. We used that strategy to get transfats off of store shelves. In other words: The fault, dear friends, is not in our stars but… on our shelves.

VIDEOS

In an engaging, easy to follow manner, Dr. Robert Lustig tells us more than we may want to know about sugar, but stick with it because he explains things we truly need to know. Pay particular attention to the last part, after the biochemistry lessons – although the speaker makes that medical science stuff damn near painless.
Learn the differences between glucose (good for you!) and Fructose (kills the liver).
Why does Coca-Cola contain caffeine and salt? See how a can of sugary soda gets metabolized by the body in precisely the same way as… a can of beer. Would you give a can of beer to a small child? Would you?
Find out the story behind Gatorade® and learn the simple things you can do to stop obesity in its tracks (HINT: NO, NO, NO sugary drinks EVER.)
Of special interest and importance, Dr. Lustig details how the body handles identical calorie counts from white bread, bourbon, and orange juice. He explores this question: Does obesity really cause Metabolic Syndrome or… does Metabolic Syndrome cause obesity?

This short Australian report called GLOBESITY will show you precisely how prevalent the obesity problem has become.