health

Two surprising reasons behind the obesity epidemic: Too much salt, not enough water

51 Comments
By Richard Johnson

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51 Comments

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Naisu article! This is the point: behave much like a captive desert sand rat

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Very interesting article that does an excellent job presenting the information that sustain the theories to explain in some part why obesity is so common, this knowledge can be used to make much more effective interventions to control the epidemic by using less difficult changes in the daily life that would still have a big effect.

It is always difficult to make research on nutrition because of the difficulty of doing the necessary clinical trials (since it is not practical to recruit thousands of people and control their diet completely for months), but the indirect data from animals and limited interventions can help understanding the problems much more closely.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

An obesity epidemic? In Japan?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Great article!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Right, but given that the goal is to lower obesity rates, are less difficult changes such as drinking more water and reducing salt intake enough to lower a person's weight from clinically, or morbidly, obese to a healthy weight range?

They don't have to be just the easiest possible measures, just easier, if drinking more water and reducing salt intake increase the success rate of people initiating a diet (because that is the effect, not directly making the weight go down) then this is still very good news, The results don't need to replace what is being tried, it can be used to complement the measures and give better results.

I accept that any reduction in weight is desirable but is, for example, a 350 pound person losing 10 pounds really going to make much difference to that person?

It could be, if that makes that person change their way of thinking from "I can never lose any weight" to "these are only 10 pounds but it was not even hard to do, I can go for more"

4 ( +7 / -3 )

It seems best therefore to strictly limit carbs and get enough fluids (not necessarily water, but also tea) rather than simply cutting salt.

Most people do more exercise on a daily basis than walk to the station and back so they exactly need a lot of energy...

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I'd personally take this with a pinch of...

Have noticed in recent years how salty food in Japan is becoming, perhaps due to customers' tastes altering from consuming more fast food.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Good article

IMO, one reason US folks don’t drink enough water, and so many are obese, is the amount of pop, slurrpees, tea, etc and the HFCS that go with it.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

hard to say how this jives with Japanese food being very salty. Maybe all those vending machines are really saving the country via hydration?

Looking at a wikipedia list from 2016, nation obesity rates, USA came in 12th, my own Canada 26th, Japan 185th.

Maybe look at the Japanese diet (non Western foods) intead of rats. Plenty of nations to learn from

4 ( +4 / -0 )

also how many sweet potatoes do Americans even eat versus Japanese? Lots of places to find inspiration

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Too much salt, not enough water

I'd say "too much food, not enough exercise" has something to do with it too.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I think the problem with dieting is that people become impatient, and tend to discontinue them if they don't see results pretty much immediately

That is understandable when the life changes are quite drastic and difficult to maintain, if people feel hungry and irritable the whole day they will also expect the same drastic effects, even when this is not reasonable.

But let's say that personalized adjustments to their diet makes it much less of a problem, the people will feel less hungry, irritable, weak, etc. but will lose weight at the same slow pace. It becomes much more easier to understand this gradual effect because the efforts are also less drastic.

Great point, but not guaranteed.

Nothing in medicine is guaranteed, and this includes dietary interventions, but if these results make it more likely to happen then that is still a big advantage.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

If your body is working properly, it can handle the salt. People should definitely drink plenty of water though, and cut carbs, rather than salt.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I wonder if eating too much food could also be a contributing factor?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Haven't added salt to my food for over 15 years as most natural foods have their own salt. Keep away from processed food as they're mainly, salt, fat and sugar

You can add salt to food if you are cooking it from raw ingredients. The amount of food people add in home cooking is rarely too much for your health. The problem comes from salt in processed food. Processed foods are generally high in sodium. If you are adding salt to processed foods, it's putting a hat on a hat. Home cooks who are making healthy dishes will be fine to put salt in their dishes.

The above will be true for most people. There will also be some outliers with salt sensitivity who will see their sodium levels go up even when adding small amounts of salt to their food.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Cutting the carbs (rice and potatoes) is a good idea. I happen to love both, but I'm rather frugal with them in my weekly dietary intake. But, I must admit to preferring wine or cold Japanese green tea over water. Oops, hope I die before I get old!

Y'all stay healthy, y'ear?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I’ve never eaten salty foods, so I can taste how salty ready made food is, it’s inedible. A lot of food in Japan is extremely salty, sweet too.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japanese have salt foods, miso, soya, and pickles, and add sugar but obesity is not the norm.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Japanese have salt foods, miso, soya, and pickles, and add sugar but obesity is not the norm.

The research indicates an excess is the problem, and that this is combined with low hydration and consumption of high levels of fructose. It would be necessary to see how all these factor combine in the Japanese diet, maybe higher water consumption is enough to neutralize the amount of salt being used, maybe not so much fructose is present in the diet, maybe other factor not yet identified is also important.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

During the course of the day, the Japanese drink a lot of green tea.

Mean per-capita tap water intake across the entire Japanese population was estimated at 1.28 L/d, whereas mean pTWI was estimated at 1.65 L/d. Two liters per day corresponds to the 88th percentile of tap water intake and to the 76th percentile of pTWI, and covers the intake of the majority of the population in Japan.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I was stunned when I learned at my gym that most of the 40-50kg female members have a bodyfat composition of 25-30%.

How exactly are you learning of the body fat percentages of the female members at your gym? Where are they posting this private information?

Keep the same weight, but build up the lean muscle and lose some of that flab.

It depends on your end goals. Power lifters are going for the biggest muscles they can get. This means feeding the muscles the absolute most they can use, insofar as protein and other macro-nutrients they need. This means they often gain fat as well, but it's almost impossible to build muscles up to their top performance level without putting on body fat as well.

But even power lifters will not claim that what they do is healthy.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

The cause for obesity has been known for years.

It is all forms of sugar (Fructose, Glucose) and insulin resistance.

Salt is fine. Out bodies can regulate salt (i.e sweat or pee it out if we have too much) but our body cannot regulate sugar (which it converts into fat and stores it).

Want to prevent obesity...

Avoid carbohydrates; wheat, oats, bread, pastry, potatoes, rice and pasta (which are basically sugar bombs)

Avoid fruit: they have been modified over the years and now contain way too much sugar. A modern apple from the supermarket contains the same amount of sugar as a bagel... There is no such thing as healthy sugar.

Eat more green vegetables, salad, healthy fat (Ghee, lard, tallow, butter, avocado) and protein (meat). Good balance is 50% veggies, 25% fat and 25% protein.

Best advice ever (fact) = Ketogenic lifestyle combined with intermittent fasting.

Bonus health tip (reduce cancer risk) avoid all seed oils, such as vegetable oil, canola oil etc. They are toxic and a major contributor to inflammation and cancer. At all costs avoid reheated seed oils. They are super toxic. The type of reused oil at nearly all fast food and discount food outlets.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Avoiding carbs is daft, your body needs carbs. It’s the amount you eat that’s the issue.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

wallaceAug. 28  12:23 pm JST

During the course of the day, the Japanese drink a lot of green tea.

Surprisingly, Japan is not even in the world top ten for overall tea drinkers.

These sugars encourage people to eat more, which can lead to weight gain, fat accumulation and prediabetes.

Consume the sugars and fats, but eat less, or exercise more, and no excess fat accumulation.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

People in China consume approximately 50 % of the total green tea consumption in the world. Japan is the second largest green tea-drinking country. About 80,000 tons of green tea are consumed in Japan every year.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

This is a list of countries ordered by annual per capita consumption of tea

1. Turkey

2. Ireland

3. Iran

 4.United Kingdom

5. Russia

6. Morocco

7. New Zealand

8. Chile

9. Egypt

10. Poland

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

painkiller

did you miss the parts in my comments about the Japanese drinking green tea?

@Aug. 28 

12:23 pm JST

During the course of the day, the Japanese drink a lot of green tea.

@Today 

10:49 am JST

People in China consume approximately 50 % of the total green tea consumption in the world. Japan is the second largest green tea-drinking country. About 80,000 tons of green tea are consumed in Japan every year.

https://www.o-cha.net/english/teacha/distribution/greentea3.html

4 ( +7 / -3 )

wallaceToday  11:09 am JST

did you miss the parts in my comments about the Japanese drinking green tea?

No, did you miss my Today  10:23 am JST comment:

Surprisingly, Japan is not even in the world top ten for overall tea drinkers.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

This is a list of countries ordered by annual per capita consumption of tea

That list is 6 years old.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

painkiller

wallaceToday 11:09 am JST

> did you miss the parts in my comments about the Japanese drinking green tea?

No, did you miss my Today 10:23 am JST comment:

> Surprisingly, Japan is not even in the world top ten for overall tea drinkers.

Since my comments were about green tea you should have just posted your comment without referring to me as if it was a response.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

painkiller

you can never make good tea from using muddy waters.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

wallaceToday  11:23 am JST

Since my comments were about green tea you should have just posted your comment without referring to me as if it was a response.

Since my comment was about tea in general, and green tea is a tea, I have the right to post as I please and will continue to do so.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

The best way to make tea can be found on Wikipedia.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Personally, I prefer coffee.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Many years ago I had a co-worker collapse and be taken away by ambulance.

During the doctor’s questioning he revealed he hadn’t drunk water for as long as he could remember; just juice, coffee and alcohol at the weekend.

Drink water.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

There are limits to everything when it comes your body. Ignore them at your mortal peril.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

During the doctor’s questioning he revealed he hadn’t drunk water for as long as he could remember; just juice, coffee and alcohol at the weekend.

Drink water.

Do you mean all three only at the weekend, or alcohol at the weekend and the other two during the week?

Drinking water is good. But there's water in all of those things, and I think the water content will more than compensate for any diuretic effect. 20% of a person's daily water intake generally comes from food.

Did the co-worker collapse from dehydration only?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Do you mean all three only at the weekend, or alcohol at the weekend and the other two during the week?

The latter. Sure, we get ‘water’ in all kinds of drinks, fruit, vegetables etc. But not drinking actual water for years will bash the hell out of your kidneys.

Did the co-worker collapse from dehydration only?

Acute pain cause by kidney stones.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I drink water all day long. I have little bottles of chilled water around my home and next to my bed.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

The latter. Sure, we get ‘water’ in all kinds of drinks, fruit, vegetables etc. But not drinking actual water for years will bash the hell out of your kidneys.

Did the co-worker collapse from dehydration only?*

Acute pain cause by kidney stones.

Thanks, and Dr Google says you're absolutely right about the kidney thing.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Over 70 million adults in the U.S. are obese (35 million men and 35 million women). 99 million are overweight (45 million women and 54 million men).

 3.6 percent of Japanese have a body mass index (BMI) over 30, which is the international standard for obesity, whereas 32.0 percent of Americans do.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

the United Kingdom had proportionately more obese and overweight adults than anywhere in western Europe with the exception of Iceland and Malta.

31% of adults in England are clinically obese with a Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than 30. 63% of adults are classified as overweight or obese (a body mass index of 25 or above). More than two-thirds of men and 6 in 10 women are overweight or obese.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

Most of the countries with more obesity than America are the small islands in the Pacific. America is the most obese of all the G7 countries.

The UK has an obesity problem but not at the level of the US. The UK is the highest in Europe.

Adult obesity rates are highest in the United States, Mexico, New Zealand and Hungary, while they are lowest in Japan and Korea.

https://www.oecd.org/els/health-systems/Obesity-Update-2017.pdf

2 ( +4 / -2 )

37.3 million Americans, about 1 in 10 have diabetes.

About 1 in 5 people with diabetes don't know they have it.

No one with diabetes should die because they can't afford their insulin. It's a medicine that can be produced for just a few dollars… but manufacturers Eli Lilly, Sanofi, and Novo Nordisk mark up the price as much as 5,000 percent and there are seven million Americans with diabetes that have no choice but to pay.

High insulin costs are killing Americans

https://rightcarealliance.org/activities/insulin/

3 ( +5 / -2 )

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