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Smoking, obesity are why U.S. lifespans lag a bit

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Saturday Night Live made a crack about this.

No wonder Americans are fat, when you make a sandwich using fried chicken as the bun (The sandwich consists of two fried chicken fillets wrapped around bacon, cheese and Colonel's sauce)

Huuum, heart pumping harder, not working.

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No wonder Americans are fat, when you make a sandwich using fried chicken as the bun (The sandwich consists of two fried chicken fillets wrapped around bacon, cheese and Colonel's sauce)

I read somewhere that they were thinking of starting selling that here in Japan too.

Smoking, obesity are why U.S. lifespans lag a bit

It's so nice to see correct scientific wording like "a bit".

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I'll take QOL over life expectancy any day! LE (like BMI) is overrated IMHO!

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You are what you eat.

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You are what you eat

I must look absolutely delicious then!

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I'll take QOL over life expectancy any day!

Not much QOL in coughing your lungs inside out and eating rubbish. I'll take QOL and life expectancy - they come in a package.

And I'm sure miamum is both delectable and heading for a long and healthy life (Me too, I hope!). :-)

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It't not the smoking or the obesity, it is the stress in American society causing Americans to smoke and eat too much, they self medicate on cigarettes and tobacco (and alcohol).

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Most heavy smokers and obese people are not exactly Rhodes Scholars so they are ignorant to the long-term effects of smoking and eating every meal like it was Thanksgiving...

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"The U.S. spends more on health care than any other nation yet ..."

Does that mean they get/use more health care? Or could it simply be more expensive?

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the US has a big space to cover, different states, different habits, different food, different economy...therefore comparing the US to say Belgium is kinda ridiculous.

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I thought all this was common knowledge but perhaps not.

godan, if you think smokin fags & pigging out are QOL(LOL) then I dont want it!

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I must look absolutely delicious then!

Hah this cracked me up!

But yeah, from what I've seen on TV recently, America shows they haven't stopped growing in width.

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Been to a Wal-Mart? They have these electric carts that are supposed to be for disabled shoppers, but the only people I have seen using them make Jabba the Hut look anorexic!

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Yet, when over 50% of the children in any high school are on FREE breakfast and lunch, they have mobile phones, tatooes, nice clothes, no PE classes due to lack of funding, and the USA governmtent worries that the children are obese.

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I saw a parking sign that said "Handicap Parking" and under it a small sign that said "Fat is not a Handicap"

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To be fair, some obese people may actually be disabled. I've known people with illnesses that make their weight balloon (or else the medicines do) or who gain weight because of an injury that results in decreased mobility. You can't always just assume that fat people on the scooters are on scooters because they're fat.

Also, seriously? Fat people are all stupid? What an ignorant generalization. Not all people who are fat are lazy or dumb. All people who are fat are human beings, though, and deserve to be treated as such.

(And no, I'm quite thin myself. I know the first assumption is to declare that someone standing up for fatties is a fattie themselves.)

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Just look at the size of the food portions and then this is not surprising....

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The NO SMOKING in public places can even mean parks to beaches.

What some friends tell me, is that when going down to the USA it is with a maze of smoking people.

Another reason I do not go into the USA for I am very allregic to Second Hand Tobacco Smoke.

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Sorry for first line should have been NO SMOKING in Public Buildings & that means a lot of place including restaurants, or you name it.

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I quit smoking years ago, am as thin and trim as when I graduated Graduate School, am freshly divorced. Any woman like that, please send me your code.

I saw very little smoking in the US when back in December.

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Meat pies OR Natto and daikon sandwich

Which do you prefer ?

That is the main question

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USA is not fat, it's morbidly obese. There's a landmass difference. Cut the HFCS stockpiles and grow normal food for once, ban GMO, and celebrate eating a salad instead of a hamburger, and it might have a chance, might. In the 70 and 80's before all this nonsense people were thin. A serving of pasta was a handful. Not anymore.

This would mean that normal food spoils over a certain distance, so you'd have to eat local food, get off the ass and go get it. Everything today is trucked. Ask anyone where their food comes from. They don't know.

I seriously wouldn't worry about rising gas prices. People eat too much anyway so forcing them to eat less will have only positive effects on diet. They'd be forced to eat a normal portion. For horror

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Why is the Japanese lifespan so long, when there was what might be called a bonanza of smoking going on here for generations? Like, 2-3 packs per day being the norm? When I got here in 1995, my company was like a tobacco party, all day long. They used to have a fleet of grandmas wheeling around giant barrels half-full of water, and pouring in thousands and thousands of dead butts out of water-filled coffee cans that were all over the place as "ashtrays". Inside it looked like a mass of rotting maggots in filthy brown-black sludge. I didn't smoke, but people coming to my apartment asked me if I did--the smell permeated my clothes and furniture and everything.

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Monkeyz: I could tell by your well thought out and well written reply that you were not a fattie. A fattie would think about it, get anxious and depressed, and then turn to the fridge for comfort. Not the keyboard like you my slender friend. Granted, being obese can be a function of genetics, medications, and hours spent being blasted by TV commercials. But, in many cases it is a function of poorly developed impulse control.

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vulcan: "It't not the smoking or the obesity, it is the stress in American society causing Americans to smoke and eat too much, they self medicate on cigarettes and tobacco (and alcohol)."

If that's the case than Japan's going to be in BIG trouble, obesity aside. Forget about the people who snap and kill others/themselves due to stress, but the smoking, drinking, and stress levels here are phenomenal. I predict we're going to see life expectancies here drop quite a bit for men in the next two decades. Already happening in Okinawa, where a lot of the centenarians have seen their children dead and buried.

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Perpensity to eat fish and seaweed (mounds more than anyone else) helps deal with free radicals thus keeps the smoking population in check, versus other countries without these particular characteristics.

Internet says about 150 pounds of fish a year for Japanese, about 2 or 3 pounds a week. I think that's pretty conservative but I guess it depend where you live in Japan.

America? 16 pounds a year.

Quite literally it is impossible for the average American to even grasp how much fish this is and to do it all year long, every year in year out.

As a result it really doesn't matter what vice Japanese get into, smoking, drinking etc, the fish oils in their systems balance it out, I suppose behaving like an extra pH system. It's pretty awesome.

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badmigraine: "Why is the Japanese lifespan so long, when there was what might be called a bonanza of smoking going on here for generations? Like, 2-3 packs per day being the norm?"

As I was saying, the long life-expantency in Japan is only that way because of all the centenarians being averaged in (and of course a lot of dead people not having their deaths registered by relatives, but that's another story). When those centenarians pass -- people who lived on comparatively healthy diets -- we'll see the Japanese life expectancy drop sharply. All those people having the 'tobacco party' 15 years ago and most likely raging enkais won't see the ages their grandparents and parents did.

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Apparently people in japan can live to be 150 or more!!

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As for how the fish oils work in the system above I don't know but it's clearly working.

Don't forget green tea. Lot's of that too. Not just hot tea but cold tea sold in large bottles and chilled. Soda pop is not the only option.

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I shop at asian markets to get green tea in bottles. No sugar, bitter but really nice chilled. Ingredients: green tea, vitamin C. That't it. Daisuki!

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The US lifestyle besides smoking is non-mobile. In Japan, the average salariman's hour commute is a stamina work-out.

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There's like a million good foods in Japanese and other Asian cuisines that are quite special. Usually bitter, and usually well established and sought after.

Hachima, bitter melon, for example, removes a lot of sugar from the blood stream, so reduces the workload of your organs. This is often sought after by diabetics but a good idea to add it to your diet.

Imagine, foods that work with you, not against you. Taken in moderation and not extremes makes for a balanced diet that strengthens the person, not fighting against them.

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The old people here in their 80s lived through the war and its aftermath, when they had little food to eat. They still eat Japanese food. Young Japanese may face the same reduced life spans as USians, although recent government statistics show that young peoples weight has been falling the past 2 years.

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Most heavy smokers and obese people are not exactly Rhodes Scholars

OK, here come the lib-fascists... "fat people are stupid"... you guys really have some anger issues.

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This article seems really strange to me, because smoking is a MUCH bigger problem here in Japan than in the US. I barely noticed smoke in the US, because it was banned most places and you couldn't really advertise. But here in Japan, you can't escape it! I cringe when I see characters smoking in anime and manga aimed at kids.

I've noticed that the Japanese are getting fatter in general, too. They wouldn't be called fat by any American standards, but compared to what I saw five years ago, people today are in general fairly robust here. A bad, bad, sign. Hope we don't go the way of the US! (or maybe I hope we do, since I intend to remain rail-thin, and finally I will look the part once all of the petite people are suddenly obese :D)

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"The U.S. spends more on health care than any other nation"

Proof that money can't buy health.

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If that's the case than Japan's going to be in BIG trouble, obesity aside. Forget about the people who snap and kill others/themselves due to stress, but the smoking, drinking, and stress levels here are phenomenal.

Japanese have stress. Amiricans have stress plus anxiety.

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I shop at asian markets to get green tea in bottles. No sugar, bitter but really nice chilled. Ingredients: green tea, vitamin C. That't it. Daisuki!

Purportedly, the beneficial effects of green tea are only for fresh-brewed green tea. In any case, it's better than drinking Coke.

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As other posters have said, I think obesity is the biggest health problem in the States while here in Japan, smoking (and drinking) is more of a concern. I also agree that people who live in Japan, especially the larger cities, tend to get more exercise just by making their daily commute. In both countries, too much TV, computer use and video games lead to a less active lifestyle. As for the food, Japanese simply eat less than Americans. When you eat out in North America everything is huge!

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Agree with Dolphingirl

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I'd rather live 75.6 years of a fun American life than 79.2 years of a Japanese man's life. These numbers mean nothing.

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American and Australian obesity are at terribly high levels; I don't think a difference of 5 years tells the story. Imagine being obese and old; the arthritis and other problems you'd have. I'd much rather be old and Japanese than old and American.

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1/3 of Americans are overweight, another 1/3 are obese. So that only leaves the other third to be "normal." It is an alarming health issue, to put it mildly.

In Japan, Europe and other places where trains and public transport are the chief mains of commuting than driving cars, the general populace tend to walk more and be more physically active. Just imagine the exercise you get daily going to work or school when you have to climb up/down two flights of stairs or more to get to your train platform. When I see 80-year-old obaachans climb up the stairs unassisted I can't help but admire them.

And to add to dolphingirl's comments, not just the quantity but the type of food. Sadly as you see more Western chains coming to Japan and more Japanese patronizing them it doesn't help reduce the no. of metabo cases at all. (That said, I have yet to try the wings at Hooters heh)

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I agree with movieguy. I would rather live life and spend my free time with family and friends - something much more common in the States than here in Japan where people live to work. What's the point of living "forever" if you are either working, drinking, smoking, or sleeping on the train?

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List up municipalities with lowest death rate from cancer. Many of the top ranking cities/towns are green tea producing centers. And Kakegawa city of Shizuoka Prefecture comes at the top. The city has not only the lowest death rate from cancer among all the municipalities of Japan but also the city's medical expenses are only three fourths of those averaged nationwide. The secret they have found is: Drink "deep steamed" green tea (深蒸し煎茶), which is greener and more cloudy than other kinds of tea. Less bitter in taste but full of nutritious ingredients because it's cell membranes are much more broken by steaming leaves for a longer time to soften bitterness. Take it ten cups a day. From NHK's Tameshite Gatten broadcasted on Jan. 12. If any help to Americans.

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Anger issues? What's anger got to do with it ... Being fat and smoking are both very dumb 'choices' and one has to do neither. Fat people and smokers are stupid, no question about it, sorry.

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What's wrong with love handles and more cushion for the pushin'?

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The "obese" label is somewhat misleading. I'm 6'2" and weigh 235 lbs on a bad day (225 on a good day). Those BMI charts have me as obese yet there isn't a person I know that would even call me "fat".

That said, there are a LOT of people I WOULD call "obese" in America. Every once in a while I'll have dinner at one of those buffet restaurants and the majority of people there have the general shape of an inverted turnip and the mass of a dairy cow. (That's probably why I only eat there every once in a while - I don't want to end up looking like them.)

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A quick use of the find function shows not a single post on this article mentions the words "corn" or "subsidy", so not much point reading the comments. Just be lots of stuff and arguing about why Americans are fat from people who don't know why Americans are fat.

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Fat people and smokers are stupid, no question about it, sorry.

Dunno about that DarkBob - Obama, for example, loves his ciggies - and you'd be hard-pressed to find many willing to call him stupid - even if many despise his politics. Statistically, also, 36.6% of Japanese blokes smoke (JT, 2010) - and most of them aren't stupid I'm sure. When Japan was at the forefront in design/development in the boom, just about every bloke here had a smoke hanging out of their mouth. Personally, I think some people are more pre-disposed to nicotine addiction. I hate the stuff - give me grog anyday!

I also agree with Fadamor- BMI is not a very accurate indicator of health and potential dangers - many athletes/rugby players/swimmers/rowers etc would be classed as obese/overweight, when there is little fat on them. Waist measurement or "fat-fold", many researchers argue, are much more valuable statistics.

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A quick use of the find function shows not a single post on this article mentions the words "corn" or "subsidy", so not much point reading the comments.

Yeah. There's nothing here on UFO's or tap-dancers either. Why bother reading comments that pertain to the article?

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Americans are fat...and when they want to lose weight, they want a quick and easy solution.

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I don't think most Americans care about being overweight. They enjoy their eating habits and accept the consequences. They'd rather enjoy a lifetime with a stomach full of tasty fats, sugars and salt than a life with a more empty stomach and healthy food with relatively less taste. They would rather have the rest of the world accept their physical state and not complain about health care, shortened lifespans and appearance.

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The worst problem I see in America concerning the overweight is that they often complain that it's the fault of HFCS, processed foods, and fast food... This "blame someone else" culture is what is the problem.

Just about anyone has access to foods without the extra stuff. Not only that, we can control how much and how often we eat.

This is nothing but self-control. If you lack it, you are weak and will become a "victim" because of it.

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As a non-obese nons-smoking american living in Colorado I haven't seen more obese people than "healthy" weight, but thats probably because obese people don't go outside as much. I have my days, weeks and months I don't go outside and in spite of my deliciously high cholesterol diet I still EXERCISE. I rarely drink and never smoked. A lot of the smokers I do see are rather thin too.

TBH I do cut back a bit on over-processed foods like microwave this, or insta-meal that and I guess I am somewhat health conscious as I always trim any fat that I can from meat, poultry, pork that I cook. If something is swimming in grease after its been cooked (even fries) I most likely won't touch it. Now I do go for things like burgers, fries, pizza, chips, sausage and all those other wonderful things, but I still exercise at least once a week if not more. I never touch soda if I can help it, dispise the stuff.

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Sheer quantity of life must be balanced by the quality of that life ... and a health-NAZI approach to living most certainly does NOT improve the quality. You do not "owe it" to government or 'society' to give up what you love just so you can live an extra couple of years - and maybe put an extra dollar or two in your employers pocket.

So sit back, relax, have a beer and a smoke and maybe order a pizza with all the yummy toppings. Might take a few minutes off your life, but it'll be a life you remember with fondness. Besides, not being uptight, unhappy and feeling deprived reduces stress - which ADDS to your lifespan ...

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Japan is about 10 years behind the USA. but Americans can have fun!!! so ha!

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BurakuminDes; (love that name) Yes, Obama smoke, but I'm sure by his own admission he'd admit it's very dumb. For years and damn years I have tried to get a close friend who's grossly obese to lose weight, give up the ciggies and the bottom line is: he just won't. If you ask me, that's just plain dumb ...

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There's nothing here on UFO's or tap-dancers either.

That would be because UFOs and tap dancers have nothing to do with why Americans are fat. Corn and subsidies do.

In the wonderful, fantasy world of the free-market, capitalist USA, the reality is that the US government pays out multi-billion dollar subsidies to the agribusiness to subsidize the growing of corn and keep the price down. Corn is subsidized because it is not fresh produce that will go bad quickly, and so is perfect for use in the processed and fast food industries - corn syrup for a sweetener, corn-fed feed lot beef etc. High calorie, low in nutrition food, which because of government subsidies is cheaper than low calorie, high nutrition food.

In other words, Americans pay taxes so that they can become fat. Great deal that.

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It's remarkable time we live in right now. Historically, poor people and people living in poverty were never fat or obese but many Western countries are now proving that wrong, with the US leading the charge.

Every time I go to the US, I see the population getting fatter and fatter. Although there are more health food stores now than when I grew up there, the number of Chipotles, Cheese Cake Factories, Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles and other unhealthy eateries is far outstripping healthy ones. Businesses are simply catering to the public's demand so as long as people continue to choose unhealthy foods, they'll get more and more obese.

And lugging around an extra 25, 50 or 100 kgs of fat is NOT my idea of quality of life...

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Actually, the topic of obesity reminds me of a news article I read a while back. Doctors in the US are apparently complaining that their hypodermic needles aren't long enough anymore. They're asking needle manufactures to lengthen needles for shots that need to be administered in the rear end because people are just getting too big for their own good.

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Pretty sure Americans do care about their weight. Otherwise why would there be so many diet, low-fat, low-calorie, sugar-free foods along with all the fattening stuff? It's quite absurd really; people eating huge amounts of carbs, sweets and junk food and drinking it all down with a diet coke or a skinny latte.

As I think cleo and others have pointed out, if you are healthy and not overweight you are going to have a better quality and quantity of life. these two go hand in hand. Nothing wrong with indulging once in a while but I don't see how being fat can be any fun at all.

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I noticed that some people seem to have this life philosophy of not caring about anything that takes will power or physical determination. They may study to get a degree, but won't loose weight. They feel their health is the doctors responsibility and expect a pill to solve whatever problem that arises.

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original Quote: " They'd rather enjoy a lifetime with a stomach full of tasty fats, sugars and salt than a life with a more empty stomach and healthy food with relatively less taste"

I don't agree here. As a thin american who exercises fairly regularly, cooks at home 90% of the time with lean meats, lots of veggies and fruits, nuts, etc, I can tell you every time i go back and eat something prepackaged and processed or go out to any chain restaurant because i feel to lazy to cook some nights, omg.. I can tell you there is absolutely no comparison between good healthy home cookin' and gross restaurant/ home cooked foods are SO much more flavourful I can't even begin to describe.. the only people who can say 'eating out tastes better' i guarantee you haven't had a real home cooked meal [or at least from our house :) ] in a loong time. And I don't mean home cooked as in. mom-was-lazy-and-dumped-a-can-of-raviolis-onto-a-plate-and-gave-them-to-me. After eating home cooked for a while.. you'll really start noticing the difference. Really really really.

my husband and I don't smoke, don't drink, don't do drugs, don't drink coffee or cokes or processed beverages and we live very healthy very happy fun lifestyles. People who eat right don't need 'quick fix diets' and don't need doctors almost at all. Your body will crave what its needs to be healthy and to heal itself if you give it the opportunity and eat a range of fresh foods varrying between seasons. I think my only 'unhealthy' home cooked weakness is in the winter months making traditional foods like Cornish Pastys, Shepherd's Pie, fruit and nut breads and Scotish/Irish Shortbread cookies. Mmmmm now Those are yummy and they WILL certainly add a few pounds if you make them too much ^.^

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Don't forget sometimes weight is a hormonal imbalance or may be due to other health issues. I knew a woman once who was size 0 skinny and she had a surgery and because of what the surgery was and how it effected her hormonal balance in her body, she balooned up, gaining like 70 lbs it seemed overnight and there was pretty much nothign she could do about it.

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Anyone else notice that 90% of the article is devoted to ranting about smoking, while they never actually mention anywhere what percentage of the life-expectancy problem is attributed to smoking. Yet just a few lines are devoted to obesity, which is responsible for 20~33% of the problem.

Note also that Japan is cited as having a better life-expectancy than the U.S. and one that is rising faster than the U.S., despite still being the most smoker-friendly first world country in the world.

In other words these researchers are morons, because if it the "major reason" was smoking then one would expect to see Japan similarly trailing in life expectancy.

Clearly this research isn't worth spit.

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As I read on I note other systematic errors in their research, like, "lung cancer deaths are a reliable marker of the damage from smoking".

Wow, that's a HUGE leap in logic. What about environmental pollution, carcinogens in the workplace (asbestos anyone??), radiation levels, etc. The choice to classify all lung cancer deaths as smoking related would be like ruling all cardiovascular deaths as obesity related, an unacceptably huge generalisation that would get anyone laughed out of the academic community... except that smoking is politically incorrect so apparently badly flawed research is acceptable if it upholds the prevailing political sentiment on the issue.

Whatever happened to the search for truth? When did it become the search for a politically acceptable truth?

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Smoking and obesity is such deadly combination. Heart disease is the leading cause of disease among smokers. It's hard on the heart and causes a multitude of diseases that ultimately leads to disability and/or death. Cigarette smoke contains over 400 chemical compounds, 200 are known to be poisonous and over 60 are identified as carcinigens. The effects of smoking are so widespread and destructive. It affects you from head to toe and has a very negative impact on our health. Cigarettes snuff out life at a alarming rate. 20 percent of obese adults smoke in the United States. Obese smokers face a greater risk of death from cancer and circulatory disease. Current smoking is a greater risk factor for death by cancer than obesity is generally speaking. The higher a person pack-years, the greater the risk of death. Men and wome of all ages faced a elevated risk of death due to circulatory disease as BMI increased. It's not suprising that obesity coupled with smoking is a recipe for trouble. Put your health at the top of your list of priorities and resolve to begin changing your lifestyle for the better. Don't ever think it's too late for you to quit smoking, and don't waste time any more on your life smoking cigarettes. smoking offer you absolutely nothing of value. Take back your life. You deserve the freedom and long-lasting benefits that smoking cessation brings.

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Where is the online petition I can sign for Japan to step up to the plate and ban smoking indoors, including all bars and restaurants, and all smoking on the streets anywhere. It's too crowded in Tokyo, for instance, for any smoker outside not to blow the cancer cloud into some hapless passerby?

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Novenachan at 12:49 PM JST - 2nd February Current smoking is a greater risk factor for death by cancer than obesity is generally speaking.

Can I see a citation for this from a medical journal please, because actually the information I've read suggests the exact opposite. You can get away with being a heavy smoker for decades. Look around, in the 60's everyone smoked, are they all dead now? No. Are all your parents suffering from cancer from second hand smoke when they were growing up and smoking was legal everywhere? No.

However how many morbidly obese people do you know who are still alive a decade later? Most of them are dead.

Medical journals, real-world observation and every shred of common sense prove that smoking is LESS dangerous than obesity... yet still researcher distort the numbers (like assuming that all lung cancer is 100% caused by smoking... even if the person never smoked) and gullible fools lap it up.

Sheep.

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Smoking will likely kill you. Being obese will give you tons of health problems. Both will increase your chances of cancer, heart disease and stroke. Both will probably shorten your life span. Quitting smoking is actually pretty easy to do once you put your mind to it. On the other hand, changing all your eating routines and habits to lose weight is a little harder. The number of smokers in the US has decreased but the number of obese people has increased. Obesity is a problem that will continue as long as parents are passing on their bad eating behaviors to their children.

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As I read on I note other systematic errors in their research, like, "lung cancer deaths are a reliable marker of the damage from smoking".

Wow, that's a HUGE leap in logic. What about environmental pollution, carcinogens in the workplace (asbestos anyone??), radiation levels, etc. The choice to classify all lung cancer deaths as smoking related would be like ruling all cardiovascular deaths as obesity related, an unacceptably huge generalisation that would get anyone laughed out of the academic community... except that smoking is politically incorrect so apparently badly flawed research is acceptable if it upholds the prevailing political sentiment on the issue.

Whatever happened to the search for truth? When did it become the search for a politically acceptable truth?

@Frungy: That statement is 100% correct. Apologists for smoking like you will always try and sensationalize a statement - twisting it into something that was never stated in the first place.

Lung cancer deaths ARE a reliable marker of the damage from smoking. You jumped in with other examples of things that can cause lung cancer, BUT THEY ARE NOT THE MOST COMMON CAUSE. By far, the majority of lung cancer deaths happen to smokers. "Carcinogens in the workplace"?! HELLO? Earth to McFly! Smoking CAUSES "carcinogens in the workplace"! Asbestos-related lung disease? Yes, it happens. Lung cancer is ONE of the things that can happen from exposure to high concentrations of asbestos in the air.

The original statement said that, "lung cancer deaths are a reliable MARKER of the damage from smoking". At no time did they ever say that smoking is the ONLY cause of lung cancer deaths. But you knew that already.

As for the "search for truth" that you so plaintively wail about, the search would progress much faster if people like you weren't clouding-up the issue by making points that have nothing to do with what was originally said.

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Whatever, choice is a double edged sword. Let people smoke, drink, eat, and do drugs to their hearts content. There is enough information available about the effects of such habits and people should take it upon themselves to make their own decisions about what to put in their bodies.

I smoke cigars, and I have since I was in my teens, I understand the risks associated but I do it anyway because I enjoy it and have no intention of quitting. I also drink and eat poor quality food most of the time but I exercise and take other steps to ensure my good health and considering my latest blood test showed perfect cholesterol and blood sugar levels I'd say I'm doing pretty well with my personal choices.

I don't give a rip about average life expectancy so long as I'm able to live the life I want. Let businesses decide whether or not to allow smoking, it's their business after all, let people decide what they want to consume, it's their life after all. Choice requires responsibility; those who try to regulate what people can and can't do are flawed.

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@TheQuestion: I also want to live the life I want... without breathing someone else's smoke. So would you please be so kind as to place a plastic bubble over your head whenever you need to smoke your cigar? That way I don't have to suffer from your need to wrap your lips around large cylindrical objects and suck.

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I also want to live the life I want... without breathing someone else's smoke.

Wear a mask I won't stop you. I only smoke in my house and in cigar bars anyway so if you're around me when I'm smoking then it's your own fault. If you go to an establishment that allowed smoking and then complain about it you brought it on yourself.

That way I don't have to suffer from your need to wrap your lips around large cylindrical objects and suck.

You made a phalic joke, you must be proud. The level of class displayed by some people never ceases to amaze.

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So many clueless people everywhere including this newsthread. Only Dolphin girl in 74 people above mentioned the root of obesity - far too many carbs.

Trying to inform the John Q Public - whether a professor or a plebian about a healthy lifestyle is like trying to convert the taliban to Christianity. Mindsets are so entrenched and people are basically blind and unwilling to accept change.

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So many clueless people everywhere including this newsthread. Only Dolphin girl in 74 people above mentioned the root of obesity - far too many carbs.

Why single out carbs? Far too many of any macronutrient will lead to obesity. In fact, carbs and proteins provide the same amount of energy (1 gram = 4 kcal). Too many calories = weight gain.

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Agree carbs alone don't make you fat.

Not sure how many people remember Edith Piaf, she was stick thin but mostly ate paste and bread-dumplings = high carbs low fiber, etc.

You can eat high-carb but what you combine with it is makes you fat. Much of the sauces, sides, etc is what is packing the weight on.

Ditto for many so called diets, those add-ons will add the poundage.

Rather than counting carbs look at your overall food and drink intake and if you take in more than you will spend in the next 2-3hours. You body can only absorb so much in a given time-period and the rest goes where?

So having a high calorie/carb intake at lunch when the next few hours are spend sitting down(low metabolic rate) equals what?

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America is the fattest nation in the world. Look at a lot of the garbage that they eat. I have seen large parents raising even larger kids. I saw a couple of shows about 1/2 ton teens...their school lunches are often horrid. Junk food machines all over the place however they are trying to change that.

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"Why single out carbs? Far too many of any macronutrient will lead to obesity"

Sheriff - You have proven my point exactly, most of the world is ignorant to the insidious nature of them, it's a losing battle trying to get the truth out. Wheat, corn, rice - they absolutely dominate our society at all levels, we are seriously addicted and now massively reliant on them in our overpopulated world.

Carbohydrates are essentially sugar, they are quickly broken down into glucose and you cause you body to release large amount of insulin multiple times a day to deal with them (something we didn't evolve to do at the levels seen in modern world). Factored in the high sugar diet already prevalent in society - it's a one way ticket to type II diabetes and obesity. It leads to a breakdown in a host of other hormones and body chemicals which disrupts the whole applecart and your body cant figure out the proper hunger cycle and when you are full and then you are fast tracking down a slippery slope.

Calories are like megapixels on a camera, exclusively focusing on calories is stupid, there are far more factors than to a good photo than just the megapixel number, same with food and your body. Give up the addictve grains and your stabilized digestive system works properly without the sugar spiking insulin rollercoaster and calories became a sidenote, not the headline.

No more bread, pasta, noodles, pizza, cake bagels doughnuts....etc, etc, people don't want to hear that, they are addicted and want keep up their addiction so we spend billions of dollars to try and manage, mitigate and control something that's broken at it's core. There are plenty of wise people out there trying to get the truth out, Robb Wolf is one, read his book, get your life on the right track.

You can lead a horse to water....

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Weren't people eating staple carbo foods in the past when there wasn't an obesity problem?

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@Junnama

Weren't people eating staple carbo foods in the past when there wasn't an obesity problem?

Good point. But in those days there wasn't the easy access to fats and oils that we "enjoy" now; meat and dairy were too expensive for the majority. Plus life was a lot more physical then. And for the rich, who didn't need to exercise, ate fruit, bread sweets and red meat, there certainly was an obesity problem.

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Both raise good points - in the past - there more natural foods and less processed foods and more exercise. I ate plenty of carbs for years - a lot of exercise kept it relatively in check, just suffered digestion issues: indigestion, flatuence, bloating for years. Thankfully thats all gone now, along the wheat that most likely chiefly caused it. If you eat carefully, the evil of grains can be kept in check, eat the grains and the other crap and you are looking for trouble.

Also in the "past" think about the "past" in two time scales. In recent past - your grandparents, great grandparents. They ate plenty of grains but less sugar filled processed garbage. But in the Evolutionary past - there were no grains in the human diet for millions of years of human evolution. Grains popped up a couple of thousand years ago. So in that past we never evolved to eat grains at all. 2-3000 years isnt enough time for evolution to adapt to them as we are learning at our peril. Look at any primitive hunter gatherer group that still exist in pockets in the world - the few left that have a diet devoid of grains. Cancer, diabetes, heart disease and other modern malaises don't affect these people despite having no modern "health care". Accidents is the leading cause of death for them, ones that avoid accidents live to a ripe, healthy and very active old age.

Grains are cheap. Not eating them is expensive, especially in Japan. But hey, you can pay the farmer more now for good naturally grown vegetables, eggs, meat etc or you can pay the doctor later.

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Fadamor - Did you even read your post? You admit that other things cause lung cancer, then go on to defend them attributing all lung cancer deaths to smoking without any effort to even establish if the person smoked? Air quality checks in big cities like New York have established that the pollution levels are so high that it's the same as smoking a carton of cigarettes a day. That's every single person in those cities. Most smokers smoke less than that, so at LEAST 50% of even smokers' carcinogens in those heavily populated areas are coming from pollution.

I mean that's just simple straight-forward logic, but the anti-smoking lobby has people so brain-washed that they don't pause for a moment and put 2 and 2 together and realise, "Hey, we have a serious pollution problem". Smoking has become a scapegoat covering for serious pollution released by power plants and businesses. And before you leap in and argue that a lot of the pollution in those cities is caused by smoking.. well, think again, because public smoking is heavily policed.

dolphingirl - Did you ever smoke? I find changing my diet easy, but giving up smoking took me 7 tries and a lot of frustration. All I tend to need to do to lose weight is give up chocolate for a few months and cut my protein intake.

And I'm not pointing out the inadequacies in this study because I used to smoke, I'm pointing them out because sloppy research like this is bad academics, and particularly people with doctorates should be stripped of their doctorate for making errors that they would fail an undergraduate for making.

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Among developed countries, Americans are the fattest and the Japanese are the slimmest.In 1980, about 5 percent of men and 8 percent of women worldwide were obese. By 2008, the rates were nearly 10 percent for men and 14 percent for women.

That means 205 million men and 297 million women weighed in as obese. Another 1.5 billion adults were overweight, according to the obesity study.

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Frungy according to the Rand Report on Obesity smoking is more dangerous than obesity. The CDC data revealed that deaths from obesity related causes is 110,000 a year but some compute it at 26,000 per year compared to a documented 400,000 deaths from smoking per year in the U.S.A.

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eat food not too much mostly plants move your butt

That's all. Really so complicated?

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WilliB...I think you read the same book I did! Loved it and everyone should read it. Some things are a little bit preachy and probably not totally feasible for some lifestyles but the overall message is spot on!

And you are right, it is not that complicated. If you read ingredients and see stuff that you don't recognize as food in there, it is not food! That is why America is the world's most overfed and undernourished nation in the world with many other countries following suit; people are becoming massive, eating huge portions at meals yet still not getting enough food (a.k.a. nutrition). What kind of QOL is that??? I would much rather eat normal portions of good stuff that makes me happy, comfortable in my body and allows me to get on with having fun!

I agree that many people have conditions that cause them to become obese and they are helpless against it. But the number of enormous people I have seen since visiting home, who are using those electric carts because they are too large to be able to walk just for shopping, is staggering. There is no way all of them fall under the obese through uncontrollable circumstances category.

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Yeah, but who are they comparing the US to? It will be interesting to see the new longevity stats on Japan once they calculate in the 250,000 people over the age of 100 that do not actually exist! Too many carbs is not the reason, it is the lack of healthy lifestyle that does North americans in. A proper balance of food and exercise is required to maintain a healthy body. I certainly would not trade my 95kg, 6'3" body for that of the anorexic shemales boys here in my high school classes that think skinny and limp are the marks of a healthy body!

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Novenachan at 09:15 PM JST - 5th February Frungy according to the Rand Report on Obesity smoking is more dangerous than obesity. The CDC data revealed that deaths from obesity related causes is 110,000 a year but some compute it at 26,000 per year compared to a documented 400,000 deaths from smoking per year in the U.S.A.

Both the Rand Report and the CDC report have the same statistical flaw as this report, attributing all lung cancer deaths to smoking, and limiting obesity deaths to just those where obesity is listed as the cause of death.

Just because a lie is repeated often and loudly does not make it true. Read the actual reports in detail, especially the methodology sections, not just the 10c version published in the newspapers. It really doesn't take all that long.

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100% agree with Carcharodon. He's basically summarized everything you guys need to know about staying away from processed carbs and eating real food.

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