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Why am I getting fat ? Lessons from heavier kids
If you’re struggling with weight issues……. experts will tell you, it’s implicitly your fault.
You are eating too much and moving too little.
I’m not overeating
But, are you really THAT BAD ?
A careful analysis of the eating and exercise habits of people with weight issues, suggests that more often than not, they’re not doing anything different from everyone else.
So it must be bad genes ?
Genes plus something
Genes do matter. But, the bad genes argument doesn’t really explain, the current obesity epidemic.
Your genes are NOT that different from previous generations, who WERE NOT FAT.
So it cannot be genes alone !
It’s genes PLUS something………………
The something is not just simply eating too much and moving too little.
The biology implicates INSULIN as “the something”.
Now when most people hear the word insulin, they’re thinking insulin DEFICIENCY. Not having enough is a health crisis, it causes sugar levels to spike. And high sugar i.e. hyperglycemia is seriously damaging.
So for anyone with diabetes/pre-diabetes, having MORE insulin is the objective.
More insulin please
This makes sense for the type 1 diabetic.
Insulin is MISSING !
But, it does seem a little odd………for the type 2 diabetic, because insulin levels are actually in the stratosphere.
This phenomenon is referred to as hyperinsulinemia.
Insulin resistance is blamed…..
In a nut shell, the insulin is running around like a mad man, trying to get cells to obey i.e. take up glucose.
But…………. NO ONE is listening.
The body’s response to this defiant behaviour of the cells, is to yell louder i.e. more insulin is pumped out – hence hyper-insulinemia.
The hyperinsulinemia is the consequence !
Or is it ?
This is what a group of Chinese researchers wondered. They decided to look at the situation in “healthy” 5 year olds, rather than adults.
The chicken or the egg ?
One of the problems with looking at what is going on in metabolically challenged adults is …………… it’s complicated.
Because metabolic problems take years to develop.
If you look when things have gone “wrong”, it’s difficult to establish “where” things went “wrong” first, because the body is a dynamic system. If something goes wrong in one place, the entire system shifts.
NOTE : This is why anyone with metabolic problems has anomalies in pretty much every part of their metabolism. Eish !
In the beginning there was….
The study took place in the Longnan district in Da Quing City – normal weight (mostly) 5 year olds, were signed up, in 1999.
This is forever ago, but this is why the majority (79.4 %) of 5 year olds were NORMAL weight. These kids were kids at the cusp of the obesity epidemic in China.
For the record : 13.6 % of the little ones were overweight and 7 % were underweight.
Insulin levels in kids
Now all the kids, a total of 424 (211 boys and 213 girls) were “studied” as 5 year olds and then 5 years later, as 10 year olds. The parameters that were “studied” included the obvious things weight and height, along with fasting insulin and glucose. This data was then used to calculate the level of insulin resistance.
To complement the biological measurements, parents were asked to report on TV watching habits, as a proxy for physical activity.
So what did they find ?
Bigger insulin bigger kids
The actually weight of each child, at the age of 10 was very much related to fasting insulin levels at the age of 5. Kids who were producing lots of insulin at 5, as reflected by the fasting insulin level, had put on more kilos.
The pattern held for girls and boys.
And TV watching had little to do with weight gain in the 5 year time frame.
Nor did starting weight. Neither birth weight or weight at the age of 5, were terribly predictive of weight status at the age of 10.
Insulin IS the culprit
It makes sense, insulin’s job is to put away the groceries after you eat, the more insulin you have, the more efficiently the storage process will proceed.
This study made no attempt to establish WHY the insulin response varied between kids.
Genetics is probably a BIG part of the story, but unlikely to be the whole story.
The insulin response
We are all different, our insulin response is just another part of our uniqueness.
Being an insulin “hyper” responder, would have been a superpower in the past. You would have been able to grow BIGGER and STRONGER, in lean times. And being BIGGER and STONGER than your less “gifted” neighbours, would have given you an advantage.
But…………. it has the potential to become problematic in the “wrong” environment.
What is the “wrong” environment ?
An environment that promotes lots of insulin secretion.……. because you’re GIFTED, you’ll produce more and so you will STORE MORE.
So what promotes lots of insulin secretion ?
You can’t STOP eating permanently, but you can eat in such a way to minimize that insulin response.
Some foods are more insulinogenic i.e. cause bigger insulin release, than others.
As a rule, carbs get insulin REALLY excited, particularly fast carbs i.e. carbs that are arriving in your blood very quickly. The types of food that do this are often processed / refined foods e.g. cakes, cookies, soda but some REAL foods do this too e.g. milk and potato.
If you’re insulin gifted……………….these are the foods you should cut back on.
For more tips & strategies that will help you manage your “gift” i.e. rein in insulin, download the free willpower report, it will introduce you to the CANDY FLOSS system.
If you’re a red blooded male, I am sure you want to know how you can grow your own personal chick magnet… insulin determines how good you look.
Low-fat food items, contain the same amount of sugar as their full fat counterparts, sometimes a little more and it’s the sugar which is the problem
The sugar spike caused by the food you eat, has very little to do with the food per se, it’s got more to do with you and who you’re living