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Obesity is not just a human problem
WE’RE getting fatter…………….
We’ve all seen the headlines and statistics.
Over half of all adults are overweight.
Depending where in the world you live, anywhere from 10 – 44 % of children aged 5-17 years are overweight.
They’re sobering statistics. And if you or your little one, is one of the statistics, it’s alarming, because being overweight is just the beginning. Yes, you don’t look terribly good in a bikini, but that is not really the biggest issue. It’s the bad body chemistry that typically (not always), comes with being fat, that is the real problem. Sooner or later, those extra pounds create a myriad of health problems, these impact quality of life, as well as quantity of life.
Now……..the standard explanation for this problem is
WE’RE eating too much and moving too little.
The obesity epidemic is not just a human problem
This is what a group of researchers from around the US discovered, when they systematically weighed up, the changes in weight across the years, of 20 000 middle aged animals, living “among” us.
The team found
- Our primate relatives
- Our pets, both dogs and cats
- The rats and mice, that are the workhorses of the scientific community
- Even the rats living on our rubbish
Are ALL getting FATTER.
The monkeys don’t have access to vending machines
The team delved into just how fat our primate relatives were getting, by investigating the weight status of primates living in several research colonies.
- The Macaques, 188 animals, in three different facilities, had all put on weight over the years. The weight increase differed in each of the facilities, overall, the animals were 7.7 percent heavier each decade. And the decades extended from the 1970s to the 2000s.
- The 46 chimpanzees, living at the Yerkes National Primate Research Centre, between 1985 and 2005, managed a 33.6 % increase in weight per decade. Yikes. These guys are our closest relatives !
The same pattern emerged for the 143 marmosets, living at WNPRC, they had a 9.2 % increase in weight per decade and the 117 Vervet monkeys, living at the UCLA-VA Vervet Research Colony, had an 8.82 % increase per decade.
None of our relatives, managed to retain their good figures across the years.
NONE ! How could this be ?
They did not have coke vending machines in their enclosures and odds are, their opportunities to exercise, increased over the years, as improvements were made to the facilities. Eish !
Diet plans for dogs and cats
Actually, our dogs are not putting on weight, at quite the same rate as monkeys, but they are getting fatter. The researchers analysed the weights of 2806 dogs, between 1990 and 2002. They found, male dogs, clocked a 2.2 percentage increase in body weight per decade, while female dogs, got 3 % heavier per decade.
A sample of 574 cats, weighed between 1989 and 2001, put female cats in the fore front of the “getting fatter stakes”.
Female cats, put on 13.6 % more weight, per decade, in contrast to male cats, who put on a mere 5.7 % more weight per decade.
Now, dogs………………. often share our dinner and our habits.
So the fact that your pooch is podgy, could be because he or she, is eating too much and moving too little. But cats……………… are fussy critters ! They demand quality dinners and are not sugar addicts, actually cats cannot taste sugar.
So the fact, that cats are top performers in the who is getting fatter stakes, is odd.
It’s a chink in the armour of the EATING TOO MUCH, MOVING TOO LITTLE lobby.
Lab rats don’t move much
But, this situation is not new. Lab rats have been housed in tiny little cages and fed the same rat chow for decades – so surely they’re not getting fatter ?
The researchers pooled 106 rat studies and 93 mouse studies and found, mice were 12.46 % fatter per decade and rats were 3.37 % fatter per decade.
Fat rats and mice are “normal” in medical research.
Wild rats are lean and mean
Mean, yes. Lean, not so much.
The team looked at the weights of rats caught in the suburbs of Baltimore, between 1948 and 2006. And, these guys were also fatter.
The guys had put on 5.7 % weight per decade and the “ladies” had put on 7.22 % weight per decade.
They’re opportunists – they’re eating our leftovers.
The idea that they’re eating more and moving less, is ludicrous.
Time to admit there is more to obesity
Fat macaques, fat chimpanzees, fat vervets, fat marmosets, fat dogs, fat cats, fat rats, fat mice…………. even fat dolphins.
The obesity epidemic is happening to the mammalian species we share our world with.
These creatures share the air, soil, water and the food we eat and they’re suffering the same health effects. What in the environment is driving / contributing to the obesity epidemic ? And more importantly, how can we stop it ?
Want access to some of the latest global obesity statistics ? Download the OECD 2014 Obesity update.
You’re insulin resistant. The prevailing view, your insulin resistant because you’re fat, but what if your insulin resistance preceded your obesity.
You can be metabolically healthy and obese. You cannot be metabolically healthy with a specific profile of POPs. Are POPs the cause of obesity ?
Now, it’s okay to eat fats, as long as they’re “healthy” fats. Which leads to the million dollar question, what are “healthy” fats ?