Sunday, April 14, 2024

The bottom line: avoid gluttony


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Recent submissions to the newspapers have suggested that the pervasive obesity in the Barbadian community is due to Barbadians eating “the wrong foods”. Unfortunately, little or no information has been provided on the nature of the “right foods”.

All of the major food types have significant value. The increasing brain size of Neanderthal man has been attributed to the use of “weapons”, unbelievably primitive by modern standards, that enabled them to hunt and to kill creatures comparatively enormous in size. The resulting development of modern man’s larger, more efficient brains, has been attributed to their access to animal protein.

The three major food types have increasing pound-for-pound caloric content as one moves from carbohydrate through protein to fat. This is hardly “new” information and one trusts that it has been made clear to all medical students.

There can be little doubt that ingestion of greater numbers of calories, regardless of the “type” or “source”, taking into account the calories “burned” by exercise, leads to storage of the excess caloric intake in the form of fat. This does not, of course, apply to bodybuilders whose excess caloric intake is converted into muscle, particularly in those muscles subjected to the greatest “stress”.

 Overeating –  “gluttony” if you will – was well understood and mocked in the early phase of most European countries. Compared with Caribbean ladies, there appeared to be less evidence of obesity in the African countries that I have visited.

Finally, obesity should be regarded as a serious “illness” that contributes to the increasing frequency of diabetes.



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