Here’s Why Obesity Is A Disease
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Jonathan: Welcome to the Smarter Science of Slim, the scientifically-proven program where you eat more and exercise less to burn fat and boost health.
Carrie: Eat smarter, exercise smarter, live better. I am so ready for that!
Carrie: Hi everyone, this is Carrie Brown and with me in the studio is Mr. Jonathan Bailor.
Jonathan: What’s up Carrie and lovely listeners? How are you today?
Carrie: That’s my line.
Jonathan: I stole it. I too think our listeners are lovely. Carrie, we have a lot of listeners. Do you know how many listeners we have at this point? And this is when we’re recording not when this airs which will only be two to three months after we record this.
Carrie: I don’t know… tell me, how many?
Jonathan: As of my last check which was a couple of weeks ago our show here, our lovely listeners have tuned in over two million times.
Jonathan: Which is pretty amazing for us just having a good time for a little over a year.
Carrie: That is amazing, I’m very humbled, I’m very honored that so many lovely listeners choose to keep switching us on and vacuuming with us in their ears. Or driving to us, to places with us rattling on in the background.
Jonathan: Absolutely, yes. Thank you for letting us share your days with you the millions of lovely people who do so. It is absolutely an honor and a pleasure and just like you turn us on know that you are turning us on and motivating us to keep going and cranking out helpful, hopefully helpful, content for you.
Carrie: Yes. What are we going to talk about today?
Jonathan: Today I wanted to start with a little bit of levity. We are usually quite lively here on the show but I wanted to talk about a subject which may be a little bit more of a downer but I think the end result of the show will be that people will feel empowered. It’s like ripping off a Band-Aid it might be a little bit painful in the process.
Jonathan: Can I tell a funny waxing story?
Carrie: You want to tell a funny story?
Jonathan: There you go, yes. The fact that I have one.
Carrie: Alright you have the floor, Mr. Bailor tell us about your waxing story.
Jonathan: So like many males nowadays I do manscaping.
Carrie: Are you kidding me right now?
Jonathan: Have you not heard of manscaping?
Carrie: I have six cats. [crosstalk 02:38]. Six cats. I don’t often keep up with boy’s stuff.
Jonathan: Boy’s stuff. Okay, well…
Carrie: I’m just… I’m going to shut up and listen to this people.
Jonathan: Alright, no so I have a newfound – only those men out there who manscape can start to appreciate the challenges of being a woman in our culture because most guys wake up in the morning and they rub their eyes and brush their teeth, throw some clothes on and they’re off to the races, right? When you start to understand the amount of maintenance and upkeep that just about every woman in the world has to do. One example, like you’re a man that manscapes you start to understand like shaving more than just your face is time consuming as heck. So like me you might try to find a way to save yourself some time and instead buy one of those lovely at-home waxing kits.
This is not the Band-Aid sad subject but we’ll get to that as you can – well it was pretty sad for me. So if any man out there is interested in manscaping let me just say this. If you use the thing that is like honey that you rub on your stomach and you put little cloths. If you saw the movie, The 40-Year-Old Virgin you know what I’m talking about this is what they do to Steve Carrell. The lower you get on your abdomen the more cautious you want to be when you rip that piece of cloth off because your skin gets progressively more sensitive as you go down.
Let’s just say I got about maybe a fourth of the way down and just said, “You know what? Forget it.” I had a half manscaped and then I tried one down in the abdominal region and just said, “You know what? No more. No mas.” So it’s not really, I mean the story is Jonathan failed basically.
Carrie: So many comments just waiting on the tip of my tongue to just leap off into show land and I’m just not going there. Nope, not going there.
Jonathan: So many options.
Carrie: You’re a brave man for telling us about that Mr. Bailor.
Jonathan: Well you know we all have to just —
Carrie: You make me cry.
Jonathan: It made me cry too. This is a great segue because I think we all need to celebrate who we are as individuals no matter how interesting that may be. So… onto the actual topic of todays show. It’s old news at this point but a couple of months back there was one of the 48-hour news cycles talked a lot about this statement, I forget who made it at this point but some medical association came out and said, “Obesity is a disease.”
Jonathan: That made headlines because people were like, “It is a disease or it isn’t a disease.” That just begs the question… well one, why do people care so much whether or not we call it a disease. And two, what is the opinion here of the same community as to whether or not obesity is in fact a disease.
Carrie: Do we have the Oxford English Dictionary definition of disease?
Jonathan: We don’ but if you would think of something to talk about for the next 30 seconds while I pull it up on our lovely computer here we can get it for our listeners.
Carrie: Well I just kind of feel like it’s hard to know if obesity is if we don’t know what a disease is.
Jonathan: So how about Wikipedia? Because that’s the one that came up first in Google. Wikipedia defines a disease… and I’m going to try to do this while I’m taking the mic from Carrie. ‘A disease is an abnormal condition that affects the body of an organism. It is often construed as a medical condition associated with specific symptoms and signs.’ Let’s keep going actually. ‘It may be caused by factors originally from an external source, blah, blah, blah. Or it may be caused by internal dysfunctions such as auto-immune disease.’
The reason we just read that text to you is it actually makes quite clear whether or not obesity is a disease when we free ourselves and once we’ve freed ourselves from the calorie myths.
Carrie: It absolutely is by that definition, it absolutely is.
Jonathan: The reason Carrie can say that with such confidence without being a scientist or a PhD is Carrie knows that it’s not just someone is too lazy or weak and because of that they eat too much and exercise too little. She knows that when people, if they’re eating too much and exercising too little in the 99 percent case it is because there is a dysfunction in their body causing that to happen. The overeating and under-exercising are symptoms of an underlying cause and that cause is the disease of obesity.
It’s not a moral issue. It is a physiological issue and the reason we know and it is appropriate to call it a disease is because as our lovely Wikipedia tells us and I bet it says something similar in Merriam-Webster, is it has a consistent set of internal markers that everyone who suffers from this displays. Make sense?
Jonathan: What those consistent markers are from a high level, they are quite consistent, is neurological inflammation. There’s going to be inflammation in your hypothalamus that causes certain hormonal signals to not do their job aka make you feel full, make you not crave the foods in an uncontrollable fashion. You will also see a consistently different assemblage of bacteria in your gut. This is some of the most exciting new research where the gut bacteria of an individual who is struggling with their weight and has done so for years is consistently different than someone who does not have that struggle and it is consistently similar to others with that struggle.
Then finally your hormone levels will be dramatically different. In fact, some studies have shown that obese individuals can have up to 25 times the level of the hormone lepton circulating in their bloodstream than an individual who is not suffering from that same affliction.
Carrie: For me the calling it a disease changes everything about how I personally feel about my relationship with my weight/body fat.
Jonathan: What do you mean?
Carrie: I knew you’d ask me that. I am not sure I can explain it… just giving something a name makes it easier for me to not blame myself, to not beat myself up, to not keep getting stuck in crazy cycles of eating food that I’m craving. If I can put it in a box and call it something it makes it easier for me to figure out how to deal with it. Did that make sense?
Jonathan: It does, not only did it make sense but we need to highlight that last part where it makes it easier for me and I’m going to globalize it, It makes it easier for us, for we, to deal with it. Because until we recognize that there is something else going on that is at the heart of obesity and it’s not just that 70 percent of the American population just spontaneously became lazy gluttons. Which is what we’re traditionally told, right? That just somehow in two generations the vast majority of the country just became sloths and lazy. No, that’s not true.
What happened is our bodies became dysfunctional based on toxic addictive elements that are presented to us as food and are not. Just like for example, heart disease is called heart disease and heart disease is not caused by eating too much. You will never get heart disease from eating vegetables. Like it just doesn’t happen. Heart disease does not come from the quantity of foods you’re eating. We all know that heart disease comes from the quality of foods you’re eating. Diabetes… you cannot burn your pancreas out unless you eat foods that make it release a super normal amount of insulin.
Again it’s not about quantity it’s about quality. All of these other diseases, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, are called diseases because they have a common set of characteristics and are caused by the quality of food we consume. Why wouldn’t the over-accumulation of fat and the inability to dispose of it as the body is designed to do also be called a disease caused by the improper consumption of edible products rather than nutrient dense foods.
Jonathan: Once we understand that uou cannot solve a problem until you one, acknowledge it and two, understand the cause. That is at the heart of the calorie myth. The calorie myth is that the cause of obesity is an over-consumption of calories and an under-expenditure. Those are symptoms of a disease. The disease is the body has lost its natural ability to regulate caloric balance. The disease of diabetes is the body has lost its ability to automatically regulate blood glucose. The disease of… like when you have respiratory problems, the body’s lost its inability to automatically regulate respiration.
When you have heart problems the body’s lost its ability to automatically regulate your circulation. The body is designed to regulate itself. When you put the wrong stuff in it, it becomes diseased and loses that ability. So for the same reason that all those other lifestyle diseases are called diseases, obesity must also be called a disease and once it’s called a disease we can stop having moral arguments and we can start having scientific arguments and we can solve this problem that is killing our friends and family. That gets me passionate and excited and I’m happy that we’re finally calling this what it is.
Carrie: I just find for me the giving it a name takes away the self-blame. The, “It must be me. It’s all my fault. I’m doing this wrong. I’m doing that wrong.” The kind of feeling that I have somehow failed. Whereas I wouldn’t feel like that if I had you know. So I used to suffer from migraines, I didn’t beat myself up about the fact that I had migraines. When they were diagnosed as migraines I was able to intelligently look at what I could do to stop them.
I think for me labeling obesity correctly as a disease takes away the… me beating myself up over having failed or it somehow being my fault and means that I can more objectively look at how to change it.
Jonathan: This is not to say, correct me if I’m wrong Carrie, but I don’t hear you saying that calling obesity a disease takes the responsibility away from us. It doesn’t just like we do call lung cancer a disease and lung cancer is not caused by over-breathing. It’s caused by breathing the wrong quality of stuff in but we have to be told that. Certainly now for all of our lovely two million plus people that have tuned into us now knowing that cause of the disease that is obesity are inSANE foods.
It is not as if we are not responsible because now that we have the information we are responsible. I just wanted to call that out because I don’t want anyone to hear what we’re saying as you’re completely off the hook because while your completely off the hook might feel good, if you’re actually completely off the hook that means that there is nothing you can do about the problem.
Carrie: I meant feel good in a way that I am then empowered to do what I can about it. Whereas when I just look at it as it’s me, I’m stupid, I’m lazy, I’m whatever, that never inspired anybody to get up and do something about it.
Carrie: But when I know that it’s my internal system is not working properly that empowers me to figure out what will make it run better.
Jonathan: That empowering what makes it run better… such a key point Carrie, because when we understand that we have a disease this idea of using food as medicine and the idea that you need to eat more — just think about it. If you have a disease, just eating less of the diet that caused that disease cannot cure it. It doesn’t make any sense because you’re still taking in the cause just at a lower dose. It’s like smoking less to not get lung cancer, you’ll get lung cancer slower but you will still get lung cancer.
But you can’t stop breathing you just have to breathe in healthy air. When we see this as a disease we start to see “Wow okay, just like there are things I can put in my mouth that caused this disease, there are things I can put in my mouth that reverse this disease and therefore we don’t eat less.” No, no, no, no, no. In fact we must eat more but smarter. That’s awesome because now we don’t have to be hungry and we can be healthy and we can be satisfied and we can be empowered just like you said.
Carrie: Yeah, that for me the difference is that I feel like instead of feeling like there’s nothing I can do, like I can’t control it, like I’m not in control of my own body, instead I feel like I am in charge and I can change it and I can make it better and I can have a different outcome. I am in control which is typically when I was struggling, I didn’t feel in control at all. I felt like it didn’t matter what I did. Nothing ever changed. I think this definition for me changes all of that.
Jonathan: I think it also helps to explain some scenarios we’ve all seen. For example, if you go into an office or a school. I think a school is a great example because if you go into a grade school, it’s not as if all of the children who are not overweight – which at this point Carrie about a third of the children in this country are overweight or obese. It’s not like two-thirds of the kids in the cafeteria are eating salads with chicken and some blueberries on the side and a third of the kids are eating pizza with french fries.
All of the kids are eating pizza with french fries but only a third are obese. You start to say hmmm, they’re all eating the same things but some people are being affected one way. Other people are being affected another way maybe that starts the — okay that’s the kind of like a disease, right? Where we can all go into an office but not everyone gets a cold, right? Because the body is reacting difference. If it was just a mathematical equation everyone in the cafeteria eats the same stuff but they do not in any way shape or form react the same way.
This is the thing that really gets me amped up Carrie is when people want to criticize individuals who are struggling with their weight as they unwrap a candy bar and drink a soda. The person who’s doing the criticism because they’re just naturally thin they eat no healthier than anyone else. They’re like one of those people who can smoke their entire life and never get lung cancer. It’s not because they’re morally superior it’s because they have a genetic immunity to this neurological inflammation, this gut bacteria dysfunction and this hormonal dysregulation much like someone who can smoke cigarettes and not get lung cancer. Make sense?
Carrie: It makes absolute sense. In fact it makes so much sense I have nothing to say.
Jonathan: I’ve left you speechless. Well Carrie, I had something to say when I tried to manscape myself.
Carrie: I was hoping you wouldn’t give me that visual again.
Jonathan: Well you know I had to bring this — just like we can liberate people in this podcast I hope in this episode, I hope we’ve done two things. We’ve liberated individuals from feeling like there is something wrong with them morally and to help them understand that they have a systemic, metabolic condition which is completely treatable and that now they have the power to treat. And that if you’re interested in manscaping I would recommend sticking with a razor and not waxing.
Carrie: No, no, no, no, no. Lasering. lasering is where it’s at.
Jonathan: Alright lasering, lasering. I don’t know where to go like okay…
Carrie: I haven’t shaved my legs in 12 years Jonathan.
Carrie: Yes, really. Lasering people is where it’s at.
Jonathan: Well there you go. Now you know not only how to cure the disease that is obesity but also how to cure…
Jonathan: Unwanted hair. So just like — I was going to take the analogy further but you know what folks, this week and every week after eat more, exercise less just do it smarter. We’ll chat with you soon.
Carrie: See ya.
Jonathan: Wait, wait! Don’t stop listening yet.
Carrie: You can get fabulous free SANE recipes over at CarrieBrown.com.
Jonathan: And don’t forget, your 100% free Eating and Exercise Quick Start Program as well as free fun daily tips delivered right into your inbox at BailorGroup.com.