Greg Harrison

President & CEO, Harrisons Bird Foods

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Obesity, chemical and biological not just consumption and lack of exercise?

Obesity is rampant in 6-month-old kids, every animal in touch with human cities including rats, zoo etc. How can a six month old be morbidly obese unless a strong endocrine disruption is occurring? Chemicals in agriculture are certainly suspect as are new viruses. But why would it be a virus unless the immune system is unbalanced?

People over ate decades ago and no one saw a 400-1000 pound person except in a circus.

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    May 19 2012: There has been some great research showing that the traditional focus on calorie surplus/deficit is flawed because not all calories are equal in their impact on the human body. Part of the biological malfunction that occurs has to do with the way refined sugars screw up our insulin regulation system. Once that first domino tips, it goes from there.

    The research pointed out that even during the Depression, among people who weren't getting a huge surplus of calories, there was still obesity. The financial empire of complicated diets and exercise, however, don't want us to see how little our fats-to-protein index or our exercise regimens have to do with it compared to the biochemistry of refined sugars and value-subtracted grains.
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      Jun 13 2012: Can not argue with that but in my mind that is what they want us to believe because that is all we hear about. Let's go outside the box.
  • Jun 17 2012: you have stumped me there Greg, why does anyone need organic pet food??
  • Jun 17 2012: Ever consider there may be a correlation between rising anxiety disorders and rising obesity rates? Yes this could be due to over diagnosis which is currently very rampant and this does not explain animal obesity, but it could very well have a relationship with obesity in many children and adults. When humans feel stress for a prolonged period the body ups its cortisone levels and stores fat in the stomach and lower back. Cortisone has a relationship with the fight or flight response and when the body deems this to be happening it naturally stores fat in anticipation of danger and potential inability to gather food. Modern stress which can be prolonged, as many know, would naturally allow for the body to raise its cortisone levels. The world is a scary place especially with the easy access to media via the internet and television.
    You also have to consider the amount of people that take psychiatric medication many of which suffer major weight gains as a side effect. I know, I know, you probably can't attribute the vast obesity rates with the increases in psychiatric medications but it may be a piece of the pie.

    good question
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    Jun 17 2012: Oh well for an other day. I tried.
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    Jun 13 2012: I wonder why TED Conversations has no PR on this subject. Is this being written in a vacuum?
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    Jun 9 2012: We are suffering from a lack of critical thinkers and as the author of Mirage and Blue Revolution, Cynthia Barnett says. People have no idea a theme park and a river are different. entities.

    Gave a lecture to students interested in being veterinarians or zoo workers yesterday. One was terrified of animals, sharks reptiles and insects. An other had no idea almost half of some graduating classes from vet school last year did not have a job six months out. No idea vet student debt was in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. No idea starting salaries are almost half of what they should be at this time.

    No idea that zoos are city and county institutions for the most part and are broke.
  • Jun 4 2012: another thought, anyone ever noticed the exponential rise in obesity has co-incided with the campaign to get people to stop smoking. Smoking is an appetite suppressant, keeps people thin, give up smoking people reach for food to compensate, usually sugar as a compensation for lack of nicotine. Look around you and ask the obese people when they gave up smoking, it is quite fascinating. There is your diabetes epidemic. love the cyclic nature of it
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      Jun 9 2012: I'm sure those six month olds and the pets, rats and zoo animals just quit smoking. There is a behavior link no doubt but come on!!
  • Jun 4 2012: Greg how do you no know wether the use of agricultural chemicals is not causing either new viruses, as plant disease and pests(also known as an imbalance) become immune to the chenicals applied and so mutate. So companies have to create harsher and harsher chemicals to compensate. There is only so much that our own Tcells can cope with.
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    May 30 2012: We have hit a dead end on this subject. Are people just too complacent about industry fixing the system? Has anyone heard of Theo Coburn and estrogenic chemicals? ( and this Hello any TED people reading this?

    How weird is it she has a TEDX site? Second link above.

    In EU a chemical has to be proven safe, in the USA they have to be proven harmful (a negative).

    This comment today from MED Scape is so poignant,"Can You Prove a Negative? Nope.
    Mark Crislip, MD, Infectious Diseases, 12:38AM Jun 20, 2010

    It is probably easier to prove a diagnosis than to disprove one. After enough data is in you can say with certainly that, for example, the patient has endocarditis: the right symptoms, positive blood cultures, big vegetation on a valve. Piece of cake. But can I say the patient doesn't have endocarditis? I cannot disprove the existence of Santa, only that there is no reliable information to support his existence (I assume this blog is not being read by 7 year olds and I just dashed some childs dreams to bits, or to bytes).

    The same applies to chemicals and the USA sheep keep on getting taken advantage of.
    • Jun 14 2012: Your a cranky bugger, life does tend to get in the way of good intentions. However there is alot of information out there in relation to what you are suggesting, and more and more people are becoming aware of the correlation between chemicals and human illness, I hope you have read the book that started it all off, Rachel Carsons 'Silent Spring". It isn't a dead subject
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        Jun 14 2012: I was introduced to Silent Spring the year it was published and became my botany teachers main text. Went to sleep for twenty years then got involved with Audubon, Rachel Carson Council and many more. Have been producing and promoting organic pet bird food for three decades.

        Recent reports from the various science groups say the tipping point on many issues is coming faster than predicted. Hope there is a new effort up to the task.
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    May 20 2012: Ya I believe a lot of combinational factors are responsible for this wide spread of obesity in the world ..About 1 billion people are in the condition of obesity..The main responsible for the obesity is lack of exercises...not the present generation but the past generation of the victims who are being encountered by the obesity today...The reason is the past generations didn't trained their children to live in a natural way for which their work is done by machines.So the present generations did not have enough about these things and they also fail to teach to the next generations..As the more and more invention of home purpose machines made every generation their work easier and easier...They started to be lazy little...This factor increases step by step slowly in many generations.The humans didn't felt this thing before it become a great problem like this...Hence one day we found a reason for the obesity is also because of genes...I'm believing this could be the reason for some persons who suffers obesity due to genital reasons..In other hand there some persons still who don't have any genital problems but still suffers a from obesity,It may be due to their soft type of work....But the solution for the two type of cases can be solved by two things...
    2. determination in heart that I can be better always....
    If these two things are done well then the other factors which doctors say like Hypertension,Smoking,Alcohol drinking,etc ..can throne away by us...and lead a weighless life
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    May 19 2012: Check this out: Why such a rash of proof in 2008,9 and 10 then nothing much. Could the chemical companies and money for studies be linked??
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    May 19 2012: Josh
    Open up to what you may not know! Look at this:

    Environ Health Perspect. 2012 Mar;120(3):332-9. Epub 2011 Oct 31.
    Do interactions between gut ecology and environmental chemicals contribute to obesity and diabetes?
    Snedeker SM, Hay AG.
    Department of Microbiology and the Institute for Comparative and Environmental Toxicology, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA.
    Review: Combating the global obesity and diabetes epidemics requires a multifaceted approach that should include greater emphasis on understanding and controlling the impact of interindividual gut microbe variability on the disposition of environmental chemicals in humans.
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    May 19 2012: How can a six month old child be morbidly obese from junk food. Look out side the box.
    Might check some pub med articles like: Hormones (Athens). 2010 Jul-Sep;9(3):206-17.
    Impact of environmental endocrine disrupting chemicals on the development of obesity. This review summarizes data from experimental animals and humans which support an association of endocrine disrupting chemicals, such as diethylstilbestrol, bisphenol A, phytoestrogens, phthalates, and organotins, with the development of obesity.
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    Josh S

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    May 19 2012: If the topic is about why new-borns are sometimes morbidly obese then, quite simply, it's because they eat a lot of 'junky' food. Of course, this is in the form of high-calorie drinks or extra calories in their diet. Very very rarely are hormonal balances the cause of obesity. Instead of trying to move the blame from parents to 'obesity causing viruses' or 'unbalanced immune systems' why cant the parents just take the blame.

    Of course, family history can play a part in obesity, but not nearly as much a culprit as the parents.

    If the infant eats the right amount of the right food they will not be obese 99% of the time. People need to stop blaming hormones and other stuff for the problem they caused.

    Today's society ALLOWS people to be 400-1000 pounds. It's possible to live at home, working at home, ordering food deliveries at home, using online stores at home. That's probably the biggest reason there are 400-1000 pound people.
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      Jun 13 2012: Hello- six month olds do not eat junk food or too much formula. How about not being lead to believe the obvious.