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Is food engineering a better solution to solve the obesity problem?

Worldwide the statistics about obesity have been rising and I am afraid by the numbers that this problem represents, according to the World Health Organization, worldwide obesity has nearly doubled since 1980. What does this mean? I hope that this trend do not catch up! we have to do something as a society, because I do not think that the food industries would solve this problem just by looking to the statistics and neither do we. So nowadays with all the technology that we have and the information that is available at our fingertips. I have seen that there is a emerging sector called food engineering, which promises a better understanding and development of food, in other words, this discipline would help to create or produce functional food. What do you think about the approach of modify or produce this "quality" food and give it to obese people to control their weight, is this a better way than creating a food culture in our children?

  • May 7 2014: I agree, and I believe a=on some scale we have programs like this and they can be found here http://fnic.nal.usda.gov/professional-and-career-resources/nutrition-education/curricula-and-lesson-plans

    however, I don't think they are advertised nor do I think this is that helpful. You are only going to seek out this information if you feel a need, but there is a fast food commercial and ads for alcohol on every channel. We need corporations to step up and advertise more healthy eating and lifestyle, and then not make the healthy foods too expensive for those who really want to do better. Are you aware that some states allow EBT ( food stamp cards) to be used at fast food places like KFC now. That just attributes to the problem.
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    R H

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    May 5 2014: We've been eating food since 'the beginning'. During the modern era (post 1800's) we began to re-engineer food through selective breeding, chemical additives, and genetic manipulation. Now we have an 'obesity' problem. Therefore it follows that the engineered food is, at the very least, a cause of the problem since humans have (as of yet) been exempt from 're-engineering'. In other words, what has changed resulting in this problem? Organically we have not. The food has. We are now sick. Solution: Return the food to its original condition.
  • May 4 2014: I don't feel that engineering the foods we consume will solve any issue, Obesity like curing illnesses etc is a business and so long as there are companies who need to sell their diet pills, latest fads, programs and even prescribed pharmaceuticals obesity will remain because as we all know these things don't help they just line pockets of corporations. As long as fast food and unhealthy junk food cost more than fruits and veggies the problem remains also. I think your idea is a noble one for someone who has a yard or place to actually grow food, but for the majority of our society, the poor or those living in big city environments living that faster paced life everything needs to come fast, cheap and without too much effort.
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      May 5 2014: I agree with your point of view. Obesity is a round business, if you look to the big picture the big companies are "earning" all the profits. For starters, you start eating fast food this means a disequilibrium in our organism, since we do not develop good and healthy habits at the time of our meals, then we develop an addiction for the junk food and when we are at this point without being conscious now we are obese. Finally, we would have to control our weight with treatments, diets, and medicine.

      So in other words we spend a lot of money being obese, so why don't we develop an strategy, such as, a national program that gives a clear nutritional information or even better to incorporate a system like this everywhere, e.g. schools, work, hospitals, outlets, tv, etc. And if this sounds to utopic, we should start doing this by our self, I bet that everybody at least have a friend or relative that is obese. So if we care for them we should help them eat better...
  • May 4 2014: Growing a garden and eating from it is the best solution to the obesity problem but don't take my word for it, ask God.
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    May 3 2014: Are you suggesting somehow removing the fats and sugars from the food or engineering the consumers tolerance levels of fats and sugars?

    National obesity problems exist primarily in those regions that have fast food outlets and the more such outlets they have the greater the problem. That is because fast food purveyors dose their food with copious amounts of fat, sugar and MSG - a substance that provokes feeling hungry and is now marketed under a variety of other names in order to fool the public. - as lures to keep the customers stuffing their faces with the nutritionally deficient fare and the profits rolling in.

    Of course a lack od exercise and affluent over indulging also contribute to obesity but not nearly to the extent of the fast food industry.

    It is a well know fact of human physiology that we crave fats and sugars, substances that for eons were limited in our diets rather than prolific as they are today. In other words, obesity is not the real problem but those economic predators who are willing to foist such unhealthy so-called foods upon us in order to profit by exploiting our predilections and addictive characteristics. They don't care how they get the money and such fare is "cheap" to produce and remains highly profitable.. They, only care about how they can entice or otherwise manipulate the herd into giving up their money for sub nutritional and sub standard products.
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      May 3 2014: I believe that the main source of the obesity problem is and always will be the education, because if we rise our children in a controlled enviroment, such as, you said, one where fast food oulets, our children would not know another healty source of food. We have to educate our people with facts, how to eat healty, and how to cook healty, otherwise the food industry will suck out all the money ot the people that are lazy or just not well informed or not concerned about their health.

      It is well know that lots of factors have a main role in obesity, such as, exercise, genetics, food intake and so on but at least in my opinion one good path to follow would be reducing the sugars and fat in the most consumed products worldwide, e.g. soda pop, chips, etc. Or even better replace them for dry fruits, I know that this is an utopia. On the other hand, another good thing that the food engineering would bring us is to incorporate nutrients to ordinary food, such as, rice. It is well know that the golden rice research would be an alternative option to lots of people because this rice is rich in beta-carotene, that is a precursor of the vitamin A, so if we did this, we can develop other types of food that would suit the necesity to a specific population or targeted to people with obesity. I do not say that the fight against big industries would be easy but we as a comunity have to do something, get informed, get educated and spread the word. For instance, try just one month to not eat junk food and do some exercise, and by the end of the month you would feel different. I try this experiment for one year and I find that know I don't find the junk food as I did before, I mean now I prefer to eat something that is fresh rather than go and grab a slice of pizza so to say.
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    May 14 2014: Johnny Atman says:

    Do we really know the cause of Obesity that we bring food engineering as a solution?
    This is a very good way to relinquish personal responsibility for choosing a healthy lifestyle.
    And the chance for someone to be in control of your health. Pharma would love that.
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    May 13 2014: Naturally we should only eat as much as we need and as little as possible. The energy we get from our food would only need to cover the aspects of arranging food and shelter.
    Obesity is a symptom and fighting symptoms is never the best starting point.
    We have to start at our mindset. We have to start thinking that all use of resources must be reduced to a minumum (including making of new products, commuting, living, ...)
    When we, as humans on earth, remember how to live with an absolute minimal use of resources, obesity will disappear.
  • May 6 2014: We are sold poison that is allowed to be called food. We know it but as a nation we are depressed.As a nation we say whats the use. So we allow poison to be sold as food. There for sickness runs rampid . all we really have to do is less instead of more.
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    May 6 2014: Be like the Japanese before the advent of the cell phone, now the poor buggers suffer from "Skinny fat syndrome". What it really comes down to is the fact that too many don't have land for a garden and those that do just don't give a hoot about ever trying to grow their own.

    Laziness.
  • May 5 2014: Amazing question !! You see the pharmaceutical companies are in tie up with some food chain companies to ensure both grow together I am not taking names. But its more than 2 billion dollar business. If there are no sick people there is no health care needed. So its above me and you. These things are silently happening. There have been best medicines in the past which were discovered and then the formulas died just because we human are batteries for the rich. We should be dumb to just simply work, pay taxes, pay school fees or whatever and when we are old... they change batteries. lol !! We cant the top 3% class mentality but yes can educate the rest 97% to be aware. !!
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    May 4 2014: I am afraid that human arrogance too often trumps understanding and intelligence. Eating is a pleasure center and, just like any other human pleasure center, the stimulus can lead us to ruin our health and even kill ourselves with over indulgence.

    I have known a number of individuals over the years for whom over eating was the principle pleasure they indulged in and who blithely ignored the physical consequences they piled on themselves. Some died before seeing 60, one before seeing 35 and others are struggling with the health impairment consequences of that over eating.

    And let us nor forget the fat/sugar promoting industries that invariably garner far more support from our governments than the health care systems that have to deal with the consequences of obesity. And there are also plenty of modern day examples of how the opportunity to exploit the vulnerable for greater "profits" can and often does trump understanding and intelligence as well.
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    May 4 2014: Salvatore, There are always exceptions but by and large the solution, if not medical, is attitude. I can educate you, coach you, be your conscience .... etc. But the bottom line is it is your choice. If you do not give a damm I cannot help you.

    There is no magic .. all things worth achieving come to you through hard work and dedication ... the problem today is that the government has made it way to easy to take the easy way out and to assign blame for anything and everything. We see it everyday ... the rich are to blame ... the last presidents fault ... the man is keeping me down ... these are excuses not reasons ... and the cowards way out.

    There is healthy food available now ... engineering more will solve anything.

    The courteousy carts at store are being used by the "fat" not the medically needy. I look at the carts of the "fat" and see coke, chips, ice cream, candy, canned meats, etc .... step one is change that attitude and shopping / eating habit.

    If it is worth having .. it is worth working for ... you said "give" it to these people ... wrong.

    Stop making everything so easy ... the solution is right diet, excercise, and give a damm ... attitude.

    Stop being a enabler ... for thise who have true medical issues .. not just a galnd issue (like the mouth) ... then seek medical help ... if they refuse to follow those orders ... cut them off. Others who are willing to work at it and achieve results are waiting in line.

    To achieve results takes all of us ... including the obese ... being serious is not always being the nice guy.

    Be well. Bob.
  • May 4 2014: No, What will then slim people eat ?

    Many factors are responsible for obesity . Obesity is also caused by thyroid problem . Due to thyroid problem the metabolism slows down and thus people gain weight . Some people have big stomach and so they eat too much and that also causes obesity.

    Although scientists have done PHD in genetic engineering but I bet that they still do not know that what will be impact if they reduce or increase any ingredient in the food through genetic engineering.

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    Off Topic Example :

    Dopamine is released when a person falls in love.
    Dopamine is released when a person gets addicted to smoking or drugs .

    Some, organization claim to deaddict by muting the release of dopamine through laser technology .

    But, one of the suspected reasons for Parkinson's diseases is non production of Dopamine.

    The point is here whether Dopamine is good or bad ? And what would be the impact if it is muted or its production is stopped ?

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    Same way each natural food contains many ingredients and what ingredient is affecting what thing is still unknown .

    All scientists cannot be trusted blindly , because yesterday they said something , Today they will say something and Tomorrow they will say something .

    If we have religious fundamentalism then so we have the Scientific Fundamentalism . As religious fundamentalism is very dangerous and so Scientific Fundamentalism is dangerous.
  • May 4 2014: If you are interested in a diet that God prescribed and the results where some people grew into giants and others lived for several hundred years, then check out this website: http://GodSaid.net
    By the way, this diet worked wonders for thousands of years and keep people healthier than any other time on earth.
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    May 3 2014: If it can be done safely, it sounds OK. I am trying to interest people in the Maasai tribe of Kenya diet, the Maasai are famous for living only on beef and milk. I follow this diet, well, I basically live on milk, every day I drink close to two gallons, or 7.5 liters of milk and hardly eat or drink anything else. It is great, I am six feet, one inch, on this diet I easily maintain at 165 pounds with much pleasure. I believe this diet would help with many diseases, including major ones like AIDS and cancer, and am trying to interest the medical establishment in testing it.
  • May 3 2014: Those who wants to be thin mind /DNA engineering will help.
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    May 3 2014: Human engineering is the solution to the obesity problem.
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      May 3 2014: Do you mean to modify our kind in order to have transgenic human beings? in other words, Eugenics? that is forbidden... so to say along the world? Well, sometimes I think the same but then I realize that maybe that scenario is far away from our time. I am thinking in a more short term answer to help our generation and the generation of our children that face this problem everyday in schools and so do we in work, universities etc. I bet you that more than 50% of the people just go and buy without thinking what they are eating, because this is easy to do when you don't have time or don't know how to cook.
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        May 3 2014: Human Engineering should be understood as conceptualizing, designing, developing, creating, and maintaining the mindset of human beings.

        We can engineer all the foods we consume, if we don't control our behavior, many of us will still be obese or will become obese.