15 thoughts on “How marketers target your children with treats

  1. Obesity is a DISEASE state. All of the science indicates this. Body weight is INVOLUNTARILY regulated. Bad lifestyles only account for a modest weight gain of about 5 pounds or so. They do NOT explain obesity. Obesity is as heritable as height. GENETICS is the reason we all differ so much in body weight and shape.

    Voluntary factors like dieting and exercising do NOT affect body weight much over the long term. They are of extremely limited potency to affect body weight substantially over the very long term. They don’t work. They are NOT solutions for obesity and the scientific literature CLEARLY says this.

    Look up Dr. Douglas Coleman -one of the greatest obesity scientists of all time, and he made one of the greatest discoveries all time. He is REPUTABLE information.

    • Not sure where you are getting your stats, Razwell (only five pounds of fat are due to “bad lifestyle” choices?)

      Most credible science reports simply: generally speaking, calories in must equal calories out. The obese mother pouring Coca-Cola into her obese toddler’s baby bottle is what’s making that kid fat – not likely the possible imbalance of the hormone leptin.

      And while Dr. Coleman’s early work on leptin in mice seemed initially promising, subsequent human studies have largely failed to confirm his theories. The drug company Amgen spent $20 million in 1999 sponsoring a large clinical trial in which leptin was administered to overweight adults; this study showed that, while a small subset of obese patients did lose significant amounts of weight while on leptin, the average magnitude of the effect was minimal, dampening hopes that leptin was “the magic bullet in the obesity fight”. After the trial, Amgen announced that they had suspended studies of the effects of leptin for the treatment of human obesity. (Source: Heymsfield SB, et al. Recombinant leptin for weight loss in obese and lean adults: a randomized, controlled, dose-escalation trial. JAMA. 1999;282(16):1568–1575).

      A more recent 2005 study reported in The American Journal of Epidemiology (Genetics of Leptin and Obesity: A HuGE Review. 15 July 2005 162 (2): 101-114. doi: 10.1093/aje /kwi174) reported: “Results suggest no evidence of association between the genes under study and obesity.”

      I remain skeptical about the miracle of leptin, and enthusiastic about the clearly proven benefits of daily exercise and healthy diet. Leptin may one day become the newest pharmaceutical darling – but it’s not there yet.

      • That is WRONG. Human studies HAVE confirmed. Dr. Friedman made sure of this. Mice and humans are EXCEPTIONALLY similar- ESPECIALLY in regard to body weight regulaton. Look into the most recent work of Dr. Rudolph Leibel and Dr. Micahel Rosenbaum. Obesity is NOT what you think it is. THat is their message. Individuals have a BIOLOGY to be thin or fat. With regard to body weight our bodies completely have a mind of their own.

        Mice are th TOP model organisms for GOOD REASON. Scientists call them furry humans.

        All of you Internet cranks are the same. You abuse genuine science.

        There are VAST OCEANS of unknowns about obesity and considerable uncertainty. What we know is but a glass of water.

        • You are correct, Razwell – there are indeed vast oceans of unknowns in all science, including the sources you quote. But stating your opinions ALL IN CAPS does not turn them into “genuine science”.

  2. Obesity and sleep are two health problems that persistently elude science.

    I agree with Carolyn that children eat too much junk food now. But they also aren’t as physically active as they were in the past. The two are joined at the hip.

    The science around leptin isn’t here—- yet. I wish it were, since my leptin scores are over the top.

    I do know that I don’t automatically look at an obese person now and think—– Oh Oh, better lay off the potato chips, hon!

    I wish I knew what my leptin scores had been when I was in my 20s to 60s when a family sized pizza plus a banana split for dessert wasn’t unheard of. Some switch (leptin?) was turned off or on and now weight is a problem for me.

      • I’m not sure what your question means. If I had known (back then) what my leptin scores were:

        If they were WNL I would’ve kept on eating what I wanted. Remember I had 60 glorious years of almost NO health problems and besides not doing anything stupid (rec. drugs or smoking etc) I wouldn’t have changed. I did drink, maybe a leetle too much at times but when I decided to quit, I just quit. Easy peasy.
        But if leptin was high, as they are now, and nothing more was known about leptin then (than now) I would do the same as I’m doing now: keeping an eye on the research and waiting for research that can be replicated/proven to possibly make a choice.

        Did that answer you—- or have I just muddied the field?

        • So it seems that your answer would have been the same either way: you wouldn’t have changed anything whether your leptin scores were high or low, so maybe knowing them back then wouldn’t have made a difference after all, right?

          • Oh, dear—- I’ve managed to not express myself clearly! What a surprise! (grin)

            How’s this?
            If my leptin score had been high (back then) AND there was something that could have been done AND I was overweight—-
            I would have tried almost anything that was safe.

  3. I think that the whole weight thing is so multifactorial that it is impossible to talk about it in one or two terms only. How come I tried hundreds of diets and lost thousands of pounds only to gain them back again, for well over forty years, and then one day said enough, lost over 120 pounds in my 60’s and kept the weight off for the past six or so years? Why that happened then and not earlier, I have no idea. There are tons of factors involved, endocrine stuff for example, but that is such a small part of the whole picture.

    I think weight issues are one of the most multifactorial health topics there are. You can’t just talk about heredity, or about calories in, calories out, or about this diet vs that diet, or new science discoveries, e.g. leptin, or about this physical activity or that one, or about other health options – there are so many things that feed into the whole topic it is staggering.

    Not to mention a huge sugar lobby whose financial interest lies in keeping the population obese! They actually lobby the FDA to prevent promising weight loss meds from coming onto the market. When I first learned about that, it made me physically ill to think people would so disregard other peoples’ health in order to make money. We’re back to money and power, same old, same old.

    • Your story is remarkable, Dr. Ruth – losing over 120 pounds and keeping it off all these years!? Congratulations to you! I agree with your take on the sugar lobby – but I’m also disinclined to trust the pro-diet pill lobbyists any more than I would trust the anti-pill lobbyists! We’ve had a pretty disgraceful history of FDA-approved diet pills out there that turned out to be deadly and were later recalled by the FDA: Cal-Ban 3000, Cal-Lite 1000, Cal-Trim 5000, Perma Slim, Bodi Trim, Medi Thin, Nature’s Way, etc etc etc.

      • Hi – I believe you both about both pro-and anti-dieting meds, but don’t get me started on HCG because I think that is truly the exception. The fact that it has such negative press means to me that there is something positive there, but aside from that, my personal experience, my training in Argentina and my experience with many hundreds of people using it have just convinced me that not everything is all bad. There is something good (and relatively safe) out there in spite of what so many people say. I have never known it NOT to work as long as people follow the exact protocol. Can’t say that about anything else. Ever. Fascinating story how it was discovered.

        • It is a fascinating story, but I think that hCG is no different than any other controversial treatment when it comes to my acid test: “Follow the money!”

          “The fact that it has such negative press means to me that there is something positive there” – Dr. Ruth, you would not likely say that about Vioxx or other drugs with similarly “negative press”.

  4. Dr Simkin

    I agree with you completely about the multi-factional ingredients towards obesity. I know from personal experience that taking in too many calories doesn’t make a person obese. I lived for 60 years while overeating. I’m not exactly proud of that—-however it’s a fact. I’m not the only person I know like that.

    At the same time I abhor the ads on TV and elsewhere. Especially the lobbying!

    So, conversely, an obese person doesn’t necessarily have to be gorging on sweets or fats to remain obese. It’s much more complicated— as you said. Endocrine? Possibly. Or something we’ve never heard of before.

    For a peek at what the lobbying expenditures are for recent years go to:

    Lobbying against more healthy school lunches:

    “The food industry and the Congress members it lobbies have apparently reached an agreement on childhood obesity: It’s less important than profit.”

    Lobbying against diet pills—– I’d have to read more about that. Could it be that some of the diet pills need more testing? Do you have any citations you can bring forth for me? Although I’m inclined not to trust lobbyists. Sorry.

  5. The discovery of leptin is one of the GREATEST things to happen in obesity research and COMPLETELY CHANGED the way scientists view obesity. Look into this. You have not. Dr. Leibel, Dr Friedman, Dr Rosenbaum.

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