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The Connection Between All Non-Contagious Diseases Or how to make yourself thin without trying too hard

Articles like this put it into focus. Every now and then we are reminded that we are rapidly becoming an obese society. If conventional wisdom is to be believed it is because we are eating too much and not exercising enough. We just finished an administration where the First Lady’s signature issue was childhood obesity. She had a multi-pronged campaign titled “Let’s Move.” Among its lofty goals was to improve the nutritional content of school lunches and have students exercise more. These are noble goals. Unfortunately it failed.

I knew it would fail from the start. Long ago I rejected conventional wisdom and embraced evolutionary biology as the correct paradigm for understanding human disease. This is because we are not caloricly controlled., WE ARE HORMONALLY CONTROLLED. Period. This means that the calories you eat are just not that important. What is important is the hormonal signaling. Get that under control and obesity will never be an issue your entire life.

What most people are eating is not species appropriate for humans. The big government dictate of “health” is food that tastes like cardboard in school lunches and exercising more. Well you cannot out-exercise a bad diet and the pictures of school lunches that were not eaten are legendary on the #thanksMichelleObama site. It is somewhat complicated but long story short, this type of diet makes us resistant to the hormone leptin. This in turn can disrupt insulin (a hormone) signaling and starts the cascade leading to obesity.

What dose this have to do with non-contagious diseases you might ask? Humans are members of the animal kingdom and whenever you feed an animal something or place that animal in an environment that is inappropriate for that animal you create stress. This raises the body’s main stress hormone, cortisol. Overtime this raises blood pressure, disrupts hormonal signalling, and makes weight loss difficult. The human animal is no different. We are not immune from this effect; we are becoming sick because of it. While the focus of the article is obesity as it now touches 70% of Americans; it very well could be about cancer, diabetes, heart disease or hypertension. As other countries adapt an American diet and lifestyle this epidemic will rapidly become a pandemic. This paper by Dr. Ken Southward, The Systemic Theory of Dental Caries
clearly puts tooth decay in this column as well and as a dentist that is my daily focus. None of these are a normal part of development or aging. Never accept age as an excuse for ill health. It is up to us to make the necessary changes to protect our health.

What is species appropriate? Think about the humans we evolved from. What did they eat? What did they do all day? They ate wild game, greens, seafood, and fruit in season. They walked out of Africa following the seacoast and waterways. Double down on seafood and be mindful of eating fruit in winter or out of season.

Now think about what they did not do. They did not sit at a desk. They did not stare at a bright computer screen. They did have bright lights after sunset. They definitely did not check their smart phones or post to Facebook at 3:00 AM. This blocks melatonin (yet another hormone) production and interferes with sleep. You do not have to be perfect but if you accept the frame of reference that we are hormonally controlled you can begin to take the first steps to correcting the situation. A wise man once said “Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity.” It is time to stop the insanity and attack the problem.

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