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Thread: Scientific Proof That Osteoporosis And Obesity Are Not Diseases

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    Default Scientific Proof That Osteoporosis And Obesity Are Not Diseases

    Vivian Goldschmidt
    June 15 2017

    One of the most frightening aspects of an osteoporosis and osteopenia diagnosis is the way the risk of fracture is presented by the Medical Establishment. When a doctor determines that you fit the pre-established parameters of increased fracture risk, instead of helping you understand how you can reduce that risk, they pronounce you with an ominous disease: osteoporosis.

    Read more: https://saveourbones.com/scientific-...ng-about-this/

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    Default Re: Scientific Proof That Osteoporosis And Obesity Are Not Diseases

    That's an interesting discussion. It made me think carefully about how we define terms and what exactly constitutes a disease. In context, I agree that the word "disease" is merely a door-opener to the pharmaceutical industry, and that it would be better replaced with the term "condition."

    In trying to defend their position, though, they downplay indices that I'd call reasonably accurate. BMI? OK, not perfect, but you and I both know obesity when we see it. When we see elder women with bent spines and that "dowager's hump," we also recognize osteoporosis... and it's not merely a lack of calcium, something that we assumed for too long. Something else I'd dispute is the assertion that obese people can be fit. Nope, obesity puts too many stresses on too many systems, weight-bearing joints being the most common. I don't support fat-shaming, but there seems to be a trend abroad to normalize obesity, and that's not helpful to the obese.
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    Default Re: Scientific Proof That Osteoporosis And Obesity Are Not Diseases

    Obesity has been part of the human condition since the Upper Palaeolithic. For my undergraduate honors thesis, I looked at the artwork commonly called Venus figurines. Several of these depict women who are definitely obese. I also looked at photographs of hunter-gatherer and subsistence farmer women, and today's western women. Intriguingly, I was very easily able to shape-and size-match iconic ice-age art depictions with modern women! Some of the artwork is 35,000 years old. From this point of view, obesity can be described as normal.

    I also looked at body shapes, finding that while the four body shapes (apple, pear, column, and hourglass) have been persistent over the last 35,000 years, there's definite geographic clustering. Part of this is likely due to environment -for example, most women who are foragers or subsistence farmers are apples, with large heads, short necks, and broad shoulders, tapering to narrow hips and thighs. These are women who are physically strong and have relatively high testosterone levels, making them better able to exploit often tough environmental conditions. There's likely also a strong element of sexual selection, for example, Latina women run to very well-developed hips and buttocks. This bouncy behind, often accompanied by a curvy belly and small breasts, is greatly admired by men and women alike. I found geographic clustering in the ancient artwork that suggests that these factors were in play then too.

    Obesity may not be healthy for the individual but it does make for a more resilient population; in times of scarcity, thin women may not have the body fat reserves to ovulate, carry a pregnancy to term, and lactate. We're so used to abundant food that we don't think of the very high caloric costs of reproduction! Fat women, in times of dearth, can provision their own bodies and still produce babies, supported by their fat stores. Mother Nature and Father Time don't care a single hoot about the individual - it's the survival of life that (might) concern them. Forager and subsistence farmer populations place high value on fat women; some cultures went so far as to confine pubescent girls and force-feed them to make them fat and improve their chances of getting a high-ranking mate. A very interesting study looked at Playboy centrefolds, finding that in times of economic downturn, models are heavier and have a higher waist-to-hip ratio. In rich times, models are thinner, have lower WHR, and the baby-face is back.

    My thesis is available on Academia.edu if anyone would like to see my data. https://www.academia.edu/15771416/Gr...f_Homo_sapiens

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    Default Re: Scientific Proof That Osteoporosis And Obesity Are Not Diseases

    Osteoporosis is another very longstanding problem. I remember reading about the find of a skeleton, around 12,000 years old. It was that of a young man around 20 years old. He had such severe osteoporosis that his skull was porous. He'd died of a brain infection. In archaeology, younger people's osteoporosis is linked to cribra orbitalia, which is a marker of iron deficiency. In older people, it's associated with the same kind of spinal damage we see today. A skeleton of a hunter-gatherer man from Vela Luka exhibited osteoporosis and well-developed kyphosis. The site is about 10,000 years old, the man about 40.

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    Default Re: Scientific Proof That Osteoporosis And Obesity Are Not Diseases

    Yes, I've seen the plump Willendorf Venus and others like her. I've also read about fattening up young brides (I think I've heard of instances both in Africa and in the South Pacific). Then there is the steatopygia of Hottentot women (and I saw an example at my auto mechanic's place of business: definitely not a Hottentot but the most remarkable case of the condition I've ever seen). So yes, I can certainly agree that in times of food uncertainty, the well-padded woman has an evolutionary advantage. And in thinking about the four body types, would you agree that males' tastes have determined sexual selection over tens of thousands of years? I'm thinking more recently of "Rubenesque" figures as opposed to the "Twiggy" trend.

    But if those "Venus" figurines were in any way true to life, those poor women would have had to waddle. It must also not have been easy for women of that body type to move, to carry a child, and to give birth without complications. Yet I'm starting to think of them now as receptacles for continuing the species in times of mass starvation — kind of like the Svalbard Seed Bank for Homo sapiens.

    Fast-forward to the 20th century. You don't have to be my age to remember, or to see films and photographs, of people all over the world right up until the 1960s or so who were of "normal" proportions. I can almost point to the day that changed: when the first McDonald brothers opened their hamburger stand in sunny California. The advent of the western diet has changed eating habits over virtually the whole world, and now we are seeing an explosion of metabolic syndrome and diabesity. Food —which once was an issue of survival — is now pushed at us via television, billboards, and a proliferation of fast food convenience outlets. Every meeting these days seems to include refreshments. Kids regularly have school birthday parties with cupcakes and ice cream. Even at the symphony or the opera, there's a table during intermission offering coffee, wine and pastries. In fact, when I car-pooled to an opera recently, the married couple who drove had brought a bag of snacks for intermission. I've spent most of my life on 3 meals a day and I'm puzzled by this need to have food available all the time, in a country where there is never a shortage. Any case, regardless of our history, I can't believe that carrying excess pounds around is healthy. It makes demands on all our organs and systems. And I'll shut up now.

    I did download your thesis after scrapping with Academia about my password. 119 pages is daunting but I'm interested. It's on my desktop and I'll browse through it with interest as time permits.
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    Default Re: Scientific Proof That Osteoporosis And Obesity Are Not Diseases

    Quote Originally Posted by Suzanne View Post
    Osteoporosis is another very longstanding problem....A skeleton of a hunter-gatherer man from Vela Luka exhibited osteoporosis and well-developed kyphosis. The site is about 10,000 years old, the man about 40.
    That's surprising. I'm curious: to what do you attribute this condition? Is it dietary? Lack of vitamin D? Something else?

    4-5 years ago my doc decided I hadn't been inspected for eons and wrote up all the screenings and panels he thought appropriate, including a bone scan. I was prolly 72 or so at the time. The bone tech's monitor was layered red, amber, green. She called me over when the scan was completed because she was stunned to see the spine at the top of the green and the hips midway. She insisted on knowing what I was doing and took notes when I told her. It's just a matter of knowing what to eat and how to keep active. I guess I'm mildly surprised that our ancient ancestors didn't have access to a diet a complete enough to keep their bones sturdy.

    Of course, I'm looking now at hip replacement as these joints have advanced arthritis. Did our Neolithic ancestors suffer with arthritis as well?
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    Default Re: Scientific Proof That Osteoporosis And Obesity Are Not Diseases

    Re obesity: yes, fat women would have been less agile than thinner women. But there are a couple of things to consider! Even obese women manage to get through an astounding amount of physical labour. I've seen obese women in South Africa swinging a hoe hour after hour. They carry just as heavy loads -buckets of water or loads of firewood on their heads, sacks of meal on their backs. Much may have to do with social perceptions. Both among the black peoples and Afrikaners, fat women are considered not only attractive but stronger and healthier than thin women. I was always described as pieperig, a word with no direct translation, but used to describe somebody scrawny and frail.

    Cerainly in South Africa, women of all races have tended to be large. A century ago, Afrikaner women were described as buxom and robust. During the AngloBoer War, English ladies who came out to help in the concentration camps, appealed for largest sizes in clothes, as even young Dutch girls (Afrikaners were still called Dutch back then by the English) were far larger than English females of the same age. Black women were fat as the norm. Very old photographs depict very fat Black women. In my own memory, grannies and aunties were fat. That was a fact of life. Grandpas and uncles were less fat. However, even a very thin woman carries close to twice as much fat as a man of the same ethnicity, height, and weight.

    Back to foragers: the common picture is of groups always in the move, constantly engaged in heavy physical labour. This is not the case. San people, in areas where there are plenty of mongongo trees, qualify as sedentary. Hadza women dig tubers once or twice a week. Even in desert areas, they may work 3-4 hours a day, not all of it sweat-breaking level, and then hang out for the rest of the day. Men don't hunt every day. Archaeologically, there's very good evidence for hunter-gatherer peoples who lived in permanent stone houses, had abundant resources needing little labour, and had the time and inclination to produce art. Lepenski Vir is the best-known but not the only example. Gobekli Tepe was constructed by hunter-gatherers. It's interesting that wherever Europeans encountered native peoples, the whites described the natives as lazy and devoid of ambition! They were workshy, lying around under trees, painting their bodies, surfing, tattooing, telling stories...

    Then, in subsistence populations, allo-mothering is universal. Any woman and any girl child takes care of any baby. Babies and toddlers are passed around like boxes of chocolate. A lactating woman will nurse any crying child. There's no
    concept of a sacred mother-child bond or nuclear family. Very often, there's no concept of the biological father as head of the household or as having any parental rights. In some cultures, the mother's oldest brother is treated as we would to expect to treat the father. So, obese women wouldn't be at a disadvantage. Their children would be carried around by any available female, just as those of the skinny women would be.

    The obesity explosion is most marked among peoples who have very recently been introduced to highly-refined foods. They often work very hard, physically. The janitors I see are fat, often obese. The dayworkers, swinging pigs and hefting hefting furniture and rocks, usually have bellies even when young. Richard Wrangham's work is compelling. Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human is a great read. My thesis is about 60 pages. The rest is appendices and references

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    Default Re: Scientific Proof That Osteoporosis And Obesity Are Not Diseases

    Osteoporosis can be caused by a number of factors. Calcium alone won't prevent it. A shortfall in phosphorus or selenium of any one of the other important nutrients will cancel out calcium intake. If your bones are low in collagen, the bone can over-mineralize and be as brittle as a china cup to shocks and falls. It's been identified in Neolithic as well as Palaeolithic peoples.

    Arthritis is also common in the archaeological record, whether Palaeolithic, Neolithic, Chalcolithic, or Iron Age. Nonhumans also get arthritis. I have a friend who has collected literally thousands of skeletons from every continent, including Antarctica. He's shown me arthritic bones from a kangaroo, a rattlesnake, a horse, and an elephant. My own dog had arthritis. My friend says that having bones is the sole common factor in arthritis.

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    Default Re: Scientific Proof That Osteoporosis And Obesity Are Not Diseases

    Hmmm. In general, I understood that hunter-gatherers were as you describe them, enjoying a fairly leisurely, stress-free lifestyle, especially in areas like the Pacific Northwest where edibles of all kinds were abundant. Still, the women seemed to keep busy weaving mats, pounding grains, making baskets or other carriers and so forth, while the men sat around in a circle smoking and pontificating. And the women cooked.
    Then there are peoples who survived and worked harder in harsher conditions. I'm thinking of the Inuit... but I also remember that the Yanomamo seemed often to be on the brink of famine until the men finally got lucky in the hunt and there was feasting all around.

    I'm kind of relieved to learn that we have always been cursed with arthritis. Makes me feel like I was not personally responsible for what went on in my hip joints!

    Re: pieperig... in Maine dialect there's an equivalent word: pingling. "That child looks a bit pingling, wouldn't you say, Mavis?"
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    Default Re: Scientific Proof That Osteoporosis And Obesity Are Not Diseases

    Arthritis in dinosaurs:
    http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/...ptic-arthritis
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencete...ists-find.html

    Hadrosaurs were vegetarian, pliosaurs carnivorous.

    Arthritis in many prehistoric species:
    https://books.google.com/books?id=Co...hritis&f=false

    Islander, I'm a little bothered by your saying that you're relieved that you didn't cause the arthritis in your hips. To me, this looks like blame-and-shame culture affecting even you! You've done such a good job of taking care of yourself. I hope that knowing how prevalent arthritis has been since bones evolved will grant you peace.

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    Default Re: Scientific Proof That Osteoporosis And Obesity Are Not Diseases

    Aww, Suzanne, I was just being flip. It's puzzling that some have it, some don't. The 4 women on the Lithuanian side of my family who survived into my adulthood all had arthritic hands, some more severe than mine, yet none of them ever did the kind of work that would stress the hand. Two of the four never worked outside the home. But my left hand, the weeding hand, which became the dominant hand over time, will no longer close into a fist. Can't weed with it now!

    P.S. No blame, no shame but I have to admit that I was a pack-a-day smoker for 50 years. I've been smoke-free for 11 years, so there's that.
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