Obesity Update 
By Walter Sorochan Emeritus Professor San Diego State University

Posted April 24, 2012; Updated November 24, 2021.  Disclaimer  The information presented here is for informative and educational purposes only and is not intended as curative or prescriptive advice.

Why are you having difficulty losing body fat? What made you fat?

Update June 6, 2019:

Keys to weight loss and not gaining weight:

    1. eat small portions, fewer calories on your plate.
    2. Stop your addictions to foods that comfort you. Do not substitute foods for failure, feeling bad or being depressed.
    3. balance your foods: fat, carbs and proteins.
    4. balance nutrients .... all minerals, vitamins and amino acids. There is research that points out that deficiency in minerals makes you crave for junk food, processed foods and sweets. Research scientists have now identified 70 minerals, many in trace amounts, that are needed by the body; although we seldom get 20 minerals in the diet.
    5. eat fresh, raw green vegetables, fruit, seeds and nuts. Fresh foods contain exosomes that have information for diseases and health.
    6. biophotons are light wave vibrations that are unseen but found in plants, animals and humans. We need a lot more sunlight to get more photons. Photons regulate all body functions and communicate cell to cell in the body. We get photons from sunlight and raw fresh plants and store these in the DNA. Cooking destroys natural plant enzymes and photons in plants. Consider swapping out meats for more fresh raw veggies.

The initial purpose of this article is to explore the complexities and controversy about the causes of obesity, referred to as additives.  Doing so requires focusing on this narrow topic at the expense of assuming that related issues about obesity, weight control and health are covered elsewhere.

The video narration by Peter Jennings depicts the essence of this article:

 What causes people to get fat? 
By Peter Jennings

Disclaimer  The information presented here is for informative and educational purposes only and is not intended as curative or prescriptive advice.

Below is Peter Jennings video about obesity:

If you viewed the video above, you may feel that you now have enough information to either agree with the video's view of obesity and you can stop here; or, you are not convinced and would like more information; then read on.

A perspective: 

Obesity is a crisis problem:  " Ninety-five percent of dieters gain their weight back " --- obesity is a real health issue! Widemark: End dieting forever

Approximately 1.2 billion people in the world are overweight and at least 300 million of them are obese. According to the World Health Organization, obesity is one of the 10 most preventable health risks. Yet, at least 300,000 deaths every year in the United States alone can be linked to obesity. Obesity is associated with disorders such as diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and liver disease. Obesity has been thought to simply be related to an imbalance between energy intake and expenditure. However, more recent research has suggested that genetic, physiological, and behavioral factors also play a significant role in the etiology of obesity. Thus, the management of obesity through exercise, nutrition, supplementation, and medical intervention are at the forefront of research.  The numerous NHANES studies of the past 50 years have shown that the overweight prevalence in all age groups has increased significantly. These findings indicate that obesity has become a major health concern in the United States.   Wilborn: theories obesity

The concern about obesity and obesity addictives is more than just what causes obesity and excess belly fat!  For many obesity has become a matter of "no money" and postponing  attempts to deal with their obesity problem.  For unemployed others, it is a matter of surviving with obesity as a personal health life style. It is also about everyone kicking the solution of obesity and health problems further down the road! We have many self-professed experts and researchers but no real game changers!  Many weight loss marketers try but they are inept in fixing the obesity problem on a grand scale! Just stop and review [ Peter Jennings video ] how our society deals with obesity and health:

There are the many unsuccessful weight loss programs that make money but provide little permanent weight loss help for overweight persons.  Medical doctors prescribe pills that do not work.  Government regulatory agencies like CDC, FDA and NIH seem unable to do anything.  Much of the government inability to deal with obesity and health issues is due to the revolving door syndrome.  There is a vicious revolving door cycle between the food industry and the FDA and congress.  FDA officials have been known to leave the food industry, go to work for the FDA and then go back to work for the food industry.

Legislators pass farm and food subsidies to market foods that are dangerous to our health.  They also allow big business to continue adding food additives that are reputed to addict persons to eat more than they should.  Another related issue is that real health care for everyone has been paralyzed for a long time.  A lot of big industry experts but no one seems to be really fixing obesity and helping afflicted people with their health problems.  Freedom of choice, such as what to eat and whether to exercise in a democracy has evolved a debilitating lifestyle.  We have a society that is a mess and is dysfunctional.  Our lifestyle has evolved priorities of making money over common sense and health.  It is no wonder that we have controversy about obesity and health!  All this discourse is to point out the complexity of obesity. This article deals with a very small but important issue of obesity --- obesity addictives!  Or .... to deal with excitotoxins.

What are obesity addictives?

There are over 14,000 man-made chemicals added to our American food supply today.  Starr: food additives to avoid  Some of these additives are referred to a addictives.    Food additives  are substances added to foods and beverages during production for enhanced flavor, texture, taste, appearance or preservation. Many preservatives are among the over 700 additives "generally recognized as safe" by the Food and Drug Administration. These are the “tasty” ingredients that food scientists slip into the food we eat every day that make it almost impossible for us to lose fat (especially around our midsections).  Article by Allen: corn syrup danger is no longer active.   Food labels do not give us the complete information.

THREE WAYS obesity additives work to make our bellies bulge: Article by Allen: corn syrup danger is no longer active.

1. Two of these obesity additives interfere with a hormone called leptin that tells the brain we are full while eating.

2. Other obesity additives add fat by changing how our bodies use the calories we eat. They do this by increasing a fat-storing hormone called insulin. When this happens, calories are converted to fat instead of being stored as “muscle energy.” This leads to fat deposits in all of our trouble areas-like under the chin, the backs of the arms, the belly, and the lower body.

3. Still other obesity additives actually make us addicted to them and cause us to eat uncontrollably. They do this by altering brain chemicals called neurotransmitters - just like a highly addictive drug does.

A video about getting a flat belly:

Renee McLaughlin October 06, 2011

 Eight most addicting foods: 

ice cream chocolate cheese caffeine soft drinks
Ice cream Chocolate Cheese Caffeine
fast foods potao chips cake pastry french fries
Fast foods Potato chips Cake pastry French fries salted

What do these foods have in them that makes us crave to eat more and more of them?

Studies show that some foods are inherently more addictive than others, producing narcotic-like reactions in our brains which often overcome our will power. In most cases a combination of fats, sugars as well as other addictive chemicals like caffeine trigger feelings of pleasure and well being, which we seek in time of anxiety and stress. Interestingly, stopping consumption of addictive foods can even produce withdrawal symptoms.  NewsOne: addicting foods

Common food additives that are linked to excitotoxins include:  US Nat Lib Medicine: Food additives 

  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG) and other replaceable names like natural sugar, Natural foods and so on.
  • Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, saccharine, and sodium cyclamate
  • Corn syrup or karo
  • Benzoic acid in fruit juices
  • Sulfites in beer, wine, and packaged vegetables, which can make asthma worse
  • Nitrates and nitrites in hot dogs and other meat products
  • Antibiotics given to food producing animals
  • Food additives like BHA, BHT, DG, TBHQ
  • A number of different coloring agents
  • Trans fats created by hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils
  • Salt or sodium chloride

There are several hormones, genetic components, and secreted factors currently under investigation that have been implicated in the etiology of obesity. Some of these have an effect on long-term control of energy intake [ e.g., leptin, neuropeptide Y ] while others appear to have a short-term impact on energy intake [ e.g., ghrelin, insulin, and cholecystokinin ]. Wilborn and his associates have done a scientific overview of the role that several hormones, neuropeptides, and other factors, may play in development of obesity.  Their discussion includes the Metabolic Syndrome that is characterized by a group of metabolic risk factors that include links to central obesity, excessive fat tissue in and around the abdomen and numerous metabolic disorders such as blood fat disorders, blood pressure, glucose intolerance, and pro-inflammatory states. Wilborn: theories obesity

A major exitotoxin is high-fructose corn syrup [HFCS].  It is a mixture of the simple sugars fructose and glucose, came into use in the 1970s, is corn subsidized by the US Department of Agriculture, and by 2005 the average American was consuming about 60 pounds of it per year.  A new study has "revealed the transcriptional coactivator PGC-1b as a missing link between fructose intake and metabolic disorders," Science Daily: corn syrup addictive

Scientists have clearly linked the rising HFCS consumption to the epidemics of obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome in the U.S., and medical researchers have pinpointed various health dangers associated with the consumption of High Fructose Corn Syrup [HFCS], compared to regular sugar.   Allen: avoid corn syrup

Numerous theories about weight control and obesity are summarized in the references below. While the basic principle of energy balance remains true, several mechanisms—genetic, metabolic, and environmental—can also affect how much you eat and how your body uses and stores energy. Even if the genetic and metabolic components of weight regulation are mostly beyond control, environmental and political factors are controllable and can make a significant impact. By manipulating these factors to your advantage, you can successfully lose weight and keep it off.  So ... there is something you can do if you are obese and want to change your life style.

What you can do ... EAT DEFENSIVELY:

Avoid eating foods that are linked to excitotoxins and/or have food additives.

Monitor the foods you eat for MSO and other food additives, for these may be linked to allergies.

Food labels lack transparency and do not disclose honest ingredients; trust not!

Contact your local congressperson and senator for real legislative changes.


Adams Mike, "Health Ranger interviews neurosurgeon Dr. Russell Blaylock on MSG and brain-damaging excitotoxins," Natural News, April 13, 2012    Adams: Blaylock exitotoxins interview   In the following interview, Dr. Russell Blaylock, renowned neurosurgeon, author and researcher, talks to Mike Adams about MSG, aspartame and other brain-damaging excitotoxins that are widely used in our food supply today. Dr. Blaylock is the author of Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills and other important...

Allen David, "Are You Storing Fat Before You Exercise?" David Allen post, November 23, 2010.    Allen: storing fat

Allen David, "Food Additives That Add Fat To Your Body," April 10, 2010.    Allen: corn syrup danger

Allen David, "For Your Health Avoid High Fructose Corn Syrup," David Allen post, July 21, 2009.  Article by Allen: avoid corn syrup is no longer active.

Appleby Maia, "Weight Loss Theories," Body Building.com, Dec 18, 2003.    Appleby: weight loss theories

Bezoni Josh, "37 Foods That Fight Belly Fat," BellyFatFree.com Bezoni: bad Fat foods

Center for Science in the Public Interest, "Chemical Cuisine Learn about Food Additives." Summary of the Safety of All Additives.   CSPI: List food additives

Dean Amy, and Jennifer Armstrong,"Genetically Modified Foods," Academy of Environmental Medicine, May 8, 2009.  Article by Dean: GM foods is no longer active.

Erb John & Michelle, THE SLOW POISONING OF AMERICA -- A book, June 06, 2003.

He Ka, "Association of monosodium glutamate intake with overweight in Chinese adults: the INTERMAP Study," Obesity (Silver Spring). 2008 August; 16(8): 1875–1880. Published online 2008 May 22. doi: 10.1038/oby.2008.274.  He: Monosodium glutamate & weight gain   This research provides human data that MSG intake may be associated with increased risk of overweight independent of physical activity and total energy intake.

Goldberg Carey, "What’s Making Us Fat? Researchers Put Food Additives On Suspect List," Common Health, August 12, 2011.    Article by Goldberg: obesity research is no longer active.

Johnson Richard J., L. Gabriela Sanchez-Lozada and Takahiko Nakagawa, "The Effect of Fructose on Renal Biology and Disease," JASN, December 1, 2010, vol. 21 no. 12 2036-2039.  Johnson: fructose & disease

Nagai Yoshio, et la, "The Role of Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor Coactivator-1 β in the Pathogenesis of Fructose-Induced Insulin Resistance," Cell Metabolism, Volume 9, Issue 3, 252-264, 4 March 2009.  Nagai: Original research on obesity addictives

The new study has "revealed the transcriptional coactivator PGC-1b as a missing link between fructose intake and metabolic disorders. The new study in mice sheds light on the insulin resistance that can come from diets loaded with high-fructose corn syrup, a sweetener found in most sodas and many other processed foods. The report in the March issue of Cell Metabolism also suggests a way to prevent those ill effects.

NewsOne Staff, "Top 7 Addicting Foods," News One, September 22, 2011.    NewsOne: addicting foods

 Numerous theories about weight control and the cause of obesity persist: 

Appestat theory:  The standard medical cause of excess body fat is based on the theory "calories in vs calories out."  If a person ingests more calories than the body uses, then that person can gain weight!  This theory holds true as long as metabolic appetite or appestat center is not affected.  When certain foods stimulate the appestat center in the brain, then the brain craves for food.

Fat Cell Theory:  has been tossed around for about thirty years now. It attests that fat cells are usually formed either in early childhood or at puberty. A child who consumes a large number of calories from fat can actually grow new fat cells (hyperplastic obesity), whereas an adult will keep the same number of fat cells and they just expand (hypertrophic obesity).  Appleby: weight loss theories

Science Daily, "Missing Link Between Fructose, Insulin Resistance Found," ScienceDaily, March 3, 2009.   Science Daily: corn syrup addictive

Starr Hull Jane, "Food Additives to Avoid." Aspartame Detox Program.  Starr: food additives to avoid

US National Library of medicine, "Additives," Medline Plus, June 23, 2011.   US Nat Lib Medicine: Food additives

Widemark Sue, "AN END TO DIETING FOREVER! Really!," Part 2,The Reading Place.  Widemark: End dieting forever

Wilborn Colin and others, "Obesity: Prevalence, Theories, Medical Consequences, Management, and Research Directions," J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2005; 2(2): 4–31; Published online 2005 December 9. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-2-2-4.  Wilborn: theories obesity

Wikipedia, Exitotoxins.  Wiki: Exitotoxins

Zunker Christie and Nataliya Ivankova, "Applying Grounded Theory to Weight Management among Women: Making a Commitment to Healthy Eating," The Qualitative Report Volume 16 Number 3 May 2011 860-880.    Zunker: Eating for weight management