Wednesday Was Always Science Lessons For Me (Pt 1)

Good Morning and here is your OFFICIAL welcome to Hump Day.

And to make this particular Hump Day just that little more like the midweek you might remember from school, today we have a little bit of a science lesson. Not as in one that makes us write the Aim, Method and Conclusions for our homework, but one that makes us use our brains out of our comfort zones for a short while and consider a theory brought to us by science borne out of history, experience and simple common sense.

Yes, I know it’s midweek and I know you want to switch off from the weeks activities but trust me, if you can bear with this blog for another 5 minutes or so, I promise you this is worth reading and not just because I want to get viewing figures up 😉

A month or so ago I was asked if I would review a book for the scientist Yvonne Foss. Yvonne graduated from King’s College London and worked as a postgraduate in medical research. She is the author of ‘Vitamin D deficiency is the cause of common obesity’, a highly downloaded and cited publication in the journal ‘Medical Hypotheses’. The book I am going to refer to is called “The Origin Of Overweight” and questions the link between the overweight issue and a lack of natural Vitamin D in todays busy lifestyle. Overweight doesn’t absolutely refer to obesity alone but takes in ALL expanding waistlines that were once slim.

So here I am attempting my first ever book review so I shall take you guys along for the ride….

The Origin of Overweight is most definitely a challenging book to read. Not because of the way it is written, but simply because it asks the reader to become involved in the book and re awaken those brain cells that we last used when we were learning; and personally once I had gotten over the fact that my brain hadn’t learnt from a text book for many many years, I settled down and started to get the old grey matter going taking on the contents of a book that offers a better understanding of overweight than we have ever had before, why it is so easy to gain weight yet difficult to lose. Why there are effective drugs to control and cure other conditions but not for overweight, why overweight is connected to economics and regions, why it has become so prevalent in recent years and finally why we have an Obesity Pandemic currently ailing so many of the worlds population.

It starts with a general exploration into modern urban-industrial lives showing an increase in vitamin D deprivation in recent years as we spend less time outdoors and consume vitamin D deficient foodstuffs. Only just now have vitamin D experts finally agreed that the cut-off point for deficiency is too low, that the recommended daily intakes are too low and the amount that can be harvested from sunlight exposure has been vastly over-estimated. Perhaps the reason for this is that too much vitamin D can actually be harmful for the body and therefore no expert wants to recommend the increase required, which is why care is needed when considering vitamin D as a miracle cure for all ills.

The book considers the reasons and attempts to explain the dramatic increase in overweight since the 1970’s and how this overweight has spread around the world. It therefore asks the question and determines if there has been a dramatic rise in vitamin D deficiency around the world. It outlines the ways in which we are getting less and less sunlight and less vitamin D from food and the fact that the problem was/has been overlooked for years. One reason for the reduced ultraviolet radiation is the fact that apart from sand and volcanic emissions, man has created his own protective sunlight blanket from the effects of burning fossil fuels in both industry and transport with this theory postulating a link between climate change and a recent rise in overweight. But with this in mind, how is the world now warned of the worries of skin cancer caused by exposure to the sun when the sun can no longer give the human body the vitamin it so desperately needs? Well perhaps this is where the suggestion that we are actually suffering from sunlight deprivation on a good health level comes from whilst solar output, ground cover (i.e concrete, grass, snow etc) and the Ozone layer must all be considerations in the struggle we face with skin cancer.

The book continues to pose these many questions whilst also considering new scientific research into the human body itself regarding calorific usage, fat storing and body make up. It covers a fact that I myself discussed in Obesity – A Biological Response Or Not? in mid February of 2015 where I questioned the fact that if you eat fewer calories you won’t always lose a corresponding amount of weight (it is believed that to burn 1lb in weight you need to burn 3500 calories) There is however abundant evidence that to keep our weight stable the body actual controls it’s energy usage dictating just how many calories we will actually burn if we exercise or reduce our calorie intake.

Yvonne then goes on to discuss that if the body is so good at controlling weight, why do we ever become overweight? She offers that the reason comes from surface area to volume ratio and that when we gain weightier surface area gets smaller in relation to our volume (simple when you think about it) which makes it easier to stay warm in cold temperatures so therefore is weight gain an adaptation to cold? But then in this modern society when we keep ourselves artificially warm with central heating, the body no longer needs to adapt and becoming overweight only leads to health issues such as heart disease, insulin resistance and high cholesterol to name a few; and so Yvonne then asks is this metabolic syndrome all part of the bodies required natural winter metabolism?

It therefore makes sense to say that vitamin D levels fall as the sunlight becomes weaker so it is seasonal, affecting more so in the winters in northern latitudes. So as the Autumn draws in, the vitamin D levels drop and as the spring comes in these levels rise once again.

The reason the book is called The Origin of Overweight is because it traces the origins of overweight as a change in body size in response to falling vitamin D levels back to millions of years ago! It suggests that vitamin D originated as a sunlight sensor long before the evolution of a nervous system enabled us to see the light of feel the warmth of the sun. Now millions of years later, not only have organisms evolved into diverse animals including the Human Race, but also the molecules that make up our bodies have evolved. This means that vitamin D itself has evolved to be converted to a hormone with many important functions in our bodies, but still retains its original function as a sunlight sensor. This means that when vitamin D is low the body knows to prepare itself for winter, storing fat and making metabolic changes.

I know this read may have appeared a little heavier than most days but trust me, the book throws up some fascinating stuff which I shall summarise by posting the final chapter ‘Crisps” in tomorrows blog.

To be continued……

FOOD DIARY:Monday 27th July 2015

Qty Measure Food Calories (gr) Protein (gr) Carbs (gr) Fat (gr)
Breakfast  1  175mls  Phd Diet Whey Protein  91  17  2.75  1.4
 1  70gms  Six Seeded Brown Batch  140  8.4  18.2  6.5
 2  Large  Boiled Eggs  164  15.6  0  11.4
Lunch
 1 Small Bowl Thick Chicken, Potato, Peppers and Mushroom Soup  220  19  21  3
Dinner  2  83gms BBQ Salmon Fillet 358  38  7  19.2
 1  50gms  Wholegrain Rice  63.5  1.4  11.65  1
Snacks  2  Muffins Egg, Cottage Cheese and Ham Muffins  260  36  8  8
Totals  1296.5  135.4  68.6  50.5
Water  3  500mls  Mineral Water  0  0  0  0

So the diary was again for an exercise heavy day so if we take that into consideration, there is no issue with the food choices made. All of them healthy and home made and all of them less than the recommended daily allowance (if you agree with that type of thing)

Yesterday was again a rest day although I did walk the dog but due to an error on a friends part we had to cut the walk short as he thought he had lost his wallet forcing us to retrace our steps back to the car and then back to his house, where he found his wallet….! Still the dog didn’t mind too much as I think he was hungry and wanted his lunch upon my immediate return home!

This means there are no screenshots of the Map My Walk as the reports were pitiful at only just over one mile in distance covered. We did however go out a little later in the day so that improved matters. This meant I was able to get a screenshot of my Jawbone Up24 at the end of the day and was pleased with the amount of steps I actually took considering my main walk was cut short….

IMG_1566

Today will see me back walking properly for exercise with the dog, followed by a session in the gym so expect some lovely new screen shots the next time you tune in…!

‘Till tomorrow,

Stay out of the fridge.

2 thoughts on “Wednesday Was Always Science Lessons For Me (Pt 1)

  1. Osyth says:

    Not heavy at all, fascinating. And anyway Obesity is by definition a heavy issue 😉 Seriously, this is a great review Cam …. one that will do what it’s asked to do … encourage people to read the book. For your readers it is an insight into a fascinating postulation and I hope that people WILL take the time to read what you have written

    Liked by 1 person

    • Worlds Biggest Fridge Magnet says:

      Ha Ha Ha, I see what you did there… 😉
      Thank you Fiona, that is very kind of you to say. I was very nervous about writing it and confess to taking some of the books text and re-writing it in my own words.
      I do hope it is read by the readers and they consider the postulation of vitamin D affecting our lives so much more than we could ever imagine….

      Liked by 1 person

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