"Currently, 64.5 percent of U.S. adults, age 20 years and older, are overweight and 30.5 percent are obese. Severe obesity prevalence is now 4.7 percent"
Why are people, and no other species of animal, plump, fat, obese, or morbidly obese?
They eat too much! Although a reflex response, popular among the obese, is: "I don't eat that much!", the unavoidable chemical reality is that every atom of every molecule of excess fat, artery-clogging cholesterol, cellulite, and other toxic loads of the body enter the body on a fork. Yes, you did eat exactly that much! Since the fork is controlled by the intellect, and the intellect can make valid decisions based on valid information, easy weight loss is the result of the intellect having the correct information and applying it in a rational manner.
So, the only way to lose excess weight, and become more healthy in the general sense, is to examine the causes of why people overeat, and remove the causes. Then, as overeating is significantly reduced, or eliminated entirely, the body, which is programmed at the genetic level to be perfectly healthy, will automatically eliminate the excess weight. It is just that easy.
What are the causes of overeating? There are two main causes: physical; i.e., eating the local cultural diet, and psychological/emotional conditioning. It is easier to work on the physical diet first, but interestingly, the psychological conditioning done by mother sticking a bottle in baby's mouth at every sign of discomfort or vocalization, and the common tactic of evading emotional or otherwise stressful issues by overeating consciousness-deadening "foods", tend to automatically reduce themselves as the physical dietary work is done. After the physical work is substantially done, the emotional reprogramming becomes easy. Without serious and permanent dietary reform, lasting weight loss is impossible, as all too many diet cultists discover, over and over again.
It is a fundamental Law of Nature that each species has a unique and specific diet for which its physiology and biochemistry is perfectly adapted. All animals, except the human, eat by instinct; the human, however, to its profound detriment, eats by cultural conditioning, and that is the cause of human disease, including obesity. Neither human ignorance or human arrogance can break or evade this law, or the underlying laws of biochemistry, just as ignorance of the Law of Gravity does NOT allow one to fly.
So, the only easy, rapid, and successful approach to losing excess weight, obesity being only one symptom of poor health, and getting healthy in the general sense, is to abandon the local cultural diet and move intelligently toward the natural diet for our species. What is the natural diet for our species?
All available scientific evidence indicates that humans are frugivorous apes. Regardless of how large and arrogant our cultural egos are, and regardless of unsupportable religious dogma created by ignorant people who knew absolutely nothing of biochemistry, comparative anatomy, genetics, or science thousands of years ago, our physiology is that of a frugivorous ape. Recent genetic research has confirmed this reality by discovering that our "genetic distance" from the chimpanzee, our closest relative, is a mere 1.6%. We most certainly do not have any adaptations of the natural carnivore or omnivore: no sharp pointy teeth or claws, and of critical importance, culturally-conditioned human carnivores do not run down, kill, tear asunder, and eat their flesh raw, as all natural carnivores or omnivores do. If humans had 'adapted' to flesh-eating, as is falsely claimed by some who can never provide any substantiation when challenged, then we would have the both the physical equipment and instincts necessary to outrun, kill, tear asunder, and eat raw flesh; yet we do not! Thus, no such 'adaptation' ever occurred!
Further, current epidemiological evidence indicates that human consumption of animal proteins and fats is responsible for all the currently popular "degenerative diseases", including: arthritis, cancer [2,3], cardiovascular disease , diabetes, kidney disease, osteoporosis, and further, that health is substantially increased and mortality is substantially decreased on a plant-based, or vegan diet.
So, given that the human is a frugivorous ape most closely related to the chimpanzee, let's look at the average chimp diet for some insight. Goodall  gives an average chimp diet as:
Recognizing that chimp flesh-eating is purely a social, most certainly not a nutritional, activity and eliminating insects, blossoms (not obtainable), and miscellaneous (unknown), we get a reasonable approximation of a healthy, natural, raw human diet as:
Interestingly, most people who experiment with their diet enough to get to the point of being raw-fooders come to approximately this diet by experience. And with more experience, they discover that nuts/seeds are best diluted with large amounts of leafy greens so as to be digested well. They are simple too concentrated in protein and fat to be digestible on their own, as the chart below indicates. Further, nuts/seeds have large amounts of fat which coats the chewed particles and insulates them from the aqueous digestive juices.
It is also of critical importance to understand that all species of life on this planet, including the human, evolved on a totally raw diet, and cooking makes it possible to eat many things not possible to eat raw: meat and other animal products, dried beans/legumes, grains, and eggs; and these unnatural items dominate in cultural diets. Moreover, with the exception of nuts/seeds, all excessively-concentrated cultural "foods" are those that must be cooked. A rational and simple way to lose all excess weight would be to throw your stove away.
Although calories are a bogus, intentionally-misleading concept when applied to nutrition, let's look at the calorie and macronutrient compositions of various human cultural "foods" and compare them to the composition of human milk. Why human milk? Because the suckling human infant is growing new tissue and new bone at the most rapid rate of its entire life, therefore its nutritional needs are at a maximum, and this may be used to set a healthful upper limit on nutrient needs. The human adult, not growing new tissue, is only maintaining existing tissue and therefore adult nutritional needs, on a per-pound bodyweight basis, are considerably less than that of the the infant. This is not generally known, nor taken into account.
In fact, adult protein RDA is ~1/3, and adult energy RDA is ~1/4, that of the infant, according to standard RDA charts.
Nutrient Density: comparison of various "foods".
NOTE: cal= calories, pro = protein, cho = carbohydrate
Thus, we can easily see why a simple diet of raw fruits, vegetables, and a limited amount of nuts/seeds will adequately supply proper nutrition for the human adult, while eliminating overeating and its inevitable result, obesity. Further, that most common, cultural "foods" supply huge excesses of nutrients and thus lead to obesity. Note that most cultural "foods", here marked in red, have nutrient densities from 5-20+ times that necessary for our true nutritional requirements; this is the reason they lead to obesity and other "degenerative diseases".
This is meant to be a conceptual insight into the highly excessive amounts of nutrients contained in cooked, cultural diets and the cause of human obesity. For a practical application, it is necessary to understand how improving diet will produce 'cleansing reactions', the sometimes spectacular expulsions of large amounts of stored toxins and waste products which comprise the excessive bodyweight, and how to manage them on a daily basis.
 Goodall, Jane, The Chimpanzees of Gombe, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA (1986), p. 233
Being fat makes you stupid?
Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Nov;78(5):920-7
Relation between changes in intakes of dietary fiber and grain products and changes in weight and development of obesity among middle-aged women.
Liu S, Willett WC, Manson JE, Hu FB, Rosner B, Colditz G.
Division of Preventive Medicine and the Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
BACKGROUND: Although increased
consumption of dietary fiber and grain products is widely recommended
to maintain healthy body weight, little is known about the relation of
whole grains to body weight and long-term weight changes.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Oct;78(4):850S-857S.
Obesity represents a major threat to health and quality of life. Although obesity has strong genetic determinants, it is generally accepted that it results from an imbalance between food intake and daily physical activity. Health guidelines have been focused on 3 particular lifestyle factors: increased levels of physical activity and reductions in the intakes of fat and sugars. The dietary guidelines, especially, are under debate. This review covers evidence from carefully controlled laboratory studies, clinical trials, studies in populations at high risk of developing obesity, and epidemiologic studies on the role of sugars, particularly sucrose, in the development of obesity. Although many environmental factors promote a positive energy balance, it is clear that the consumption of a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet increases the likelihood of weight gain. The evidence related to carbohydrate, particularly sugars, and the type of food (solid or liquid) is less clear because the number of long-term ad libitum dietary intervention trials is very small. Data on sucrose intake in relation to metabolism and weight gain do not associate high consumption of sucrose with the prevalence of obesity. [Although there are other good reasons to minimize the amount of sucrose (table sugar) consumption - ljf] The evidence supports the current dietary guidelines for reducing fat intake. However, the effect of the carbohydrate source and class and of the form in which carbohydrate is consumed (solid or liquid) on body weight control requires further consideration.
Am J Clin Nutr 2003 Jun;77(6):1417-1425
Dietary patterns and changes in body mass index and waist circumference in adults.
Newby P, Muller D, Hallfrisch J, Qiao N, Andres R, Tucker KL Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston (PKN, NQ, and KLT), and the National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore (DM, JH, and RA).
BACKGROUND: Obesity has increased
> 20% in the past decade in the United States, and more than one-half
of US adults are overweight or obese.
Am J Clin Nutr 2002 Jul;76(1):107-12
Food intake and meal patterns of weight-stable and weight-gaining persons.
Pearcey SM, De Castro JM Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA (SMP), and Georgia State University, Atlanta (JMC).
BACKGROUND: Weight gain is a result
of changes in the regulation of short-term meal-to-meal intake. An investigation
of the short-term intake and activity levels of weight-gaining persons
may provide insight into the nature of the cues signaling weight gain.
Am J Clin Nutr 2002 Jun;75(6):971-7
Trends of obesity and underweight in older children and adolescents in the United States, Brazil, China, and Russia.
Wang Y, Monteiro C, Popkin BM Carolina Population Center, School of Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 27516-3997, USA.
BACKGROUND: Few studies have used
the same references across countries to examine the trends of over- and
underweight in older children and adolescents.
The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry 2000 Mar 1;11(3):153-158.
Effect of sterols and fatty acids on growth and triglyceride accumulation in 3T3-L1 cells.
Awad AB, Begdache LA, Fink CS. Department of Physical Therapy, Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, USA
Epidemiologic studies suggest a role of dietary fat in the development of obesity. Populations that consume Western diets have a higher incidence of obesity than do those that consume a vegetarian type diet such as Asians. Because dietary fats are made up mostly of triglyceride with minor lipids such as sterols, the objective of this study was to examine the effect of different fatty acids, the main component of triglycerides, and sterols on cell growth and triglyceride accumulation in 3T3-L1 cells. These cells are being used as an in vitro model for studying obesity because upon differentiation in culture they accumulate triglycerides. Cells were seeded at 5,000 cells/cm(2) and supplemented with 0, 3, 10, or 30 microM of oleic acid, elaidic acid, or docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Similarly, cells were supplemented with 0, 2, 8, or 16 microM of cholesterol, beta-sitosterol (SIT), or campesterol. Cell growth was measured by cell counting. Cellular triglycerides were measured by the Oil Red O method. In some experiments, fatty acids were combined with sterols and growth and triglyceride content were assessed as described. Both DHA and SIT had inhibitory effects on 3T3-L1 cell growth. However, SIT was more potent than DHA in this regard. The combination of SIT and oleic acid was the most potent in inhibiting cell growth and increasing cellular triglyceride content. It is concluded that cell growth and triglyceride accumulation in 3T3-L1 cells is influenced by fatty acid and sterols. When used alone, DHA and SIT inhibit cell growth. SIT was more effective in this process than was DHA. There was an interaction between fatty acids and sterols. The most effective combination inhibiting cell growth and triglyceride concentration was the combination of SIT and oleic acid. This combination reduced cell growth and increased triglyceride accumulation. These data suggest that diets rich in both monounsaturated fatty acids and phytosterols may play a role in controlling obesity.
Med Hypotheses 2000 Mar;54(3):488-94
The origins of western obesity: a role for animal protein?
McCarty MF. Helicon Foundation, San Diego, CA, USA.
A reduced propensity to oxidize fat, as indicated by a relatively high fasting respiratory quotient, is a major risk factor for weight gain. Increased insulin secretion works in various ways to impede fat oxidation and promote fat storage. The substantial 'spontaneous' weight loss often seen with very-low-fat dietary regimens may reflect not only a reduced rate of fat ingestion, but also an improved insulin sensitivity of skeletal muscle that down-regulates insulin secretion. Reduction of diurnal insulin secretion may also play a role in the fat loss often achieved with exercise training, low-glycemic-index diets, supplementation with soluble fiber or chromium, low-carbohydrate regimens, and biguanide therapy. The exceptional leanness of vegan cultures may reflect an additional factor - the absence of animal protein. Although dietary protein by itself provokes relatively little insulin release, it can markedly potentiate the insulin response to co-ingested carbohydrate; Western meals typically unite starchy foods with an animal protein-based main course. Thus, postprandial insulin secretion may be reduced by either avoiding animal protein, or segregating it in low-carbohydrate meals; the latter practice is a feature of fad [sic] diets stressing 'food combining'.
[NOTE: this 'food combining' is
the paradigm given by Herbert Shelton and the Natural Hygiene movement
for optimal digestion, and includes separating concentrated
proteins and concentrated starches into different meals, and eating fruits
alone as a meal. The opposite; i.e. intentionally combining
starch and protein, to create "complementary amino acids" or
"complete proteins" in the same meal was an error first
popularized by Francis Moore Lappe in her 1971 book: Diet For a Small
Planet, and she has retracted this claim in a 1991
edition, but the damage has been done as millions of prople around the
planet have been carriers of this false information for decades. Her
motivation for this false concept was, no doubt, an attempt to make vegetarian/vegan
meals seem more like meat meals, and thus be more acceptable to the ignorant
Vegan diets tend to be relatively low in protein, legume protein may be slowly absorbed, and, as compared to animal protein, isolated soy protein provokes a greater release of glucagon, an enhancer of fat oxidation. The low insulin response to rice may mirror its low protein content. Minimizing diurnal insulin secretion in the context of a low fat intake may represent an effective strategy for achieving and maintaining leanness.
Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1998 May;22(5):454-60.
Low body mass index in non-meat eaters: the possible roles of animal fat, dietary fibre and alcohol.
Appleby PN, Thorogood M, Mann JI, Key TJ. Imperial Cancer Research Fund Cancer Epidemiology Unit, Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford, UK.
OBJECTIVE: To examine the associations
of diet and other lifestyle factors with body mass index (BMI) using data
from the Oxford Vegetarian Study.
BMJ 1996;313:816-817 (28 September)
Prevalence of obesity is low in people who do not eat meat.
Timothy Key, Gwyneth Davey
Britain is failing to meet
targets that have been set for reducing obesity. One of the aims
of the Health of the Nation strategy is to reduce the percentages
of men and women who are obese to 6% and 8%, respectively, by 2005,
but the Health Survey for England 1994 shows that the prevalence of
obesity had increased to 13.2% among men and 16.0% among women by 1994.
This increase is probably partly due to a reduction in physical activity;
the importance of the composition of the diet is not clear.
Ann Nutr Metab. 1994;38(6):331-5.
Selected parameters of lipid metabolism in young vegetarians.
Krajcovicova-Kudlackova M, Simoncic R, Bederova A, Ondreicka R, Klvanova J. Research Institute of Nutrition, Bratislava, Slovakia.
Selected parameters of lipid metabolism (cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, atherogenic index, triacylglycerols, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin E/cholesterol, plasma fatty acid profile) and pro-oxidative/anti-oxidative parameters (conjugated dienes of fatty acids, activity of catalase and glutathione peroxidase) were estimated in blood of 59 healthy vegetarians aged 19-30 years. When compared to non-vegetarians, no incidence of obesity, low levels of cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, atherogenic index or triacylglycerols, HDL cholesterol levels on the margin of 1.4 mmol/l (boundary level between standard and reduced risk) as well as a higher plasma content of polyunsaturated fatty acids and a higher 18:2/18:1 ratio were all favourable consequences of vegetarianism with respect to atherosclerosis prevention. These factors are completed by higher levels of protective compounds with antisclerotic activity (vitamin C, vitamin E/cholesterol--protecting LDL from lipoperoxidation) as well as by beneficial pro-oxidative/anti-oxidative parameters (low values of conjugated dienes, significantly higher activity of catalase, higher level of vitamin C).
J Clin Gastroenterol. 1986 Aug;8(4):451-3.
Energy intake and body weight in ovo-lacto vegetarians.
Levin N, Rattan J, Gilat T.
Vegetarians have a lower body weight than omnivores. In this study the relationship between the weight/height ratio and food consumption was evaluated in 92 ovo-lacto vegetarians and 113 omnivores in Israel. The average weight of the vegetarians was significantly lower than that of the omnivores (60.8 kg vs. 69.1 kg), even though the vegetarian diet supplied a significantly higher amount of calories than the nonvegetarian diet (3,030.5 cal/day vs. 2,626.8 cal/day). Consumption of fat was similar in both groups. Carbohydrate consumption was higher in the vegetarians while protein consumption was lower. The prevalence of obesity was significantly lower in the vegetarian group (5.4%) as compared to 19.5% among the omnivores. The lower body weight of vegetarians despite a higher caloric intake is of considerable interest.
Scand J Gastroenterol. 1982 Apr;17(3):417-24.
Vegetarian fasting of obese patients: a clinical and biochemical evaluation.
Sorbris R, Aly KO, Nilsson-Ehle P, Petersson BG, Ockerman PA.
The effects of vegetarian fasting were evaluated in 14 grossly obese patients who participated in a program comprising 5 weeks' fasting in a lactovegetarian health center. Before and after the fasting period the patients were hospitalized and put on a standardized weight-maintaining diet; at the health center they consumed vegetable juices [Note: thus NOT a fast - ljf] containing less than 1 MJ and 3 g of protein per day. The weight reduction (mean +/- S.D.) was 13.4 +/- 5.0 kg (from 132.0 +/- 27.2 to 118.6 +/- 16.1 kg). Except for the first few days the patients had no severe hunger sensations. No severe adverse clinical effects were noted. The laboratory status--comprising serum or plasma levels of minerals, protein, and lipids; hematological data; and variables reflecting liver and thyroid function--revealed abnormal group mean values only for ferritin and the acute-phase reactants haptoglobin, C-reactive protein, and anti-chymotrypsin in the obese. The levels of potassium, retinol-binding protein, and haptoglobin decreased, and aminotransferase and lactate dehydrogenase activities and free fatty acid and glycerol concentrations increased as a result of the fasting. The most striking effect of the weight reduction was an increase in the HDL cholesterol levels. Fasting according to the described regimen thus seems to provide a safe method for treatment of obese patients.
J Am Diet Assoc. 1980 Oct;77(4):434-9.
Size, obesity, and leanness in vegetarian preschool children.
Dwyer JT, Andrew EM, Valadian I, Reed RB.
Alterations in a series of anthropometric measurements taken on 142 vegetarian preschool children adhering to macrobiotic or other vegetarian regimens were studied. Length, subscapular skinfolds, and arm-muscle cirumferences differed from expectations. Dietary group and age, but not sex, were associated with these variations. Measurements were more likely to be depressed among children on a macrobiotic diet. Differences were significant among children twelve to thirty-five months of age for length and subscapular skinfolds and among children thirty-six months or older for arm circumference and subscapular skinfolds. Fewer vegetarian children were obese, and more were lean, than would be expected from norms.