Why Are Europeans Thinner than Americans?

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Re: Why Are Europeans Thinner than Americans?

Postby Xmmm » Wed Mar 22, 2017 4:42 am

European smoke a lot more than Americans on average. I was in Vienna four years ago and was shocked that they were still selling cigarettes out of vending machines (gangs of of twelve year old street urchins were roaming the streets, "smoking in front the police" as Microsoft's chatbot Tae famously said). I grew up in California and remember those machines from the 1970s, but they all disappeared at least twenty years ago, if not more.

So ... yeah, the Europeans eat healthier food and have good public transport (which necessitates more walking than when you have a car), all good.

But let's not ignore all that smoke. It's highly correlated with being thinner (ask all the actors and supermodels).
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Re: Why Are Europeans Thinner than Americans?

Postby rdearman » Wed Mar 22, 2017 1:25 pm

Xmmm wrote:European smoke a lot more than Americans on average. I was in Vienna four years ago and was shocked that they were still selling cigarettes out of vending machines (gangs of of twelve year old street urchins were roaming the streets, "smoking in front the police" as Microsoft's chatbot Tae famously said). I grew up in California and remember those machines from the 1970s, but they all disappeared at least twenty years ago, if not more.

So ... yeah, the Europeans eat healthier food and have good public transport (which necessitates more walking than when you have a car), all good.

But let's not ignore all that smoke. It's highly correlated with being thinner (ask all the actors and supermodels).


Being fat is more unhealthy than smoking. (According to some researchers)

http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB4549.html
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/experts-warn-being-fat-worse-5788467

However, smokers being thinner isn't the case.
And as it turns out, people who smoke heavily aren't necessarily thin in any case. A lesser-known fact is that despite an increased metabolism, people who smoke heavily — roughly more than 25 cigarettes a day — may be more likely to be overweight or obese than people who smoke fewer cigarettes.

"Smoking a lot can increase insulin resistance and cause fat to be stored around the waist," says Dikla Shmueli, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in the department of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco.
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Re: Why Are Europeans Thinner than Americans?

Postby Xmmm » Wed Mar 22, 2017 2:12 pm

rdearman wrote:Being fat is more unhealthy than smoking. (According to some researchers)

http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB4549.html
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/experts-warn-being-fat-worse-5788467


Well, that may be true. I was only answering the question in the title of the thread.

Being overweight degrades the quality of your life in many ways, no question. Smoking, on the other hand, tends to save most of its ill effects for the day you turn 65 or 70, and most people put less value (we can see this by their actions) on the tail end of their life than the prime years. I think "being fat is more unhealthy than smoking" could definitely be a true statement, depending on the parameters.


rdearman wrote:However, smokers being thinner isn't the case.
And as it turns out, people who smoke heavily aren't necessarily thin in any case. A lesser-known fact is that despite an increased metabolism, people who smoke heavily — roughly more than 25 cigarettes a day — may be more likely to be overweight or obese than people who smoke fewer cigarettes.

"Smoking a lot can increase insulin resistance and cause fat to be stored around the waist," says Dikla Shmueli, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in the department of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco.


Since this is coming out of the department of psychiatry, I would interpret this as a warning to neurotic people who are obsessed about being overweight not talk to take up smoking as a weight loss plan because "it very possibly will make you, as an individual, heavier depending on your insulin response." That might be true.

But I think it's well documented that -- in terms of the total population -- the greater the percentage of people smoking, the thinner the total population is.

(Edited once because I read my response and it was unclear what I meant).

https://www.thestar.com/life/health_wel ... inner.html
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Re: Why Are Europeans Thinner than Americans?

Postby klvik » Wed Mar 22, 2017 3:22 pm

rdearman wrote:
Xmmm wrote:European smoke a lot more than Americans on average. I was in Vienna four years ago and was shocked that they were still selling cigarettes out of vending machines (gangs of of twelve year old street urchins were roaming the streets, "smoking in front the police" as Microsoft's chatbot Tae famously said). I grew up in California and remember those machines from the 1970s, but they all disappeared at least twenty years ago, if not more.

So ... yeah, the Europeans eat healthier food and have good public transport (which necessitates more walking than when you have a car), all good.

But let's not ignore all that smoke. It's highly correlated with being thinner (ask all the actors and supermodels).


Being fat is more unhealthy than smoking. (According to some researchers)

http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB4549.html
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/experts-warn-being-fat-worse-5788467

However, smokers being thinner isn't the case.
And as it turns out, people who smoke heavily aren't necessarily thin in any case. A lesser-known fact is that despite an increased metabolism, people who smoke heavily — roughly more than 25 cigarettes a day — may be more likely to be overweight or obese than people who smoke fewer cigarettes.

"Smoking a lot can increase insulin resistance and cause fat to be stored around the waist," says Dikla Shmueli, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in the department of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco.



The conclusion from those very unreliable sources is not that obesity is more unhealthy than smoking, rather that the increasing number of obese people leads to an increased number of obesity related aliments while the decreasing number of smokers leads to a decreased number smoking related aliments. It's an argument about numbers. Both smoking and being obese are unhealthy.
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Re: Why Are Europeans Thinner than Americans?

Postby ed_phelan » Wed Mar 22, 2017 4:21 pm

I imagine that it has something to do with the culture surrounding food and an increased amount of fast food outlets in America, especially the likes of McDonalds. However, there is a greater amount of obesity in the UK compared to other European countries, which I would attribute to the fact that more fast food is consumed there compared to other European countries and there is less of a 'food culture' compared to southern European cultures. Saying that though, there has been increased obesity in France lately and they seem to love McDonalds! ;)

Please be aware that I am aware that I am generalising here, so please don't take offence! :)
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Re: Why Are Europeans Thinner than Americans?

Postby smallwhite » Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:41 am

smallwhite wrote:The Australian take-away box is half the size of HK's

The Aussie one is 500mL and so about 0.5kg / 1.1 pounds.

What are your 4 pounds made of? (Not endorsing their diet, just the idea).



"In 2013, according to the Census Bureau's American Community Survey, ... 76.4 percent drove alone to work in a car, truck or van. Another 9.4 percent carpooled in a car, truck or van. Only 5.2 percent took public transportation, while 4.4 percent worked at home.

2.8 percent walked to work, and only 0.6 percent rode a bicycle. ..."

Comparison of car use in selected cities
Car use/capita (km)

Los Angeles ... 11,587
Frankfurt ........ 5,893
Sydney ........... 5,885
London ........... 3,892
Hong Kong .......... 493
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Re: Why Are Europeans Thinner than Americans?

Postby DCDC » Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:02 pm

Americans tend to get angry when this is mentioned, but honestly, a lot of people in America have terrible eating habits. The fast foods, processed foods, the huge servings, the agression in some people's eyes when you mention that drinking water or juice is healthier than soda and cutting soda helps lose weight...
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Re: Why Are Europeans Thinner than Americans?

Postby Serpent » Fri Mar 24, 2017 1:21 am

klvik wrote:The conclusion from those very unreliable sources is not that obesity is more unhealthy than smoking, rather that the increasing number of obese people leads to an increased number of obesity related aliments while the decreasing number of smokers leads to a decreased number smoking related aliments. It's an argument about numbers. Both smoking and being obese are unhealthy.

And if someone is not actually obese, it's much more important to have an overall healthy lifestyle than to lose weight. When your main reason not to give up smoking is the fear of gaining weight, smoking hurts your health much more than a few kilos would. And the weight itself is not an accurate indicator of health or especially current lifestyle.
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Re: Why Are Europeans Thinner than Americans?

Postby Xenops » Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:05 am

DCDC wrote:Americans tend to get angry when this is mentioned, but honestly, a lot of people in America have terrible eating habits. The fast foods, processed foods, the huge servings, the agression in some people's eyes when you mention that drinking water or juice is healthier than soda and cutting soda helps lose weight...


It's just been this week I've realized "uh...Maybe snacking is bad". I've been following the advice on this link this week:

https://wellnessmama.com/5356/fix-your-leptin/

And I'm already noticing a difference.
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Re: Why Are Europeans Thinner than Americans?

Postby Xmmm » Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:17 am

DCDC wrote:the agression in some people's eyes when you mention that drinking water or juice is healthier than soda and cutting soda helps lose weight...


I assume you're young. I've never told anyone that water is healthier than soda and switching would help them lose weight, but when I was young I saw a lot of aggression in people's eyes when I told them:

1. The book they were reading was stupid
2. The band they liked consisted of poor musicians and the one guy that wasn't a nitwit was a sell-out
3. Their political opinions were asinine
4. Riding a motorcycle would send them to an early grave
5. Smoking would send them to an early grave.
6. Losing weight was just a matter of discipline.
7. Probably other things I don't remember

So much aggression! What was wrong with those people? Why couldn't they handle the truth and some well-meaning advice?

As I got older I stopped doing those things in real life*, and all those people's aggression went away. Strange, huh?




*I still tell people such things on message boards sometimes when my willpower fails, but it's okay because you people aren't real anyway. :)
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