On this forum there is a thread on climate/obesity. I read my previous input and some of it I now reject. Particularly the idea of state capitalism being any part of the communist process. Even then I was not making a definitive statement that it was. the previous thread sprawled between various phenomena which I think are related in the capitalist drive to realise profit at the expense of people and life in general, but I thought it may be useful to gather the unfolding data on obesity which is not something the "communist left" says much about, but I think is an important aspect of the proletarian condition today. msn.com Severe obesity among children in final year of primary school reaches highest level on record, official data shows


Perhaps some may wonder if obesity is in fact a class related topic. I think it is. If millions of workers die in wars, we see this as a crime of capitalism. Yet how many die before their time and suffer long term ill health as a result of the imposed capitalist lifestyle? Consider this...In most rich nations, obesity rates are much higher at the bottom of the socioeconomic scale. They correlate strongly with inequality, which helps to explain why the UK’s incidence is greater than in most European and OECD nations. The scientific literature shows how the lower spending power, stress, anxiety and depression associated with low social status makes people more vulnerable to bad diets. More here from the Guardian....msn.com

US doctors coined a phrase for this condition: “sh*t-life syndrome”. Poor working-age Americans of all races are locked in a cycle of poverty and neglect, amid wider affluence. They are ill educated and ill trained. The jobs available are drudge work paying the minimum wage, with minimal or no job security. They are trapped in poor neighbourhoods where the prospect of owning a home is a distant dream. There is little social housing, scant income support and contingent access to healthcare. Finding meaning in life is close to impossible; the struggle to survive commands all intellectual and emotional resources. Yet turn on the TV or visit a middle-class shopping mall and a very different and unattainable world presents itself. Knowing that you are valueless, you resort to drugs, antidepressants and booze. You eat junk food and watch your ill-treated body balloon. It is not just poverty, but growing relative poverty in an era of rising inequality, with all its psychological side-effects, that is the killer.much more ………..msn.com

Key Facts

  • In 2016/17, there were 617 thousand admissions in NHS hospitals where obesity was a factor1. This is an increase of 18 per cent on 2015/16.
  • In 2016, 26 per cent of adults were classified as obese. This has increased from 15 per cent in 1993 but has remained at a similar level since 2010.
  • In 2016, 26 per cent of adults and 16 per cent of children consumed 5 or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day.
  • In 2016/17, 1 in 5 children in Year 6 and 1 in 10 children in Reception were classified as obese.


Very much related;

"Physical inactivity is responsible for one in six UK deaths (equal to smoking) and is estimated to cost the UK £7.4 billion annually (including £0.9 billion to the NHS alone).

Unfortunately our population is around 20% less active than in the 1960s. If current trends continue, it will be 35% less active by 2030.

Many people don’t realise that physical activity has significant benefits for health, both physical and mental, and can help to prevent and manage over 20 chronic conditions and diseases, including some cancers, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and depression.

Surveys have shown that nearly a quarter of adults report being physically inactive (doing less than 30 minutes physical activity over a week).

Men were more likely to claim they achieve the recommended physical activity levels than women and women were more likely to report being physically inactive than men.

Increasing age and reduced physical activity are 2 risk factors that often coincide. As people age, they take part in less physical activity.

And people with disabilities or long-term conditions are twice as likely not to be active enough for good health."


Brand new global report....bbc.co.uk

A WHO report estimates that more than a quarter of people worldwide - 1.4 billion - are not doing enough physical exercise, a figure that has barely improved since 2001.

Inactivity raises the risk of a raft of health problems, such as heart disease, type-2 diabetes and some cancers.

High-income countries, including the UK, were among the least active.

And women were found to be more sedentary throughout the world, with the exception of two regions of Asia...

Researchers from the World Health Organization (WHO) looked at self-reported data on activity from 358 population-based surveys in 168 countries, including 1.9 million people, for their study in The Lancet Global Health.

They found in high-income countries, which include the UK and the USA, the proportion of inactive people had risen from 32% in 2001 to 37% in 2016, while in low-income countries it had remained stable at 16%.

Those who were classed as inactive did less than 150 minutes of moderate exercise - or 75 minutes at a vigorous intensity - a week.

Countries driving the upwards trend included Germany, New Zealand and the US...In the UK, inactivity levels in 2016 were 36% overall - 32% of men and 40% of women....


msn.com Life for the great majority under (advanced) capitalism is pointless boredom, the blackmail of alienated labour to survive interspersed with binging on junk food and drugs. Capitalism - unfit for human consumption.

Today (12 Oct 2018) independent.co.uk In England, a third of children leave primary school overweight or obese – with some children consuming 500 more calories per day than is recommended. Work work work consume consume consume accumulate accumulate accumulate...

msn.com Our diets are out of kilter with what’s good for both us and the planet because powerful vested interests and misplaced economic incentives have driven them in that direction, and this is the thesis underlying the commission’s findings. The equivalent of $500bn in agricultural subsidies goes each year to the wrong sort of food – corn, soya, meat and dairy, as cheap raw materials for intensive livestock production and for highly processed foods. About $5tn a year goes in subsidies to the fossil fuels which industrialised agriculture uses so profligately. Big food has spent hundreds of millions advertising unhealthy food and lobbying to block the sort of measures that might help shift consumption.

You could also post this under the last article on climate change.

Capitalism fuels shit lifestyles. msn.com Councils are making “deep cuts” to addiction services despite soaring alcohol-related hospital admissions and deaths, with further cuts projected....

A&E cases involving alcohol surged by 13 per cent over the past decade, and NHS data revealed last week showed deaths related to drinking reached record levels of nearly 6,000 last year.

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said fatalities had reached “shamefully high” levels as austerity created a “breeding ground” for drug and alcohol abuse.


Unhealthy diets are responsible for 11m preventable deaths globally per year, more even than smoking tobacco, according to a major study.

But the biggest problem is not the junk we eat but the nutritious food we don’t eat, say researchers, calling for a global shift in policy to promote vegetables, fruit, nuts and legumes.

While sugar and trans-fats are harmful, more deaths are caused by the absence of healthy foods in our diet, the study found.

The research is part of the Global Burden of Disease study by the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) in Seattle, published in the Lancet medical journal.

msn.com Junk food related to male infertility and miscarriages.

Obesity cancer risk warning

About a third of UK adults are obese. And now the charity Cancer Research UK is warning that cases of four of the most common forms of cancer - bowel, kidney, ovarian and liver - are more likely to be caused by being overweight than smoking.

It has launched a billboard campaign, in which it shows mocked-up cigarette packets displaying the message "Obesity is a cause of cancer too". But the charity has been criticised for fat-shaming.

from BBC news

Probably related, but another symptom of the general inequality...

Life expectancy in the UK has fallen to levels last seen 16 years ago as widening social inequalities lead to a rise in avoidable deaths in disadvantaged communities, a new report shows.

Research by academics at the London School of Economics (LSE) reveals that while people in wealthier areas of the country continue to live longer, life expectancy is stalling – or even reversing – for those living in the most deprived areas.


Just generally ranting at capitalist lifestyle...

Four in five teenagers in the UK do not do enough physical activity with experts warning that an “electronic revolution” has left too many children glued to their gadgets.

The stats from the World Health Organisation, which are the first global estimates on physical activity among adolescents, suggest that “couch potato” lifestyles have become the norm.Advertisement

Girls are less active than boys in 142 of the 146 countries studied, including the UK, where 75% of boys and 85% of girls do not do enough exercise.

The figures, published in Lancet Adolescent and Child Health, found that in 2016, more than 80% of school-going adolescents aged 11–17 years did not meet current recommendations for daily physical activity, compromising their current and future health.

Sunny Scotland...

Inequality is still a killer in Dumfries and Galloway according to new government data

MSP Colin Smyth: "There is a clear link between deprivation and low life expectancy and as poverty increases in the region, life expectancy will fall."

Deprivation levels have been blamed for the revelation that baby boys born in the region will die younger than almost anywhere else in Scotland.

Male children born between 2016 and 2018 in the NHS Dumfries and Galloway Health Board area can expect to live until the age of 76 on average, according to new government data.

The National Records of Scotland figures also break lifespan down to expected years of good health.

Men in the region will enjoy good health for an average 64.2 of their estimated 76 years.

Only NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has a lower life expectancy for males at birth in the years covered by the figures with men expected to live an average 75.3 years.

South of Scotland MSP Colin Smyth said: “These figures are a sad indictment of the growing levels of inequality we are seeing across Scotland.

“There is a clear link between deprivation and low life expectancy and as poverty increases here in Dumfries and Galloway, life expectancy will fall particularly within our most deprived communities.

“For generations parents expected their children to live to an older age than them. That is no longer the case.

“Unless we end the shame of poverty then life expectancy will fall in the future and we will be betraying the future of our children.”

Nearly HALF of all Americans will be obese by 2030 - and the epidemic will cost the US billions of dollars, study warns

  • Researchers predict half of US adults will be obese and one-quarter will be severely obese by 2030
  • They also predict that more than half the population will be obese in 29 states and all 50 states will have an obesity prevalence higher than 35%
  • *Severe obesity is predicted to be most common among women, non-Hispanic black adults, and people making $50,000 a year or less*Currently, 40 percent of American adults are obese and 18 percent are considered severely obese. dailymail.co.uk

The life expectancy of women has fallen in the most deprived areas of England, according to a new report.

The study by Professor Sir Michael Marmot comes ten years after his first analysis of data tracking the health gap between rich and poor.

The new report, Health Equity In England: The Marmot Review 10 Years On, found that the life expectancy of women in the most deprived areas fell by 0.3 years between 2010-12 to 2016-18 while those in the richest increased by around 0.5 years.... Overall it found the rise in life expectancy had "slowed dramatically" since 2010. Professor Marmot said for a century prior to that date, life expectancy had increased by one year every four years.



For a sedentary average-built male adult the daily required calerie seems to be at least 2,000 (up-2,500). It seems difficult to arrive at this number solely by purely healthy food. What's your positive outline Stevein7?

I scratch my head at your comment, I am not at all sure what you mean. I cannot see how it is challenging to get such amounts from healthy sources, if one has some nutritional knowledge and the will to be healthy. Maybe the issue is what constitutes "purely healthy food". Potatoes, bread, fruit, nuts - not difficult. Or are you saying the problem is price? Could be something in that. Meanwhile, coronavirus collides with existing health inequality - msn.com

Personally I am vegan, I had issues with blood pressure and thought it might help. I am not saying vegan is necessary for all, bt it can be done very cheap. Throw in the odd tin of sardines and most issues are resolved if you dont want to think about it much. Personally I eat a lot of bread/muesli/potatoes/bananas/apples/pasta/lentils/peas/almond milk/soya products. It's cheap enough. I am not militantly anti eating animals, but as I understand, most people eat too much animal sourced food. Debateable.

Not about price. I find it is difficult to get at 2,000 calories (at a minimum), purely by healthy food. You mention decent stuff, but try to calculate how much you arrive at concretely with it. Bread together with pasta each day would work, but solely for the sake of calories (but not particularly healthy food as such).

We are probably wandering away from the big picture of proletarian health under capitalism, but seeing as you asked... to make up the calorific bulk, starches (bread, potato, pasta, rice) and healthy fat sources like nuts, advocado, seeds (also protein bearing). I dont really measure much, its by eye, try to eat four meals a day, I get weighed at the weekend to see if I need to eat more or less.

We're on topic, just taking it into a more concrete, positive direction. First, do you agree that the minimum daily recommended calories is 2,000? Second, do you think it's possible to reach by healthy food alone? I actually doubt even with two meals a day consisting of reasonable portions of starches (say eg 150 grams bread + 150 grams rice) would attain the figure. You would need eat double those portions, which is fine, but it's a lot of eating. Is that why you spread it over 4 meals a day?

I dont mind the conversation, I am not a expert on the matter but I think I have a good knowledge.

We're on topic, just taking it into a more concrete, positive direction. First, do you agree that the minimum daily recommended calories is 2,000?

I would guess it is possibly a little high for smaller females and a little low for larger males, but in general, global population terms, not a bad startpoint. But anyone involved in serious athletic endeavours or hard manual labour is going to need more to maintain weight.

Second, do you think it's possible to reach by healthy food alone?

I have to smile at this, I can eat a lot more and its all vegan. I think I am an outlier. For example, yesterday and today I ran 10k both days. I have a long history of martial arts, powerlifting, boxing and other endeavours. I currently weigh 82kg at 170cm, I was around this weight at university in my twenties. I have been considerably heavier (doing powerlifting competition, but I was not in horrific shape, a lot of muscle along with the blubber)

I actually doubt even with two meals a day consisting of reasonable portions of starches (say eg 150 grams bread + 150 grams rice) would attain the figure. You would need eat double those portions, which is fine, but it's a lot of eating. Is that why you spread it over 4 meals a day?

If I let my appetite dictate I would eat a lot more! 4 meals a day to me feels like restriction. I guess I am hitting around 3k calories and maintaining weight.

I think what is emerging is how complex this is. Its not just a question of diet, but of lifestyle, and the problem is we are products of evolution, tuned to surviving in what was often a harsh environment, and the modern conditions and lifestyle imposed on the masses by capitalism in no way matches the requirements of the body.

Can you be sure it's 3,000 (just by vegetables and starches)? I calculated mine and I barely arrive at half of that, and I'm not vegan. 2,000 is just necessary for sedentary life, so I'm underweight to a perhaps dangerous level.

You can easily boost the calories by eating fat bearing foods. Regardless of income, vegan, omnivore, whatever, consume peanuts if price is a factor, other nuts if you are not so financially restricted. You will find foods like muesli and granola are surprisingly calorific. A bar of dark chocolate is healthy enough.

To be honest, it sounds like you have issues with food, you say price is not the issue, being dangerously underweight whern you can get food sounds to me like an eating disorder. Have you checked your BMI? it's a good guide for most who are not excessively muscular. nhs.uk

I'm close (but not yet) to underweight. I do eat fat, no eating disorder. Anything can fill one up with calories to reach 2,000, like muesli as you mention, but I don't think it's particularly nutritious. If you are so sure that you reach it, then please take the effort to calculate/acccount, not even for everything, but just a sample of 2,000 you might have of some (healthy) foods a day.

Illness, obesity, racism; who gets blamed for our crises? The poor of course msn.com

Very well constructed article. Just fails to make the conclusion that the capitalist system is the root cause of both the ideology it criticises and the material facts that creat the "poor" etc. Which makes all its research and thoughtful construction a bit of a waste.

I read a related article on US poverty. The pre -covid figures - Some 40 million live under the official poverty line, 11% of white children, 33% of black children, 26% of latino children. Despite being the richest nation, the provision for the "poor" is so weak as the dominant narrative blames the victim, and obviously there is a racist element involved.

"This week, a team of scientists in Seattle, together with thousands of contributors around the world, assembled 3.5bn pieces of data to construct what they are calling the Global Burden of Disease. The story this data tells us about Britain is alarming. On some of the most important measures of health, the four nations of the United Kingdom perform worse than our nearest neighbours. Even with coronavirus out of the picture, Britain is the sick man, woman and child of Europe...This pervasive political indifference to inequality, combined with a decade of cuts to the most basic social protections, has left our nation exquisitely vulnerable to the arrival of this virus. A national revival is possible. But only if our government takes the health of its citizens seriously. The signs so far are that it does not." msn.com

I posted this to some local comrades, but maybe others will critique...We reject all variants of capitalism. That some variants of capitalism offer this or that social protection to the working class does not alter that judgement. Capitalism is always a matter of give and take. The worker gives labour and takes less than its value in wages, including the social wage by which is meant protections and services provided by the state, paid for by taxation of wages. The rate of exploitation may vary between individual workers and in different localities but the fact remains that the working class as a whole is exploited. Health care, no matter how it is provided, be it through state schemes funding free at the point of use provision or private health insurance remains part of the capitalist framework and no method of providing health cover is "ours". We, as in the great majority, have no control over these institutions just as our democratic power in general is limited to choices which perpetuate the rule of capital.Socialised health care which we could genuinely call ours will only arise with the general abolition of capitalism and the general socialisation of the means of production. As such, slogans which revolve around the defense of state provision of health care need to be rejected. However, this is not enough, they need to be challenged by a communist perspective which promotes socialisation of the productive forces as the only sustainable solution.

The restart of a programme which weighs primary school pupils has been accelerated amid fears the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the UK’s childhood obesity problem.

Pupil measurements accelerated amid fears of obesity crisis (msn.com)

Third of people now have serious health problems by 40s - see list of most common issues
_Third of people now have serious health problems by 40s - see list of most common issues (msn.com)

More than a third of adults have multiple health problems by the time they get to their 40s and things are only 'getting worse', worrying research suggests.

A new study found that 34 per cent of people aged 46 to 48 have two or more long-term health conditions.

People from poorer backgrounds were more likely to face health troubles, it was also revealed.

Of the issues, at least one relates to a person's physical health by the time they reach middle age.

High-risk drinking is one of the most damaging, with 26 per cent feeling the effects.

Other problems include chronic back problems, mental ill-health, high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma and diabetes.

A UCL piece of research three weeks ago found that average life expectancy has fallen during the pandemic but it was already a fact before it. In 2019 average life expectancy declined for the first time since the Second World War. This tells us a great deal about the society we live in and its developing crisis on so many fronts from the increating number of wars across the world to climate change and health.

I agree, the health crisis is right up there with war and climate change, yet think there is reticence amongst some who consider themselves revolutionary to make this conclusion, especially when we are looking at lifestyle issues in the advanced metropoles rather than, say, starvation in the poorest areas. But both are conditioned by capitalism. We will spend a great deal of time considering low wages, unemployment, poverty, but arguably being, say, diabetic through obesity is a worse condition. It is all interwoven, all part of the same degradation.

USA, obesity and the pandemic. CDC Warns Of "Alarming" Increase In Child Obesity During Pandemic | ZeroHedge The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said children and teenagers in the United States saw their body mass index (BMI) increase at almost double the normal rate during the COVID-19 pandemic, suggesting that COVID-19 lockdowns and rules may have contributed to the higher-than-usual weight gain...The researchers estimated that 22.4 percent of the aforementioned age group were deemed obese in August 2020, while a year prior, they said that about 19.3 percent were obese. Individuals with obesity before the pandemic saw their BMI rate increase 5.3 times higher compared to before the pandemic...Children between the ages of 6 and 11 saw the greatest increases in their BMI change, reaching 2.5 times as high as compared with before the pandemic...The CDC on Wednesday, meanwhile, found that the number of states that have an obesity rate of 35 percent and higher among adults nearly doubled in just two years. Sixteen states were included on the list in 2020, whereas only nine states were included on the same list in 2018.

Delaware, Iowa, Ohio, and Texas joined the CDC’s list in 2020, the agency said, according to The Associated Press.

The killer is capitalism, we need to reinvent life compatible with mental health, physical health and environmental stability. Not this unfit for human consumption ghost train.

Europe's obesity problem is growing after more and more people were forced to work from home, stay away from doctors appointments or miss appointments during the height of Covid lockdowns. Obesity affects nearly 1 in 5 adults in Europe.

And a recent poll from Public Health England found that 40 percent of adults said they had put on weight during the height of lockdown - with an average weight gain of half a stone (just over three kilos.)

Around two-thirds (63 percent) of adults are above a healthy weight, and of these half are living with obesity...In England 1 in 3 children leaving primary school are overweight or living with obesity with 1 in 5 living with obesity

Figures from NHS Digital show obesity rates among 4 to 5-year-olds rose to 14.4 percent in 2020-21 from 9.9 percent in 2019-20.

And children aged between 10 and 11, obesity increased from 21 percent to 25.5 percent over the same time period....Daily Express 28 jan 2022

Some time ago I mentioned here (in response to steve's diagnosis of the food problem) that it's difficult to find a solution, that is how to get sufficient quality calories each day. I asked for a concrete solution, as in a (daily) food composition. Now just FYI (if we can talk about practical life "tips" on the forum), I find an easy way to fill up on calories (and gain some normal weight) is eating butter. So I tried a couple weeks ago to start a schedule, eating 900 calories worth of butter a day. As to nutrional value of butter, it seems to contain vitamin K2, so that's good. But what are the potential unhealthy aspects of eating 900 calories of butter a day?

My first thought is that here we have another instance of essential science (human nutrition and arising health issues from malnutrition) that is under the pressure of financial interests and therefore at best we get an opaque perspective which leaves many either guessing or simply uncaring. Somewhat akin to the environmentlai issue where any debate on the matter beyond the like-minded inevitably brings up the iidea that scientists are scamming, that there is no issue, it is just the weather etc... In this case, the fianacial pressure is applied by agricultural and fishing business, and in fact spans the two issues - human nutrition and the environment. Personally I have been sufficiently persuaded by the arguments, both from a personal health and a wider social concern, to take the vegan route. I tend towards overweight and in recent years I have had blood pressure issues. According to at least one source, Dr John McDougall, hypertension is generally akin to a plumbing problem. The pipes are getting blocked leading to greater pressure. So rather than medicate and ignore the cause, he advocates unblocking the system - eliminate the saturated fat which leads to the blocked arteries. Which probably answers your question IF McDougall is right, that there is a dietary cause of arterial blockage, then you are running a heightened risk with your high butter diet. There are no absolutes here, some claim that animal fat is not the cause, studies seem to produce contradiction, but I have watched several documentaries and done internet research (so that is all I offer - what I have read and decided) and think that the evidence supports McDougall and those who argue the same case. I think this is the standard NHS line as well. Now, on a more personal level, if I were you, and UNDERWEIGHT was my issue I think I would address it. I would do some weight training (even half an hour once a week of basic moves like squats, deadlifts, overhead press would be a good step) I would indeed eat more fat but I would avoid saturated fat (like butter) and up my protein. Again, I think that we are not going to get clarity on this issue as it involves entrenched and massive financial issues until we get a science not skewed by profiteering. But what we are getting is lives blighted and cut short by malnutrition, be it obesity poor quality food or outright lack of food as the costs soar.

The potential unhealthy aspect of eating lots of butter, (allegdely) would be blocked arteries, is indeed what I heard, but I also heard some dissent, so I wondered if anyone had any thoughts. You mention unsaturated fat and protein as a healthier alternative (to gain some weight), which to my mind would concretely be eg peanut butter, which can be eaten daily. However, in the concrete case of peanut butter, one unhealthy aspect of it could be alfatoxins. There are potential unhealthy aspects also with other nuts or seeds. As to getting protein from meat, a very basic issue, is that it requires short temporary storage and cooking (I recall on the Libcom site, when its forum was somewhat active, a guy said how he managed to live without fridge), so it's not a long shelf-life. I'd say the same problem exists with many vegetables and fruits.

The version of vegan I am doing is "dirt" cheap. I go to Aldi every week and buy 30 bananas (easily last a week without issue) baking potatoes (microwave) porridge oats (microwave with plant based milk) grapes/oranges/pineapple , a big bag of spinach, bread, rice, ginger (I read it is good for blood pressure) lemon (supposedly beneficial, one a day) yeast extract (vit b12), mushy peas (tins), frozen peas, lentils, baked beans, pasta, onions, cucumber, carrots, jar of beetroot. Then I have to go to Tesco to buy soya mince which is pretty cheap there. I use this to make a vegan bolognese and a vegan chilli con carne with flavouring which is available vegan. If I were to adapt it to address the issue of underweight, I think I would up the bread, add advocados, nuts, dark chocolate. Might be a bit contrarian, but I do not think that over/underweight are as related to calories in/calories out as we are mostly told. I think it does rather revolve around macronutrition, specifically upping and lowering the fat content of our diet. Exercise has benefits, but not so much in terms of lowering body weight, more in terms of cardiovascular health and for upping the muscle mass of those who need it. Interesting stuff I find.

The other day on twitter, an anarchist mate got a lot of attention for a tweet about the abolition of "restaurants" in communism. I don't know what to add from the perspective of the production site (the restaurant, with its waiters, etc.), but I guess on the consumption side one could discuss the prevalence in the working class of individual cooking (at home) vs. dining out (and the problems with each). But as far the communist future, the issue of food more in general is about agriculture, ie the planning choices at the production site (on the land), and what kind of foods are produced; that is would we waste labour resources on large-scale production on food that are unhealthy (and how to avoid the outrage about limitations on the freedom of choice of consumption).

I would imagine that in the future, communal food preparation and eating will flourish. Personally I almost never go to restaurants or buy takeaways. When I was in Mexico last winter I was surprised by the sheer quantity of food establishments. Prices were very reasonable and many would buy the meal for home consumption. I suppose the lack of regulation is a factor. Home based business is common, cooking and selling from one's kitchen.