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Earth Medicine Science

First Signs of Obesity In Some Arctic Groups Have Been Linked To Instant Noodles (sciencealert.com) 242

schwit1 quotes a report from ScienceAlert: Researchers have noted the first signs of obesity in the native ethnic groups of the Yamalo-Nenets region -- an autonomous district that sits on the coast of the Arctic Ocean in Northwest Siberia. According to local experts, obesity has not previously existed in these indigenous populations, but the first cases are now being reported, and a marked change in diet -- including instant noodles and pasta -- appears to be responsible. The Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug has a population of just over 522,000 people, whose ancestors have survived the permafrost for millennia. The nomadic Nenets and Khanty peoples have been herding reindeer up and down the Yamal tundra -- a 700-km-long peninsula that stretches deep into the Arctic Ocean -- for 1,000 years, with diets heavily based on venison and fish. But that appears to be changing fast, as researchers note the increasing uptake of chemically processed foods, such as instant noodles and pasta, and the addition of sugar, pastry, and bread to their diets. According to Titovsky, these changes -- which have only been occurring over the past few years -- have seen the intake of venison and river fish cut by half.
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First Signs of Obesity In Some Arctic Groups Have Been Linked To Instant Noodles

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  • by turkeydance ( 1266624 ) on Monday February 27, 2017 @10:33PM (#53943757)
    meat good, grain bad.
    • by Paul Fernhout ( 109597 ) on Monday February 27, 2017 @11:45PM (#53944005) Homepage

      https://www.amazon.com/Eat-Fat... [amazon.com]
      "Many of us have long been told that fat makes us fat, contributes to heart disease, and generally erodes our health. Now a growing body of research is debunking our fat-phobia, revealing the immense health and weight-loss benefits of a high-fat diet rich in eggs, nuts, oils, avocados, and other delicious super-foods."

      Don't forget your veggies though!!! And there are many plant sources of protein and fat...

      • https://www.amazon.com/Eat-Fat... [amazon.com]
        "Many of us have long been told that fat makes us fat, contributes to heart disease, and generally erodes our health. Now a growing body of research is debunking our fat-phobia, revealing the immense health and weight-loss benefits of a high-fat diet rich in eggs, nuts, oils, avocados, and other delicious super-foods."

        Don't forget your veggies though!!! And there are many plant sources of protein and fat...

        Most plant sources of fats and proteins are also full of carbohydrates, putting them in the same position.

        Another good book is "Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health" by Gary Taubes:

        https://www.amazon.com/Good-Ca... [amazon.com]

        In it, he shows that the research has *always* showed that carbs make you fat, and dietary fat isn't the culprit. Not only research, but a body of circumstantial evidence so huge that it can't be ignored. The linked article here is the sort o

      • by mspohr ( 589790 )

        Animal fat gives you heart disease.
        Don't eat animal fat.
        Vegetable fat is fine.

        • Interesting. Instant ramen is cooked in vegetable fat before is is packaged and sold.

        • Trying to boil diet down to some kind of simplistic equation, this=good, that = bad, doesn't work
          My personal anecdote, my grandmother, of eastern European descent, ate potatoes, in some form, with nearly every meal (EWWW CARBS), and nearly every day would eat sausage or low grade, hi fat cuts of pork or beef (jowls etc...), for lunch and dinner... Also lots of cabbage, turnips, and vegetables of that type...

          lived to be 98, and was physically and cognitively intact all but the last 5 years or so.

          There
        • So my transatlantic diet of American chips and English chips is perfect thing.
        • by zieroh ( 307208 )

          Animal fat gives you heart disease.

          Science does not support your claim, though there are plenty of people who think it does.

    • Killed by cheap ramen, I'm not surprised.

      I'm not ready to blame the grain, it might all be the cook's fault here.

    • meat good, grain bad.

      You are extrapolating madly, here. Firstly, what they have been living on in the past has been wild caught fish and deers, not pork and beef from some cattle factory, where they have been reared on antibiotics, growth hormones and heavily processed animal feed.

      Secondly, people who swear by the fad diets like the high-fat diet and the socalled paleo diet generally ignore the fact that when we were mostly foragers, scavengers or hunter-gatherers, we would have lived on sparse resources, and would have eaten a

      • by tomhath ( 637240 )

        You make several baseless (or at least unsupported) assumptions. There's no scientific evidence that pork or beef is less healthy than venison. Cancers feed on sugar, so reducing blood sugar is a good thing.

        My own experience has been that reducing carbs and increasing meat and other vegetables does result in weight loss.

    • by mspohr ( 589790 )

      Instant noodles are to grain as fat is to meat... missing the "meat" of the nutrition.
      If you ate only fat, you would get fat. If you eat only white flour and fat, you would get fat.

  • So... (Score:4, Funny)

    by msauve ( 701917 ) on Monday February 27, 2017 @10:38PM (#53943779)
    Noodles for nerds?
  • Ingested carbs need to go somewhere. Brain consumes a bit, and the remaining part is the problem. If one has enough physical activity, carbs get burned in muscles. Otherwise, they are converted into fat, or remain in bloodstream (this is diabetes) until cleared by kidneys. Of course it is also possible to get both fat and diabetes.

    • by DrYak ( 748999 ) on Tuesday February 28, 2017 @05:47AM (#53944783) Homepage

      Ingested carbs need to go somewhere. Brain consumes a bit, and the remaining part is the problem. If one has enough physical activity, carbs get burned in muscles. Otherwise, they are converted into fat,

      not quite.
      carbs don't just stay here waiting (like gaz in a car's tank)
      body will process them, depending on tons of hormonal messages.
      carbs will get used and making fat is only one of the possibility the body will choose.

      e.g.: if you do sports, not only will you burn carbs for energy during the sport, but you will raise the level of some growth hormone, encouraging your body to use the available resources to build more mudcles instead of storing them in long term.

      remain in bloodstream (this is diabetes) until cleared by kidneys.

      huh.. Nope. not at all.
      diabetis is absolutely not "the excess sugar in the blood".
      diabetes is mainly the signaling pathway that normally orders the uptake of the sugar being broken.
      the two types of diabetis are due to which step of the pathway is broken .
      (either the production of insulin, or the receptors that should.detect it)

      the fact that people who overeat have an increased risk of diabetis isnt due to extra sugar staying in the blood, it's due to the body getting desensitized tobthe insuline (mainly because to avoid having extra sugar in the blood the body will secrete extra insulin, but over time that extra insulin will down regulate the receptors, leading to the oathway not working that well anymore) (also fat tissue also secrete it's own signaling hormones. obese patients have so much of fat, that they produce excessive amiunt of some hormone and their signaling disturbs other pathway)
      so excess sugar isn't the cause of diabetes (and is actually correctly compensated at the beginning) it's the result of an insulin pathway that got fucked up, e.g. by the bad eating habits.

      • so excess sugar isn't the cause of diabetes (and is actually correctly compensated at the beginning) it's the result of an insulin pathway that got fucked up, e.g. by the bad eating habits.

        bad eating habits = too much sugar,

        When you eat too much sugar, the body produces more insulin to force the sugar into the cells, cells get too much sugar, and reduce their insulin sensitivity. After a while, you see blood sugar rise, but the damage has already been going on for years, usually.

        • Small, details (Score:4, Interesting)

          by DrYak ( 748999 ) on Tuesday February 28, 2017 @12:31PM (#53946681) Homepage

          bad eating habits = too much sugar,

          When you eat too much sugar, the body produces more insulin to force the sugar into the cells, cells get too much sugar, and reduce their insulin sensitivity. After a while, you see blood sugar rise, but the damage has already been going on for years, usually.

          For added precision :

          bad eating habits :
          - high calorie intake (too much sugar and fat) : drives obesity up.
          - too much *glucose*, i.e. *processed* sugar (In everyday's terms: pure sugar. Like the sugar-cubes equivalent in a soda can. As opposed to complex glucose polymers fibers, as found in nuts) and/or *very small low complexity oligomers* (starch. Like white bread. It doesn't taste sweet at all (there's very little actual pure sugar inside) but the starch gets broken up *extemely fast into glucose* during digestion. As opposed to whole grain bread which takes a bit more time. And as opposed to nuts, as mentionned above : their fibers takes a long time to digest).

          When the glucose absoption is too fast (because the sugar is alredy processed as glucose, or because the starch gets digested too quickly),
          the body keeps the blood glucose concentration low by quickly releasing peaks of insulin.
          (Compare with eating nuts : they get digested into glucose extremely slowly and thus the glucose only enters the body drip by drip. Insulin only needs to be raised very slightly above basal level) (As a consequence, a type 1 diabetic doesn't usually give a fuck about nuts and doesn't need to take them into account when computing insulin injection dose)

          This *very sudden* and *very high* rise of insulin causes :
          - nearly all cells in the body will down-regulate their insulin receptors. They become more insulin resisting (eventually devolving into type 2 diabetes). And eventually glucose rises as a consequence.
          The lone exception is the brain which use an entire different pathway (does not depend on insulin at all) and still keeps getting its sugar. (And this is part of the reasons why diabetes is much more destructive than fasting / any other protein-high diets)
          - the high level of insulin also work as hormone and signal to the body. It encourages creating even more fat tissue storage (as opposed to use the sugar to build muscle mass). This worsens the obesity, which in turn works as a positive feedback, and is also a cause of heart diseases.

          Once insulin resistance sets in :
          - glucose remain in excess in the blood
          - due to high concerntration you pee a lot (hence the name diabetis)
          - as it doesn't enter in the cells (except the brain) the rest of the body thinks that it doesn't have any, and thus bruns fat and proteins instead, tries to synthetise glucose out of these, and asks the liver (through glucagon) to release some of the glucose from the reserves in the liver.
          - but non of this extra glucose (synthetised or release) is of any help : the insulin still won't bring it in.

          Damage comes from :
          - High concentration of glucose. (Body has problems keeping the osmolarity of the blood). This eventually leads to blood vessels walls being damaged.
          (Diabetes is mainly a blood vessel disease, mediated by the glucose concentration).
          - Ketonic bodies toxicity. Because glucose can't enter most of the body, it's as if there was none and the body was fasting. In absence of (available) glucose, the body cells start to burn fat as an energy source (this requires to burn proteins as a by product of a missing reaction)
          (this also produces ketonic bodies. These are toxic. Under normal circumstance (someone on a high protein, low carb diet), the brain cell would eat it and burn it as fuel source. But here the brain has access to plenty of glucose (remember : brain uses a different pathway to get its glucose and isn't affected by glucose) and thus will keep burning glucose, instead of burning ketonic bodies. These therefore accumulate and they end up being toxic)

          Note:
          - The above only concerns *glucose*.
          - This doesn't concern al

  • Subsistance?? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Daemonik ( 171801 ) on Monday February 27, 2017 @10:43PM (#53943803) Homepage

    Nowhere in the article does it mention how many of these villagers were on the constant edge of starvation prior to having access to a more varied diet. It does mention they do shorter foraging routes than they did 25 years ago, but doesn't mention how that would reasonably mean they would starve without outside sources of food. Oh, and then there's the nugget that they are BETTER at digesting carbs and sugars than Europeans, which leads them to eat significantly more..

    This article is full of lies and half truths subby!

    • by TWX ( 665546 )
      I'm interested in the life-expectancy prior to the diet switch too.
      • by cdrudge ( 68377 )

        Life expectancy previously was 45-50 years but the low life expectancy wasn't necessarily directly related to diet. High childhood mortality due to accidents, binge drinking, and suicide all have high prevalence. Lack of internet porn and Starbucks also contributes to the low expectancy.

    • Nowhere in the article does it mention how many of these villagers were on the constant edge of starvation prior to having access to a more varied diet. It does mention they do shorter foraging routes than they did 25 years ago, but doesn't mention how that would reasonably mean they would starve without outside sources of food. Oh, and then there's the nugget that they are BETTER at digesting carbs and sugars than Europeans, which leads them to eat significantly more..

      This article is full of lies and half truths subby!

      In modern times, they have not been on the constant edge of starvation.

  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Monday February 27, 2017 @10:55PM (#53943863) Homepage
    scientists: sugary soda causes obesity.
    soda companies: no no. you misunderstand. people need to balance their choices with exercise and a healthy lifestyle of exercise. did we mention they should exercise instead?? also no soda tax.
    scientists: potato chips and junk food are causing obesity.
    snack food companies: no no. you misunderstand. people need to control their portions! nevermind that we spend millions per year on cognitive neuroscientists to make our products addictive, and market directly to children with colourful animal mascots.
    scientists: fried food in schools is causing obesity
    senators: no no. you misunderstand. badmouth my farm subsidy bill and ill buy a cruise missiles with your grant money.
    scientists: pre-fried pot noodle is causing obesity
    pot noodle manufacturers: didnt soda answer this? people need to exercise their portions...control their uh...lifestyle health...whatever fuck off.
    • by Imrik ( 148191 )

      No soda tax please. If you really think soda is that harmful, stop letting companies sell it. Imposing something like a soda tax leads to politicians doing their subtle best to increase soda consumption so they can have more of our money.

      • Yeah, then do the same with booze. Wow, how come nobody has thought of this before? We'll be so healthy!

      • by TWX ( 665546 )
        That's never going to happen. If you look at bans, you simply end up with black markets that experience varying degrees of violence. By contrast, taxing a product is a way to take an inexpensive product and compel a change in its use. You take that inexpensive product and turn it into an expensive one and generally people will reduce their use of that product even if only to keep the outlay the same.

        The three most obvious cases are alcohol with the history of Prohibition, the modern fight against drug
      • Soda doesn't deserve to be maligned. Plain soda water has zero calories and doesn't cause anything but needing to go pee later.

        It's the flavorings and additives that are the actual issue. Yet plain seltzer water is lumped in with all the others. Stupid.

        • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 )

          The best thing to flavour soda with is gin. Not sure why so many people like to use syrup instead.

    • Clearly the group that is wrong in those examples are the scientists who fail to count calories and instead try to blame the source of the calories.

  • by swell ( 195815 ) <jabberwock&poetic,com> on Monday February 27, 2017 @11:04PM (#53943885)

    Well it's been around half a century of that diet now. Around 50 million people have tried it and we aren't hearing any complaints from them. But it's still possible that Atkins was wrong about the evils of the overwhelming excess of carbohydrates in our diet.

    Feel free to argue against those 50 million. Rant and rave! Your opinion is surely equal to theirs.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by phantomfive ( 622387 )

      Around 50 million people have tried it and we aren't hearing any complaints from them.

      Heard plenty of complaints.

    • Fatkins died already, of course he's not hearing any complaints.

    • by geekmux ( 1040042 ) on Tuesday February 28, 2017 @01:23AM (#53944263)

      Well it's been around half a century of that diet now. Around 50 million people have tried it and we aren't hearing any complaints from them...Feel free to argue against those 50 million. Rant and rave! Your opinion is surely equal to theirs.

      50 million people tried it, and 49.9 million people didn't stick with it. I'd say that pretty much sums up the "complaint" department. Of course, sticking with a diet loaded with saturated fat, salt and red meat will likely lead to heart disease, but hey, at least you'll be a skinny corpse.

      If we've learned anything in the last 100 years, fad diets of any kind are a temporary measure at best. What actually works is a permanent lifestyle change, consisting of eating healthy and regular exercise. Arguments for fad diets are not supported when losing weight is simple math for the overwhelming majority of humans(consume less than you burn), and has stood the test of time.

      • What actually works is a permanent lifestyle change, consisting of eating healthy

        Where "healthy" is actually a lot more fat and less carbs than currently recommended. It's not a fad, it's a permanent lifestyle change.

      • by swell ( 195815 )

        " 49.9 million people didn't stick with it" What? Millions are doing it right now. Millions more don't need to- they have accomplished what they want.

        I was one of those. I did Atkins almost 40 years ago, lost 40 pounds, and quit. Quit counting, that is, quit fussing over it; but I never resumed eating carbs as I'd done before. Now, after all those years I have to lose weight again (20 lbs) so I have to pay closer attention to my diet. This time I've noticed that too much protein can be a problem and I've ha

      • Of course, sticking with a diet loaded with saturated fat, salt and red meat will likely lead to heart disease, but hey, at least you'll be a skinny corpse.

        What are you basing this assertion on?
        I really want to know.
        There has been no definitive link between saturated fat, salt, and red meat and heart disease. None. If you have information, please point it out.
        And don't give me the "everyone knows that", or "that is what the American Heart Association says". Tell me what scientific research you have read. I know what I have read, and none of it says that. All of these conclusions were made, and dietary direction has been given, DESPITE the scientific resea

  • by RubberDogBone ( 851604 ) on Tuesday February 28, 2017 @01:05AM (#53944235)

    So I can still eat all the Slim Jims and beef jerky I want (which is a lot) but I have to give up my fire noodles and cup ramen?

    Dammit.

    Seriously, I am not sure how to take this. Instant noodles are hugely popular across asia, consumed in vast quantities every day, and yet asia still has low obesity rates. So is it the noodles that are the problem OR how the people respond to what they eat?

    Or is it not the people as much as it is their gut bacteria?

    Living where they do and eating what they have eaten for centuries has probably left them with a fairly specialized set of gut bacteria good at extracting maximum nutrition from meager food, and perhaps pasta and noodles are just the wrong thing for those people to eat. Perhaps their bodies are TOO good at retaining the calories from the food, because they had to be good to survive. Now, with caloric food in good supply, they no longer need that ability as much, but it's not like we can reprogram our guts.

    • Seriously, I am not sure how to take this. Instant noodles are hugely popular across asia, consumed in vast quantities every day, and yet asia still has low obesity rates. So is it the noodles that are the problem OR how the people respond to what they eat?

      I could not believe how bad the American obesity rate was until I traveled outside of the US. I scratched my head because the foreign diet did not seem particularly healthy, so I looked at other factors.

      When comparing other countries, I believe the lack of exercise impacts obesity rates far more than diet does. People can easily get fat off eating an Asian diet if leading a sedentary lifestyle. Other countries are far more mobile and active, which I believe plays a large part here.

      • by dwpro ( 520418 )
        Asia's obesity problem is growing (for several reasons, but the western diet seems partially to blame): https://scholar.google.com/sch... [google.com] There's been a lot of research into this topic. I'd love some citations to bolster your thoughts if you have any.
    • by dwywit ( 1109409 )

      Cold water fish, which tend to be oily, and herbivore meat, aren't what I'd describe as meagre, calorie-wise. Of course, they might not have eaten a lot of it, but that's not connected with the gut's ability to extract nutrition.

      The gut flora has got to be significant here - starchy carbs are a big component of many diets - italian, for instance - and there's got to be something more to study there.

    • From the article: "researchers note the increasing uptake of chemically processed foods, such as instant noodles and pasta, and the addition of sugar, pastry, and bread to their diets."

      The title says "noodles" but neglects that pesky "sugar" and "pastry" part that was also added to their diets (and bread as well). Yet more poor quality news.

      If you eat noodles, there is no reason to stop.
      Healthy living is not a big mystery.
      Through the ages the omnivorous human race has lived on varying diets that didn't caus

  • ...has nothing to do with it. It's a stupid phrase used by ignorant people to describe something that is ubiquitous in food preparation. Even a chunk of venison cooked over a fire is chemically processed. What matters is the macronutrient composition of the food.

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