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Obesity

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I want to take the temperature of the room, so to speak. Here's your chance to let me hear from you. I encourage all readers to participate, including the occasional drifters, lurkers, etc. The more people participate, the more accurate the results will be. Please chime in! All votes are anonymous unless you choose to... Read More
I've added a new page, which covers many of the key facts about obesity – facts which are conveniently ignored or misunderstood in the many emotionally charged discussion of the matter. See: Obesity Facts I've made this a page rather than a post because I anticipate updating it fairly frequently, as more information becomes available.... Read More
I have recently updated two key posts, my post More Behavioral Genetic Facts and More Maps of the American Nations. In More Behavioral Genetic Facts, I have expanded on an analysis on the meta-analysis of the heritability of criminality. This meta-analysis, a seminal work, represents the single best treatment of what we know of the... Read More
My previous post – “Squid Ink” – has spawned a little discussion about the role of the "environment." However, I'd argue what all the discussion is about – what it is always ever about when people invoke "environment" – is changeability. This is what people really want to know about that, and they see heredity... Read More
A couple of interesting stories have come to my attention lately. Despite my efforts to get them across on Twitter, they are still not quite getting the attention I think they deserve, so I'm going to recite them here. These stories are on the role of sugar and the role of antibiotics in human health.... Read More
People who follow me know that I stress the three laws of behavioral genetics, starting with the all-important First Law, all human behavioral traits are heritable. OK, but that established, most people aren't necessarily interested in heritability per se; they want to know about changeability. Can the trait in question be changed? Sure, there are... Read More
Former president George W. Bush recently had surgery to open a blocked coronary artery. As the NBC Nightly News reported (click link for video) So George W. Bush, a famous fitness fanatic, had a blocked artery. Now, he was experiencing no symptoms, so "heart disease" may be a bit of a strong term. Indeed, it... Read More
This is my 100th blog post. Upon reaching this milestone, I thought that this would be a great time to take moment to look back at my experience as a blogger in Human BioDiversity (HBD) and share my thoughts on the things to come. 1. The Beginning 2. Fertility 3. Immigration and the economy 4.... Read More
In my previous post, I noted that the oft-mentioned association between obesity and poor health and "early" death may be a function of the lower average IQ of obese people. I suggested that the true correlate of these things was in fact low IQ. And indeed, I've stumbled on additional studies that suggests that this... Read More
Previously, I intimated that the connection between obesity and cardiovascular disease and death from such diseases may not be what is commonly believed: The idea is that people who are in poorer health have all around poorer genetic quality – in other words, they tend to have higher levels of genetic load (see here at... Read More
Gary Taubes recently wrote an essay about the causes of modern obesity. In it, he correctly points out that modern medical science is woefully ignorant of the true causes of obesity. I haven't yet read Taubes's book, and I'm not particularly convinced of his carbohydrate hypothesis (which I'll address shortly), but I wanted to comment... Read More
Continuing my inquiry into this matter, one question that hasn't been satisfactorily answered is why has the obesity rate shot up in the past few decades? As I've made plain in previous posts, variation in obesity between individuals within a group at any given time is largely heritable, as is a good portion of the... Read More
A recent article in the UK Daily Mail featured the "Weight of the World" chart made by Visual.ly. It graphically represents the average body mass index (BMI) of the inhabitants the countries of the world. In keeping with my recent series on the matter, I wanted to see what it'd look like if I turned... Read More
EDIT, 5/30/15: [Post updated with results of new meta-analyses of behavioral genetic studies. See below!] Edit, 1/3/13: [Post updated to reflect additional information provided in the comments. See below and see the comments.] The time has come for a little reminder of the First Law of behavioral genetics. In my final post of 2012, I... Read More
ABC News recently aired a story about the drug Qnexa, which is a combination drug which seems to treat obesity (watch the story here). The results have been impressive, as can bee seen in the featured before and after photos. And yes, like almost all other diet drugs, it comes with side effects. The question,... Read More
By BENJAMIN RADFORD, Discovery News Jan. 22, 2012 A study followed nearly 20,000 students from kindergarten through the eighth grade in 1,000 public and private schools. The researchers examined the children's weight and found that in the eighth grade, 35.5 percent of kids in schools with junk food were overweight while 34.8 percent of those... Read More
Fresh stuff! New Blog Post #3! So in my last blog posts we learned about the role of heredity in determining behavior and the non-affect of parenting and the family environment on behavioral traits. But most of us feel we are in control of ourselves (I suppose except when it comes to the “scars” parents... Read More
New blog post #2! Recently a doctor at Harvard University, David Ludwig, claimed that some parents—those of children who are morbidly obese—should lose custody of those children, for the child’s own good. This is reported in this news article from ABC News here. Here are some quotes from the article: Of course, if you read... Read More
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