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Getting evidence for most and least fattening local eating customs from individuals’ reports in their culture’s terms

Booth, David A. and Thibault, Louise and Chesneau, Caroline and Baek, Seolhyang (2006) Getting evidence for most and least fattening local eating customs from individuals’ reports in their culture’s terms. In: BFDG 2006, 20-21 April 2006, University of Birmingham (UK). (Unpublished)

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Abdominal fatness, like IQ, is predominantly a moderately heritable polygenic trait. Furthermore, human genetic structure is masked by many regulatory genes. Hence environment is likely to specify any obesigenic pattern of metabolism, movement or ingestion. The least fattening patterns of behaviour therefore need to be identified in a culture’s own categories. The times at which an individual carries out such an eating or exercise custom detect a sustained change in its frequency, after which any change in weight is tracked to asymptote. The closest published approximation to this psychosocial approach to weight control was around Birmingham (England) in the late 1980s, cf. Appetite 43, 277-283 (2004). While the obesity research community continues to refuse support, a pilot study of the simplest effective design has been run in French Canada. In that culture, individual differences in eating vegetables and in avoiding calories, low-calorie meals or fruit and salad fairly consistently correlate at present with decline in weight over 2-4 weeks. Cross-lagged correlation shows when change in frequency of a custom one week causes subsequent change in weight, rather than weight change precipitating behaviour change. Effects of eating customs on weight emerge from 1970s calculations of energy exchange regulation (since replicated and extended by four other groups) but may be undetectable as sensory, digestive or social influences on states of appetite and its sating.

Type of Work:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
Date:April 2006
Series/Collection Name:BFDG annual meeting
Subjects:H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Funders:Not applicable
Copyright Status:Presenter's authorship David A. Booth, University of Birmingham, 3 April 2006
Copyright Holders:David A. Booth
ID Code:52

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