The whole idea was to enable the cocoa farmers to obtain a better price from their cocoa in the world markets, particularly, the fair trade market. KKL later decided to own a chocolate bar. The main aim here has been to maximize returns to their members.
There are at least four possible positions on the thermodynamics of weight gain: Weight gain does not depend on calories in versus calories out, even in the loosest sense.
These people may stay very thin even if they eat and exercise as much as much more obese people. Weight gain is entirely a function of calories in versus calories out, and therefore of how much you eat and exercise.
However, these are in turn mostly dependent on the set points of a biologically-based drive. For example, some people may have overactive appetites, and feel starving unless they eat an amount of food that will make them fat.
Other people will have very strong exercise drives and feel fidgety unless they get enough exercise to keep them very thin.
These things can be altered in various ways which cause weight gain or loss, without the subject exerting willpower.
For example, sleep may cause weight loss because people who get a good night sleep have decreased appetite and lower levels of appetite-related hormones.
That means diet is entirely a function of willpower and any claim that factors other than amount of food eaten and amount of exercise performed can affect weight gain is ipso facto ridiculous.
If it is found to be contradicted by observation — well, these experimentalists do bungle things sometimes. But if your theory is found to be against…thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation. But 4 is also dumb.
We have a long list of things that affect weight gain — for example, patients on the powerful psychiatric medication clozapine usually gain a lot of weight — fifteen pounds more on average than people on safer antipsychotics.
Certain genetic diseases are also known to cause increased weight — Prader-Willi syndrome, for example. But first, this is an area where possibility proofs are half the battle, and we have a possibility proof.
And second, there are more than enough studies about genetics, microbiome, and, yes, sleep showing that all of these things can have effects in normal people. So 1 and 4 are out. And although I do sometimes see people pushing them, they mostly seem to do a thriving business as straw men for people who want to accuse their opponents of saying something absurd.
The most interesting debate to be had is between 2 and 3. But in general, I think 2 is an important issue that does cause at least some interpersonal weight differences.
Scientists can delete it in mice. These mice will eventually develop excessive appetites.
But when they are young, they eat the same amount as any other mouse, but still get fatter. Likewise, 2,4-dinitrophenol is a cellular uncoupling agent which increases metabolic rate and consistently produces weight loss of pounds per week. So what about everyday life? A study of individual variation in basal metabolic rate found very significant interpersonal differences.
The Wikipedia article puts this in context: Claude Bouchard and his team stuck 12 pairs of male identical twins in isolation chambers where their caloric intake and exercise could be carefully controlled, then fed them more calories than their bodies needed.
All sets of twins gained weight, and in all twin groups both twins gained about the same amount of weight as each other, but the amount of weight gained varied between twin pairs by a factor of 3 from 4 to 13 kg. I think this is wrong-headed. True, genes are not the source of the modern rise in obesity levels.
Just as Bouchard fed the same amount extra to all his study participants but some of them gained more weight than others, so if you put an entire civilization worth of people in an obesogenic environment, some of them might be genetically predisposed to do worse than the rest.
I am personally predisposed to answer in the affirmative. In my early twenties, I ate a crazy amount every day — two bagels with breakfast, cookies with lunch, a big dinner followed by dessert — and I stayed pretty thin throughout. Metabolic rate is well-known to decline with agebut linearly and predictably.
The sites that talk about drastic and unexpected ways to change metabolism seem mostly crackpottish. So my own story seems to be on shaky ground.EconTalk host Russ Roberts does a monologue on how political discourse seems to have deteriorated in recent years and the growth in outrage, tribalism, and intolerance for those with different views from one’s own.
Roberts suggests that part of the problem is the revolution of the market for information caused by the internet that allows [ ]. The Energy Racket. By Wade Frazier. Revised in June Introduction and Summary. A Brief Prehistory of Energy and Life on Earth. Early Civilization, Energy and the Zero-Sum Game.
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