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Oh. Yes. She. Did.

Hold the Press Releases, Suz!  

How do you go from not paying your taxes, failure to ship orders since 2011, closing your store, foreclosure, shutting down all communication to... THIS?

Continue reading "Oh. Yes. She. Did." »


Maggie Goes Down The Toilet - "Maggie Goes on a Diet."

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Did you know that we are part of an online FLASH MOB!  Get yer pitchforks!  RAWR!  

Not so much.  But, I still don't think this book is a good idea.  

AP News via myfoxLA -

The online mess for Kramer began recently with outraged commenters on Amazon, where pre-orders have not propelled Maggie anywhere near the top of the rankings. There is now a "savemaggie" hashtag on Twitter, a "Say No to Maggie Goes on a Diet" Facebook page, calls for a boycott and demands that Amazon and Barnes & Noble pull the book.

Kramer will not disclose how many orders he has for Maggie, which will not be in circulation until October. While most of the attention has been negative, he said, there are supporters, like this one who responded to a book basher on Twitter: "She's 14, not 6. Are you seriously suggesting that, with the obesity problem in this country, that a book teaching children to exercise and eat right, is somehow IMMORAL? I bet your fat."

Kramer, who went on "Good Morning America" and CNN to defend the book, already has regrets, although using the word "diet" is not one of them. Diet, he said, is not a dirty word as many of his angry critics have declared. Even for a book clearly most appropriate for little kids? He insists he didn't have 4-year-olds in mind, thinking more along the lines of 8 and up.

"The main message was that Maggie went on a diet predominantly because she loves sports and wanted to be able to run faster, bend more easily and be better able to play sports more effectively," Kramer told The Associated Press by phone from Maui, where he lives with his wife and soccer-loving, 16-year-old son.

Kramer, who struggled with obesity as a child and a young adult and still works to keep the pounds off, wishes Maggie's fantasy self in the mirror had not been quite so thin on the book's cover. He also wishes her transformation through weight loss had not been quite so much: 51 pounds in a little more than eight months.

"Now that I see the controversy I would say that I would have had her lose about 30 pounds and still have a little way to go," said Kramer, who is neither a physician nor a nutrition expert.

He said he is just a guy who wants to inspire overweight kids to be healthy.

"I regret that people associated the word 'diet' as me trying to push dieting on 4-year-olds and 6-year-olds. I'm not," Kramer said. "To me, diet means a change of habits, eating nutritiously, losing unhealthy weight."

Leslie Sanders, medical director of the Eating Disorder Program at Goryeb Children's Center in Summit, New Jersey, thinks Kramer's references to dieting in a rhyming picture book featuring a teen girl are unfortunate. The same goes for the notion that a child's key to success, beauty and popularity is being thin.

"There's a mismatch here," Sanders said. "You've got a rhyming book you're reading to a 4-year-old or a 6-year-old about a teenager focused on weight and eating. Why should young children be thinking about weight? There's no reason to have literature about dieting for young children at all."

In addition, most little kids don't sit down as Maggie the teen does once her "diet" begins and whip up their own oatmeal with yogurt and fruit, or prepare their own turkey sandwich with mustard and lettuce, followed by a dinner of vegetables "with various proteins," as the book describes.

You know who makes those choices for little kids? Their parents, Sanders said. The ones that do not appear in the book about Maggie the red pigtailed teen. In fact, there are no adults in the book at all.

That disturbs Arden Greenspan-Goldberg, a New York City psychotherapist who specializes in eating disorders and has a 22-year-old daughter.

"As women and mothers, we have our work cut out for us," she said. "We hope that when our girls look in the mirror, they like what they see."

Contrary to the online flash mob, Maggie does stand up to her tormenters in her own sad, quiet way.

"Most of the times Maggie did not wish to respond or counterattack," Kramer writes. "On rare occasions Maggie got so mad she could not hold back. She said, 'Is your life so boring that you have nothing else better to do? How would you like it and how would you feel if everyone picked on you? So

lose your stinger and make like a bee and buzz on through.'"

Once Maggie drops the weight, she not only gains gal pals but enjoys the attention of, urg, guys, another little something that young girls do not really need to think about.

She also gets higher grades and is invited to her first sleepover, bringing along deodorant spray so she doesn't have to worry about leaving a smell when she uses the bathroom.

Meanwhile, back on the soccer field, the teen encounters a pudgy, smaller girl as she practices and offers some tips. "She reminded Maggie of how Maggie was before she lost the weight," Kramer writes.

The book concludes, as Maggie collects a soccer trophy: "It is sad that people are judged mainly because of how they look. A pretty cover does not necessarily guarantee a good book."

 


READING OUT LOUD IN AN INSIDE VOICE - What motivates US?

I don't have an iPad, Kindle or Nook:  BUT I NOW HAVE ACCESS TO A LIBRARY.  Old school, I am.  (I was also very late in getting a mobile phone and the internet -- you wouldn't expect that from a blogger but it's the truth.)

I took the little ones to the public library last week.  I quickly realized it was difficult to keep a certain small person from READING OUT LOUD IN AN INSIDE VOICE because she didn't really know about libraries and being quiet in them.  I haven't been inside a library -- since -- moving to this town.  Before that, we could walk to the library in our previous town, but I didn't do it often with babies to you know, get MYSELF a book to read.  She will learn, since her big sister was all in her face,

"You do KNOW this is a place where you HAVE TO be quiet?"  

The girls got signed up for library cards -- and picked out books -- each checked out two.  While my four year old was not really interested in a book, since was more interested in the toys.  

"Why do they have toys here?  I thought we were 'posed to be quiet?"  

My soon to be fourth-grader just was thrilled to find a tasseled book-mark.  

It's the little things that motivate us:  like the walk to the library for the promise of a new book, or is it?  After convincing the lady at the check out desk that I Really Did Live In Town, I checked out this book:

 

Book Description -


"Most people believe that the best way to motivate is with rewards like money--the carrot-and-stick approach. That's a mistake, says Daniel H. Pink in Drive. In this provocative and persuasive new book, he asserts that the secret to high performance and satisfaction--at work, at school, and at home--is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world. 

Drawing on four decades of scientific research on human motivation, Pink exposes the mismatch between what science knows and what business does-and how that affects every aspect of life. He examines the three elements of true motivation--autonomy, mastery, and purpose--and offers smart and surprising techniques for putting these into action in a unique book that will change how we think and transform how we live."

I'm just into the first chapter -- and it makes a lot of sense to me.    

The higher the reward, the lower the performance.   People need to be DRIVEN to TRY.  

There needs to be an internal motivation to try -- for various things -- but especially jobs -- beyond income.  

Screen shot 2011-08-28 at 10.18.21 AM The best use of money as a money as a motivator is to MAKE people not WORRY ABOUT MONEY. If you people enough that they aren't concerned about their basic needs, you take the issue off the table.  They no longer have that worry, fear and anxiety constantly stalking them.  (Although, I wonder how much of THAT motivates any number of us.  Mama's gotta pay the electric bill, you know -- you do what you have to.)

According to Pink, paying someone over and beyond their needs does not increase performance for tasks!  Being overpaid doesn't make a person ANY BETTER at their job, or motivated to DO any better.

But, does being underpaid (waves to half of the country...) create a situation where you are constantly stressed PERSONALLY about your situation and does effect your performance AND potentially effect your income?  I think so.

Does this make sense to you?   *goes to read more...*


Cheery, positive people DIE sooner!

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MSNBC -

For decades we’ve been told that stress can kill you, that happy people live longer and that hours in the gym will keep you healthy. Now researchers have turned this kind of long-cherished conventional wisdom on its head. The new mantra: Stress can be goodfor you. Serious people may live longer than those with sunny dispositions. The treadmill may not hold the key to longevity.

Say, WHAT?!  I AM GOING TO LIVE FOR-EVER

Less cheery folks, more room for apathy!  Yay!  CONFETTI! 

Wait, that's not exactly the right response.  So, there's that. 

I'm not really apathetic at all, I just don't understand being positive for no reason.  I need a reason.  Show me why, and I am behind it 100%, positively.

The Longevity Project

These conclusions come from a unique study, which followed 1,500 Californians across eight decades. The study is described in a new book, “The Longevity Project.” Study co-author Leslie Martin says that some of the new results surprised both her and her co-author, Howard Friedman.

Cover
  • Not all stress is the same. If you hate your job, ditch it before the stress kills you. But, if you love your job, don’t sweat the stress.
  • Reach out and touch someone — on a regular basis.  People who connect with friends and family tend to live longer.
  • Don’t make your dog your best friend. Pets are all well and good, but they are no substitute for human contact.
  • Be careful about who you choose to marry. A good marriage may lead to longevity, but a bad marriage – and divorce – can shave years off your life.
  • If you’re an exceedingly sunny person, tone it down a bit. “People tend to think of cheerfulness as good, but we found exactly the opposite,” Martin says. “Cheerful kids lived shorter lives. That was a big shocker.”

Overly optimistic people tend not to be as careful as those who have a more serious take on life. “If you’re one of those people who expects things will always turn out great, you may benefit from listening to the perspectives of others,” Martin says. “Awareness is a key component. And being a little more prepared and a little more risk-averse.”

  • If you hate the gym, don’t go. While it’s good to be fit, you’ll never stick with an exercise regimen that you hate or that bores you.
  • Don’t retire early. A lot of people think that early retirement will help them live longer, but the study shows that the opposite might be true.
  • The Longevity Project

 


"Designated Fat Girl" author, tells us that "Gastric Surgery Cured My Food Addiction."

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I never heard of this author, nor had she been a presence on the message forum this post was placed on before.  These type of posts usually disappear before forum members actually see them, because, well they are spam.  "Hi, buy my book!"  But this time, it's different.  The product is perfectly targeted for our community, a book written by a post gastric bypass patient about her experiences. 

How long does it take to publish a book?  The author had surgery in 2008, and the book was released in 2010.

But, here's the main issue:  the author states that "gastric surgery cured her food addiction."  However, in an article published October 25th, 2010, she was addicted to food.

Wait, what?  How?  That's just... amazing!  If this is true, where is the miracle cure that most of the WLS community is missing out on?  And, if she's got the answer inside this book?  RUN!  DO NOT WALK!  

Personally, years to realize that I   even had an issue WITH food, I laughed at my pre-operative psych testing and nutritional counseling.  "Is this really necessary?"  When I shared the truth of some of my husband's pre-operative eating habits, it was looked upon with shock, not acceptance.  One doesn't get to 370 pounds on vegetables.  (And, seven years later, he still doesn't.) 

Stomach surgery is not going to change what is inherently wrong in your head.

The author states that she's had a gastric bypass in 2008, and that she's cured from food addiction, in two weeks, apparently... as that Salon article was published in October 2010:

"I do make the claim that gastric cured my food addiction...and that's because I am no longer physically able to abuse food.  My experience with gastric has made it so I get violently ill if I attempt to overeat.  Is that everyone's experience?  No, but it is mine, and that is the story I am sharing.  I also had terrible complications from gastric, but I know that's not evereyone's experience either.  This is just my story.  I've often said food addicts are at a real disadvantage because unlike say an alcoholic or drug abuser, a food addict has to continue consuming the substance they abuse...there's no getting away from it.  But one of the advanatages some food addicts has is that with a tool like gastric bypass, they are able to treat their addiction in a way not afforded to other substance abusers.  Does that mean all of my problems went away?  Certainly not, because as anyone with an addiction will tell you, once you stop abusing the substance,  you're left with trying to find out why you're inclined to hurt yourself in the first place.  And that is the really hard problem to work on, one that I am sure I will be saddled with for the rest of my life."

And... she's currently struggling to EAT 1000 calories a day, right now. 

"I'll say this one last thing and then I'm done trying to make my point: I had my surgery two and a half years ago and I struggle to fit in 1,000 calories a day. At my worst, I was eating in excess of 10,000 calories a day. I no longer abuse food. It's just a fact. My surgeon says gastric affects people in different ways (hence all the complications I had)...and one of the effects, for me, is that I can't abuse food. And once I learned I couldn't, I slowly, over time, lost the need or want to do so."

A cure indicates that quite possibly, the problem (food addiction in this case) is gone forever. 

This might indicate that the source of the issue has been altered somehow. 

We are quite aware that the source of overeating and inappropriate eating behaviors is not located in the digestive tract, it's in our brains.  And, so far as I know, the only brain surgery for weight loss is in the trial phases.

The author mentions several instances where she ate until she made herself violently ill, at a very early stage post operatively.  "4-5 times" of entire bags of potato chips.  Is the cure that vomiting and dumping makes her feel so horrid that she no longer has the urge to binge?

The author stated that she struggles currently, to get in 1000 calories.  And, that possibly this results from her complications. 

She explained that her weight loss came easily due to malnutrition.   She had a very rough time. 

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I suppose I could find it very easy to say that I had cured my food addiction if I couldn't EAT either!

As gastric bypass patient who gets dumping syndrome and reactive hypoglycemia nearly daily on random food choices, I understand that you might do ANYTHING TO AVOID GETTING SICK. 

She states:   

"My experience with gastric has made it so I get violently ill if I attempt to overeat."

But, avoiding the normal side effects of a gastric bypass is not "curing food addiction," is it?  Like the author, I cannot overeat because I will get ill.  But, that isn't because I am cured.  That's because I prefer not being ill.

Nor is overeating to the point of esophagus stuffing and subsequent nausea is not a cure.  It's a WARNING.  This is a sensation only weight loss surgery patients KNOW.   Fun stuff right there.

Many of us chose the bypass because of the nasty effects of dumping, and it's slap-your-wrist function.  "Don't eat that ice cream, you will get sick!"  Because, it works.  It's a nasty little reminder.

It's not a cure for food addiction.  I GUARANTEE YOU THAT 100%.  Perhaps gastric bypass triggers a bit of remission, "a relatively prolonged lessening or disappearance of the symptoms of a disease." 

I have countless bypasser friends and acquaintances (raise your hands, or not) whom...

  • fail to get in necessary calories or macro-nutrients
  • have had complications that cause lack of intake
  • overeat
  • eat sugar to fall asleep
  • plan to eat crap at certain times
  • binge
  • eat inappropriate foods "on purpose"
  • eat just enough not to get sick
  • chew and spit
  • lick salty snacks
  • liquefy solids
  • vomit
  • drink liquid calories
  • So on,  so forth, and don't even get started on the transfer of these habits to OTHER issues.

Many will find any way around the bypass, and any way around the "sick."  For those fortunate/not fortunate enough to dump, they have a hard time not avoiding excess junk, as it's just so easy to eat.

Certainly there are other reasons as to why people become morbidly obese to begin with, not simply food addiction or other emotional causes.  Such as medications, illness, and genetics, however:

"Despite obesity having strong genetic determinants, the genetic composition of the population does not change rapidly. Therefore, the large increase in . . . [obesity] must reflect major changes in non-genetic factors." 

Hill, James O., and Trowbridge, Frederick L. Childhood obesity: future directions and research priorities. Pediatrics. 1998; Supplement: 571.

Admittedly, there are some of us who feel somewhat apathetic about food after weight loss surgery.  I don't really care about the food in the way that I did pre-operatively.  But, I would never say that I am cured, because the beast of addiction resurfaces in any way it CAN, even if it doesn't come out a food addiction.  Because of this I must remain cognizant that YES I AM LIKELY TO PICK UP A HABIT.  I am aware that my past as a morbidly obese person stems from over eating.  I am aware that I have family history of obesity AND addiction. 

If I don't fulfill the addiction to FOOD, I will fulfill it SOME OTHER WAY.  Always.  Even with harmless <coffee> habits.  Think about it for a moment.  Since you had weight loss surgery, if food is no longer your OBSESSION?  What IS IT?  I guarantee you replaced it.  (Put down that crochet needle, I see you.  LOL.)

The degree to which learning and memory sustain the addictive process is only now being appreciated. Each time a neurotransmitter like dopamine floods a synapse, scientists believe, circuits that trigger thoughts and motivate actions are etched onto the brain. Indeed, the neurochemistry supporting addiction is so powerful that the people, objects and places associated with drug taking are also imprinted on the brain. Stimulated by food, sex or the smell of tobacco, former smokers can no more control the urge to light up than Pavlov's dogs could stop their urge to salivate.

Read more: https://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,986282-5,00.html#ixzz15eOWfsbt

I am afraid that some of us don't know this going in to our weight loss surgery journey -- and if we hear that "gastric surgery cured my food addiction" -- we're being sold on something that does not exist. 

Unhappy, obese individuals may see weight loss surgery as an answer to their problems. They believe that their lives will become easier if they lose the weight. However, many psychologists believe that without therapy, the addictive behaviors could remain or even become more harmful. As the excitement of losing weight begins to wears off, the underlying unhappiness is still there, and an individual will still try to find some way to fill the void.

https://www.docshop.com/2007/10/22/bariatric-surgery-stands-no-chance-against-an-untreated-food-addiction

I challenge the author to write a book in several years, on the same topic, after reaching and maintaining a massive weight loss without transfer addiction. 

This is a very long interview, and raises about fifty questions worth asking.  

 Related links -


Giveaway - Cowboy & Wills - A heartwarming story.

Would you like a signed copy of the book? Leave a comment below for an entry to win this heart-warming story.

For more information:


101 Medically Proven Tips for Losing Weight - Tip #1

I have a great little book here: Doctor's Orders: 101 Medically-Proven Tips for Losing Weight (Sasse Guides) In this book, there are literally, 101 Medically Proven Tips for Losing Weight.  Dr. Sasse has a line of books, most of which I will be reading and sharing bits of.

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This simple yet powerful tips resource provides meaningful evidence-based practical and effective tips for initial weight loss and long-term weight maintenance. It touches on key topics that help remind us to initiate and ingrain long-term healthy behaviors. It points out small meaningful steps that we can all take on the road to a healthier weight. Take advantage of Dr. Sasse's insight and reading of the scientific literature to make your own weight loss journey a success.

-Amazon

I figured I might share with you a tip or ten as I make my way through the book. 

Immediately upon opening the book, I find something I do wrong. Nearly every single day.

Tip Numero Uno is?!  EAT BREAKFAST. 

Dr. Sasse says that eating breakfast turns on the metabolism and helps you burn more calories throughout the day, and that skipping breakfast might lead to overdoing it with calories later in the day and into the night.  This is an awful pattern that leads to fat storages and weight gain.  Oh.  Really?  *she slinks away*

Beth never eats breakfast.  She's a baaaad girl.  Thing is, I don't wake up hungry, that kicks in.... LATER IN THE DAY.

Dr. Sasse says that you have to make breakfast a habit, like getting up and going to bathroom, you've got to EAT.  Oh.

He also recommends that breakfast is the perfect time to eat a protein bar, a healthy one with lots of protein and little carbs of course, because it won't trigger a blood sugar rush and crash. 

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Which means, my sometimes breakfast of choice is FINE.

It seems so simple, but it really isn't.  Making a habit is difficult.  This is one of those I have to work on, and it's going to take time.

Well, seeing as you're going to be hearing about all of my bad habits if I continue this series of 101, let's hear about you.

  • Do YOU eat breakfast every morning?
  • What do you eat for breakfast?
  • How long do you feel satiated before eating again?
  • Do you feel that your food choices help in maintaining weight loss or losing weight?


© Weight Loss Surgery Channel All Rights Reserved

My Great Big Mamma

I found a great review of "My Great Big Mamma," (a children's book about the love of a young child for his very obese mom) at The Rotund and I had to check it out.
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"Size matters, according to this groundbreaking picture book — and in a good way. Here, a young boy describes his large mother in caring terms — her softness, her warmth, how comfortable and reassuring it is to sit on her lap on the bus. But when she goes on a diet “because of what people say,” he becomes a picky eater himself to show her how foolish she’s being. This remarkable book offers a charming and timely picture of a special relationship between a loving mother and the little boy who understands that people should be appreciated for who they are. Luc Melanson’s vibrant illustrations add resonance to this sweet story."



Dr. Garth Davis, The Expert's Guide to Weight-Loss Surgery

Garth Davis
From Amazon:

"Today, an estimated forty-four million Americans suffer from obesity. For most, the traditional prescription of “eat less, exercise more” simply doesn’t work. Thankfully, there is another option— a proven path to reclaiming quality of life, to curing diabetes and other weight-related diseases, and to living without the constant emotional and physical struggles that being obese entails.

This option is weight loss surgery. Having performed more than one thousand weight loss surgeries in his career, Dr. Garth Davis—star of the hit TLC series Big Medicine—knows, firsthand, the surgery’s ability to transform lives. In The Expert’s Guide to Weight Loss Surgery, Dr. Davis combines cutting-edge medical advice and compassionate guidance into what promises to be the definitive handbook on the topic.

The book features a user-friendly breakdown of the various types of weight loss surgeries available today (gastric bypass vs. adjustable gastric banding vs. sleeve gastrectomy); a no-nonsense guide to finding the right doctor; and words of wisdom from dozens of patients who have undergone WLS. Most important, because weight loss surgery alters the digestive tract’s size and structure, Dr. Davis lays out a complete diet and exercise plan to help ensure that readers’ success is long term. This book should be required reading for anyone seeking a permanent obesity cure.

About the Author Garth Davis, MD, is a bariatric surgeon and star of TLC’s Big Medicine. He is medical director of the Weight Management Center Program at the Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas, and is a frequent speaker and guest lecturer across the country.


You Don't Have To Be A Genius To Know Everything About Weight Loss Surgery.

Just starting your WLS journey

There are a handful of books out there that give you a good overview of the process.  (Also, there are a whole selection of books out there that give you somebody else's life story.)  But, one in particular is a good suggestion for the beginner.  This book doesn't sway you into someone's personal happy butterfly story or triumph over the fatness, it's just the basics.

Weight Loss Surgery For Dummies

Weightlossdummies

"Get the scoop on weight loss surgery    

Your authoritative guide to weight loss surgery — before, during, and after    

Considering weight loss surgery? This compassionate guide helps you determine whether you qualify and gives you the scoop on selecting the best center and surgical team, understanding today's different procedures, and achieving the best results. You also get tips on eating properly post-op and preparing appetizing meals, as well as easing back into your day-to-day life.

Discover how to    

  • Evaluate your surgical options
  • Understand the risks
  • Prepare for surgery
  • Handle post-op challenges
  • Find sources of support

You'll find, that after having spent money on all sorts of books, just to read about someone else's post-op story, that all you really needed to know were the basics.  You want to know HOW to do things, step by step.  If you're anything like me - you also may want to know the dirty details, horror stories, complications and honest-to-gawd truths.  I have yet to find a book that deals with the more REALISTIC post-operative issues, but, I Know Someday I'll Find It.  For now, you've got Weight Loss Surgery For Dummies.


Hairy Potter.

I saw this yesterday.  (Squint a little, it's slightly disturbing to see Harry all nakie with a horsie.)Danielradcliffeequus03
He's apparently riding bareback in a play these days, called Equus.  Anyway, the reason I share Hairy Potter with you?  The next installment of the series of books about Harry Potter is in the pre-order stage.  I've never read the series, but I know some folks out there flock to this stuff like flies to poop, so here:  you can pre-order

I've got the very first book in the series here, never been opened, because, "Why would we read the book if we've already seen the movie Mama?  That's dumb."  I'm glad I'm teaching the kids well. 


Study: Surroundings Play Key Role in Diet

A new study shows that people eat how much they do because of what's available to them.

Source:  Forbes, via AP News:

How many M&MS are enough? It depends on how big the candy scoop is. At least that's a key factor, says a study that offers new evidence that people take cues from their surroundings in deciding how much to eat.

It explains why, for example, people who used to be satisfied by a 12-ounce can of soda may now feel that a 20-ounce bottle is just right. It's "unit bias," the tendency to think that a single unit of food - a bottle, a can, a plateful, or some more subtle measure - is the right amount to eat or drink, researchers propose.

"Whatever size a banana is, that's what you eat, a small banana or a big banana," says Andrew Geier of the University of Pennsylvania. And "whatever's served on your plate, it just seems locked in our heads: that's a meal."

The overall idea is hardly new to diet experts. They point to the supersizing of fast food and restaurant portions as one reason for the surge of obesity in recent decades. They sometimes suggest that dieters use smaller plates to reduce the amount of food that looks like a meal.

But in the June issue of the journal Psychological Science, Geier and colleagues dig into why people are so swayed by this unit idea when they decide how much to eat.

Geier, a Ph.D. candidate who works with people who are overweight or who have eating disorders, figures people learn how big an appropriate food unit is from their cultures. For example, yogurt containers in French supermarkets are a bit more than half the size of their American counterparts. Yet French shoppers don't make up the difference by eating more containers of the stuff, he noted.

He and the other researchers tried a series of experiments using environmental cues to manipulate people's ideas of how big a food unit is.

In one, they put a large bowl with a pound of M&Ms in the lobby of an upscale apartment building with a sign: "Eat Your Fill ... please use the spoon to serve yourself." The candy was left out through the day for 10 days, sometimes with a spoon that held a quarter-cup, and other times with a tablespoon.

Sure enough, people consistently took more M&Ms on days when the bigger scoop was provided, about two-thirds more on average than when the teaspoon was present.

In another experiment, a snacking area in an apartment building contained a bowl with either 80 small Tootsie Rolls or 20 big ones, four times as large. Over 10 working days, the bowl was filled with the same overall weight of candy each day. But people consistently removed more, by weight, when it was offered in the larger packages.

In those experiments, as well as a similar one with pretzels, "unit bias" wasn't the only thing that produced the differences in consumption levels, but it had an influence, Geier and colleagues concluded.

Brian Wansink, director of Cornell University's Food and Brand Lab and author of the forthcoming book "Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think," called the new paper an impressive demonstration of the effect in a real-world setting. He has done similar work but didn't participate in Geier's research.

So can all this help dieters?

Some food companies are introducing products in 100-calorie packages, and Geier thinks that could help hold down a person's consumption. He also suspects companies could help by displaying the number of servings per container more prominently on their packaging.

As for what dieters can do on their own, Geier said one of his overweight patients offered a suggestion for restaurant visits: Request that the meal be split in two in the kitchen, with half on the plate and the other half packaged to take home.

In any case, an earlier experiment of Geier's shows that the unit bias effect has its limits.

He had one dining hall at his university provide 10-ounce glasses for soda, and a second provide 16-ounce glasses. He predicted that students at the first hall would drink less soda. In fact, they drank more.

Only later did he find out what went wrong.

"They were taking two glasses at a time," he said. "I guess I went below what is culturally construed as a unit of soda."


Living Large: A Big Man's Ideas on Weight, Success, and Acceptance- New Book

This guy says we can be fat and happy.  I haven't read it, but, whatever.  It's a different perspective as a man, a man pushing age 70, dude, be happy.

"Obesity, however, has always plagued him. Berman, 66, and 5-foot-9, now weighs 239 pounds. He has weighed as little as 215 and as much as 332 -- a weight he attained after Mondale's disastrous 1984 presidential campaign. He has battled obesity most of his life and documented that struggle in a book written with Laurence Shames, "Living Large: A Big Man's Ideas on Weight, Success, and Acceptance."

In the book, Berman says that his inability to lose weight successfully is a disease much akin to alcoholism, but, unlike a beer, one cannot avoid eating food if he wants to live a healthy life. "Normal-weight people don't get this," said Berman, who is a member of the National association to Advance Fat Acceptance. "Even fat people don't get it. I've come to learn it's a chronic disease and there's no magic pill. All of the diets worked. I lost weight, but I couldn't keep it off. That's part of the disease. You may lose the weight, but you haven't lost the problem that caused you to gain weight in the first place and so you gain it back."

Berman is unique because most of the people who discuss being overweight are women who are more likely to be affected by society's prejudices. Even Berman said he avoided dating overweight women when he was younger. When he married his wife, Carol, to whom the book is dedicated, he weighed 290 pounds and she weighed 125. "I was shallow for the moment," said Carol Berman, 65. "But I invited him in because I didn't want to be totally rude. We started to talk. He asked me about myself, and he was such a good conversationalist. We had a lot in common. I was won over, and we ended up going out to dinner. Luckily I'm not shallow, but I was 24 years old and I was looking for someone who was handsome and looked good on my arm." In the end, she proposed to him. Women, Berman said, have much more to think about than men when it comes to weight. Female clothing styles are constantly changing while Berman said he had been wearing the same kind of outfit since he was 18. "First of all, it's a subject, like many personal subjects, men don't like to talk about," he said. "Women are more willing to share the pain that men aren't. Secondly, fat men do have an easier time than fat women both in employment and social life. … When's the last time you saw an average-size guy with a fat woman?"

Berman said that he went through nine years of therapy and was never able to stop gaining weight. At one point, he was in the hospital, undergoing supervised fasting. He hallucinated, seeing cheeseburgers floating in the air. He and his doctors decided it was time to stop and go home. In the end, he concluded that the point of life was not to be thin, but to be happy."