“Restrict the pushers” who cause obesity, says George Monbiot

Mr. Monbiot recently wrote an article that made me seriously rethink my beliefs around the growing obesity epidemic. See what you think.

In laboratory animal experiments, “eating addiction” is stronger than cocaine addiction. And because the body biologically adapts to obesity, “changes in lifestyle that might have prevented it are unlikely to be of use in curing it.”

Obesity is an incurable disease, with sufferers at best able to live with it in remission, if they are able to lose weight. And because of the indelibility of those biological changes, people in remission from obesity must consume 300 calories fewer per day than people who had never been obese, just to avoid weight gain.

“The evidence [for the obesity epidemic] points to high-fat, high-sugar foods that overwhelm the impulse control of children and young adults, packaged and promoted to create the impression that they are fun, cool and life-enhancing.

“The only humane and effective means of addressing the obesity epidemic is to prevent more from being hooked, by restricting the pushers.

“As far as nutritional content is concerned, food manufacturing is effectively unregulated.”

George Monbiot’s article in full – Slim Chance.

Stephen Hawking among those warning against starting global AI arms race

In an open letter published by the Future of Life Institute, researchers warn that “the stakes are high: autonomous weapons have been described as the third revolution in warfare, after gunpowder and nuclear arms. It will only be a matter of time until they appear on the black market and in the hands of terrorists.”

“Just as most chemists and biologists have no interest in building chemical or biological weapons, most AI researchers have no interest in building AI weapons – and do not want others to tarnish their field by doing so, potentially creating a major public backlash against AI that curtails its future societal benefits.”

Signatories include Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and Tesla co-founder Elon Musk, and all are asking members of the public to add their name to the letter. You can do that here.

*The gender disparity in academia and business is made obvious here as the “household” names from the list of signatories are all male.

Using sport for equality

“When girls and women play sport, everybody wins.” Following on from the inequality highlighted by the Women’s World Cup in football, two recent articles discuss the ways sport can be a life-changing influence in the lives of young girls around the world. From making them stronger and healthier to more confident and for use as an avenue in spreading knowledge (“including to prevent early and life-threatening pregnancies and diseases like HIV/AIDS”), the effects of sport can be felt far into the community. “This ripple effect is positive and powerful. Time and again, evidence tells us that when countries champion healthy, empowered girls and women, families are healthier, communities are stronger and economies are more resilient.”

Be kind to humankind week

What will you do?

  1. Show them that you care
    Sacrifice Our Wants For Others Needs Sunday
  2. Drive Courteously
    Motorist Consideration Monday
  3. Spread kindness, one heart at a time
    Touch-A-Heart Tuesday
  4. Offer a helping hand
    Willing-To-Lend-A-Hand Wednesday
  5. Treat others well
    Thoughtful Thursday
  6. Come together
    Forgive Your Foe Friday
  7. Say something nice
    Speak Kind Words Saturday


At present we know only that the imagination, like certain wild animals, will not breed in captivity. George Orwell