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You are viewing: H4H Monographs - 
Natural Weight Management (NWM) - History of Obesity - Level 2
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H4H Monograph

H4H Natural Weight Management
(NWM)

Weight loss is not about will power
but it is about management.


01. History of Obesity

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"3F"
Fat Free Forever

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Natural Weight Management
(NWM)
00. "3F" Assessment & Introduction

Natural Weight Management
(NWM)
01. 
History of Obesity

Natural Weight Management
(NWM)
02. Conventional Weight Control

Natural Weight Management
(NWM)
03. 
The Role of "3F"

Natural Weight Management
(NWM)
04. How "3F" Works

Natural Weight Management
(NWM)
05. The "3F Protocol

Natural Weight Management
(NWM)
06. The "3F" Protocol Explained

Natural Weight Management
(NWM)
07. Encountering Problems

Natural Weight Management
(NWM)
08. "3F" Requirements

Natural Weight Management
(NWM)
09. "3F" Performance Log

Natural Weight Management
(NWM)
10. "3F " Results

Natural Weight Management
(NWM)
11. "3F " Ways to Celebrate

Natural Weight Management
(NWM)
12. Is "3F" Value for Money

01. History of Obesity

Old Stone Age
Human obesity is clearly pictured in Stone Age artefacts, in particular numerous figurines have been found within a 2000-kilometre band crossing Europe from South-Western France to Southern Russia.

Old Stone Age (Palaeolithic) statuettes, produced some 23 00025 000 years ago, were made of ivory, limestone or terracotta. The earliest indications of obesity can be traced back to the first modern humans in Europe about 35,000 years ago. In those days, effective storage of energy (i.e., fat) in times of plenty was very important to survive the next famine.

Venus of Willendorf
Venus of Willendorf

Maybe the most famous and earliest proof of obesity is the Venus of Willendorf, an 11-centimetre figurine of an obese female torso, found in Austria,which probably had a major role in rituals. Typical of many such figurines, the Venus shows clear abdominal obesity and drooping breasts.

New Stone Age           

The New Stone Age (Neolithic) period, between 8000 and 5500 B.C., was the first time in history that man began to own property, domestic animals, and live in houses. This era also produced numerous statuettes representing obesity, most important the Mother Goddess artefacts found especially in modern
Turkey (Anatolia). Similar figures from this period have been found in many other sites in Europe and other continents. Anthropological studies suggest that hunter-gatherers were typically lean and that overt overweight was unusual; although the increased ability to store energy as fat would have clear survival benefits.

This fact makes these representations of severe obesity all the more striking.

Ancient Egypt
Obesity has been a part of the medical traditions of several different cultures, for a long time. Ancient Egyptian stone reliefs show sporadic obese people, such as a cook in Ankh-ma-Hors tomb (Sixth Dynasty; 23402180 B.C.), and a fat man enjoying food presented to him by his lean servant, in Mererukas tomb. Ancient Egyptians are said to regard obesity as a disease, having been drawn in a wall of portrayal of illnesses. Studies of the reconstructed skin folds of royal mummies suggest that some were fat, including Queen Inhapy, Hatshepsut and King Ramses III. In general, it appears that plump people were not uncommon in ancient Egypt, at least among the higher classes. Obesity was certainly not the Egyptian beauty ideal, which instead featured long, slender legs, narrow hips with high breasts, and golden skin. The Egyptians would draw their enemies as obese individuals.

Elsewhere in the world, corpulent human figures are depicted in artefacts from the ancient Mesopotamian civilization in the basin of the Rivers Tigris and Euphrates, and from the Meso-American cultures of the Incas, Mayans and Aztecs.The Aztecs believed that obesity was supernatural, a misfortune of the Gods. They had a sophisticated vocabulary for obesity and locations of specific fat deposits, including a double chin and a beer belly.

Eastern traditions
The Hindu physicians, Sushrut (Susrata) and Charak (500-400 B.C.) are credited with very early recognition of the sugary taste of diabetic urine, and also observed that the disease often affected indolent, overweight people who ate excessively, especially sweet and fatty foods.So Sushrut related obesity to diabetes and heart disorders. He recommended physical work to help cure it and its side effects.

Sushrata statue
Sushrata's (500 BC) statue
Father of surgery & first
to link diabetes with obesity

Gautama Buddha (500 BC) founder of Buddhism taught a Middle Way between sensual indulgence and the severe asceticism found in the Sramana (renunciation) movement common in his region of Northern India Images of the Buddha however invariably show a corpulent figure which hardly sites comfortably with a Middle Way. A disciple named Vakkali was so obsessed by Buddha's physical presence that the Buddha is said to have felt impelled to tell him to desist and to have reminded him that he should know the Buddha through the Dhamma and not through physical appearances. Rather a case of do as I say and not what I do.

Gautama Buddha
Gautama Buddha - His Middle Way philosophy
seems reflected as corpulence in himself.


The seventeenth century Tibetan medical essay with the name The Blue Beryl recognized obesity as a condition that required treatment through weight loss. The author, Sangye Gyamtso, noted scholar and Regent of Tibet also wrote that overeating causes illness and shortens lifespan. He made two suggestions for treating obesity, namely the vigorous massage of the body with pea flour, and eating the gullet, hair and flesh of a wolf (which was also recommended to treat goitre and oedematous states).

Ancient China was aware of obesity and the dangers that come with it. They have always been believers of prevention as a key to longevity. The texts tolled Gobi berries for strengthening the liver, preventing obesity, and fortifying the-Qi-(chi) or life force.

For most of human history mankind struggled with food scarcity, obesity has therefore historically been viewed as a sign of wealth and prosperity. It was common among high officials in Europe in the middle Ages and the Renaissance as well as in Ancient East Asian civilizations.

In certain cultures and areas where food is scarce and poverty is prevalent obesity is viewed as a symbol of wealth and social status.

To date, an African tribe purposely plumps up a bride to prepare her for child bearing. Before a wedding can be set, a slim bride is pampered to gain weight until she reaches the suitable weight. So obesity is still seen as a sign of wealth and well-being in many parts of Africa.

Hippocrates, Greece and Rome
The health hazards related to obesity were well known to the Ancient Greek physician Hippocrates (470 350 BC), who stated that sudden death is more common in those who are naturally fat than in the lean... "Corpulence is not only a disease itself, but the harbinger of others". Greek physicians also noted that obesity was a cause of irregular menses and infertility in women.The Greeks were the first to recognize obesity as a medical disorder. Many cultures throughout history have viewed obesity as the result of a character flaw. The obesus or fat character in Greek comedy was a glutton and figure of mockery. Hippocrates, considered the Father of Medicine, believed that obesity led to infertility and even death.

Hippocrates
Hippocrates
the Father of Medicine

Hippocrates correctly identified the energy balance equation:
         Energy cannot be created or destroyed.
         Energy is either used or stored.
         When calories in are greater than calories out then body weight increases.
         When calories in are less than calories out then body weight decreases.

Post Hippocrates
After Hippocrates laid the basis for understanding energy and weight management within the human body, another two thousand years went by before the general public in Europe, in the early 1600s, began to recognize diet and exercise as means to preserving one's health.

Anorexia was commonly prevalent during the Roman Empire, but interestingly enough, seemed to disappear during the medieval ages. During this time it was assumed the more you weighed, represented a higher social status. Obesity was seen as wealth, and to be thin meant one would be labelled poor. Concerned that diet maintained their health, the ancients recognized that the quantity and quality of food were equally important. Their method of portion control was rather primitive. They vomited and purged themselves three times a month.

The Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned the period roughly from the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe.

As a cultural movement, it encompassed the flowering of literature based on classical sources, the development of linear perspective in painting rendering a more natural reality, a gradual and widespread educational reform,  in politics it contributed the development of the conventions of diplomacy, and in science an increased reliance on observation.

Surprisingly most doctors in this period had no idea about the cause of obesity. Many considered it was due to sin or diseases. Physicians of the time did not believe that what you ate had a direct impact on your body and on your general health. People typically ate bread, potatoes, pastry, puddings and cakes, and served their meat with thick gravies. Alcohol was part of daily life. Basically, people of that time ate as much as they could afford! After all, a big belly was a sign of wealth.

Rubens's women
Rubens's women
Round, rosy & full bodied

Although corpulence was generally absent in earlier Greek and Roman cultures probably in keeping with their ideals regarding moderation during the Renaissance the upper class began flaunting their large size, as can be seen in portraits of Henry the VIII and Alessandro Del Borro. Rubens (15771640) regularly portrayed full-bodied women in his pictures, from which derives the term Rubenesque. These women, however, still maintained the "hourglass" shape with its relationship to fertility.

Around the 17th century
At that time links between diet, disease, and health were clearly acknowledged. Study after study emphasized the benefits of leanness and the dangers of corpulence. The term obesity (from French obesite and Latin eobesitas) was first used in 1650 by the English physician and medical writer, Dr. Tobias Venner. With the industrial revolution of the 19th century, England saw a growing plenitude of food coupled with an increasingly inactive lifestyle. The result was a vast growth in obesity among the middle and upper classes.

Dr Tobias Venner
Dr Tobias Venner

Unfortunately, as the medical society and the public in general began to look at obesity and its complications as serious health problems, knowledge on how to reverse it, especially permanently, remained unclear! Surprisingly, most 17th century doctors had no idea about its cause. Many thought obesity was due to sin or diseases.

Physicians of the time did not believe that what you ate had a direct impact on your body and on your general health. People typically ate bread, potatoes, pastry, puddings and cakes, and served their meat with thick gravies. Alcohol was part of daily life. Basically, people of that time ate as much as they could afford! After all, a big belly was a sign of wealth.

Around the 18th Century
During the early 1830s, Reverend Sylvester Graham was the first American to relate food choices to health. He condemned the sin of gluttony, recommending a bland, vegetarian diet as the cure. Dr. Graham developed a recipe and encouraged people to eat flat bread made of coarse whole wheat flour. However, people who ate his Graham Cracker were described as pale and sickly. Reverend Graham became known as Dr. Sawdust, not a very good start to reversing obesity, but these were the first efforts made to cure the condition.

Dr Graham's biscuit
Dr Graham's biscuit

Around the 19th Century
Across the Atlantic Ocean, in the early 19th century Dr William Wadd, a physician of the English Court, finally touched the heart of the matter. He connected overindulgence at the table with the dangerous conditions that resulted from an excess of fat deposits in the body.

Dr. Wadd's first principle of treatment was taking food that has little nutrition in it. He pointed out that many physicians refused to treat obese patients because they did not recognize the growing obesity epidemic of the early 1800s as a real and dangerous disease. That was in 1800. If the increase of wealth and the refinement of modern times have tended to banish plague and pestilence from our cities, they have probably introduced to us the whole train of nervous disorders, and increased the frequency of corpulence. It is undoubtedly a singular circumstance that a disease which had been thought characteristic of the inhabitants of this island, should have been so little attended to.

In 1850, the medical profession in Europe had accepted the theory of German chemist Baron Justus von Liebig that carbohydrate and fat supplied the carbon which, combined with oxygen in the lungs, produced body heat. In terms of this theory, carbohydrate and fat were respiratory foods and the cause of obesity was believed to be an overindulgence of them. Dr. Liebig's patients were cut off from food for as long as possible and almost starved themselves to death. He urged the establishment of an hourly watch over the instinctive desires of his patients. Although this was only the first organized attempt to reverse obesity, a more humane treatment was needed. Nevertheless, the importance of limiting food intake to treat obesity became fairly well accepted by the mid 1800s. The challenge was then, as it still is today, the unbearable hunger that always accompanies the reduction of food consumption.

Diet hunger
Diet hunger

4 London Doctors Uncover the Secrets of Weight Loss
During the 19th century, three English doctors: Horace Dobell (1826-1916), Isaac Burney Yeo (1835-1914) and John Ayrton Paris (1785-1856) turned their attention to the growing problem of obesity, researching methods and assisting obese individuals in overcoming their weight-related issues. They came to the conclusion that the excess food and increasingly inactive lifestyle of 19th century England conflicted with the body's biological need to efficiently store energy (i.e. fat) in times of plenty to survive the next famine. They recognized that quick fixes and miracle solutions offered no answer to this problem.

Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, alerted his readers in 1825 to the dangers of fad diets. He warned against the common use of so called venagar to lose weight and was one of the first advocates of limiting carbs. His book, The Physiology of Taste is one of the first important books on food.

Dr Burney (1842) Unravels the Secret to Successful Weight Loss
Humans, like animals, are motivated by four basic drives: hunger, thirst, sex, and the need for security. Hunger and sex are the strongest, being necessary for the survival of our species. Dr. Burney-famous for his Yeo's Treatment (treatment of obesity by giving large amounts of hot drinks and withholding carbohydrates) noted that the sensation of hunger, although involving mainly the stomach, originates in the brain. Additionally, as this sensation is one of the most basic of the human emotions, its regulation must occur slowly and with the greatest care. Hunger that is not satisfied creates morbid cravings, as Dr. Burney wrote. Probably the main reason why so many diets fail is that they ignore what Dr. Burney calls our most basic of all drives hunger.

The Four Motivations
Hunger.thirst,
sex & security

Before we even started to count calories, points, fat, carbs or protein, and other metrics we use to help us regulate our food intake, Drs. Dobell and Burney had already gathered that all of these methods were too complicated. Both doctors noted that dietary changes should be based on the individual's unique requirements concerning age, gender, and activity level. However, 1865 was the age of vapours, elixirs, potions, and liniments. Telling an upper class, overweight lawyer that his excessive eating caused the fat around his belly and that he had to physically exercise like a farm hand was problematic and almost drove Dr. Burney out of practice.

One of the earliest monographs on this subject published in 1760, Flemyng caught the essence of obesity as a disease when he said:

Corpulence, when in an extraordinary degree, may be reckoned a disease, as it in some measure obstructs the free exercise of the animal functions; and has a tendency to shorten life, by paving the way to dangerous distempers.

With the publication in 1900 of two cases of obesity associated with injury to the hypothalamus, Babinski and Frhlich provided the first clear cut evidence for etiological factors for this disease.

Around the 20th Century
Throughout the history of obesity, the public's view and status of obesity changed considerably in the 1900's. With the onset of the industrial revolution it was realized that the military and economic might of nations were dependent on both the body size and strength of their soldiers and workers. Increasing the average body mass index from what is now considered underweight to what is now the normal range played an important role in the development of industrialized cultures.Height and weight thus both increased through the 19th century in the developed world. It was regarded as unfashionable by the French designer, Paul Poiret who designed skin-revealing clothes for women. About the same time, the frequency of obesity began to increase and become widespread. During the 20th century, as populations reached their genetic potential for height, weight began increasing much more than height, resulting in obesity.

Grwoth of the Warrior class
Growth of the
Warrior class

Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a leading cause of anovulatory infertility. It was originally described as a syndrome by Stein and Leventhal in 1935. Its frequent connection to obesity and the beneficial effects of weight loss are well established.

Later in the 1940's, Metropolitan Life Insurance published a chart of ideal weights for various heights. They also advocated that weight gain parallel to age is not ok. The government and the medical society became more hands-on with obesity by initiating a campaign against it.

In the 1950s increasing wealth in the developed world reduced child mortality, but as body weight increased heart and kidney disease became more common.During this time period insurance companies realized the connection between weight and life expectancy and increased premiums for the obese.

This led up to a study of risk factors of cardiovascular diseases revealing obesity among the high ranks. Since then various diet and exercise programs have emerged.

In 1996, the Body Mass Index (BMI) was published. This statistical calculation and index determined if a person is obese or not. At this time, obesity incidence have climbed, led by children and adolescent obesity, tripling in just a few short years, greater than any number in the history of obesity.

In modern Western culture, excess weight is often regarded as unattractive, and obesity is often associated with different negative stereotypes. People of all ages can face social stigmatization, and may be targeted by bullies or shunned by their peers. Obesity is once again a reason for discrimination.

Public understanding in Western society regarding healthy body weight differ from those regarding the weight that is considered ideal and both have changed since the beginning of the 20th century. The weight that is viewed as an ideal has become lower since the 1920s. This is illustrated by the fact that the average height of Miss America pageant winners increased by 2% from 1922 to 1999, while their average weight decreased by 12%. On the other hand, people's views concerning healthy weight have changed in the opposite direction. In Britain the weight at which people considered themselves to be overweight was significantly higher in 2007 than in 1999. These changes are believed to be due to increasing rates of adiposity leading to increased acceptance of extra body fat as being normal.

A Christian perspective
In 1328, the French Rabbi Levi Ben Gershom (1288-1344 AD), in a detailed commentary on the Bible, states that: ...it is recognized that excess fat and obesity are reasons for infertility. He explains that Sarah and Rachel allowed Abraham and Jacob respectively to have children with their maids, expecting this to reduce their own appetite, lead to weight loss and consequent conception.

The vocar of Dibley3
The vicar of Dibley
(People's perception differs from
that of thr abstemious cleric)

We have all seen or heard of the the seven deadly sins. Gluttony is one of those sins although in the bible gluttony is not listed in the law as a sin. It is mentioned in the book of proverbs saying that it will lead to poverty. Gluttony is a form of greed and it can be related to the sin of covetousness. Part of covetousness is a desire to have more than what we need

When the Israelites left Egypt there was not one feeble one among them. Probably the most talked about diet in the bible is that of Daniel. Daniel refused to eat the food of Babylon, instead he ate a vegetarian diet. The bible says that it not only made his physical appearance and his countenance better, but it also made him stronger and wiser than all the other men around him.

We have taken God out of the provision business and have created our own food chain. The Babylonian food chain. God created the food and we have perverted His creation because of greed. In other parts of the world food is grown and produced in a much simpler wholesome fashion. They eat way less chemicals and preservatives. What we have produced in America is addictive drugs, not food. Most processing of food increases the fat and sugar content in food so that flavor is increased. Why do we need this heightened flavor, when God already gave food a natural flavor? Preservatives should not be in food either. Food is supposed to spoil and rot. It is God's way of telling us it has gone bad and we are not supposed to eat it. A chicken is supposed to take 8 months to reach maturity, but with steroids and growth hormones, they can have a chicken to market in six weeks.

The old saying goes, you are what you eat. If those steroids and growth hormones are making our food bigger and fatter, what do you think it is doing to us and our bodies? We have to be smarter about our choices and about our diet in general

You are what you eat
You are what you eat

For further information
in order to make a fully informed choice contact 

Dr. Peter Darashah

Ph.D.,M.Sc (Lond), B.Sc., DIHom (Pract),FBIH, MARH

Nutrition Consultant & Homeopathic Physician

(087) 2621943
Consultations held at:
Dervish Holistic Cebtre, 50 Cornmarket Str., Cork.

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Weignt Management Logo
Natural Weight Management (NWM)

Venus of Willendorf
Venus of Willendorf

Sushrata statue
Sushrata's  statue 
The father of surgery

Gautama Buddha
Gautana Buddha
Founder of Buddhism

 

Hippocrates
Hippocrates the Father of Medicine

Rubens's women
Rubens's women Round, rosy & full bodied

Dr Tobias Venner
Dr Tobias Venner

Dr Graham's biscuit
Dr. Graham's biscuit

Diet hunger
Diet hunger

The Four Motivations
Hunger,thirst,
sex & secuirity

Grwoth of the Warrior class
Growth of the Warrior class

The vocar of Dibley
The vicar of Dibley
(People's perception differ from taht of the abstemious cleric) 

You are what you eat
You are what you eat

 

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