Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I'm too fat - and not like the Happy Buddha

Rawstory.com; Wisdom Quarterly

The historical Buddha was well proportioned, never fat. Before reaching enlightenment he fasted to the point of anorexia, so severe were his austerities. The middle way between fasting and indulging proved to be the way to enlightenment. The body is a vehicle for spirituality not an obstacle.

The obese or Fat Buddha (Budai) is actually a folkloric deity who serves as a symbol of good luck in China. In Japan he is called Hotei or Duncan Royale Hoteiosho where he has been adapted into Santa Claus, having once been a Zen monk who gave out candy to children from a cloth sack.

He is the "Happy "Buddha (actually a bodhisattva striving to be a buddha, or Maitreya the next Buddha-to-be himself) seen in nearly every Chinese restaurant interested in business success. He is no example of health-success.

If "health is wealth," of what use is being rich but morbidly obese? Of course, most of us are fat NOT because of overeating but because of poor eating (too many processed foods, empty calories, carbs that make us hungry and fat at the same time, as Gary Taubes has explained so well).

Stress and hormonal disruptions also add to our tragic situation -- living in the Realm of Hungry Ghosts starving as we grow fatter and fatter, eating more only to feel hungrier. The best place to find fat, unhealthy Americans is wherever people eat along federal guidelines. Who eats the "Four Food Groups" exclusively according to the old Food Pyramid? People on Indian reservations, federal prisoners, overweight kids in public schools...

Hormone helps obese shed weight
An appetite-curbing hormone found in the gut may help overweight and obese people shed weight, lower blood pressure, and reduce cholesterol levels, according to a study released [Jan. 11, 2012].

Known as glucagon-like peptide-1, or GLP-1, the hormone is naturally secreted from the intestine when we eat.

Recently, doctors have begun to use GLP-1 to treat patients with Type 2 diabetes due to the molecule’s ability to regulate sugar levels in the blood.

But they also noticed that the hormone appeared to make patients less hungry, raising the question of whether it could work as a treatment for obesity.

A team of researchers led by Tina Vilsboll of the University of Copenhagen designed a study to find out. Reviewing medical literature, they analyzed the results of 25 clinical trials involving over 6,000 patients who had been given GLP-1. More

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