Really? Fat people keep getting fatter - AI Wrote This

Edward Tsang
6 min readNov 10, 2019

It’s no accident. A study conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA) found that over the past 25 years, “average daily rates of obesity and overweight increased among adults between the ages of 18 and 64.”

The study found that “people of normal weight were three times more likely to be obese and five times more likely to be overweight than those who were overweight.” The reason, according to the researchers, was that people who are obese and overweight are more likely to eat a “high-calorie, nutrient-poor diet, which leads to weight gain, high blood pressure, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.”

Stop reading this. It took me a few minutes to generate and edit this article using GPT-2 (that’s back in 2019, way before ChatGPT which I updated with another version below) model and I have not checked any of the facts and figures. But it is a good illustration of how dangerous AI can be. Jump right to the bottom to read more about the AI text generator impact. Thanks. I have now included another version of the generated text of this fictitious topic by ChatGPT at the end of this article.

But the real kicker? This was happening before the internet. The researchers believe that as more people became aware of the “caloric density” of the food they were eating, they started to eat more food.

The same thing happened with the increase in smoking, drinking, and obesity. It was just easier to find people who shared a common interest.

Public health experts said that they were alarmed by the continuing rise in obesity among adults and by the fact that efforts to educate people about the health risks of a poor diet do not seem to be working.

“This is a serious public health problem that has got to be tackled,” said Dr. Andrew Lane, chairman of obesity research at the Institute for Social Research in London. “And I think that this really highlights the fact that the health system needs a big push.”

In the United States, the nation’s leading obesity advocacy organization, the American Obesity Association, called the new figures “shocking.”

“The rise in obesity in the United States is not the result of people simply putting on weight because of economic hardship. The problem is much more complex than that,” said Dr. Robert Lustig, the association’s scientific director.

In fact, it may be the opposite. Obesity in the United States is rising because the amount of money we spend on health care is rising. If we spend less on health care, we can afford more food and have more people on diets. The same thing could be happening in the United Kingdom, except we don’t have as many people in the UK on diets. In the US, the rise in obesity and the rise in medical care expenditures are connected . It is not the case that people are simply choosing to eat more calories and have more money. We’re simply spending more money. If people had more money, they would spend it on less food, and the obesity problem would go away.

There is no such thing as a free lunch, and it isn’t the case that people are simply choosing to eat more calories and have more money. In fact, the opposite is true. As soon as they have more money, they will want more food, and they will have more people

The new figures are based on the most recent surveys of people ages 20 to 69, conducted by the federal government from 2003 to 2006. Among adults, obesity rates rose sharply in the 1980s, reaching more than 32 percent in 2003. The increase in obesity rates between 2003 and 2006 was greatest among blacks.

Below is what ChatGPT generated on the fictitious topic in 2023.

It is important to approach this question with sensitivity and empathy, as weight and body size are complex and sensitive topics. It is also important to note that not all fat people are getting fatter, and that weight gain or obesity can be influenced by a variety of factors.

However, there are several potential reasons why some people who are already overweight or obese may continue to gain weight over time. One factor is the phenomenon of metabolic adaptation. When people lose weight, their metabolism can slow down, which means that they burn fewer calories at rest than they did when they were heavier. This can make it more difficult to maintain weight loss over time, and can sometimes lead to weight regain or further weight gain.

Another potential factor is the effect of chronic stress on the body. When people experience stress, their bodies release the hormone cortisol, which can increase appetite and promote the storage of fat. Over time, chronic stress can lead to ongoing cortisol release, which can contribute to weight gain or difficulty losing weight.

Environmental factors can also play a role in weight gain or difficulty losing weight. For example, living in a neighborhood without safe places to exercise, or in a place with limited access to healthy food options, can make it more difficult for people to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Additionally, socioeconomic factors such as poverty, lack of education, or limited access to healthcare can also impact a person’s ability to manage their weight.

Another potential factor is the impact of weight stigma and discrimination. When people experience discrimination or negative attitudes based on their weight, it can impact their mental health and well-being. This can lead to stress and anxiety, which can in turn contribute to weight gain or difficulty losing weight.

Finally, it is important to recognize that every person’s body is unique, and weight and weight management can be influenced by a variety of factors, including genetics, metabolism, and hormonal balance. For some people, it may be more difficult to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight due to underlying biological factors.

In summary, there are several potential reasons why some people who are already overweight or obese may continue to gain weight over time. These factors include metabolic adaptation, chronic stress, environmental factors, weight stigma and discrimination, and individual biological factors. Addressing these underlying causes will require a holistic and compassionate approach that takes into account the complex interplay of social, psychological, and physiological factors that influence weight and body size.

AI Text Generation can be dangerous to society, or just a very good way to kill productivity.

I have not checked any of the facts and figures. It took me a few minutes to generate and edit most of the above using GPT-2 model back in 2019, way back when it was still living up to the “open” part of OpenAI. GPT-3 was launched as closed source a year or so later and then new the world is paying for using ChatGPT. We have been worrying about generative AI since 2019, (text-generating AI which its creator claimed was too dangerous to release to public a few months ago). But it is a good illustration of how dangerous AI can be.

What’s if these baseless articles are generated to a 1000:1 ratio and even Google can’t tell if they were generated or not? Will “a lie repeated a thousand times becomes truth”, how about a million times? Will it bring down Google’s pagerank and stop people from using search engines if the accuracy of search results drop significantly? On the other side, can Facebook and Amazon use more meaningless content to engage with you and sell more ads or products?

Will we stop believing in all or most articles online and only get information from trusted sources? Who are they? And how to confirm that they are right? How do we hold them accountable? Legislation? Consensus?

Quality content, good for the mind and soul, is expensive to produce. Using AI to generate random readable meaningless text is much cheaper. Not suggesting the randomly generated text could or should be a substitute quality content. But cost and value are very different things. For most, that’s over 50% of population, they can’t tell for sure if the content they read is valuable or not. The ROI of using such meaningless text is much higher for readers who can’t tell such value and millions of dollars will be made from the “harmful” use of this technology.

I think blockchain and AI can help to solve this. Use blockchain to store such trusted information from verified sources in an immutable way. Use tokenomics to assign the right value to truth. And of course, AI to fix the problem it helped to create.

I am a big fan of Brave browser, if you are into blockchain and crypto, should try it, make a little crypto from your regular web browsing.

Notes: The auto tagging system on Medium is good enough to know that this article is all about “health”.

--

--

Edward Tsang

Experienced technologist, focused on selective combinations of blockchain and AI. I use Medium to repost what I share on https://evolvingviews.com.