Finding answers on Obesity in America and around the World.
In a study I found from researchers at the University of Florida of formerly obese people, stated that almost all said that they would rather be blind, deaf or have a leg amputated than be obese again. Sad isn’t it? That is how great our wish to be slim is and yet two-thirds of people in the UK, USA and Australia are overweight and one-quarter obese. Why?
To be slim, to make the thing we want more than our sight, hearing, or mobility, we are told that we just need to “eat less and or do more.” Quite specifically, the advice is “One pound of fat has 3,500 calories, so to lose one pound a week you need a deficit of 500 calories a day.”
So, why don’t we just follow the advice? Why on earth do we have obesity problems, let alone an epidemic, when we so desperately want to be slim?
That is a big question. Why? I am hoping to find some answers for myself and you, with research and break it down in smaller bits, so that we can all try to understand. Will you join me on my journey into the world of obesity?
My research showed that the obvious starting point for understanding the obesity epidemic should be what changed in the late 1970’s to early 1980’s? Was there one thing that happened that could explain the sudden and dramatic increase in obesity?
In 1977, the USA changed its public health diet advice. In 1983 the UK followed suit. A more accurate description would be that we did a complete turn around in our diet advice from “starchlike and vegetable foods are fattening” to “base your meals on starchy foods”. Obesity has increased up to ten fold since – coincidence or cause?
There are so many more questions that we need to ask (and answer) to understand the worst health crisis that we have ever faced:
In a 2010 study, two out of three American adults and more than one out of three children and adolescents were overweight or obese. The issue of weight on wellness is becoming an epidemic.
1) Have you heard the sayings “energy in equals energy out” and “you can’t change the laws of physics”. What precisely do the laws of thermodynamics (relationships and conversions between heat and other forms of energy) say? Which law have we oversimplified and which law have we neglected to consider?
2) Are you familiar with the formula “one pound equals 3,500 calories, so to lose one pound of fat, you need to create a deficit of 3,500 calories”? When and where did this originate? Would you be able to prove that the formula holds true? Would you be interested to know the responses given by seven UK government and obesity organizations when asked those same questions?
3) Is a calorie a calorie? Is one sugar the same as any other?
4) What happens if we manage to get humans to eat less and or do more over a period of six months? What happens afterwards? What is the scientific evidence for sustained weight loss in the seminal obesity studies from the past 100 years?
5) Are obese people greedy, or lazy, or both, or none of these? Can obesity be caused by anything other than greed or sloth?
6) Where does five-a-day come from? What are the five most nutritious foods on the planet?
7) Why is fructose being called the fattening carbohydrate?
8 ) Would you be able to prove that saturated fat consumption causes heart disease? If I told you that the study to consider this has not even been done, would you believe me? If the UK Food Standards Agency said this, would you believe them?
9) What remains if you take the public health list of ‘saturated fat’ and cross out processed food (primarily carbohydrates)? Would you be open to the idea that we could have a heated agreement with to clarify the terminology?
10) Where does cholesterol fit in to the obesity debate?
11) What is human fat tissue? How do we store fat? How do we burn fat? Which macro nutrient determines fat storage and fat use?
12) Does sedentary behavior explain the timing and the increase in obesity? Can exercise be a cure for the obesity epidemic?
13) How embedded are the food and drink industry in our dietary advice and agencies? Would you be concerned if the likes of Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s, McDonald’s and the sugar industry were working in partnership with our national dietary associations? How about the diet industry itself? Just think thousand of diet products on the market today.
Can I answer the above question so that we can understand the big problem.
This epidemic has become far too serious for us to continue with tautologies (a calorie is a calorie), or platitudes (eat less/do more), or marketing slogans (five-a-day ). It is time for some facts.
I will try to keep everything as simple as possible.
I will do a review of the efficacy of different weight loss methods and other evidence relied upon by our public health advisors today. Some studies have shaped our current advice and shouldn’t have and some have been overlooked that we should give more thought to. We need to know what stands up to scrutiny, what can explain the obesity epidemic and what can’t stop it. I will give evidence based, as well as my opinion on the material I find. I will make it clear when I am giving opinion. I invite you to come to your own conclusions along the way.
Thank you for taking the time to read. Hope you will make comments and follow to get the new posts on the Obesity Epidemic.
Look for Part 2 coming soon.