Do you believe that obesity is an energy imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended? If you do, then you’re in agreement with the long standing conclusion of obesity science, which revolves around the balance principle, i.e., “People get fat because they take in more calories than they expend. They stay lean when they don’t.”
Or perhaps you might agree with the philosophy that was popular in the decades between the World Wars that … “some people are born predisposed to accumulate excess fat just as some are predestined to grow tall.”
According to this article, you would be mistaken on both counts.
The article author writes that he would have agreed with the balance principle “if the prevalence of obesity had not risen relentlessly for the past half century — along with type 2 diabetes” to the extent that is has become the dominant non-Covid health crisis of our time.
That’s why he and 16 other academic researchers put together a report in September 2021 entitled, The carbohydrate-insulin model: a physiological perspective on the obesity pandemic. In the Abstract of the report it is noted thus:
According to a commonly held view, the obesity pandemic is caused by overconsumption of modern, highly palatable, energy-dense processed foods, exacerbated by a sedentary lifestyle. However, obesity rates remain at historic highs, despite a persistent focus on eating less and moving more, as guided by the energy balance model (EBM). Conceptualizing obesity as a disorder of energy balance restates a principle of physics without considering the biological mechanisms that promote weight gain. An alternative paradigm, the carbohydrate-insulin model (CIM), proposes a reversal of causal direction.
(NOTE: At the time of this blog post, only the abstract is available.)
These researchers argue that the energy-in/energy-out conception of weight regulation is fatally, tragically flawed … that obesity is not an energy balance disorder, but a hormonal or constitutional disorder.
In other words, “people don’t get fat because they eat too much, consuming more calories than they expend, but because the carbohydrates in their diets — both the quantity of carbohydrates and their quality — establish a hormonal milieu that fosters the accumulation of excess fat.”
As many have noted, along with the article’s author, obesity in the U.S. has risen over the past several years. In fact, more than 40% of Americans live with it today as compared to 12% sixty years ago. What has caused this dramatic rise? Is it nature or nurture? Is it behavior or physiology?
Another website related to this topic asks the question: “Is Obesity a Disease?” and provides some Pro and Con arguments where …
Proponents contend that obesity is a disease because it meets the definition of disease; it decreases life expectancy and impairs the normal functioning of the body; and it can be caused by genetic factors.
Opponents contend that obesity is not a disease because it is a preventable risk factor for other diseases; is the result of eating too much; and is caused by exercising too little.
And finally, this article provides a look at 10 foods that overweight people regularly eat.
If you are one of the fortunate individuals who has never experienced problems with weight gain, then none of this information may be relevant. But since statistics indicate MANY people do have regular battles with the bathroom scales, such information may very well be eye-opening.
Image by Memed_Nurrohmad from Pixabay