As a Nation why are we getting FATTER?
We have more diet drinks than ever! We have more low-fat products than ever! There are more diets available than ever before. You have so much access to internet / social media as well as TV and newspaper media.
So what is going on?
Diet, OK, how many diets can you think of? 1,2,4,8? There are hundreds out there and there is too much of the wrong information.
There are 12 reasons to why as a nation we are getting fatter.
Here are the first 6…
1. People Are Eating More Junk Food Than Ever
People are eating more calories than before… but pretty much all of the increase has come from processed foods.
At the turn of the 20th century, people were eating mostly simple, home-cooked meals. Around 2009, about half of what people ate was fast food, or other foods away from home.
2. Sugar Consumption Has Skyrocketed
Added sugar is the single worst ingredient in the modern diet.
Numerous studies show that eating excessive amounts of added sugar can have harmful effects on metabolism, leading to insulin resistance, belly fat gain, high triglycerides and small, dense LDL Cholesterol to name a few.
There is also a plethora of observational studies showing that the people who eat the most sugar are at a much greater risk of getting type 2 diabetes, heart disease and even cancer.
Sugar is also fattening, partly because it doesn’t get registered in the same way as other calories by the brain, making us eat more. It also has adverse effects on hormones related to obesity.
Not surprisingly, studies show that people who eat the most sugar are at a high risk of future weight gain and obesity.
3. People Gain Lots of Weight During The Holidays, Which They Never Get Rid Of
Most people don’t gain weight overnight… it happens slowly, over years and decades.
Lots of tried & tired diets yo-yo from one diet this year to another diet next year.
But the rate is uneven throughout the year and spikes dramatically during the holidays, a time when people tend to binge on all sorts of delicious holiday foods and eat much more than their bodies need.
The problem is that sometimes people don’t lose all the weight. They might gain 3 pounds, but only lose 2 after the holidays are over, leading to slow and steady weight gain over time. So this could be 1-2 pounds weight gain per year and over 10 years can be 10-20 pounds weight gain.
In fact, a large percentage of people’s lifetime weight gain can be explained just by their annual holidays.
4. The Obesity Epidemic Started When The Low-Fat Guidelines Were Published
There was an epidemic of heart disease running rampant in the U.S. in the 20th century.
A lot of scientists believed fat, especially saturated fat to be the main dietary cause of heart disease (although this has since been disproven).
This led to the birth of the Low-Fat-Diet, which aims to restrict saturated fat. Interestingly, the obesity epidemic started at almost the exact same time the low-fat guidelines first came out.
Of course, this doesn’t prove anything, because correlation doesn’t equal causation.
But it does seem likely that putting the emphasis on saturated fat, while giving processed low-fat foods high in sugar a free pass, may have contributed to negative changes in the population’s diet. There are also massive long-term studies showing that the low-fat diet does NOT cause weight loss, and does not prevent heart disease or cancer.
5. Food is Cheaper Than Ever Before
One factor that has most likely contributed to increased consumption is a lower price of food.
Food prices have dropped from 25% of disposable income to about 10% of disposable income in the past 80 years.
This seems like a good thing, but it’s important to keep in mind that real food isn’t cheap… it’s processed food.
In fact, real foods are so expensive that a lot of people can’t even afford them. In many poor neighbourhoods, they don’t even offer anything but junk food, which is often subsidized by the government.
How are the less financially fortunate, supposed to stand a chance if the only food they can afford (and access) is highly processed junk high in sugar, refined grains and added oils?
6. People Are Drinking More Sugary Soda and Fruit Juices
The brain is the main organ in charge of regulating our energy balance, making sure that we don’t starve and don’t accumulate excess fat.
Well, it turns out that the brain doesn’t “register” liquid sugar calories in the same way as it does solid calories.
So if you consume a certain number of calories from a sugary drink, then your brain doesn’t automatically make you eat fewer calories of something else instead.
That’s why liquid sugar calories are usually added on top of the daily calorie intake. Unfortunately, most fruit juices are no better and have similar amounts of sugar as soft drinks.
Studies have shown that a single daily serving of a sugar-sweetened beverage is linked to a 60.1% increased risk of obesity in children.
Sugar is bad… but sugar in liquid form is even worse
I’m Dave Hughes, and I help people to transform their lives, body-shape and fitness so that they can feel more confident in everything they do. I will be continuing this article and outlining another 6 factors in the next issue of Mama Life Magazine. If you are struggling with motivation or want help to achieve a healthy new you then get in touch.www.fitcampuk.co.uk