As I have written before, the classic weight loss advice to ‘eat less, move more’ has fallen from popularity in recent years. Frankly, those of us in this industry still promoting ‘eat less, move more’ as relevant advice in the face of the rising obesity epidemic are seen as rather outdated, rather old-school. As I have also written before, I do believe that the advice should be updated to ‘eat less, eat better, and move more’ which rather improves on, and corrects, the original expression.
But still, it’s far more current to besmirch all that old school talk as being fattist, as lacking understanding, as being outdated, outmoded and out-of-touch. It’s considered politically incorrect these days to suggest that obesity is on the rise because people eat too much and don’t exercise enough, and indeed it’s now becoming popular to say that any so-called health professional preaching such ancient wisdom is poorly educated and lacking in sympathy and understanding for the victims of the root causes of rising obesity.
To suggest that obese people ‘just eat less and move more’ is now seen as being about as constructive and helpful as telling a depressed person to ‘just get over it and cheer up a bit’. It’s now fashionable and politically correct to see obesity as an eating disorder, and to say that anyone preaching ‘eat less, move more’ is guilty of the most heinous of 21st century crimes – fat shaming.
In our complex modern world, with obesity growing at an alarming rate (or is that just changes to the system of classification?) there are many factors we can blame for rising obesity.
- Genetics play a role
- It’s become quite fashionable to blame Carbohydrate intolerance
- The growing availability of hyperpalatable food
- Obesity is an eating disorder
- Your gut flora forces you to gain weight
- It’s the high stress job causing weight gain
- There has been a lot in the media about how poor, greedy, lazy, selfish or negligent parenting is a major cause of rising obesity in younger people
- Obesity is a medical condition, often the side-effect of other medications, and so it’s not your fault if you are overweight
- It’s today’s obesogenic environments (car culture, sedentary jobs and the easy availability of high-sugar foods)
- It’s your hormones, not you
- It’s because everyone has a car these days, folks drive everywhere
- It’s because of trauma or abuse in childhood
- We know many people ‘comfort eat’ as an emotional crutch
I could go on, but I think that’s enough for now.
All of these factors are relevant, they all play a role, they are all true, all valid, ALL OF THEM account for why some people are overweight, and all of them matter. I am not disagreeing with any one of the thigns on that list, or a dozen more, such as the role of environmental pollution, the rise in the number of TV channels, the role of anti-obesity attitudes in our society, the availability and nutritional content of school lunches, the increase in sugar content in foods, and so on and so on.
But here’s the thing. Read more