I know I’m starting to sound like a broken record here, but… at least the UK is getting the war on obesity right.
I mention this (again) because of a recent article I came across in London’s Daily Telegraph. It began, and I quote: “Low fat diets and exercise are pointless for those wanting to lose weight and obese people should simply eat less, a former shadow health minister told the House of Lords yesterday.”
Now, I realize I told you just the other day that simply walking more can lower your risk of diabetes and obesity. Physical activity is and always will be a core component to good health. And obviously, regular exercise plays a role in weight loss.
But as this article points out, it doesn’t play the starring role. And when combined with bad diet advice, exercise may not actually help you lose weight at all.
In fact, one member of the House of Lords — who also happens to be emeritus professor of surgery at London’s Guy’s Hospital — called the low-fat diet a “false and misleading” recommendation that’s making the obesity epidemic worse.
I think I love this man. And boy, do I wish there were more voices like his speaking out in our government heath debates.
Especially since he went on to make this very important point: Exercise is virtually useless against the outrageous amounts of sugar and carbohydrates people consume now — thanks, in large part, to those idiotic “low-fat” recommendations.
So all of those claims that the world is getting fatter simply because we’re all a bunch of couch potatoes aren’t exactly accurate. Especially when you consider the fact that a half hour of hard work at the gym only burns a few hundred calories — progress that can be completely undone with just a couple cans of Coke.
The sad fact is, most people would have to run for miles every day just to make up for the dietary damage they’ve done by lunchtime.
Obesity is a complex issue with a lot of factors, no doubt. And sure, inactivity is part of the problem. But at the end of the day, there’s one core factor that’s keeping us fat: We simply eat too much of all the wrong things.
But I can tell you this: You won’t find the right things in the garbage dietary guidelines the government continues to push. And my new favorite Brit pointed out exactly that during the recent House of Lords debate.
Eating fat keeps your stomach full — and your appetite satisfied — for longer. It’s a beautifully balanced mechanism that naturally prevents overeating and weight gain. So why anyone would urge an overweight person to avoid fat is a mystery to me.
And yet, just like us, the UK has been on the low-fat bandwagon for the last 30 years. Their “Eat Well” guide — much like our food pyramid — continues to recommend foods like potatoes, rice, pasta, and other starchy carbs.
And we call this good dietary advice? These are the same kinds of foods we feed livestock to fatten them up. Why would we expect them to have the opposite effect on us?
I’ve been sounding this alarm for two decades now. When will enough finally be enough?
It’s high time we abandoned this herd mentality — on both sides of the pond.