A lack of exercise is not the reason for being overweight according to a trio of doctors who claims that obesity is down to eating the wrong foods.
The debate surrounding what causes obesity and being overweight has been reignited by the comments which has seen experts clash over whether it is a sedentary lifestyle, food or a combination of both that leads to people becoming overweight.
According to the article, which included material submitted by British cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra, known for being a forceful critic of the food industry – accuses food and drink firms such as Coca-Cola of having wrongly emphasised how physical activity and sport can help prevent people becoming very overweight according to a report in The Guardian.
The crux of the article is that while exercise may be good at helping to reduce the risks of heart disease and other illnesses, undertaking physical activity can not be seen as a means to promote weight loss.
The article states: “In the past 30 years, as obesity has rocketed, there has been little change in physical activity levels in the western population. This places the blame for our expanding waistlines directly on the type and amount of calories consumed.
“Members of the public are drowned by an unhelpful message about maintaining a ‘healthy weight’ through calorie counting, and many still wrongly believe that obesity is entirely due to lack of exercise.”
The piece, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, says that “false perception is rooted in the food industry’s public relations machinery, which uses tactics chillingly similar to those of big tobacco … denial, doubt, confusing the public and even buying the loyalty of bent scientists, at the cost of millions of lives.”
The report concludes with a clear message: “let us bust the myth of physical activity and obesity. You cannot outrun a bad diet”.
The message may go against all that many people have come to believe in recent years about the best ways to control weight but the advice continues to go against the grain when it comes to what we should be eating to lose weight effectively.
The article promotes the idea that those who do regular exercise should eat more fat because “fat, including ketone bodies, appears to be the ideal fuel for most exercise. It is abundant, does not need replacement or supplementation during exercise, and can fuel the forms of exercise in which most participate.”
According to The Guardian, Professor Susan Jebb, professor of diet and population health at Oxford University, who also chairs the food network of the government’s Responsibility Deal, said: “The authors fail to note that weight loss programmes which combine diet and physical activity are the most successful route to weight loss in both the short (three to six months) and the long term”.