About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

To Beat Obesity We Must Know What Really Makes Us Fat

by Thilaka Ravi on April 17, 2013 at 7:53 PM
Font : A-A+

To Beat Obesity We Must Know What Really Makes Us Fat

If we are to make any progress in tackling the obesity crisis, we have to know clearly what makes us fat.

The science of obesity: what do we really know about what makes us fat?

Advertisement

If we are to make any progress in tackling the obesity crisis, we have to look again at what really makes us fat, claims an article published in this week's BMJ.

Gary Taubes, co-founder of the Nutrition Science Initiative, argues that our understanding of the cause of obesity may be incorrect, and that rectifying this misconception is "absolutely critical" to future progress.
Advertisement

"What we want to know," he says, "is what causes us to gain weight, not whether weight loss can be induced under different conditions of semi-starvation."

The history of obesity research is a history of two competing hypotheses of energy balance and endocrinology, writes Taubes. Since the 1950s, conventional wisdom on obesity has been that it is caused by a positive energy balance - in other words we get fat because we overeat. The alternative hypothesis - that obesity is a hormonal or regulatory disorder - was dismissed after the second world war as being unworthy of serious attention.

But Taubes believes that the wrong hypothesis - energy balance - won out and that it is this hypothesis, along with substandard science, that has fuelled the obesity crisis and the related chronic diseases.

He argues that attempts to blame the obesity epidemics worldwide on increased availability of calories "typically ignore the fact that these increases are largely carbohydrates" and, as such, these observations "shed no light on whether it's total calories to blame or the carbohydrate calories."

Nor do they shed light on the more fundamental question of whether people or populations get fat "because they're eating more, or eat more because the macronutrient composition of their diets is promoting fat accumulation ... in effect, driving an increase in appetite."

Taubes also points to "substandard" research that is "incapable of answering the question of what causes obesity."

As a result, he has co-founded the Nutrition Science Initiative, a not-for-profit organisation to "fund and facilitate rigorously well controlled experimental trials, carried out by independent, sceptical researchers." Our hope, he says, is that these experiments will answer definitively the question of what causes obesity, and help us finally make meaningful progress against it.

If we are to make progress in the struggle against obesity and its related chronic diseases, he believes we must accept the existence of alternative hypotheses of obesity, refuse to accept substandard science, and find the willingness and the resources to do better.

"With the burden of obesity now estimated at greater than $150bn (£100bn; €118bn) a year in the US alone, virtually any amount of money spent on getting nutrition research right can be defended on the basis that the long term savings to the healthcare system and to the health of individuals will offset the costs of the research by orders of magnitude," he concludes.



Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Fermented Skin Care
Television Binge-Watching May Boost the Risk of Deadly Blood Clots
Western Diet may Augment the Risk of Autoimmune Diseases
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Bariatric Surgery Cholesterol Obesity Bulimia Nervosa Diet Lifestyle and Heart Disease Body Mass Index Cholesterol - The Enigma Chemical Liposuction Battle of the Bulge Diabesity 

Recommended Reading
Obesity
Obesity is a condition where there is excess accumulation of body fat which poses a risk to the ......
How to Lose Weight?
Slide show which explains obesity causes and tips on how to lose weight. Exercising before ......
Tips to Control Obesity in Children
Obesity is resistant to instant remedies and its management is a long-term endeavor. Here are a few ...
Battle of the Bulge
The ‘battle of bulge’ is the toughest of all battles. Once you put on weight it is so difficult to g...
Body Mass Index
Body mass index (BMI) is a simple tool that is generally used to estimate the total amount of body f...
Bulimia Nervosa
The term ''Bulimia'' refers to episodes of uncontrolled excessive eating, known as "binges," followe...
Cholesterol
Cholesterol is produced by the body (liver) and is essential for normal body functioning....
Cholesterol - The Enigma Chemical
The word 'Cholesterol' rings danger bells as soon as it is mentioned. This important chemical is im...
Diabesity
With more than one billion people affected, diabesity is the largest epidemic in the world today. Fo...
Liposuction
Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure, which is used to suck out the excess or abnormal fat deposition...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2022

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use
open close
CONSULT A DOCTOR
I have read and I do accept terms of use - Telemedicine

Advantage Medindia: FREE subscription for 'Personalised Health & Wellness website with consultation' (Value Rs.300/-)