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To Diet or to Exercise?

Posted Nov 04 2009 10:05pm

Is that the question?

By Marie Dufour, R.D.

Are we gaining weight because we eat more or because we exercise less? Researchers reporting at the European Congress on Obesity in Amsterdam found that excess food intake alone explains the obesity epidemic. 

 

Boyd Swinburn, M.D., of Deakin University in Australia, lead author of the study reports that  “Weight gain in the American population seems to be virtually all explained by eating more calories… It appears that changes in physical activity played a minimal role.”

Robert Lustig, M.D., an obesity researcher at the University of California San Francisco, contains that he majorities of obesity studies fail to show that exercise translates into sustained weight loss. 

However, researchers agree that reduced activity in children may predispose them to obesity later in life.  Scientists also point out to growing evidence that chemicals in the environment  –such as bisphenol A or BPA — may disrupt the endocrine system and prompt us to eat when we are, actually, full.

EXCESS CALORIES is not a new concept.  How many physicians tell their overweight patients to “just eat less?”  Unfortunately, eating less is easier said than done.  Chronic overeaters often feel threatened at the thought of no longer having unrestricted access to food, and the resulting anxiety causes an immediate reaction: eating more.  

With regards to caloric intake, “eating” is not just as a mealtime activity, but also includes mindless snacking, day-round beverage drinking, alcohol ingesting and other candy and ice-cream treating.  It is the entire concept of INTAKE that needs to be taken into consideration: what we eat, drink, suck, lick, chew, sip,  purposely or mindlessly.

Perhaps there is little we can do to quickly change the environment, but we can control our INTAKE.  In fact, it is very effective in the treatment of morbid obesity by bariatric surgery (lapband or gastric bypass).  But bariatric surgery is a drastic, invasive step with long-term ramifications that should only be considered when all other avenues have been exhausted.

EATING WITH A PURPOSE (EWAP) is a way to look at nutrition as a precursor to healthy and happy living.  Each age, each stage of life, each mental and physical state elicits a purpose in life.  Just as physical activity varies with life stages, so does nutrition.  Matching our nutrition to our needs-in-time is the key to the EWAP plan.  More on this in the next blog.

Primary source: European Congress on Obesity

Source reference:

Swinburn BA, et al “Increased energy intake alone virtually explains all the increase in body weight in the United States from 1970s to the 2000s” ECO 2009.

Filed under: diet, diet, healthy eating, nutrition, weight control, weight loss

Is that the question?

By Marie Dufour, R.D.

Are we gaining weight because we eat more or because we exercise less? Researchers reporting at the European Congress on Obesity in Amsterdam found that excess food intake alone explains the obesity epidemic. 

 

Boyd Swinburn, M.D., of Deakin University in Australia, lead author of the study reports that  “Weight gain in the American population seems to be virtually all explained by eating more calories… It appears that changes in physical activity played a minimal role.”

Robert Lustig, M.D., an obesity researcher at the University of California San Francisco, contains that he majorities of obesity studies fail to show that exercise translates into sustained weight loss. 

However, researchers agree that reduced activity in children may predispose them to obesity later in life.  Scientists also point out to growing evidence that chemicals in the environment  –such as bisphenol A or BPA — may disrupt the endocrine system and prompt us to eat when we are, actually, full.

EXCESS CALORIES is not a new concept.  How many physicians tell their overweight patients to “just eat less?”  Unfortunately, eating less is easier said than done.  Chronic overeaters often feel threatened at the thought of no longer having unrestricted access to food, and the resulting anxiety causes an immediate reaction: eating more.  

With regards to caloric intake, “eating” is not just as a mealtime activity, but also includes mindless snacking, day-round beverage drinking, alcohol ingesting and other candy and ice-cream treating.  It is the entire concept of INTAKE that needs to be taken into consideration: what we eat, drink, suck, lick, chew, sip,  purposely or mindlessly.

Perhaps there is little we can do to quickly change the environment, but we can control our INTAKE.  In fact, it is very effective in the treatment of morbid obesity by bariatric surgery (lapband or gastric bypass).  But bariatric surgery is a drastic, invasive step with long-term ramifications that should only be considered when all other avenues have been exhausted.

EATING WITH A PURPOSE (EWAP) is a way to look at nutrition as a precursor to healthy and happy living.  Each age, each stage of life, each mental and physical state elicits a purpose in life.  Just as physical activity varies with life stages, so does nutrition.  Matching our nutrition to our needs-in-time is the key to the EWAP plan.  More on this in the next blog.

Primary source: European Congress on Obesity

Source reference:

Swinburn BA, et al “Increased energy intake alone virtually explains all the increase in body weight in the United States from 1970s to the 2000s” ECO 2009.

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