An article published in The BMJ (British Journal of Sports Medicine) takes a look at why obesity continues to be a problem. The article featured a review conducted by sports medical researchers and clinicians who feel sugar and carbs may be leading factors contributing to obesity instead of lack of exercise or regular physical activity.The review says exercise can still be helpful in reducing a number of health risks, but some say there are elements of this concept that need further review.
Consuming high levels of sugar and carbohydrates could be the leading cause behind excessive weight gain or the obesity epidemic. This means part of the problem leans towards poor dieting habits. Researchers still support regular exercise but say even athletes or people who are physically active could be at risk of gaining weight. Regular exercise can reduce the risk of developing heart disease, certain cancers, and type 2 diabetes. So, why are people more likely to gain weight through sugar consumption versus lack of exercise?
Researchers believe poor dieting puts people at a greater risk of developing a disease more than smoking, alcohol and lack of exercise combined. This element may also give clarity as to why more children are experiencing obesity. Researchers believe individuals are at risk for obesity due to metabolic abnormalities they believe roughly 40 percent of people may harbor. Such abnormalities are key players in cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
The food and beverage industry is receiving criticism in light of these findings. While many people say this is something consumers have known for years, there is an element that has a need for clarification. For years food beverage companies spend millions of dollars promoting the aspect of “fewer calories.” Some companies try to link their product to sports activity. Such companies are believed to mislead consumers into thinking their products (energy drinks, soda pop, etc.) are okay to consume as long as you are physically active. Yet, many beverages alone have high amounts of sugar and calories the body is known to store and increase a person’s hunger. Calories from fat encourage satiation.
Researchers feel the food industry is trying to make the aspect of lack of exercise as the core issue behind obesity. They feel their tactics are similar to what big tobacco companies do to encourage people to keep smoking. The food industry engaged in similar tactics when a previous study looked into how the industry may play a role in tooth decay.