Searching For The Cause(s) Of Obesity

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obesestationarybikeFrom Your Health Journal…..”A very interesting article on the Seattle PI web site written by Timi Gustafson entitled Searching For The Cause(s) Of Obesity. The article starts by stating two thirds of Americans are overweight. One third is obese. Along with this, obesity related illness are on the rise, including asthma, weak joints, heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. We are eating too much food, make unhealthy food selections, participating in less physical activity, sedentary, and involved in too much technology. Recently, we have seen local governments try to ban large soft drinks, and implement fax taxes. Obesity has been such a hot topic, but change is needed to our lifestyles to fix it. Please visit the Seattle PI web site (link provided below) to read the complete article.”

From the article…..

Two thirds of Americans are overweight. One third is obese. Obesity and a host of illnesses related to weight problems kill more people than any other disease. Experts are scrambling to find answers for what causes the epidemic and seem to come up with new explanations every day, only to be contradicted by the next study. Unsurprisingly, consumers are confused and stop paying attention.

How is it that we are eating ourselves to death, not just here but increasingly around the world? Does the so-called “Western diet,” consisting of cheap, highly processed, highly caloric foods, make us fat? Or is it sugary sodas? Are portion sizes too big? Does the food industry turn us into addicts? Do we just not exercise enough?

So far, none of the countless studies on these subjects have had much impact in practical terms. Lobbying efforts and political gridlock are oftentimes blamed for the maddeningly slow progress. But that may not be the only reason. Some experts warn that despite of all the research, finding definite answers may prove elusive for some time to come.

“If we can find the causes of obesity, we can try to eliminate or counter them,” wrote Christopher Chabris, a professor of psychology at Union College, together with his colleague Daniel Simons of the University of Illinois in an op-ed piece in the New York Times. “Unfortunately, finding causes is easier said than done, and causes we think we see can turn out to be illusions.”

Hoping for a smoking gun that lets us clearly identify causation may not be in the cards, ever. As an example, the authors cite a study that analyzed potential connections between food advertising on billboards and prevalence of obesity in certain parts of Los Angeles and New Orleans. The study results showed that areas with more outdoor food advertisements had a higher proportion of obese people than those with fewer ads. So, there seems to be a direct link.

To read the full article…..Click here

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