The staggering U.S. obesity weight has bedeviled researchers and health officials for decades. Why is it that nearly 40% of American adults are severely overweight?
Actually the solution is quite simple: Because we have low-quality health experts giving us trashy, counterproductive advice. Like this:
[Obesity is] a brain disease. ... And the brain tells us how much to eat and how much to store.
This is, of course, false. Obesity is not a "disease." It is noncommunicable and can be affected by mere willpower alone; true disease is either infectious and/or unrespondent to mere choice.
What is the actual cause of obesity? The two overwhelming factors that determine a person's body size are:
- The amount you eat, and
- The amount you exercise.
That's it. It's no more or less complicated than that. But don't take my word for it — take the World Health Organization's:
The fundamental cause of obesity and overweight is an energy imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended. Globally, there has been:
- an increased intake of energy-dense foods that are high in fat and sugars; and
- an increase in physical inactivity due to the increasingly sedentary nature of many forms of work, changing modes of transportation, and increasing urbanization.
This is not a "disease." For nearly everyone, body weight is correlated to how much food you eat and/or how much you move.
But here in the United States, the "experts" increasingly don't feel that way:
Dr. Fatima Cody Stanford: [T]he number one cause of obesity is genetics. That means if you were born to parents that have obesity, you have a 50-85% likelihood of having the disease yourself even with optimal diet, exercise, sleep management, stress management.
Uh huh. Here's a thought experiment: Why is it that the United States is ranked #14 in the world for obese citizens, while Japan is ranked #157? Why does Japan have a 4.97% obesity rate while the U.S. is at 36.4%?
Is it because of "genetics?" Or is a huge factor maybe because the average U.S. citizen consumes nearly 3,800 calories of food per day, while the Japanese eat an average 2,700 calories per day?
You can pretty easily track calorie consumption with obesity; overwhelmingly, in the vast majority of cases, the more calories a person eats, the more overweight he will be, while the fewer calories he eats, the more weight he will drop.
This is not how a "disease" works. Obesity is not, in fact, a "disease." It's a perfectly predictable outcome of the choices people make as eaters.